Finding Your Authentic You

Time to cast aside the LBD

Big breath in… and out…

She then opened the doors of the wardrobe and began thumbing through the hangers on the rail.


Not that one…

Definitely not THAT one… It’s not a Saturday night on the town!


That one is too small now (I must go to the gym this week)

Oh I do like that one, I used to love wearing that one.  Looks a bit dated now though.

Ball Gown… Ha ha! Yeah I think they would remember me for all the wrong reasons with that one.

She exhaled a big sigh as she reached for the usual little black number.  

I suppose it’s this one… AGAIN!  At least I know it fits, just.  And the little yellow cardigan – for a bit of colour.  

She smiled as she remembered how good she feels wearing colours.

I do like colour.  But I don’t know what else to wear.  I want to look professional and smart.  And I also want to look approachable, kind and understanding.

But all I have it the typical “power little black dress”.

I could do the trouser suit, but it just doesn’t hang right on me.  I don’t feel feminine enough.  And I don’t want to be too “girlie girl” either, I want people to take me seriously. 

I have a message to convey and the clothes just aren’t complementing that.  

Gosh!  This was so much easier when all I had to do was put on the same uniform every day.  No decisions necessary for 15 years.  

The military was behind her now and it was time to find her individuality.

As she exhaled another big sigh as she closed the doors she thought about the message a friend had sent her.

“Hi its Kay.  If you don’t have to wear a uniform and are looking for some good speaking colours etc., feel free to reach out. 🙂 I am glad to be of service!”

Yes, that’s what I need right now, I need some help with this, I can’t do this on my own.  

She replied to the message and a day later she was logging onto Zoom to video chat with Kay.


In preparation, she got the LBD out ready and paired it with the yellow cardigan.  Then she thought she might need some other options…

So, she got out the navy striped maxi-dress – she liked that one.  Plus it was comfortable and flattering.  Oh and she could wear the much loved yellow cardigan with that too.

Also, the blue trousers and matching top – she liked to wear that paring too but usually when meeting friends and wasn’t sure this was the right event for that look. 

She then explained to Kay about the speaking event.  Mostly women at a café at 10am with various talks for about 2 hours total.  The weather was supposed to be bright and cool and she was speaking about coaching and how to incorporate little coaching moments into your day. 

While Kay liked the LBD, it didn’t really match her complexion or hair colour.  Kay explained that with her eye colouring and complexion, big blocks of dark colour just made her look a little washed out.

She was surprised Kay could even make out her eye colour or even took the time to notice.

The other blue outfits were good choices too and Kay advised her to wear things that were physically comfortable.

She didn’t want to be worrying about that little flabby muffin top protruding under her clothes.  Or being distracted by constantly yanking at the waistband of the top to cover up her bulky tummy when she was trying to remember her words.  

They settled on a mid-length black dress with soft lines.  Yes, that’s correct, a black dress.  The difference here was the colourful detailing on the dress broke up the block of black colour and created the overall look and feel she wished to convey. 

It was form one of her go-to-brands.  She initially dismissed it because she thought it wasn’t formal enough, but after speaking to Kay it became apparent this was exactly what she needed to do.

Given the time of day, the audience and the topic – Smart, Casual and Approachable was the aim here.

Then to shoes – Yes these MUST be comfortable and those were already sorted.  She had a flattering and sexy yet comfortable pair of shoes that had already proven a success and were the hero of many of her speaking event stories. 

Have you thought about any jewellery?, Kay asked.

Oh god no, I hadn’t.  She hadn’t needed or been allowed to wear jewellery in her previous career, so they talked about some options and decided to keep things simple and classy.  Nothing too distracting for the delegates watching her.  The last thing you want is to hypnotise the audience with a great swinging pendant or dazzling them with giant glitzy earrings.

Save that look for the next after show party…

And there it was.  The outfit for the speaking event.  All sorted and ready to go…


Until the next day.

Not intending to look for a new dress, she entered a small traditional high street department store and was surprised to find her favourite go-to-brand.  

There on the rail a dress caught her eye.  Black base colour with a simple leaf pattern throughout the material.  It was gorgeous and she remembered everything Kay said the night before about choosing colour and fit.

What’s the risk?  I’ll just try it on.

It looked lovely and two assistants complimented her too.

It fitted like a glove – not too tight and not too frumpy.  It gave her a figure without hugging too tightly.  The length was just right and the shape of the sleeves gave it a fun feel.  And it would go with all the other things she had picked out with Kay.

And the material wouldn’t crumple too much during the hour long drive to get to the venue either, she didn’t want to turn up like she’d just rolled out of the laundry hamper.

There was little more to debate…  Dress purchased!

And she felt amazing, it had been a long time since she last felt the thrill of buying new clothes. It was always such an arduous task that usually left her feeling inadequate and downtrodden. 

Not this time.  She knew the signs and had the basics in mind. And it paid off.

The speaking gig was a success and not once did she think about how she looked.  She could focus on her message and that message was definitely received.  

People took notes and pictures of her slides and even afterwards some came over to talk to her and thank her for such a great presentation and how they have been inspired to take action.

The organiser wants her to do another one… and guess what?… 

That dress is coming along for the ride.


Thank you so much for helping me Kathleen –

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