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Culture of Happiness

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Slogan tees and sweatshirts get a bad rap; namely because epithets like ‘#nofilter’ and ‘Coffee First’ are a proper waste of good cotton space. Why advertise a potty mouth or a borderline flat white addiction when you can ask the Universe for a solid instead? I once designed my own t-shirt that said ‘Adopt Me Angelina’ but it fell on deaf ears.  With that, an old-fashioned good vibe tagging might be just the thing. Enter Antigone – a London-based slow fashion collective specialising in trans-seasonal ethically-made down time duds. My personal favourite? The Culture of Happiness grey marl sweatshirt – designed to evoke memories of good times and having a laugh. Look closely and you’ll find Antigone’s signature ‘evil eye’ of protection embroidered on the back with a adjunct love motif on the right cuff. I’m smiling already. www.antigone.co.uk; #cultureofhappiness 

Raid Oprah’s Closet!

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In this month’s issue of O magazine, Oprah spring cleans her 19-by-26 foot Harpo Studios closet. What’s more, she’s auctioning some of her most beloved pieces online. The bad news? Most of it has sold out! The good news? The proceeds of this sale are all going to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Foundation. Although the opportunity to raid Oprah’s wardrobe may be lost; you can still benefit from what she learned during the decluttering process. A few of the highlights? Dressing the person you are today, the exterior matching the interior and the levity of letting go. Oh, how I got the giddy butterflies!

Why? It really excited me to think that The Happy Closet message is more than just my message; it’s a cultural shift in our relationship with clothes. It’s more than just a surface clear out. It’s about sifting beneath the layers of confusion and finding out what’s really driving our collective primal impulses. By understanding what makes us tick – that’s when we can go from collecting to selecting. The alchemy in determining purpose from potential is truly transformative but it all begins (and ends) with self-knowledge. In the words of Epictetus: ‘Know thyself and dress accordingly.”

Now, if you’ll excuse me. I’m going to do my happy dance and then gift wrap a few copies for the lovely O team. My wardrobe wellness mission continues. Let’s spread the word!

maven46 Fashion Glossary & Beauty Brunch

Join Us At Our Exclusive Spring Brunch!

If your idea of a stellar morning involves Eggs Benny with a side of style & grooming hacks then I have a proposition for you…

Why not join me at maven46’s exclusive Dublin brunch where I’ll be offering Happy Closet advice on how to work this season’s fashion trends? Bit of a beauty buff? MUA Sarah Jane Langan will be dropping knowledge on preening and polishing; not forgetting MC Tanya Grimson whose interactive Q&A session will give you the chance to get tailored tips to suit your needs. Oh, all 60 guests will walk away with a goody bag; while one of you will win a bijou break away. Amazing? Yes. Now what are you waiting for? CLICK HERE to get your tickets. 

World Book Day

Thank you to the book community – my publisher, fellow authors, book shops and book worms for making The Happy Closet such a success. Your support is greatly appreciated. Happy World Book Day! #worldbookday

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Dress For Success with International Women’s Day

 

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Wondering what to do with those gently worn pre-loved pieces you’ve culled from your closet? Well, wonder no more. With International Women’s Day (IWD) in the offing (Tuesday, 8th March), this is the perfect opportunity to put that clobber towards a good cause. Enter: Dress for Success Dublin – the charity that provides women with the clothing, skills and confidence needed to succeed in the workplace. For the past three years, Dress for Success Dublin has celebrated IWD by holding its biggest annual fundraising and clothing collection drive in partnership with workplaces across Dublin. That said, the organisation heartily encourages all walks of participation from individuals to small groups. Whether you’ve got Hefty bags brimming with goodies to pay forward or wish to arrange an impromptu coffee and clothing morning in aid of the charity, there’s still time to make someone else’s closet just as happy as yours. For further info, ideas or support in organising your own event, CLICK HERE to contact the DFS campaigns team.

Happy International Women’s Day! #dressforsuccess

 

Phrases to Remove from a Happy Closet

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Language is a powerful tool. Awareness of what we say when we refer to our wardrobe can reveal a lot about our subconscious style beliefs. If you find yourself repeating any of the phrases below, it might be time to make your closet less Tower of Babel, more unified front.  

Will I get away with it?
Are you intending on committing grand larceny in the style of Matthew Bourne? It all depends: what are your boundaries. It’s not what others think; it’s what you think. Go back to your To Don’t list. If it doesn’t correspond with any of your boundaries, then ask yourself why this is bothering you so much.  

What’s that?
If it can’t be identified as a bona fide garment (see: sleeve shrugs, mules, arm warmers) then its pointlessness has thus been proven and it needs to go. STAT. 

I don’t know if I can pull that off….
It’s a crew neck sweater. It’s designed to be pulled off. (See: Will I get away with it?) 

I bought this when I was backpacking in Thailand.
That was 15 years ago and this ‘I Survived the Full Moon Party’ t-shirt is holding on by a thread. Let go and hold onto your memories instead. 

My sister gave me this.
And guess what? She didn’t want it either. (Clever girl!) Joke’s on you! Get rid. 

I spent good money on that.
This is what behavioural economists refer to as ‘Sunk Cost Fallacy’*: you spent the money on the outfit regardless of whether you decide to wear it or not, so the money should not be a factor in you keeping it. Toodle Pips.  

I might get wear out of it yet.
Let’s reframe this by asking: Why haven’t I worn it yet? Clothing is meant to be worn not hidden in a closet. See if this reason repeats itself across any other garments you ‘might get wear out of yet’ and nip that default buying pattern in the bud.

I didn’t know I had that.
And clearly you didn’t miss it. Visibility is accountability. If you don’t have room to stash your stuff, then something’s gotta give. Make room for room in your life; not more stuff. 

 

 

Can’t Declutter; Won’t Declutter? Blame Your Brain…

Pinky-and-the-Brain-Wallpapers-HD-3Pain and pleasure: there’s a fine line between the two. Well, maybe not so much. According to brain boffins, the area in the noggin associated with pain lights up in the same way as it does when black sacking items to which you feel connected. Whether it’s those J Brand jeans you paid a small fortune for but never wore or those balding Isabel Marant Dicker boots that now boast winter air conditioning (see: gaping hole) – the pain of your wardrobe morphing into a recycling heap is easier to bear than saying ‘goodbye’. ‘All well and good’ I hear you say but how does one let go for good without someone like me talking you off the ledge? Got 60 seconds? It’s time for some straight ledge talking.

What’s done is done: So, you maxed out your heavily pregnant credit card on a dress that ironically made you look ‘in the family way’. Guess what? Holding onto the offending garment will not reimburse your Mastercard (if only); it will just serve as a bitter reminder of a bad choice. Behavioural economists refer to this brain flub as Sunk Cost Fallacy: basing trading decisions on price paid rather than prospective performance. As stated by Rolf Dobelli in The Art of Thinking Clearly, “Rational decision-making requires you to forget about the costs incurred to date. No matter how much you have already invested, only your assessment of the future costs and benefits count.” In other words: You’ve spent the money regardless. You will not get it back. You may as well make room in your life for something that actually serves you.

Feeling touchy? Lifehacker Mikael Cho unveils the impact of touch in the article How Clutter Happens. When we introduce a new items into our lives, we immediately assign it a value – personal, financial, emotional. It’s worth, however arbitrary, therefore plays a factor in the decluttering process. What’s more, the more we touch something; the closer our bond, which would explain why divesting ourselves of clothing can be so acutely painful and why we are so attached to gadgets. The takeway? We’ll always feel touchy about letting go. Learn to discern the difference between a keepsake and keeping something for the sake of it. Ascertain why you are holding onto it; how it currently serves you and if there is a future factor in keeping it. The Keep or Cull Audit in Chapter 7 of The Happy Closet provides an empirical check list to help make that fine line more of a wide berth.

Give your brain a break and let it concentrate on more pleasing matters like…taking over the world

 

Feeling the Flow

 

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I’m a dyed-in-the-wool yoga fan. I’m not very good mind you (my bird of paradise looks more like a drunken flamingo) but I’m pretty sweet on my practice. When I don’t open my mat before bed each evening for even a few asanas, I feel start to feel stagnant. Miss a few on the trot? That’s when the proveribal poop hits the fan.

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Is Your Closet Making You Sick?

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Ah, the feels! All the feels! Splashing around in one’s emotional puddles can feel utterly liberating, especially when it comes to our closets. We fall hard for hand-beading, get butterflies over beautiful fabrics and feel like a Marvel superhero in the mere presence of a jumpsuit.

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The Happy Closet – A Thank You

 

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It’s been a month since the release of The Happy Closet. With that, I’d like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who has supported my mission of wardrobe wellness. Thank you to those who bought the book and put it at #6 in just three weeks on the non-fiction hardback charts; for all of the kind #bookshelfies; and for making it an Amazon success. Thanks to a very generous press – radio, television, online, newspapers and magazines – who’ve given it such generous coverage and to my publishers Gill Books. Above is a small window into the past month. For the full story, click on Press Cuttings and tab across the numbers on the bottom of the page (there are five in total).  Happy Weekend! x