Are You Dressing Down, When You Should Be Dressing Up?
Are you denying yourself the COMFORT of clothing when you feel sad, grumpy, or stressed?
This might seem like a weird thing to ask - but it's actually so common among the women I work with. I think it's something that many women in general struggle with, so naturally, I want to talk about it.
When you're feeling low, or exhausted, or grieving or sick - do you give yourself the comfort of beautiful clothes? Is this even something that you've ever considered?
For many of my clients - they hadn't. They tell me that when they're sleep-deprived or battling the flu or hating their job or feeling flat about something - they often gravitate towards their frumpiest or slobbyiest clothing. Old PJs, sweatshirts with big holes worn in them, track pants covered in paint and other mystery stains. When they feel miserable, they dress miserably, too.
This is what I hear:
1. Because those pieces are usually the stretchiest, and therefore the most comfy - because it's like wearing a blanket.
BUT, you can buy beautiful clothes that make you happy AND feel soft, and cosy, and warm!
2. You don't want to draw any attention to yourself because you already feel like you're struggling and failing.
BUT, feeling fabulous in your outfit can feel like getting something "right" and help bring some optimism back into your day!
3. You feel guilty about both BUYING lovely things and also guilty about WEARING the lovely things you buy - especially if you don't feel worthy at the time.
BUT, denying yourself simple pleasures doesn't make anyone else more happy, it only makes you less happy... So splash out occasionally and then enjoy every second of it!
So many women feel like they're failing at some part of their life: they think they don't have enough money, like they're not good enough at being a mum, they have no time for their partner or friends, they've put on all this weight, or stalled in their career... The list is endless.
Why are so many of us so mean and critical of ourselves?
It leads many women to think: "I can't wear beautiful clothes, or lovely shoes, or have pretty accessories and makeup. I can't look stylish and attractive because it would be a LIE"
When in fact, this is the lie. We tell ourselves these things, and worse than that, we believe it. We let ourselves be miserable over this lie, and never appreciate the simple joy that wearing a stunner outfit can bring.
Imagine denying your friend or your child the choice to wear something colourful and fun because they were having a bad day. Wouldn't we be more likely to ENCOURAGE them to wear whatever they wanted, to dress up to feel better, to wear the sequins to school, or throw on that amazing dress that makes them feel like a queen.
You'd do that for them, wouldn't you?
So why won't you do it for yourself?
Clothes don't change the world. Even I won't pretend that's true. They won't remove your problems, and they can't magically make you richer, skinnier and happier. They won't end world hunger, or solve political tensions, or stop the clouds from raining in winter, or the sun shining in summer.
But what they CAN do is bring a simple, easy, uncomplicated joy to your day. To make you feel amazing, and help you believe in yourself again. If you're feeling sick, don't walk around in your dressing gown all day; put on a cute knit jumper that's bulky, and warm, and comfy, and looks killer.
If you're feel sad or mad or lost after a failed project, missing a deadline, or getting a rejection letter, throw on a swishy dress and go out with friends, or have a dance party at home; invite your friends, your kids, your neighbour, your cat. Focus on the fun things, and not the crappy things in life; it's all mindset.
What I'm trying to say here is:
Don't deny yourself beauty and comfort when you're struggling with life. My advice is to try the other approach and wear clothes that make everything a little easier and a little bit more fun. Give yourself permission to play dress ups again, and relax and enjoy it.
And as always, if you need help with this - get in touch. I'm offering a new online style guidance service and a new monthly membership at The Stylery Co School that are super affordable options that also include step-by-step instructions and lots of helpful advice.