getting dressed up

When Did You Last Get Really Dressed Up?

Do you remember the last time you really made an effort and got dressed up?make up feeling dressed up

I’ve got a confession to make – I’m not dressed up!  I feel a bit of a fraud sitting here in jogging bottoms and a t-shirt writing this!!  But my excuse is that I’ve just applied a liberal dose of fake tan!    I was feeling a bit pale and wintry but a slap of St Tropez has made me feel so much better!

However I’ve been carrying out a little experiment over the past few weeks and it’s proved my theory.  I have been applying make up even if I’ve got a day in the office.  I also add add jewellery and a nice pair of jeans/top.  Result I feel better and am attracting more clients.  Somehow I don’t think that the two are disconnected.

 

Most Of Us Feel More Confident When We Look Fabulous.

For many of us this means wearing an outfit that really makes us feel good.

business suit getting dressed upReading a  forum thread on this subject it was interesting that many of the guys commenting said how much more confident they felt when wearing a decent suit.   Many women feel empowered when they wear heels.  But so often we dress down and find ourselves relaxing into a casual/comfortable look.

Look back at photos from the 1950s/1960s and it seems like people made more effort and really dressed up when they went out.    I remember that even in 1960s my father never visited the pub without a cravat and shirt.

Now it seems a greater social faux pas to be over dressed rather than under dressed.   Is it because we have a real desire to fit in or we don’t really have dress codes any more – other than ‘smart casual’?  A term that strikes terror into many of my client’s hearts!  How do you define smart casual or is it just a cop out?? A subject for another blog, methinks.

So why don’t we get dressed up anymore?  I personally believe that there are a plethora of reasons as to why our approach to getting dressed up has changed.    I thought I’d explore a few here and then invite you to comment.

1. Price of Clothes And The Value We Place On Themfast fashion dressed up

Fast fashion has seen clothing getting ever cheaper and as a result I believe we don’t value it as much.  When we place less value on something we treat it with less respect.

Go back 50+ years and people would have only had a couple or handful of outfits to wear when they were going out. They took more care and pride in their clothes.

2. Cultural Changes

Undoubtedly the huge cultural shifts from the 1960s onwards had a massive impact on fashion.  At first this was a trend towards breaking cultural norms in fashion.

Fashion became more about standing out and making a statement.  Pop culture, to glam rock, power dressing from 1960s to 1980s.    All about making a statement and for most people unless they worked in fashion, PR or the creative arts, a distinction was needed between a work wardrobe and a dressed up look for going out.

The grunge and gothic look of the 1990s started to then set a more casual trend.

3. The World Got Smaller!laptop lifestyle dressed up

Well of course it didn’t physically but in terms of how we started to copy others’ dress cultures it certainly did.

This seems so relevant to the workplace.   A European influence of men not wearing ties, to the US ‘dress down Friday’  – that’s now become more Monday-Friday both having a huge impact.  This has come not simply from films and TV influences but also US and European companies coming over and setting up in the UK.

Also, as more people work from home whether for an employer or self-employed, the dress down culture goes hand in hand with the laptop lifestyle.

4. Activities Valued Differently

It used to be custom for people who traveled by air to get dressed up. Air travel was a privilege and was treated as such.  Cheap airlines and flights have put paid to that particular trend and now (quite rightly) comfort is key.

Although from experience I know that when I traveled for work and took a change of clothing with me on the flight. I felt better if I’d made the effort to put on make up and change my outfit before we landed.

Recently a keen theatre going friend and I were discussing why going to the theatre is no longer an occasion where you get dressed up.  I personally don’t believe that this is about theatre tickets being relatively cheaper.  But, especially in London, I believe that many of us combine a trip to the theatre with other activities.

5. Athleisure Trendsneakers dressed up

This sports style dress down look of trainers; jogging pants and gym wear doubling as Streetwear started a few years ago.  It started to really gain traction in 2014, and industry statistics show it started to take market share from the jeans market around this time.

The growth in health and fitness trends has undoubtedly also had an influence on this lifestyle trend as well.

Wouldn’t it be lovely if we did make more effort to get dressed up occasionally?

getting dressed upClothes can be so powerful in terms of impacting the way we feel about ourselves.

In Brutally Honest by Melanie Brown, she describes how putting on sexy figure hugging dress transformed her.  She discharged herself from hospital against her doctor’s advice.  The dress and make up meant she was able to take up her role as a judge for the 2014 X-Factor Final.

So I’m inviting you as we enter the Festive Season to think twice and get dressed up!  Put your sparkly dress on and celebrate with family and friends.  Your Onesie or Christmas Jumper won’t be offended if they end up back in the wardrobe!

Why not leave me a comment to let me know any reasons you believe we don’t get dressed up anymore?

 

Finally…..

My top tip…. If you want a very simple way to get dressed up then simply put on a simple plain dress or top and put on some sparkly accessories to complete the look!

 

 

 

 

 

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power of clothes to influence our mood

You Have To Love The Power Of Clothes

This week’s post is my first hand experience of the power of clothes.  How clothes have such an impact on our emotions and way we feel.power of clothes to influence our mood

Two weeks ago I was bitten.  I didn’t take much notice and it seemed to be healing, albeit slowly.  Well that was until 6 days after the bite when I found myself in A&E being treated for Sepsis.   My health had deteriorated at an alarming rate over the course of a couple of hours.

I’m well on the way to recovery as I write this having been prescribed three different courses of antibiotics (my poor stomach) one administered intravenously and two orally.  Why am I sharing this?

Well a few reasons really.

 

1. Thank You To The NHS

I was so bowled over by the treatment and care I received at the hands of the NHS. I’ve acknowledged this on social media and want to use this platform to shout out again.

We put our collective heads in our hands about the health service a lot of the time. But we really do have an incredible service that we should recognise and help to fix.   Let’s not let it crumble or disintegrate.

There are amazing and wonderful people who work within challenging circumstances. Everyone I came into contact with had a smile and wanted to do the best possible job.

2. The Power Of Clothes

  1. What could I wear that was practical for the doctor to examine me and didn’t necessitate me getting undressed? Also I wanted something comfortable that could accommodate my swollen leg.
  2. I spent three days as an outpatient in Ambulatory Care with a cannula in my arm and a drip. I wanted to feel good. This wasn’t about being vain.  It was a brilliant illustration of the power of clothes.
  3. I’d been coveting a pair of leopard print jogging pants but had been practising my own money saving tips! I’d put them in an online basket and abandoned them.  Well money saving went out the window.  I ordered them immediately!
  4. Leopard print jogging pants and silver baseball boots did it for me. Walking the walk (well hobbling) I felt the true power of clothes to impact our mood.  How clothes can impact the way we feel about ourselves.  Even the sordid Jeremy Kyle Show on the hospital TV didn’t bring my mood down.
  5. Don’t save it for best. You’ve heard me talk about what a waste that is!  Well having been rushed to A&E by a husband who was scared witless that I might die… adds a certain degree of poignancy to life.  I’d been planning to wear those jogging pants occasionally. Again if the power of clothes was so strong to make me feel better what was I thinking?  Bottom line I’ve worn them almost every day since I bought them!

 

3. Don’t Take Life Or Each Other For Granted

My gorgeous husband went through hell.  He’d heard me saying that I thought going to A&E on a Sunday afternoon was a good idea.  Unheard of in 37 years of marriage!

He saw the way I went from feeling a bit under the weather to struggling to stay upright in a few hours and being whisked into treatment within minutes of arriving at the hospital.

We’ve talked about the way it made us feel.  It’s a good reminder to always make time for that extra cuddle.   We’ve talked and laughed lots in the past 9 days.  We’ve not got frustrated over the things that simply don’t matter.

Not only have I had a great lesson in the power of clothes.  But also I’m even closer to the love of my life.  Pretty good result I’d say!

power of clothes and accessories

The Power Of Clothes Isn’t Just About Clothes

It applies to accessories too.

A favourite scarf or necklace can have a massive impact on the way you feel.

I’m planning to set up and run an online accessories course to show you how to accessorise in style but am asking for feedback first in response to a very short survey.  If you’d like to take part in the survey that would be amazing it’s anonymous but if you add done to the facebook post then I’ll be sending you a special gift to say thank you.

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How To Be A Positive Influence On Body Image

chris hoy body imageLast week you may have seen my rant on FB against Sir Chris Hoy’s insensitive remarks about MAMILs (Middle-Aged Men In Lycra).   I was outraged that Sir Chris, a great role model for sport, could be so crass.  How dare he criticise people who were trying to lead a more active lifestyle?

However, before I get overheated again, as the T-shirt I’m wearing is non-wicking, I should say that he redeemed himself 24 hours later! Sir Chris put his bike into reverse and admitted that his words were harsh. Thanks, Sir Chris, you went back up in my estimations for that!

Body image hits the news stories almost every day. This week seems to have seen particular frenzy but they all have all have a worrying theme. It seems like we’re spending a lot of time worrying about what we look like and obsessing over unhealthy body images.

Consequently Sir Chris’s comments prompted me to share some of this week’s stories, as I want to reflect on some of the issues.

Sir Chris Hoy: MAMILs Over 8 Stone Shouldn’t Wear Lycra

First of all I’d like to say that anyone calling out anyone for what they are wearing when they are exercising needs squashing fast!

These ‘Lycra Shamers’ need to think about what it’s taken that person to get into the gym, out running/training or in to the swimming pool. Consider how self-conscious they might be feeling about showing their bodies to strangers.

Gyms can be intimidating places apart from anything else many of them have walls full of mirrors. While these are not actually for self-adulation, they can add to any feelings of being self-conscious when you’re working out.

How people feel about the way they look in gym clothing does sometimes prevent them from exercising or scares them off from regular attendance. Instead let’s be inclusive and encouraging.

You Must Talk To Your Sons About Body Image

I’ve seen at least two articles this week about the alarming growth in muscle dysmorphia among teenage boys. It’s the male equivalent of size 0 where adolescents and Millennials are striving for the perfect ripped effect.

The concerns are that this is leading to a culture of gym obsession, overtraining, and an unhealthy relationship with food. Again this is about tipping points and what is a normal relationship with eating well and exercising to what becomes a emotional and physical health risk.

A friend commented on a post I’d shared on FB. One of her sons is a normal healthy looking boy who is panicking that he’s fat. As she said it’s such a difficult tightrope to walk for children and parents supporting them.

TO THE BONE POSTER BODY IMAGEDon’t Talk About Diets In Front Of Your Daughters

This story dominated the front page of the Evening Standard on Wednesday.

Deputy Headmistress Fionnuala Kennedy was compelled to write to parents of pupils at Wimbledon High School after watching ‘To The Bone’ (Netflix Drama). To The Bone, according to critics, glamorizes anorexia.

Ms Kennedy was horrified that teenage girls would watch this drama over the holidays and use social media to discuss the points it raised.

Consequently she also used her letter to parents to stress the pressures faced by young girls in regard to their bodies.

She urged parents to act as positive role models.  Furthermore her advice was that parents constantly talking about dieting or following a restrictive diet were not acting in the best interests of their daughters.

Pink Packs A Punch With VMA Speech To Her Daughter

Pop singer and crusader Pink used her acceptance of the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award this week to communicate a powerful message about positive body image.

Pink relayed a conversation with her six-year old daughter who had told her apropos of nothing “I’m the ugliest girl I know. I look like a boy with long hair!”

Pink is often criticized for being too masculine and she posed four powerful, questions to Willow. “I said to her, ‘Do you see me growing my hair?’ She said, ‘No, mama.’ ‘Do you see me changing my body?’ ‘No, mama.’ ‘Do you see me changing the way I present myself to the world?’ ‘No, mama.’ ‘Do you see me selling out arenas all over the world?’ ‘Yes, mama.'” And that’s how it’s done.

Images of Slim Women Distort Our Perception Of Body Imagebody image

We are continually bombarded with images of extremely slim or underweight women by mass media.

This is having a negative impact on women’s health according to researchers at the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland.

The researchers claim that looking at images of slim women for just 15 minutes changes our perception of the ideal female body.

So does this show that if we were exposed to less ‘thinspo’ and a more achievable body image that we’d have less eating disorders and negative body image. I suspect that the media has an influence on women who are already vulnerable – I don’t subscribe to a theory that we become anorexic or depressed simply by looking at images.

So What Does All This Mean?

Good question! My own views are:

  • Offer positive support to anyone making an effort to lead a healthier more active lifestyle. Encourage them and don’t make them feel awkward.
  • It’s our duty as parents, teachers and influencers to educate the younger generation. Offer them a safe environment to share their concerns and worries.
  • Don’t set a bad example. As a child I remember that my mother was often on a diet. This influenced me and was a sub-conscious contributor to my own eating disorder.
  • We shouldn’t blame the media for causing a distorted view of ideal body image. But I strongly believe is that the media is an influence. However, so does Society and our good old friend social media.

Now it’s over to you. Please share your thoughts and views on this. Do you agree with my comments? If not what are your views? How can we improve our perception of ourselves without obsessing about body image?

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clothing choices confidence

Clothing Choices: How To Have A Great Day

 

clothing choices confidence

I left the house today for a series of meetings and wanted to make an impact.

It was hot and I was going to be spending a lot of time in the car and wandering around.  So I chose a sleeveless sundress which wouldn’t crease when I got hot.   There’s nothing worse when you’re wilting in the heat to think that your clothes are dissolving into a heap too.  I also chose some distinctive sandals.

But there were deeper reasons why I decided on this particular outfit.  The last time I’d worn it had been to a fashion event in London and I’d received some great complements.  I’d worn it before at a networking event and several people had told me I looked lovely.

Complements make us feel good and give us confidence.  While basing our clothing choices purely on the opinions of others isn’t a great idea, there’s nothing wrong in having our own decisions about our wardrobe ratified.

It worked! Five minutes after I’d parked the car I was stopped by a lovely gentleman who told me what a beautiful dress I was wearing.  He went on to say how he loved to see people when they really made an effort to dress well. Result?  I had a very successful first meeting (not with the gentleman who had commented I hasten to add!).

My second meeting was also a great success and by the time I got to my third meeting of the day I was flying high as a kite (nothing to do with the quantity of caffeine ingested!).

Conversely do you find yourself resorting to well-worn comfort clothes when things aren’t going so well?  Our clothes can have such a big impact on us that it can distort our thoughts and judgements said Professor Karen J Pine.

The clothes we wear affect our behaviour, attitudes, mood, confidence, and how others respond to us.  Termed “Enclothed Cognition“ by Adam Galinsky and Hajo Adam.

clothing choices impact our behaviour

Let’s consider each of these elements in turn.

 

The Way We Behave

Take my example today.  I had just received a complement about my appearance, which reinforced my decision on my outfit, but more importantly made me feel fabulous.   The energy I exuded was positive and bubbly and helped to build the rapport quickly with the other party.

I’m not the only one testing this theory!  There have been more scientific studies have been carried out than my example today!

In one such study 50% of students taking a cognitive test were asked to wear a white coat. They were told that the coat belonged to a doctor. The students wearing the coat performed better in the tests than those who were not wearing the white coat.

We attach a symbolic meaning to our clothes. So using the doctors coats as an example. We associate doctors as:

  • Careful
  • Meticulous
  • Rigorous
  • Educated

 

Our Attitude

Today my outfit choice meant that I was feeling really positive.   I didn’t have to try hard I could simply be myself in meetings, feeling confident will automatically help us to relax.

Again this theory has been tested by psychologists.  In a study carried out at Harvard, this was tested by giving participants a pair of sunglasses.

Half of the group had been told they were wearing genuine designer sunglasses. The remaining members of the group were informed that their glasses were fake designer sunglasses.

The group was then given a competitive game as an exercise.  Those who were told they were counterfeit glasses were more prepared to cheat in a game that the group was assigned. They were also more suspicious of others!

Our Mood

How do heels make you feel? Most women feel more powerful when they are wearing heels, they act more confidently.  I certainly do although wearing heels was not even a consideration for  me running around between meetings in 27 Degrees!

So can our clothing choices have the opposite effect?

One woman I know has a ‘grumpy jumper’.   If she’s going through a low period she allows herself to put on the grumpy jumper and to allow herself to work through the emotions. When she is ready to face the world again the grumpy jumper gets consigned to the back of the drawer.

We can choose to dress for the way we feel when we get dressed. Alternatively we can dress for the way we want to feel.    I work from home a lot and my clothing choices around the house are pretty casual when I’m at my computer all day.  But when I come back from a meeting although I do get changed into jeans, shorts etc, I’ll usually leave my jewellery on.  It’s amazing how different this makes me feel.

clothing choices heels

Our Confidence

Who has heard of the Red Hat Society?   The idea originated from Sue Cooper in 1997.

Sue  bought herself a red fedora from a charity shop for $7.50 as a present to herself to celebrate her 50th birthday.

She immediately noticed how confident, liberated and playful she felt when she wore her red fedora. So Sue started to buy her friends a red hat for their birthdays. They added a purple outfit to their red hats and so the Red Hat Society was born.

With over a million members globally the Red Hat Society is a sisterhood. It’s a powerful social group which has helped to empower women. They spread their playful and positive approach to aging across the world.

A date for your diary – 25th April – The official Red Hat Society Day.

clothing choices red hat society

How Others Respond To Us

A study carried out at University of Hertfordshire, participants volunteered to have their photo taken in roughly the same body position.

The participants were asked to complete a questionnaire about their mood at the time they got dressed that morning.  After they had been photographed the research team pixelated out their faces from the images.

A second group were given the images and asked to determine the subject’s mood purely from the clothes they were wearing.

The study revealed a high level of accuracy in being able to determine the wearer’s mood by sampling looking at the clothing choices.

 

So how can we give ourselves a confidence boost every time we get dressed?

 

Know Your Colours

If we wear the right colours we look healthy and radiant. Other people are drawn towards us and want to engage with us.

They won’t necessarily know why they are drawn to looking directly into our eyes.

This can be really powerful if you’re meeting with someone and want to ensure their attention!

Conversely if we wear the wrong colours we can look tired or unwell. The colours may overwhelm us and people can be distracted by what we are wearing.

Have you ever been asked if you’re feeling okay, but until that point you’d been feeling fine?  What’s your reaction? Do you surreptitiously start feeling your forehead? Or do you make an excuse to disappear to the loo and poke your tongue in the mirror?

Well don’t – chances are that you’re simply wearing the wrong colours!

finding your style recipe

Understand What Suits You

Sadly most of us spend far too much time worrying about what we don’t love about our bodies.

80% of women are unhappy with their body image in the UK

87% of women opt out of an activity due to the way they feel about their body

These statistics are frankly frightening.  These findings are from the survey commissioned by Unilever as part of the Dove BeReal Campaign.

Wearing clothing that flatters your body is going to make you feel more confident. This applies to all of us, regardless of gender.

Style is a game of illusion. We can use styles, patterns, prints and textures to draw the eye in certain directions and change our shape. Conversely we can draw unwanted attention by wearing the wrong thing.

Take one very simple example. If you are a petite woman with an oversized handbag, this will have the effect of making you look even more petite.

Equally if you are a large scaled woman, and you carry a small clutch bag you will look bigger.

 

Clothing Choices Are Just About Colour and Style?

Not really we also need to think about our personality and how this is visible from our clothing choices.

With seconds to make that vital first impression, how much easier is it when someone ‘gets us’ immediately.

93% of communication when we first meet someone is non-verbal.

While our clothing isn’t the main factor in that non-verbal communication, it has more than a bit part to play.  So how do we express ourselves through our clothes?

By thinking about our clothing choices and what they say to the world.

Someone who is looking to appear calm and serene is hardly likely to rock up in a neon pink jumpsuit.   This is an extreme example but illustrates the point.

clothing choices reflect our personality

Discovering Your Style Recipe

When you’re thinking about the messages you want to communicate I’d recommend you start by doing this exercise. Keep a journal based on you, your wardrobe and your clothing choices.

The things you will be taking note of on a daily basis are:

  1. What Was I Wearing – remember how your clothing choices made you feel. Are there some pieces that are your ‘go to outfits’, in which you feel really confident?
  2. Do some items in your wardrobe attract complements when you wear them? They might not be clothes but could be accessories. Note these down too.
  3. Are there some colours that you wear that attract more complements or make you feel happier when you wear them?

Do this exercise for at least a couple of weeks.

When you’ve done this see what emerges. You will see some patterns emerging from your clothing choices. Whether it’s colours, shapes, fabric textures.

Take photos of the clothes that make you feel special and the ones you receive complements when wearing.

Look at the images – what words spring to mind? Become more mindful of the clothing choices that make you feel fabulous. This in itself will do wonders for your self-confidence!

I’d love to hear from you about your experiences of the way your wardrobe can help you to have a really fantastic day.

If you’d like to explore how I can help you to discover your style and make clothing choices that help you to feel fantastic, why not book a 30-minute call with me?

 

 

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national eating disorders awareness week

Mum Planned The Best Birthday Present Ever

I was delighted to be invited on to Radio Veralum last week.  I was asked to come on the station to help promote awareness of eating disorders.  As this week is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

I didn’t need asking twice.  You can listen to my interview here.

Why am I so keen to share my story?  To raise awareness of a mental health condition that is still taboo to many.

Around 725,000 people affected by eating disorders in the UK.  We need to stop sweeping the crumbs under the carpet.

Our Perceptions Of Eating Disordersnational eating disorders awareness week

Let’s be honest eating disorders are not pleasant.

Most people love food and eating.  Food represents nourishment.  Mealtimes are for many, a social occasion.

We don’t want to think about someone vomiting after eating because they feel guilty.

We would rather not consider laxative abuse.   Laxative abusers deceive others into believing they do not have a problem with food.

Eating disorders have a far wider reach than simply sufferers.  Loved ones and family feel totally frustrated and helpless when the can’t reach those affected. .

 

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

By making it more acceptable to talk about eating disorders, we break down social stigma.  We make it easier for others to come forward.   We’ve seen this with other taboo subjects, such as child abuse.

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week is one platform to raise awareness.   But let’s not forget we need to keep the conversations alive for the other 51 weeks of the year.

Beat is the UK’s eating disorder charity.  One of their key messages is to push for early intervention.   Research shows that early intervention has a huge impact on full and sustained recovery rates.

What does early intervention mean?

  • Spotting the signs and symptoms of eating disorders.  This is not always easy as sufferers become adept at deception to avoid detection.
  • Once someone has summoned the courage to seek help that GPs take action. GPs need to recognise symptoms and takes an appropriate course of action.
  • Sufferers are referred on to the services able to offer immediate treatment.  This is a big ask with the pressures faced by the health service.

 

About Radio Veralum

Radio Veralum 92.6FM is a community radio station staffed entirely by volunteers for St Albans and surrounding areas in West Herts.

Radio Verulam aims to enable local people to become involved in radio broadcasting.  It connects with local community, charitable, social and voluntary organisations. The station serves listeners of all ages and backgrounds living in St Albans and the surrounding area. 

 

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eating disorders

Eating Disorders: Just Grateful To Be Free

Eating Disorders and Size 0 Models* have hit the news again this week. This must mean we’re coming up to Fashion Week!

eating disorders fashion week

Tears Of Relief It’s No Longer My Life

Only this week I’ve read five articles about eating disorders. I’ve also pre-ordered former model Victoria Dauxerre’s autobiography Size Zero *2.   Tears welled up in my eyes as I read Victoria’s interview in the Times Magazine on Saturday.

‘ Weighed myself: 7.7 stone, I would stop eating until I got back down to 7.4 stone and to speed things up I would do all my travelling on foot.   I walked for miles on end, taking big strides to keep me warm and to lose my excess fat…’

I was shedding tears of relief that this nightmarish existence of eating disorders is no longer part of my life. Not that I was ever a fashion model (Ha!!) and I wasn’t being told to lose weight for the sake of my career but I was living with the hell that is anorexia.

eating disorders size 0

How Bad Is The Problem

Earlier this week I shared an article on Facebook about Amanda Prowse’s latest book Food Of Love*3 and her view that most middle aged women suffer from Eating Disorders or have a poor relationship with food.

The article elicited an interesting response from my followers. It showed that (thankfully) there are women who simply do not have or have not been exposed to eating disorders or a poor relationship with food.

A couple of weeks ago I gave a presentation and shared some of my story.   A Mum of 3 teenagers asked what advice could I give her to protect her children?

Her question got me thinking that perhaps there are people who do not have a clue what dealing with eating disorders is like. But the flip side is that would they recognize it if someone they loved developed an eating disorder?

I was de-cluttering over Christmas and came across some old diaries. I’d originally intended to just shred them, but had hung on to them for some reason.  I want to share a few extracts.

Why? If this helps raise even more awareness of eating disorders or gets one person who is suffering to seek help, then it’s been worthwhile.
eating disorders

When Annie Was My BF

August 12th 1981 – 8st 5lbs

Only 3 days until our wedding day now and I’m just below my target of 8st 7lbs – hurrah! But it’s my hen night tomorrow. We’re going to Cody’s for a meal, can’t eat during the day tomorrow. I’ll get out of the house so that Mum doesn’t notice.

October 20th 1982 – 7st 0lbs

Tried to shave my armpits this morning and couldn’t get the razor properly into my armpit as it’s now so concave… Mustn’t tell M as he’ll only worry.

May 21st 1983 – 7st 2lbs

Went shopping at Brent Cross today. Looking for a new pair of jeans. Only managed to find one pair that fitted – the rest were too big! I told M how fed up I was but secretly I felt really good.

July 3rd 1983 – 7st 4lbs

Feeling sick. We’re off to see the specialist again tomorrow at the Royal Free – dreading the consultation.

July 4th 1983 – 7st 4lbs

The Consultant wanted to admit me. Told me it was for my own good and I just burst into tears and pleaded with the doctor not to.  Mum and M, who had gone with me, took me outside.   When I’d calmed down I begged them not to let the doctors admit me. I promised I’d try harder to put on weight.

Eventually they agreed and persuaded the doctor to let me go home. I was allowed to on the grounds that I’d put on 3lbs before my next visit.

July 18th 1983 – 7st 7lbs

Done it – got the doctor off my back and can celebrate my 21st birthday tomorrow.

July 19th 1983 – 7st 7lbs

21 today! We had a great day at the East of England Show, but Mum, Dad and M were not impressed that I insisted on getting back for my 7pm aerobics class. But I just couldn’t miss it as I’d eaten more than usual for lunch.  They couldn’t say much as it was my birthday!

December 25th 1983 – 7st 8lbs

I was up at 6am so that I could sneak out to do a 6-mile run and be back before M woke up.  Christmas is such a struggle as I feel like everyone’s watching me and what I eat.  Really pleased with myself as I only had 4 peanuts and 3 Neapolitan chocolates apart from the ‘roast with the trimmings’ all day. Just hope that was enough to stop the scales rising tomorrow.

September 17th 1984 – don’t know and panicking

It’s the first day of our holiday in Zante.   Our first holiday abroad!

We headed into the town to look round and get breakfast. M got really angry when I struggled to find anything I felt was okay to eat. In the end I had a bowl of yoghurt.  Don’t know how I’m going to get through the next two weeks without weighing myself every morning.

My only salvation is that I’ve brought my trainers so I can still run every morning.

October 16th 1987 – 7st 10lbs

M was mad with me this morning when I got back from my run.  He’d been listening to the news – apparently I’d been running in a hurricane!   Okay so there’d been a fallen tree over the B656 and lots of water… It was pointless telling him that I’d had to go.  My day had been ruined when I got up and found I’d put on a pound.

eating disorders scales

Eating Disorders Were Part Of My Life

I look back on these entries now with mixed feelings. I’m angry that eating disorders ruled my world for so long. But equally my eating disorders shaped (no pun intended) me into the person I am today.

There was less information available in 1980s when my descent into anorexia took hold. It was long before the vast resources of the Internet were at our disposal.   So in a sense it was easier to hide. I could let it be my ‘normal’ and I was not challenged about it as much as I would have been with greater awareness.

We Must Keep Talking And Sharing

What is important though is that we don’t stop talking about eating disorders and thereby raising awareness.

Anyone can be affected by eating disorders. They are not confined to young women struggling with their identity and body image.

Eating disorders are a mental health condition. While there are symptoms relating to food, this often masks the underlying turmoil of sufferers.

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week is February 27th – March 5th in the UK and B-eat, the UK’s leading charity has a lot of information and suggestions on how you can help support their vision to overcome Eating Disorders.

I will be on Radio Veralum just after 11am on 21st October. I will be sharing my story and adding my voice to those creating more awareness.

You too can help by sharing this post on social media and remember ‘Alone we can do so little together we can do so much’ – Helen Keller

 

Size 0 Models* Is Size 0 still an issue

Victoria Dauxerre’s autobiography Size Zero – My Life as a Disappearing Model *2

Amanda Prowse Food Of Love*3

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self care and your wardrobe

Do You Practise Self Care With Your Wardrobe

self care put on your own oxygen maskPut on your own oxygen mask before helping others! I love the air travel safety briefing analogy to demonstrate the importance of self care.

As women we are excellent at putting ourselves to the back of the queue when it comes to caring and nurturing.

We are far more likely to put family, friends, our employers or our clients first.

While on one hand this is very commendable long-term it is not sustainable.

To use another analogy, how can we drive everyone home from the party if we have no fuel in the car!

What does this have to do with your wardrobe? Plenty!

Self care includes looking and feeling the best version of yourself you can possibly be!  You will be more confident, resilient and full of energy if you know you look fantastic!

In this post we will look at the bad habits we develop with regard to our clothes. I’m betting you are going to be nodding or squirming when you read some of these! This is fine so long as you take steps to stop those habits right now!

Give up the self-loathing habit

Loathing is a strong word but let’s face it that’s what we do! As women we tell ourselves that we have fat thighs, bingo wings, chunky calves, the list goes on!

self care stop loathing your body

How often do we tell ourselves that we have a fantastic butt, we have stunning eyes, or we have gorgeous boobs?   That’s right not often enough!!

But rather than focus purely on our physical attributes we should be focusing on a more holistic approach and considering our:

  • Inner Qualities
  • Unique Gifts
  • Blessings
  • Resources

Focus on our positive attributes physical, emotional and spiritual to see how much better you feel.

Tip: Create a list of the above that apply to you.

If lists aren’t for you then perhaps you can do this as a collage or a mind map? It needs to be something you can refer to regularly.  Don’t just bury in a drawer!

 Stop Comparing!

This is another human trait, which we frequently exercise and women tend to practice more than men.   We believe that others look better, slimmer, and prettier or have more style than we do ourselves.

self care is not comparing yourself to others

We will be looking at other women with rose tinted spectacles and glaring at ourselves in the fat mirror!!

It’s very easy to say stop but much harder to break a destructive habit. I suggest you try to write down three nice memories at the end of each day.

It doesn’t have to be about your wardrobe, but as we’re focusing on self care and your wardrobe it could be a good place to start!

For example: perhaps you wore a favourite necklace and someone paid you a complement about it.

Tip: try this for a week and see if you notice a difference in how you feel about yourself and how you feel in comparison to others.

 Dress for Now!

Hands up anyone who has put off going shopping because they don’t love their bodies?

We justify our decision by telling ourselves that we’re just going to slim down a dress size, or we are going to lose weight.

anorexia

Investing in new clothes can be a great incentive to losing weight or getting in shape. BUT if you have a weight loss goal that may take some time to achieve you owe it to yourself to look and feel fantastic while you are losing weight.

Be honest with yourself – are you reluctant to go shopping because you may need a bigger size?

Many women (myself included) struggle to admit we need a bigger size.

I’ve left clothes on the rails because I couldn’t get into size 8 and would have to buy a 10! Over time I’ve learnt to accept that correct fit is much more important than size.

 Tip: Lumps and bumps show – unlike labels. If it helps you then cut the size label out!

You are worth full price!

How often do you find yourself gravitating to the sale rail when you first enter a store?

self care do not buy bargains

Hands up from me again as I used to do this every time I went shopping!

This wasn’t about budget or bargain hunting (though I might have justified my actions that way!).  I really was not practising self care but the subliminal message was that I was not worth full price.

How often do you find that reduced price item still lurking at the back of your wardrobe months, even years later unloved and unworn?

You may be very lucky and find a genuine bargain but the primary reason that items are reduced is because they haven’t sold at full price. Retailers are discounting to shift stock, not because they want to be generous!

 Tip: If you only shop from reduced items you’ll find yourself compromising.

You may accept that the colour or style is not right but it’s a bargain. Guess what you will not feel or look fantastic when you wear that outfit.

 Stop saving it for best!

How many of us buy something that we love, looks amazing and then we don’t wear it.

We tell ourselves that we are waiting for the right occasion or it was expensive, so we’ll keep it for best.

I am not suggesting that you wear a sequin dress to do the weekly supermarket shop (although it could be fun with a friend and a camera!).

self care is about self love

But if you buy something you really love and makes you look and feel fantastic then maximize your investment!  Practising self care means  treating yourself with love and respect.

If it’s a top or pair of trousers find as many ways to pair it up as possible!   A dress? Then accessorize using different jewellery or scarves.

I love wearing maxi dresses in the summer and my favourite is a clingy grey number that always makes me feel sexy.

I wear with heels and suede fringed jacket for smart look; denim jacket, bright chunky jewellery and flats for a boho style or on it’s own with a scarf.

 Tip: Start creating and stop denying yourself – you are worth it!

self care love yourself

I hope that this post has given you a flavour of how you can practise self care with your wardrobe.   Give my tips a try and see if it makes a difference.  I’d love to hear from you if you find any of my tips work or if you’d like to offer some of the ways you practise self care with your wardrobe.

If you need to practise some self care and learn to love yourself I’ve created this free template to help you.  Why not download it today?

 

 

 

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eating disorders are not about food

725,000 Are Affected By An Eating Disorder

eating disorders are not about food

725,000 people suffer from an eating disorder in the UK according to a recent report by Price Waterhouse Coopers*.

Women are most likely to develop an eating disorder, although the study found 11% of sufferers were men.

Adolescence is often the time that an eating disorder surfaces. But they have been diagnosed in children as young as 6 and adults in their 70s.

There are three main categories of eating disorders Anorexia, Bulimia and Binge Eating.

10% of eating disorders are diagnosed as Anorexia.  Anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder.

You cannot tell if someone is suffering from an eating disorder by looking at them.

So Why Am I Sharing This?

I planned to publish this post during National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, but something held me back. I battled with the ‘should I/shouldn’t I’ monster for a few days and before I knew it, I’d missed the window.

But last week I had an inspiring discussion with someone who had overcome eating disorders.  She had both bulimia and anorexia. It was that conversation that led me to kick the ‘shouldn’t I monster’ into oblivion. Awareness week may be over but this doesn’t mean we should forget or ignore eating disorders.

eating disorder monsters

My Eating Disorder

As a child I suffered from continual bouts of tonsillitis, which made eating painful. I was 6 when I had a tonsillectomy and then I discovered food!

My mother, ecstatic that she no longer had a fussy eater, overcompensated! The result – one overweight child!

But at the same time I was receiving mixed messages.

My mother was always on a diet and would live on crisp bread and lo fat cheese long before it became fashionable to do so!

While I do not blame my parents, it’s often said that children who develop an eating disorder have one parent they idolize that pushes them hard. Enter my Dad! He had the best intentions, but put me under enormous pressure.

Telling a family friend that I’d got 98% in a French test, she remarked you must be proud.

Dad’s response was Carol’s disappointed she didn’t get 100% – err no she wasn’t actually! Given that I was 11 at the time and still remember this as if it was yesterday …

eating disorder parent pressure

Leaving school at 16 at college I lost weight, gained shape and self-confidence. I started to feel good about the way I looked.   My confidence suffered a huge setback though when my boyfriend made a negative remark about my figure.

Years later I realized this was the ‘trigger’ that sent my teenage desire to look good into an obsession that spiraled out of control.

For 20 years I was an anorexic/functioning anorexic/recovering anorexic as I battled with my own self-esteem issues and the desire to have control.

At my lowest point I was almost hospitalized a couple of times. As other sufferers can testify, deception becomes an art form. So while the admission forms were being prepared I set about convincing the medical team that hospitalization was not necessary. Once the pressure was off I slid gracefully back into my pattern of self-destruct behaviours.

 

How did my eating disorder affect my life?

Putting aside the physical signs and symptoms, Anorexia is a mental health disorder.  It is much more than an eating disorder.

It’s complex and manifests itself in different ways. Let me share with you how anorexia gave me a the control over my life that I didn’t believe I had.

The scales governed my mood for the day. I would weigh myself every morning.eating disorder scales

If the needle had gone down it would be a good day, stayed the same it would be okay, gone up and disaster!

I would immediately be thinking of ways I could reduce my food intake, purge my body, fit in another exercise class to burn more calories.

I was addicted to routine. The idea of spontaneity filled me with horror.   The suggestion of going out for a meal without enough planning of how I could burn off the inevitable extra calories would bring me out in palpitations.

The closest I got to this was a barbecue with friends – we’d been out for a drink and they invited us back for an impromptu barbecue. I made the excuse that I had to go home and feed the cat.

On arriving home I put on my running gear and headed out for a run, so that I felt I could justify eating. I then showered, fed the cat and headed back to the party.

eating disorder barbecue

The more that people commented on my slender figure, the more this encouraged me. I was being admired, as I’d not been as a chubby teenager.

It certainly affected my career. I lacked self-confidence and didn’t push myself forward. It was easier to stay in jobs that I’d outgrown than to risk my fragile self esteem teetering on the edge of my comfort zone.

 

How Did I Overcome My Eating Disorder?

That’s a really good question!

It certainly wasn’t an epiphany and neither was it the result of therapy, a life event or wakeup call.

It was a step by step process. I came to terms with food and not purging my body whenever I felt I had overeaten, before I cut down to more moderate levels of exercise!

Running, swimming and step aerobics every day (yes, all three!) finally took its toll on my body! I ignored injuries and did not give my body a chance to recover.

At my worst I insisted on going running on icy pavements with my arm in plaster.

On another occasion I ended up in hospital under observation, having gone running while suffering from concussion.

eating disorder exercise addiction

My running shoes were packed and taken on almost every holiday. Although even I couldn’t figure out how to get a decent run in when we went skiing! But that meant I would only go to hotels with a decent sized pool so that I could finish a six-hour skiing day with a mile swim!

Finding out I couldn’t have children sent me on a guilt trip. It was never diagnosed if this was down to AN. However, I saw a positive side, as I’d never have deal with a post pregnancy tummy!

When my marriage ran into the rocks my immediate reaction was that the stress would mean I’d lose weight!   A lifeboat saved my marriage but had little effect on my body image.

But as for recovery? It was a gradual process of coming to terms with my body and starting to realize that I didn’t need to be a size 6 to be happy. Injury meant I had to find new ways to exercise and establish a more balanced lifestyle.

Who To Turn To?

If you have or believe you have an eating disorder, it is important to find someone to talk to. If you do not feel that you can talk to anyone you know then Beat* offers a helpline and lots of advice.

Eating disorders are tough not just on the sufferer but on loved ones too. Sufferers will say that it’s vital for their recovery to have the unconditional love and support of their family and those around them.

My own experience showed this to be the case. Looking back I wasn’t always fun to be around. Despite my behavior, I was lucky that my family was always ready to pick up the pieces.

If you suspect that a loved one, friend or colleague has an eating disorder getting advice on how to approach them is vital. Beat has some great support and information.

Remember that an eating disorder is complex but can be treated, once the sufferer is ready to acknowledge the problem.

Do you have any experiences to share about eating disorders?  If so I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

Please share this post on social media, together we can create more awareness and help others.

 

*PwC – The Costs of Eating Disorders – Feb 2015 – commissioned by Beat.

Beat is the UK’s leading charity supporting anyone affected by eating disorders or difficulties with food, weight and shape

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new mum baby and sunset

The Truth About Your Body Shape Post Partum

body shape post part
Congratulations on your amazing achievement!

For nine months you have nurtured and now given birth to another human being.

But your body is not an elastic band and won’t simply bounce back into the shape it was before you fell pregnant.

It can take up to six weeks alone for your uterus to return to its normal size.

Therefore setting high expectations that your tummy will resume its pre-pregnant state within a few days of giving birth simply isn’t realistic. It can take from 9 months to 2 years for your body to recover after giving birth.

You may be feeling very emotional after giving birth, don’t become disillusioned about your body shape. Focus instead on your beautiful baby and allowing your body time to recover.

While you may be looking at your wardrobe in despair, let me give you a few tips and suggestions about how to be a yummy mummy rather than a slummy mummy!

body shape new mum

1. Don’t Ditch Them!

This applies to your maternity clothes as much as your pre-pregnancy wardrobe.

Treat your maternity wardrobe like a comfort blanket immediately after giving birth! Jersey tops, leggings, elasticated waistlines are your new best friends.

Don’t have a massive pre-pregnancy clothing clear out for at least a year. I know like you have the time and energy at the moment!

You may find that items you were wearing in your last five weeks before giving birth are too big almost immediately.  Either put these away for next time or get rid of them!

2. Fabrics, Colours And Prints

It may be stating the obvious but focus on easy care fabrics. You don’t need the additional work of caring for delicates or hand wash items.

Prints are always a good idea! You can pretend that the unidentifiable splodge of something regurgitated on your top is actually part of the pattern!

Now for colour, it may be tempting to wear black, for its slimming effect on your body.

Sleepless nights will take their toll on your complexion and you may look pale. Black will accentuate your tired look, as it’s very draining.

Alternatives to black are dark grey (charcoal or anthracite) or dark blue as alternative neutrals.  These have softer tones and will not make you so tired and drawn.

body shape prints can help

3. Dress To Take Attention Away From Your Belly

A new mum friend of mine phoned me in floods of tears the other day.

Her mum had offered to babysit so she could join another friend for coffee.

The lady in front of them in the queue turned round, smiled and asked my friend when she was due.  Needless to say she was really upset that a stranger thought she was still pregnant.

Luckily I was able to give her some advice:

  • Wear long line jackets, gilets, knitwear undone to create a vertical line down your body which will make you look taller
  • A printed top will help to take attention away from your belly.
  • Wearing a statement necklace will take attention away from your tummy
  • Wear a jacket open – it creates vertical lines and will make you look taller

4. Taking Shape

The idea of Shapewear may not be enticing when you’ve just given birth and your body is tender and painful.  But modern designs mean you can select different levels of control.

Shapewear can also help to boost your confidence about your body image.

There’s no reason why you can’t wear Shapewear shortly after a C-section but be aware that the area may be a bit tender.

Just be careful if you find yourself sweating as moisture building up round the healing area may encourage bacteria to breed.

There are brands who specialize in post pregnancy Shapewear such as Leonisa and post pregnancy belts by Belly Bandit .

 

5. Flats Are Your Friends!

In my last post about dressing when you’re pregnant I covered the flats v heels debate.

As much as you might be rushing to get back into your heels, your feet and ankles will still be swollen for a couple of weeks.

Being tired may mean you are clumsy. A sprained ankle on top of what your body has gone through probably isn’t a good idea.

It’s advisable to wait until the swelling’s gone down, before you start to wear heels. It may also be a good idea to stick to low or mid-height heels at least for a while!

body shape post partum

6. Bling Bling!

I’m not suggesting that you wear lots of necklaces, earrings and scarves when you are with your baby.

You might get away with it for a while, but equally if you’re breastfeeding you don’t need the distraction!

But come the stage when your baby is attracted to bright shiny objects and loose dangly bits they can stuff in their mouths, jewllery and scarves are not a good plan!

However, if you’re on a night off or having a bit of ‘me time’ accessories are an easy way to lift your look, adding sparkle and glam.

7. Bag It Up

One accessory that will be really useful for you and your baby is a fabulous new big bag!

Mums wave goodbye to small handbags the day they give birth.

A friend of mine wanted to buy his wife a present to celebrate the birth of their first baby.

I suggested that he bought her a big designer day bag. He looked at me as though I was nuts but he did take my advice!

He admitted afterwards that it was the best present he’d ever bought her. His wife was so ecstatic with his gift!

body shape new bag

 

Hopefully this post has given you some ideas about how you can make your wardrobe work for you and the new arrival in your life!

It’s important that you retain your sense of identity and remember that while you have a dependent baby you still need to look after yourself.

I was chatting to a young mum today who had her third baby six months ago.

The other two children are both under five. She has returned to work each time after having children and plans to do the same when her six month old is a year.

She looked incredible and she shared her secret with me.

She and her husband work their lives so that she can get to the gym three times a week. It’s her only bit of ‘me time’.

But it enables her to retain her identity and cope with the stress of having three children in quick succession! It’s also helped her body image.

 

Would you like some help putting together a Post Partum Capsule Wardrobe?  Why not download a copy of my FREE Guide Be Yummy Not Slummy!

 

 

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pregnant woman

80% of Pregnant Women Hate their Bodies

What better time to show off your beautiful body than when you are pregnant?

You do believe your body is beautiful?

Sadly 80% of women struggle with their body image when they are pregnant.

If you are pregnant and suffer from body confidence issues you may be consumed with guilt and anxiety.

  1. Guilt because you should be celebrating the miracle of new life growing inside you. However instead you’re just worried about your own body image.
  2. Anxiety that these negative feelings may transpire into resentment towards your baby. You may not love your baby as you feel you should because he or she has caused these changes to your body.

It’s important to acknowledge that these feelings are normal and that you’re not going to be a bad mother because you have these emotions.

woman pregnant body confidence

Having a maternity wardrobe that helps you to look and feel fantastic is a great way to improve your body image.  If you feel you look dowdy or frumpy when you are pregnant your body confidence is not going to be at its highest!

To help you I’ve compiled my five top tips to help you with your maternity wardrobe.

1. Underneath It All!

The most important item in your pregnancy wardrobe will be your maternity bras.   You want the maximum comfort and support for your growing tender breasts.

I would strongly recommend that you go to a lingerie specialist and have a proper fitting and get advice on the styles that are right for you.

You will want to consider looking as you start to outgrow your current bras.   This may be around 8-10 weeks but will vary between women.

Sleeping bras can also be a good investment to give you more support and comfort at night.

As for pants you may wish to continue with your G-strings and good for you!

Being pregnant doesn’t mean you have to wear Bridget Jones Pants, there are alternatives which will help you to feel sexy and attractive.

You can elect for some pretty maternity thongs which sit under or over your bump, depending on what style you prefer.

heels

2, Move Over Heels

If you are a heels devotee, unable to countenance a life without your stilettos, giving them up is going to be difficult. Heels may give you confidence and you may feel frumpy wearing flats. But you will be more comfortable.

There are also sound medical reasons why you should put your heels away:

  • The increase in your body weight and changes to your body shape change your centre of gravity. This means you walk less steadily.
  • Your pelvis becomes more flexible during pregnancy as hormone changes help to make your body ready to give birth. The downside is that you may suffer lower back pain. Wearing heels changes your posture and may exacerbate backache.

If you really cannot cope with life without heels then at least lower the inches or keep them for special occasions.   If you want to wear heels for an occasion then maybe take a pair of comfortable shoes too for backup!

3. Comfort – Embrace It!

This doesn’t mean you need to spend your pregnancy in leggings and a baggy top.

You want to be comfortable in your clothes and not distracted by what you’re wearing, so consider the following:

  1. Fabrics – stretchy jersey will be more comfortable than stiff fabrics.
  2. Keep it natural – your body temperature will rise during pregnancy, natural fibres will keep you cooler than synthetics
  3. Accessorize –you don’t have to sacrifice style – dress up those simple leggings and tops with bold accessories
  4. Avoid buying clothes such as jeans in a bigger size to accommodate your bump. Pregnancy jeans are designed to give you comfort and style.
  5. Pregnant during the colder months? If you don’t want to invest in a coat to sit over your bump – consider a poncho.
  6. Maternity Camis – great wardrobe staple over which you can add a draped jacket or loose chunky knit sweater

pregnant woman in bikini

4. Don’t Lose Your Style

You will have more confidence if you express your style personality.

Do you think you should be dressing differently now that you’re pregnant? Perhaps as a Mum to be you feel that you should dress a little more conservatively than your pre-pregnancy style. Hell no!

Let me offer you some examples, depending on your style type:

  1. If you are a glamour girl, then consider a jumpsuit or simple dress in plain dark fabrics with bold jewellery to show off your beautiful cleavage!
  2. If you’re more of a boho romantic then maxi dresses will be perfect for you.  Look for Empire Line and for a bit of boho meets rock chick add a  leather jacket to finish the look
  3. Prefer a more natural style?  Then consider a boyfriend shirt or a long sleeveless jacket over a cami top and jeans.

pregnant woman

5. Before You Go Shopping…

Think about your lifestyle.   Remember your wardrobe needs to work for you and not the other way round!

Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What time of year is your bump going to be at its largest?
  2. Do you have any occasions coming up that you need to plan for?
  3. What items in your wardrobe can you still wear during pregnancy?
  4. What is your dress code at work?
  5. Where are the gaps in your wardrobe?
  6. If you are working out consider maternity gym wear
  7. Do you want to be able to wear your maternity wear post partum?
  8. Will you be going on holiday with a bump?
  9. What’s your budget?

Now compile a list or a vision board whichever works for you! Think about what you need before you hit the shops or Internet!

First stop will be to get your maternity lingerie fitted.   There are a lot of national department stores who offer a bra fitting service.   In my own experience I’ve found independent lingerie boutiques to be the most helpful.    My advice is to check out with friends or mums & bumps groups to find out who they recommend in your area.

There are lots of brands that offer maternity clothes.  Some of the high street brands have been criticized for being too frumpy. There are notable exceptions including Topshop who offer a more modern approach on maternity wear.

If Topshop is not your style there are some fabulous collections such as US Brand Hatch available in UK on Net A Porter. This brand is more expensive but the clothes can be styled to wear long after pregnancy.

Seraphine offer a boutique style and have a fabulous section on party wear – glamorous dresses to show off your bump!  Seraphim also offers a good range of workwear if you need to look smart during working hours.

 

pregnant

 

If you have experience of putting together a wardrobe when you were pregnant do you have any tips for mums to be about their wardrobe?  If so I’m sure they’d love to hear from you.  Please feel free to leave a comment below.

 

 

 

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