Six months on from my 5 Days of Power Dressing, I decided it was time for some reflection.
I’ve been meaning to write this post for several months now, but I’ve been too ill. Six months feels like a good window to reflect back on everything that’s happened, and that I’ve learned, since July anyway.
So here we go:
I’m more confident
It’s almost hard to put into words how much power dressing increased my confidence. It’s like a switch in my mind.
I feel more able to take on the world. Especially if I coordinate my hair and make-up alongside my outfit.
Focusing on wearing clothes that are in a colour I like, and that fit me, also makes me feel more comfortable in my own skin. There’s nothing worse than buying an item of clothing just because it’s in fashion then it being completely the wrong fit.
Taking regular photos to track my outfits also showed me the difference the right camera angles can make to how we look in photos, and therefore, how we feel about how we look.
Like I hate how I look in the mirror I do my make-up in as it’s at an angle and therefore distorts my appearance. But I don’t mind how I look in the bathroom mirror, which sits flat to the wall.
Are there things I pick fault out of in my appearance? Totally. But that’s why I use power dressing to draw attention – including my own – to areas I do like about myself.
When I put on an outfit that makes me happy, it gives my mood a boost.
Seeing my reflection in the bathroom mirror with some winged eyeliner, red lipstick, or space buns makes me smile.
(No, we still haven’t got a full-length mirror in the hallway. But we have chosen one! Puppy steps.)
Interestingly, I also walk Millie more than I used to.
Before last July, my boyfriend walked her more than I did. But the power dressing made me want to go out of the house more, so Millie got more, and longer, walks. (To her dismay.)
It wasn’t that I wanted to show off or anything, but having the mood boost made me want to get out of the house, something I’d previously avoided on a fairly large scale.
Even if all I did was walk Millie around our estate, I felt brighter.
I’m more productive
An increase in confidence and happiness inevitably leads to greater productivity.
On the days when I power dress (like today, as I draft this), I get more writing done, more editing done, come up with more ideas for other things I can write (see below)…
For example, here’s what I did last Friday:
- Write one LinkedIn post (which did quite well, tbf)
- Practised yoga
- Done some expressive writing
- Done a coaching call
- Drafted a client blog post
- Written and published a post on LinkedIn
- Drafted another LinkedIn post
- Taken Millie for a poo walk (because it’s too cold for a proper walk)
What did I wear last Friday? Trackies.
Now, I’m not saying my wearing trackies is the only reason I didn’t get things done. But they did reflect my lack of energy and motivation. So it became a self-fulfilling prophecy.
What did I wear the day I drafted this post? A red jumper, comfy jeans, and winged liner…
I’m more creative
Clothes, make-up, and hair can be forms of creative expression, just like tattoos or decor.
There’s a reason Hollie from the What Happens in… books, wears trackies when she’s feeling low. It’s a sign that she’s lacking mental energy and motivation.
Since starting my power dressing experiment last July, I’ve only neglected it when I’m ill. And I think that’s pretty acceptable. Who wants to do anything when they’ve got the flu, or they’re having fibromyalgia flare up? Not me.
When you tap into creativity in one area of your life, it becomes easier to be creative in other areas, too. It opens you up to experimenting. Creativity is a muscle. The more you work it, the stronger it gets.
Since power dressing, I’ve figured out what Hollywood Romance was missing (the flu also helped with this. Weirdly); overcome creative burnout; added some new world building to The Poltergeist’s Ship; drafted 2 more Afterlife Calls books; had an idea for another series; done some business planning (a task I normally avoid), and much more.
Now, this wasn’t all down to power dressing. But the confidence boost that the outfits gave me opened me up to work on the things that I knew weren’t right but couldn’t find a solution to, or the things I didn’t think I was capable of doing.
I’ve embraced colour therapy
On some level, I’ve always been a (subconscious) believer in colour therapy. My old office was painted green because it’s my favourite colour and the colour of money.
When I workout, I wear bright colours as wearing them makes me happy.
Consciously considering colour therapy has informed my outfit choices in the last six months. And the choices of my surroundings.
For example, I refuse to have any rooms in this house painted grey as it’s the colour of depression. (And, as Tessa jokes in The Mean Girl’s Murder, it’s ‘the millennial beige’.)
I’m getting my office painted a dark teal (closer to green than blue) to add atmosphere and personality to the room. We’ve brightened up our bedroom by adding dashes of pink to the teal.
Most of the clothing I bought in 2022 and 2023 were grey. They might’ve had hints of pink, green, or black, but they were mostly grey.
Comfy, but not the most flattering fit on my shape either. Wearing them made me feel fine. That was it.
I still love those T-shirts, but I’m conscious to wear them with something that lifts my mood a bit more now, such as a pair of Levi’s or a cute skirt.
I realised red was one of my power colours by looking at the colours I own and have surrounded myself with in the past. My favourite pyjamas are red. Our old kitchen was black, white, and red. I dyed my hair red for 15 years.
And, interestingly, red is the colour of energy. Something that’s very important when you have chronic fatigue syndrome.
I now own:
- 4 red jumpers
- 1 red blazer
- 4 red lipsticks
- 1 red T-shirt
(I did buy a pair of red trousers but had to return them as they didn’t quite fit. So I used that money towards a new leather jacket that would go amazingly with the aforementioned red jumpers instead.)
Pink and green were more obvious – they already make up a lot of my wardrobe, along with black.
Sometimes the answer is staring you in the face…
I express myself more
Feeling more comfortable in my own skin means that I also feel better able to express myself. I’ve always been pretty quiet, especially around some people, sacrificing my needs in favour of other people’s, even if it’s to my detriment.
Well, the power dressing, and some self-reflection, has helped me come up with my word for 2024: BOLD.
Here’s to a year of more power outfits ????
There’s probably more…
One thing I also noticed when power dressing was that we may not notice changes in ourselves, but others definitely do.
I’ve had comments from new friends, old friends, and people I hardly know about how they’ve seen a change in me.
If I wear a particularly killer outfit, someone will ask if that’s one of my power outfits. (Most of them are, so the answer is almost always yes. Unless I’m in trackies. Then I’m probably going back to sleep soon.)
I still feel like I still have a long way to go, but when I reflect back on how things were a year ago, it blows my mind how much has changed.
So, here’s to more growth – for you and me – in 2024 ????
And if you haven’t read Big Dress Energy yet, but you’re interested in power dressing or colour therapy, what are you waiting for? Go go go!
Have you given power dressing a go? Or would you? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!