It’s an argument that crops up in many households — just who does take the longest to get ready before going out? Together with Frank Wright, a British footwear brand that offers high-quality men’s leather boots, we take a look at spending figures and grooming habits to determine who takes longer in the bathroom.

The difference in spending habits

As Brits, it seems as though we do like to treat ourselves to new clothes on a regular basis. In fact, American Express discovered that British buyers are spending £1,093 on new garments for their wardrobes each year. Ecommerce retailers are making shopping for clothes even easier too, as people can browse their favourite brands from the touch of a few buttons and try the products on within 24 hours.

So, how do men’s wardrobes differ to women’s? It appears a female’s wardrobe is packed a lot tighter — the average woman owns 95 items of clothing compared to 56 garments in a man’s closet. That’s almost double the number of potential outfits a woman must decide from ahead of a night out compared to their other half.

Research has shown that men are more efficient shoppers however, as they wear 62% of their wardrobe on a regular basis. Comparing this with women who only wear 59% of their selection frequently, it’s clear to see that females are more into ‘fast fashion’ (where clothing is bought regularly and then pushed to the back of the shelves at home).

Since women own more clothing, you’d think that they spent more per year on clothing? Wrong. It is in fact the men who splash out more when hitting the shops for things to wear. American Express discovered that men spend £115 each month on clothing, compared to a lady’s average spend of £81. The pattern is similar when it comes to purchasing shoes too, with men spending on average £46.50 on footwear each month and women spending more than £10 less (£34.80). Could it be that men are buying higher-quality, more long-lasting clothing?

According to Greenpeace, women now own a significant 60% more clothes than they did before the year 2000. Can this all be accounted to the growing online fashion industry? It certainly appears to have contributed. The online fashion market is set to increase a huge 79% by the year 2022, reaching just under £29 billion. An outstanding 85% of females aged 16-24 have also purchased something to wear online. Men are choosing outfits over the pub now too — statistics revealed that they spend £67.10 more each month on clothes than on drinks or tickets to games.

Personal grooming

Aside from choosing what to wear, getting yourself well-groomed can also take up some time ahead of a big night out.

Perhaps it was once women who spent the longest doing their hair, moisturising and getting prepped, but it’s all changing. The average male monthly spend on beauty and grooming products totalled £40.90, whereas women were found to be spending £35.30. According to grooming expert, Lee Kynaston, the number of 16-24-year-old men using self-tanning products increased by 27% between 2016 and 2017.

More men are wearing make-up now too as a way of covering small imperfections and boosting confidence. In fact, the UK boss of L’Oreal, Vismay Sharma, has forecasted that men may have their own cosmetic counters in department stores very soon to meet the demand of the ‘selfie generation’.


The verdict

So, who do we think takes longest to get ready?

It seems to be an even split. As we can see, women own a lot more clothes and therefore probably take a while choosing what they want to wear. Men on the other hand, own less clothes but spend more on grooming products. This means that they could be spending a few extra minutes making themselves look good.




Hot Pink Wellingtons

Are you looking for a new linky to join? I encourage you to celebrate blogging positively with Best Boot Forward. Before we get started, I though I would answer some of the questions bloggers have already asked.

Why have you set up a new linky?

I know how important it is to live positively to make magical memories for ourselves and our families. Experience of depression and loss made me wake up to that! By bringing a community of bloggers together (and you are invited!) we can be inspired to do this every day.

Who are the hosts?

Myself and the wonderfully quirky and creative genius that is Chloe over at Indigo Wilderness.

When does the linky go live?

Best Boot Forward will go live every Wednesday and remain open until the following Tuesday giving you plenty of time to link up.

How many blog posts can I link up?

We don’t have a harsh limit. Link up posts that you feel could be described as “blogging positively”. If your posts show you taking baby steps or even huge ones to make life better, you will be helping other people too. Consider Best Boot Forward your flexible linky friend  – we are not going to around with a big whip and just ask that you blog positively and act with a good heart.

What’s in it for bloggers?

The Best Boot Forward linky is a superb way to promote your blog to some new readers. Joining in linkies is of course fabulous for increasing your domain authority which in turn can lead to more review and paid opportunities. My domain authority is 37 and an awful lot of that comes from being an active participant in linkies.

Chloe  and myself will comment on every blog post linked up and share them on social media.

Participants are encouraged to comment on as many posts as they feel they can manage (because life is busy!) but definitely on one of the host’s posts and the post linked up before theirs.

Anything else I need to know?

Best Boot Forward will also have a Facebook community and we will be active on Instagram and Twitter with hashtag #BestBootForward

So are you ready to showcase how you are blogging (and living!) positively with Best Boot Forward?


Kate on thin ice

I would like to visit Italy and cannot quite get the idea out of my mind. I read about a book about Tuscany as a young adult which started off the desire to see the country for myself. With my depression gone, I am more adventurous and hope to be in Italy by the end of the year.


Tuscany itself has some art treasures that I would love to see. I have a dream of taking my creative daughter to Florence. For some reason, I want this to be very much about just the two of us together enjoying and being inspired by art.


My brother is an opera singer and worked for many years at La Scala in Milan. Sadly he never invited me to visit. So it would be cool to head there under my own steam and perhaps to take in a little opera although I think my late Mum was more excited by the shopping!

The seaside

Like my sailor Dad, I love the sea and you only have to look at the  shape of Italy to see just how much coastline there is to enjoy. I look forward to investigating  the variety of beaches on offer from the tourist-heavy to quieter and more obscure fishing villages.


We are most definitely a family of foodies. We all love pizza and pasta and just know it would be that much  better in Italy. Of course Italian cuisine includes lots of other special dishes so I will be sure to check out cured meats and truffles along with checking out different regions and their culinary delights.

Religious sites

As a child I used to hate how my Mum would take us to so many churches when we were on holiday. I famously angered her when I went to Paris and went to a market instead of the Notre Dame. However, as I was brought up Catholic and with more of a spiritual feel to my life these days, I would like to visit Rome. It is a city that pulls at my heart strings.

Right, I have convinced myself and will start looking at good dates for my Italian adventure. I don’t think my current battered case will be enough for such a trip and definitely not stylish enough.  I am quite temped by  Tumi products at Betty Hemmings especially the extra-deep globe-trotter suitcase. Big cases mean huge shopping sprees and why not on the adventure of a lifetime?

Do you have favourite places in Italy to share with me?






The Pramshed

My dream house is not too unlike the one I live in. I have had so many house moves over the years so I have learned to know what I like and also to know what works for us as a family. It is always good to dream a little because then you can make those plans come true when time and money allow. Here are some things I would like to add to my home.

Dream House

Indoor swimming pool

This is a bit of a standing joke in our family. Whenever the children don’t get what they want immediately and start moaning, I will say that I want an indoor swimming pool but we don’t always get what we want in life. On a serious point, I think it would be great to have a swimming pool sanctuary in an area of the home to relax and keep fit in. One day it will happen and if I have to compromise then an outdoor one will do.

Family-friendly flooring

Floors are the bane of my life as they can get dirty in an instant especially when you have children and pets. So in my dream home, I would remove all carpets for starters which in my opinion just suck up the muck. Give me tiled floors please and right throughout the home.

Bi-fold doors

I am a huge fan of property shows on the television. A few years ago we started hearing about the wonder of bi-fold doors. As someone who needs a lot of natural light to enhance my mood these really appeal to me. I love how they enable you to bring the outdoors in especially in the warmer months.  I notice from Three Counties Windows that you can add colour or wood effects to the bi-fold doors so you can ensure the doors fit in with your interior design too.

A bedroom of my own

I was brought up as an only child really. I had brothers but they were much older so away for most of my time in my childhood home. I loved the sanctuary of my own bedroom with its totally over the top wardrobes, a desk my Dad made to my design and my sliding door which Dad made for me after I decided it would be glamorous to have one. I spent a lot of time in my room dreaming and reading. It was home to my precious things like my foreign doll and stamp collections. It was where I listened to music. Like many wives and mums, I crave space a lot. Recently I have put a bed in a downstairs room so I can have a little escape haven but I would like to have a proper bedroom just for myself one day.

The perfect office

I have office space here but I would love to add lovely things to it like a vintage leather-bound desk with a retro lamp and a globe drinks cabinet in the corner.

As I say you have to dream and a lot of these options for my dream house are absolutely in reach or something to work towards positively.

What would your dream house look like?



Cuddle Fairy


What does it feel like when you have to give up a beloved career due to health issues? How do you move forward positively? If you are thinking of changing career or have challenging health issues currently, I hope you will take inspiration from Emma’s amazing story.

Changing Career


Please tell us a little about your childhood and teenage years.

I was loved by my family and bullied by my peers. It made for a difficult childhood but as I grew it created a strength in my me I would have not had without such experiences.

What was your first job?

I worked a number of jobs through my college and university years, incredibly, being a police officer was my first real career. I went to university thinking that I wanted to work in the social care field.  During my university course one of my fellow students was a police inspector. I was impressed that the police service were paying and giving him time to complete a degree and began to ask lots of questions about his job.  He invited me to spend a few days with his shift, I took him up on his offer, went out with his team and became hooked.  I knew there and then that being a police officer and serving the public was my future.

What did you learn from your time with the police force?

Being a police officer is an honour. Often through no fault of their own you enter the most personal part of people’s lives. Being a police officer taught me that life is precious, it’s a gift to be cherished.  No one rings the police to tell them about the amazing things that have happened to them. Instead, you only ever hear the bad. For many police officers this taints your vision of life and has done mine on occasion but now I understand that having seen such darkness I can appreciate the light and its brighter than ever.

Please tell us about your health challenges? What was the impact on your police career?

I was diagnosed with a rare brain condition called chairi malformation. It is basically a hernia in the hind brain, it causes the bottom of the brain to extend into the spinal canal causing an obstruction of brain fluid.   I collapsed at home one evening and was told that I needed to have brain decompression surgery.  It took about a year before I could have the surgery because of the NHS waiting time.  The added complication came from needing both a ward and an intensive care bed, if an emergency took the intensive care bed, my surgery was cancelled.

Throughout this time my symptoms progressed. I had intense headaches that are so far away from any standard headache I had experienced. It was a pulsing in my brain that extended out into my temples causing searing pain and constant fog.  My hernia affected my arms and legs which would collapse without a moment’s notice, often leaving people ringing an ambulance for me.  My eye sight was affected, leaving me feeling dizzy with blackouts and I could permanently see black spots, in the way you see small midges in the summer.  Work put me on reduced hours and I would attend when I could and often didn’t manage to get in at all.  I had had my driving licence removed by this point and was reliant on public transport and an electric bike to get to work.  It was difficult but I managed the best I could.

The day of my surgery eventually arrived and I prayed as I was put to sleep, I contracted meningitis following my surgery so my recovery took much longer than expected. I walked with a stick for many months following my surgery and slowly started to regain my strength.  The police sent me for medical testing and it was decided that they would release me early from my service due to my medical needs.  My surgery saw them remove part of my spine and skull and clearly the risk associated with that was too great for me to return to full police duties.

How did you feel to lose your career in the police force?

I am a very optimistic person, I like to find the silver lining wherever I go. Once I had acknowledged that my career would come to an end I started to plan my exciting future.  I had been through hell and back but that brought with it a spark of light.  It was a light so bright that I knew I had my future in front of me.  Not many people get to start again but that’s exactly what this situation had done for me.

How did you decide what to do next?

A great friend who owned a training company invited me to attend the coaching and mentoring course they were running. I was instantly hooked.  Coaching felt very natural to me as many of the skills were similar to what I had developed in the police service.  I was an advanced interviewer, as I worked in the child protection team and interviewed people about complex cases.  Coaching and interviewing seemed to go hand in hand for me.  I had also been a trainer in the police, they had allowed me to study for my post graduate certificate in education and I delivered police management and diversity training for about 9 years of my service.  With that my friend offered me a job delivering their coaching and mentoring course.  I loved it.  Delivering and enhancing this training made me feel alive and I eventually made the decision to start my own business.

Who supported you through this challenging time?

My family and friends were hugely supportive to me, practically, physically and emotionally. But one organisation who helped me beyond belief was the Ann Conroy Trust.  A charity supporting people with brain hernias.

What do you do now?

I now am the director of my own business, considered coaching and training.

I teach people how to be coaches and mentors, partnered with the CMI who approve my courses. I also deliver bespoke training programmes as well as covering diversity training and specialising in trans awareness, work which I started in the police service and vowed to continue with.  I have just been to the middle east teaching negotiation skills and conflict management training. I get all over the place.  I also empower people to live the life they want by coaching them to create new patterns of thinking so they can power through the blocks that hold them back.

What words of wisdom would you give to a woman who is facing a huge health issue?

Having a huge health issue is frightening, for you and those around you. However, it is often not until you have seen the darkness that you see the true light.  Stay strong because when you look back you will see that the difficult time you have had will bring many new opportunities, but you need to keep looking and you can’t do so with your head down. So, keep your head up and feel the light.

What tips would you give to a woman who wants to set up a business but lacks the confidence to do so?

I always ask my coaching clients, what is the worst that could happen. The reality is never anywhere near the story we create. Situations don’t have meanings. We create meanings in our mind.  You are the master of your own story, so tell yourself a new story, one in which you achieve and shine in this world. Then you will live the story you have created.

Is there anything you would recommend to a woman to inspire and motivate her?

I love TED talks. They are inspiring, educational and motivational.

Is there anything else you would like to say?

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are” Anais Nin. Take time to step into other peoples shoes so you can see through their eyes and by doing so you will develop compassion so strong and deep people will want to connect with you. This guides my rules of life, we are all here for the same reason and if I can help people with that goal then we all feel good. Open your heart and live your life with passion.

Have you considered changing career? Are you inspired by Emma’s story?

Do you have an inspirational woman in your life?

Sharing so openly takes a huge amount of courage so please do consider sharing this post by clicking one or more of the buttons below.

If you would like to share your story on this blog please get in touch.



My Random Musings