Along with the motivation of Q4, October has brought with it the crisp chill in the air many have long been waiting for. Yes, the fall equinox signaled that the heat of summer is over, but what it really means is that new wardrobes can flourish. And oftentimes, a change of the outer self comes with a significant change in the inner.
To celebrate this spirit of all-around change, T.J. Maxx’s The Maxx You Project partnered with singer Lance Bass, stylist/model/author Africa Miranda and body-positive model/wellness entrepreneur Danika Brysha for The Changing Room. Miranda and Brysha will spend hour-long sessions with 98 contest winners across the U.S. and provide them with styling and life coach sessions that will help them embrace their individuality and myriad life changes. These personalized in-store experiences, which officially kicked off on Sept. 19, will travel to T.J. Maxx’s in seven cities—Chicago, Nashville, Houston, Denver, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Minneapolis.
“As your life changes, there are literally new clothes that you need to wear to walk into new rooms,” Miranda says. “To be able to now partner with them for The Maxx You Project and to go on this tour to help women tell a new story in their lives through clothing, for me, is really special. Really helping women look at their lives, look at the clothing that they currently have and really ask themselves, what is this new space that I'm walking into? What's the new story that I want to tell?”
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It’s almost time for us to hit the road for the @tjmaxx in-store Changing Room experience. We’re going from city to city, to help you embrace big life changes. Enter for a chance to win an exclusive style session with @africamiranda and a personalized life coach session with yours truly. Applications close on Friday 9/13 so enter today at maxxyouproject.com. We’ll be stopping in Chicago, Nashville, Houston, Denver, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Minneapolis. I would love to see you there! . . #ad #maxxyouproject
Essentially, shopping for the new phases in our lives can not only be a fun activity but one that functions as an act of self-care if done right. Buying new things (and ridding yourself of old ones that no longer serve you) parallel the act of recalibrating our minds to be in line with new goals.
“For me and my personal journey, I struggled a lot with food and self-worth. I lived in my parents' garage for a couple of years, was six figures in debt as I tried to build a business, and I changed really small habits. Most of it is mindset. It's affirmations, it's gratitude, it's just changing how I approach the world. And I slowly but surely rebuilt this life of my dreams.”
Here, Miranda and Brysha give a five tip sample of how to do just that as you rebuild your sartorial story for fall.
Africa Miranda: Shopping For Your Story
Tip 1: Dressing for Real Days
A lot of people have clothes for their dream day, but they don't have clothes for their actual day. That used to be my issue. I would tell people if you call me to get on a private jet, I had an outfit. [It’s getting] women to understand, what's your actual lifestyle? Then within that, getting the staples and things that they need, but in an elevated way. We talk about a trench or a little back dress, but do you just need a basic simple one or can you get something in an unexpected print or texture? Different things that elevate the experience for yourself, and getting women to look at what they need but also push the envelope within their lifestyle and still have things that when you put it on your body, you're like, okay, I'm creating a moment. Versus just putting on clothes. Women are constantly changing. We're going from daughters to mothers to getting married to getting divorced to new jobs. We're constantly having all of these experiences and you should have the clothing that helps you do that.
Tip 2: How Not to Hoard 101
This is the thing about hoarding — a lot of it is getting to the root of why you're holding onto clothing. I used to do that for a long time and what I realized was that I felt like I needed to look into an overflowing closet because that meant that I was successful. But all it meant was that I had things that didn't necessarily fit or were even great quality. Or there were things that maybe I had splurged on, but then I felt guilty about it so I didn't wear it. I want women to walk away with clothing that they love, not that they might love a year from now if they fit. No, because all you're doing then is every time you put it on, then it's almost like you're telling yourself, I'm doing something wrong. Every time you put on some clothes, you should feel that you're doing something right. I don't care if it costs $6 or would cost $600, I have to love it, so that way every time I put it on, I know it serves a purpose. I know I feel good in it. Then it has a home in my closet, and then when it no longer makes me feel that way, then it's time to put it back out into the universe.
Tip 3: Shop With A Vision
I do think you need to have some sort of plan or guide in place, whether you've worked on a vision board or a style board. I don't like to go grocery shopping without a list. I don't like to go shopping for the sake of, "let me just go buy stuff." Because I think when you do that, you're just buying things without a purpose and then there's no connection in your wardrobe, right. There's no clear story. There's a chapter here, a photo [there]. The idea is to create a full story for yourself so that you know that these pieces work together.
Danika Brysha: Life Change Begins In The Mind
Tip 4: Make Change Your Friend
As women, we're overwhelmed. And oftentimes, what we do is try and change things, then we fail because we over-commit, and life is really busy, and then we feel shameful, and it's this vicious cycle. We already are hard enough on ourselves as it is. So I love that the Maxx You project is all about embracing change. We're always changing. We're always innovating and giving ourselves permission for those waves of life because they're going to happen anyway.
Tip 5: Actively Work Backwards Towards Your Goals
One of the things that I've been working with the women on is to choose two words that you want to embrace, right? Oftentimes when we go towards change or we go towards our goals, it's because we think that it will make us feel a certain way when we achieve that. We think of a fancy sports car. Why do I want that? It's because I want to feel important, successful, whatever. So if you actually work that backward and you decide, I want to feel important and successful, you can work backward and find other ways to achieve those feelings that aren't necessarily getting the fancy sports car.
So what we can do is take those words and back up five years. Because what happens is if we find that in our life now, then it exponentially comes more into our life. A lot of times people are like, “we'll all be happy when…” You get happy first, and then the thing happens. We have a lot of it backward. So we're going to create a two minute morning routine because what I find is that people have dreams and goals and you have all these things you want to do, but we don't create an action plan. If there's no action plan or accountability, then nothing happens. So we take the two words and every single day, you're going to pick one-minute tasks for each that you could do every day that could bring you closer to those words that day.