There are a few things that came up time and again when I worked with style consult clients. Shirt length was one of them. Closet orphans were another. But the one that consistently surprised me? So many of these stylish, enthusiastic, creative women who are keen to transform their sartorial lives lack one of the most important tools in a stylish woman’s arsenal: A full-length mirror.
Most of them have mirrors in their bathrooms or atop their dressers that show everything from the hips upward. Some undergo potentially dangerous contortions to perch on the bathtub edge. Some check the top half and then clamber onto the bed for the bottom view.
And I get it. Mirrors can be big, unwieldy, expensive. If you live in a small apartment or house, if you share a bedroom, if you’re on a tight budget, if you’ve been making do with a smaller mirror for ages, procuring and installing a full-length might seem unnecessarily costly and complex.
But if you want to see how your footwear impacts your outfit, if you want to see how skirt length works on your leg line, if you want to make sure your tights really complement your scarf, if you want to know how all of the pieces you’re wearing interact, you need a full-length mirror. Basically, if you want to get the big picture of your personal style, you’ve gotta see everything at once. Viewing your top and bottom halves separately will sometimes suffice, but you’ll be amazed by how different it feels to see your whole self, top to bottom.
The mirror shown above is from Target and it’s $79.99. But you can get tall, narrow versions that can be nailed to a closet door interior for under $20 at actual Target stores, hardware stores, and home goods stores. There are cheap options, and options that work in tiny spaces, I swear! And tracking down a full-length mirror that fits into your dressing area is well worth the time and money. It’s an investment in understanding your style.
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