It’s the festive season. There’s excitement in the air and you are being bombarded with invitations to social events. You are also busy making plans for Christmas day itself and of course the days of celebrations afterwards leading up to New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day! It all sounds wonderful if it were not for the fact that you need the perfect outfit to wear for every occasion, one that not only makes you look amazing but at the same time is comfortable and within your budget. Then there’s the worry that you’ll need to wear something different if you are attending more than one event with the same people because you can’t possibly wear the same outfit!!
Panic not for help is at hand! Here are some things you can do to make the whole thing easier and therefore more enjoyable for you:
- Make a list of all the events you will be attending. The obvious ones are the work’s Xmas party or parties (some of my friends who work for large corporations have departmental, local and national events to go to!) The not so obvious ones, which also need to be considered if feeling confident is important to you, include the outfit you will be wearing on the day itself, on Boxing day and New Year’s Day. Before I receive hate mail that looking good should not be that important, please read the title of the blog is ‘How to feel amazing at Christmas’ NOT ‘how to look good at Christmas’. Whether we like it or not, most of us feel better and our self-esteem is likely to be higher when we feel we have made an effort with our appearance.
- Think about and list the people that will be attending each of these events. At first you may not think that it’s important to do this BUT, consider whether you really want to wear the same outfit to occasions where you will meet the same people. Obviously, if this is not important to you, then skip this part. Just from a personal perspective, I like to wear a different outfit at such times.
- List whether each occasion will be ‘formal’ or ‘informal’. This is important because the outfit you choose has to fit into this category because there’s nothing like being under-dressed or overdressed in a situation to ruin it for us because it can leave us feeling self-conscious the whole time. Also, whether it’s true or not, it can make us feel like other people may be talking about us behind our backs!
- Think about whether the event or gathering is going to be held indoors or outdoors. It will be winter so it’s quite likely that you will be indoors most of the time but there are many activities such as ice skating, Christmas markets and fares that require you to be outside!
- Consider how you plan to get there, how you plan to get back or if you will be staying overnight. These things are very important because you do not want to be freezing all the time and neither do you wish to be too warm. It will also determine the styles of shoes to wear or NOT wear!!
So, to summarise, think about and list down:
- The events you will be attending
- Who will be attending the events
- Whether they are ‘formal’ or ‘informal’
- If you will be spending time indoors/outdoors or both
- Whether you will be travelling there and back and how
These five factors will determine the type of clothing you will need to wear but not WHAT you should wear to look and feel your very best during the festive season! Once you have completed this list in full, you are ready to plan for each outfit that you will need!
Tip 1 Start early! If you only follow one tip, follow this one!! The earlier you start, the more time you will have. This will not only stop you from panicking but also allow you to search for suitable clothes from a wider market as last minute delivery is not available everywhere. Some online retailers offer great outfits and accessories but, if they are based overseas, the delivery times can be longer and need to be factored in. You will also have more time to get your outfit tailored and be able to order cheaper options from further afield.
Tip 2 Look at what you already own, I mean, seriously look at what you already have in your wardrobe, in a drawer, packed away in the attic etc! Try everything on and, if you still feel great in it, wear it with the warm glow that comes from saving money and looking great!
Tip 3 Experiment – Go to the shops and try on all types of styles even if you think they do not suit you and/or you don’t like the look of them. From experience, I know that many outfits look completely different when you actually try them on. Some look a lot better when you least expect them to and others look a lot worse!! If you are self-conscious, make sure you go shopping on your own and then be brave by trying on lots and lots of different things. Do not let the fact that something doesn’t look good put you off, simply dismiss it by saying ‘NEXT!!’ (out loud if at all possible, for maximum benefits!). If you run out of things to try in one shop and haven’t found anything, do not be deterred, just take yourself to another shop. Do not for one second think that people who have great outfits just went to the first shop and slinked into them, OH NO!! Believe me, most people have to traipse around the shops more than once to find THE outfit!
Tip 4 Try on different sizes – If you love an outfit, take varying sizes of it to the changing room with you. Don’t let the label put you off, if a larger size looks better, go for it! Tell yourself ‘I look and feel amazing in this’ and smile at your reflection at the same time. If the size really bothers you, cut off the label when you get home. It took me a long time to realise that it was a hundred times better to wear something that fit me comfortably than to squeeze myself into something that did not.
Tip 5 Try different colours – It’s not just styles that you should experiment with, you should also try different colours and textures that you normally shy away from. Banish thoughts such as ‘that colour makes me look washed out’, ‘that colour makes me look fat’ etc, etc. You really will be amazed by how many new outfits you will find that make you look and feel a million dollars!
Tip 6 Find online versions of outfits and styles you have tried on and look great on you. Many outfits are much cheaper online and once you know that a particular style suits you, you can look for bargains on the internet in confidence knowing that the style will look good. Also, order the same outfit in more than one size (providing the retailer offers free returns). This way you can try on everything in the comfort of your own home.
Tip 7 Do not rush – Go shopping when you have enough time to try things on. Be mentally prepared for it to be busy and take longer too. At Christmas, the whole world seems to want to shop but embracing this and accepting it will make it much more enjoyable for you!
Tip 8 Take someone you trust or don’t take anyone at all – This is very important! If you have a friend or family member that you know will tell you the truth without being unkind and you are confident they want the best for you – TAKE THEM WITH YOU! On the other hand, no matter how much you do not want to go alone, please do not take someone you know has a habit of being spiteful or hateful or envious or in any way negative towards you. I used to do this a lot and I always regretted it. I remember a particular, very slim ‘friend’ I had who would love putting me down in subtle ways. She would try on the outfits I liked, knowing full well she would look better because she was slim and I was not. I very rarely bought anything and when I did, it was not what I wanted, it was a dowdy and dark tent like item that I hoped would just make me invisible. I know now that I can buy things in larger sizes and still look good but this ‘friend’ did not allow me the freedom to experiment and relax enough to find things that I could have looked great in.
Tip 9 Do NOT buy something in a smaller size or that ‘just’ fits with the intention of losing the weight beforehand. This really does not work and will put you under a lot of pressure. In fact, when we do this, we are more likely to put on weight rather than lose it. Human nature is such that the minute we decide we can’t have something, we really, REALLY begin to want it. Overnight, you will start obsessing about what you should and should not eat and our natural tendency is also to keep weighing ourselves. This type of obsession is not healthy, it stops us living in the moment and keeps us stuck in a future, unknown outcome for our happiness. Please, do NOT do this. Find something that feels and looks good on you right now, even if you are hoping to lose weight. This way, you will be able to relax, knowing that you do not have to do a single thing to be able to wear the outfit/outfits you have chosen. When something fits, we look and feel better without much effort because stress changes our body and our face and our total ‘look’ without us even realising it!!
Tip 10 If you currently lack confidence in your figure, go for something floaty or layered or with a mesh overlay. Yes, the thought of a tight-fitting dress sounds amazing but do you really want to be breathing in all evening? I’m talking from experience here as I made this mistake often when I was dieting. I would then feel uncomfortable and was afraid to eat in case I couldn’t hold my stomach in afterwards!
I hope these tips help you and wish you the most amazing festive season ever!!
Written by Sherry Taylor, author of The Anti-Diet Lifestyle