Vain trifles as they seem, clothes have, they say, more important offices than to merely keep us warm. They change our view of the world and the world’s view of us.’
― Virginia Woolf
I’ve learned that body size and shape don’t really matter when it comes to being well presented, and that clothing has an impact on your self-esteem. Have you ever bought an outfit that a sales assistant told you you looked great in, but felt self-conscious and lacked confidence when wearing it because you were just not sure about it? Have you ever noticed the change in posture and that little boost you get when you know that you look fabulous? The link between clothing and mindset is well established; if you want to read more I liked this article by Karen Pine, Professor of Developmental Psychology.
I also learned that when working from home getting dressed in the right clothing matters. When working from home If I tried to work in my PJ’s my day would be less productive and it would be harder to get into the right professional mindset than if I got dressed and prepared for the day. Even the phone conversations were easier when I felt I was dressed appropriately. It was an effort to shower and dress myself on those dark days involving the post-baby hormonal roller-coaster and no-sleep-induced exhaustion, but I felt like I’d achieved something small when I did.
You don’t have to love fashion to know that how you dress affects other people’s perception of you, and more importantly, how you feel about yourself.
Know, first, who you are; and then adorn yourself accordingly.
I’m not a very “fashionable” woman. I don’t follow the latest trends or shop for new clothes every season, and I’m OK with that. When I was growing up my parents didn’t have much to spend on clothing, so my mother would make our clothes and the rest we would get as hand-me-downs from friends at church or from op-shopping. Mum would turn op-shopping into an event and plan a day out with a few friends and a tour of various charity outlets in the area. I still have (and wear) quite a few of these secondhand gems that I wore throughout high school that I am still in love with, and will continue to wear until they disintegrate beyond repair.
However, over the past 5 years I lost touch with my personal style and ironically, because I didn’t want to spend lots money on decent clothing, I spent the money anyway on lots of “temporary” cheap clothing that I had no pride in. I’ve decided that I’m tossing the old wardrobe and going back to the mix of classic and vintage style that I love, only this time I’m going to try and make the clothes myself so they fit me perfectly too. And to help break me out of the cheaply made, generic and disposable fashion mindset I’m committed to not buying any new clothes for a year.
Also, I know my limitations. I’m a busy mother of two about to head back into full time work. I don’t have the time (or frankly the care-factor) to plan my outfit each day. This is why I’ve decided to build myself a capsule wardrobe of a few timeless pieces that I love and can wear for years regardless of fashion trends, and that I can throw together any top and any bottom and know that they go together. I also know that I’m not minimalist. These are not going to be my only items of clothing, but they’ll be the foundations around which everything else is built.
“A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.”
― Coco Chanel
And finally, I have been a strictly au naturel long-haired girl most of my life. But now? Things are different. I’m inspired and motivated, and what better way to signify my commitment to change than cutting off my hair? Just like Sabrina Fairchild (look at her portrayed by Audrey Hepburn above, stunning!). Such a huge change, and so liberating!