Surely George Brescia was overstating when he settled for the title Change Your Clothes, Change Your Life. But, “because you can’t go naked” got me over the line. Remember that when people tell you they don’t care about fashion! “Sure mate, but you have to put something over your rude bits, so you might as well look great!”. This is not a fashion/style blog but seriously, I have to stop wasting my time sewing stuff I don’t wear.
George’s book has one overarching concept; simply put…
“Every single item in your closet should be a perfect 10, and nothing less”
Good grief George, surely a perfect score isn’t necessary for my stay at home life. I do not need to wear a ‘Bo Derek’ in order to pull weeds mate – lets get real. Then, the landlord’s sister turned up to assess the dead tree removal issue, she was accompanied by her gardener Rob and her 3 year old son. Never had a striped T shirt dress, belt and silver espadrilles looked so chic, a very yummy Mummy and no, she did not have a size 8 figure, I’d describe her as petite and curvy.
My gaze turned to Rob the gardener, who was an older gent in his late 60s, early 70s. Rob was wearing a neatly pressed blue shirt and a violet V neck sweater which offset his gorgeous blue eyes and ruddy/tanned complexion perfectly. I reckon Rob gets lots of offers of overtime… “oooh, Rob, my rose bush needs some attention, could you…?”. I wonder if Rob minds being objectified?
Caught off guard, I looked down at my own outfit apologetically. Hmmm, low crotched sh**catchers bought at a music festival last year, T shirt, black ‘muesli muncher’ sandals, because they’re comfortable and don’t mess with my broken toe caused by kicking Princess – accident honestly, don’t call Children’s Services pleeeze! My outfit was embarrassing, I didn’t feel like ‘me’ and yet “this is my house, I can wear what I damn well like”. After they left I changed into some navy shorts to pull some weeds. They were a bit small but I couldn’t bare changing again – they’d have to do.
Same day, another unexpected visitor – the pool guy, dammit I look a mess, should have washed my hair, can’t they ring first?
“Ummm, ha ha, I don’t usually look like this”… but apparently I do! I am the exact opposite of Brescia’s “conscious dressing”, I am comatosed dressing personified. Interesting review of Brescia’s approach here.
George Brescia’s book was devoured, note taking was done, soul searching was undertaken. Moving interstate seems to have brought on an acute case of ‘self help-itis’. I find George more approachable than Marie Kondo. I imagine Marie to be buttoned up, unyielding in a no nonsense Japanese sort of way – hey the Shinkansen is never late okay! George is your gay mate who has more fabulous scarves than you do. He’s flamboyant but firm, he’ll ask what you were thinking buying those khaki chinos, where’s the pith helmet? He has a TV show. I like the simplicity of “a perfect 10” its easy to remember.
By now, about 2/3 of my wardrobe has been donated. Another lady dumping stuff into the charity bin even took a few items straight from my car, bless her! Some of the loot was handmade, some ‘designer’, some pedestrian. This is what I observed –
- I had precisely one metric sh** tonne of clothes I never wore
- The stuff I threw out (donated) weren’t being worn anyway so I haven’t missed them
- I can now see what’s in my wardrobe and I don’t need to wear the same thing over and over because…
- I tried on each and every thing and surprisingly can wear lots of items I thought didn’t fit – bonus!
- I have a concise list of things I need to buy/make which will make my wardrobe workable
- I see a theme in colour preference, and I’m surprised about what I don’t like in real life
- I must never, ever again be talked into something by an enthusiastic salesperson
- I can wear every single thing in my wardrobe which has opened up a lot of possibilities, I would have expected my choices to be more constrained.
- When I went to the supermarket ‘dressed’ no one pointed and stared, they probably assumed I’d come from work or something!?
Thank you George, you made a lot of sense. The biggest hurdle is going to be dressing like I care every day. I’m still thinking Australians don’t need to dress like New Yorkers; we are defiantly hyper casual.
‘Change Your Clothes, Change Your Life’ was one of those serendipitous finds at the new Geelong library that leapt out from the shelf at exactly the right time. If you are in any doubt you need to do a wardrobe purge (and I honestly thought I’d already done it before moving), go borrow it from the library. Though, I’m going to read it again before returning it, so you’ll have to give me another week!