I suffer from Dress Stress.  Terribly.  Before any event / party / major outing, I fret.  And worry. And over-analyse. It seems silly and trivial but to me it can be terrifying.  I’m on the more rubenesque side of the body shape spectrum and I am constantly looking for ways to shrink myself without disappearing altogether.

So, what I now do for any event is prepare! 

2 things you have to think about – the situation itself and how you are feeling in your skin. I think the majority of women suffer from some form of self-doubt and a general non-realistic loathing of some bit of their bod whether they’re a size 6 or a size 16. 

Sadly, it seems to be in our DNA to be our own worse body critic. But from what I have observed over the past couple of years, the latest generation of women are embracing their curves and divets, muffins and rolls, and it is a joy to see such confidence.  Love it.  But I digress.

A least a week before the shindig, I think about how I’m currently feeling about my body and what’s in my wardrobe that’s going to help me feel comfortable and at ease in the specific situation.  Remember to be situation appropriate – a cocktail party is quite different to a Women in Business lunch! 

Then I try on – different combos, different colours, mix and match, change it up.  Don’t forget to include shoes and jewellery – most important for shine factor.  And then I take a good old narcissist selfie so I can look at myself in the ensemble objectively.  

 Rest and review.  Ask for honest feedback from girlfriends.  I have a core group of gal pals that I regularly send ensemble pics to for critique.  Their assessment is generally spot on – tough yet supportive and, god, do I appreciate it.  Get yourself a gaggle of these type of women and you’ll be sorted!

There must always be 2 options.  If you playing away – then take both – and wear whatever you feel best reflects you on the day.  If playing at home, same rules apply – wear what brings you joy.

Check the weather forecast day before event – absolutely nothing worse than being too hot or cold.  That’s a fun sucker every time. 

Remember to appreciate yourself!  You’ve been through all the steps and you look pretty damn fine.  Feel fearless - I am always blown away by the fact that a confident woman could look amazing in a paper bag.  When the inner shines the outer glows.   

So ladies, slap on a smile and own it!  You’re a bit of alright!