Reinventing Your Style After Divorce

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By Tracy Achen 

Have you been considering reinventing your style to help boost your confidence? It’s no secret that divorce can have a bruising effect on a woman’s self-esteem. But as you begin to heal, you’ll start to realize that you are in control of your life and get to choose how it turns out. If you’re looking to rediscover yourself in this new phase of your life, a good place to start is with your wardrobe. 

Whether you already have an established sense of style you love or you’re hoping to change your look to something more in tune with who you are now, there’s plenty to consider in this new chapter of your life. You may also be thinking about the possibility of changing careers, going back to school, or maybe even dating again. These are all great incentives for revamping your wardrobe. If you’re ready to update your look to reflect the new you, the following tips will make your journey easier.

Purge and Organize Your Closet

Woman choosing between different clothes in her closet in the process of reinventing her style

You may still have things from your marriage that remind you of your ex, and your clothes are often no exception. If there is a certain top that reminds you of a time you’d rather forget, toss it! Don’t be afraid to purge your wardrobe of any and all items that are tied to feelings of negativity, and try to focus on the pieces that bring you joy instead. 

When it comes to cleaning out your closet, a great place to start is by asking yourself these three simple questions: 

Do you love it? – First ask yourself if you truly love the piece of clothing. Does it make you feel like a million bucks when you wear it? If so, it’s probably a keeper. If it is something you’ve never worn or don’t intend to again, it can go in the donate pile. If you’re on the fence, that’s okay. But do follow up your thoughts with the next two questions below.

Does it fit? – Many times our closets are stuffed with clothes we hope we’ll fit into when we get to our ideal weight or get in shape. But realistically, holding on to these items can hurt your self-esteem by preventing you from loving your body as it is now. Besides, you’ll probably want to invest in new clothes when you reach your ideal size. So if it’s too tight or too loose, it’s time to let it go! 

When did you wear it last? – Even if the item of clothing was one of your favorites, can you imagine yourself ever wearing it again? If not, it’s taking up valuable real estate in your closet and needs to go. A good rule of thumb is to donate clothing items you haven’t worn for six months to a year. 

Using the above questions, separate all your clothes into three different piles: 

  • Keep – these are the clothes that look good on you and you love. These will go back in your closet. 
  • Get Rid Of – These items can be donated if they are still in good shape. Anything that’s faded, has holes, or is way out of date needs to be tossed. 
  • Undecided – When you’re in the process of reinventing your style, there may be some clothes you’re unsure about. And that’s okay. These items can be folded and put away temporarily. But if you haven’t retrieved something within a year, it can also be donated because you’ll probably never wear it. 

The final step in purging your closet is reorganizing it. You’ll want to organize your clothes according to a system that works for you. Some people organize their clothes by colors, while others group items by season or activity. Organizing your clothes will let you take stock of what you have left and what items you might need to round out your wardrobe.

Don’t Forget Your Undergarments and Shoes

Now is the perfect time to go through your undergarments as well. Those ratty old undies and stretched out bras need to go! And don’t keep socks that fall down or anything that is uncomfortable or scratches your body. You only want to hold on to things that fit well and make you feel wonderful.

After you’ve gone through your underwear, you may need to replace some items. A general rule of thumb is you only need enough undies to last between wash days. As for bras, it’s a good idea to have at least one nude and one black bra. And a sports bra is also a good idea for when you are exercising or really active. 

Sensible, everyday undergarments are essential pieces to any wardrobe, and buying new stylish yet supportive underwear can make you feel wonderful and refreshed. After all, the right undergarments provide the foundation for your clothing. And when your undergarments are comfortable, you’ll exude more confidence wearing your updated wardrobe. 

You also need to purge and organize your footwear. If your feet ache after only a few hours of wearing them, they need to go (no matter how cute they are). After all, it’s hard to radiate confidence when you’re in pain! Shoes also need to be tossed if they are falling apart at the seams. You only want to keep footwear that is in good condition, comfortable, and will work with your new style. 

Finding Your Personal Style 

Take a look at the current color scheme and patterns in your closet. Do they truly represent who you are? If you’re finding that your style was shaped by your previous partner, and not by your true self, it’s time to revamp your wardrobe. Moving forward, don’t waste your time or money on clothes that don’t make you feel comfortable in your own skin. 

Maybe you’re hoping to try a whole new style altogether, and if this is the case, good for you! Identify your favorite colors and patterns, and look to choose your clothes accordingly. Get inspired by looking through fashion magazines or building a Pinterest board of styles that inspire you. If you need some help, here are some more tips on how to find your personal style. However you mix things up, be bold about who you are through your sense of style. 

You Don’t Have to Be Rich to Be Stylish

Your finances might not be in tip top shape in the wake of your divorce, so you probably don’t have a lot of money in your budget for clothing right now. But that doesn’t mean you have to do without. Thrifting is an affordable way to invest in quality pieces for your wardrobe. 

Thanks to the time you took purging your closet, you probably have quite a few pieces of clothing you can donate or put on consignment. While you’re at the consignment or thrift store, take some time to go through their racks to see what might work for your revamped wardrobe. If you need a little inspiration, here is a resource on how to find style trends at your local thrift store. 

While thrifting new styles might not be your first choice for clothes shopping, it can be a good option for finding quality pieces at a good price. Just be sure to try on the clothes you’re interested in to make sure they fit well and you feel great in them. Only buy what you’ll love and wear. In many cases, all it takes is one good find to help you get a taste for how fun consignment shopping can be!

Divorce gives you the opportunity for a fresh start. And reinventing your style can help you embrace this new chapter in your life. It may feel a little awkward at first, but that’s to be expected with any change you undertake. Just focus on what gives you confidence and joy and you’re sure to put the right foot forward each and every day!

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