Wednesday, 12 December 2012

30 seconds ..seriously? and why I needed to find myself in my wardrobe !

I had to blog about my recent indulgence , I purchased an ebook , the latest one from colour me beautiful within it I was shocked to find that as a nation we really do judge a book by its cover . Quite often within the first 30 seconds we are looking at how well groomed you are, what your style says about you and we begin to formulate ideas based upon what we perceive from the superficial information gained at first sight!
 This idea came as a bit of a shock , I have to say that over the years I have been known to have what some might call a throw away wardrobe. That is to say I literally keep the bare minimum in my closet , make sure it is pretty much colour co ordinated , seasonal and then I willingly had it over to charity. I have had times in the past when my obseccion for a certain pair of shoes or a hat has driven my family crazy as I have changed the colour of my hair , tried nail extensions, hair extensions all to satisfy a craving to be accepted in society and more importantly by the ones I love.

In the past I have been very submissive to both style magazines, even branding but when my financial situation changed over night I had to consider how best to continue to fuel my OCD without spending too much. I was doing pretty good right up until I had my stroke and became dependant on others to wash and dress me. Suddenly I had no choice or desire to shop for clothes , I was greatful if someone could just get me something on without causing me too much pain in the process. I hid under my large waterproof cape all winter long and even on ocassion got away with wearing my comfy PJs underneath. So it was very exciting when I finally got out of my chair and naturally I shopped where I was volunteering at a charity shop and later picked up a few bargains whilst doing some visual merchandising. I was awarded for my window display and complimented on achieving such a seasonal co ordinated look , but at this point what I wanted was to be the mannequin not dress them every day .

 As my health took one more sharp turn I also lost 5 1/2 stone in weight taking me from 20/22 down to 16/18 with  a bump and then right down to 10/12 .
The funny thing was instead of rushing out to buy a new wardrobe I suddenly felt I had a chance to re invent myself . I asked my children what should mummy look like in her 40s , they each gave me odd bits of advice. I turned to my husband who said he wanted me to be me . This proved frustrating as I was suddenly faced with a very differently proportioned me who I did not know how to dress.

I sought help from several sources, first I had to tackle my perception of who I was and learn to look at myself in the mirror. Once I had accepted I moved on to seeing a wonderful lady called Jane Cooke who had complimented me on my coat of all things and despite my terrible memory I recalled how well she was dressed and how effortlessly she moved within the room . She had more than a fashion sense , her clothes did not wear her she wore them, her colours made her stand out , radiant and confident . I later had the chance to attend an open house with my daughters and we purchased some stunning jewellery . At this stage I was still to shy to even glance at the colours or the clothes. I delved back into my book shelves peering over cut outs of shapes and colours and laughed as I had kept just about every   reference I would need for a larger bust , wider calves and wide hips and nothing on what to do with me now .

 I decided to visit a neighbour who does a colour me beautiful session and we had a lovely time over a cuppa as I explained my predicament. I was relieved to find that for the most part the clothes and colours I was most attracted to were the right balance for me. Renewed with confidence I popped out and spent £38 in 3 charity shops and was amazed at how many compliments I got over the next 3 days. I contacted Jane this time with a firm idea in my mind as to what I wanted to look like but little idea as to quite how to put it all together. This is where her talent comes in to play. She was able to send me pictures based upon some of the items I had already found on the kettlewell site so that  I would be able to extend my wardrobe making it the perfect eco friendly capsule that I was after. I would have those all essential key pieces and a few fashionable 'throw aways ' to fuel my mood.

The tips she has given me and the advice in general has seriously made me think very differently about clothes. My perception of who I am has also softened, I have regained a femininity which I thought I had lost with my curves. I have regained a youthful glow which I am complimented on even with my current jaundice as I can now cleverly distract people with some tricks up my sleeve . I cannot thank Jane enough and I am so looking forward to taking my daughter down pre prom as her ultimate indulgence. She is hoping to find her dream dress and feel like a princess for the day , and I have every confidence that Jane will ensure my Cinderella goes to the ball in style .

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