Style Strategies For Bad Days (Or Weeks)

Style Strategies For Bad Days

As much as it pains me to admit it, I’ve not had a great week.

Thankfully, these sort of weeks don’t come up for me too often.  I might have an off day here or there. But I rarely string together a bad week.

However, things have refused to flow for me during the past seven days.

There was a fair bit happening – none of it particularly difficult, dramatic or dreadful in the overall scheme of things – but there was just enough going on to have a cumulative effect.

A flurry of personal appointments. An overnight work trip that involved a couple of very big (and somewhat heated) meetings – most of which I was chairing. Some sensitive conversations with staff members impacted by large changes. An unwell family member. A day where I was too busy to squeeze in lunch. A couple of sleepless nights thanks to our beloved, elderly dog who has suddenly decided she’d like to become nocturnal.

I knew things were starting to bite when a very formal colleague of mine looked at me closely on Thursday and uttered the following – “A gentleman should never say this to a lady Janelle, but you are looking very tired”.

By Friday I was absolutely nowhere. I woke up with a pounding head and my early morning French tutoring session can be summed up in only two words. Unmitigated disaster. I could barely converse in English, let alone French!

I’m sure we all have this sort of week every now and then. And when they come up it can be easy to let things slide. On the self-care front. On the house-keeping front. And especially on the style front.

But, in all honesty, these are the weeks when we need to pay attention to how we put ourselves together. The ‘look better to feel better’ philosophy has been around for a long time now. And it is a concept that I absolutely subscribe to. I’ve seen time and time again the impact that feeling stylish can have on women’s attitudes, confidence and life choices.

That said, I’m also a realist. Keeping things chic and stylish can be challenge for some of us at the best of times, let alone when things simply aren’t going our way. For days and weeks like these we need help in the form of plans and tips so we can look our best even if aren’t quite feeling that way.

So, in recognition of my own ‘less than stellar’ week, I thought I would share my favourite style strategies for bad days or weeks.

Style Strategies For Bad Days (Or Weeks)

Be Prepared

You never know when a bad day might strike. So it pays to be prepared. Pull together a list of go-to outfits ready for the times when style is actually the last thing on your mind. Outfits that help you feel pulled together and unstoppable. Tape photos of these comfortable, stylish outfits to the inside of your wardrobe, or keep a file on your iPad or laptop. Then all you need to do is ‘follow the instructions’ and walk out the door knowing that if nothing else is working for you, your outfit is.

Keep Things Simple And Comfortable

Bad days can be made worse by fussiness and discomfort. Collars that don’t sit right. Waist bands that are too tight. Straps that slip off your shoulders. And let’s not even consider shoes that make your feet hurt – no matter how sexy or cute they may be. When things aren’t quite as fabulous as you’d prefer make sure you stick to outfits that are fuss-free and comfortable.

Turn To Black

When you are in the middle of a bad week, don’t be afraid to resort to black. Renowned for being universally chic, it can be a thought-free way to look pulled together. There’s a reason that women who work in fashion circles consider it a uniform. The only thing I suggest you consider is whether black makes you look a little pale or drawn. If this is the case, consider adding a scarf or necklace in a colour that suits you to your outfit. A little pop of colour near your face can make all the difference to how you look (and feel).

Wear Your Favourites

Whether we admit it or not, we all have favourites. Favourite people. Favourite foods. And favourite clothes. When things aren’t going too well, it can be a perfect excuse to wear one of your favourites. Even if there is very little making you smile, feeling the drape of your favourite dress or catching a glimpse of your favourite shoes might bring a sparkle to your eyes.

Don’t Forget The Lipstick

When you are working hard to just stay upright, it can be easy to overlook the little details. But taking two seconds to spritz on an uplifting scent, or dab on some lipstick can make a big difference to your mood. As with clothing, it helps to know in advance what works for you. A ‘not so great week’ generally isn’t the time to be mucking around with new make-up shades. A long-time favourite lipstick of mine is Rendez-vous (683) by Dior. It is perfect for days when I need a fuss-free slick of long lasting, moisturising colour.

What style strategies for bad days or weeks do you employ? Do you have any special go-to tips? I’d love for you to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

And until next time – au revoir.


Please note: No compensation of any kind has been received by the brands named in this post.

About Janelle

I believe that everyone can bring French elegance and inspiration to their life, no matter where they happen to live in the world. They only need to learn a secret or two to be on their way. When you join the Distant Francophile community, you’ll have access to the secrets that allow you to bring the best of the French lifestyle into your everyday life. I’m talking about things like style advice, recipes and book reviews. And you’ll also receive regular doses of French inspiration, as well as travel and packing tips galore.

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10 thoughts on “Style Strategies For Bad Days (Or Weeks)

  • Dyane Fielder

    ALWAYS buy yourself a bouquet of flowers. Not only does the flower arranging process relax me, but flowers, whether it is one or a bouquet always makes me so happy!!

    • Janelle Post author

      Thanks Catherine. I love how you position it around energy – keeping things simple really does help to conserve energy which can be redirected to the things that make a difference. And if you keep things simply and comfortably chic, you don’t start beating yourself up about your outfit choices, which really isn’t helpful!!

  • Ann Y.

    So sorry you had a bad week – hope things are better now ! Love your ideas of how to perk up a bad time. So agree with the lipstick…a swipe of color makes a big difference. Now retired, I find that I sometime fall into a slump of not making an effort if ” I am just going to be home”. However, moving into an apartment building with a lovely complimentary breakfast in a beautiful setting on the top floor is encouraging me to start my day looking my best…not only for others who I may meet at breakfast ( and chat with over coffee for longer than I should…) but because I feel so much better about everything all day long. Really enjoy your blog…fell off of the reading while moving and unpacking, but back at checking in often now that life is more settled. Traveling to Paris in early November….always wanted to see Paris in the Autumn. Very lucky to have been in Paris in the hot summer, one beautiful week in Spring, and for my 50th birthday one early March when it snowed and made everything magical. Will be checking out your travel, packing, and fashion tips for the upcoming trip!

    • Janelle Post author

      Hi Ann, Happy Birthday!! I’m assuming it’s soon (or I’ve just missed it) given the fact that you spent your 50th there early one March.
      You are going to love Paris in November. If you are lucky, you will still have some autumn colour. But even without the beauty of the autumn leaves Paris at that time of the year is very special. I’m so glad you are enjoying DF – and I’m also glad you’ve settled into your new living arrangements. The companionship sounds quite fabulous.