"Reflecting and archiving is not the same as dwelling in the past. It is not anti-living, but a part of life, even a crucial one. We do this to highlight one thing above others, so that a special moment can take up more space in our brains than an inconsequential one; so that, by plain math, our personal worlds contain more good things and fewer bad ones. Or more interesting things and fewer blah ones, since you have to record the bad, too."
How to actually do it: "Figure out your go-to, foolproof looks," says designer Nanette Lepore, then seek out variations on that theme. Stumped? Picture the outfits that you feel most comfortable in. Or ask people close to you what you look best in. Once you've zeroed in on what works, find different takes. "I gravitate toward jackets, so I'll do a bomber style, then a silk version, or a denim jacket with leather sleeves," says Minkoff. "Whenever you feel the need to talk yourself into things, that's a red flag that you shouldn't buy them," says Minkoff. If you have doubts in the dressing room, it may help to take a photo of yourself in the item, suggests Aerin Lauder, the founder and creative director of the lifestyle brand Aerin. "It's much more accurate than looking in the mirror."