If I clocked all the steps I’ve ever taken as I walked into a clothing store and then wandered aimless around it and then meandered right on out of it having purchased nothing, I reckon I’d clock 10,000 steps in a day. Easy.
I am a hopeless shopper. Actually, correction…I’m a hopeless CLOTHES shopper (I have an unhealthy enjoyment of supermarket shopping…but that’s another story). I have no idea what I’m doing. I gravitate to black. And if that doesn’t work I look for something blacker. And stretchy. No zips or buttons. This is especially true since taking maternity leave from life three years ago, I have little need for structured clothing. When does maternity leave officially end by the way? Anyway…the point is my wardrobe (and I use that term loosely) consists of cheap and highly mass produced items that some poor underage worker from a country I know very little about has no doubt slaved over in order that I might avoid the real issue at hand.
And when I do shop I don’t buy clothes for my actual size, because, you know…I’m going to lose that weight ‘any day now’ so it’d be waste of money. Yeah, that budget saving mindset has been saving me money for close to 10 years now.
I don’t know how to shop to suit me. Not just my body but ME. The person that I want to present to the world…when I do in fact venture out into it, ‘cos let’s face it, mama tends to favour the couch and Netflix these days.
My husband thinks it’s hilarious and that it’s just the old clichéd cry of “I’ve got nothing to wear” from the wife who’s just maxed out her credit card and so she’s probably got a zillion options that she can pull out and at least say “this old thing?”. But this is not me. Hand on heart. I know because I’ve just done a big clean out in preparation for moving day in a week’s time. I donated anything I hadn’t worn in over a year. Anything that I looked at and said to myself “one day I’ll make that outfit work” and anything that I didn’t feel instantly comfortable in. It didn’t leave much. I also threw out a bunch of stained, ripped and ruined crap that no one deserves…not even for free.
Being uncomfortable with your body shape or weight doesn’t help either. Nothing fits, or feels like it should and you’ll believe any old bullshit the sales person tells you to make you feel good about buying that floral print dress with the side sash (Ok, so that’s probably a vision I had from a John Hughes movie because I’m pretty sure that such a thing does not exist on a 2017 clothes rack).
One of the main reasons I start fitness or eating programs is to just feel better about myself. Not to simply lose weight and get fit but to actually FEEL better. Most of the time I can accomplish that. I’m feeding my family and myself better and I’m moving more and doing more activity. But try as I might I simply cannot package up my ‘feeling better’ when the choices in my wardrobe tell the world I’m a couch potato who has most likely given up on life and is happy about it. The biscuit crumbs and wine stains probably don’t help.
I’m in a constant love/hate situation when I pass fabulously put together women in the street (and some men for that matter!). You know the ones…they look relaxed and comfortable, they’re always fucking smiling and have a handbag swinging from their bent elbow. Yep. Basically your standard #winningatlife look. The only thing I have swinging from my arm is an over-burdened supermarket bag and my teetering self esteem …while I hitch up pants that don’t fit properly and clutch at my shirt which was never a good wardrobe choice for someone as well-endowed as me.
So, with a few work/life projects on the go at the moment I’ve decided that the time is right for mama to get her shit together. I’ve decided that I want to be that person on the street with a #winningatlife look. Basically, Mama needs a makeover and if that’s going to happen then she’s going to need some help. Before I make mistake number 78,469 in my sorry history of clothes shopping I’m investing in a little personal development.
Initially I thought I’d get myself a stylist and she can come and look at my collection of Target Essentials and then take me shopping and I’d feel a million bucks after probably having spent close to the same to feel that way. Yeah…that plan didn’t really resonate with the household budget so instead I’m joining a dozen others who are also lost in wardrobe malfunction land at a two-day workshop this week.
I’ve signed up for a workshop that promises to help me to “get me and my truth out there confidently, so I can make a difference in the world”.
Among other things I’m going to get a step-by-step guide on how to detox my wardrobe, learn what my body’s assets are and what 53 pieces of clothing I actually need in order to be ready for anything. I assume that means anything other than walking over to the supermarket in my Birkenstocks and trackies…’cos I’ve got that look sorted.
Apparently I won’t be learning how to get “dressed for success” because sadly that notion, along with Roxette’s rocking tune, belongs in the 80s with its mates shoulder pads and scrunchies (dammit). And, get this; I don’t even have to worry about being trendy because “authentic personal branding has nothing to do with transient trends”. I’m not entirely sure, but my much-loved capri leggings may deem me ahead of the curve on this one.
So I’m a little bit excited even if the pre-work has me worried. We’ve been asked to bring up to five items of clothing, shoes and accessories that we love to wear and believe they best represent our personal brand. Hmmm…I doubt turning up a with a dozen of Wolf Blass’s finest is what they meant. But honestly, I think I’ll be lucky to bring one item! OK, probably two: a pair of boots and my ray bans. We’ve also been asked to create a vision board of looks we like. Again…crickets. I have no clue where to start. Apart from this gorgeous photo of Princess Diana from 1990…see? I have no clue!
We were also asked what we hope to achieve by the end of the workshop. Aside from a wardrobe that doesn’t hate me, I expect I’ll be able to leave the house wearing anything I own and feel like a Goddamn rockstar (of my own making). Is that too much to ask?
Time will tell. Stay tuned for my full report back.
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