To find out what our wardrobes signify, we spoke with Tracy DiNunzio, the CEO and founder of Tradesy, a site that easily and efficiently sells designer clothing straight from women's closets. Before starting Tradesy, Tracy was busy preparing for her PhD in Clothing Psychology at UCLA.
When she began Tradesy, Tracy bootstrapped her business by renting out her room, sleeping on the couch, and working on her kitchen counter, “I was working mostly from home and I realized early on that working in my pajamas kind of hindered my productivity and my focus.” In order to curb this, Tracy started dressing for the position that she envisioned herself having, “I would take the bus [throughout L.A], but I would take it wearing secondhand Chanel. When I dressed for the job and the life that I wanted, it kind of helped me get there.” In just three years, Tradesy has grossed over 10 million dollars.
Tracy gave us a stripped-down analysis of what our closets are actually harboring. Time to dig deep inside your dresser and find out what really is lying in your wardrobe — you may just want to change out of those sweats.
If almost everything you own is logo-ridden, you may be trying to hide your true identity.
"I definitely see women who will only buy stuff if it has the designer logo on it. That’s always a really interesting personality type because there is so much about what you want the world to see and what you don’t want the world to see when you put someone’s name front and center on your body.
It is really a form of hiding. Again this is an extreme, when everything you buy has a logo on it, it may mean that these women had something happen in their transition from teenager to adulthood. By kind of covering yourself in logos and symbols of other concepts other than yourself, you avoid having to form your own identity."
You may be having a difficult time leaving the past behind.
"The most common thing I see is when most of the clothing in the closet is not being worn. That whole big pile of unworn clothing represents an unwillingness to let go of the past. It could be a mother who is holding onto her pre-baby wardrobe or just a person who never lets anything go because they think it might come back in style or that they might wear it again. These tend to be the anxious personality types who have a hard time letting go in general — they hold on to types of things like anger and fear."
You could be wearing your future, but not building it.
“For a woman whose closet is filled with unworn clothing with the tags still on, she isn’t holding onto anything in the past but she has an ideal of what she wants her life to look like. Yet, the reality isn't matching up. Rather than doing something more constructive about it, she is buying clothes for that life and not wearing them. That is my favorite type of profile because all you have to do in that case is start wearing those clothes no matter what you are doing or where you are going. You will kind of free yourself to pursue that type of life that you bought all of those clothes for in the first place rather than having them sit in the closet.”
You may want to go into hiding.
"When you have a woman who is dressing solely in neutrals, there is a sense of almost wanting to disappear and not wanting to be seen. It can be related to any number of things. It could be a self-esteem issue, or perhaps the person is more of an introvert who only feels comfortable with their closer circle and is wary of new people in social situations."
You could be stuck in a shell.
"Women who won’t wear dresses and only stick to pants, tend to be some of the most interesting women but feel that they need to kind of tone down their sexuality to fit into work or socially."
That same sweater in ten different colors may mean you are scared of change.
“When a woman has a closet full of a lot of identical clothing — meaning you like that sweater so you get it in ten colors or you only wear black pants or white tops — those women tend to be afraid of commitment or change in work or relationships.
Women will often say, ‘It’s because I don’t want to think about it, so that’s why I buy the same thing of everything.' Yet, whenever I would get the chance to dig a little deeper, I would find that there were these unresolved things around career or relationship. Those are the two main things where there was an impending change or a desire to change but it wasn’t being fulfilled or a risk wasn’t being taken."
Tips for a Cleaning Your Closet.
"I recommend that you do not clean out your closet yourself — you often need an objective opinon. It's hard for us to see ourselves, so a trusted friend that could give a really objective opinon is the best when you are cleaning out your closet.
There is no better feeling or symbolic gesture than to seprate your closet into a 'I Wear This Frequently' and 'I Don't Wear This' pile. Take everything you haven't worn and get rid of it, sell it or donate it. Then think about who you want to be and 'how does that woman dress', not a specific person, but your ideal self, and start dressing like her."