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  • Lisa Berry

BLOG: Does Your Personal Style Spark Joy?

I had an inspiring conversation with a longtime customer and friend the other day that got me really thinking about my upcoming closet overhaul. As we dove into her phone’s album of colorful and inspiring photos from a recent family wedding and her many travels, my soul lit up in a way that I hadn’t felt in years. I was absolutely captivated by the Mediterranean-inspired silks, blossomy patterns, and artfulness of her clothing in all of the pictures. She spoke passionately to me about her favorite brand (Camilla,) as well as the colorful jewelry she never takes off that is designed by her Australian friend, and I found myself drawn to a style that felt like a gateway to a whole new lease on life!

I don’t think this was an accidental meeting. I’ve just launched my blog that is all about getting the “waste” out of our lives, beginning with our closets. I’ve been helping clients for years with this, and now I’m going to tackle my own closet clutter and let you look inside as I do it. I’m going to approach this mammoth task just as I always have with my clients, but perhaps with a bit more rigor. I simply cannot stand all of the “stuff” anymore!

The first thing I always do on a major closet cleanout job is start with a little life-coaching session. Our closets represent ourselves. They tell a story about our tastes, our level of confidence, our self-awareness, our outlook on the world and sense of place in it, and even our dreams. We have to get in touch with these things before we can design a closet that is the perfect expression of ourselves.

So, I begin my personal journey with a time of self-reflection. What is the story my current closet tells about me? Is this a story that resonates with my current self? Does it spark joy?

I have pared down a lot over the last year, largely as a result of moving into a new home and deciding that I didn’t want an overflowing closet. As I look inside it now and take stock, here is what I overwhelmingly see: a wardrobe of extremely casual, soft, sporty, basic, mix-and-match staples. As far as practicality goes, I’ve nailed it. Almost everything in my closet is timeless, not trendy, made of good-quality fabrics, can be dressed up or down depending on shoes and accessories, fits well, and is “easy.” I can put a check mark next to some of the important questions I ask clients: Does your wardrobe suit your lifestyle? Does it look good on you? Is it comfortable? Does it reflect a clear and consistent personal style?

However… here comes the connection with my opening story about my colorful client. I really hate to admit this because it could instigate a huge re-think (i.e. a lot of work,) but the truth is, I’m not sure my current wardrobe sparks joy. In fact, I am quite sure it does not make my heart sing. When I took in the beauty of those colorful, flowing silks and savored the whimsical floral prints on her gorgeous kimonos and maxi dresses, I connected with a whole new side of myself. I felt absolutely transported, suddenly more creative and inspired, and instantly connected with my own vision board of the next life chapter I’m working on creating for me and my family. Hard to believe, but totally true—clothes can do that!

So, I am giving myself an assignment: It’s time to go shopping! If my husband is reading this… John, before you have a heart attack, hear me out. I’m not talking about going on a spending spree. I’m not going to even bring my wallet. I’m not ready to throw the towel in on my current wardrobe yet. (And even if I decide to start a new fashion chapter in my life, there’s lots of great and versatile stuff to still hang onto that I can integrate.) I just need to go exploring. It’s going to be like test-driving new cars. My heart is being drawn in a certain direction and I need to try it out to see if it’s really “me.”

One thing I know about myself that I don’t foresee changing is that I’m immensely practical when it comes to dressing. I hate heels and comfort is everything. I’m going to bring a couple of pairs of my most comfy shoes (including sneakers) to try on with my new whimsical fancy and see if I can come up with a style all my own that fills me with smiles, is something I could truly imagine wearing daily, suits my body, and makes me look forward to getting dressed in the morning.

Check out my new Pinterest “Style Inspo” vision board to get a preview of what I’m loving. And, stay tuned for the video of my upcoming shopping adventure!



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