It’s amazing how putting on a new face, or a new outfit can make us feel so much more confident inside and out. I went from my working women outfits of skirts and dresses to my mummy uniform of Breton tops and pumps almost over night. Something of me got lost in a sea of stripes and pumps, and it took me a while to find myself again.
So much of who we are, and our identity and confidence is wrapped up in how we feel, and how we dress. I spent the whole of last summer thinking “I hate these clothes but I won’t buy anything new until I stop breastfeeding…”. Oh how I wish I’d burned them in a big bonfire, and gone out and bought some new clothes. I felt like I was trapped in babydom until I stopped wearing the uniform. I’m not saying that I didn’t love being mum to little one, I just wanted to feel more like ME again.
Going for a big shop with a personal shopper was a fabulous and time efficient way to find a new wardrobe that fitted my new working mummy life. I had two hours of shopping on steroids with the help of someone who was savvy and understanding… My personal shopper had a brilliant knack of connecting mummy me with the woman that I longed to be, but didn’t necessarily have the time to think about. A leather skirt that I could wipe down baby goop was certainly not something I imagined wearing, but it ticked the mummy box, and looked stylish and put together for meetings.
Wearing new clothes can help us create a new identity, and connect with the old self we left behind in the labour-suite. It was so empowering to create a new me, and new wardrobe.
I went to an event with No7 the other night, and had the same feeling again – this time with makeup. If you’ve been wearing the same old slap for a while because it’s quick, and works well. Having someone create a new look, and literally new face can really give you the confidence boost you need – especially when you’re going back to work, or just wanting to reassert yourself in the workplace.
How you feel on the outside can really translate to how you feel on the inside. I immediately reach for the red lipstick when I’m exhausted and I’ve been awake for much of the night with little one teething.
Make-up can really help if you feel vulnerable about your appearance if you have a skin condition such as acne or rosacea. As we get older, wearing that bit of foundation can make you feel more comfortable in your own skin, and ready to face the world. And when little one isn’t sleeping well, how this reflects on our skin! Treat yourself to some really nourishing night cream, and a great corrector and concealer can hide those bags!
Confidence does convey how we really feel about our self, and our looks. Learning to love your faults and lines and wrinkles doesn’t come easily for many, but if you practice acceptance then the results are definitely more than skin deep.
Practice saying in front of the mirror: “I love and accept myself.”… “I love my thighs (insert body part that you struggle with)”. If you say it often enough, you start to believe what you are saying rather than your internal dialogue of beating yourself up.
When you feel truly confident on the inside, you will also feel more confident on the outside. It might sound woo woo, but it really helped me learn to love my body, and in the process I’ve gradually slimmed down from a size 16 in 2000 to a size 8. I didn’t follow any crazy diets, I re-educated myself about food, and when I loved me, I didn’t have to fill that void with a plate of pasta, some harribos or a vat of red wine… I learned to love me and my body – wrinkles, rosacea, curves, and cellulite alike. I look back on me 20 years ago, and wish that I had my body now, and my confidence, but I wouldn’t have had the journey that I’ve been on.
Confidence is definitely more than skin deep, but spending a little time on you, and the way you FEEL about how you look will help you to feel stronger, more prepared, and definitely more confident wherever you are.