What Our Wardrobes Say About Us – meet Dr. Baumgartner

March 19th, 2012 LIKE WHAT YOU READ? SHARE IT!

Last time Antonina Mamzenko revealed what her clothes say about her.  In this week’s interview, Dr. Jennifer Baumgartner, author, blogger and psychologist from America, analyses her closet.  Here’s what she said:

‘For a psychologist who examines the intricacies of dress behaviors, my own wardrobe is surprisingly simple.  My closet choices were motivated by preference and creativity. After receiving mixed reviews from stirring the style pot, I attempted to dress in a way that garnered external approval.  This included the all-black clad late 90s Jennifer Aniston, the Lily Pulitzer polo and embroidered skirt wearing prep, the American Apparel clad trend chaser, and the Louis Vuitton loving slave to logos!

These choices based on insecurity and fear of “not getting it right” were inauthentic and as a result, I did not recognize my reflection.  The clothes I wore from these times were often left in the back of my closet or tossed in the giveaway pile.

As my style maturity paralleled my developmental growth, and I was comfortable in my own skin, the simple classic pieces punctuated with an exclamatory accessory were “me.”  I purchased in volume, fearing that my new look was somehow scarce.  The clothes, shoes and accessories that crammed my small closet provided unlimited options…that were ultimately overwhelming!  Buying in bulk was simply the reoccurring fear of “not getting it right.”

It is amazing how many demons can hide in an already crammed closet, so it was time to clean it out!  Now, I have a wardrobe of classic blank canvas “work horse pieces” (a black sheath, dark jean, and white tank) that are infused with life when paired with my over-the-top accessories.  These include onyx and jade enameled Deco earrings, giraffe print platform pumps, and a vintage monogram Monceau bag.  Once a place of confusion and insecurity, my closet now contains all the pieces that externally express the internal “me.”’

Biggest wardrobe disaster? “Probably during my logo obsession phase when I had no financial right to wear the things I bought, but wore them for that very reason!  Coach shoes, a Louis Vuitton purse, a Dooney and Bourke tote, a Lily Pulitzer embroidered dress, and Burberry umbrella.”

Best outfit ever? “A black taffeta fit and flare skirt that ties with a sash at the waist, a pleated white halter neck collared tuxedo shirt, black onyx and jade Deco earrings, and a black grosgrain peep toe platform…simple, classic, and menswear-inspired. I wore this outfit when I went to The Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia, a resort that I have been visiting with my family since I was a little girl. Surrounded by my parents, soon-to-be in laws, and fiancé, I celebrated my birthday…and began planning my wedding that would be held there the following year. I wore it again for my bridal shower, which was held in my childhood home. Seeing that outfit transports me to those special times and meaningful places with the ones I love above all else!”

Top tip for women looking for their own style? “Don’t make any changes – start with observation.  Collect pictures or take notes on your favorite looks. Over time you will notice a long lasting pattern in your fashion preference. Find pieces inspired by your style file that suit your body, age, budget, and lifestyle.”


Next week, Mel Roets reveals what her clothes say about her.


Photo Credit: Rebecca Bixler Photography

Book: You Are What You Wear

Blog: The Psychology of Dress, Psychology Today

Email: drbinsideout@gmail.com

Website: http://drb-insideout.com

YouTube: DrJennyBaumgartner

Twitter: @drjennyb

Facebook:  Drb Insideout

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