We are stuck in a loop.

It is morning. You are getting ready for the day. You count your blessings before sitting up in your bed, as you have been training yourself to do. But then, when you start to open the doors and drawers from the cupboards and closets that hold your clothes, you can’t help to feel a little disappointed again. While you are trying to decide what to wear today, you ponder over what you should be having in your wardrobe. What is it that is missing from these items that would truly make you enthusiastic about your looks?

Here is the thing, though, we are so stuck in how we experience fashion that we do not see a way out. Sure, you try something every now and then. You try to buy more sustainable, or only second hand for a year. Or a stop-shop all together. But it doesn’t seem to really work well, you do not get that great feeling from your clothes that you know you deserve.

There is not one thing that you could change to make sure you love what you wear. There are many things and it is difficult. It is difficult because one thing leads to another. You feel like buying something new because your wardrobe sucks. It is not as good as it could be. Because it sucks you buy something new on a regular basis, thinking that you are on a budget. You buy something that you will stop having an interested in soon, and BOOM, you have yourself another average item that adds to the feeling of craving something new.

This is the loop that we are stuck in, and that you need to break.

If you cut the cycle with better habits you will turn it in an upward spiral. A spiral that will continue to develop and grow upward together with your personality. While it works its way upward you will start to feel better in your outfits. That will be the time when you realize that changing your habits works, that you have the right and the means to feel as great as you want to feel in your outfits and how you look.

The Rethink-program will help you to break with the habits that are keeping you down. It tackles the 4 main reasons why we keep adhering to this cycle using lessons from fashion itself.

The 4 main reasons why we keep ourselves in the same cycle are;
The high beauty standards we keep putting ourselves up against. They are all around us, but it is thanks to ourselves if we allow it to have a bad impact on our lives and how we feel.
The need for new that exists because the items that we have in our wardrobe already are horrible.
The price per wear; we are used to a certain price-range, quality and look of the items we buy. We need to change how we look at quality, price and background story if you really want a different feeling from your wardrobe.
Shopaholic; we misinterpret the vibe we get from wearing something new with feeling good about yourself. Your old outfit should be able to give you the same feeling as a brand new outfit, if it doesn’t it is not good enough for you.

The Rethink program, (you can find more information here) works to cut the cycle at those four points.

How does it do that?

You know by now that I do love fashion. I just do not love the generic sell-more boring fashion that most of us have in our wardrobes… I’ll run you down some thing that you can take from the fashion industry that you can incorporate in your daily life so you can can get to a wardrobe that is better, too!

First up, the designers approach. You have been dressing yourself your whole life. You know what you like and what you don’t. It is just not enough in the center of your attention. If you get this more to the forefront you will never by an items again that you do not like!

Go into your wardrobe, and find out. Find out what you like the most, in terms of quality, shape, colour, print etc etc. The things you do not like? They might also be able to tell you something. But focus on the positive for now, kay? We like to keep an upbeat vibe because sometimes dressing is simply hard!

Second, how to be your own muse. Designers and buying teams work with a representation of their perfect client. You should be your own muse. It might be hard to look at yourself as a source of inspiration, but there really is no other way to be happier with your wardrobe. You should not dress for anyone but yourself!

There are many ways for you to feel better. For now I will leave you with one particular one that is going to make a change for you in all parts of your life. Let the compliments sink in. We tend to step over compliments and accomplishments with ease while we linger on the things that we did wrong, or that didn’t go well. Next time somebody gives you a compliment, reply with a “Thank you very much”. Do not try and write them off to other people that may have helped you. Do not stop to think that is was a piece of cake and that anybody could have done it. Let them sink into your heart. Remember them, write them down, repeat them, anything! So you let them give you the great feeling that you deserve to have.

Another thing that we can change is our state of mind. There is a lot wrong with current fashion. We have a strained relationship with it, where it could be a benefit and a joy in our lives. We try and dress so others might accept us, for example, or we give trends power over us by thinking that what you wear should be in line with current fashion.

In the course we will learn to recognize this and what you can do about it, cause it is kind of a big subject. For now I would suggest that you stop following accounts and things that give you a limited idea of what fashion is. Stop yourself being influenced by anything its sole purpose is to sell more. No more magazines in your post, no more newsletters in your email. Do not follow brands anymore that try to sell you more of the same. Clean them up, flush them out! Exterminate them!

We will look at how the world influences you. How others look affects how we want to look. What others believe to be important affects what we feel is important. How things are designed and made has an effect on how they look and feel. So how can you be aware of this, influence it and make changing easier for yourself?

There is a lot going on in the production of fashion. I recommend you find a documentary, prep yourself up on a couch somewhere and watch it. It is not going to be nice. But the clothes you wear are directly responsible for a lot of hurt. You know this already unless you have been living under a rock. If you allow yourself to take in the details it will be easier to change.

How do you influence the world/ environment around you? The struggles you have with your wardrobe are not isolated to you alone. You know that others might struggle with the same things, we are all people living in the same communities. The moment you take the freedom to express yourself the way you want to, you might be able to help others to do the same, because they see you confidently do it.

For now I would suggest to train your brain to be positive about others that look different to you. Stop making jokes at the expense of somebody else that didn’t get the trends right. Or that is wearing something you think is inappropriate. You are reading my blogs, posts and email because you are struggling with how you look. How you feel or want to feel, doesn’t match with how you look form the outside. I can guaranty that there are people out there that feel a bigger mismatch between how they look and how they feel. It is harder for them, start creating the freedom of expression for other too, you might feel more freedom for yourself too!

That is it, for now! I hope these tips might help you to increase the fun you have with the outfits you create for yourself. I hope if I were to meet you in the street at some point, I would be able to see who you are and what you stand for in life. There is just more fun in it, that way!

Jealousy as a guide.

When you look at how you look, it is normal to also look at how other people look. Lets take a look at at that!

Okay, that was a joke, I am not saying it is a good one. But I want to talk to you about how and why we, yes look, at other people, especially when it makes us feel bad!

Obviously if you can look at your friend, who has just lost all of her pregnancy weight and looks stunning in that newly (made) dress, you can feel different things. If you only feel good, for her, than you are fine. But if you look at her and get ideas in your head like, I wish I looked like that, or; if only I could also lose those extra pounds that I carry around, than something needs to change.

I have seen different ways of how people are tackling jealously. For example, they try not to feel it, which is understandable, as you might actually not feel super well about not wishing your friend to feel great. Some take it as a que, they make themselves think of compliments to give to others when they feel a streak of jealously coming up. I imagine telling your friend she looks lovely with clenching jaws still comes across as slightly false. You might want to start a different approach to tackling jealousy.

Jealousy can help you to plot a course for a life that you love. It might make you feel horrible until you realize what you need to change and put your energy towards that. Or it will stop hurting when you have realized that you just cannot change some things and you need to change your perspective.

You see somebody that has something you want and you can feel the “auch” coming up from inside. That might be things that they own, or they have a relationship or a child that you want but do not have. Or it is that girl around the corner that seems to sport the right colours every year, that gets you thinking: “every f*ck*ng season she nails it”, that sort of thing. The feeling lingers inside yourself like a sort of; If only I had or, If only I was….

Hate to brake it to you, but that rocks.

There is something inside you telling you what is not right about your life right now. But that doesn’t mean that all you need to do is get what they have and than the feeling will disappear. Think about it like this, what if you would have that dress that she is wearing, combined with those shoes, would they really look good on you? Or would that simply be her style that you are emulating? So what is it that your jealousy is trying to tell you?

Your jealousy is trying to tell you what you need. In the case of the fashionable girl around the corner, you do not want that dress and those shoes, but the confidence that what you are wearing is perfect for you. You need to feel and think through this jealousy to find out what it is that makes you feel this way. It is never what you think it is about initially. Something superficial will spark jealousy, while the solution is on a deeper layer.

I want to share with you a personal story, to illustrate… I am a tall brown-haired Dutch girl. My family is pretty strong. My grandfather is rumored to have saved his tractor from a ditch in his heydays using only his hands. My brother singlehandedly lifts washing machines up stairs and my mum used to be a pretty good shot putter in college, according to my dad…

Knowing what my genes are, I still used to envy short and petit build women. I felt they were closer to how women were supposed to look. And if I was unhappy with how I looked I decided that eating less was the way to go instead of working out. Working out would make me look bigger in no time, because I would increase the size of my muscles.

Eating less to look more like how I wanted to look had never worked for me, not in the way that I wanted to anyway. I was just too tall to be petit! It was absolutely ridiculous to want to be so different from who I was. I was just unhappy with who I was and decided that the total opposite was the way to go. I had to do some inner work in order to tackle this one.

That didn’t start with how I looked, nor with my wardrobe. I had all kinds of characteristics that didn’t fit in with what I thought a woman should be like. Not just how she should look but also what she should endure, how she should express herself and how she should live her life. And they didn’t make any sense with who I was.

But I had tucked that away somewhere far.

Only until I started to give myself some room to be and show who I was, often starting with what I wore, I started to realize that I didn’t want to be a long haired blond delicately playing the violin. Or the harp. With her perfect long fingers and her long eyelashes. I am a girl that sometimes listens to Rammstein, loves Lara Croft and knows a thing or two about Klingons.

in the background of this picture there is a little something that I would have never added to my home a few years ago… Can you recognize what it is?

The funny thing is, I always liked Lara Croft. She is more a role-model from my past than my present. Why I gave the idea of the perfect woman being petit more attention that Lara, has to do with feeling insecure and a negative feeling of self-worth.

Now, today, totally accepting the Lara in me, I am working out more than I ever did before. And I love it. It has shaped my body in a way that I would have never liked in the past. But changing my perspective means that I do love how my body looks now. I am not saying it is perfect, but it looks strong. (Want to know something funny, for those of you struggling with your weight, I now weigh exactly what I always wanted to weigh. Letting go of looking trying to look like a skinny model meant I now have habits that work better for who I am…)

It also means that I do not want to look like a petit woman anymore. I still think they look fantastic, and I mean it. It doesn’t make me feel envious anymore. Because they look great, but what the you-know, I look great too. Those things can co-exist. And if you do not feel that I look great, you are not ma thang!