Hello lovely readers,
I have a bit of a personal post for you this afternoon as I’d love to share a bit more about me, learn a bit about all of you and get some discussion going!
How we dress sends out certain messages about ourselves to the outside world, not just about our own sense of style but also about our personalities, self-confidence and even our intentions. Just think of the ultimate era of power dressing, the 1980s, where women used their clothes as a way of communicating to the outside world that they really did mean business!
Without question we use our choice of clothing and appearance to convey certain impressions: hence the reason we dress smartly for a job interview or may be more likely to leave the over-the-knee boots at home when meeting the boyfriend’s parents for the first time!
I know I certainly use my appearance to my advantage; if I’m feeling blue I tend to overcompensate by making a real effort with my make up and in my corporate job, I would always wear high heels if I knew I had a difficult meeting that day (nothing like towering over someone to give you a tactical advantage!). In many ways, I use my clothes and make up in the outside world as armour to protect me and convey an image of a confident and assured woman. Until recently, I would never dream of leaving the house without make up but a lazy Sunday at home would typically involve me lazing around in scruffy clothes, barefaced and with my hair scraped back (I know, my husband is a lucky man eh?!)
A Time For Reflection
All of this sort of changed at the start of this year when I got pretty sick and ended up being off work for two months, followed by two months of reduced hours working from home. Obviously when I was very ill, I was lucky if I made it out of bed on a daily basis, let alone thought about what I was going to wear but since I’ve come back from our honeymoon and handed my notice in to the corporate world, I’ve been based from home every day and it’s got me to thinking….I dress for other people (I like to protect people from the horror of me without make up!) and I may dress to protect myself in outside situations but do I ever just dress for me?
Typically, my working from home look comprises: hair tied back, no make up, my ever-faithful hoodie and (big confession time) joggers. Sure, I look a bit skanky but when I was doing this maybe one day a week, it was quite a welcome break from dressing smartly and was all about the comfort and staying warm.
For the past few months, this has become my Monday to Friday outfit (with a few variations – don’t worry, I’m still washing my clothes!) and I have to say I’ve found it a little depressing. An occassional day of dressing for comfort is great but I discovered that my personal mood and motivation levels were being massively impacted by what I’m wearing. I was feeling dowdy and unattractive and that was starting to impact my overall confidence levels…less than ideal when you’re starting a new venture! So I decided it was time for a change and that I needed to start dressing for myself.
Learning To Dress For Myself
Now don’t get me wrong, I haven’t started wearing high heels around the house or a full face of make up purely for my own benefit but I have started to dress more smartly and take more of a concern about my appearance. The joggers have been banished in favour of jeans or leggings matched with pretty tops, blouses and some cute T shirts. I’m taking the time each morning to semi-style my hair so I don’t need to just scrape it back and most days I’m topping it off with my all-time-favourite accessory, the scarf. A smart-casual if you will. Given the weather we’ve been having, most days I find myself also wrapped up in a blanket by lunchtime but the difference it’s made to my motivation, drive and – without wishing to sound over dramatic – sense of self worth is immense. I’m still comfortable as I work and I’m still saving my “best” clothes for the weekend (or you know, those days where I do actually leave the house!) but I’m also really starting to feel good about myself again.
Coco Chanel would be proud…
So what do you think lovely readers? Are you one of those girls who just throws on whatever is closest to hand in the morning or do you carefully plan your look each day. Do you find that how you dress impacts your mood and how you feel about yourself? Don’t forget, to leave a comment just click on the purple box at the top of the post.