26/11/20 BLOG 25: FASHION & SELF-CARE
This week, our blog comes from Annabel, our women’s worker for Lanarkshire. She has tapped into her previous life in fashion styling to explore the links between self-care and clothing, creating a mini masterclass on styling clothes we already own.
Before joining Click as a Women’s Worker, and working in other supportive roles, I studied a degree in Fashion Design. When Anna asked me to write a piece for the blog, fashion seemed like a good starting point! I’m hoping it will bring you some fun and light-heartedness to what has been a difficult year.
For 7 years I worked as a fashion stylist with brands such as Next, Dorothy Perkins, Evans and Asda. My work allowed me to travel throughout the UK from London to Manchester, Leeds and Scotland - styling models and working on images for Instagram. However, after several years I found my thoughts and feelings started to change. I wasn’t getting enough out of my work anymore and wanted to help people and really make a difference. I loved certain aspects of my job, but I wanted to get more involved in supporting others. I started working in homelessness and from there have worked with women involved in the criminal justice system, migrants and people with disabilities.
Like many of us the current pandemic has had an impact on my life. I miss my friends and family and doing the ‘normal’ everyday things. It is fair to say the last 7 months have been really tough for people. We may have had a lot more time on our hands, seen things around us change dramatically, or been thinking about what’s important to us and those we love. What we wear each day may have also changed to fit in with how we’re living just now.
A strange way to start a blog on fashion, but for me fashion links into everyday life. What we wear can really have an impact on our mood, which in turn can affect our daily life. When we’re not feeling good, some days it can be hard to find the motivation to get out of our pyjamas. Especially during lockdown where we haven’t had many opportunities to leave our home.
Although it may not seem obvious, fashion can be a form of self-care. In the same way as popping on a face mask or having a haircut can make us feel better, clothes can do that for us too. If we don’t feel good in what we’re wearing this can have an impact on our mental wellbeing.
Clothing can be a great confidence booster and can change the way you look and feel in an instant. How much more confident do you feel when you put on a new pair of jeans or a jacket that makes you feel good? Would you like to show a different side to your personality, for example or just try a totally new style? In today’s world however it’s not always easy to pop to the shops to buy new clothes. Money is tight and for many of us and even a mini shopping spree at Primark can seem like a distant dream. We are staying home much more and many of us are reaching for our comfy clothes to see us through.
In writing this I didn’t want it to become a traditional fashion blog - telling people what’s in fashion now and what you should all be going out buying! It is more about celebrating the clothes we have, how we can save money by wearing them differently and thinking about how they make us feel. It’s about taking joy in our clothes, whatever they may be, and recognising the links between what we wear and how we feel. For some of us, that may be recognising that clothes can be a sign that we’re not doing so good – not changing out of our pyjamas, finding it hard to wear fresh clothes when we normally would. So, it may be that you don’t want to take on the whole styling challenge here, but you might find one of the smaller tips useful.
While working on this blog I came across some clothing I haven’t worn in years. It got me thinking about why. Some pieces had just been pushed to the back of my drawers and forgotten about! I rediscovered some of my own clothes and was able to love them for a second time. It also made me feel like I had new clothes which was a nice boost!
So, how can we breathe new life into our old clothes saving us some much-needed cash? Some of you will be pleased to know there’s lots of things we can do to change our look without getting a sewing machine out!
With this in mind I wanted to show you 3 different ways you can update your style with clothing you may already have in your wardrobe. If you don’t have these items, it’s totally fine. Everyone’s style is different which is why we are all so fantastically unique. Embrace what clothing you do have and have a go at playing around with new ways to wear it.
I have included some summer pieces that you can wear in the cooler months with some handy styling tips. Utilising summer clothes in winter by layering is a great way to save money and get the most out of your clothes. Also added are some printed and colourful items. If you have any bold colours or prints in your wardrobe which you don’t normally wear, why not try these out? Wearing new colours and prints can really lift our mood. You might also find friends and family commenting on how good they look too! I am also mindful many of us are cosying up indoors a lot more just now which is why I have included items such as joggers, trainers and flat boots for comfort.
Remember fashion should be fun, not uncomfortable! Not everyone’s style is the same so play around with tailoring some of these looks to suit your own style. Instead of boots, try trainers or untuck your jumper for example - whatever works for you and makes you feel great.
You don’t even have to put a whole new look together. Try taking one piece from your wardrobe that you haven’t worn in a while and allowing yourself 5 minutes to wear it mindfully, recognising how you feel just for wearing something different.
If you’re not feeling great and don’t feel up to the whole styling challenge, why not find your cosiest outfit and think about the comfort that those clothes provide you, or perhaps put on something colourful and see if that changes your mood, even briefly.
Finally, when styling looks for this blog, I used two flat lay styling techniques. I find flat lay styling therapeutic and enjoy seeing the image coming together, step by step. It can be a fun activity to do while experimenting with different looks in your wardrobe. Recently, photographer Kathryn Rattray wrote a masterclass on flat lay styling for Click, linking it to comfort by creating a self-care flat-lay. You can see her tips and tricks on how to create a flat lay and maybe have a go at creating some yourself with your own clothes here . It would be lovely to see your creations!
I hope I have managed to inspire you to delve into your wardrobes and try out some new ideas. Happy styling!
Don’t banish your summer dresses away for the winter. With some clever laying they can see you through the colder months. Start with some good base layers (thick tights or leggings and a long-sleeved t-shirt) then layer over your dress, a jumper and jacket. Don’t forget thick socks and comfy boots!
I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent the last 8 months in leggings and jogging bottoms. With our lifestyles being very different just now, many of us are looking for comfort in clothing. This next outfit is a cheat’s way to looking stylish whilst being comfy – perfect!
I’ve styled these jogging bottoms with a soft knit jumper, but you can also pair with a hoodie or switch the joggers for gym leggings. Just add a smart jacket and you’re good to go!
The Summer Trousers
If you find yourself in jeans most days, why not try updating your look by winter-proofing your summer trousers. I’m not suggesting these will see you through a snow storm but if you’re just popping out or hopefully seeing the odd friend/family member over the festive period then this look can provide a refreshing change to the standard jeans and jumper.
These trousers look great with biker boots or slim sock boots. Trainers will also work if you want to go more casual. Just add thick tights as a base layer to keep your legs warm and don’t forget my favourite - thermal socks!
Thanks so much to Annabel for her styling mini-masterclass. I’m away to raid my wardrobe to see if I can rediscover something warm and cosy to see me through the next few weeks. We would love to hear from any of you around what self-care you find helpful. Let us know if you try out Annabel’s styling challenge! You can contact us here or via email at email@example.com
Looking forward to hearing from you. Take Care,