How working at ELLE made me less materialistic
And the 3-step process I created
When I was younger I loved fashion magazines, as I’m sure a lot of girls do. But more than just loving the clothes and accessories, I started to believe that if I had those things I would be cool and accepted, even loved.
It sounds sad as I write it but it’s the truth, and I think it might be the truth for some of you as well. Our society is all about what you can add to your already perfect self to gain acceptance in a world of people struggling with the same insecurities you are.
This longing pushed me head-first into the world of fashion. You would think that working at one of the top style bibles in NYC would have made my insecurities worse and my need to hide under material objects stronger. But, while it certainly didn’t make those feelings disappear, it had quite the opposite effect on me. I learned to truly appreciate fashion as an art form.
I started looking at designers and luxury items as little pieces of perfectly thought out and constructed art. I got to hear the stories behind the making of the pieces from the designers themselves.
I realized that it wasn’t about owning these pieces (most of which I couldn’t afford anyways), but just appreciating them. Seeing their beauty and enjoying the present moment with them started to feel as good as buying them. It reminded me of this quote from Liz Taylor that I never fully understood until that moment:
“I adore wearing gems, but not because they are mine. You can’t possess radiance, you can only admire.”
I thought, if this woman, who has the ability to own all the material things I thought would make me more...if she knew it wasn’t about that, then I’d believe her.
I took this new mindset seriously and started to take note of the ways in which I could live in a world of fashion and style without falling prey to the idea that I was less-than without it.
Below you will find the process which I go through when it comes to the clothes I own, the clothes I want to own, and the clothes I can’t or won’t ever own.
Steal It! It’s good — I know because I was and still am obsessed with fashion but I no longer let it ruin my life or be responsible for my happiness.
Check out my quick-n-easy guide to OWNING your style WITHOUT buying a damn thing.
Step One: Accept
We start first with where we are, today. Accept your situation as it is right now. Accept who you are, how much money you make, your family situation, your current job and your relationship status — all of it!
This is such an important step and I know you want to skip it, because honestly, it hurts sometimes.
We think we can change anything and have the life of our dreams and we can, but not if we are ignoring the truth about who and where we are now.
Write it down or talk to a friend you trust, but start to acknowledge and accept who you are every day, until it feels good.
Step Two: Attention
Now this is where I am going to call you out, because I have so many clients and friends who are guilty of this. Pay attention to the clothes you already own. Yes, I am talking about the clothes in the back of the closet that never see the light of day because they need to be mended or dry cleaned, or the dress with the tags on that you bought but forgot about.
When we buy things based on emotions, we fill our closets with things we don’t really love because their only purpose was to make us feel better for a fleeting moment.
Start paying attention to what you own. Take care of the your clothes, even if they’re just from H&M. These are things you bought and loved (if you don't love it you should get let it go). Spending time making sure your things are in beautiful condition will remind you of what you own and how good it makes you feel.
Step Three: Appreciation
Take a moment right now (and every day) to look at your clothes, accessories and closet and be appreciative of all you have. Don’t just think about this and be all like “that’s sweet”, really do this.
Even if you wish you had more, start practicing this before you get dressed and I promise you things will start to change. The universe won’t give you more if you treat the things you already have like shit.
Even if you feel stupid, do it. How could it hurt? Once you get the hang of it, you will feel better and that feeling will pour into the rest of your life. Like possibly being grateful for a job or a partner….imagine that.
Want more?! If you totally vibed with these ideas, check out my blog about shopping your closet HERE, it’s one of the easiest ways to feel materially fulfilled without buying anything.
Always Polishing Up,