Lizzo, Queen of Glastonbury
I watched more of Glastonbury than I usually would this year and almost by accident managed to see the magnificent Lizzo and her set. If you watch the set online, there is some strong language right the way through. If you only see the final number, Juice, it’s a triumph of self-love and body confidence but the strong language is still there. I loved it!
Who is Lizzo and why should I check her out?
Lizzo (birth name Melissa Jefferson) is an alt hip-hop singer and rapper from Houston, Texas. She’s winning praise from artists such as Missy Elliot and Chris Martin.
I’m not going to pussyfoot here, Lizzo is a big lady, curvaceous, vivacious and full of fun. Her performances, just like the beautiful Lizzo, are larger than life and she wants everyone in the audience to feel good about themselves. It’s a refreshing change to see a big girl who loves who and what she is. Lizzo’s dancers aren’t the stereotypical slim, athletic types, they’re a group of plus sized ladies called Big Grrrls and they moved like a well-oiled machine with grace and power. As a curvy lady myself, it was a joy to see someone like me on stage and loving it. More importantly, the crowd loved them.
Lizzo and Body Confidence
Lizzo’s outfit was a triumph of purple sparkle but the most startling and wonderful thing was the cut of the lower body, it left little to the imagination and showing belly, bum and muffin tops – all of which she caressed, loved and showed off for all it was worth. I confess I’d have been worried about my c section scar, cellulite and sagging skin, but Lizzo loves her body. She celebrates every curve, lump and bump in equal measure and I adored her for doing it.
During the whole set she talked to the crowd, inviting them to love themselves, to look in the mirror and love what they see each day. It was inspiring, uplifting and for many in the crowd it was an emotional experience.
From Lizzo’s Instagram feed
How do we tap into Lizzo’s body confidence?
Try doing Lizzo’s suggested affirmations/mantra every day – at least once a day and ideally whenever you pass a mirror. I also found lots of ideas, all simple things you can do – some each day and others every time you remember or think about it.
- Make a list of all the amazing things your body does for you
- Keep a list of the top 10 (or start with 5 if you’re struggling and build up) things you love about your body
- Try and remember that real beauty isn’t just about the packaging, it’s about what’s inside, the real, amazing you.
- Look at all of you, don’t just zoom in on those thighs, your belly or your bingo wings. Look at you as a package, not just the parts, love all of you.
- Try and spend most of your time with people who love you and love how you look, ditch the haters and critics.
- If the voice in your head isn’t nice when it talks about you, change the voice or change the words. Talk back to it and tell it you are beautiful, strong, amazing and powerful
- Do something nice for yourself, whether that’s a bath in peace and quiet – no kids or other interruptions, get your nails done, have a pedicure, go for a walk in the park/nature or take a shower and enjoy noise of the water.
- Help someone else, do something nice to cheer up a friend, volunteer at the local church, lunch club or other social group.
- Wear clothes that fit you and your shape, if you have curves, embrace them and love what you have.
- If you’re feeling down because of all the so-called perfect social media images, remember that just because someone’s life looks perfect it doesn’t mean it is. Do something with your time that’ll make you feel better, take a walk, visit a good friend, watch a comedy on tv, listen to joyous, uplifting music, try some yoga or meditation. This study found that women who see average or plus-size models in magazines/media felt better about themselves than those who saw slim/thin models, be aware of the images you are feeding to your brain.
- Start each day with some positive affirmations, your brain is in the perfect state to learn and train the subconscious mind at the start and end of the day. Give it some good mental vibes with self-love affirmations and try to keep them in the present tense. I am beautiful, I am strong, I am capable, I am awesome, I am sexy or whatever message makes you happy. A few minutes every day will change your life.
If you take a minute a day to look in the mirror and compliment or be kind to yourself, you’ll find you’re much more accepting of your own features and will stop seeing them as flaws. Every time I look in the mirror I say Hello Beautiful to myself and smile, it always makes me feel good. Try it!
I was reading about body image and found a lovely idea, Operation Beautiful, they encourage you to place random post-it notes with positive messages and leave them for others to find. They believe we are all beautiful and we all need to see it.
I thought this was a great idea. I also think I need to start leaving these message for myself. I’ve started placing them around the house, usually near a mirror My son has found a few and thought they were great fun. Pick up those post-its and start helping someone feel beautiful today. Maybe I’ll ask Lizzo if I can borrow that purple outfit next year 🙂
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Decisions – one less thing to think about
I was chatting to a good friend the other day and I know she is a big fan of capsule wardrobes. I was saying I had a warm weather capsule and a cool weather capsule. Some items I can wear all year and others for special occasions. I told her I love that I can now grab a few things and know they all go together.
Result? I don’t spend ages trying on half a dozen outfits only to feel miserable. It’s taken all the decision making about clothes out of my life. She said “Exactly! It doesn’t matter what I grab out of my closet, it all fits, and it all goes together.”
Finding a uniform
If you look at someone like Steve Jobs, he must have had 30 or more of the black cashmere sweaters he wore and dozens of pairs of 501 jeans. He found a style he was comfortable with, picked a limited palette and stuck with it. One less decision to make every day. I’m not suggesting you go that hardcore, but I never once thought he looked scruffy or questioned his expertise. A ‘uniform’ whether that’s your work suit, smart casual or jumper and jeans, tells people you mean business. You don’t have to look exactly the same every day, you can add different accessories or accents of colour, but that sense of continuity can actually get you taken more seriously at work and in life.
In this article Alice Gregory talks about ‘finding her uniform’ in much the same way Jobs did. She’s come up with a style that works for her life, invested in a Winter coat and a Summer coat and some great boots. They’re things she’ll wear daily, depending on the season. Investment buys like this, would ideally be in your best neutrals.
The number of items you’ll need in your capsule wardrobe might vary to mine, for example I wear a pair of jeans three times before washing. If I want to do one load of laundry for myself per week, I need at least three pairs of jeans/chinos in my casual capsule. In warmer weather I’ll change my T shirt or top daily. I have four linen blend Ts in a warm stone colour that go with everything in my capsule. I have one purple ‘burnout’ T for layering (in winter this goes under a burgundy lace sweater and looks fabulous), two khaki Ts (one long sleeve, one cap sleeve), one burnt orange V neck T and a burgundy dolman 3/4 sleeve top. Any of these can be dressed up with good shoes/boots, nice accessories and a good handbag. I have a box of scarves, some in neutrals, some multi in neutrals or my best colours, a few plain ones and lots of hand knit shawls in luxury yarns. These are great for dressing up a casual outfit in a hurry and an extra bit of warmth on a cooler day or if you work in an office with air conditioning.
For work, smart trousers/pants might be worn for brief periods four times. Typically I wear them for meetings of a few hours at most and they are hung up between wearing to air. That means one or two at most pairs of smart pants/trousers, plus a skirt if you wear them. I don’t really wear skirts that often.
Cost Per Wear
Gregory also touches on another concept of ‘cost per wear’. I’ll admit that in the past I talked myself out of some amazing suits or Winter coats by looking at the price tag and thinking it was too much to spend on me, even if I had it.
If I had taken the same view with my Aleutian 300 Fleece Jacket from Lowe Alpine, 20 years ago, I wouldn’t have such an amazing warm jacket. At the time I did a lot of hiking/fell walking and this was perfect. It’s in a deep teal colour, I’m a Soft Autumn (Muted and Warm), it’s a colour I wear a lot. Nowadays, in cold weather, it’s worn every day for dog walking and it looks as good now as it did when I bought it. My partner often grabs it when he’s taking the dogs to the beach as it’s also wind resistant.
If I calculate the cost per wear, it’s £4.00 per year, divided by 90 days of wear (for this exercise we’ll assume it’s three months), making it £0.04 per wear. From around October through to March, I probably wear it EVERY day. While it’s a casual jacket, it’s easy to dress up a bit with a nice scarf, a good handbag and some smart trousers/pants. Now, that is a bargain.
Save Time and Cash
If you have a capsule wardrobe for work (or any other part of your life, and you can have several), you don’t have think about what to wear each day, you’re sorted. You don’t waste time in front of the mirror or drive everyone else nuts by asking ‘Does this look okay?’
Save time when shopping, if you know what you need to replace or is missing from your capsule, you can breeze past everything else in the store and just look at those items.
By avoiding those wardrobe disasters you save money. (You know you have at least one, it looked good on the hanger or on your best pal, but it’s hideous on you?) Avoiding those bargains that really aren’t bargains at all, means you can save cash for an item you really love and know will make you feel amazing when you wear it.
That means you can afford to invest in yourself. Save up for that amazing Winter coat, if you love colour then pick one of your best colours, if not, then pick your best neutral for the season. For me, my smart Winter coat is a deep, chocolate brown or charcoal navy. In Summer my casual jacket is in khaki and my smarter coat is a warm camel colour. The cost per wear on a good coat will be less than a penny or a cent during it’s lifetime and it’ll more than earn it’s keep in your closet. I’ll also admit to having a fabulous deep tomato red coat, it’s reversible and the other side is in a leopard print. I do love the pop of pattern at the collar and cuffs, but I rarely wear it with the Leopard side ‘out’. Maybe one day …..
The same applies to shoes or boots, buy good quality, make sure they fit you well. Buy shoes mid afternoon, when your feet are at their largest to get the best size. Choose a neutral to go with the coat, it’ll help pull your outfit together and can make you look taller.
Remember that more choice can be paralyzing rather than liberating. Having a grab and go wardrobe means you can get on with your day quickly and always looking great.
I never really felt that I had a style, or that my outfits were ‘put-together’ in any way. I must admit, that for many years and particularly when my son was young, I just threw on what fit or was clean.
During that time I was still working as a consultant to small businesses in ICT, Web Marketing, Social Media etc and being in a creative industry, it’s lucky that jeans are an accepted part of the dress code.
Once I started to look at my lifestyle, what I wanted from my wardrobe and how I want to look, the pieces of the puzzle fell into place. I’m what some call a Natural/Classic. I enjoy dressing up and wearing suits, but for me, comfort and easy of movement are high on the list of priorities.
If you’re thinking of a style consultation, either in person or virtual, try this little bit of homework first.
- What do you need from a capsule wardrobe?
- is it for work?
- family time, casual weekends?
- professional wear?
- special occasion/wedding/other family event?
Being clear about what you want will help you get the most out of the session and make a real impact on your life. Don’t try and change your whole life at once. Pick one area of life, say work, and do that first. The rest you can get as you have time or the need arises.
Once you’ve made that choice, think about your keywords. What three to five words describe the requirements of that capsule wardrobe?
For my family time/casual weekend wardrobe my priorities were
- casual – easy to dress up with a few accessories if needed
- comfortable – natural fibres, blends, bit of stetch so I can move swiftly and easily
- machine wash – this is a big one for me, or it will languish in the bottom of the laundry basket forever
What are your priorities and keywords?