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How to Dress Better and Improve Your Life

Lesson 22 of 25

When you Live in Mom Jeans

Jennifer Baumgartner

How to Dress Better and Improve Your Life

Jennifer Baumgartner

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Lesson Info

22. When you Live in Mom Jeans

Lesson Info

When you Live in Mom Jeans

Now I know there are a lot of dads out there. Stay at home dads who live in their dad jeans, so this isn't just for moms, this if for daddies too. Why do this, why do we kind of get stuck in a rut in terms of wearing clothing like the mom outfits or the daddy outfits and not doing anything more than that? A lot of times it's what we're learned. Specifically to females, we learn that we're nurturers, we learn that we have to sacrifice, and if we give to others, we may feel guilty. So we don't dress in a way that can show that we actually engage in self care 'cause how can I spend money on my cocktail dress, when I should maybe be buying my child a toy. So it's kind of that way of thinking. It's also generational understand of who's the breadwinner, who is not, how should a female look, how should she not. So kind of examining the generational component to this. Often women are stuck in multiple shifts, right? So they are the caretaker of their children, they might be the caretaker of th...

eir parents, and then they're also the worker. So they have these, they're kind of sandwiched between generations as well as being a worker. And then also the loss of identity. I was a stay at home mom. I went from working, to a stay at home mom, back to working as a mom. And so I had a lot of issues with who am I, what am I and how do I dress myself. So some of the things we ask are, 'How long has it been since you've purchased something good for yourself?' When you go shopping, do you feel guilty? When you go shopping, do you only shop for others? Do you feel like you're wearing items you swore you would never wear because you feel like you have to? Are your pajamas and lounge clothes and everyday clothes the same? Are you dressed based on your children's preference or your partner's preference? Do you wish you could become the old you again? Is it difficult for you to find me time? Are you unable to sleep because you feel like you're always thinking of things you must do for others? When you have free time, do you feel guilty? When you have free time, is it hard for you to just be and not think about what you need to do for others? Do you wish you could dress stylishly and do you hesitate because you might be judged by another? Or you wish you could dress stylishly but you feel like you've forgotten how to do that? So those are all the questions and those are just some, but those are the questions that I might ask somebody who is kind of stuck in this rut. And really, it's looking at is there a loss of self. That's really what it comes down to. And how do you claim that loss of self and craft a wardrobe to match? So some of the things I do is I have people reformulate. I have them look at old pictures of themselves and say who is that person. And is there anything there that you want to recapture? I also have them look at role models. So people that are doing what they want to do, and saying okay, well how can we make this happen both externally in the dress and internally. And then we look at self care dress. We look at dressing is a form of self care, it's not frivolity, it's not waste, it's not something you need to feel guilty of. And I always talk to my patients and my clients and I say, if you were on a plane, the oxygen mask comes down, what do you do? Put yours on first. Why? So that you take care of yourself first before you can attend somebody else. Absolutely and I know it might be cliche, you've probably all heard this before, maybe you haven't. But taking care of yourself is your oxygen mask. You cannot help others if you don't take the breath first. Okay, so that's what we do. And again, I'm not going too deeply into these things, if you want more detail, it is in the book, You Are What You Wear. Audience analysis, I ask you, what difficulties might you have, what has in your life created it? How has it made you feel? Have you tried to change it, what might make you feel better if you changed it? So any of these dress difficulties speaking to you? I think for me it is stuck in a rut a little bit with a lot of basic pieces, like blacks and neutrals and if I were to dig a little deeper into that, I think part of that is also because I moved around so much for the past 10 years so I have the opposite problem of having too much in my closet or it's like for me when I get stressed out, I actually want to purge to maybe feel more control. So it's finding stability when there's instability. So you're always moving around there's a lot going on, so you need that one place where there's a sure thing. I definitely am like that. The more that's going on in my external life, the more I wanna just like, let's get rid of everything! And you think about people that have done that, there's a lot of talk about Barack Obama, you've also got Steve Jobs, those are people we hear about, even Einstein. Where there was a lot going on so they kept it simple. They only wanted to just decide on, deciding on nothing, right, so anybody else relate to any of these? Well I was thinking about, you were talking about dad clothes, wearing dad clothes. I was doing a quick calculation, my father's style was clothes that were worn in between '43-'45 to about '50-'55, is what he was really comfortable with and that's what I saw, and that's what I looked and that's why probably I'm gravitating towards dad clothes, that's my dad's clothes and I like and enjoy it. So it's a literal dad's clothes, yeah. And it's really nice because when you're able to look at somebody who inspires you, you can find throughout their lifetime what works for your own life. If they're inhabiting that same role. Your father was a father, now that you are, you can copy that. That was the style that I enjoy and I loved and I thought it was very good, so I tried to mimic it myself. Anybody else, and there's usually more than one that speaks to you. One of our students says, I definitely have some body issues, one thing that helped me was allowing myself to buy clothes for the body I'm in now, versus buying for the body that I want to be in. Right, and I think that's number one. It's really a form of acceptance, right? Again, it really has nothing to do with clothing, but when you think about it, if you're holding onto to clothing and you're not going to fit into it, you're telling yourself you're not going to accept where you are now and if you buy the clothes that fit you now, you're telling yourself I'm accepting where I am. And that's important because you want to make sure that you're in the here and now with your clothing. Not dressing for something that was or may never be. The company that he used to work for, the logos they put prominent logos on their clothes. I personally, don't like to wear anything that has those prominent logos. It's just kind of separating yourself, creating artificial tribes that really don't mean anything. And I personally don't like those things that are just so huge on you. I mean I don't want to be a company's billboard. Well, if they're willing to pay me, to sponsor them, great. But other than that, I don't want to be anybody's billboard. Yeah, and it's really interesting because logos have changed sizes over different years, depending on when you looked. Logos have become bigger, and then they kind of shrink, and then it cool to not wear anything with a logo and that non logo becomes a logo so it's kind of a really interesting look. If you study the history of logos, it's really fascinating to see how brands are so masterfully using a logo to make you feel like you're in an in group, like you said, a tribe. The in group and out group. And when you think about it, in a way, we use these symbols when we, back in the day, when we used to wear bones of the animals that we killed to establish some kind of dominance, or to establish achievement. Or even in the military, we literally use the symbols to denote rank, so we know, 'Okay I know who you are, I know where I am 'in terms of you.' And it helps us understand. But now we often use logos in that way so we can asses where am I with your logo and you also create where you are right, so you can decide, 'Well I want to be in this group 'because they represent this.' Or 'I want to be in this group, and I don't want 'to be in with that person 'cause they are doing that.' And it's a snap judgment that happens very quickly, and it doesn't always last. It doesn't mean that it's gonna happen from now until eternity, but it is a way that we make these quick assessments of people and we can figure out if they belong to us, to our tribe or not. And we can also shift how we dress with our logos, or our brands to create what we may not feel that we have. So it's absolutely used strategically.

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.

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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!