Harriet Waley-Cohen

This is a guest blog post, kindly written by Harriet Waley-Cohen.

I’ve got a confession to make. Last Saturday, I bought a dress in All Saints that I didn’t need. I hadn’t gone out to buy anything in All Saints, one of my favourite shops, I’d popped in for a quick ‘browse’ on my way somewhere.

But then I saw the dress of gorgeousness. Before I knew it, the dress and I were getting acquainted in the changing room. It fit perfectly (I’d sort of hoped it wouldn’t so I could move on, but sometimes, you have to roll with the punches in these situations). It made me feel rebellious, sexy, glamorous, effortlessly cool –  the kind of ‘oh I just threw this on and here I am, looking a million bucks on the school run on a summer’s day’ feeling.

Later that day I showed it to my best friend and she ooh’d and aah’ed over it too. She could see how much it lit me up.

It was definitely a ‘non-essential’ item, aka a bit of a naughty purchase.  But is there really such a thing if your finances permit? I don’t think there is.

Allowing myself to invest in and wear things that make me feel confident and gorgeous, even if they aren’t 100% necessary, sends a powerful signal to myself, and my body, about how much I value, respect and support myself.

There don’t need to be any guilty thoughts of ‘I shouldn’t have done that’ attached.

Many years ago, I never used to invest in nice clothes, essential or otherwise. I was ashamed of myself and my body, and my clothes were a reflection of that. There were many ways that I treated myself not too lovingly. Now, I like and respect myself, and I dress and shop accordingly. Allowing myself to buy things that make me feel that good is an investment in my ongoing self-belief and mental health.

Do you allow yourself to invest in yourself and your wardrobe in non-essential yet truly supportive, nourishing ways? Perhaps you allow yourself a massage, but blowing the same amount on a new pair of shoes seems like a waste. Well, I beg to differ. So long as you aren’t shopping as a distraction or fix, and so long as you have the money, do it! Show yourself you love, respect and value yourself by allowing yourself a frivolous purchase from time to time that makes you feel a-ma-zing. You won’t regret it. If you’re in any doubt, ask your bestie if you deserve it and you’ll get a resounding ‘hell yes’ right back at you.


Harriet Waley-Cohen empowers women to know their true value, to believe in themselves and their potential. Having transformed the lives of thousands of people over the last 15 years, she takes women from self-doubt, disempowering habits and overwhelm to confidence, health and success. She is described by Vanessa Vallely OBE as ‘a real powerwoman who empowers others wherever she goes.’

Harriet is hosting her first one day retreat in London on Saturday 18th May called ‘Goodbye Not Enough’ – showing women how to let go of feeling not good enough, forgive themselves, and then live a life filled with inspired and loving behaviours that reinforce and create self-esteem. And that includes guilt-free, non-essential dresses that make you feel amazing! Goodie bags included…

Full details of the retreat are at http://goodbyenotenough.com

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