Being prepared: why looking amazing is preparation not luck
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
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:
Zone of Peace
Curating outfits to wear each day
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
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:
- 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.
- Secondly, preparation leads to self confidence.
- To dress well, through being prepared, is an act of self care.
- 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
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:
- Depression, anxiety and/or low self esteem
- Losing track of who we are
- Being busy to the point of stress.
- Not realising the effect our clothes have on our minds
Looking at these briefly in turn.
- Depression, anxiety and low self esteem are exhausting and it may be all we can do to drag ourselves through the day.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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).
- 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.” **
- 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. *
- 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
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.
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