I start thinking about getting ready a day before. I need to plan my outfit and my childcare arrangements in advance. Then, on the day, it takes me about an hour and a half.
I take the longest time doing my hair. I wash, blow-dry, put the hydration back in with serum and heat-protecting products, then flat iron it, before adding a light holding spray. That can take 45 minutes on its own. I’ve got ceiling speakers in my bathroom/dressing room, so I shut the door, put on some music and get the party started. I like to listen to early 90s RB, as well as the odd bit of current stuff – I’ve got to keep ahead of my children.
Everyone should flatter the best bits of themselves. My days of revealing my midriff are gone now. Instead, I have a lot of structured dresses, because they suit me. I am not great with skirts, because they tend not to fit me so well. It is also about knowing the colours that make you pop; blue works for me.
I am fortunate in that I am quite confident in what I wear and with my body shape. I think I’ve grown to love whatever I’ve got, which comes with age. I’ve always liked clothes, although I haven’t always been able to afford what I like. I still can’t, but I tend to shop smartly and put together the things I know work well. I like a heel, even if my feet don’t appreciate it all the time. I don’t need the height – I think I’m tall enough – but I like the way they give you a good posture as you walk and an air of confidence.
Make sure you’ve got a full-length mirror, so you can give yourself the once-over before you go out and give yourself the game face. Own your outfit and like what you see.
• Denise Lewis is a Breast Cancer Care Ambassador.