Outfit anxiety has always been a thing - that dreadful feeling of opening your wardrobe and having no idea where to start and what on earth to wear - but after a year of staying indoors and wearing nothing but loungewear, the thought of life now returning to 'normal' (and therefore needing to wear actual clothes in front of actual people) is bringing most of us out in hives!
And it's no surprise really. Over the last year we've been thrown into a situation where life was literally turned upside down, we went from getting dressed and thinking about what to wear every single day to absolutely nothing at all. And despite feeling as though life had stopped, we as people still continued to evolve, be that physically, mentally, spiritually etc. Our bodies have changed, we as people have changed, our taste has changed, even our priorities when dressing have changed #ComfortIsEverything yet for the most part our wardrobes and outfit ideas have stayed static.
So, as always, to help you girls feel a little better, here are my top Stylist tips to ease those anxious feelings:
1. Dress for Yourself
If you like it, if you enjoy it and if it makes you happy, wear it. Mimicking others' outfits, following a trend just because it's a trend or wearing something because you've been told to will never make you feel good because it's not authentically you. Just do you.
2. Plan your outfits
A very boring, adult piece of advice but seriously, thinking about the practicalities of the weather, settings and activity beforehand will save you so much time and panic on the actual day. If, like me, your outfit depends on how you feel on the day, plan yourself a few options. I would even go as far as to plan right down to your underwear.
3. Show off the bits you love
In an ideal world, we would all love every single inch of our body, however, in reality we all suffer from the odd hangup which can contribute to our outfit anxiety, and lockdown may have made this worse. The key is to focus on areas of your body that you love/like/are okay with. Bring attention to these areas and notice yourself feel more comfortable and confident. If you'd like to know exactly what your body shape is, how to style it and how to dress in a way that shows off your favorite bits, take a little look at booking a Style Session.
4. Be comfortable
After spending a year in elasticated waistbands, trainers and lets be honest...no bra, comfort has definitely risen to the top of most of our priority list. The majority of us have finally realised that beauty doesn't need to be painful and that actually being truly comfortable is so underrated. Look for alternatives to your usual uncomfy items e.g. Is there a different style of jean that you could wear to replace skinny jeans? Would block heels or wedges be better suited to your lifestyle than stilettos? If you're struggling to find suitable alternatives, an Online Shopping Session might just be the answer.
5. Give yourself a Wardrobe Edit
Editing your wardrobe can help with your outfit anxiety in a number of ways. Firstly, it will give you a much better picture of what you actually have so you'll automatically have some ideas of what you can wear. Secondly, it will encourage you to remove items that no longer fit your body, your lifestyle or your personal style anymore, these are the items that tend to distract us from the quality items in our wardrobe and make us feel like we have nothing to wear. Thirdly, you'll have less choice which means easier decision-making. And finally, when you put everything back it will give you an opportunity to get super organised so that future outfit planning is a doddle.
I have an incredible guided workshop that can help you to edit your wardrobe independently exactly like a Stylist would, but if you'd prefer me to be on hand and do it with you, you can book a Wardrobe Edit.
6. Remember no one cares or notices
Nobody knows what other options you had in your wardrobe and there is also no such thing as perfect. I can guarantee that every single one of your girlfriends has questioned the outfit that they're wearing but to you they all look perfect. It works both ways, they equally think that you look perfect. The harsh reality is, nobody notices or cares deep down what your outfit is like because they're too focused on their own*. Once you realise this, you will feel truly liberated.
*There will be the odd person who is judgy and mean but that's a reflection on them, not you. Happy people don't say mean things.
7. Be sure of yourself
The most badass women we look up to are badass because they rock whatever they want with confidence. That's how things become trends, you'll remember Mean Girls when Regina George had her vest cut so you could see her bra, but she rocked it and the next day everyone was doing the same - I'm not suggesting we all become Regina Georges cuz she was a meanie, but rock that boobie vest! Set your own rules and if you're still a bit nervous, use these Confidence Cards to give you a boost.
8. Build a capsule wardrobe
As I said above, the less choice we have, the easier decision-making can be. Trial out a capsule wardrobe for a week. Pick 10 items that you'll be able to mix and match and wear only these clothes for a whole week. See how much easier choosing your outfits is. And again, if you'd like some advice or support with it, book a call.
Admittedly, some of these tips are easier said than done, but we all have to start somewhere on this journey to feeling more comfortable in our own skin and in our decisions of how we want to represent ourselves.
Comment your thoughts below and let me know if any of these tips help you with your outfit anxiety as we bid farewell to the lockdown life.
If you found this post super-useful but would like some more detailed advice, join my upcoming workshop. Let's start loving ourselves a little more.