Do you ever feel like sometimes life is a little bit grey? But not in the good silk tie kinda way?
Feeling a bit same old same old?
Need a bit of a shake up?
I often get that feeling. The need to liven things up a bit, dust the cobwebs away and reinvigorate my soul.
In fact, I have this habit of moving the furniture around in my house every 6 months, just so I feel like the room is new. Does anyone else do this, or am I slowly turning into Lawrence Lewellyn-Bowen? I think I watch too many makeover shows and have an unhealthy addiction to Pinterest, but it always makes me feel energised and fresh, even if it is short term.
I have been having that feeling again recently, but rather than my home decor it is ME!
THE WARDROBE CHALLENGE!
I truly believe that the way we feel on the inside is usually reflected on the outside and Visa Versa.
I have never really been someone who thinks about fashion or adheres to trends or style. I never had the cool trainers or bought into brands and logo adorned clothing, apart from one Addidas tracksuit that I lived in throughout 1999. In fact, I have always been someone who really doesn’t give a crap about their looks all that much and is a staunch comfort queen.
3 years of wearing nothing but monochrome jogging bottoms and old, stained tops at Drama School, rolling around on top of each other in dusty studios, no makeup on, hair scraped back, rubbing your face in warm-ups and generally looking like a deranged foetus, whilst sounding out the atmosphere of the ocean, does not a glamour puss make!
All the energy for looking good went into performances. That was dress up time. Fancy, colourful costumes, thick war paint on and corsets, heels and Spanx shaping your body into unnatural spinal contortions. Pretty hurts, but it’s so much fun!
And don’t even get me started on being a mummy and how the exhaustion, sheer amount of vomit, faeces, snot and other bodily fluids ruin your appetite for getting dressed whatsoever. I literally spent the first 3 years of motherhood in the same bloody hoodie and yoga pants just to keep the laundry pile smaller.
I did go through a phase of cute dresses when I went back to work but generally have always been best friends with oversized cardigans, floaty yoga pants, work boots and my good old trusty leggings. I am quite a cold person as well, so love a good scarf to add to the pile of material, hiding everything about me.
For work I will make an effort though- I am not a complete disaster. I do have nice clothes and a crazy awesome collection of Poetic Licence and Irregular Choice shoes, (that I don’t really wear because I don’t wear heels – but hey, they are sooooo pwetty!)
Outside of my job, however, I tend to wear the same thing over and over again. I play it safe and like an easy life. A lot of grey, black, navy and brown… Plus, choosing outfits in the morning, when you have to get a reluctant 7 year old out the door, is just too much like hard work! I am generally rocking a bird’s nest hairdo being held up by a pen from my handbag, my child’s socks, because I didn’t pair mine up and a tea stained cardy. HOT!!!!
Now, I am not saying I am about to start dressing like one of those yummy mummies that I hate, with their Hunter wellies, riding jodhpurs and £100 Joules macs on – good god, you live in the suburbs – not rural Oxfordshire! PUT DOWN THE TWEED!
But who am I to judge? They probably think I am in my pyjamas!
So, I was at work the other week and was wearing a new wrap dress-coat I had bought. Nothing too fancy, but I loved it and decided it was right for the job I was doing. A character choice if you will.
At the end of the session, a client came up to me and said that she had wanted to tell me how she thought I was beautiful. How the way I moved, held myself and generally my presence always struck her and how she just had to tell me that she thought I was stunning! She continued on for 5 minutes and we ended up having a lovely discussion about how women needed to boost each other more often. (Feel kinda shit about the Farmer’s wives now!)
So WOW! Not only to get such an ego-boosting compliment at all but for such a beautiful thing to say to a woman who considers herself to look more like Oscar the Grouch, was such a touching moment. Compliments can be hard to take, but this one had me all goosebumpy and welling up inside.
Now, apart from the fact that I walk away from the session, sashaying to my car like I am Queen Bey at the Grammys, it also got me to thinking.
I am my most confident at work, for sure, so that plays a huge part. My entire job is to have presence and charisma and to work a crowd etc. so that all makes sense. Energy and engagement are what I do, whether I am acting, facilitating, speaking in public or teaching. They all require me to BE ON! So of course people get that from me, because I am doing it on purpose.
But, I also think it was the DRESS!
It wasn’t a sexy outfit by any means. In fact, it was a huge floaty burgundy thing that I thought made me look like a wizard for a job I was doing on The Tempest! But I felt awesome in it. I felt like magic!
So, I want to set myself a new challenge! Not a huge one but one that is going to require some effort!
I am going to take a stab at dressing to feel a bit more badass – just for me.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not about to throw away my cardigan collection just yet, or start buying the latest waxed jacket, but I am going to make bolder choices. I need to change things up a bit, make time to reflect my personality a bit more and to dress in ways that make me feel, well a little bit more magic!
This sounds like quite a superficial challenge, but is ultimately about confidence and self-care as well, about bringing the colour back into my wardrobe that I love so much and have slacked on in recent years. I am going to start showing off my body instead of hiding it under mountains of layers.
So today, as I go off for the day, I am wearing a bright yellow dress and have dyed my hair red! (I have a cardigan in my bag, just in case!)
Welcome to my Fort Kids – It has colours, confidence and sashaying badasses in it!