Hi, I'm Lindsay and I'm a browseaholic. Now YOU say, "Hi, Lindsay!"
Those of you who don't yet need a twelve step program may not even be sure of what a browseaholic is, so the rest of us will enlighten you so that you can take the first step on your own. A browseaholic is addicted to retail therapy. We love to shop but can't always afford to buy, so we've become addicted to all forms of window shopping, from the type you do in a store, to the monthly fix of slippery paper we get in the mail, to that invention that surely comes from Satan to tempt us - online shopping. We are not necessarily shopaholics, whose addiction involves actual purchasing: we are addicted to LOOKING and, for those of us whose disease is advanced, to touching and trying on.
Do you save InStyle, Vogue or Lucky magazines like a carefully hoarded treasure to be read when you're alone and have lots of time? Does your heart do a happy dance at the idea of walking through the mall to see next season's firsts? Do you wake up in the middle of the night depressed, only to cheer up at the knowledge that Nordstrom.com never closes? We who are browseaholics welcome you! And, I have great news for us and for our brothers and sisters, the shopaholics - I have found THE BEST place to browse and to try on and even to make your own! I am referring to YOUR OWN CLOSETS.
Unless you have Paris Hilton's shopping budget, you may find that your retail therapy has gotten less frequent in this economy. Now is the time to use all your sources of inspiration and information and learn how to shop your own closet. This is the first step that I take as a stylist when I do a wardrobe makeover - remove everything, in turn, from the closet and examine it. Is it a classic piece that never goes out of style? Keep it. Is it a favorite piece that you get lots of compliments on? Hang on to it. Is it an item that some tailoring or re-imagining could make flattering? Save it. Then, be ruthless and put the rest in a pile marked "donate."
"We who are browseaholics welcome you!"
Now, not only do you only have the cream of your wardrobe in your closet, but you've examined everything and really KNOW what's there. Now is when it gets fun. Now you can use the words of those goddesses, the fashion magazine editors, and start learning how to recombine your own pieces to show off your own personal style. Doesn't every magazine tout the virtues of the crisp, white button down shirt? Maybe white isn't your color! But that pale pink button down will look crisp after a trip to the cleaners and some medium starch. Don't you usually wear it with jeans? Why not pair it with a black skirt or a pair of brown wool slacks? Don't have a black or brown belt that fits? Put them on the list of what to buy and pull out that skinny metallic belt you've been saving since the last time they were trendy. Hey- looks sharp! Didn't that give you a little rush, like all browseaholics get when on the prowl? Now try taking that tailored silk blouse that you usually think of as dressy and pair it with jeans. Don't have an ultramodern pair of platform loafers? Put 'em on the list and haul out your good black heels. Got a leather jacket or a blazer? Now that's a hot look! Let's try one more. Take that summery sun dress you got lots of compliments on and put it on over the opaque tights you bought last winter. Add some chunky ankle boots and the straw fedora you picked up at the beginning of the summer. New way to wear all those pieces, isn't it? Look at your accessories and do the same thing. Maybe that chunky necklace wraps three times around your wrist and you have a new bracelet. Those shoulder-grazing chandelier earrings that went with the sundress get a new life with your jeans and blazer look. In fact, all these recombined pieces get a new life and you demonstrate your own style - reimagined.
Now you have a closet of new possibilities and a list of things you'd like to add to them. That's one of the safest, most cost effective ways to shop - with a list. Now your retail therapy is focused and outlined and you're not as apt to stray off course into the wilds of Macy's jacket section. But if you do, you won't feel anywhere near as bad as you would have before you went shopping in your own closet, because now you'll know that that ADORABLE moto-jacket in leather and knit will go with three of the new outfits you put together - it's a good addition to your wardrobe, not an impulse purchase you'll never wear! You'll wear it and be delighted that you created the look and you'll know that you look authentically YOU, which is the essence of style. And that, browseaholics, is the first step in our twelve step program - shopping your own closet and remembering that "'trend' is today but 'style' is forever!"