You want to change your life but don’t know how. Why not start with your clothes?

Change your life when you don’t know what to change

A lot has changed for me in the past few years, much of it outside of my control and most of it challenging in one way or another.

Do you feel the same?

I feel nervous and anxious about the future. I worry about dying, about my life being over before it has truly started. I worry about the children leaving home. I am sad that I can see myself ageing, my life seems so fleeting.

Do you have those thoughts too?

Read moreYou want to change your life but don’t know how. Why not start with your clothes?

Self creation: 2 stages to looking good. Which stage are you on?

Smiling woman. Caption: 2 stages to looking good. Which stage are you at?

Hello amazing women, I hope you’ve had a good week.

This week I have been thinking about what it is exactly that transforms our personal appearance from ‘perfectly acceptable’ to ‘Wow, how does she do that!?’ (aka the act of self creation)

I love the authenticity of being yourself. Of having the courage to be yourself. To be able to accept yourself just as you are. But also to also have the determination to change yourself. To go on that inner and outer journey to be the best woman that you can be.

How do we go on that journey of not only accepting ourself, but also be transforming ourself?

Read moreSelf creation: 2 stages to looking good. Which stage are you on?

The anxieties of starting a new job remotely

The anxieties of starting a new job remotely

This is a slightly delicate subject to talk about this week, so I’m going to be careful how I use my words but it’s basically I suppose about life during Covid and how we approach it. And then it’s about the tools that we have at our disposal to deal with what we are going through.

two cups of coffee that we drank while we discussed working remotelySo, I met up with a friend the other day for a cup of coffee and she had recently been through quite a tricky time at work where she was hired as human resources director with a new firm. Because of the way many of us are working now, ie remotely, all her onboarding was remote, and then she started working, remotely.

And of course, working remotely for most of us is a really great thing. We get to be at home, not have to travel, we can walk the dog at lunch time, drop children off at school, all those things which is really great. For many of us we were working in the office environment before Covid affected our working lives. But for those people changing roles and companies in this new working environment, ie remotely, the work experience we are having is very different to the work experience we would have if we were in the office. My friend had done all her onboarding remotely and started work remotely.

Read moreThe anxieties of starting a new job remotely

Can reDRESS really help me?

abstract image with text :How to feel better every dayCan reDRESS really help me?

Hello amazing women,

I am sitting here writing the copy for reDRESS which is the Working Frocks private members group. (For more information about reDRESS check out the reDRESS about page) I am writing about why you should join us, why I’m passionate about you joining us and the change in your life that can and will happen as a result of you being in the group.

But here’s the thing.  As I write, I doubt. And I panic slightly.  Why is that?

My eyes are a bit tired and puffy (it’s early morning), the day is ahead of me but I feel tired already (hello teenager returning home at 00:45am and slamming front door), I have a day full of work and very little ‘fun’, and all the problems in my life have all hit my brain at the same time.

I am wondering if there is an escape route, and it’s only 6:43am.

Read moreCan reDRESS really help me?

When everyone else looks better than you

Chanel two tone slingback shoesWhen everyone else looks better than you

So I had this interesting experience today. I went into the local town just to get out of the house. And also I went in to buy myself a little gift, I’m doing 30 days of self care. Each day of the 30 days I buy myself something.  It doesn’t have to be big but it does have to be a gift.  So it can’t be something that I need if there is no pleasure in the purchase.  The purchase has to give pleasure.  I had also seen a pair of shoes in a magazine that I thought I might be able to find and was keen to try them on.

Read moreWhen everyone else looks better than you

2 ways to fit in exercise when you are really busy

woman unrolling exercise matTwo ways to fit in exercise when you are really busy

Do you find it difficult to fit in exercise to your day when you are really busy?  I know I do. I was talking to a friend who is in the same mastermind group as me. She was saying how hard it is for her to fit exercise into her day when she is particularly busy at work.

I’ve also faced this issue about looking after myself when I’ve got my head down and obviously with what I do with my wardrobe styling I find this a really interesting topic. I’m sure it’s also a problem that other women face. I mean she just told me that this is a problem she faces.  And I’ve been exactly there as well. So the chances are that you face it too.

Read more2 ways to fit in exercise when you are really busy

2 strategies to nail home/work style: which is yours.

2 strategies to nail home/work style: which is yours?

In the last blog post on Home/work balance I mentioned two strategies that will help you decide how to balance your wardrobe.  With the rise in working from home, and the hybrid work solution towards which many businesses are moving, our lives need to adjust as well, especially in the area of what you wear and why you wear it.

This is why Working Frocks has created two strategies for you to use in your life when you are considering what to wear and when to wear it.  It is entirely up to you to choose which one of the two best suits your lifestyle and we have some tips below as to how to implement the strategies to make them work really well in your life.

Read more2 strategies to nail home/work style: which is yours.

How to pick the right outfits and perfect your home/work balance

How to pick the right outfits and perfect your home/work balance

Don’t you think it’s rather funny that after all these years of female empowerment and emancipation we still don’t think we have the right clothes or that we have nothing to wear at all!?

Your clothes should be a strategic part of your life.  They should play an active role in running your life efficiently and well.

With all the ups and downs of the last 18 months no doubt you will have experienced lockdown and working from home in some shape or form.

What did you wear when you started to work from home?

Read moreHow to pick the right outfits and perfect your home/work balance

Getting it all done

Getting it all done – No time to carve out for yourself and even if you did carve out time for yourself you wouldn’t know what to do.  Recognise that scenario?

Getting it all done.  Words to stricke both optimsm and terror into the heart of every busy woman.

What is getting it all done?

What does getting it all done mean to you?  Is it the todo list you have at work which is your boss’s agenda, your team’s needs and your organisation’s strategy?

Is it your family’s needs – endless!

Or is it your own needs?  Is that what getting it all done means to you?  Does it include your own needs?

Likely it’s not the third option.  Getting it all done means, for most women, “getting everything done that other people require of me”.

The first two options never resolve themselves.  They are not goals which you have set yourself.  There are always more demands to be placed upon you.  It’s impossible to get it all done.  There is always more. Work life is just a series of problem solving situations, coming straight at you, one after the other.  Even the traditional signs of seniority, such as being promoted, which is a traditional sign of workplace success, generally bring with it more responsibility, more people to manage, more things to get done.

We know we are not prioritising ourself

Deep down we all know that we are not prioritising ourselves.  We think it doesn’t matter today.  If we can just tick of our todo list at work and get through our chore list at home, then that wil be enough.  Tomorrow we can prioritse ourselves.  We can go for a walk, go to the gym, read a book.

In fact, as we all know, tomorrow doesn’t come, without us being really intentional about it.

When tomorrow never comes you may be left feeling strangely unfulfilled.  You may have a slightly anxious feel in your stomach.

When tomorrow never comes and you don’t prioritise yourself, you push desires, amibitions, interest and hobbies out of the way.  You start to live out of integrity with yourself.  That might be when you start to drink just a little bit more than you would like, smoke more than you want or maybe eat too much, in order to cope.

Then you have another layer of getting it all done to get done.  Yu now have weight to lose, or drink to stop, or cigarettes to quit.

Why is this going on and what are we doing to ourselves?

What is going on is this:

Because you can’t cope with the emotions that are coming up, you try and numb them so that you don’t feel them.  When you numb them, you temporarily feel better, but only temporarily.  Your situation hasn’t changed, so you are no more happy than you were before.  But you have temporarily alleviated the problem, the anxiety or stress has gone away, or seemingly gone away.

But then the next time that you feel stressed, exhausted, negative, teary or angry you reach out for the thing that will ‘make you feel better’.  The wine, the G&T, the cigarettes, the burger and chips. So the habit develops and sooner or later you start to put on weight.  And you don’t fit into your clothes.  And then you start to feel rubbish about yourself.  Undeserving even.

The link between clothes and emotions

In my work as a dress designer and online stylist, I began to see the link between women not living their fullest life and not wearing clothes that made them look their best.

If you feel good about yourself you most probably take care of yourself, your body and take an interest in what you wear.  If you don’t feel good about yourself, you don’t take care of yourself, so you don’t look good, which means you don’t feel good, and so you develop a negative cycle which can become hard to break.

Develop a clothing strategy and break negative thought cycles

Developing a clothing strategy breaks negative thought cycles.  Clothing strategies are designed to encourage you to look and feel your best every day.  They take in to account your likes and dislikes, your lifestyle and your wishes or plans for the future.

In designing a clothing strategy for you I can take you right back to the place where you are in touch with the inner you, and you have a  todo list, or rather a to be list that contains items that you want in there.  Even though it might sound too good to be true, you can use the power of clothes to put you back at the centre of your own life.

Back to getting it all done – You don’t know where to start

For many of us the problem is slightly deeper than knowing that we are not prioritising ourselves.  It is that even if we did put time aside for ourselves, we wouldn’t actually know what to do with that time.  We have lost touch with ourselves to the extent that, given an opportunity to do something that makes our heart sing, we just wouldn’t know what to do.

Inner emotions and outer appearance go hand in hand, for the most part, if you have a healthy self esteem and feel good about yourself.  What I have discovered over the last few years is that as I start to address the outer appearance, by designing a dress and selling my clothes, by writing about how to dress well, what I am often really talking about are issues of image, of identity, of authority, of power.

Quite often, when you say you have nothing to wear, or have an untidy, disorganised wardrobe, it is in fact a symption, not the illness itself.  A cluttered wardrobe full of too small clothes, or clothes that you don’t wear, is actually a sign of something else. By addressing that something else I can help women like you achieve their goals and life life on their own terms.  It’s a way of getting started, it’s like it flips the switch of your life and gets you right back into the swing of things.

It is very exciting to know that with a small investment of time you can feel better about yours life than you could have thought.

Not getting it all done – How to carve out time for yourself

Here are some great ways to get started in carving out time for yourself, sticking to it, and repeating it on a regular basis.  In amongst all the “todos” that you have that constitute your ‘getting it all done list’ try and slip some of these ideas into your day:

  1. Spend 10-15 minutes thinking about what you would like to do.  It doesn’t have to be big and dramatic, it can be really small and potentially insignificant to other people.  But to you, it’s worthwhile because you actually want to do it.
  2. Find time in your diary for whatever it is
  3. Make it a regular part of your routine – anything that is regular becomes much easier to actually do.
  4. Learn to discern between what you would really like to do and what others might want you to do, or expect you to do.
  5. Regularly stop and ask yourself why you are doing what you are doing.  Is it out of the expectations of others or because you geniunely want to do it?
  6. Stop wearing clothes you don’t like or which don’t fit, or which make you feel uncomfortable.
  7. Start to identify what you are not doing because you are worried what people might say (this was a biggy for me).  Go and do it.

By becoming aware of your actions and your thoughts you can make a start in learning to put yourself and your emotions back at the heart of your life.

What are you going to make a start with today?

 

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