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How to Dress Better and Improve Your Life

Lesson 5 of 25

Wardrobe Analysis: The Process

Jennifer Baumgartner

How to Dress Better and Improve Your Life

Jennifer Baumgartner

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Lesson Info

5. Wardrobe Analysis: The Process

Lesson Info

Wardrobe Analysis: The Process

We've revisited in the last segment the importance of our dress, and that there's far more to how we dress than just these behaviors. There's some more stuff under the water, those internal workings, those inner workings that influence how we dress. And so, for this segment, I'm gonna teach you how to use a specific structured analysis to learn more about how your internal stuff is coming out in the external, and how you can alter your external to make changes in the internal. And that's what I call Wardrobe Analysis. So I'm just gonna introduce Wardrobe Analysis, again, this is something that I use with clients and it's a step by step process. We don't have to follow it linearly, you can kinda jump around the different steps, depending on where you are in your understanding of how you dress. I like to, just 'cause I'm a structured person, I like to kinda go through the steps, one by one, but you don't have to. As I said, I am a cognitive behavioral therapist, primarily, and in my clin...

ical life, when I work with patients, I do often a presence focused analysis of their behaviors. I do goals that they can come up with, that they implement each week with me, based on their behaviors, their thoughts and their cognitions and their affect, their emotions and I believe that those three pieces, one will change the other. So the thoughts change the affect and change the thoughts, and vice versa, so they're all interconnected. And I base the Wardrobe Analysis on this type of understanding of the self and how the self works. The step that I'm gonna be looking at first is the examination phase, and I'll go into more detail. I also look at the formulation stage, the third step is the change, then the exploration and future. And again, we'll talk more about this. Okay, so this is just a general summary, very simple, again we're going to go into more detail, for each of these five steps, I do look at the internal component and the external component. The internal component is the stuff that we talked about below the water, the external stuff is the obvious, what you can see, what is more tangible the way you dress. So when I looking at the examination phase, we strive to answer the question what you have and why you have it. The external piece is gonna be simply looking at your wardrobe, literally taking all your stuff, putting it on the bed, putting it on the floor, or me just kinda going into your closets, wherever your clothes are stored, under your bed, in your attic, whatever it might be, and just kind of looking at all your clothing. Very simple, what is it that you have. The internal piece is gonna be the underlying reasons for your style choices, and what was the emotional state as it related to your wardrobe. So we're looking at your stuff, we're looking at patterns, and then we go a little deeper. What does this make you feel like, when you see what you have in front of you. What is the reason for the things that you have. The second phase is the formulation phase, and that's really what is it that you want. So we're making just kind of a basic plan, a basic road map. We'll get to the specifics in the next stage, but right now we just want to say okay, what's going on, what would you hope would change. The external piece, the piece above the water, we're looking at, okay, what is your look, what is the look that you would like. We're also looking at things like your body type, your coloring, your budget, things like that, so we're looking at the basic things that will help you dress better. We're going a little deeper and examining in internal, we're looking at where you are in your life. What's going on, you know, what's happening in your life and do you want to go somewhere else. Do you want your life to change. And then we wanna make sure that we create a general plan of achievement, so we're gonna try to go from a, where you are, to b, where you wanna go, in a very simple way. And then we go to the more detailed summary when we go to the change phase. The change phase is what to buy, what to keep, what to purge and why. This isn't just for your clothing, this is actually for things in your life. There's things that you wanna keep, there's things that you want more of, and there's things that you say, you know what, your time has come, you're out of here. So the external piece, that's the stuff that's above the water, we're gonna clean out your closet. We're gonna identify the wardrobe needs and we're gonna try to fulfill them. We're gonna acquire clothing and accessories as needed. I always like to work with what the client already has, if I can, but if there really is a need, I think it is important to make sure that they get what they need in the wardrobe, because the wardrobe, like a costume, is gonna facilitate the internal change, which is the next part of the change piece. That's looking at the style transition, and why we're transitioning the styles, ultimately to get the person to transition the life. What is going on internally. So we're gonna also implement a very specific goal-oriented plan for the internal stuff and the wardrobe is gonna help, like a costume. It's gonna help the actor achieve a goal of getting the character across, to himself and the audience. Your wardrobe is really chosen to give you the life that you want, that we come up with in the change phase. I'll show more about the behavioral walls that I use in the change phase. The fourth stage is the exploration stage. This is looking at what just happened. Change is hard, whether it's good change or bad change, so I believe that, just like in therapy, we have to process that change that you implemented. So we're gonna look at the wardrobe change and what it was like for you. We're gonna examine that external identity shift that we just did, but internally, we're also gonna examine the emotional experience of change when you actually implemented the life change, and then process what that change was like for you. Finally, we do the future, and the future's pretty self-explanatory, it's what's next. We're gonna look at what items you might need to buy, what more do you need, how you might want to alter your wardrobe in the future. The internal piece is gonna be okay, what might the obstacles be to getting what you want in life, and how do we come up with a plan. We also want to look at long-term goals for life change, and the wardrobe that might go along with that. So those are the major steps. As with any examination, whether I'm working as a psychologist or working in wardrobe analysis, I only make change if the person wants to make change. If you have no issues with what you see, then you don't need to do any of this. It's only when there are internal issues that are coming about, that you need to make change. There's a difference between looking at a wardrobe from a fashion perspective, and looking at what a person wears from a fashion perspective, and looking at what a person wears from a psychological perspective. If I'm looking at a person who's wearing an inappropriate outfit in a fashion perspective, I may say, man, this is really inappropriate, it totally doesn't work, you should not be wearing this bikini at this business meeting. What are you doing, this is not right. When I look at it from a psychological perspective, I say, why are you wearing this bikini to a business meeting. Is it that you feel comfortable, and you just really don't care, is it that you're proud of your body, is it that you feel that your internal is not enough and you need to get attention in this way, is it that you're covering up these insecurities by drawing attention to the external self rather than to the internal self. So there're different ways of altering it. If the person says, well I like wearing a bikini in my business meeting, I'm the boss. Okay, well, continue to wear that, but if there are reasons that are not healthy for them, then I delve into it further. Okay, so it's a little bit different way of looking at what a person might wear.

Class Description

Every time we buy a piece of clothing and choose an outfit to wear, we’re saying something about who we are. Our dressing behaviors are like windows into our psyches, exposing our deepest feelings, desires, conflicts, and problems.

Author and clinical psychologist Dr. Jen Baumgartner will begin by looking at the general principles of psychology of dress and fashion, then dive into the nine most common dressing difficulties—from buying more than we need to being bored with our look to avoiding mirrors.

In this fascinating course, Dr. Baumgartner will not only help you examine your wardrobe and how it reflects your emotions, but will teach you how to modify your choices so you can make real improvements to your life—both inside and out.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Understand the principles of acquiring, assembling, storing, organizing, and removing.
  • Identify which of the nine dress difficulties applies to you.
  • Stop buying items that you don’t really need or want.
  • Avoid always being in work clothes or mom jeans.
  • Formulate a strategy for changing your behaviors and revamping your wardrobe.

Ratings and Reviews

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Yolanda Azpiazu

Loved it! Incredible class, so interesting and filled with new concepts, I am a big fan of the author and I admire her for the way she suggests us to analyse things with curiosity and looking "bellow the water", rather than judgement. Thank you so much for this wonderful class Dr. Baumgartner.

a Creativelive Student

It's about how you dress, but really, it's about how to use the way you dress as a lens to better understand yourself. Packed with useful information and tips, highly recommend! Thanks Jenny!