016. My Clothes, A Relationship Story
My relationship status with clothes is complicated as most relationships that have spanned nearly three decades usually are.
I never felt quite right in my clothes.
An already insecure girl, putting on clothes that made her feel more insecure to cover up a body that she was especially insecure about, was, as you could imagine an insecurity nightmare.
My goal with the clothing I purchased for many years was to fit in, blend in, and not stand out.
The idea of belonging to myself and celebrating my uniqueness was most certainly dismissed as I ran hard in the “fitting in” marathon.
As I look back over my clothing purchases the past several years, what was not clear to me then has been crystalized now.
My uniform of choice was skinny jeans because I was comfortable with my legs, but not comfortable enough to show them without pants covering them and a wide, boyfriend style button down. Sure, most of my tops were from Madewell, but I was subconsciously buying shirts that were two sizes too big because I was self-conscious about my tummy.
I didn’t want anything tight fitting across my belly region because for many, many years of my life that single region of my body received ruthless contempt. I would poke and prod and squish and flatten my stomach skin. I stared in the mirror and wished I was like the beautiful girls who had flat tummies and well-defined abs.
They looked so comfortable in their skin, so at home in their body, or that the story I made up in my mind. That same story also included me othering myself, holding tightly to the narrative that I was different, less than, not as worthy of a human because my stomach did not come with well-defined ab lines and a cute belly button.
Side note: Watch this for a laugh about how to make your tummy cute. LOL.
When we moved to Los Angeles, you better believe my clothing insecurities came out in enormous bouts as we perused the new sites and I’d enviously eyeball the beautiful women of LA with their toned tummies and tan skin and beautifully styled outfits. I would find myself changing three or four times before we went out the door and I’d constantly be asking Jordan if this or that looked okay.
My clothes weren’t the issue. I was the issue.
More than being myself, I wanted to fit in.
The recent move to a new city and the starting over created incredibly shaky ground within me. I wanted off the rocky waves and to be back on solid ground, but I needed help outside of myself.
I am an advocate that healing comes when we are truly ready for it. On first glance it can seem shallow that I needed help with my wardrobe. I’d sat on many a different therapist’s couch for years, surely I should have figured out something as easy as putting clothes on my body a long time ago.
Looking back through the lens of kindness, I can see I needed to do all that work of finding myself, regaining trust with my intuition, and honoring my story to be able to go into my closet and find healing there.
Enter the lovely Jenny Wirt.
We met on Instagram and she kindly offered to meet me for coffee once I got settled in LA.
Coffee turned into the invitation to work together and that’s when the magic started happening.
Jenny is a Wardrobe Healer. Jenny “takes a holistic approach to styling and believes in the power of wardrobe to create shifts in health, emotions, creativity, work, and life. Believing that every woman deserves to feel f*ing magical in her body and in what she wears, every day.”
Isn’t God so intimately acquainted with our stories? It’s been my experience that he infuses wild kindness and rich magic into our adventures right when we need it.
My healing adventure with Jenny was and is a gift in so many ways.
She started with a comprehensive questionnaire to get to know me. She asked me how I’d like to feel to which I replied comfortable, confident, relaxed, light/warm, kind, and vibrant. I wanted my clothes to be a reflection of the healing work that had happened inside of me, of honoring and celebrating who I am.
The way I dressed was still a reflection of old, outdated narratives where I told myself I needed to hide, play safe, and blend in.
We went through all of my clothes. I confidently told Jenny I already “Marie Kondo’d” the shit out of my closet and got rid of everything that wasn’t sparking joy. She smiled kindly. “You need to actually try on your clothes and feel them on your body and look in the mirror. Every piece that’s in your closet needs to spark joy when it hits your body and you need to feel amazing in it.”
She talked to my about my body shape; not the one my body dysmorphia had told me I had, my real one. She worked with me and showed me how to create shapes with my body. I discovered my natural waist line (WHAT!!), learned the art of a messy front tuck and was invited to wear deeper v’s up top to help balance proportions.
Between sessions, I gurgled down some courage after much procrastination and took all the clothes out of my closet for the second time and started trying them on. Trying on my clothes and being mindful of how they fit my body, what the fabric felt like against my skin, but most importantly, what feelings were evoked from putting the pieces on proved to be quite telling. Let’s just say I had my clothes in two closets when I started and by the time I sifted through all of my clothes, everything fit in one.
Side Note Number Two: Vinted is my most favorite app to sell my used clothes. Very easy, very simple, and I’ve already made some dollar bills after I posted all of my outfits that no longer sparked joy on my body!
Jenny came back over to our nest and had me pull out pieces I still loved but didn’t quite know how to style. Y’all. She infused magic into my wardrobe and helped me piece together things I would have never thought of. She intuitively encouraged me to show a little peep of my stomach even before I shared with her my years of tummy shame.
And let me tell you showing my tummy is freedom y’all!
Being immersed in another layer of healing through the clothes I chose to put on my body has been transformative and this journey has only just begun! The outside reflects the inside and I’m so happy to say that my outside is becoming closer and closer to matching my kindness, confidence, and grace found on the inside.
Self-Care gets to take on a million different facets if only we open ourselves up to it. Jenny came into my life at the perfect time. As a Self-Care Educator, I am always getting curious how I can care for myself well and staying vigilant to continue doing my own healing work. While we can do so much healing on our own, we still need other people to hold up mirrors for us and kindly lead us towards our most authentic selves.
If you need help with your wardrobe and you are in a place where you want to invite someone into it with you, y’all, Jenny is your girl! She’s deeply intuitive, skilled as hell, and when she says she wants you to feel f*ing magical in your clothes, she not only means it, she will help you make it happen! Check her out on instagram, you can see more of our work together on her story appropriately titled “Blake” and you can also find out more about her work on her very chic website.
If you’re reading this and you don’t live in LA, GOOD NEWS FOR YOU!! She can do all of her work virtually as well so you don’t have to miss out on the goodness that is wardrobe healing!
Alrightly, I’m off to enjoy my natural waist line, all the deep v’s, and selling my two sizes too big clothes!
Say yes to healing in all its forms. It’s worth it.