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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Betts

When you don't know what to do, make one small change at a time

Updated: Jan 9, 2022

"When it comes to change, we all have two choices in this world: by choice or by force. Choose to change by choice, if you can. It’s a lot less painful." – Amanda Betts

Do you like and embrace change? Is it easy for you or do you find yourself digging in your Jimmy Choo's? What are your strategies for change? How has making a change positively impacted you? Do you want to get more out of your wardrobe without spending a cent? Lemme explain.

The words “You need to change….” generally makes people (read: me) immediately shut down. Like slamming on the brakes as you’re hitting the wall. Maybe it's just me but it used to be the idea of then making change is about as alluring as fixing a motormower while it's going.

Working so closely with so many people, I realized the word, change can be just as hard for others as it was me. So I changed my language: “How about we adjust this, fine-tune that…” I quickly worked out it indicates you’re at the station, just make adjustments or fine tune and you'll pick up a clear signal. Sounds way more manageable, right?

But what to do when nothing but good old-fashioned change will do? Break it down to bite-size pieces, one small change at a time, into something you can manage every day. Because we all know a host of small changes eventually make a big difference.

Let me demonstrate my point using fashion, mostly pictures and less words (for a change. Get it?). Because 1) we all wear clothes; and 2) as humans, we need obvious and instant evidence, usually through demonstration. Some sort of guaranteed proof is good, too.

I often get asked about my extensive wardrobe. Truth is my wardrobe’s smaller than it seems because I’ve created an illusion. There’re a few tricks I’ve learnt I reckon worth sharing. Like MAKE ONE CHANGE:

I build my wardrobe by accumulating pieces over years that I score from second hand stores, Op Shops, designer and cheap & cheerful ‘high street’ stores both locally, overseas and online, and I mix it all up. I ‘build’ my outfits, I make one change.

So below is MAKE ONE CHANGE #1-5, and I've posted MOK #6-10 and MOK #11-15. My point being, see how much of a difference one change can make?

Note: Everything you see is what I already own - nothing's loaned, it’s just working with what I’ve picked up over the years. I’ll give you a rough idea as to how much pieces cost, where I got them from or who they’re by (If I can remember).

I started off with the following:

JACKET: SASS & BIDE jacket – second hand $100, Blue Spinach, Sydney

LEATHER PANTS: LONELY HEARTS, investment from about $800ish, 2012

BLOUSE: LONELY HEARTS silk blouse, about $150ish on sale, 2012

BOOTS: OPENING CEREMONY, SCOTTIES RECYCLE Ponsonby (one of my favorite places to shop for designer second hand pieces) second hand $200 (normally around $700), 2011


SKIRT: DAY BIRGER MIKKELSON green suede and leather skirt, on sale $150, MAUDELLA, Ponsonby, early 2013


JACKET: ZARA men’s jacket, $80 on sale ZARA London, about 2011


SHIRT: PORTMANS $99 PORTMANS Christchurch, 2013


BLOUSE: HELEN CHERRY silk blouse (birthday gift) $300ish, 2014


BOOTS: BEAU COOPS, BLACKBOX, around $450, 2013


BIG CHANGE IS OFTEN INITIALLY HARD. But by breaking it down to one change at a time, it can and does make a difference. Then once you’ve adjusted to the change, your wardrobe (and life) seems bigger and brighter than what you initially thought.

PLAY AROUND. Tuck stuff in, leave it out and play around with your pieces (my ZAMBESI kimono is my all-time favorite example of this). Always have safety pins on hand to hold stuff together when you’re playing around (with your wardrobe and in life).

WHEN YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO, EXPLORE. If you’re struggling with your wardrobe, explore different places to shop and new ways to do things. Because that’s the beautiful thing when you end up exploring new places: you never know where you’ll find that gem of a bargain. Likewise, in life, you never know where you’ll find that gem of a partner.


It’s amazing what can happen when you MAKE ONE CHANGE. This 1’47” video demonstrates my point perfectly (Not sold on the shoes, though). Because THE POWER OF CHANGING WORDS, CHANGE AND WORDS CAN CHANGE YOUR/OTHERS/THE WORLD

Thanks for joining me! If you pick up any info here which could be useful to someone, share it.

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