When it comes to the way I look, I am generally quite proud of the way I view myself, and of my personal style. Over the past few years I have developed a strong understanding of the looks that I love and what works for me. While my style changes from day to day and is constantly evolving, I genuinely believe that each and every thing that I wear has some undefinable something that makes it “me”. It may be a cut that flatters my waist, a colour that makes me smile, a beautiful lacey material, or a delightful smattering of glitter (I have a weakness for all things glittery, and am regularly distracted by shiny things), but every outfit I own, particularly the ones I love and always feel good in, have something in them that makes reminds me of who I am, and helps me to feel positive even when things are terrifyingly hard.
While our society puts a huge emphasis on the need to look a certain way and to always look good (something I can rant rather passionately about for extensive periods of time), I consider style, and the ability to make myself look good, to be important for rather different reasons. I suffer from generalised anxiety disorder, a mental health condition that likes to stomp on my self confidence, my enthusiasm, and my energy on a regular basis. When I am going through a rough patch, and am finding each day a struggle, there are certain things that I find can make a huge difference, and one of those things is my style.
I view style, and all that it encompasses – hair, clothing, make-up, accessories – as armour that I put on each morning before I face the world. I may be feeling completely terrible, have slept badly, and be constantly on the verge of crying, but unless I choose to tell you, you have no business knowing that. By dressing well and taking the time to do my hair and make-up, I put up a wall that allows me to keep my personal problems to myself, so that I can pick and choose who I consider worth sharing them with.
Wearing something I feel wonderful in, putting on bright pink lipstick and slipping my favourite jewellery on gives me a sense of strength. It boosts my sadly inflated self confidence. It reminds me that there are still wonderful things in the world, like beautiful vintage cut dresses, and the amazing powers of blush, and gorgeous sparkly things that are full of wonderful memories. It allows me to walk out the door knowing that whatever happens that day, however difficult it may be, at least I look good. That knowledge has an amazing ability to help me get through whatever I have to face each day, and I have learnt to never underestimate the power of a swipe of bright pink lipstick!