What to do when a bad clothes day has become a way of life
One of the things I love about running my annual Get Your Style Sorted Masterclass is the honesty and sharing that happens in the room. I’m not bigging myself up here; it’s down to the amazing women who come along. These fab females never cease to amaze me with how quickly they are prepared to share the reasons behind what, for some, might be a serious case of low self-esteem.
The first part of the day involves getting to grips with exactly why the ladies in the room aren’t feeling confident about their clothes.
Without a doubt, the number one answer I get is: ‘I’m just feeling so frumpy.’
We’ve all had the odd day like this. A hair-gone-crazy day or an I-didn’t-realise-this-cardigan-had-lost-its-shape day will make you feel like a second-rate Mrs Doubtfire in no time at all. For some of us, it’s a constant battle, but, why does this happen? You may have been the hippest, slickest, twentysomething around, you hit thirty-five and BOOM! – Frumpsville, USA.
In my experience, there are four reasons why this could have happened to you.
(And, I have personal experience of the first one.)
- You have one or two (or several) adorable kids. You no longer have to ‘dress’ for work every day. You want to wear ‘practical and comfy’ clothes (baby sick and cashmere are not a good mix) and your figure is constantly changing, so you start hiding it under loose layers.
- As you have aged you have started to feel the fear of being judged as ‘mutton dressed as lamb’ so you started playing it VERY safe for fear of being inappropriate.
- You are in a professional role, you know you have to dress formally and smartly, so you have a ‘uniform’ of neutral suits and plain shirts, but they make you feel drab and invisible.
- Over the years, you’ve experienced gradual weight gain, or you may have developed the belief that you don’t deserve ‘nice clothes’ and to compound that, the ‘nice clothes’ won’t fit, so you tend to cover up in boring, neutral, baggy things.
If any of these scenarios resonate with you, don’t panic. I estimate that the majority of women between 35 and 65 have experienced one or more of these situations at some point in their life. In fact, probably about 80% of women have been through it. Most of them are hiding it REALLY well.
So, here’s the juicy stuff: how to fix it.
These suggestions aren’t a complete solution. You might need to spend some time with a good image consultant to fully identify which clothes make you feel more confident and your authentic self, but in the meantime, here are a few ‘quick fixes’ that could work some magic straight away.
- Add one piece of interesting jewellery –but don’t do matchy-matchy necklace, earrings and bracelet. That, my friends, is a quick ticket to Frumpsville and hasn’t been a ‘thing’ since the 80s.
- Make sure your clothes fit you properly – don’t hide under baggy layers of shapeless pieces that haven’t washed well.
- Add some colour – even if it’s just a lipstick, nails or a scarf.
- Update your basics – washed out colours and fabrics never look good, and you DO deserve to wear new clothes.
- Change your hair – book in for a consultation with your hairdresser to see how your current style or colour could be tweaked into something more ‘now’.
If you want to delve deeper into how to avoid that frumpy feeling, I’ve got a great freebie that might help:
‘5 Easy Style Tips to Looking Your Most Fabulous Self’
I created this series of short style videos to help you to:
- Choose colours that will light you up and give you a healthy glow.
- Understand why certain styles just don’t work for you and never will.
- Know which cuts and shapes of clothes that will make you feel body confident.
- Learn how to accessorise in the right way for you.
- Discover which patterns enhance your look and which to avoid.
Sign up to receive the free video series by clicking this link https://helenreynoldsstyle.com/5-tips/
Or, get in touch to arrange a time for a chat about how I could help you find the clothes that make you feel your most wonderful self.
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Yes I was definitely going down the frumpy route as I got older, until I saw you and had my transformation. Now I am much more adventurous and receive loads of compliments as a result 🙂
That’s so lovely to hear Annette. I’m so pleased you are enjoying the results of your transformation! x
Nice one Helen. I can identify with the feeling frumpy at home because I work here and want to do so in comfort. But I’ve stopped dressing frumpily when working with clients. They may not be able to see me, but I see and feel me. What I’ve started to do is to ensure that when I have a Skype or phone call with clients, I dress the part and wear my professional specs + make-up. But no heels. They aren’t comfortable and ruin the flooring. This has done wonders with making me feel professional and it contributes to the quality of my work.
It’s always fascinated me how our clothes make us feel and behave Claudia. I can go from feeling absolutely shattered to on top of the world with the right outfit and a bit of lippy! I’m sure your clients appreciate you dressing up for the calls. I think it shows them you care.
I too found myself going down the ‘frumpy’ route for a while as I adjusted to and coped with a changing body and menopause a few years ago. I really enjoyed your summer Get Your Style Sorted and it was lovely and inspirational seeing the women who you have transformed such as Annette!
Thanks Valerie for your lovely words! It was so great to have you at the style masterclass last year. I’m pleased you enjoyed it so much. You look fabulous, about as far from frumpy as possible! x