Wardrobe Consulting: What's Psychology Got To Do With It?

Hi There! Hope you've been doing well despite all the social unrest we've been experiencing lately. I'm currently in the beginning stages of developing my creative consulting company, Truly, LLC, and I'm so excited to be offering wardrobe consulting services (the other services, interior consulting and styling/decorating services will come along later). It certainly hasn't been easy, but thankfully, this blog and company has pushed me to focus on the positives and just keep moving forward. Many people don't know what wardrobe consulting is, and may think it's simply a styling service. And while wardrobe consulting does include styling, it goes a little deeper. It's a relatively new field that blends psychology and the fashion world. Psychologist, Dr. Jennifer Baumgartner, has done a great job of bringing wardrobe consulting to the forefront with her book You are What You Wear. In fact, her book has inspired me to write my own on the subject one day (hopefully sooner rather than later).  Today I thought I'd take the time to share what wardrobe consulting entails, and how it can be beneficial to those of you who may be struggling with your wardrobe or how to dress in a way that resonates with the image you want to convey to the world.

wardrobe consulting

Wardrobe consulting is based upon fashion psychology which is the application of psychological principles to understanding why we wear what we wear and the effect is has on us and others. Wardrobe behaviors include the act of buying clothes, storing clothes, and creating outfits, all of which are significant indicators of our emotional life. And our past experiences, current distress, and future goals can all be reflected in our patterns of dress. So paying attention to the messages we send through our clothing is integral to achieving consistency between our external image and internal image (such as self-perception and self-esteem).

Here's a rundown of what you can expect during wardrobe consultation.

The consultation usually consists of 5-8 sessions, the first being an "intake assessment." The consultant, that's me, asks a series of questions to get a sense of your past, present, and future experience with dress. I look for whether the experiences have been good, bad, or somewhere in between to better understand the major issues contributing to your issues with dress. Next, I do the "examination." That's where I examine your wardrobe  to assess for patterns (patterns in style, shopping behaviors, storage, and assembling outfits) and the psychological reasons for them.

Once the assessment and examination are completed, we move in to the "formulation" stage where I engage you in goal-setting by helping you identify goals (e.g., vocational, educational, and relationship goals) and the ideal wardrobe to match those goals. And any changes made to the wardrobe are used to facilitate deeper-level, internal changes. So if you're feeling stuck in your professional or personal life, I work with you to create a wardrobe that promotes a feeling of being unstuck or progress in those areas. You'll be encouraged to dress for the life you want to achieve, rather than the life you've had.

Next, we works towards making changes by implementing an action plan designed to achieve set goals and improve your wardrobe. Finally, we process the changes made, and figure out what future changes need to be made to sustain the changes and achieve future goals.

That's a simplified explanation of the the wardrobe consulting process, but hopefully you have a good working understanding of it. The actual wardrobe consulting experience is designed to be full and impactful, and any changes made in the wardrobe can be used as an impetus to make change in other areas. So for example, if you're having difficulty with change, the skills you've learned while making changes to your wardrobe can also be applied to other areas, professionally or personally.

What are your thoughts on wardrobe consulting? Does it sound like something you, a friend, or family member could benefit from? If you have any further questions about it or would like me to conduct a wardrobe consulting workshop for your company or organization, feel free to comment or contact me via email. ♥