At this time of the year we all have to face the harsh realities of life. The real issues that we have to deal with year in, year out. Whether we've been hiding our legs away since the heatwave of 1976 or we need to dig deep and summon the inner strength to wear a bikini in front of someone we know well enough to go on holiday with but not so well we're comfortable appearing half naked in front of, it's time to slough off that winter skin and emerge from the chrysalis. It's time to Summer-ise.
The first stage of Summerising is to go through what I call the Checklist. It will force you to take a look at what you're wearing and how it makes you feel:
1. Be honest. Stand in front of the mirror in your birthday suit and evaluate what you love and hate about yourself. Including the rear view....
2. Write a list of the bits you love and how you can showcase them.
3. Write a list of the bits you don't love and how you can downplay them.
4. Pick an outfit from your wardrobe that makes you feel fabulous and confident and figure out what it does for your figure. Which parts does it highlight? What areas does it disguise?
5. Put on an outfit that you never end up wearing. You obviously like it otherwise it wouldn't still be in your wardrobe (now would it??!!) so what is it that makes you take it off again.
6. Ask your most stylish friends to look at your lists and get their opinion.
7. Take a good look at your hairstyle. Have you had the same cut and blowdry for years? It may be safe but go for a change and it could give you a great confidence boost.
8. Do you feel you are letting yourself go? If so, why.
9. Throw away any clothes that don't suit you. A wardrobe purge with a trusted friend can be very liberating - and you get to return the favour ;o)
10. Go shopping! Armed with your lists take someone with you who you trust and who you know will be honest with you (we're talking the kind of honesty your mum gives you....)
Once you've tackled the checklist there's still the exfoliating, moisturising, tanning, plucking and the dreaded appointment with The Waxer* to come but first things first.
(*obviously we all maintain our beach-ready bodies all year round but sometimes it's easy to let it slip.....)
Go forth and be confident. It's amazing the difference an outfit can make. And don't worry it will all be over soon and we can sling on the black opaques and boots.