Dressing to boost your confidence

Hello again! It's great to have your company, so thank you for joining me. Today I want to chat about what makes me feel confident, clothes-wise. It's not an easy thing to feel happy in your skin all the time and I certainly have periods when I struggle with the person I see in the mirror and how I feel about what I see. I think we've all had such a tough time of late with the less-than-normal life we've been subjected to over the past 20 months. For some we may have struggled with our mental well-being and for others it's been a battle to keep fit and trim when our lives were in lock-down with all its restrictions. With life still being far from back to normal it's understandable that our self confidence has taken a knock. Covid19 has a lot to answer for!

For me, confident dressing boils down to wearing clothes that make me smile. At the time of purchase when I try on a new item of clothing if it makes me want to do my happy dance then it's a winner. Whenever I'm felling bit low then I always make a bee-line for bright colours to lift my mood. My mood and self confidence pretty much go hand in hand; they both rocket up and down within the same scale. If I feel a bit lacking in body confidence then my go-to remedy will always be to pop on a dress as it can hide a multitude of sins. A loose fitting dress that skims over tum and hips can be a real confidence booster as well as making you feel very feminine. See the maxi dress I wore recently here. It's already a mainstay for work. 

Another new joy in my life is this Joe Browns Timeless Tea Dress, a perfect everyday dress for any time of year. It's currently on sale so do follow the link to grab yourself a bargain! I'm delighted to finally showcase this crochet cardigan by Karen Millen as I've been waiting for the perfect partner and here it is. I found this beautiful rust and brown and sludge green zip cardi in a charity shop a couple of years ago for the ridiculous price of £2.50! Layering is the best way to extend the life of what may be thought of as a summer frock; you could even add a thermal top underneath for a bit of extra of warmth. The tea dress is indeed a timeless classic and a real winner when created in such a pretty pattern with this warm palette of colours; green, orange and pink lend themselves to all sorts of happy mixing and matching. I've worn the dress previously with a long orange v neck sweater over the top which left the collar peeking above the neckline. A polo neck could be worn over the frock for warmth with a stylish twist. 

This is a new coat I was also gifted by Joe Brown's - it's called the Statement Checked Coat and does live up to it's name. Beautifully shaped to flatter the figure it's gem of a piece for the winter ahead. It ticks all of the boxes to make me smile and raise my confidence. Bold in pattern and bright colours mean it's a cheery find when I open my wardrobe. It's a good length for keeping the nether regions warm and also looks great with trousers. Of course, I'll show you that another time.

The big collar is perfect for keeping out the chills without the need for a scarf (I always seem to forget mine) and it's all the prettier for these flower shaped buttons. The check coat and floral dress team up so very well thanks to the harmony of green and orange in both. I do love a bit of pattern clashing and yet this is hardly a clash in my view.

Another of my confidence tricks is to create an outfit in my personal style; what particular style will definitely depend on my mood of the day. Quirky, more often than not, but other times I'll be channeling my rock chick or a touch of hippy chic or even an elegant, stylish and very grown up version of myself. I love to be a chameleon; to change up an item again and again is a joyful challenge for me and makes for an interesting life. And the easiest way to make a strong style statement is by adding accessories. Mine are more often than not from charity shops which serves my purpose well, bringing together items from all sorts of sources as well as different fashion eras. The belt, perspex rings and necklace are all very old and from vintage or charity shops. My sunglasses are from Radley London. Mixing old and new is a simple way to create a unique style and that makes me happy. We all want to be seen as individuals after all.

A bright belt draws the eye to the waist, a good indication that today I'm not suffering from tummy bloat or feeling too wobbly around the mid section. That may have been helped by the fact that only an hour previously I'd had my first sea swim for some time (howling gales have prevailed of late). I'm delighted to say that it wasn't too cold at all which was a lovely surprise. I was basking in the afterglow, the result of submersion in a calm, silky sea during a break in the clouds. It's totally life affirming, but I'm sure I've told you that many times before!

I've only recently purchased these Asos wet-look boots and must admit that they too make me smile. In my teens wet-look boots were soooooo in fashion and here they are again. The platform sole helps to make the high heel more comfortable and golly, how I love with them! I knew that they'd work so well with my new Joe Browns clothes - it's the main reason I bought them. 

I'm on a gradual clothes clear out currently and although I'm featuring quite a few new items here it's all part of my master plan. The clothes excesses are going, leaving only pieces that I love, and that goes for all of today's outfit. The gathering over the years of clothes that I thought would be useful or might come in handy - well, that's what I'm going to be turfing out first of all. Likewise anything that doesn't fit. I can't hope to lose weight forever nor hold onto things that are too big either in case I need them again. No, life is about today and my clothes have to be what works now. I'm working on creating a clothes collection worthy of my happy and confident self. My best me is who I want to be which starts with clothes that reflect my state of being. 

My coat and dress were gifted by Joe Browns but all comments are mine.

                                                                                                 Anna x


Joe Browns to the rescue!

So there was I bemoaning the fact that I've still not got my autumn/winter clothes out of storage and then Joe Browns comes to the rescue, sending me a lovely clothes parcel. I've been gifted some lovely pieces of autumn/winter wear to share with you and goodness, how fab are they are! This full length maxi dress is the first to be showcased.

This is the Fabulous Folky dress and already it's proved to be a winner on their website. The design is simple; a pull-on dress with no buttons or zip in a medium weight jersey fabric with a round neck, dropped waist and a deep hemline frill. When I unpacked it the dress was wrinkle free and ready to wear - in fact this is me half an hour later, so excited was I to receive it. 

I opted for my Besson white leather boots and thick black tights to pair with the black dress with all its autumn colours. I must admit I'm pretty much in love with this maxi dress already. The cut is generous, roomy enough to layer my go-to long sleeved M&S thermal top underneath and fluid in movement for the full swish factor. 

I may be on leave for the next month, but I can see that this will be a lovely dressing up outfit for when I tire of jeans and joggers at home. You can't go wrong with a bold floral print can you? I'm wearing an orange perspex ring (pre-loved) and a silver and gold ring by Emily Nixon. 

I don't know why, but a long frock always seems more feminine than a shorter one, don't you think? It lends itself to swooping and swishing around. Or maybe that's just me?

The mild temperature here means that I only had to add this little jacket to complete the outfit. It's fake suede and was a long ago purchase from TK Maxx. 

I took these photos on Monday last week and such a lot has happened since then, namely that the gallery has closed for the next month allowing me to have some time away from work, yay! The other thing is that I had my booster jab (the Moderna) on Tuesday and by Thursday was laid up at home with a raging fever, headache, shivers, back pain, pains in my ribs, shooting pains in my hands and other flu-like symptoms. I also lost my appetite but not my sense of taste. My previous two vaccines were the Astra Zenica and apart from a sore arm in the jab site I felt fine. How very naive of me then, to think that I would sail through this booster. It's now Monday morning and this is the first of me being able to get up off the sofa to test my strength and frankly I feel as weak as a kitten. I know we are all having different responses to these vaccines, but I didn't realise that they varied so much from one to the other. Does this big reaction signal a good response to the vaccine I wonder? Is my heightened response a sign that my immune system will be better prepare for Covid19? Oh I do hope so.

                                                                                   Anna x

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