What is journalling? Why is it important for you?

Do you keep a journal?  Journalling (journaling in the US) is a written record of our thoughts and feelings.  Whereas once you may have said that you keep a diary, these days you might say that you journal, or keep a journal, or have a daily journalling practice.  I like the word journalling.  It feels looser, more informal than ‘diary’, more encompassing of a wide range of thoughts and pictures.

Journalling tracks our every day life, or times in our life, or periods or projects in our life.  It tracks our emotional path through life as well as physical events.  Journalling is not a prescriptive set of rules.  You may have your own rules or guidelines, but there is no set way to keep a journal.

 

Keep a journal and figure out what makes you tick

The important factor for the purposes of clothes, and for Working Frocks, is that journalling helps us figure out what makes us tick, what makes us happy, or where we might be stuck in anxiety, depression or fear.

Just as journalling does that for our emotions it also does that for our relationship with our clothes.

What journalling can give us is a meaningful connection with ourselves.  Journalling is a way into our thoughts.  It is a way of collecting our thoughts so that we can then examine them or think about them.  A meaningful connection with ourself is a fundamental part of our lived experience.

Keeping a journal is an organisation and creative tool

If you don’t already keep a journal we really recommend that you spend time each day to reflect on your thoughts. Write down what you are thinking, without holding back. Write as if noone is watching.

As well as being a great creative outlet, journalling is also an organisational tool. Keeping a journal helps to organise out thoughts and put them into some order.

There are two steps to this organisational process:

  1. The first is to get your thoughts out, so just write them down, draw them, mind map them or just stream or consciousness them out.
  2. The second is to examine them.

It’s important that you don’t rush into just examining your thoughts without getting them all out.
The importance, though, of getting your thoughts out on paper is that it frees up our working memory. When our thoughts are out on paper, instead of in our head, we stop continually processing them. This, in turn, can mean that we sleep better. And as a result of that, our immune system gets a boost and so does our mood.

Creating your own mental space

If you keep a journal, you will find that you are able to create your own mental space. Away from your phone, work emails and family demands it is a space where you can be yourself and think your own thoughts. You can take off your ‘autopilot’ mode and work out what you are really thinking. Sometimes a short walk followed by ten minutes journalling, or the reverse, is a brilliant way of processing thoughts and emotions, like anxiety and anger, and getting back to peace and serenity.

Keep a journal and set goals

Your goals can easily be hijacked by the world if you don’t stay vigilant. When you are chasing your tail, are working like a machine and living your life in response to outside forces, you need to take a step back from time to time and check in with yourself:

Reprioritise.
Remember what your purpose is.
Reset your goals.
Take a deep breath.
And go back in there.

Noone will give you permission to calm down, to rethink and reset. It’s permission you give yourself. Set your own goals, have your own agenda. Take time out, withdraw from the noise and chatter, and remember what you want and why you want it.

Setting goals is best done, can only be done, in peace and calm. So take that time to set your goals in peace, and to reassess them in peace too.

One step further: Wardrobe journalling

Wardrobe journalling takes journalling one step further. It uses the same format and purpose of journalling but while you are writing you are specifically asking yourself questions around what you wear, why you wear it and what you would like to wear. There are times in our life when we let our clothes dictate how our character acts, whereas the flow should be the other way round: our character should dictate what clothes we wear.

You might go through years just wearing something out of habit, and it is only through the act of wardrobe journallling that you realise that you don’t like what you are wearing, and that it doesn’t reflect your personality at all.

A little more journalling reveals that what you would actually like to be wearing, that is a much better reflection of your personality, is something else entirely. Sometimes you might realise that you are almost scared to live up to the person you are revealing yourself to be. And there lies the challenge.

You have uncovered yourself, do you have the courage to step into that person? Or do you want to stay where you are, living a small game, hiding behind clothes that you feel are keeping you safe and comfortable. Whereas in fact that are keeping you stuck and living half a life rather than the full, overflowing life, you are created for. So, keep a journal, start today. Why not have fun with it and do some wardrobe journalling? We have the perfect worksheet to help you get started which you can download here by clicking the image below:

wardrobe journalling working frocks

We hope you will get started today, keep a journal and really reap huge benefits from it over the years.

Have a great day!

Sarah

What happens when we write? The value of journalling

Hello there and welcome to the Working Frocks blog if you are here for the first time and welcome back if you are a returning reader.

Over the last few years I have written a lot of words.  Mostly I write in longhand, with a blue pen, on a lined A4 pad. I have a diary and I write out all my business thoughts, ideas and plans in longhand before they are typed up and loaded into my laptop.  I greatly enjoy writing things down and always feel quite energised when I have done so.  But I wasn’t really thinking about what happens when we write.  What effects the actual physical act of writing by hand is having on the brain.

Read moreWhat happens when we write? The value of journalling

Do you have wardrobe drama?

What is wardrobe drama?

Wardrobe drama is a self-generated state of high anxiety and emotion, focussing on our clothes but most probably less to do with our clothes than it is to do with what is going on in our mind.  The primary purpose of wardrobe drama is to create a heightened emotional state, or to release a pent-up frustration rather than solve a problem or calmly assess the situation.  Are you guilty of wardrobe drama?…

Read moreDo you have wardrobe drama?

How to wear summer clothes in the fall/autumn

how to wear summer clothes in fall blog header image of the neckline of a white dress

5 style tips to get more wear out of your summer clothes when the temperatures drops

Do you want to know how to continue to wear summer clothes in the fall/autumn?  After all, the temperature doesn’t change that rapidly, and quite often we have beautiful, warm, sunny days well into September.  It would be a shame not to be able to take advantage of the remaining sunny, warm weather.  Rather than be keen to rush into autumn/fall wear you may want to hold on to summer as long as you possible can.  Here’s how to do it.

Read moreHow to wear summer clothes in the fall/autumn

Why what you wear is all in your mind

Blog post Why what you wear is all in your mind - blog header with image of clothes on a rack with wooden hangers

It’s all in your mind

When I realised that your relationship with our clothes and bodies is all in your mind, not in your wardrobe, I was so excited.  It was like a missing piece of the jigsaw for me.  Out of that realisation came a new styling course.

We have opened the doors on “Rock your wardrobe and look a million dollars”.  You can see more details and the introductory videos here:

Read moreWhy what you wear is all in your mind

Why there are more emotions in your wardrobe than clothes

Why there are more emotions in your wardrobe than clothes blog header picture of a dress neckline with the title wardrobe emotions

The number of thoughts we have every day

We perhaps should not be so surprised that that are more emotions in your wardrobe than clothes.  We have all heard the statistics about the number of thoughts we have everyday (between 12,000 and 60,000).  Our brains are constantly working, processing information and sending us signals in the form of thoughts.

Thought management

I really do think thought management should be taught at school.  Thee are two thoughts I have had which when I had them I realised I would never go back.  The first is: You don’t have to believe everything you think (which relates to thoughts that I have heard from other people); and the second is: Just because you think a thought doesn’t mean that it’s true (that one relates to thoughts I think myself).

When I thought these thoughts I realised that there is a separation between me and my thoughts.  I am not my thoughts and you are not your thoughts either.  When I learned that there is a separation between me and my brain I started to learn how to manage it.  How to manage it when I am anxious or fearful or sad or angry.

So, back to the title of this blog posts, that there are more emotions in your wardrobe than clothes.  It is only when you deal with the emotions that are lurking in there that you are able to put your relationship with your clothes on an even keel.

Read moreWhy there are more emotions in your wardrobe than clothes

Flexi-wear – the rise in flexi-seasonal clothing

flex-wear dressing - neck detail on dress, neck has draped neckline, part of the off the beach collection

How to create a wardrobe of flexi-wear clothes

Flexi-wear is a great strategy for early Autumn/Fall fashion is to choose clothes that will straddle the seasons and be flexible enough to take you from the beginning of September to the end of December and even beyond into the new year.

With the huge changes that we have experienced this year with working from home, not going into the office, working remotely from our colleagues and living and working in the same environment our working wardrobe has necessarily also had a sea change.  The outfits that we once wore daily were discarded in favour of much more relaxed dresses and quite often a softer, but no less professional, look.

What is flexi-wear?

Flexi-wear clothes are clothes that are multifunctional.  They can be worn casual and relaxed or styled up for the evening.  Flexi-wear clothes can be worn at home to work in and go into the office with.  They are smart and professional enough for a client lunch or board meeting, and you can meet your girlfriends for a drink in them too.  Flexi-wear is neither completely tailored, nor completely casual.  It’s somewhere inbetween,  and it’s on the rise.  We think it’s going to be a good new normal and this blog post is all about how to start to transition your wardrobe to flexi-wear.

Working Frocks dresses that transition from September to December

Working Frocks has created a selection of dresses that will do just that: be flexible and take you right through the seasons.  You can start September in sandals and a cardigan and still be wearing the dress with boots, tights, coat and scarf in January.  The dresses are suitable for work, work video calls, and are comfortable enough to sit and work in at home, but stylish enough to feel that you are professional and dressed for work.

Early fall/autumn collection header banner. Link to shop collection

This is the way things will go.  Undoubtedly we will return to office life, and many of us miss seeing our colleagues each day, but increasingly women will be looking for flexi-wear clothes.

So, flexi-wear clothing will help you straddle the seasons as well as navigate the new home work situations that we find ourselves in.

Treat autumn/fall as a season and have the right clothes to wear

Pulling together a wardrobe of clothes, some from summer, with a few pieces of lighter-weight autumn/fall wear is a sensible and workable solution to early autumn/fall.  With a few pointers (see below) you can easily transition your wardrobe to adapt to the new season, as well as transition it too a great flexi-wear approach.

Here is a general list of how to create a working wardrobe, newly flexi-wear, for early fall/autumn.  The list will help you transition into cooler weather but at the same time provide clothes for those lovely warm days that are still ahead.

How to create a flexi-wear working wardrobe for early autumn/fall

Use these pointers to transition your wardrobe into early autumn/fall, and create a truly flexi-wear wardrobe.

  1. Remove obvious high summer pieces, (wash them and store them).
  2. Acknowledge that the season won’t change much immediately but you can make small shifts now.
  3. Because the season won’t change much right now, don’t anticipate going into all black, tights and heavy knitwear immediately.
  4. Grooming – sort your hair / sort your make up / decide on your choices of nail varnish.  Does your hair look great for the beach, but not so great for a work context?  Those highlights that have been bleached by the sun, and which are growing out, may look tousled and relaxed when you’re in the garden, but you might benefit from a slightly more groomed look for returning to work.  Hair, eyebrows and nails are three easy ways to look instantly groomed, so if you’re feeling a little washed out spend a little time on those three categories and see how they make you feel instantly better.
  5. It’s useful to create an early September timeline for yourself of what you can continue to wear: Keep out neutrals – white teeshirts, black/beige linen trousers / anything in pale grey / stone.  Write them out to remind you of what you’ve got that is perfect to wear now.
  6. Jewellery – put away the more obvious pieces such as large hoop earrings, summer style bangles.  Rework your jewellery and wear a new selection for the new season.
  7. For work – don’t go into heavy wear (see above) – Wear short ,sleek, or sleeveless pieces – you can wear them with a jacket or coat later in the season. Wear lighter fabrics.   Alternatives to a coat could be a leather jacket or denim jacket, so wear those on cooler days.WF sign up to list form

Five more pointers…

  1. Neutral colours – white grey, black are perfect.  Note, I mean black dresses not black tights or heavy knitwear at this stage.  Neutral colours don’t look too summery or too wintery.
  2. No black tights. Nude tights or bare legs at this stage are the way to go.  Stick to bare legs as long as you are able, it will make you hold on to summer longer.  Keep them sleek with moisturiser, maybe with a touch of colour or shimmer.
  3. Simple silhouettes look good at this time of year.  Save more complicated outfits and silhouettes for later in the season.  Don’t pile on “stuff”, just maybe a lightweight scarf or pashmina and keep your jewellery uncluttered.
  4. From your existing autumn/fall winter wardrobe only wear the lighter-weight clothes – pick a few choice pieces and introduce the rest slowly – remember February is still 5 months away.
  5. Have designated early autumn/fall outfits show from collection eg white dress, sandals, jacket or grey draped dress and brooch and shoes.  Create two or three outfits that you can wear without much thought.WF sign up to list form

If you only do one of the above at this stage do the last one.  Have designated early autumn/fall outfits ready to wear that will cope with the warmth of a summer’s day or be able to cope with a cooler day.

 

Early fall/autumn collection header banner. Link to shop collection

Early Autumn/Fall Fashion

Early Autumn/Fall fashion - Dresses for your working day - Adventure - Close up - White sleeveless dress with draped collar. Autumn Winter 2020. Part lined.

How to transition into early autumn/fall fashion – and the biggest mistake you might be making

Early autumn/fall fashion is upon us.  August is a bittersweet month.  It is the height of summer, but autumn/fall is right around the corner.  Schools start to go back and plans are being made to resume a life, temporarily and briefly, discarded in favour of two weeks downtime.

Of course early autumn/fall doesn’t make a dramatic shift in weather, it’s a gentle transition.  The biggest mistake you might be making is that immediately the temperature starts to drop, you ignore all the opportunities of early autumn/fall fashion and start wearing black tights and full-on winter wear.

It’s a huge mistake and it happens every year.

In this blog post we will be covering:

Read moreEarly Autumn/Fall Fashion

Flow

Image of a woman sitting on a beach. She has a fringe/bangs, a red swimming costume and a short kimono on. She is sitting by a small beach shack with a sign that says, "This s my happy place". The blog post is about flow.

Go with the Flow

Are you operating on a daily, routine basis from a sense of flow?  Do you know what flow is?  When you read that sentence, do you smile because you are in the flow?  Or does your stomach clench because you’re not, and even worse you know you’re not and that’s making you anxious?

Read on to learn how we lose flow in our lives by trying to keep other people happy.  And then stay on to the end for two easy steps to get flow back in your life.

Read moreFlow

How to plan your wardrobe – basic clothes list for occasion wear

Image of beautiful desktop, iphone, journal/planner and a bowl of roses all in shades of pale pink and a gold pencil. The title of the blog post is How to plan your wardrobe

How to plan your wardrobe

Do you know how to plan your wardrobe and do you regularly make time to plan in advance?  We organise the rest of our lives, but quite often our wardrobes, or closets,  remain unplanned and disorganised.  How often do you say, “I haven’t got anything to wear for ……… [fill in the blank], I’ll have to go and buy something.”?  And off you trudge, or online you swoop, searching out something suitable to wear.

“Do you think this will suit me?

Do you think this colour will be ok?

I prefer that one, but they don’t have it in my size.

Do you think this one will be ok?”

This kind of shopping creates huge anxiety, is energy draining and uses up valuable time.  But, if you you knew how to plan your wardrobe, you wouldn’t have to go through your pattern of wardrobe shame and panic buying each time a new occasion arises.  You would simply go to your wardrobe and pick out the outfit which is right for that occasion.  It really is as simple as that.  But it does take a little planning.  This post will show you how.

Read moreHow to plan your wardrobe – basic clothes list for occasion wear

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