“Does my blog look big in this?” or Dreading the ‘What to Wear to Britmums?’ discussion

So it’s started.

The tweet popped up innocently, like a piece of toast at breakfast.  Only this one wasn’t a welcome arrival for me.

‘So, what are you wearing to Britmums?’ purred the tweet.
BritMums Live! 2014

Aaaaagggghhh!  Nooooooo!  Run for the hilllllllls…… (I think that’s enough Ls, don’t you?)

For those of you who aren’t bloggers and haven’t the faintest idea what ‘Britmums’ is, it is not an expat gathering where British mums meet over cups of tea, resist cup cakes and compare notes on how hot it is.  No, it’s the biggest get together of British parent bloggers, held every June in London, where we ostensibly gather to listen to clever people talking about how to blog better but in reality fork out £75 to meet up with the pals we’ve got to know over the years, find out who won one of the many awards, grab freebies from the corporate stalls, look lost and resort to twitter to find someone you know but haven’t the foggiest what they look like as you’ve never actually met them before, (breathe), and have a good laugh over prosecco and a meal. (Exhale).

It’s a place heaving with thousands of smiling, lovely, females, with the odd sprinkling of men, that growing group of discerning ‘dad’ bloggers, who last year were rewarded for their bravery by being the sole focus of the media’s attention (see Guardian article last June 24th).   Bear Grylls would’ve been proud.

So, this question, this seemingly harmless, this throw away tweet, is to my mind like throwing a hand-grenade into a crowded room. Or chucking a fox into a room of calm white ducks.

Carnage! (to quote the duck from the film Babe)

It has the effect of turning a fantastic, fun, sort-of-useful but definitely worth going to event, into a frenzied fear factory.  The ‘Does my Bum Look big in this?’ syndrome gets a run for its money in all its glory.  It has the effect of  drawing out the worst in us women who are intelligent, compassionate, witty, creative, resourceful and down-right amazing. Yet we also have a terrible tendency to compare, run ourselves down and belittle others in the process if we’re not careful.  And to compete for the best, when just being our best is often enough….

The annoying thing is, I wasn’t for one second worried about what to wear until I saw that tweet.  I don’t usually think about these things till a few days before, if that.  But then I’m not up for an award, so I have no need!  But I am beginning to think about it now – a whole 4 weeks before!

I’m now realising that that tweet could have been perfectly practical and reasonable, in the light of the fact that there are so many women going – it was sent to find out what her mates are wearing so she knows how to find them! Hadn’t thought of that!! (apologies to said tweeter). BUT I do remember all too well last year, the torrent of tweets and messages about what people were going to wear, worrying about how to look smart for the daytime and simultaneously stylish for the swish awards that run immediately after the workshops, sandwiched in between by what I like to call The Prosecco Crush.

Just think about, for one minute, this crazy concern for what we’ll wear.  Will someone really change their opinion of you based on what you’re wearing? These are probably the only women who have got to know you without knowing what you look like or what you wear.  Yes, really! And they’ve decided if they like you or not based on what you write (you know, your blog)  NOT what you wear.

That’s quite something in this day and age.

If you’re worried you won’t match up to their expectations of you, don’t.  See it as a fantastic lesson in the importance of not judging someone based on their appearance as they come to realise that you’re a superwoman with amazing writing flair, but who dresses in a style that they may not like.  But guest what? They still like YOU!

There’s a radical thought.

So ladies, I beseech you: be yourself and wear what you want.  Now what you think other’s might want to see you in!

I for one, shall be wearing Chanel no. 5…..

20 thoughts on ““Does my blog look big in this?” or Dreading the ‘What to Wear to Britmums?’ discussion

  1. Hehe great post… I am actually, for the first year ever, worrying about what to wear. And part of it is because I want to “look good” (I don’t get many opportunities to dress up with working from home these days). But mostly I see it as a positive… it’s a chance to wear something we don’t get to wear on a daily basis because, let’s face it, kids are grubby! They like to do messy things like paint, dig in the dirt, pick their noses (well mine does, anyway!) and all too often I find myself wandering around in public with a trail of snot running across my shoulder. The thought of being able to wear something which will still look clean by the end of the day makes me want to make the most of the opportunity! I am really not someone who bothers normally… I rarely wear make-up (in fact wearing make-up makes me more self conscious than not wearing it at all!), I often don’t even brush my hair, let alone dry it, after washing it (I’m pretty lazy when it comes to that) and most of my clothes are second hand from eBay or a charity shop or even hand-me-downs (who says they are just for kids?) So for me this is a great opportunity to invest some time in making myself feel good about myself, not because someone else says I look good but because I feel like I have spent some time on myself.

    I totally get how stressful it can be and how we can fall into the trap of trying to keep up or even compete with each other – but actually, we can still have fun choosing our outfits and relishing in this opportunity to have a bit of fun without falling into that trap of “judging” can’t we? (Please tell me we can…)

    • Absolutely Amanda! Of course. That wasn’t my drift. Totally with you about dressing up because we have the opp. to do so, and it makes us feel ready for a special event. No, what i meant was, we shouldn’t stress out about what to wear based on what other’s will think of us. I’m not saying I don’t do that – I have to consciously work hard to not! – but its something that i think that can creep up on us in the days running up to the event, the nerves start to surface about ‘will i be acceptable’ kind of thing. So go for it, Amanda! Look good (I plan to) and enjoy yourself. PS Make sure you find me when we’re there! S

  2. Pingback: What I'm Wearing to BritMums Live 2014. » Verily Victoria Vocalises

  3. Fabulous post Siobhan! Funnily enough I have just drafted a post to be published on Wednesday about what I am wearing – but you are right, it doesn’t really matter! Thank you for linking to PoCoLo 🙂 x

  4. This is great – a perfect antidote to the clothes and shoes tweets! :). I really couldn’t care less, as long as people are comfy and being themselves. I’ll prob throw on my usual leggings and a long top. Looking forward to my first ever BritMums!
    #PoCoLo x

  5. I’m going to BritMums for the first time this year and really was wondering what to wear. For medical reasons I can’t do heels for long but having been on my feet all day Friday I certainly won’t be able to wear them to the BiBs either. Clothes wise I’m a very lucky person and have a sponsor who are provided me with clothes for the weekend. Lets hope it warm as they are short sleeved summer outfits and I may be cold if its not sunny. Great post and don’t think you are the only one who feels like that. We all want to make good impressions even though what matters deep down is personality. It’s always a confidence boost if someone tells you you are looking nice.

    • How fantastic that you have a sponsor – well done you! And yes, I agree, its perfectly normal and natural to want to make good impressions. I’m just the same. I just wanted to encourage people not to get overworked up about it all, after last yrs FB and twitter discussions beforehand which got over the top. Sounds like me – i can’t do heels for long either. Platforms are the best way to get around that! Anyway, enjoy the confce, its a blast and maybe i’ll even find you in the melee!

  6. I’m not going :'( but I do think your so right about knowing if you like people through their blog rather than how they look or what they wear. It’s a bit like The Voice but with the written word instead of song!

    Hope you all have fun! Maybe with any luck I may get to see everyone next year. #pocolo

  7. You are so right Siobhan but no matter how hard I try not to care, I like to look nice….it just makes me feel more confident I suppose. I did wear heels last year, both days and it nearly killed me. I shall definitely be popping a handy pair of flats in my bag for the daytime. Gotta think of the comfort too! Great post x

    • Totally, agree, S. You set the tone mentally for yourself when you dress up or however you dress, so go ‘looking nice’ as that’s what you’re comfortable doing. That’s the most imp thing. And yes, a pair of flats is a v wise idea for when you want to actually feel physically comfortable! Sx

  8. Ooohhh this nervousness only means one thing> you are very evry excited. I am excited too. I am not coming as im too shy and too poor but im looking forward to tweets and blog entries and photos! Putting a lot of bloggers in one room only means gazillions of selfies. Have fun! =) #PoCoLo

  9. 100% agree with you. Most of us Blog with our heart on our sleeve, people value you already for your “inside”, your thoughts, feelings and written work, your “outside”is barely relevant. Be you, as your would on your Blog 😉

  10. Love this, you are so right……I don’t really care what someone wears as long as they are friendly and lovely in person…….I still don’t know what I am wearing but that is based on the weather as I was burning hot last year and vaguely remember nearly stealing your agenda to fan myself……..xxx

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