So now that your wardrobe is fully consolidated (see January’s post), there is no excuse not to wear some of those outfits that you never put on because you haven’t got the right top, scarf, shoes etc. But if you’re anything like me, there are always clothes that you’re saving for best. This has been a topic of conversation that I have been having for years with friends and my wonderful (late) mum, who despite looking amazing, always had clothes that she rarely or never wore.

So what exactly are we actually waiting for? When are these occasions going to happen which call for those outfits? Ok so some get to go on wonderful city breaks to Copenhagen, but even for Rachel that is not a regular occurrence! For most of us, our lives comprise of work, ferrying kids and the occasional (usually low key) social event, none of which seem to lend themselves to putting on our best outfits.


This brings me to the ‘As If’ principle-a theory that I have stumbled upon recently that has had quite a significant impact on my thinking. Developed by William James, a Victorian Philosopher, the idea is that our actions guide our emotions. So instead of waiting to get the feeling of being happy, it is the things we do and the way we do them that can drive our feelings.  In other words, how we act affects how we feel, so smile and you feel happier, act like a newly wed and feel closer to your husband, eat as though it’s your favourite meal and wear your favourite clothes and you’ll feel great. Or in the words of my sixteen year old daughter “dress as if you’re going to bump into your ex boyfriend”.

The possibilities are endless and don’t just apply to what you wear. Use a primer and wear lip liner so your make up feel great, as if you are off to a wedding.



If we adopt that principle, it begs the question,what are we are waiting for? Why do we (I) spend at least one month of the year indoors feeling miserable and waiting for spring? It’s time to live as if this is our only life! Get those ‘saved for best clothes’ out of the wardrobe and create an occasion, even if it is a perfectly poured gin and tonic, a movie on a Saturday night with popcorn in a tub, or coffee in favourite mugs with friends.



Richard Wiseman, Psychologist – @RichardWiseman the most followed on Twitter has written a book on this idea which explains the principle further. Available on Amazon

The As If Principle


2 thoughts on “AS IF

  1. How very true!. I had a week of ‘i’m going to dress up for work’, wearing dress and skirts I was keeping for best. I felt great all week and was paid lovely complements by my work colleagues. Try it!


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