Can Restyling Your Clothing Pieces be Good for your Brain?
Quote of the day: “Success is never final. Failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.” John Wooden
What if shopping in your closet was actually a brain exercise? I know many people enjoy the idea of having a “uniform” to wear to make life easy. But what if I told you that challenging your brain to make new outfits was better? These are the ideas we are going to explore this week with the help of Madelyn, from ADD…and-so-much-MORE!
As a practicing ADD coach and mentor, she has extensive knowledge about how the brain works and how we can drive our brain to work for our personality! Even if you don’t struggle with ADD, her site has fabulous information about your brain and about your friend who may have ADD! Madelyn is going to comment throughout this series, so her words will be in the brown font!!
It has always been interesting to me, Jodie, that men seem to feel entitled to “play” more often than most women: golfing, pick-up basketball games, touch football in the park – even building model train environments (for their kids, of course – lol).
And yet they tend to make fun of the more playful female activities – our shopping and fashion focus especially. I think a lot of us have internalized those comments in a way that many of us have concluded that playing with our wardrobes is a “frivolous” activity. No way!
Not only have researchers begun to discover the importance of “play” to healthy brain development and continued health, any time we spend making friends with change is what is called “neuro-protective.” It forces the brain to build new pathways, which become all the more important as we age, when some of the old pathways die off or become corrupted.
So for our first challenge of this series, Madelyn suggested taking an item from our closet and restyling it! You might consider this easy for us, since many of our blog posts do this exact task! But usually I am the styler for most of our outfits, so I wanted Nancy & my mom to change up these items themselves! Sorta!! Read on and see what I mean!
Jodie’s (50’s) Outfit: The item that I chose for for the revamping challenge is this sequined bolero jacket. I wore it originally in a post about holiday party outfits back in the beginning of the blog, here.
And that’s exactly how I always think of this piece. As a party or dressy item. Therefore, for this challenge I really wanted to see if I could style the bolero more casually so I could get more wear out of it.
Do you have a dressy item like this that you only wear for the “good” occasions?I bet you do! Something like this or this? In fact, in that second link, you can see how the advertisement styled it with jeans! We just have to retrain our brain to do this!
The change from dressy to casual really shakes things up for your brain, Jodie. It had had to shift quite a few paradigms to decide just how you were going to do it — beautifully, I might add.
Even though the colorway remained essentially the same, the decision dynamic of thinking about color placement alone created at least a few more new pathways that will serve you well in other endeavors, even before you grow older.
I didn’t even think about the fact that I was keeping the same colors with the new outfit–funny, huh? But I paired it with my bow tie blouse because these blouses seem more office appropriate and not as party stylish! These blouses are perfect for any season ranging from sleeveless, here to long sleeved, here!
And then I figured pairing the gold jacket with my jeans, made it much more casual and every day! Flare jeans may take you back to the 70’s, but maybe if you bought a pair in white, like these, they’d feel a little more modern?
I’m not sure if you could tell in the photos above, but since both tops had ties, I thought I’d tie them together!
And we can’t forget a mention about the shoes, right? Strappy sandals may be somewhat on the dressier side, but I also thought they were fun! If you don’t love wearing high heels any more, then strappy flats like these, could be your saving grace!!
Nancy’s (60’s) Outfit: I picked out the item for Nancy to restyle was the skirt from her matching set. We originally did a series about matching sets here, where we styled the set and then broke it up!
Now if you notice in this original post with Nancy’s skirt, I’m also wearing my gold bolero jacket. I didn’t plan for this to happen, but hilarious, right? I really have been trying to get myself to wear this piece more. But this is proof of how keeping it dressy is my first response.
My motive for giving Nancy this skirt to restyle, was to try to give her other options for styling this skirt. You may notice that it seems a little shorter in these photos!! It is, because I altered the skirt in length and width. It’s not super obvious in the earlier photos, but the skirt seemed almost overwhelming on Nancy’s small frame!
Nancy’s changes might seem, at first glance, to be not quite as global as the example on you, Jodie. That might be so if ALL she changed were the colors of otherwise identical fashion pieces. But taking a closer look says otherwise.
It is only the recognizable print of that great black and white skirt that might fool the unobservant eye into thinking she didn’t change much at all. Count how many decisions went into this outfit change: profile and face framing, accent jewelry and footwear included. Every single decision forced her brain to be able to accommodate change in other environments more easily.
Even if Jodie picked out every single element, Nancy’s brain still had to reconfigure itself as she tried them on and got used to the new look. So if you partner with a friend as you change things around, that kind of play will be good for BOTH of you.
You might recognize this pink blouse of Nancy’s from our pastel collaboration earlier in the month, here. It truly is one of her favorites, so when she suggested this top with the skirt, I thought why not? It’s only realistic to wear our items more than once, and sometimes more than once in a month or even week, right?
I know from our discussion about pastels a couple of weeks ago, many of you don’t wear them much. But then how about a compromise? Here’s a darker shirt with pastels in it! Or even this one, could add in just enough pink to make you think spring!!
And Nancy’s shoes are those perfect heels for the dressier occasions. If you notice, the heel is only 2 inches which makes it extremely walkable. That and that ankle strap are the right ingredients for stylish yet functional shoes. Here’s a pair with a block heel or here’s another pair that would be fabulous!
Skirt: Studio 1 (similar here as a maxi skirt and here as a wrap skirt)~~Top: CDW (similar here or here as an OTS)~~Shoes: AK (similar here just nude and here with some black)~~Necklace: (similar here or here)~~Earrings: (similar here)~~Bracelet: (similar here)
Charlotte’s (70’s) Outfit: My mom’s piece to restyle was her snakeskin bomber jackets, seen originally here! Bomber jackets are everywhere again this season, so what a perfect item to showcase this!
I know my mom will tell you that she likes “matching” her clothes because that’s what she has done for 70+ years. I’m sure many of you feel the same way. But after talking with Madelyn, I’m on a mission to change this up even more. Not only is this good for style reasons but also for our brain!
So when I told mom to restyle her bomber jacket—I had to “push” her to not wear it with the same color clothing as the first photo. The snakeskin jacket really could be a neutral, so I pulled out the mint jeans for my mom to wear. Fun colored jeans can really add so much pop to an outfit. I mean, look at these or these! We all know how color in our house can affect our moods, so why would it be any different with our clothing?
Charlotte SEEMS to have changed least of all but, again, it is only the print of that stunning snakeskin jacket that might fool us into thinking so. Even though both are pants outfits put together in a similar manner, the overall effect is completely different. One is a bit “dressier” and the other more casual – as would be the places where each would probably be worn.
Even though I’m that annoying daughter that pushes my mom outside her color box & style many times on our blog, I’m really not all that mean! I mean, I did let mom wear her brown shoes & jewelry to “match” the outfit, right? And doesn’t this seem like a lighter outfit for the spring months?
We talked about leopard shoes in detail when we challenged ourselves to mix our prints starting with our shoes last week! If you don’t have a pair yet, then make sure to check out these or these! I bet you will wear them more than you think!
I know many times you don’t really style your outfit around your coat. You get dressed and then figure out the jacket to put on as you’re racing out the door, right? So a fun bomber jacket could be just the thing you need if you are one of those women that stick with solid colored clothing. Because then you’ve added in your print and interest in a quick & easy fashion!
Truthfully, I wasn’t loving the bomber jackets at first. They tend to be big and boxy in their shape. But not that I’ve seen them more and more, I think they can be fun! And who needs to have everything tight and fitted all the time? And since there are so many fabulous bombers available, I showcased a bunch at the bottom of this post for you. You can thank me later!!
Jeans: Fabrizio Gianni (similar here these are brighter but not as skinny as most of them on the shopping site)~~Jacket: Silk Club (similar here)~~Top: (similar here)~~Shoes: Montego Bay (similar here)~~Necklace: (similar here in a rope version)~~Earrings: (similar here)
I hope this article sends everybody reading to “shop your closets” to come up with some brand new ways to recombine your favorite pieces. Be sure to try things on as you “shop.” And don’t worry about changing your mind as you change various pieces repeatedly. Keep reminding yourself that it’s GREAT for your brain.
Changing how we dress ourselves is one of the quickest and easiest ways to build some new pathways in our brain. So we can all take shopping and fashion off our “guilty pleasures” lists. No need to feel guilty – it’s actually good for the brain! And there are so many fun ways to change things around, as this post illustrates beautifully.
Make sure to also click over to Madelyn’s blog to read more rationale on how changing your clothes can be good for your brain!
Charlotte’s photography by Kari Strand Photography
Even if you wouldn’t consider purchasing your clothing online, it can be helpful to look through my links to see what is available! It certainly doesn’t hurt my feelings, if you click on them but don’t like them. Just so you know, one of the ways I make money from this blog is through these linked items.
What this means is that when you click on a linked item, I receive a couple of cents. Those couple of cents can certainly add up! So I appreciate it if you keep clicking to help support Jodie’s Touch of Style!
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