What sort of value do you put on yourself?
Do you protect yourself like a beloved diamond ring? The kind that has a special place in your jewellery box, gets a regular yearly clean and comes out whenever you know you are in for a fantastic time? Or, do you treat yourself more like that badly chosen necklace that your Auntie bought you for Christmas, left to gather dust in the back of a drawer and rarely looked after?
I’m only asking because I’ve noticed a trend in women of a certain age. My clients often confide in me that as young women they loved to buy good quality clothes for work, and that they felt attractive and confident in these clothes. But, time and time again, the same women admit that they rarely do this for themselves now.
Is it the same for you? There are various reasons that might have caused this to happen. You could be suffering from one or more of the following:
- You spend the working week in a smart dress or suit and by Friday you can’t wait to pull on some trackie bottoms and live in casual clothes all weekend.
- Over the years your work has changed, you are now self-employed and/or work from home. This means that you don’t see anyone from day to day. You only occasionally have to get dressed up to meet with clients or your boss, so you’ve got a couple of good suits or dresses for that, the rest of the time you rely on a motley assortment of jeans and t-shirts.
- When you had children, the time, energy and money that you previously spent looking after yourself was refocused towards the kids. Fair enough. But, if your ‘kids’ are actually now doctors, or teachers in their twenties and you are still in the habit of neglecting yourself, it’s time for change.
- Somewhere along the way you’ve decided that you don’t deserve nice things.
I want this to stop.
After years of studying how women feel about their clothes, I now firmly believe that the way you feel about your outfit affects the way you behave and your lifestyle choices. Sometimes this has a positive affect and sometimes a negative one.
You know when you’ve had your hair done, but you aren’t planning to go out anywhere that evening – if your partner suggests a trip to the local pub, you are FAR more likely to say yes knowing that your hair is looking the best it’s going to look for the next six weeks!
Conversely, if you are spending all of your time wearing clothes that you aren’t proud to be seen in, you are likely to hide yourself away and hope that no-one will catch you looking so terrible. You will refuse impromptu outings because you aren’t dressed for them.
If that’s you every, single weekend, you might be missing out on a whole world of social happenings.
Some people are just more comfortable in low-key clothing (see my last blog post to discover why this is). But, being dressed down doesn’t have to mean buying your clothes in the supermarket and wearing them until they have lost all shape and the colour has faded.
How do you imagine you would feel dressed-down in a decent quality t-shirt and some comfy trousers that were in a flattering colour for your skin tone and a nice shape for your figure?
Wearing clothes like this could genuinely change your life (I’ve seen it happen!)
I wonder if it would give you more energy. Would it make you feel more inclined to go out for a walk, or hang around to chat with a friend or neighbour?
Often when women stop buying nice clothes it’s because they don’t feel they are worth spending the money on – whether it’s a career confidence thing or a body-shape changing confidence thing.
I would urge you to remind yourself that you are a wonderful human being that deserves to be comfortable on a dress-down kind of day but still can be happy with what you see reflected back at you in the mirror. Up-level your basics and ‘loungewear’ and see how it affects you.
Imagine yourself as that lovely diamond ring and donate that ugly necklace to a charity shop for once and for all. Because…. you are worth it.