This thought has plagued women for millennia. Even Eve looked around the garden and complained to Adam that she could not find the right fig leaf. Later in history, Greek women threw open their closets and announced sadly, “More togas?”
Here is a possible reason that in the age of internet shoe shopping, dry clean delivery, and custom-built closets you have still not solved this riddle. You my friend are stuck in a rut. Others might even refer to you as a Plain Jane. In the world of fashion, this means you are always wearing the same things in the same way. However, you can wear the same things in different ways and multiple your wardrobe without even involving Mr. MasterCard.
Here is are two signs that you are stuck in a fashion rut:
1) Have you ever looked at a picture of yourself and noticed that you are wearing the same outfit as you are in the picture? It is a very existential feeling, but also a little embarrassing. Diagnosis = rut.
2) Have you ever gone to reach for an outfit to wear only to realize that you haven’t done laundry for a week so you can no longer wear the outfit? Romeo and Juliet are no match for you and your favorite T-shirt, the Shakespearean characters could at least be parted for a week. Diagnosis = rut.
So you have identified that you are in a rut. What is the next step? Well, you are going to invoke the slogan of the famous Apple campaign “Think Different.” We all have “uniforms,” meaning this blouse goes with this pair of pants and that is how we always wear them. We wear them together like peanut butter and jelly. However, peanut butter goes together with many other things. For instance, peanut butter and chocolate is light years better than peanut butter and jelly. The problem is that most of us do not even pause to consider other pairings with our clothing and these other options could be really awesome like peanut butter and chocolate.
Now that you have a craving for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, here is an easy trick to discover other pairings. If you can reach to left six inches, you can do this. If you can reach to the right six inches, you can do this because that is all there is to it. Think, “Left Six, Right Six.”
Let’s say you grab your white blouse out of the closet and you go to grab your black pants out of the closet because that is always what you wear with your white blouse. Before you reach for those black pants you are going to pause and then think, “Left Six, Right Six.” This means you are going to look to your left six inches to see if there is anything to wear with your white blouse and you are going to look to your right six inches to see if there is anything to pair with your blouse. Six inches over from your black pants may be the perfect brown skirt - your chocolate. It could compliment your blouse better and you could get more compliments from your coworkers. You are Plain Jane no more.
While “Left Six, Right Six” is not the Rosetta Stone, it is getting us one step closer to solving this age old having-nothing-to-wear paradox. The secret hope of women everywhere is that the U.S. space program was shut down this year so that NASA can redirect their efforts to answering this wardrobe puzzle. Finally this puzzle will be solved or maybe we’ll just get a new flavor of Tang. Until then just remember “Left Six, Right Six” and say bye-bye to Plain Jane.