‘Don’t forget to fall in love with yourself first’ this February – Carrie Bradshaw


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Typically, we look to the Sex and the City siren for style advice, but relationship wisdom and sisterly solidarity are two other reasons why Carrie Bradshaw will always be our favourite screen BFF. During the feverish month of February, with its weight of romantic expectation, remembering that all loves start with self-love is one that resonates with us at Basma Design.  In artistic terms, if each month was painted on a canvas backdrop, then February’s would be strewn with Valentines hearts, chocolates all things romantic. Just look at the way the Not on the High Street - the home of creative businesses - has been spreading the love ever since New Year became Old News!

Since fashion is essentially about self-expression and making oneself feel and look one’s best, I often think how Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to pay attention to the longest relationship we shall ever have: the relationship with ourselves. If that relationship  is unsettled or unstable, then how can any other relationship be healthy and fruitful? If we are not happy in ourselves, in our own skin, how can we expect another to love us and accept us for just being ourselves? As the formidable Diane von Furstenberg puts it, ‘When a woman becomes her own best friend, life is easier’.

Given that many of us spend January berating ourselves for having indulged or simply trying to alter or ‘fix’ ourselves in some way, February should really be a counterpoint; a month to be kinder to ourselves, accept our limitations and ultimately fall in love with ourselves…again. It should never be about changing oneself to please others or seeking approval in order to be loved. 

Indeed, with this compassionate attitude gaining momentum, it’s little wonder that books such as Self-Care for the Real World, by the Narain sisters, have become so popular. With the overarching message to be kinder to ourselves and make our lives easier, the no-nonsense guide to real health and happiness has become a bestseller, promoting a more holistic view of health based on the real world in which we live.  Contradicting the traditional fast fashion, high speed, ‘have-it-all’ pace of life, this tome of #SELFCARE has received celebrity endorsement greater than any London Fashion Week FROW coup. Kate Moss, who knows a thing or two about self-confidence and self-love told Times’ Style magazine, ‘I want to give this book to everyone I know!’

Just as wearing the clothes and colours which make us happy is a sure-fire route to good spirits, so too is being comfortable in one’s own skin. Comfort is where confidence grows and we all know that few things are as attractive as innate confidence! Wearing our favourite silk scarf or pair of jeans or spending some time highlighting and respecting our best features can be the best self-gifting there is. How do we expect someone else to love and cherish us if we don’t love and cherish ourselves?

Of course, the other special love we can look to in February is the one we share with our friendships. Most of the lessons we learn about love and about ourselves come from the relationships we have with our best friends. Chronicling two years as the Times’ Style dating columnist, Dolly Alderton’s newly published memoir offers us a refreshing and alternative view on life’s lessons on love. She sums it up when she says of a relationship with a best friend, ‘I know how liberating it feels to be loved and accepted with all my flaws’. Love is about comfort, acceptance and confidence; anyone or anything which feeds those feelings should be celebrated for Valentine’s Day.

So, rather than waiting for someone to shower us with red roses to confirm their love, why not start with loving ourselves? As the American actress Lucille Ball once said, ‘Love yourself first and everything else falls into line’.

For those already enjoying a fabulous relationship with them self, there’s Kylie Minogue’s sisterly advice to look to: ‘I’m sure that Love exists, even Eternal, Infinite Love’.

Happy Valentines Month.