AS with any break-up you, can cite the ‘It’s not you, it’s me’ line — but in this case, it is you and we are ready to move on.
It has been over a year in your comfortable leggings and sweats and the novelty has worn off. As one of my clients recently said to me, ‘I am ready to wear actual real clothes again. I’ve had my fun, but it is over as it is affecting my self-confidence and self-esteem’.
At the start, back in March, 2020, we thought it was going to be a few weeks of working from home and home schooling, and our natural survival instinct was understandably to seek the feeling of safety and security. In a world where we had no control, we could control how we felt. We wanted to feel safe, secure, cosy and comfy and there’s nothing like leggings and a hoodie to bring us that feeling, it was like swaddling a baby in blankets. We were cocooning and it felt safe.
No judgement here, I barely got out of my jammies that first week as I came to terms with the enormity of the unfolding events, concern for my parents returning from Spain, five of us and puppy at home 24/7, my diary cleared of all the amazing events and clients.
Let us examine some of the adverse effects behind the comfort-at-all cost approach to getting dressed:
There is no shame, we are all doing the best with what we have in the current circumstances, but weight gain has been a side effect of the last year.
More than half of women have said they have gained weight due to Covid restrictions, coining the phrase Quarantine 19. It is no surprise, as routines have been disrupted, stress increased, and it has been unclear as to when things will return to normal.
In the whole scheme of things, it is no big deal if you put on a few pounds. It is only an issue if it is adversely affecting you, getting you down.
Wearing regular clothes reminds us if they are a bit too tight, and everyone has their own gauge and marker!
Male and female have both masculine and feminine energy in them. Our feminine power is so beautiful. Many of us tap more into our masculine power, striving, achieving, goal setting, its go, go, go, which is not bad per se, but it is nice to return to the feminine. Clients have expressed to me that, in wearing baggy, comfortable clothing, they feel they have lost touch with their femininity and miss the confidence of that silky fabric, flow of the skirt, etc, to help them embrace their feminine confidence and wisdom.
How do your clothes make you feel?
B.C. (before Covid), many of us would have used our clothes as a tool to separate the lifestyles of our lives e.g., work life, home life and leisure time. That separation has been eroded as we are at home or working from home so there is no separation mentally or physically.
In the past year. you could have gotten away without wearing a bra (except on the highlight of your week, to do the grocery shopping, where aisle five has become your runway!).
Our clothes have subconscious associations, for example leggings or joggers say down time, chill out, relaxation. That is not a problem if that is the feeling you want to evoke, but if you want to kick ass and have world domination on your agenda, then you might want to dress like the woman you want to become to elicit these powerful and confident feelings. Your clothes are talking. What are they saying?
It breaks my heart listening to clients, saying they are not feeling comfortable with their bodies. I totally understand, believe me I have had those moments too.
But hiding from yourself and others is not the answer, self-acceptance and compassion are. Confidence is a muscle and now we may not be getting to flex and build it. It’s time to face the mirror and the music.
· Choose materials with the give and fluidity - we are not ready to don the spanx anytime soon.
· Elevate a pair of tailored joggers and pair with a tee, trainers and denim jacket or blazer and heels to ease yourself back into ‘real’ clothes.
· Knits with jeans or tailoring are an effortlessly way to up your style game.
· Accessories e.g. scarves and statement jewellery,put a look together giving it that considered yet casual vibe.
· If you have nice items, I invite you not to keep things for good. We wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time so lets change the dial and get our wardrobes working for us.
· Transition dressing, if you have put on weight, I recommend that you buy a few transition pieces that fit and flatter your current shape. You deserve to look and feel fabulous every day. So, what if you put on a few pounds, celebrate that you have survived and come out the other side of a global pandemic.
There is light at the end of the tunnel. Think of the brighter days ahead and how you want to look and feel. Enjoy!
Sharon Huggard, The Style Coach, helps women who are hiding and holding themselves back, because they are carrying a bit of extra weight. For many years they have measured their self-esteem and self-worth on the scales. Sharon helps them to create a look you love and dress with confidence every day!