This happens to me, I wake up and all of a sudden have an urgency to write about something that has been pulling on my heart strings (without having realised it). The upside is I get so excited I don’t waste timing putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), the downside is, I don’t plan the post, which means you lot could end up reading a lot of babble…
Over my years of styling various people in various careers and walks of life, as well as following my own journey of ups and downs, one thing I have come to realise is that no matter where you are at or what you are doing we all benefit from feeling good. Ive been through periods of feeling great, possibly because Im fit and healthy, and other times of feeling really miserable about myself, probably because Im going through a slump, not keeping up with exercise and poor diet. That’s step one, feeling good from within. Following closely on the heels of step one is looking good, dressing well! Whether I’m fit or not I need to maintain a level of style in my life otherwise I begin to feel even worse. Ive noticed when I have let myself go a little on the dressing front I really do feel awful. I totally can see how I’ve let this slide over the last couple of years and I’ve decided this year, whilst I certainly don’t have a new wardrobe to parade, I’m going to try and be clever and think out the box, whilst Ive adapted to a more classical look (for simplicity) I will try to add a (teeny tiny) edge to give it a touch of “me”, and these small efforts, I know will boost my happiness. I will be trying my best to get fit and eat cleaner (mental note to self – stop eating children’s leftovers). Ive seen it through so many women, how taking care of appearances boosts confidence and happiness. Everyone has their own level of standards and they know when they are at their best or worst. I could feel amazing in myself but to others out there look very average (hopefully nobody would tell me that – haha) and visa versa, but if you’re healthy and fresh faced then you should shine from the inside out and that counts for everything. Once you’ve started with your body and mind you then move onto wardrobe and dressing well, present yourself well to show you care. So that rounds up the bit about confidence and serotonin.
Next up is style. Style is a very personal thing, Im sure everyone knows that. Everyone has their own style and way of expressing this. Style is not stepping out in the latest Zara/Topshop/Country Road and H&M haul, very far from it. It is a slow and progressive collection of pieces that build up a wardrobe of pieces that you should always love. They should be able to be worn with confidence and ease, if you ever feel uncomfortable in something, it’s not you, take it off and get rid of it. Sell it, pass it on, alter it. Being trendy is not stylish! Dressing to suit your character is a good start although there are many women and men out there who battle with what works for them and will seek advice which is a great start. I certainly don’t try and do my accounts, Im hopeless, so somebody else does that bit. I do the parts I love and feel capable of doing and that is what we should all be doing. Seek advice or help in the areas where you lack the ability to do it yourself. My aim this year is to feel like Im trying my best from a wardrobe front (next mental note to self, try ditch all my t-shirt wearing and certainly NO more Havaianas every day)… if I want to wear a t-shirt, Im going to put it with something really striking at the bottom (haha lets see how this unfolds). A friend popped in yesterday and said, wow look at you, is this just you strolling around in your best. I have been “trying” a little harder this week, wearing bits that haven’t had a look-in in forever! So Im pleased to to say it never went unnoticed. I’ve often had compliments on pieces that I’ve worn that are really old, but that’s where choosing a timeless shape helps as it doesn’t look outdated in 3 years. That’s the bit about Style…
Now onto sustainability. Like many others that share the same values out there, Ive become extremely conscious of our human footprint on this planet and Im desperate to be less of a consumer and more of a recycler. We can all do little bits which will add up to a lot. My goals for this year are to grow as many of my own veg as possible, buy less plastic, not purchase one plastic water bottle, I will continue to recycle all my rubbish as we have done for years and use earth friendly cleaning products (in fact vinegar is best, but Im not quite there yet). Being fully sustainable is quite a task and can be very overwhelming when thinking about absolutely everything we can and cant do, so baby steps makes me feel better and less stressed by it all. Whilst there’s no way I will never ever buy another item from a high street store again, I am taking the saying “Buy Less. Choose well. Make it last.” literally. (Thanks Viveinne Westwood). When buying a dress for a wedding or special occasion, choose something that really suits you and that you absolutely LOVE so you will want to wear it for years to come. Choose classic tailoring, simple sneakers, coats and jackets that suit your frame as well as being timeless. AND if you can buy from small business’s that are using sustainable practices & fabrics as well as having ethical values. Choose raffia, straw, cotton or vegan material handbags over leather.
So how do these three topics all roll into one another? Well its simple. Feel good, care about yourself, increase your serotonin levels by starting with the your health and fitness. Style in turn makes you feel better, care about your appearance and I can promise you, the amount of people that I have seen transform in front of my eyes has been extremely gratifying. Do good for your planet where you can and feel better about making a difference. Transform yourself but be sustainable at the same time, choose carefully and don’t get sucked into consumerism, chasing the next trend. Sure, from year to year you may want to update your wardrobe from the chunky knit to the twin set but generally trends like that last at least two seasons (so two years) before feeling the need to switch things around. Small updates can make all the difference and if you choose the classic version of a trend it’s likely to go the distance. Keep it Simple! But hey, this is nothing you haven’t heard before, right 😉
I leave you with some of my favourite classic looks (most have been on my Pinterest boards for years, at least 3-4, and I still love them), so it shows, choose well, it lasts.
Have a fabulous week ahead everyone.