By Dr. Jennifer Baumgartner
Lifelong Books, $16.00, 272 pages

Somewhere on the occupational spectrum between a fashion stylist and a hoarding interventionist can be found clinical psychologist Jennifer Baumgartner. A popular Psychology Today blogger and owner of Inside Out, a wardrobe consulting business, Baumgartner’s tag line is “The Doctor Is In…Your Closet.” In her book You Are What You Wear, the author looks at the psychological aspects of clothing choices and examines both the superficial and more deep-seeded internal and external reasons why we purchase, keep and wear certain garments. Each of the nine chapters addresses a specific fashion emergency topic. Dressing too young? Too old? Too provocatively? Too comfortably?  If so, why? Self-assessment checklists and some general guidelines are provided for a do-it-yourself analysis of wardrobe dysfunction. While these are undeniably first-world problems, Baumgartner’s personable writing style and visible interest in the economic and emotional complications of fashion and clothing consumerism put an interesting spin on the problem of a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear.


Reviewed by Linda Frederiksen,