Or, in this case – woman.
I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that I’ve just had my colours done. You may well ask why I feel this way and, in truth, what I actually feel is a bit daft. Daft that, at my significant age, I doubted my ability to select a wardrobe for myself without outside aid. Especially as it wasn’t that many years ago I felt entirely smug about my capsule wardrobe.
A key problem is that I’ve been working from home for over 10 years now and don’t feel I ever quite got the hang of looking put-together-and–professional casual. I’ve no problem with down-the-pub casual, and walking-along-the-beach-taking-pictures casual, but dressing for this increasingly important part of my life continues to elude me.
Last year’s preponderance of Zoom calls brought this home to me in a big way and, as I’m going to be doing some live promotional work on various social media platforms, I want to avoid what I call “clothing drama”, for I’m going to be nervous enough as it is. On top of that, having recently lost weight, I need to fill lots of gaps and, being fussy about quality of fabric and cut, I don’t want to make expensive mistakes.
I know at least some part of my wardrobe problem relates to what Himself calls my catholic guilt. I’ve always bought more expensive items – entirely without guilt – on a cost per wear basis, as I happily wear the same small wardrobe year after year after year. But if I’ve made a poor choice, or haven’t worn something to death yet, I’ve a tendency hang on, forcing myself to wear those items, even if they make me look less than great.
In preparation for my social media marketing, I’ve done a fair bit of work to get me past the stage fright I’ve suffered since a schoolgirl, but knew what’s been missing was that extra buzz of confidence you get from knowing you look your best. It’s been so long since I last gave it any serious thought that I decided to invest in the outer me too. While thinking about what form that could take, a pattern emerged among my fellow budding online entrepreneurs, that those who’ve moved most comfortably and confidentially onto social media are the ones who’ve had their colours done.
My report has now arrived, so we can move onto the “did I learn anything useful” question?
Having allowed myself to be persuaded into making my wardrobe more colourful, I find it’s drifted away from capsule into multiple coloured separates which don’t work with each other (and in some cases, with me). I’d also fallen for the stereotypical belief that by joining the ranks of grey-haired old ladies, I’d suit paler icy tones whereas, it turns out that my long term style choice of “black with pops of bold colour” is what actually suits me best. No wonder I’ve been suffering from wardrobe drama. Having already carried out a weight-loss related wardrobe cull for sale online, I’ve added those items which are just OK rather than flattering.
But before you think otherwise, this isn’t an excuse to have a shopping binge – oh no… for I’m not a fan of clothes shopping at all. However, I am finding that by confidently sticking to a narrow palate of colours, I’m able to speed up the browsing process to a level which is bearable. Knowing the reason for my consultation was the upping of my presence on social media, my consultant helpfully suggested I focus on accessories – scarves and jewellery predominantly – in other words, items which will appear close to my face. This advice also allows me to make only few major purchases while my weight is in transition.
The report also addressed make-up. Now, I’m a very low maintenance gal in terms of skincare routines and make-up, nevertheless I like my little effort to have the maximum effect. Having always been all about the eyes, I’ve now learned the power of just wearing the right lippie – especially if one also wears glasses. It’s only taken me 60ish years to learn that one… Having not even touched my make-up bag for the past year, this is one area where I am allowing myself a bit of a binge, as it turns out most of the contents are either well past their best by date, or have completely dried up.
The report gave me the confidence to say (if only to myself): “I do know what suits me” and so ignore well-intentioned advice sent in my direction. It also reminded me that while putting effort into working on the inner me, it’s not a good idea to totally neglect the outer me. Balance in all things.
How important are clothes to you? Does your appearance impact on how you feel about yourself?
© Debra Carey, 2021