Outfit to Inspire Action
Woman ready for action in motorcyclist’s outfit c. 1911 – 1920. Harold Paynting Collection, State Library of Victoria.

With my new dynamic businesswoman vision, I’ve been thinking a lot about what she would wear as well as what and how she does. I could win gold medals for procrastination, so it seems to me that I (and my friend Katy) need an Outfit to Inspire Action. It calls for a bit of headology some symbolism and a soupçon of conditioning.

An Outfit to Inspire Action

This post is going to be a little different to my usual outfits because it’s more about what goes on inside your head than what’s on your body, but sometimes that’s more important.

Inside Your Head

We all know that what’s inside our heads has a huge impact on how we see ourselves; whether we are fat, pimple encrusted old hags or beautiful and desirable women. Sometimes what we think affects what we see, and sometimes what we see can change what’s going on inside our heads. I think there are three key elements to this.


For those who aren’t familiar with Terry Pratchett’s Granny Weatherwax, headology is essentially wearing a uniform or garment that convinces both you and others that you are what you say you are. For Granny, it’s a witches hat and cloak. Miss Universe isn’t Miss Universe until she gets THE crown and sash. Then there’s law enforcement uniforms. But it might also be ballet slippers, a chain of office, or the baggy green (has sounds and starts playing immediately).

Thus, donning your outfit changes who you are when you look at yourself in the mirror. You are a witch, beauty queen, or police officer. Of course, you are still that person when you aren’t wearing the accoutrement, but everyone takes off their persona at some point, washes their face, puts on their jimmyjams and goes to bed.


Symbolism is the “art” of representing complex concepts in smaller easy to understand symbols. Similar to emoticons only much older.  For example, when you look at an old painting, it’s crammed with symbolism from the colours, to the objects portrayed, as well as their placement in the field. We’ve lost touch with most of that symbolism, but we understand enough elements of colour and movement to understand the many icons we come across every day.

So you might choose to wear stimulating fiery reds, oranges and yellows. Or images of energetic creatures such as tigers, hummingbirds, or dragonflies. Or florals, such as birds of paradise (anticipation), hollyhocks (ambition), or Lotus (self-regeneration). Depending on the type of inspiration and action you want, consider representations of weather (e,g., wind or storms), productive activities (e.g., harvest), or objects (e.g., ladders, cars, balls). And boost your ability to get things done by accessorising with action oriented gemstones like powellite, vanadinite, or carnelian.

You might like to do some more research on the symbols that will work for you.


Conditioning is the process of changing behaviour through the application of rewards and punishment. It’s what your parents did to you as a child in the hope that you would grow up to become a productive member of society.

In terms of an outfit to inspire action, it’s going to work with headology by putting you into an action headspace. An example that you might be familiar with is rolling up your sleeves – something American marines do before they get dressed so that they are ready for action as soon as they are. At least I think that’s why they do it. Another example is Violet Baudelaire, who ties her long hair up in a ribbon when she needs to think. And Elizabeth Taylor advised, “put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together.”

Hopefully, the reward of getting things done and the punishment of not getting much done are sufficient. If not, you might consider adding elements of ritual or aromas to reinforce your action space.


Think about how you can incorporate your colour and pattern symbolism into your signature look. And what styles are appropriate for the headology of the person you are becoming; for example, do you need a more streamlined silhouette?


Well, probably some clothes. In styles that won’t get in the way of achieving your goals – like not wearing a pencil skirt to run a marathon. Think about how you can include elements of conditioning and ritual into your habit of bathing and dressing.


I’d say this is the time to get a bra fitting so that you have a good supportive garment (there’s that symbolism again).


Here you have the potential for headology (e.g., ballet slippers) as well as more colour and pattern symbolism. Plus, your shoes literally ground and support you, so think about how they can help you achieve your goals.


Again, plenty of scope for headology and symbolism, as well as the opportunity for a little conditioning.


One of my all-time favourites for inspiring action is to get a new hairstyle! In terms of headology, you see a different you, and something a little easier to care for might help you get to business quicker.

Similarly, new makeup changes the way you see yourself, and following Ms Taylor’s advice, it can form part of your conditioning process.

Wrap Up

Much as I despised Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus; John Gray was right when he said women (generally) need to hit rock bottom before they can get up again. If you have hit bottom and are ready to pick yourself up again, creating an outfit to inspire action could become the basis for a new look and attitude. And if you are just looking to adjust your course, it might be just enough to help you build some momentum in the right direction.


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