Your personal style: 3 easy steps to find your unique dress code

Quick Recap

Yesterday’s blog post What to wear to work and how to always get it right covered 3 steps to nailing your work style every day.  I mentioned in the facebook live that if you did not know how to dress from your personal character within the office then I would cover that today.  So here we are.  Day 12, How to find your unique dress code.  This post and the accompanying fb live finish our 3 days looking at identity.  These blogs, we are in day 12 of 30, are all part of going in depth into the How to look amazing every day mini e-book which is on the home page of the website.  So if you have not downloaded your copy yet, why don’t you do that and then come back and read this post and watch the fb live.

Woman in modern dress with great personal style
How to find your personal style

How to find your personal style

Want to improve your look? Fed up of the same personal style you’ve had for years?  Don’t know how to make a change that will suit you without making costly mistakes or spending time you haven’t got?  Today’s blog post, “How to find your unique dress code” will show you how to wear clothes you love, and which portray your character, in 3 easy step

How to find your personal style: It’s easier than you think

Great personal style is achievable for all of us.  Personal style, that accurately reflects who you are and your character, is easy to achieve because it’s fundamentally all about who you are. If you dress according to who you think you are and how you want to live your  life then firstly you’ll feel really good in your skin.  Secondly you’ll want to wear clothes that reflect how good you are feeling.  When you engage at that level, of feeling good and wanting to look good and enjoying your clothes, your personal style will flow effortlessly out of that emotional state.  You will discover that how to find your unique personal dress code is as much about finding you as it is about choosing clothes to wear.

How to find your personal style: the zone of peace and why we all need our own

Personal style is important because it is one way in which we non-verbally communicate our character to the world.  If there is a correlation between what is going on in our heads and hearts (the inner you) and what is going on in the way we express ourselves in the way we dress, (the outer you) then there is peace.  In fact, I’ve called it the Zone of Peace.  It’s the place where the inner you meets the outer you and there is agreement between the two and peace reigns.

So, if you find yourself feeling that you need a personal style restart or that you’ve lost your way and want to get back to feeling and looking as great as you once did, you’ve come to the right place.  Here is a really easy strategy that you can do during a coffee break which is simple and effective and will get you right back in that Zone of Peace.  Not only that but it will probably get you excited and re-energised about being who you are and what you want to wear and nailing your personal work style.

Stylish woman in white skirt and orange top
How to find your personal style

How to find your personal style: An easy guide to the zone of peace

  1. How to find your personal style step 1:

    Take a piece of paper and divide it into two through the middle.

    1. Title one side “Who” and one side “What”.  On the “What” side write out all the activities you ‘do’ when you are being something to someone else. This is the list I wrote about above, that is what we are to other people: wife, mother, carer, secretary, doctor.
    2.   In the second column, the “Who” side, write down the activities that you undertake when you are being you.  It could be volunteering, exercising, painting, dancing. They can also be purely descriptive rather than functional categories.  For example, ‘ballet fan’ featured in my who list as did ‘experience maker’.    It can also be work, there is nothing wrong with that and one activity can be entered into both columns.  For example, ‘mother’ may feature in the ‘what’ column because it is a function where you are acting out a certain role  It can also be in the ‘who’ column though as for many women, being a mother is a foundational experience and they identify with it and are happy to identify with it very much.  Your work can feature in both columns.  This list should not take long to compile, 10-20 minutes.
  2. How to find your personal style step 2:

    Now, find a quiet time and place where you will be undisturbed.  Pick 1 item from your “who” category.  Remember this is the category that is about being who you are, not what you are.

    1. Take 10 minutes to see yourself being that identity,  Envisage what you are doing, who you are doing it with.  Imagine where you are, how you are feeling.  Imagine yourself enjoying that activity.
    2. Now imagine what you are wearing.  It may be quite surprising to you but you may actually see this picture appear quite quickly.  If it does appear quite quickly, write it down.  Imagine how your hair is, what jewellery and accessories you are wearing.  Imagine your hair colour, your make up, even your scent.  Imagine it all before you and enjoy the picture you are seeing in your mind.  Wait with the picture until you have a strong image in your mind, it might be like a video, with or without sound.  It might involve other people.
    3. Make a note of where your mind goes.  When you have a strong image in your mind, write down all the details of it that you can remember.
  3. How to find your personal style step 3:

    The final part of the exercise is to then choose one item from your “what” list.  We are gong to translate all those positive feelings and great images from your ‘who’ picture over to one of your ‘doing’ activities.  So, for example, as your ‘what’, choose your job.

    1. Picture yourself again in your ‘who’ phase, the one we did above.
    2. Then when you have got right back to where you were before, picture yourself at work, you should have two images of yourself in the picture at the moment.
    3. Let the ‘who’ walk over to that ‘what’ and let them become one.
    4. Now imagine yourself as the ‘what’, the ‘job’ you.  Now, start to picture what you are wearing how you are going about your every day work activities in your job, from the perspective of the ‘who’ you.  What does your hair look like?  What shoes and accessories do you have?  What jewellery are you wearing?  Stay with this picture as long as it takes to get a full picture of you.  Fully enjoy the picture, enjoy being there, imagine that it is your best day at work.
    5. Now open your eyes and write down everything that you saw.  If you need to or would like to, shut your eyes one more time, to pick up a little more detail or to get a fully rounded out picture of this ‘what’ you in your job.  Let this take as long as it needs, but not more than 30 minutes.  Stay focussed but relaxed.  If the exercise only takes 10 or 15 minutes that is absolutely fine.  You don’t want to fall asleep or start thinking about what to eat for supper.

And there we have it.  A quick, but really effective, method of discovering your unique dress code.  Remember that your personal style is exactly that, personal to you.  It won’t do you any good to borrow someone else’s.  So it’s worth taking the time to acquaint yourself with your personal style.  In the process you will become more confident, both at home and at work.  Your wardrobe dilemmas will also lessen, to the point where they  may disappear altogether, thanks to a greater understanding of what your personal dress code is.

Did you like this blog post?  What did you like about it?  What would you like to tell someone else, if you could only tell them one thing about how useful this blog has been for you?  Please let me know in the comments below.

Bye for now, see you next time for more from the Look Amazing every day guide.

Remember, wear what you love and love what you wear.  I’ve given you the tools above, now it’s time to go and enjoy yourself!

Sarah

 

What to wear to work: How to always get it right

What to wear to work

Returning to work after a career break

Getting dressed for work can be challenging.  If you are returning to work after a career break it can be even more challenging.  You may feel out of touch with the work environment.  You may worry that your skills and knowledge have been overtaken during your absence.  You may worry about doing  your work well.  What to wear to work may be the last priority for you.  But on the day that you return to work it will be a concern.  You want to look good, look professional and look like you fit in.

We are here to help

We, at Working Frocks, are right here to encourage you on to look your best in any and every work situation.  We firmly believe that the quality of your life will improve by wearing exactly the right clothes for you, and we are here to help you achieve that look.

So, read on for 3 ways to be intentional about what you wear to work.  3 short tips to always get it right.

woman looking good who knows what to wear for work
Look good in what you wear

 

Why being intentional about what you wear is a good career strategy

Women who are intentional about what they wear convey a stronger identity.  If you are intentional about what you wear, the positive results will be two fold:

  1. You will convey confidence and authority in your work place, and
  2. you will feel more confident and this boosts your self esteem.

In other words, by being intentional about what you wear, you create a virtuous circle.  You look confident, which makes you feel confident, which makes you look confident and authoritative.

Who needs this blog post?

You need this blog post if:

  • your life is on autopilot, you are overwhelmed with children and/or family and you have no time to think.
  • you would like to look great at work consistently but don’t know where to start
  • you are returning to work after a career break, and don’t know where to start pulling a work wardrobe together.

How not to get dressed

Early on in my blog writing career I met a lady through an online course.  We got chatting and I told her how I was changing my work to write blogs and give online rather than direct, wardrobe advice, in addition to designing clothes.  She said to me, “I always wear black trousers and a white shirt”.  She said she had no interest in wearing anything else.  She was very creative, had written many books and traveled extensively.  I couldn’t help thinking that her wardrobe was based purely on practicality and a lack of confidence, as well as her feeling self consciousness about her weight.  So her uniform had become her armour.  Locking herself in, she felt safe from the world.

This is not what you are aiming for when you get dressed.  You are aiming not to hide your identity, but to use your identity to make confident choices about what to wear.  Those choices in turn reflect your identity back at you yourself and outward towards others: your colleagues; your family; your friends.

Which brings me to point number 1:

1. Be intentional about what to wear to work

You only need to wear one outfit every day, so make it count.  Make it the best of what your office dress code is.

2. Actively like and appreciate what you wear

Don’t wear clothes just because you can fit into them or because you have been wearing them for years without really thinking about it.  You should actively like what you wear.  Don’t wear something jut because you fit in and can remain anonymous.  Which leads me to:

3. Wear what reflects your character

Even if you work in a very formal environment you will be able to do this.  Do not dumb down your character.  Do not dress for someone else. Do not dress trying to be someone else.  This can be problematic for some women.  Tomorrow, the next post, I’m going to address how to dress to reflect your character for those of you who need a refresh or need some guidance.

Woman in business dress looking confident
Looking good is a matter of confidence

Action points: What to do now

1. Your first action tip for today is to go to your wardrobe and remove anything that you don’t like, that you wear on autopilot.  Take it/them to the charity shop where it can be freed to be worn by someone who loves it.

2. Your second action point is to find an outfit that you truly love and that makes you happy and confident.  Take it out of your wardrobe, accessorise it with shoes, jewellery, jacket, cardigan, coat, whatever it needs.  Now it is ready for tomorrow and you can look forward to wearing it.

3. Finally, post your comments about what you have done in the comments box below.

I look forward to reading your comments and hearing what you have removed from your wardrobe plus what you have loved wearing.

Wear what you love, love what you wear.  You only have one life, fill it with clothes you love!

Bye for now,

Sarah

Your identity: How to keep in touch with yourself in 3 easy steps

“Your identity is embedded deep within you and is at the core of who you are.

Your identity is embedded deep within you and is at the core of who you are.  But what is your identity, how is it formed?

The Source of your Identity

Your identity is unique to you.  It is the way you will navigate through life and make important choices and decisions about how you want to lead your life. As I mention in the facebook live, there are two different strands of thought about how our identity is formed.  There is the pearl necklace thought where each pearl is an event in our lives that forms our identity.  The total necklace with all events is the whole of our identity.  Then the second strand of thought is that our identity is like a strand of rope.  A rope is made up of many small sections of rope.  The sections are short, they don’t last from one end of the rope to the other.  Rather they wrap around each other and, intertwining, form a larger, stronger object, the rope.

Your identity in times of crisis

In times of crisis, or life change such as having children or returning to work you may feel you have lost your identity.  How is that possible to be unsure about your fundamental criteria for self expression?

Your identity: how to avoid self sabotage
Your identity: how to avoid self sabotage

Life’s competing cries can  blur the clarity of knowing who you are.

The source of your identity, lies deep within you.  Not on the surface.  Your identity is so deeply implanted, and sometimes, often, so deeply buried by life’s events, that it can be a struggle to connect with it.  Instead of living by identifying who you really are (I am creative, I am loving, I am athletic, I am happy, I paint, I write, I think), we identify with events in our life (I am a mother, I work, I am a wife, I am on a committee).

Often you get glimpses of your identity through negative experiences – “I wasn’t born to do this, I don’t want to live here, I can’t do this as a job anymore.”  Sometimes you can’t conform your identity to the convenient role you would like it to play, which can be a crisis point in your life.  If you are born to organise people and be engaged socially, then a research job is not going to suit you or supply what you need for life to have purpose.

Being brave and facing up to your identity

Facing up to your identity is scary too.  Speaking personally, I feel I’ve only just started the process.  For such a long time I felt that my identity was really only a matter of dealing  with what life threw at me.  And also my identity was tied up in what other people thought of how I was dealing with what life threw at me.  Maybe you  identify with that.  Do you let the circumstances of your life dictate who you think you are?  If you are successful do others evaluate your identity based on your achievements?  Getting in touch with who you are and what you want out of life can be confusing.  To take away this intimidating and confusing potential we have put together a short but useful list designed to help you keep in touch with yourself.

Your identity: how to know who you are
Your identity: how to know who you are

How to monitor your identity and combat self sabotage

  1. Keep a file of styles you like and women whose look you admire.  This combats not knowing what to wear when you want a new look but don’t know where to start.
  2. Keep a file on people you admire and other women in career roles you admire.  This combats not knowing what your next career role could be.
  3. Know what interests you and engages you.  Make a mental note and in order not to forget write it down.  This combats not knowing what skills you would like to develop or areas you would like to explore, it combats not knowing what to do when you know you need a change.

So there you have it.  Identity.  how to protect it, how to face up to it, and how to combat self sabotage.

Did you find this post useful, I’d love to hear your  comment in the boxes below.

Have a great day, bye for now,

Sarah

How to have a better home/work balance by simply organising your clothes

How female CEOs and senior executives can enjoy a better work/life balance

You have made it to senior status at your firm.  You work long hours, you spend much of your time thinking about work.  You enjoy your work very much.

But balance is the name of the game these days, and all work and no play makes for a very boring life.  If you feel like you struggle between a busy working life and being the woman you are, you’re not alone.  What you may be surprised to learn is that by taking charge of your wardrobe you can gain back control over the balance, put stronger parameters up to protect your private time, and become a better employee too, as well as be reinvigorated and refreshed ready for work each day.  It is possible to have a better home/work balance by simply organising your clothes and we will show you how.

Blue summer dress for women board memeber
What to where when you are CEO, how to relax at home and thrive at work

Expectation and Intention – your work/life balance arsenal

It all boils down to expectation and intentionality.  Your expectations set your intention.  What is your expectation of what you will wear at work and what you will wear at home?  It may be that you have no positive intention when it comes to what to wear, but rather, you dress by default.  In this blog post you will learn how to set your expectations accurately so that you can love your life at home, be effective in your work at work, and excel in both.

Getting a better home/work balance

First, expectations at work.

Read the following list and see where you could tweak your attitude or adopt a new one and achieve a better home/work balance:

  1. You want to dress, not because you’ve been taken hostage by a faceless organisation but because you have earned the right to be there and have been set free into a role uniquely suited to you.  Therefore getting dressed for work should be a joy, not a chore.
  2. Getting dressed into your role each day should not be default or haphazard.  It should be automatic and routine driven.  But it needs to be a conscious choice to choose  what you are going to wear and why you are going to wear it.
  3. Getting dressed may be more work for women than it is for men, but it can give you a real advantage.  In a room of short grey hair and blue or grey suits you can stand out easily, for all the right reasons.  Don’t dismiss that advantage because you view it as “feminine”  and somehow weaker.  It really isn’t.  You work hard to look this good, the advantage is yours.

Second, expectations at home.

Again read this list and see where you could tweak your attitude or adopt a new one in order to achieve a better home/work balance:

  1. When you are at home, be truly at home.  For the sake of your children, your spouse, your siblings and parents, and for your own sanity.  It’s ok to have a home life.  Therefore I would reserve clothes exclusively for this home life.  If you work in a very formal work setting, you may have to reserve informal wear for the weekends, however,
  2. Decide exactly what you want to wear at the weekend.  What is your look?  What gives you great pleasure to wear?  What do you prefer wearing above all else?
  3. Try and wear different, non work colours at the weekend.  I love grey but really don’t want to wear great all the time every day (maybe I do really…).  Can you leave black, blue and grey in the wardrobe at the weekend and wear your weekend colours instead?

See below for my fb live roundup of the post outline

Please don’t neglect to do these small steps: read the 3 step lists; see where you could tweak your habits; put a plan in place to implement the changes you have planned.  Short, easy steps to get you the work/life balance you desire.

Please let me know what points you found most useful.  I look forward to hearing from you.  Have a great weekend, and wear what you love, love what you wear.

Bye for now,

Sarah

 

 

The power of style: women returners who nail office style

How to nail office style: tips from women returning to work

Returning to work after a long break can be daunting.  You might fear that your work skills are rusty.  You might worry that you have lost your personal style and don’t know how to dress well for the office.  But it is possible to get back into the work scene and not be the frump in the corner.  All those years at home may have stood you in good stead in the style stakes.  So read on and discover the style secrets of women returners who nail office style.  Implemented regularly, these tips will keep your office style fresh and glamorous.  Plus you will benefit from increased confidence, both at work and at home.

Women Returning to work after a long career break

 

4 tips from women returners who nail office style

  • Don’t dumb down – if you have established a style you love stick with it

The chances are, over the years at home, you have established a personal style that suits you.  If you love it, stick with it.  Find a way to make it work in the office.  If you wear short cropped cardigans, look for short cropped jackets.  If you wear long floaty cardigans, find similar in a more structured jacket shape.  Don’t wear these clothes at home, make sure you reserve the weekend as an opportunity to maximise your own style.  Wear different jewellery.  Keep the two separate.  It is work you are going to, not an extension of your social life.  Having said that, make sure your personal style is evident every day.

  • Use the confidence age brings to wear clothes and accessories with a character.  Dress individually.

One of the really great things about being a little older is that we are less worried what others think.  Don’t back down now.  Women returners who nail office style take that confidence back into the work place with them.  Dress individually.  You don’t want to look like anyone else because you aren’t anyone else.  You’re you.

You don’t need many work clothes.  Now maybe the time for you to invest in some quality clothing.  You don’t need many pieces to make up a really good capsule wardrobe.  Women returners who nail office style have a confidence that less is more.

Returning to work after a long break

  • Be realistic: You  may need a good haircut, to shape up, lose a little excess weight

This new chapter in your life can trigger a decision to polish up a little .  Don’t beat yourself, just think, “This is a great opportunity for me to…”  Women returners who nail office style are kind to themselves.  We all need to keep course correcting.  Women returners who nail office style look upon the return to work as an opportunity for self improvement, and you are never too old to learn.

  • Establish some new expectations of yourself.

Free from other commitments you will have more time to devote to yourself.  Use the time well to make the best of yourself.  What are your base level expectations of yourself?  If you have a style you already love, what improvements would you make to that style?  Do you want a different hair cut or colour?  Would you like to go to they gym before or after work?  Would you like to wear different jewellery?  Whose style do you admire that you would like to adopt for yourself?

How do you feel about these tips?  Do you use them already?  Would you take one or more of them and adapt them for yourself and use it regularly?  What would it take for you to nail your office style, or do you already nail it?  Let me know in the comments below.

Have a great day.  Wear what you love, love what you wear,

Sarah

How to go back to work post baby and look like you never left

What to wear to go back to work, how to return to work after maternity leave
How to use your clothes to give you confidence to go back to work

How to go back to work after maternity leave

Look Amazing Every Day – Today, EXPECTATION – How to look amazing when returning to work post maternity leave

Today's fb live covers EXPECTATION. One of the keys to looking amazing every day, today we cover how to look amazing when returning back to work post maternity leave. The full blog post is available to read here: https://workingfrocks.com/2019/07/10/how-to-go-back-to-work-post-baby-and-look-like-you-never-left/.To get your own copy of the Look Amazing Every Day guide, go to www.workingfrocks.com and download your own copy there. We are using the guide for 30 days of fb live, so download it and read along.

Posted by Working Frocks on Wednesday, 10 July 2019

You’ve had your baby, congratulations!  You’ve enjoyed your maternity leave (where did it go?).  And now, HR have sent the emails through and you are expected back to work in two weeks.

How will it be?  How do you feel?  How will you leave your baby/children each day?  How will you get dressed before 9am in the morning, and, even more, what are you going to wear?

Are you going to go back to work and your boss is going to be younger than you?

Are you going back to work because of finances, not because that’s your choice?

Are you going back to work because you fear the relearning curve will be too big if you leave it too long?

What’s in this blog today?

In this blog post we take care of what you are going to wear and how you are going to plan out your work wear outfits to make life as easy as possible for yourself so that you can seriously nail your work look and concentrate on being a mother and being a great work colleague.  We will also look at why your clothes have more impact on you than you think.

So let’s start.  With one word. expectation.

How to go back to work – Why expectation is your back to work secret weapon

Expectation – is a strong belief that something will happen or take place.  Your basic level of clothing expectation is that you are going to get dressed each day.  Notching up that expectation level, what are you going to wear so that you look and feel great each day?

Going back to work: the Essential v luxury seesaw

Firstly, you need to set realistic ambitions so you don’t overwhelm yourself with everything that you need to prepare to go back to work.  You’re going to be busy and have a new layer of organisation.  Decide what you need, what your essentials are and maybe add on a “like” or “luxury” item into the mix.  For example it may be simpler to have as many items that are washable, rather than hand wash, but you might have a dress, or shirts that you love which need to be handwashed. That’s fine as long as you don’t try and handwash every day, which, unless you have help in the house, is going to be a high level of commitment.  Similarly, you may love high heels, as I do, but it might be too much to wear them every day.  Or not? Please don’t let me stand in the way of you getting back onto those fab heels!  The emotional boost you might give yourself could easily outweigh trying to run for a bus!

Useful expectations to set around going back to work

So, the focus of this blog is that expectations can be set around what you are going to wear each day:

Top Tip 1 Which clothes you are going to wear and when

Depending on how long it is since the birth of your baby, or child, you may or may not be fitting into pre-baby clothes.  So, firstly, you may need to work out which clothes you can wear and make sure you have enough to wear week on week.

A good level of expectation is to have your clothes read yto wear each day and to prepare them in advance, for example the night before.  You don’t want to be scrabbling around in the morning at the same time as you’re getting the baby, or babies, or children, ready for the day too.  If you can keep as calm as possible when you are getting up and getting ready you will stand a better chance of maintaining that callm throughout the day.  We all know that feeling of panic and disorganisation which, once experienced in the morning, can continue throughout the day.  Use your clothes as a habit which brings calm and order into your day.

Your primary need is to look like you are ready for work when you go to work.  As you put those clothes on, the very act of pulling those clothes on can help you to get into work mode in  your head.

Enclothed Cognition

This is what is known as enclothed cognition.  You may have heard me mention this before.

Enclothed cognition is the phenomenon describing the effects clothing has on the cognitive process.  So, simply put, your decision to set one of your necessary expectations as having clothes that fit you ready to wear each work day will have a second benefit, almost more powerful than the first, which is that in the act of wearing those clothes you will be more easily able to take  transfer from mummy mode, to work mode.  Wearing those clothes will empower you to enter the work place with confidence and with your brain engaged for work.

Top Tip 2 What goes to work stays at wok

In this regard I would really recommend, if at all possible, that you keep your work clothes separate from your home clothes.  Make your work clothes as enjoyable as possible to wear, put them away when you are wearing your home clothes, then you will look forward to wearing those outfits the next time it is a work day.

This will make the home/work transition much easier.

If you are a new mother, and going back to work for the first time after a baby, it can be a traumatic, probably exhausting, but hopefully hugely fulfilling time.

So that would be my one major expectation for you to set as a new mum returning to work: planning what you are going to wear and only wearing it on a work day.

How to go back to work
Returning to work after maternity leave

Going back to work – taking it one step further

This could be enough, and it is enough.  However, if you would like to set more expectations around getting ready each day here are some suggestions.

a. Also prepare what you are going to wear on a home day.  A home day could be during the week if you work part-time or it could be the weekends if you are returning to work full-time, or a combination of both if you are working shifts.  Whichever one it is for you why not plan your home day outfits.  The reason I think this is a good idea is that it will help you:

b. Keep to a routine that you expect to getup and get dressed each day whether you are going off to work or are at home.

c. Feel more organised by being dressed.

d. Feel really proud of yourself for being dressed and your satisfaction with the day will automatically be set high from early on in the day.  You can lay out your clothes the night before which is great and earns a huge thumbs up or you could just decide that a certain wardrobe of clothes is worn at home eg jeans/tee shirt/jumper.  Make sure they’re clean and you’re good to go.

A final note.  Easy grooming tips to complete your clothes transformation

I don’t want to overload you, especially if you are a new mum to a young baby, but if you want to take your level of expectation one step further then it could be around grooming.  Say: hair, nails and make up.  If you would like to go here here is a quick checklist of what you could address.

  1. Hair – if you have your hair cut regularly, just keep going with your hair appointments.  Make sure you always have a next appointment to go to.  Same with colour, just keep the appointments going. Decide when you are going to wash and dry your hair, night or early in the morning.  I used to do mine in the morning and have the babies on the bed while I was blow drying my hair and doing my make up.  Decide how you want your hair to look when you are at work and stick to it.  Are you going to wear it up, in a bob, have it cut short?  Try and keep it consistent.  Rightly or wrongly that consistency in look will mark you out as reliable and capable at work.
  2. Make up – what level of make up do you want to wear each day?  When you have a new baby, keep your grooming plan sleek and simple: for example: tinted moisturiser, eyeliner, mascara and a lip gloss and a bronzer or blusher would be perfect.  Keep it really simple, but keep it consistent.  At the moment my life is really busy so that is my daily routine.
  3. Finally, nails.  Since I have had my children I have never consistently painted my nails but for some of you it will be a way of reconnecting to yourself.  Or, rather than painting them you might have acrylics.  However, it is possible to build into your routine.  You could set yourself an evening when you know you are able to set the time aside – say Sunday night.  Keep a small manicure set downstairs or in your bedroom, wherever you would paint your nails.  If it is to hand, and viewable, you will be more likely to give yourself that time and attention.

Are you returning to work shortly after having a baby?  Don’t worry, don’t be stressed.  You’ve got this.  Use your work clothes as part of your returning to work preparation, and upscale your confidence level from the outside in.

How did you find this blog post.  Was it useful to you?  Do you have top tips that you have used yourself? Leave your comments below.

Bye for now,

Sarah

 

Being prepared: how to look amazing every day

Being prepared: why looking amazing is preparation not luck

Being Prepared well dressed relaxed woman in fashion studio working on helping other women
Being Prepared – How Working Frocks helps women be prepared every day

Hello there, I hope you’ve had a good week so far.  I’m excited to talk to you and write this today as it is a favourite topic of mine.  And although it’s a favourite topic, it is one that I also struggle with, so I feel like I am preaching to myself here!

The topic I want to discuss today is PREPARATION.  Specifically wardrobe preparation and why it is important.  Why being organised and intentional about what you wear is important.

Preparation is all about getting ready to be ready.  It’s the stuff you need to do before you put everything on, get dressed and walk out of the door.  I really love the idea of this but sometimes I find it really hard to put into practice, especially if I am having a busy week.

I realised that you have to prepare to be prepared.  That sounds odd doesn’t it?  However, with all activities that we have in our lives, we expect to be prepared and we know we will do better if we are prepared: whether it’s running a house, running a business or getting ready to go on holiday, preparation is key.  I think your wardrobe should be exactly the same, well prepared.

Free mini guide to looking amazing every day

How to look amazing every day - Working Frocks guide
Look and feel amazing every day, Working Frocks quick start guide.

I have a free mini guide to looking amazing every day.  It is a top ten list in bite size pieces of how to look amazing every day.  Preparation is in this list.  It’s the nuts and bolts, one of your foundation blocks.  If you haven’t already seen the guide, it’s on the home page of the website, www.workingfrocks.com and I will put a link to it below.

Being prepared: actionable steps to make it work for you

What I’ve decided to do is to use the blog and facebook lives to expand upon each of those ten sections in turn.  I will go into more depth and give you some really actionable items for you to get your teeth into so that you see the real change that you want to see.

I don’t know what stage you are at: you may feel you are in great need of help, want to chuck all your clothes out and start again.  Or, you may feel that generally you are on the right track but would really appreciate some advice and help to really get your wardrobe running smoothly and  working optimally for you.

Whether you are at either end of that spectrum or somewhere in between, try and take something from this episode and put it into action for yourself because that’s where the real transformation lies.  I’ll give you some advice as to how to do this further on this post.  There are 2 action points for you to take in this blog episode.  First we cover the ground work, the brain work, and secondly we will cover practical ways for you to implement preparation in your wardrobe, or up your game if you are already on your way to being wardrobe prepped.

So, to summarise, the chapter section in the free guide that I will be covering in more depth over the weeks ahead are:

Preparation

Planning

Expectation

Identity

Image

Zone of Peace

Curating outfits to wear each day

Have fun

Grooming

Show yourself in a positive light.

So do be sure to come back to the blog over the weeks as we will be covering a lot of ground together.

Being Prepared: other sources of information

Being prepared - well dressed woman in grey skirt and white silk top, well groomed, prepared for the day
Being prepared – how well dressed women look and feel amazing

I have covered the topic of preparation before in my blog posts, so if you want to search for another article on Looking amazing every day,   Being organised and putting outfits together or what kind of basic wardrobe you should plan for  you will find more information in the blog archive.  Additionally, If you need guidance on what to wear and how to have enough of what you need in your wardrobe check out my 70/20/10 formula here.

Also, while I’m thinking about resources to put at your fingertips, I should say that I am running a course this summer, called, “How to take the emotions out of your wardrobe and put your heart back in”.  I’ll say a little bit more about that at the end of this blog too and also put a link to how you can get more information about it there.  It’s going to be great fun and really effective in sorting out your clothes, understanding more about yourself and having a selection of outfits that really reflect you and your personal style.  Anyway, I’ll leave that to the end but just park that thought and I’ll come back to it later.

The difference between preparation and planning

So, today’s subject is Preparation.  There is a difference between preparation and planning, which is another subject also covered in this series.  Preparation is the act of getting ready whereas planning precedes preparation and is the act of designing what you are going to prepare.  So a planning task could be to work out the seasonality of your clothes: black in the winter, party dresses at Christmas, light clothing in the summer.  Preparation is to then take it to the next stage: which black dress?  on which day? with what jewellery?  If you don’t have preparation in your life, then your life is chaotic.  If there is no element of preparation in what you wear then your wardrobe and your dressing habits are going to be chaotic.

4 important functions that being prepared performs

So, 4 functions that preparation performs that are extremely useful and positive:

  1. Preparation means less for work the brain.  Less work for the brain in this context is a good thing because brain stress, the unexpected, anything away from the order that the brain thinks it should follow, is tiring.  So this means that you can start the day mentally tired through simply being ill prepared, which is not going to help you get through the day well.
  2. Secondly, preparation leads to self confidence.
  3. To dress well, through being prepared, is an act of self care.
  4. Looking forward to what you are going to wear each day is one of life’s unsung pleasures.

Ok, so preparation means that the brain is less taxed, so you have more energy, preparation leads to self confidence, dressing well, through being prepared is an act of self care and looking forward to what you are going to wear each day is a personal pleasure that should not be overlooked.  These are all four positive attributes in living our life.  Why would we want that in our lives?  What stops us from being the best prepared that we can be?

Let’s explore briefly why you wouldn’t want to be prepared or might be stopping yourself from being prepared.

What stops you from being prepared

Being Prepared - are you wardrobe ready - organised desk image of coffee, glasses, peonies
Being Prepared – being well dressed spills out into all aspects of your life, including a tidy desk

What stops us from being prepared?  There are many factors.  If we are disorganised at work there is usually a reason why, or if our house is constantly messy there is also usually a reason why.  With our clothes though we often hide the reasons for that, even from ourselves.  Common reasons are:

  1. Depression, anxiety and/or low self esteem
  2. Losing track of who we are
  3. Being busy to the point of stress.
  4. Not realising the effect our clothes have on our minds

Looking at these briefly in turn.

  1. Depression, anxiety and low self esteem are exhausting and it may be all we can do to drag ourselves through the day.
  2. Losing track of who you are – you may have got stuck in one of the roles you play: professional woman, wife, mother, and lost sight of your identity.
  3. You may be very busy to the point of extremely stressed at work and/or at home, and you may be wearing the same things or combination of the same thing day in and day out.
  4. We think that our clothes are an outward sign of who we are, but they are more likely to be an outward sign of the inner life.  The inner life, our interior life of thoughts and feelings is more closely linked with our outer life (how we portray ourselves, how others see us) than we think.

To go back to 4 important aspects of preparation:

  1. Being prepared is less stressful for the brain because it gives it a pattern to follow.  So, if you are stressed or overwhelmed then taking the time each evening to plan out what to wear is very calming for the brain.  Additionally, even if you are really really busy, to the point of overwhelm, preparing to look good should only take 5 minutes of your time (Dr Baumgarten, p223).
  2. Preparation is being mentally and physically prepared for the day. “Two keys to being fully prepared and having unwavering confidence in yourself are, first, to put the time and energy into doing everything you know you need to do to be prepared and, second, to be aware that you are fully prepared.  You will gain from knowing you have done everything in your power to ready yourself for the event in question, and that confidence will emanate from you throughout.” **
  3. Preparation leads to self confidence.  Self confidence is made up of many little factors which make up confidence which is basically the belief in ourselves that we can undertake a task to our own satisfaction.  If you are prepared every day, your belief in your ability to control your day grows exponentially.  If you know, right from early on each day that you are in control, that will make a great difference to your psychology. *
  4. Dressing well is an act of self care.  Dr Baumgarten, in “What to wear” says this too, ‘one of the easiest forms of self care is dressing well’.

*If you have lost track slightly with yourself, planning out your clothes is a simple and effective way of connecting with you.  Of course you will need to be planning out clothes that reflect the real you, and if you need help with that check out my blog post “How to discover your personal style“.  For the purpose of this blog post, preparing your outfit is a powerful act of reidentification, reminding ourselves of who we are.

So, I’ve given you a lot of thoughts and ideas there and I wounder what it was for you that made you think “yes, that’s me, I identify with that”.  Well, now we are going to put some of that into practice.

Being prepared: the power of rituals

Being Prepared - fashion designer in studio working on helping women to dress well
Being Prepared – How Working Frocks helps women be prepared every day

The Power of Rituals

Having a wardrobe full of clothes that you are not wearing to their full potential is a waste of a great opportunity and slightly missing the point.  It’s like having a fridge full of food, but instead of putting the food together and creating a week’s worth of tasty meals you only eat the potatoes.  every day. and then at the end of the week you throw out lots of delicious food which is now inedible.  There is a lot of information available about what to buy, but very little information about how to put it all together on a consistent basis so that those clothes can earn their keep.  This is what you will find at Working Frocks.  In depth, thoughtful, practical advice as to how to get the best out of your wardrobe of clothes. (so keep reading!)

Rituals: 2 steps to getting organised

This ritual section is a two parter.

Ritual 1: Prepare your outfits

Each Sunday night coordinate 5 outfits for the week.  You can write them down, or arrange them in day order in your wardrobe, or take photos of them and put them on a Pinterest board.  If you haven’t planned out your outfits for the week before I recommend keeping it simple so you don’t get sidetracked.  It is important that you go to your wardrobe for this exercise and really interact with your clothes and your accessories.  Then, each evening lay out your clothes for the following day.

So,

step 1: identify 5 outfits for the week: clothes, shoes, accessories -it’s fine to wear the same outfit twice, or the same dress twice.  The important aspect is to know exactly what you will wear each day.

step 2: arrange them in a section of your wardrobe together so they are ready to be worn, or write them down, or take photos of them and put them on a Pinterest board (if you are really adventurous)

Important note: physically go to your wardrobe and interact with it.  Don’t sit somewhere else and think what shall I wear?

step 3: each evening lay our your clothes for the following day.

So that’s ritual step 1 – 5 outfits for the week ahead.

Ritual 2: The weekly preparation guide.

Find time each week to do the following.  You needn’t spend a lot of time on these steps, 5 minutes to organise your jewellery for example, 10 minutes to clean a pair of shoes.  The important factor here is that you are interacting with your wardrobe and the interaction is key to identifying with what you are wearing.  The preparation list is as follows:

a. shoe care – keep shoes clean, schedule a time to clean them.

b. Tidy belts/bags/accessories as you go.

c. Organise your jewellery

d. Each night hang your outfit from the day up and return it to the wardrobe the next morning.

3. Have one day to clear out your handbag.

f. Restock handbag with what you need

g. Keep up with repairs, hems, buttons, alterations.

 

So that is it for today, preparation in a nutshell: what it is; why it has value; why we stop ourselves from being prepared; 2 implementable tips to increasing your preparation bias today.  I hope you enjoyed the read and put the 2 action steps into practice.  Let me know how you get on in the comments below.

A quick word about the upcoming Working Frocks course, “How to take the emotion out of your wardrobe and put your heart back in”.  Our wardrobes probably contain more of our emotional life than any other room in the house.  Before you even get to your wardrobe each day, your mind is bracing itself for the emotions that are going to be triggered when you open the door.  Clothes that are too small or too big, clothes you don’t like, your wedding dress from a previous marriage, a dress you love but now can’t fit into, a dress you don’t love but don’t want to throw away because it was expensive, piles of jumpers you never wear, jeans of all shapes and sizes, a work jacket you wear all the time but don’t like, the list is endless.  This emotional tsunami is really draining and my new course addresses all of that.  If you would like to join the waiting list for this course, clear the emotions out of your wardrobe and put your heart back in then join the waiting list today.  If you join the Working Frocks exclusive list you will automatically be notified when this course is launched.

 

If you would like to keep in touch then please join the Working Frocks List.  It’s an exclusive list of women who want to look amazing every day and then be able to get on with their day.  I share upcoming courses and events first to this group, as well as new dress releases and money off promotions.  If you would like Working Frocks to look after your wardrobe, this is the list to join.

 

 

FREE Mini Guide – Look Amazing Every Day

 

** Ten Minute Toughness Selk, Jason, 2009 McGraw Hill

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