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Monika Mueller

Effortless Style

How to Look Effortlessly Stylish

By | Uncategorised

Have you ever looked at someone and thought, “Wow, I love her style!” But when you recreate it yourself it just doesn’t quite look as stylish?

What makes someone have great style and look so effortlessly put together?

There are so many excuses we come up with when it comes to other’s having great style…

“She looks effortlessly stylish because she’s skinny, because she’s tall, because she has the style gene, because she’s…” just fill in the blank!

But I’m going to let you in on a little secret. No style is effortless, even for the most put together women.

Having a style that truly reflects you takes time and investment. It’s not a case of once you find it that’s it – it’s an evolving process.

Life and style are ever evolving

As your life evolves, so should your style.

In my teens to my 20’s I think I had every style personality going. I adopted trends left, right and centre and some clothes didn’t even see the light of day. If neon was on trend, you can bet your bottom dollar I had a version of it in my wardrobe! (I’m happy to say there is no neon in my wardrobe now.) At the time I probably made a lot of style faux pas but, hey, we were all so carefree then.

“Having a style that truly reflects you takes time and investment.”

What I’m pointing you to, is that you need to remember your style should evolve through the years with you. When you look back on photos you’ll see that how you dressed in your 20’s is very different to how you dress now.

If you’re struggling with what to wear and find getting dressed in the morning frustrating and not effortless at all, it’s because your style is not aligned to who you are now (check out my blog How to Create a Signature Style for more on this).

The simple truth is, looking effortlessly stylish is not a complete myth. It does however require time and effort to get the results you want. Yes, it’s much easier to go shopping on a whim and mindlessly buy whatever catches your eye. But when you put in the work to really learn about you and shop mindfully and with purpose, that’s when the magic really happens.

Here are a few things to get you closer to achieving a wardrobe that helps you get dressed with ease and style.

Be You

The aim of the game is for your style to give you the ‘Triple C’ effect…

  • Comfort
  • Confidence
  • Control

To achieve this, you need to know how you want to project yourself to the world. Your style should be a reflection of your personality and lifestyle. It should also embrace and enhance your gorgeous physical characteristics (dressing for your body shape and wearing the right shades of colour).

Choose the right clothes

If you’ve been reading my blogs for a while, I apologise in advance as I’m going to sound like a broken record. But this is important so I’m going to say it again. Always buy quality over quantity and remember, less is more!

“Your style should evolve through the years with you.”

You deserve to have clothes that make you look and feel your very best. So, buy the best quality in your price range and think of cost per wear.

For example, a year ago I had a client who always shopped in the sales because she loved a good bargain. When we were going through her wardrobe however, some of the items had hardly been worn. So, even though she’d bagged some great discounts, in the long run her cost per wear was high.

When we went shopping together we bought a few full price essential items, which she was hesitant to buy being a bargain hunter! She recently got in touch and told me she’s worn those items so much that it’s really changed the way she shops. For example, she bought a pair of jeans for 249CHF. Now let’s just say she wore them once a week for the whole year – the cost per wear is less than 5CHF.

When shopping remember my golden rule to ask yourself before you make a purchase…

“Can I style this item 3 different ways with my current wardrobe?”

If you can’t, walk away from it!

Regular editing

Sometimes, no matter how vigilant we are, those pesky items that don’t serve us in any way shape or form will occasionally still creep into our wardrobes (the gift that was given, the impulse buy, etc). So, it’s important to edit your wardrobe every season.

This doesn’t mean you toss out everything and buy something new each season. This is about editing out anything that really has no function in your wardrobe. Items that are showing signs of wear and tear and anything bobbling or colour fading. Then reintroduce essential items with an upgrade on quality.

“I believe your wardrobe should be stylish not fashionable”

If you do this season on season, you’ll find over time that you’re editing far fewer items and your style becomes more clearly defined.

Update your wardrobe

You might think this contradicts my previous two points, but once you know what you like and what your true style is, feel free to update items.

I’m not one to advocate needing to have the latest fashions (I believe your wardrobe should be stylish not fashionable), but some things will eventually look outdated. So, remember, for items that are outdated seek out the updated version of it. Or, if there’s an item you absolutely love in your wardrobe but it’s poor quality, look for a better version of it.

Footwear

Again, I know I’m repeating myself from previous blogs (but you can never hammer an important point home too many times right?) but, for me, shoes are one of the most important and too often overlooked items of a woman’s outfit.

Having a few choices of styles and heights not only helps you create a variety of looks, but they can also take your outfit to the next level. Take the time to shop for great shoes and also spend a little bit of money to ensure quality.  We’re on our feet a lot, so it’s well worth taking care of these two little things that continuously carry us from a to b.

So, as I hope you can see, being stylish does involve some effort initially. But, the closer you get to knowing yourself, knowing what works for you and fits into your lifestyle, making decisions becomes easier. And easier decisions results in needing to give less time and thought into putting an effortlessly stylish outfit together.

If you have any questions about your style and would like a professional opinion, I’d love to support you. Book yourself in for a style consultation and we can talk things through together.

Signature Style

How do You Create a Signature Style?

By | Style Tips

Do you know why the likes of Amal Clooney, Meghan Markle and Katie Holmes all look amazing? Ok yes, they might have a brilliant stylist, but if you look carefully you’ll see they all have a signature style.

Every time you see them photographed there’s always a synergy with what they’re wearing, and they look extremely well put together.

These ladies know what they like and have a style personality that’s the perfect match with their lifestyles. They don’t necessarily follow trends, but when they do, it’s a trend that works for them and suits their physical appearance.

Take Amal Clooney for example. You’ll instantly see that she always looks well-polished and put together. She definitely dresses to impress whether she’s going to a courtroom or hanging out with her kids and gorgeous hubby. There’s a synergy with what she wears that oozes sophisticated chic – clean, feminine tailored silhouettes, minimalistic jewellery (often earrings rather than necklaces) and a bold lipstick to accentuate her pouty lips. Head to toe she always looks a million dollars.

What is a signature style?

Many might describe signature style as a uniform, but I beg to differ. Uniforms remind me of what I wore to school in the UK; polyester shirt with a navy and green striped tie, navy pleated skirt and a cheap navy V-neck sweater with the school emblem. We all looked like clones!

The way I look at signature style is that it’s an outward translation of who you are on the inside. Our clothing is our second skin that shows the world who we are. It needs to complement our first skin and our lives, and not dominate or become the only focal point.

“Our clothes should make us feel like our best version of ourselves and create a memorable and authentic image.” 

Something I believe and share with my clients are the five key components to creating your signature style. Some will be obvious and others less so.

Let’s take a look at each of them…

Component 1: Mindset

Quite frankly I think this is the most important of the five components, and something you may not have even considered when it comes to your style. However, your mindset is the thing that will have the greatest impact on how you dress.

From believing you’re worth investing in, to challenging the idea that some women are just more stylish than others, how you think about these things will determine the style choices you make. Of course, it also depends whether your personal style is a priority to you (if it’s not that’s absolutely fine). But if it is something you prioritise, you’ll be far more willing to invest the time, money and effort aligning your style to who you are.

The most common disconnect I see in women when it comes to mindset, is that they want to prioritise their personal style but come up with a million excuses that hold them back, such as…

  1. I can’t dress like her because I don’t have the perfect body
  2. I can’t dress how I want because I have kids
  3. They don’t make nice clothes in plus sizes
  4. To have a great wardrobe I need lots of money

I could go on and on!

It’s easy to look at super stylish women and think it’s a breeze for them because they have great figures, they have more money or they have more time, and if I had all of that it would be easy for me too.

But that simply isn’t true. There’s no such thing as effortless style; it takes work and commitment.

Style comes when you care

Style doesn’t come when you have all your ducks in a row. It comes when you care about how you look and decide to make it a priority. And if style isn’t your priority at the moment, there’s no shame in that.

But you can’t say your style is a priority for you and then not put any effort in – that’s where the disconnect lies. Your actions need to match your mindset.

Recently after giving birth I kept feeling crap about the way I looked and blamed it on all the baby weight I’d put on (chocolate bar regret felt very real!!). I kept thinking, “I need to lose weight before I can dress how I want”. I was giving myself a hard time, but in reality there was a disconnect because I wasn’t actually making much effort with looking my best – I was lucky if I had time to wash my hair!

As soon I came to terms with the fact that my appearance wasn’t my priority at that time, I freed myself up to focusing on what really mattered, which was adapting to life with a new member in our family and being a family of 4.

Now I’m back at work my priority has shifted again. My body isn’t quite back to how it was pre-pregnancy, but I’m not hung up on it, because I’m doing something about it. I’m putting in the time, money and investment and wearing clothes that flatter me best.

How do you feel getting dressed?

To find out how you really feel about your style, think about how you feel getting dressed every morning. Do you just see it as a chore, or do you see it as part of your self-care and self-expression? How do you feel about the clothes you put on every morning? These feelings are important as they set the tone for your day.

How highly do you prioritise your self-image?

Granted self-image won’t always be a top priority for everyone, and that’s absolutely fine. But if it is something you’re not happy with, do you believe you can learn about and stretch your style muscles? Are you willing to put the effort and time in and not make excuses?

Once you’ve given yourself permission to make your self-image a priority, you can then consider the next components.

Component 2: Personality

Like anything you do, you need to have a vision of how you want to look and what message you want to convey.

Think about it this way. If you were decorating a home, you wouldn’t just start randomly buying every piece of furniture you like. First you’d think about what kind of space you want to create and the mood – are you going for antique or shabby chic, or a cleaner minimalistic look? Then you’d buy furniture that’s to your taste and adds a finesse that makes you feel good about the room.

It’s the same with your style. Your style should translate who you are on the inside to how you look on the outside. (I’ll be exploring this in more detail in my upcoming blog, ‘How to Look Effortlessly Stylish’.) 

Component 3: Lifestyle

Do you often hear yourself saying you have nothing to wear? Well, this is because your wardrobe is not entirely matching your lifestyle. Your clothes need to be functional for your everyday activities, but more often than not we end up with a wardrobe that sways more to one aspect of our lives than the others.

Next time you have a few minutes spare, record how your week is broken down. For example, are you 60% at work, 20% doing sports and 20% socialising. Then look at your wardrobe; does it represent how your time is split? When your wardrobe is aligned with your lifestyle you’ll find it’s more cohesive and easier to dress every morning.

Component 4: Physical Characteristics 

Quite simply, this is knowing what suits your body shape, skin tone and features. Be true to yourself and don’t look at how you hope to dress if you were a few sizes smaller or bigger. Dress for the body and skin you have now because believe me, it’s the one you’ll be wishing you had in 10-years’ time!

Use clothes to your advantage as they can really accentuate and elevate your assets and minimize any less than desirable aspects.

Learning how to dress for your body and knowing what colours to wear is a long-term investment that can be a big game changer.

Component 5: Essential Pieces for a Signature Style

This goes hand in hand with lifestyle. Every woman needs to have staple pieces in her wardrobe that she can dress up or down, and that truly reflect her personality and lifestyle.

From my experience, one reason women struggle with building multiple outfits is because they lack good basics. Avoid trends unless it’s one that you can pull off and will last many seasons in your wardrobe.

If you look at the women who dress with style and ease and look comfortable in their skin, you’ll see how they use the right essential pieces that become part of their staple look.

Another point to remember is that your essential pieces don’t need to break the bank! Always remember to buy the best quality and mix high and low prices. For example, I spend around 30CHF on white t-shirts because I know they’ll wear out quickly. I’ll buy a few of them as they’re part of my signature style, but I also wear a lot of blazers and these will vary in price range. I have high priced ones as well as a couple from Zara that are timeless.

“The key to making a signature look work year after year, is to be consistent but not fall entirely into a rut” – stylist Kate Young

Once you’ve done all the hard work with establishing and building your signature style, you need to ensure you keep it current.

I’m not a believer of constantly shopping, but sometimes some styles do get outdated or look worn out. Just keep this in mind and always be on the lookout for a replacement.

I’ll leave you with one of my favourite quotes from Anne Klein…

“Clothes aren’t going to change the world. The women who wear them will.”

If you’re ready to create a signature style and would like to discuss these component parts in more detail, I’m here to help! Book yourself in for a style consultation and we can talk things through together.

Groom to Zoom

Groom to Zoom: 4 Ways to Ensure You’re Not Just a Square on a Screen

By | Style Tips

Hands up if your new norm includes spending a lot of your day on Zoom or some other video tech program?

Yep, me too!

We’d like to think when it comes to dressing for video conferencing that it would be easier than meeting in person. I mean, logically you only need to think about how you’re looking from your waist up right?

Ummmm sadly no!!

In fact, I’ve recently had a few women getting in touch to ask me how they can create a presence on video calls and what they should wear. After all, no one wants to be just another square on a screen. What you really want is to make the screen space you’re occupying pop!

Look professional when you Zoom

Have you witnessed the person who rocks up to a video call having just rolled out of bed, dragged a brush through their hair, thrown on a hoodie and has their unmade bed as a backdrop? Or the mum working from home with her cheeky kid in the background pulling funny faces (funny, yes. Potential to go viral, yes. Professional – that’ll be a no!)

“Working from home is not an excuse for slipping on your loungewear every day”

When you’re using Zoom as a professional tool, and you want to create a stylish presence, you still need to make sure you’re turning up looking your best. Working from home is not an excuse for slipping on your loungewear every day.

There are some important factors to consider right out the gate when it comes to choosing your Zoom outfits:

  • Your position in the company
  • The company culture
  • Company dress code

For example, whether you hold a high-level position or you’re a junior, if the company culture and dress code is smart, it’s just not cool to turn up to a call in a t-shirt and jeans!

At all times keep your company norms in mind and have the mindset that you should look put together, even if it’s a video call with your peer groups. When you take the time to dress the part you show instant gravitas and professionalism.

That being said, what you usually wear to work (especially in a corporate environment) may not be exactly the same on Zoom. You do have a little license to dress a little more relaxed, but still smart and showing professionalism.

Let’s take a look at how you can easily do this…

Wear colours that compliment you

Believe me, I know, it takes a whole load off your mind to automatically opt for black or white. But these colours will make you look washed out and, let’s face it, the majority of other people on the call will likely be wearing dark colours. In a sea of dark, it’s colour that’s going to draw all eyes to your square.

The camera absolutely adores jewel and rich tones, so try to wear these on your top half. Go for a colour that lifts your skin tone but that isn’t too close to it (we don’t want people questioning whether you have clothes on at all now do we!).

“If you want to influence a certain situation, you can subtly do this with the colour you wear”

Wear colours that compliment your characteristics. For example, if you’re a redhead a warmer pallet will look beautiful. If you’re quite light skinned with light hair a cooler pallet will make you look more vibrant. Colour psychology is also a great tool to use. So, if you want to influence a certain situation, you can subtly do this with the colour you’re wearing. I’ll soon be sharing a blog post all about this.

Accessories

Accessories are a great way to add an interesting dimension to your look, but please air on the side of caution and don’t overdo it!

Jewellery adds a bit of sparkle and interest but make sure it isn’t distracting. You want people to pay attention to what you’re saying and not to your jewellery jingling in the microphone.

If jewellery isn’t your thing, a nice scarf will also do the trick.

Prints

You need to be careful with prints and if you’re not sure if you wear them well I’d suggest avoiding them.

However, if prints are your thing, go for something small but not too busy as this can strobe on camera. Ideally go for a blocked colour in a soft lux fabric like silk, as the camera works well with this.

A little bonus Zoom tip

For many of us, face to face meetings feel easier and being forced into being on camera for video calls really pushes us outside our comfort zone – I hear you, me too!

So, if you’re camera shy or feel slightly nervous, here’s a top tip I was taught in my early days as a buyer at Harrods…

Wear heels!

Psychologically heels make us feel more in control. I know it might seem a little silly wearing heels to sit at your desk at home, but I highly recommended you give it a try and see if it makes a difference for you.

Above all else, remember, it’s important to maintain your gravitas and professionalism for Zoom just as you would when you’re face to face, and what you choose to wear matters and makes a lasting impression.

To guide you further I’ve created an additional freebie ‘How to Set Up the Perfect Zoom Call, because making an impact on Zoom is not just about your clothes, it’s about creating the right setting as well.

Wardrobe must-haves

How to Personalise Your Wardrobe ‘Must-Haves’

By | Uncategorised

So many of us think we need to have new clothes every season. Magazines, blogs and social media tell us about the ‘10 essential must-haves in your wardrobe’. ‘Must-have summer dresses’. ‘What you should buy’. I recently saw a headline on a blog that said ‘100 basics you need’. I mean ‘100’, really, I don’t know how that’s a basic wardrobe!

As much as these lists may be fun to read, they can make us feel confused. We get caught out thinking, “I need that new thing”. But having these items in your wardrobe won’t make things easier or make you feel at your best. Unless, of course, they’re aligned with your unique characteristics and personality. 

“My role is to help you define your style and give you confidence with less stress and less stuff.”

As a stylist, my role is to help you define your style and give you confidence with less stress and less ‘stuff’. It’s important you have your mind in check when it comes to the essential items in your wardrobe. This will help you get ready with ease every day.  

My goal is that overtime you’ll be buying less and less and making sure you’re shopping for your wardrobe first. This doesn’t mean you can’t buy any new clothes when a new season hits if that’s what you feel like doing. Occasionally we all want to splurge on something new and that’s absolutely fine. But the priority is that your wardrobe has a great foundation first. 

Don’t waste time with a generic ‘must-haves’ checklist

As part of my service, I provide my clients with a bespoke wardrobe checklist. This is based on their unique personality, body shape, lifestyle, budget and colouring. A generic ‘must-have’ checklist is a waste of time. It adds no value unless you’ve had a 1:1 consultation with a personal stylist first. Or you’re adept at adapting your checklist to your own style and know what you need. 

I don’t want you to fall into the trap of thinking you have to have certain items, such as a white shirt, in your wardrobe, just because it’s always stated as a classic. You should only have one if… 

  1. It matches your style personality, and 
  2. It fits into your lifestyle

“A ‘must-have’ item in a magazine doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best style for you”

Remember, there are so many different white shirt aesthetics. The one that’s a ‘must-have’ item in a magazine doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best style for you. 

Another example is trainers. Trainers have been on-trend for a while now and can be seen as a ‘must-have’ item. They’ve now become very versatile and are no longer just a shoe for sports. They’re regularly worn with jeans, suits, dresses, etc., and this may be a trend you’re happy to adopt and make one of your essential items. 

I for one ditched my summer sandals this year and had invested in a few pairs of trainers, but this is because my current lifestyle is very different to last year. Pushing a buggy in trainers is much easier. There used to be a time when I never wore trainers outside of the gym. Now they’ve become one of my essential items. 

On the other hand, one of my clients who’s an extremely successful entrepreneur, would never be seen wearing a pair of trainers. Her must haves are a pair of Louboutin’s. This again matches her style personality and her elite lifestyle.

Defining your must-haves

To help you define your own must-haves checklist, I’m going to show you a few ways to create one that reflects you, your style-personality and your lifestyle. 

“Which pieces in your wardrobe make it easier for you to get dressed and make you feel good”

The first thing you need to consider when putting your checklist together, is which pieces in your wardrobe make it easier for you to get dressed and make you feel good. Then see what you’re lacking and is therefore making it difficult for you to put outfits together.

Let’s take jeans. Now, I’m not saying they’re a must-have in every woman’s wardrobe but, I’m sure you’ll agree, in most wardrobes jeans are a staple.  

You can wear them as often as you want and they’re easy to dress up and down. There’s no denying, when you have a great pair of jeans that fit you well it’s easier to get dressed, but when you don’t it’s harder to combine them with other pieces. They then become less of an essential item in your wardrobe. 

The same can be said for any basic item such as neutral shoes, t-shirts, basic bottoms, etc. Just having these pieces is not enough, these pieces need to be personal to you. 

Selecting your must-haves

Let’s look at three ways you can select your must-haves.   

Value

Your closet needs to work for you and be functional – if it doesn’t, it will be harder for you to get dressed every morning. If you hear yourself constantly saying “I have nothing to wear”, or you feel panicky thinking about what to wear, or worry that your style doesn’t represent you, then your closet doesn’t hold any value. 

What you need to get clear on is the vision you hold for your style and make sure your closet serves your purpose. By that I mean it serves your lifestyle. This is the first thing I do with my 1:1 clients. 

“Ask yourself whether what you’re looking at serves your lifestyle”

Our own vision is something we sometimes get lost with, because we see something looking cute on a model or influencer and think, “Oh, I need that!”. I’ll admit sometimes I’m guilty of that too. But you need to be practical and ask yourself whether what you’re looking at serves your lifestyle and is functional for what you need?  

Break it down 

To help you get clear on this, write down how you spend your time in any given week. Do you spend Monday to Friday working and weekends at your home in the countryside? Are you running around after kids all day long? Or are you now working from home all the time? How is your time spent? When you get clear on how your time is divided, from there you can see what type of clothes are essential.  

For example, if you work 40-hours in an office (this may have changed to working from home) and weekends are casual, then the bulk of your wardrobe should be tailored towards work. Depending on your work dress code, from there you can see what the essential items in your wardrobe need to be – for example, this is where a great white shirt might be needed. However, if you’re a mum running around after kids all day, a white shirt probably won’t be a very practical item (depending on the age of your kids), so instead it might be a t-shirt and jeans.  

One of the reasons women end up wearing the same clothes again and again is because their wardrobe is not in balance with their lifestyle. They don’t have enough clothes suitable for how they spend the majority of their time.  

Align with your personal style 

This is really important. If something doesn’t align to who you are, you’re never going to feel your best in it. Having that summer ‘must-have’ isn’t going to make you feel stylish, even if there are 10 different ways to wear it! I truly believe when your clothing is aligned to your personality it’s a win-win situation. You will exude confidence and it also shows the world who you are. 

It’s always about how your clothing makes you feel”

I believe that your vision and feeling good in your clothes is going to trump anything else. It’s always about how your clothing makes you feel. I’m sure you’ve had the experience of wearing something you absolutely love and how in tune it feels to who you are. 

Enhance your unique characteristics

Just having a wardrobe that matches your personality and lifestyle isn’t enough. To look your best, you need clothes that fit you well and in colours that make you feel good.

Colour

I often read advice that says, ‘wear more colour’ and how ‘colour can change a look’. Yes, colour is important, and it definitely can elevate your wardrobe. But wearing a colour just because it’s the colour of the season isn’t going to do you any justice. Only go with colours you feel comfortable in and that you know work for you. 

Here’s a classic example most of us have experienced…

You go into a store and immediately a piece of clothing grabs your eye. You love the colour and style and you simply have to try it on. Once you’ve got it on, you feel kind of washed out. But hey it must be the lighting or the mirrors in the changing room (most often they are awful) and you end up buying it anyway. When you get home, you try it on again. Again the colour isn’t working for you. Then you try it with make-up or with other items from your wardrobe but it’s still not working. Now you’ve spent money on it you have to wear it, and you do wear it, but you never feel good in it. 

Does this sound familiar?

I’m a colour expert and I’m telling you; you don’t need so many colours in your wardrobe. Go for tones that you know suit you and make you glow. These will end up being your must-have colours. 

If you don’t know what colours work for you then get in touch for a colour analysis.

Fit

The same goes for fit. Choose styles that fit your shape, not what magazines tell you to wear. For example, jeans come in so many different styles and washes but for many years the skinny jean has been the staple. But if this fit makes you feel more conscious of your thighs and bum and doesn’t make you feel amazing, then it’s not a must-have style for you. 

Your must-haves need to be pieces that you feel your best in and you can wear again and again. They’re the items that tie your clothes together to create a cohesive wardrobe that reflects your authentic style, and the image you want people to see. 

Always remember, to create a wardrobe you love and actually enjoy wearing, your must-haves need to be pieces that work with your unique characteristics first, plus fit your lifestyle and reflect your personality.

If you’d like some help getting clear on your ‘must-haves’, book yourself into my diary for a free 20-minute style consultation and let’s work out your checklist together.

Why Embracing My Body Has Been A Challenge?

By | Uncategorised

I’ve been pondering writing this blog for a while but have held off announcing so publicly that there’s a big change happening, while I continue ‘business as normal’.  

 If you don’t know already, here it is: I’m 6-months pregnant! 

Whilst I’m absolutely ecstatic about having a new person in our lives very soon, I’ve been holding back  with publicly sharing the news because I’ve been struggling with my constantly changing body. I’ve been obsessing over just how large I’m becoming! My body is unrecognizable to me, and is changing rapidly by the day. 

 

The Vulnerable Truth

I feel very vulnerable sharing this because I know some may take  it the wrong way and think I’m so lucky to be pregnant, and question why am I so focused on how I’m looking. And to be honest I have no answer to that. It’s truly a beautiful thing having a new life growing inside of me, but every time I stare at my body it looks so different.

Whilst many women love being pregnant, enjoying their cute bump and changing shape, for me nothing could prepare me for the emotional havoc this time round. 

But all our journeys are different, we all have different experiences and different emotions and it’s important to acknowledge and respect that.  

 

The Stories We Tell Ourselves 

I think having a business and being the face of my business is one of the reasons I’m finding it challenging accepting the changes. 

I also put a lot of pressure on myself! 

I thought if I tell people I’m pregnant they won’t want to hire me – isn’t it funny the stories we tell ourselves! But actually during this pregnancy a lot of amazing opportunities have come my way, and all my clients have been so supportive. Where I saw it as a disability, it has in fact worked to my advantage. 

 Other reasons why I’ve found it difficult  are because I imagined, this time round, I’d be fitter, eat healthier and do everything by the textbook, but unfortunately this fell by the wayside. 

I suffered from severe sickness at the beginning where I could hardly eat anything healthy. I’ve been unable to exercise as work has kept me busy. I don’t find maternity clothes the most flattering and leggings and long t-shirts just  aren’t my style! Plus, I have to admit, I’ve been obsessing over pregnant mummies on Instagram, where the only sure sign of them being pregnant is their demure bump! Comparisonitis has become a real and unhealthy thing in my life right now! 

These are just  a few of the reasons I’ve struggled.

 I know from working with so many women, our weight or body shape can have a huge influence on how we feel about ourselves. That’s why I wanted to do this blog. Not only to say “Hey, I’m pregnant and I’m also struggling with accepting my body”, but also to share with you a few things I’ve done to embrace my changing shape.

 

Coming to Terms 

Just writing all this down has helped tremendously  with simply accepting that my body is changing and that’s ok! 

It also  helps focusing my attention on the positive aspects. There’s  a human growing inside of me and that’s a beautiful miracle, and I also have boobs again – bonus! : )

 

Buying Clothes that Flatter You

One of the reasons I was struggling with embracing my body was because I was outgrowing my normal clothes. I could see myself getting stuck in the rut of rotating the same few pieces over and over, and this just isn’t me. 

Last week I was in London and finally had some spare time to do some shopping. I found just by buying clothes that both flattered me and were aligned with my style personality, helped me gain my confidence back. 

 

Invest in Some Nice Pieces

Spending a little bit of money on nice pieces can be challenging, especially when you want to shed those extra pounds or, in my case, when I know this will be my last pregnancy.  But when you have good quality items and pieces you love, it really does make a difference to how you feel. 

 

Accessorise

I know I say this all the time, but accessories are a great way to boost your confidence and show off your personality. They also helps attract attention to where you want, and detract from areas you want to minimize. Jewellery, scarves and shoes really can make all the difference!

 

Pamper Yourself

Do things that make you feel good about yourself.  Get your hair done, put on makeup or go for a facial or massage. I think it’s so important to make time for yourself and to treat yourself.  For me, almost every evening, I have a long relaxing bath with lavender oil and a scented candle. This just helps me to unwind and appreciate the smaller and wonderful things in my life.

 

I want to thank you so much for allowing me to acknowledge and share the truth of what’s been going on, and I hope these few tips help you. And if you’re finding it challenging embracing your body too, feel free to get in touch with me –it would be my pleasure to help you. 

 

How To Be More Environmentally Friendly With Your Clothes

By | Sustainability

The impact we’re having on our environment is definitely a hot topic at the moment. As consumers we are becoming more aware of the environmental effect of our behaviour and the products we use. We know that ‘fast fashion’ is filling our landfills and polluting the atmosphere, and on top of that too many of the factories that produce these clothes are far from ethical!

Many brands are now reviewing their processes, and terms such as ‘eco-friendly’, ‘sustainable’, ‘vegan’ and  ‘slow fashion’ are becoming readily used. When we see words like this we feel better about our purchasing choices, but what do they actually mean? 

One of my friends wrote a great article on this where she explains it really well, so I won’t regurgitate it all, but you can have a read here. 

What I will focus on though is my particular area of expertise, which is in helping you to become more conscious and sustainable with your approach to style. 

A little disclaimer 

Before I go on, I just want to point out that by no means do I claim to be the most sustainable person on the planet, or someone that always buys eco-friendly products. With all the different terms out there it can sometimes feel quite confusing for us all.

What I say a lot is, “Buy the best quality you can afford.” But sometimes I even struggle with this, because many quality items are not always animal, human or environmentally friendly in the way they’re sourced and produced – in particular when it comes to silk, cashmere, jeans and even some cotton. 

So, even though I love nice clothes (and yes I wear all of the fabrics listed above), I try to lessen my impact by being more sustainable by buying less but choosing really well. These actions alone have really helped me to be less wasteful.  

“You don’t need to many clothes, you just need the right ones’

I also very rarely buy into fast fashion. If I do it will be for an item that will be living in my wardrobe for seasons. It’s important to remember that to look good and feel great you really don’t need too many clothes, you just need the right ones!

So without further ado, here are a few ideas that can help you protect the environment, and be conscious and sustainable whilst still enjoying fashion and style.

Organise your wardrobe 

Make sure you’re aware of what you already own by having an organised wardrobe, which I’d advise you edit every season. Also, take good care of your clothes by storing them appropriately in your wardrobe using moth repellent balls and putting special pieces in clothing bags. 

Wear all your clothes

Anything you’re not wearing why not sell it or give it away? Hang as much as you can so it’s more visible when you’re making your outfit selections. If you have pieces that are sentimental and you can’t bear to part with them, why not make a patchwork quilt out of them, or from your kids clothes make a patchwork doll. One of my neighbours did this and I thought it was such a fabulous idea for a keepsake. 

“Always buy the best quality items you can afford”

Shop Smart

Before you go shopping make a list of what you actually need by doing a wardrobe review beforehand. A few well chosen items might just be all that’s necessary to get the most out of your wardrobe. And always, always buy the best quality items you can afford so that you can guarantee they’ll last.

Focus on your style

If you’re not a follower of trends then don’t buy into them! You don’t need to focus on what Instagrammers/ Influencers and celebrities are wearing – yes take inspiration from them, but focus on what your style is. When you’re confident with your personal style you’re less likely to follow fast fashion and trends, and more likely to buy those pieces that mix well within your existing wardrobe. 

Support local businesses 

It’s so tempting to buy fast fashion at a fraction of the price, but do your best not to fall into this trap. Instead try out local boutiques rather than the bigger retailers. They are far more likely to have more ethically sourced products and you’ll also receive more of a personal shopping experience while you’re there. There’s a good app called ‘Good on You – Ethical Fashion’ that you can use to show you how ethical a brand is.

“If you’re not 100% sure on something then do not buy it!”

Don’t buy anything you don’t LOVE 

If you’re not 100% sure on something (no matter what the price tag is), then do not buy it! I understand that sometimes you’re under pressure to get something for a special occasion or feel the pressure from sales assistants to buy, but the likelihood is that if you don’t 100% love it, then you’re unlikely to wear it again, or in some cases even at all. 

I hope these tips have helped you to think more about how you can be more conscious and ethical with your clothes and, of course, working with a personal stylist will really help to shine a light on how your wardrobe can serve your needs to the fullest. 

Working with a stylist in this way is a long-term investment. But it’s one that will go such a long way to helping you make fewer purchasing mistakes. Thus saving you money in the long run by buying less and only investing into items that fit with your personality and lifestyle.  

If you’d like to know more about sustainable brands, then come and join me and my growing community of fabulous women in my ‘Style Lounge’ Facebook group. We’re taking this conversation further there and I’ll be talking about which sustainable brands I personally love. I’m looking forward to seeing you there!

Signature Five Style image

Why Your Style is Stuck (and How to Change it in 2020)

By | Style Tips, Wardrobe Detox

There are a million and one reasons why your style might be stuck right now. But knowing what to do to change it, isn’t always easy! 

I find a helpful way to start changing stuck energy around anything, is to ask myself a couple of key questions. My answers give me clarity and excitement, and this is no different when it comes to my clothes. 

Here are a few questions to ask when your style feels stuck…

  • Are you dressing how you actually want to?
  • Do you feel confident with your current style?
  • If not why not?

Many women I meet believe they have certain style-blocks that they just can’t move past, but more often than not they’re nothing to do with how to wear their clothes. In reality their blocks are mind ones about their body, their finances or whether they look like they’re trying too hard to be stylish. 

Let’s take a closer look at these…

‘My body is too…’

As a stylist I hear so many weight related excuses holding women back from dressing how they want, by insisting they need to be X size before they take action.  If this one is you, believe me, I hear you – media & society paints a very specific picture of what we should look like. 

“You really can look like a million dollars whatever shape or size you are!”

But I’m telling you now, you really can look a million dollars whatever shape or size you are, and feel great about yourself instead of hiding away behind clothes that make you feel down right blahhh!

When I have money, I will invest’

Have you ever heard the phrase ‘rich people have no style’? There’s actually an underlying thread of truth in this! I can assure you, you don’t need to make a big investment to have nice clothes and look great. Money is not the source of style – what is, is knowing how to combine and wear your clothes in a way that compliments your shape, personality and lifestyle.

‘I look like I’m trying too hard’

I hear this excuse a lot, especially here in Switzerland! Is it really such a bad thing to present yourself at your best and feel great? Let’s face it ladies, life is way too short to dress in a way we think other people expect. Forget everyone else – if you want to wear that tutu skirt and edge it up with a biker jacket, damn well go for it! Who knows, you might even encourage others to step up their style game in the process.

 So, do any of these ring true as obstacles you’re putting in your own way?

If they do, don’t worry, I’ve got you! Now let’s have a little look at how you can switch things up and elevate your style game for 2020:

Enough With the Excuses!

First things first, it’s time to stop making excuses and take some action – that may seem harsh but it’s true! If all you do every day is open your wardrobe doors, groan and tell yourself nothing will ever change, then low and behold it won’t! 

“Make this the year you take your style by the proverbial balls!”

So make the decision now – are you going to continue staying stuck in a rut, or are you going to make this the year you take your style by the proverbial balls and do something about it?! 

There’s Nothing Like a Good Review

With every 1:1 client I have, the first action we always take is a wardrobe review. If you want to create and embody the style vision you have for yourself, your first stop has to be your current wardrobe – it’s essential! 

There really is something magical that occurs when you clear your wardrobe and make it look aesthetically beautiful. But the magic is not just in how it looks, it’s also in the understanding it gives you of your style, what you like wearing, what makes you feel good and what is missing. 

If this is something you’ve been wanting to do but it seems like too much hard work, why not join my ‘Wardrobe Detox Challenge’ – it’s always more fun doing a task with other great women!

Take the Time to Plan Your Clothes

I have no doubt that as a busy woman you have plenty of know-how when it comes to planning your business, home, family, social engagements (the list goes on!), so why not use these skills to plan out your outfits too.

You could even put a variety of top-to-toe looks together in advance, take a photo of each and create yourself a little image reference library for future use – imagine the time that would save you! 

Small Things Can Make a Big Difference! 

The saying goes ‘the devil is in the details’, so gaining knowledge around the best way to dress your particular body type, and finding ways to add colour or extra touches with accessories, can make a huge difference to how you feel about your style. 

“Don’t be afraid to try something new”

Don’t be afraid to try something new. Just remember the colours you choose need to lift your complexion and your accessories must complement your clothes, rather than going into battle with them! 

Invest in a Style Expert

If you’ve been trying for a while to up your style game but always slip back to what is tried and tested, then it might be time to think about investing in some expert guidance. 

So many people think it costs an arm and a leg to hire the services of a stylist, but I promise you that’s not the case! When you weigh up the time it takes you each day to decide what to wear, buying clothes you don’t end up wearing, the dissatisfaction you feel wearing the same-old-same-old clothes every day, or the insecurity of not knowing if the style you really want to embody suits you, it really is an investment that’s worth making.

Now the decision is yours – are you going to stay stuck or will you take action and knock your style game out of the park in 2020?

If you’re up for the challenge of clearing out the cobwebs and deepest darkest crevices of your wardrobe so you can make better outfit decisions every morning, come and join me in the ‘Wardrobe Detox Challenge’ – I can’t wait to help you create wardrobe heaven! 

An Interview with Mindset Money Coach Ilana Jankowitz

By | Expert Interview

Ilana Jankowitz is a certified Mindset Money Coach and NLP Practitioner. She’s the founder of Mindful Money Coaching and helps women in business unblock their money and increase their Magician Archetype. By understanding their money stories, Ilana helps her clients change their money behaviours. Ilana believes we don’t have business problems, but personal money issues that show up in our business or work. Her work is fascinating and really needed by a lot of women who are ready to get themselves and their businesses out into the world in big ways.

So without further ado let’s dive into our interview…

Q: One of the obstacles I find a lot of my clients come up against, is guilt for investing in good quality clothes for themselves. What advice would you give to help them get over this hurdle?

Ilana: I think clothing, especially for women in business, is your signature. You only have a few seconds to make a first impression and you get this opportunity only once, so a good investment in your outward appearance is vital. You don’t have to start your wardrobe from scratch every time, once you’ve made that initial investment, you’re then just adding to the basics. I think it’s very important to have a good wardrobe and especially a good one for work. 

Look at it this way, investing in your wardrobe is investing back into your business. For instance in your business you invest in a new computer, new business cards, brochures or other equipment when you need them, and I believe clothing should also be on that list. It’s something that is actually really important because, as I said, you’ve only got a few seconds and one opportunity to make that first impression.

Q: I meet so many women who find it hard to speak with their partner about money, and will even hide new clothing purchases from them rather than face the conversation! How would you help them overcome this?

Ilana: I always encourage my clients to talk about money, and that money is not a taboo subject, so to talk about it with their partners and even with their children. Believe it or not, you can actually talk with your partner about money and it can be something that is quite exciting, especially when your planning ahead for certain things like a holiday or putting away money for your pension, or for clothing. I believe that clothing, as I said before, is part of your business (if you’re in business or going into businesses) and that it’s an investment in ensuring you have the right tools for the job. I think the more open you are and the more honest your conversations are with your partner, this helps them to understand that it’s important for you to make that investment.   

Q: What are your top tips for setting up and sticking to a clothing budget?

Ilana: I’d recommend making an injection of cash into a good wardrobe twice each year, because I believe it’s about quality not quantity. Especially working with you Monika, because a woman can have certain items of clothing in their wardrobe and you can show them how to wear these same pieces with different accessories to create a completely different look. So I believe you don’t need to buy a lot of clothing, but instead just have some good staple pieces and the best quality your budget allows. 

Q: I’m a big believer in morning routines and rituals. Do you have any morning routines or rituals that help you every day with your money mindset?

Ilana: Yes definitely! I have a morning routine that I do daily without fail and have been doing it for a few years now. I always encourage my clients to do the same, and that is to keep a gratitude diary. I also meditate daily as well. I think that gratitude is very, very important so if you start your day off with gratitude, every day you’ll find more things to be grateful for. It’s important to remember that money is also energy, and it flows to you and, also, away from you, so it’s also a wonderful way to start the day with an attitude of gratitude towards your money and the money in your business. 

For me personally, when I do my gratitude obviously I include things that are important to me like my family and the positive energy that I have that I try to take into the day with me. I also have a strong prosperity and abundant focused mindset, and it’s one of the things that I say gratitude for every single day and even at night before I go to sleep. I’m eternally grateful that I have abundance in my life, so it’s definitely a morning routine that I practice. And, as I mentioned, I encourage ALL my clients to practice this too. At the start some of them say they can’t find things to be grateful for, but the more they practice, you know, the more they go from being able to think of two to five to ten things, as they get into the rhythm of it.    

Q: And finally, if you could only give ONE piece of advice to help a woman realise that’s she’s worth and deserves investing in herself, what would it be?

Ilana: Self-care is vital – if you don’t look after yourself nobody else will. I believe it’s about feeling confident and happy, and investing in yourself will make you feel taken care of. So I would definitely say it’s self-care. Clothing falls into that because when you get up in the morning and you put on something that you feel great in, you then go into your day feeling good.

That’s a wrap…I hope you enjoyed this interview and have taken away some nuggets of gold that you can apply in your life. If you’d like to find out more about Ilana and the great work she does, you can connect with her at Mindful Money Coaching.

If you’re ready to take charge of your style this year, feel free to reach out to me at info@signature-five.com and we can chat through the ways we can make that happen for you.

What to Wear on a Winter Holiday

By | Travel, Winter

What to wear on a winter holiday that ticks all the stylish, chic and festive boxes can sometimes feel like a bit of a challenge. 

For the first time ever, my family and I are escaping this Christmas and swapping the winter skies for a little vitamin D in the sun. Usually we spend Christmas just outside of Bern in Switzerland overlooking the mountains, but this year we decided to opt for lounging on sunbeds and sipping cocktails by the pool…ahhh bliss! 

Naturally, I needed to get my thinking cap on with which outfits I’m taking away with me, and that has inspired this week’s blog post.  Wherever you’re spending this Christmas, be it skiing, laying on the beach or having a ‘staycation’ at home, I’ve created a few outfit ideas to help inspire you, so you feel stylish and chic this holiday season. 

Apres Chic

Let’s be honest most of us love the apres ski just as much as the skiing itself! So you’ll want to look as great off the slopes as on. Your apres chic look can be achieved by adding a few layers and some statement pieces. 

For instance, instead of ski leggings why not opt for some shiny faux thermal leather leggings. You can pair them with a slim fit merino wool sweater, a sheepskin gilet and, hey presto, you’re looking fabulous and keeping the cold at bay all at the same time – winning! And if you want to go one step further, why not have some fun and play around with adding some extra winter accessories too.

Here’s an idea of how this look can work (Perfect Moment sweater, Whistles gilet, Calzedonia leggings, Joseph beanie, Bogner snow boots):

Apres Chic outfit flat lay

Apres Chic!

Sunny Escape

If, like me, you’re heading off somewhere warm this Christmas, first have a read of my blog Packing Made Easy, which is a great guide for helping you get clear on your holiday packing essentials. 

This time of year more than any other is so crazy busy, and there isn’t much time to prepare your holiday looks. So, personally I’ll be keeping it super simple by packing a couple of maxi dresses, cover ups and a swimsuit, plus accessories that I can incorporate to give my outfits an individual twist.  

Here’s a little pictorial guide to my holiday essentials (Solid & Striped cover up, Hunza G swimsuit, Saint Laurent sandals, Completedworks earrings, Fendi sunglasses and Rae Feather bag):

Sunny Escape outfit flat lay

Sunny Escape!

Staycation Style

There’s many a year when all your heart desires is to have a lovely Christmas in the comfort of your own home. But it’s not always easy to know how to transition from your usual everyday looks to something a little more festive.

Never fear I have you covered! 

One thing I believe always looks great at this time of year is a beautiful jewelled sweater…there’s something immediately festive about the sparkle they bring. 

When you’re going somewhere that’s a little more dressy, pair your sweater with a leather skirt and dazzling earrings for a more edgy chic look. Or if it’s jingle bells, jingle bells cosy all the way, you can dress your jumper down by pairing it with a great pair of jeans.

Here’s how this look can work (Veronica Beard sweater, Theory skirt, Aeyed boots, Carolina Bucci earrings, Prada bag):

Staycation Style outfit flat lay

Staycation Style

I hope these outfit ideas have inspired you and sparked ideas for your own Christmas looks, and wherever you are and whatever you’re doing I wish you a wonderful and magical Christmas and a very Happy New Year! 

How to Dress With Confidence & Style

By | Style Tips

Clothes that flatter and make you feel fabulous, help to tell a story about your personality and the lifestyle you lead. However, putting together a look that conveys confidence and style doesn’t come naturally to everyone.

But how exactly do you put multiple looks together that showcase these different elements of who you are? 

Let’s walk through the process together…

Don’t Forget Your Basics 

Most commonly when I do a wardrobe detox with my clients, the number one reason they find it challenging to build a cohesive wardrobe is they lack versatility in their basic pieces. 

If you find yourself in this same situation, I highly recommend that your first port of call is to shop for some basic staples that fit with your personality and lifestyle. For some inspiration on what these basics need to ideally consist of, download my Ultimate Wardrobe Checklist, which will give you some additional guidance. 

Choose Your Anchor Colours

Image by engin akyurt from Pixabay

Colour is super important with wardrobe basics. Not only is it important to wear colours that you love, but also to know which shades of those colours work with your particular skin-tone. Getting the shade right can transform the whole look, not to mention make you look younger and radiant. 

Choosing a few core colours anchors the look you’re wanting to create. For example, you may be drawn to navy and white, so ensure these are represented across your basic wardrobe staples. 

Once you have your basic colour pieces nailed, you can then start adding some accent colours that are more exciting and unique. 

Not all of us are always aware which colours look the best on us and make us look our most vibrant. If this is you, I highly recommend investing in a colour consultation, which will help immensely with understanding which colours, and in particular which shades of those colours, look best on you. 

Tie Your Outfit Together With a Theme

Visca Wedding

When you’re lusting after the style of a beautifully dressed woman, you’ll notice that the items she’s wearing are somehow linked together. There is a common head-to-toe theme that creates a polished look.

There are numerous ways you can achieve this type of uber stylish look:

  • Opt for wearing similar shades of the same colour. Or, wear colours that match well together – don’t over do it though, wear no more than three different colours together, but really the ideal ratio is two. 
  • Choose a style that links your whole outfit together. For example, it could be a bohemian vibe, a romantic look or perhaps city chic. This doesn’t mean everything needs to match, but there needs to be one clear theme working across your whole outfit that helps people identify with you.

Find Inspiration From Others

I must admit I love a bit of people watching! 

Now to be clear I’m not suggesting you become a stalker, but if you’re drawn to the style of someone, then take note of how they’ve put their look together and what makes it stand out.

As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, one of my favourite places to find inspiration is Pinterest. As part of my styling service I create a style board for each of my clients using this fantastic tool – why not have some fun and create one for yourself? 

Find Your Signature Style

I’m a firm believer that if you want to look polished and feel super confident, then find a style that matches your personality and lifestyle (as I’ve alluded to throughout this blog).

To stand out, choose something about your style that people will always associate with you. Is it a certain colour you wear, or perhaps you always wear long earrings or a hot shade of red lipstick? 

For me, most often I wear blazers, silk blouses and stilettos and I’m also known for rocking a jumpsuit or two. These looks have now become my Signature Style.

So, what’s your Signature Style going to be? Or perhaps you already have one? 

If you’re interested in learning more about your style and colour, why not book a Style and Colour Consultation with me at my style studio in Zurich. Together we’ll work out what colours best suit you and identify a Signature Style based on your personality, lifestyle and body shape.

For more details, please feel free to contact me at info@signature-five.com – I’m excited to hear from you!

Christmas Partywear

Fashion That’s Not Just for Christmas!

By | Event, Event style, Investment pieces, Partywear, Personal Shopping, Uncategorised

This time of year can often be the busiest for Stylists, as we play Fairy Godmother to all the Cinderellas attending galas, parties, balls, and all things festive.

Trust me, I know how stressful it can be to find that perfect outfit for any such occasion.  

And this time of year it’s especially hard to resist the temptations that are dangled in front of us like glittering baubles on a Christmas tree, when our inboxes are bursting with fabulous partywear, and our instagram grids filled with dazzling outfits that makes us drool and want to dash out and buy something new! 

While there’s nothing wrong with wanting something new (it is Christmas after all), it’s actually super savvy to invest in pieces that you know won’t date. Why not have partywear that you can rely on every December (and for the other 11-months of the year as well), and still have heads turning because you look absolutely fabulous. 

Here are a few suggestions on how you can still look like a goddess with timeless festive pieces and also make the most out of your wardrobe.

Ravishing Rentals

If you have a more formal Christmas event, rather than finding a new dress, why not rent a dress. One of my ultimate favourite brands is ‘Peppermint Rent-a-Dress’.  Not only do they cater for all shapes and sizes, but both Daria and Benjamin (founders) go out of their way to give impeccable customer service. Prices are very affordable and it’s also a great way of looking incredible while adding less to your wardrobe and being conscious of the environment.

 

 

 

 

 

Add Some Sparkle

It wouldn’t feel like Christmas without having a bit of sparkle in your wardrobe, and this is something you can pull out time and time again.  Sparkle really has become a festive staple, and you can now get sparkly tops, dresses skirts, trousers – the lot! 

My first stop would be to invest in a gorgeous sparkly top that can can also be worn during the day with a cardigan or casual blazer.  With very little investment you can have a lifetime of wearability with this piece in your wardrobe. A fabulous sparkly top can be worn with your favourite tailored trousers, a leather skirt or even smart jeans depending what the dress code is for your Christmas party.

 

 

 

 

 

Shoes

I think I must mention this in nearly every blog! Shoes are an absolute game changer and can instantly elevate and enhance any outfit.  This Christmas why not let your shoes do all the talking! Whether it’s a sexy pair of sandals, some classic stilettos or maybe even some metallic boots (why not!) – these are all looks that can be worn again and again all year round.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Classic Suits

The emphasis here is to be adding to our wardrobe pieces that you can use over and over.  So, if you’re not so keen on a dress, why not try a classic suit. You can transition a beautifully cut suit from desk to drinks by simply wearing a silk vest underneath, popping on some red lipstick and a pair of heels and, voila, you’re ready to paartay!

A suit is so versatile – if your event is more casual, pair the blazer with jeans or for something more dressy, wear the trousers with a sparkly top.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope these ideas have given you some inspiration and shown you that you don’t need a completely new outfit each time.  By having the right pieces that are timeless and versatile you can have endless options at your fingertips, and a little more money in the bank to spend on all those other Christmas goodies you’d love to buy. 

And if you’d like more ideas on how you can elevate your style all season round, why not download my free style guide.

A Guide to Winter Layering

By | Winter

As winter is fast approaching, it’s time to dig out our coats and boots and get all snuggly with the clothes in our wardrobes. For many though, dressing for winter feels like quite a challenge – you want to keep warm, but you also don’t want to feel like you’re walking around looking like the Michelin Man!!! 

Let’s be honest, on a chilly winter’s morning when you’ve just got out of your warm cosy bed, all you want to do is keep that feeling going by wearing something that makes you feel snug and warm. So the question is, how can you achieve this and still look stylish?

The answer…layering! 

Layering is our greatest friend when it comes to hitting the mark with both style and warmth. Here are a few key layering pieces that can instantly elevate your look, and make your wardrobe look and feel luxe while still keeping out the cold. 

Cardigans

This season is all about the cardigan. This often overlooked, yet super versatile little piece can be dressed up or down for the office, or worn with a casual pair of jeans. And this season make your cardigans bang on trend by wearing them as an extra layer on top of a dress to keep you snuggly warm. 

Here are a few of my favourites… 

& Other Stories

Ganni

Joseph

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cashmere Sweaters

This is one of my absolute favourites every winter, and an item I always put on every client’s must have list. Nothing looks richer and more luxurious than a gorgeous cashmere sweater.  Nowadays you can find cashmere for every budget, you just need to keep in mind that the quality of the cashmere may not be the best at the lower price range. 

Honestly though if there’s one layer that’s worth stretching your budget for it’s this one, because a great cashmere sweater is a truly timeless piece that, if looked after properly, will be fashionable year in and year out. I suggest having a few in neutral colours, and in either crew or v-neck depending on your personal style preference.

Massimo Dutti

Joseph

Theory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wrap Coats

As cashmere is to the sweater, the wrap is to the coat – timeless and always luxurious looking! What I love about a wrap coat is that you can wear lots more layers underneath, without it looking and feeling too snug. 

To elevate the look of your wrap coat, why not add a leather belt, to give it a little more edge and shape. Also why not put a leather jacket underneath and have the leather lapels showing. 

& Other Stories

Ted Baker

Max Mara

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roll necks

This is another winter wardrobe essential! This is a piece that is designed specifically to keep out the cold, but is stylish enough to be worn either on its own, under a blazer or even under a dress. 

However you wear your roll neck, warmth is absolutely guaranteed! 

Uniqlo

Reiss

Hugo Boss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scarves

Never underestimate the humble scarf – it really can make such a difference as a layering piece.  Scarves come in all shapes and sizes, colours, fabrics and textures and can be worn in multiple ways. You can instantly add a dash of colour to your look, or add a statement scarf to give your outfit some extra dimension. 

There are also many ways you can wear scarf.  Here is a great YouTube video to get your creative juices going 

Get creative and make scarves a fun and cosy accessory to play around with this winter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you struggle with selecting the right winter layering essentials, and you’d like help finding something new for AW19, please feel free to email me at info@signature-five.com – I’d love to help you!

 

Five Tips for Finding Your Best Jeans

By | Uncategorised

Five Tips for Finding Your Best Jeans

When you find the jean of your dreams, you’ll know it. You’ll look in the dressing room mirror and think to yourself, “Wow, I never knew I could look this great!” If you haven’t had that experience yet, here are some tips for you…

1. Go to a jeans specialty store. The best advice you’ll get is from a store that sells only one thing – jeans. Salespeople are trained to know their products inside and out. They study the relationship between jeans, bodies and lifestyle needs and take pride in helping you get the best fit. If you don’t live near a jean specialty store try the jeans section of a department store. They’ll be able to give you pointers about each brand, cut, and style.

2. When you find the jean of your dreams, double the pleasure. Consider splurging on two pairs of the same jean.Take the two pairs of identical jeans (pre-washed to avoid shrinkage) to your tailor and get them hemmed for two lengths: one suited for heels and one for flats. Bring the exact heels and flats you plan to wear with your jeans so your tailor can get them just right.

3. The darker the jeans, the dressier the look. If you want a pair of jeans to wear out at night, go for the darkest wash. The lighter the jean, the more casual the look. Pair a dark jean with an elegant, silky top; add dressy heels, and you’ve got a sophisticated outfit that’s perfect for date night.

4. Buy them snug. A salesperson or an image consultant may ask you to try on a pair of jeans, and when you look at yourself in the mirror, you may think they look too tight. Jeans have stretch in them, and some brands are known to stretch out nearly a whole size. That’s why you want to buy them as snug as possible, because after ten minutes, they’ll be baggier. Ask salespeople about the reputation of their jeans. If customers have made complaints, they’ve heard them. Once you’ve found a jean brand that flatters your body, make a point to keep coming back to see what cuts and washes they create next. It’s not a guarantee that you’ll be pleased each time, but it’s worth a try!

5. Bring patience to the dressing room. It takes time to find the perfect jean. Bring in five pairs of jeans at a time and plan to repeat this exercise five times or more to narrow down your choices to the best ones. You may want a wardrobe of jeans—a dressy pair, a casual pair for running Saturday errands and a pair that would be appropriate for wearing to work on casual Friday. Your old jeans can be used for gardening or cleaning out the garage. Jeans, like underwear, need to be updated regularly so give yourself time and pack some patience to cross this shopping task off your list. It’s worth it.

Still not sure you want to take this task on by yourself? No problem! I’m happy to help you look the best you can in jeans that are perfect for your body and your lifestyle. Give me a call, and we’ll set up that appointment.

The Power of Letting Go

By | Wardrobe Detox

I’m sure many of you can relate to the experience of waking up in the morning, opening your wardrobe doors and groaning at the all too familiar sight that greets you!

Too often it feels like we’re starring in our own version of Groundhog Day, as we stare through uninspired eyes at a rail of clothes that consist of pieces that no longer fit (or have never fit!), were bought on an emotional impulse and never worn, the odd ‘for best’ bits that are practically moth-eaten they so rarely see the light of day, and finally the good old faithfuls that are rolled out every day because…“they’re easy, they fit and they’ll do!”

Ughhhh!

In my work as a personal stylist and wardrobe detoxer, I see all the time the impact being in a wardrobe rut has on my clients. It consistently chips away at their confidence in their bodies and personal style, and before they know it they’re saying ‘they have nothing to wear’ or blaming their body shape. 

Introducing the wardrobe detox! 

Of course the obvious benefit of a wardrobe detox is the creation of more physical space in our closets. But there’s a deeper magic that also happens through this process. 

On an energetic level, when we clear out all our old, unused, worn and ill-fitting clothes, we are allowing what is old and stagnant to flow away, to make way for clothes that flatter our figures, delight our eyes and raise our confidence levels through the roof! 

I kid you not! 

I have seen it time and time again with clients. They start with little confidence, and by the time we’ve sorted and cleared their wardrobe and introduced a few key pieces that are perfect for their shape and style, their confidence is back with a vengeance… it truly is a beautiful sight to behold! 

Let’s Play! 

If you’re ready to reclaim all the body and style confidence that is rightfully yours, before you call in an expert it’s fun to have a play with your wardrobe by yourself first. When you gain knowledge and understanding of the reasons why your clothes need to either stay or go, it’s amazing what progress you can make on your own, and how empowered you feel. 

The key is to play and have fun with this process, so the first step is to allocate whatever time feels good for you to dedicate to your wardrobe detox. It might be 30mins, 1-hour or a whole weekend – there are no shoulds or musts here, the choice is yours! 

When you’re ready, work by product category and bring items out of your closet a few at a time, and hang or lay them in a different setting so you can view them from a new vantage point – this is important for helping you get a different perspective on your clothes.  Anything you are unsure of, try it on and see how this item of clothing makes you feel. 

Now, to help you decide which clothes you’re going to say “bon voyage” too, here’s a checklist of reasons to run each item past.

Let go of something…

  1. When it stirs up bad memories
  2. When it doesn’t make you feel fabulous and confident when you look in the mirror
  3. When something’s been hanging out in your closet for several seasons and you still haven’t worn it
  4. When it’s not cost effective to alter and make it fit again
  5. When through excessive wearing the fabric is too out of shape to flatter your body any more or has multiple holes and looks tatty
  6. When it really doesn’t suit your current style or lifestyle anymore
  7. When, try as you might, those cute as hell shoes just always hurt your feet – boo!
  8. When regardless of how great an item looks, you can’t get away from the fact that the fabric is scratchy and the waistband is too tight and all you want to do is rush home and take the damn thing off!

The items that are left in your wardrobe after this checklist is complete will be ones that you will get maximum use out of, and feel super confident wearing.

To help you further, here is a free guide on  ‘5 Insider Tips on How You Can Instantly Elevate Your Style‘.

And if you’d like some help reconnecting with your confidence with a wardrobe detox, you can find all the details here: ‘Wardrobe Detox Service‘.

I’m here to make things easy, and to help you enjoy and understand the process, so you keep on track and fall in love with your wardrobe experience all over again!

 

Dress for the Body You Have Now

By | Accessories, Style Tips, Uncategorised

All too often I hear women complaining about their bodies, and using all of the negative things they see as obstacles to dressing in a way that they truly desire.

What’s fascinating is that the way we see ourselves when we look in the mirror, is more often than not worlds apart from the way others see us! 

I mean let’s be honest, who hasn’t had the experience of staring at your reflection and then laser focusing in on all the bits about your body you don’t like – “I’m too fat”, “I’m too thin”, “My hips are too wide”, “My bums too big”, “My boobs are too small”. On and on and on we go, magnifying each little thing to be so much more than it is.

I get it, truly I do – I’m a recovering self-abuser myself! But you can bet your bottom dollar that if you let someone else listen in to your internal dialogue, half of what we see they won’t even have noticed.

The struggle feels real

Women who are interested in my styling services contact me because they really want to elevate their personal style. Many have a desire to start dressing like the woman they visualise themselves becoming, but find it challenging because they’re struggling with their weight or body image. 

These women will often arrange their appointment for 3 months time and, as the appointment approaches, they’ll then call me to move the date, telling me they haven’t quite got to the place they want their body shape to be.

Every time this happens I give a little sigh inside, because I know, hand on heart, that living a life continuously dissatisfied with your body and chasing a perfect ‘ideal’ shape is a soul destroying exercise. The reality is your body is amazing and a miracle and by learning how to dress it properly, whatever your shape or size, will help you embrace and love the hell out of it, so you feel gorgeous every day.  

Can I really wear this? 

I’m often asked, “If I’m a certain shape can I only wear certain clothes?” The honest answer is no… aaaand yes (sorry)! Of course, you are free to wear whatever you want, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! My only rule is your clothes need to match your personality and lifestyle, and most of all you need to feel confident in them – that is always the end goal.  I mean let’s face it, no one wants to be fidgeting or feeling self-conscious in their outfit.  Your clothes should feel like your second skin, so that you forget about them as soon as you walk out of the house.

With this in mind, let’s dive in to some common issues I hear and some ways you can address them…

How to hide your midriff

I understand that the urge is great to shroud this area with as much coverage as possible, but don’t do it! PLEASE! Doing so just ends up creating more bulk, which in turn draws more attention there. Cover by all means, but keep it to no more than a couple of well fitting layers.

Don’t conceal your waist

If you have a small waist really emphasise this asset by wearing tops that skim your body but are not baggy. You need to ensure the top fits you well across your bust and waist, and then from there it can flare slightly – the key is to make sure it isn’t too baggy.

Alternatively if you feel more comfortable in loose tops, focus on ensuring the bottom half is drawn in, perhaps with an elasticated ribbed panel or tucked into a waistband.

Shapewear

For some outfits shapewear is every girl’s best friend, and a godsend for creating the silhouette you want.  I personally keep a pair handy in my underwear drawer for those occasions when I’m wearing skimming dresses, to help smooth any lumps and bumps I want to hide.

Shoes

It’s a little known fact that wearing the right shoes can help slim down your midsection.  Yes, I know that might sound daft, but I’ll repeat it again, the type of shoe you wear can help you slim down your midsection! How? Well, wearing a thicker heel helps balance your proportions out. 

For the diehard stiletto wearers amongst us, I recommend opting for a pointy shoe, to help elongate you through the body.

Wear the right size

We need to be realistic ladies – wearing clothes that are a size too small does not make you look smaller! While we don’t want to be hiding behind clothes that are baggy and shapeless, squeezing yourself into something too small is definitely less than flattering for any figure, and not to mention fraught with potential wardrobe malfunctions!!

Accessories for distraction

The humble and massively underestimated belt is fabulous for drawing your eye to your smallest area and creating a great waistline.  Also, jewelry can be used to great effect as a distraction from your least favourite areas. Wear bold statement earrings to draw your attention up and away from the body, or a long necklace to make the eye travel inwards rather than outwards. Clever hey!

How to conceal your thighs

Another issue I hear a lot about is slimming the thigh area. This can be a really problematic area for many women, but a few simple tricks can have you conquering this troublesome spot with ease! Let’s take a look…

No thrills or frills

Opt for trousers with minimal detailing, especially around the pocket area or down the sides, as this widens the thighs and draws attention there. 

Long & lean

Straight and bootcut pants are the perfect style to elongate your silhouette, and give a longer and sleeker look to your thighs. Who doesn’t want legs that look like they go on for days!!

Fabrics

It’s amazing what a difference certain types of fabrics can make to the appearance of your thighs! Choose lightweight fabrics rather than heavier ones, as the latter will add more bulk where it’s least wanted.

Choose the right length of skirt

The most flattering skirts have a hemline that finishes on the slimmest part of your leg. Think 50’s wiggle skirts – now there’s a style that accentuates curves and elongates the legs!

The key thing to remember is…

The best way to divert the eye away from your least favourite bits, is to showcase your best assets as much as possible.

If you’re unsure what your best assets are, and would like some expert guidance, feel free to get in touch at info@signature-five.com – I’d love to help! 

And if you have any particular body/fashion challenges that you’d like me to address in my next blog, I’d love to hear from you – again please email me at info@signature-five.com.

 

The Right Footwear for This Fall

By | Autumn, Style Tips

One of the questions I’m asked frequently is, “What shoes do I need?” I love this question as I can’t emphasise enough shoes are such an important part of an outfit, and are all too often overlooked. Shoes really do have the power to elevate a look to – out of this world stunning, or plunge it into the depths of just plain bleh! 

You see the right pair of shoes can completely change the entire look of your outfit. They can also help in creating a very distinct statement, and help detract from areas you’d rather not draw attention to.

Shoes also impact positively on your body language in the way you hold yourself and walk. The right shoes can help you feel super confident and powerful and, as the saying goes… 

“Behind every successful woman is a fabulous pair of shoes!”

I can’t emphasise enough that shoes are well worth investing in, and I encourage you to try to always buy the very best quality your budget allows. The worst thing you can do for your feet (and for your sanity!) is to wear cheap, badly made shoes that pinch, hurt and cause all sorts of cuts and blisters on your feet. If your shoes don’t feel great it will show in the way you move – we want you gliding like a swan not waddling like a duck!! 

Variety is the spice of life and ideally you want to reflect this in your shoe collection as well. Here are a few variations I suggest, and keep in mind these may not all be suited to your personality and lifestyle, so pick and choose which you feel best represent you. 

Ankle Boots 

As mentioned in my previous post ‘Five Trends You Can Wear all Year Round, these boots have become an all year-round wardrobe staple.

Here are a few boots I’m loving this fall:

Arket

Gianvito Rossi

Isabel Marant

 

Nude and Black Stilettos

These are an all year round must-have.  My personal favorites are Jimmy Choo – who doesn’t love a pair of Jimmys! Yes they’re pricey, but the investment is definitely worth it as they are the most comfortable stilettos I have ever worn, and they also come in different heel sizes. 

Flat Shoes in Brown and Black

Depending on your style flat shoes are essential, be they ballerinas, lace ups, brogues, pointed toes or slippers.  I recommend you have a couple of these styles in both black and brown. 

Clarks

Gucci

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loafers

These are such a versatile all-rounder and look great for the office as well as out and about at the weekend. Thanks to Gucci loafers are now hot property again! For me these have always been a timeless and important style to have in every shoe collection. 

White Trainers 

Believe it or not the white trainer is another big trend at the moment.  Many have said these should be attire purely for the sportswear arena, but that’s really no longer the case – now they’re popular for wearing with dresses, jumpsuits, and anything else you care to pair them with. 

Veja

Converse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knee High Boots

This style is elegant and flattering for most women and I recommend having pairs in black and brown, as they’ll go with every colour of outfit you wear. I’m also a big fan of Bordeaux boots in winter. 

Evening Sandals 

In the fall you may have Christmas parties, balls and all sorts of glamorous functions to attend. A gorgeous pair of evening sandals will adorn your feet and really complete an elegant outfit all year round. 

If high heels are not your thing never fear, kitten heels and square heels can look just as beautiful. The priority is to select a style that helps you feel both comfortable and fabulous. 

Gianvito Rossi

Stuart Weitzman

Prada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rain Boots 

All of the above styles are great, but let’s face it when it’s pouring with rain a pair of waterproof shoes is a must, and you can’t beat a good pair of wellies.  My personal favorite are Hunters as they’re practical but still stylish – no need for the rain to impact negativity on your style! 

Snow Boots

(Particularly for those of you living in Switzerland or other snowy climbs

In times gone by snow boots were definitely less than glamorous, but now true outdoor brands like Sorel have made them cool again.

If you struggle with selecting the right footwear, and you’d like help finding something new for AW19, please feel free to email me at info@signature-five.com – I’d love to help you!

Five Trends You Can Wear all Year Round

By | Style Tips

The two seasons in fashion can often appear so distinctly different that it feels hard to know how to transition from one to the other with ease. One week we’re in our cute summer dresses and sandals and then it’s on with the jumpers and boots! 

As a stylist I love to show women just like you how easily you can transition into the coming season. 

I don’t advise following trends. For me style is all about adapting your clothes to your personality, lifestyle and individuality.

“You are a beautifully unique woman, not a sheep who needs to mindlessly follow the fashion crowd!”

However when a new season starts I appreciate it can be difficult not to take note and slowly become influenced by trends.  Perhaps you find yourself wondering, “Would that fluorescent suit look great on me?” or, “Could I pull off those cycling shorts?”. To add to the pressure all the stores are celebrating the latest trends, with the most popular ones taking centre stage everywhere you look.

But never fear, I’m here to give you a little guidance on how you can rejuvenate your wardrobe without the need to go crazy and buy everything the latest season dictates. 

Blazers

You either love them or hate them! 

Personally, I’m a big fan because they’re something that you can easily dress up or down. The wonder
of blazers is that there’s a style to suit every shape, you just need to be careful with proportions.  

For instance, if you are petite, try to avoid long boyfriend blazers, if you are tall and broader, make sure the blazers don’t have shoulder pads and they are not too short on your torso. For the slightly more curvaceous amongst us, single breasted is best. 

One of the great things about blazers is you can also add a belt to give some chicness, or try rolling the sleeves for a more casual ‘street style’ look.  

Beige is Back!

I love beige every season, however this Autumn it is back with a vengeance.  For autumn/winter I find
a beige or camel coloured coat a staple wardrobe must-have, and for spring a beige trench is a timeless necessity.  This is such an easy trend to adopt, and one that will stand the test of time.  

Floral Dresses

Spring/Summer 2019 was full of short, midi and maxi floral dresses of various styles of prints, and this trend is likely to stay for another season or two, which is great news!

To easily transition your summer dresses into winter, try teaming them up with ankle boots and layering them with a cute sweater or cardigan to give you some extra winter warmth. 

White Shirt

If you Google ‘capsule wardrobe’ or ‘essential pieces for everyone’s wardrobe’, I can hand-on-heart guarantee you that somewhere will be written a white shirt. 

I’m also a big fan of the white shirt. It doesn’t need to be your conventional office 100% cotton white shirt without any stretch – you can be a lot more adventurous than that! I would strongly recommend choosing a white shirt with some stretch, which, for all women, is far more flattering.

There’s such a variety of styles of white shirts, which can also be worn in various formations. I encourage a lot of my clients to opt for a more feminine softer fabric, such as silk, as an alternative to a standard white cotton shirt for work. This can also transition into a more casual look and be worn with jeans. 

Ankle Boots

This boot has now become an all-year-round fashion favourite. This summer ankle boots were being worn with midi floral skirts, as were Doctor Martin inspired shoes. 

I personally wear ankle boots from Autumn onwards, and recommend this look for every woman’s wardrobe.  A tip to bear in mind if you have heavier calves is to be careful the boot doesn’t cut on the heaviest part. To avoid this either opt for a shoe/boot style or for knee-high boots. 

So there you have it, my five timeless trends, and click here for some more inspirational photos to show you how to wear them.

And for more inspiration on key items to have in your wardrobe to create a variety of fabulous outfit combinations, here’s my ultimate wardrobe checklist

Keep in mind that everyone’s style is uniquely different, so don’t feel you need all these items.  The idea here is to have a few key pieces that help you create a variety of gorgeous outfit combinations. Choose pieces that match your personality and lifestyle to ensure your style stays on-point and reflects you. 

If you would like help pulling your wardrobe into shape for AW19, please feel free to email me at info@signature-five.com – I’d love to help you.

Why What You Wear Matters

By | Style Tips

When people find out I’m a stylist, they either ask, “So what would you recommend I wear?” or they tell me, “I don’t really pay much attention to my clothes, I’m too busy”.

I totally understand the latter – life can definitely get busy! As women, we all too often find ourselves wearing multiple hats, and juggling multiple tasks because of our never-ending ‘to do’ lists. It’s exhausting and so paying attention to the clothes we’re wearing just doesn’t feel like a priority.

But this needs to stop!

What You Wear Matters

Even though we might not care to admit it, what we wear does matter. Even if you’re an online business owner, and it’s not a day-to-day requirement for you to physically meet people, or maybe you’re a stay at home mum raising your beautiful family – you’re not off the hook, it still matters! 

Because you see your clothes speak a language about who you are and what you do.  They are more than just threads put together. Your clothes are an expression of your personality, taste and lifestyle, and they also influence how you feel.

“Your clothes are an expression of your personality, taste and lifestyle”

I’m pretty confident that at some point we’ve all had the experience of getting ready in a rush, only to find that an item of clothing you’ve thrown on doesn’t quite fit or has a slight stain on it. You desperately try to get the offending stain out with water but, alas, it’s not budging and, given your lack of time, the only thing you can do is hope for the best and pray no one notices.  

Then sods law you end up bumping into the one person you really didn’t want to see, and throughout the entire conversation you feel self-conscious and tug and pull at your clothes in the vain hope you’ll make yourself look more presentable.

Confidence from Clothes

Believe it or not the clothes, shoes and accessories we wear impact our confidence.  

All too often I see women holding themselves back from reaching their true potential and achieving their goals, because of a lack of confidence in their outward appearance. Taking a little time to think about the look you want to create, has a really positive impact on how you feel about yourself. 

I’m not sure if it’s just a British thing or a universal thing, but we have this mindset that we should only wear our best clothes on special occasions! Why do we do that? We have these beautiful clothes that only get to see the light of day once in a blue moon, which in my book is just plain crazy! 

I like to look at it this way – every day is a special occasion and worth celebrating because you’re alive! Why shouldn’t you look and feel fabulous whenever you want to. If you want to wear your favourite dress and sexiest shoes and work from home – go for it! If you want to wear a gorgeous blouse and take your baby for a stroll around the park – then go for it!

When you look and feel fabulous no matter what you’re doing, your confidence skyrockets and life takes on a whole new level of interesting.

“Why shouldn’t you look and feel fabulous whenever you want to”

First Impressions

We’ve all heard the sayings ‘first impressions count’ and ‘it only takes 8-seconds to form an opinion’, and whether we like it or not there’s a great deal of truth in them. Before you’ve even opened your mouth and said a word, someone will have created a whole story about the person they think you are, based purely on your top-to-toe look – it’s harsh, but it’s true! 

A recent article from the The Harvard Business Review recommends you aim to ‘dress 25% better than anyone else in the room’, as this will create a positive impression and help elevate your confidence. I love that!

Performance and Productivity

When you take a few minutes every morning to get ready and wear an outfit you love, it makes you stand a little taller, which sends messages to your brain that are empowering and confidence building. This fuels your day with positivity, making you more productive and increasing your performance – how great is that!

This is also why many workplaces have a uniform. When we wear clothes that match our role, we are more likely to have that mindset when carrying out our work.

Dress for a Raise

Believe it or not I have first-hand experience that dressing well and looking polished, can get you a promotion and a salary raise.

There’s a saying ‘dress like the job you want not the job you have’. When people with a higher-ranking role than you see you looking the part and behaving the part, you are so much easier to promote.

Now I appreciate you might be thinking, “Our clothes shouldn’t justify who we are – in this day and age people should accept us however we dress”.  Believe me, I so wish this was the case, but unfortunately the harsh reality is us women are still judged by our outer appearance more so than men, whether we like it or not!  What you wear could be what’s holding you back from achieving the things you want in life.

I hope this has given you some food for thought as to why what you wear matters, and how your image plays an important role in your success. If you would like to learn how you can leverage your personal style and increase your confidence and potential, please feel free to contact me at info@signature-five.com – I’d love to hear from you.

What to Wear on the Beach?

By | Style Tips

During the summer months, going on a beach holiday can stir up all sorts of anxiety about our bodies, and dread about revealing ourselves to the world in a swimsuit or bikini. We start to worry about our wobbly bits, our too skinny bits and all the bits in between, and sadly for many the excitement of a lovely holiday becomes tinged with a little (or a lot of) dread!

Finding the perfect beach look can, for some, feel like an uphill battle. So many of us can’t bear the idea of trawling around the shops trying swimwear on, so instead we opt for ordering it online and keeping our fingers and toes crossed that when it arrives it fits and looks as we imagine.

My advice when buying swimwear is to really shop around (even if that is online) and don’t just settle for the first thing you see and hope for the best! These days we’re really lucky as there are so many more options to choose from for every shape, that help you look and feel as fabulous as possible in your swimwear.

Bikini vs Swimsuit

Can you remember the time when bikinis were the thing everyone wore and swimsuits were seen as, well, a bit mumsy! Fast forward to today and the swimsuit is now hot property and is personally something I feel more comfortable in than a bikini.  With a bikini I’m constantly fidgeting and fiddling to make sure there’s been no embarrassing slips, and everything is still where it should be after going in the water!

The range of bikinis and swimsuits is so vast now, that with a bit of time and thought you really can find the perfect style that flatters your body shape, and helps you feel confident and on-trend.

Body Hang Ups

Not in shape?If you feel your body isn’t the shape you would like it to be, swimwear anxiety can feel crippling! If this is you, I recommend going a for a swimsuit rather than a bikini and choosing one that has the most Lycra possible. A good brand is Miracle Suit, which has three times the control of ordinary swimwear fabrics – godsend!

Tummy Concealer

If you want to conceal your tummy and enhance your waist, look for designs that have ruching around the tummy area. As you can see from the image shared, this style is extremely flattering for the curvier amongst us.

Reduce That Bust

If you’re large busted, I recommend a bikini or swimsuit that is underwired and provides plenty of support, so you can feel confident that things will stay where you’d like them too!

Increase That Bust

If you have a small chest, then padded swimwear is a great option for you. The padding will help create better proportions, and halter necks are a really good shape to flatter and enhance your bust.

Bottoms Up

Bigger bottom area? I advise going for bottoms that offer more coverage and support. 50’s style high waisted bikinis are very fashionable this season for all ages and are great for covering and enhancing the waist and bottom in a very elegant and flattering way. I also recommend keeping any pattern or detail to the top half of your swimsuit or bikini, as this helps to draw the eye upwards.

Miracle Suit

Norma Kamali

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cover Ups

Welcome to the wonderful world of cover ups! Nowadays you’ll be relieved to know that you can look super-stylish on the beach without having to bare all. I love cover ups as they’re so versatile and can also be worn as daywear, which is a godsend when you’re putting together your holiday capsule wardrobe.

To give you a little inspiration on the variety of coverups available, here are a few of my favourites:

Marie France Van Damme

Mara Hoffman

Melissa Odabash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Accessories

This season there are so many gorgeous holiday accessories to choose from, it’s sometimes hard to know where to start! My advice when it comes to beach accessories is less is definitely more. Adding a couple of well-chosen pieces elevates your look and helps divert attention away from the areas of your body that you’re not so confident about.

Here are some of my favourites beach accessories for this season:

Tohum

Rae Feather

Kenneth Jay Lane

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We all deserve to relax and enjoy our time at the beach, without dragging the nagging negative talk around in our heads, and with a little bit of thought you really can create a fantastic look that has you feeling like the confident beach goddess you are. And if you need any extra support to find your perfect beach style, please feel free to get in touch and see how our styling services can help you.

Packing Made Easy

By | Summer, Travel

Let’s set the scene…

With only a week to go until your greatly anticipated holiday, you can barely contain your excitement as you count down the days!

As you busy yourself getting all your last jobs done to avoid dealing with work issues while you’re away, your mind starts to wander off to your holiday and the outfit looks you want to create…beach goddess anyone?!

Before you know it, you’re scrolling like mad on Instagram, screenshotting every influencer you follow so you can recreate their perfect squares. But then panic sets in – do you actually have the right clothes? OMG do you have enough time to shop?!!

Last minute shopping complete, it’s finally time for the dreaded packing! You have your fabulous new pieces, along with your existing holiday favourites, and as you squeeze them into your case you cross your fingers and hope and pray that your growing case isn’t over its 23kg allowance! Actually, who are we kidding, it’s more like 20kg allowance to leave room for cosmetics!

Now the stress is kicking in! You feel pretty sure that everything you’ve packed is vital to achieving your beach goddess look, but something has to give. And then the game begins, a few pieces come out, a few go back in, and this continues until the scales finally read 20kg…halle-freaking-lujah!

Sound familiar?

This use to be me, and now with a child I have even less space and need to utilise, multipurpose and minimise what I take.

As a personal stylist and also as a working woman who’s experienced the above, it’s my pleasure to share my wisdom so you can have a stress-free packing experience, every time!

Golden rule

Weather Forecast! Before anything, look at the weather forecast. Now I know this sounds like a no brainer, but I have been on many, many holidays where I just presumed it would be warm and to my surprise it rained 80% of the time.

Holiday planning

Outline a rough guide of what you’ll be doing on holiday (day & evening), and also where you’ll be going. What you pack for a city break will be very different to a beach holiday. For example, if you’re having a beach holiday with temperatures of 30 degrees plus, think of all the activities you might do… laying around the poolside 2-days, beach 3-days, visit the city 1-day, fancy restaurants 3-nights, etc.

Having a rough guide will help you plan what type of outfits you need, and also if you can multi-purpose some of the outfits – in other words, take a day time look to an evening look.

Create a holiday wardrobe

A week before your holiday start moving items you’d like to take onto a separate rail, or on one side of the rail in your wardrobe. This will help you see how many items you have, are there similar items doing the same job, are they all separate or can they be mixed and matched together, do the colours work together and is there anything missing that you’ll need.

Think in 3’s – Once you have your full selection, start editing and putting a capsule wardrobe together. The best way to do this is to see if you can create 3 ways to wear each item.  It’s sometimes easier to go bottom up.  So, for example you may have 3 pairs of shoes, see how you can wear these shoes 3 times with different outfits.

Accessorise – Accessories are your best friend for:

1) Creating a more personal style,

2) Taking a look from day to evening, and

3) Creating various combinations

Be careful not to go craaaaazzy with accessories! Look at the outfits you’ve created and see which accessories you can multi-use…do you really need 5 pairs of sunglasses or will just 1 pair suffice?

Dress up/Dress down – Are there items you can add that take a day look into evening.  For example, if you have a buttoned summer dress, you can wear it unbuttoned with your swimming costume by the poolside, as a dress for sightseeing and for the evening dress it up with sandals, jewellery and a clutch.

Your beach holiday guide

For a week-long beach holiday, here’s a guide for what to take:

  • Three styles of shoes – for example flip flops by the pool, a pair of sandals and then a heel/wedge for the evening.
  • 3 pairs of bottoms – this could be all or a combination of shorts, trousers and skirts.
  • 4/5 tops – 1 long sleeve, then some casual daytime tops and 2 tops for the evening.
  • 3 dresses – these can include a maxi, jersey dresses and summer dresses
  • 2 pieces of swimwear that you feel comfortable in and you will wear. If you are conscious of baring all, then find a bikini or swimsuit with a bit more coverage. There’s no point taking a number of bikinis that you won’t wear.
  • 2 coverups – these can also be worn as tops or a dress if not too transparent. You could even use a dress or a shirt as a coverup as well.
  • Beach bag for the day and a nice handbag for day and evening, and even better if you can use the handbag as a clutch as well.
  • Jewellery – this is very individual to your taste and how much jewellery you actually wear. My advice is to take a few necklaces that can elevate a plain outfit, that you can wear with your bikini, but also out in the evening. Statement earrings can also be great for poolside and jazzing up an evening outfit.

I hope these tips have been useful and will help you make better decisions and have a more joyful packing experience, and a lighter suitcase!

If you’re ready to create your own signature style that takes you from home to holiday with ease, get in touch and see how our styling services can support and inspire you.

London Private Shopping Event

By | Event, Uncategorised

Have you ever dreamt of being pampered and groomed in one of the world’s leading fashion cities by your very own personal stylist?

Imagine having a wardrobe that you love, filled with pieces selected just for you, in a city that has so much variety there is something for everyone, and not to mention the most sought after designers and boutiques.

Why not step into 2020 looking stylish and chic?

I am organising an exclusive shopping trip to London for a small group of ladies.  Offering a bespoke service – designed to meet your individual needs so you can have the perfect spring summer 2020 wardrobe and feel amazing.

What’s included?

  • Prior to the trip I will have a 30-minute discovery call with you, where we’ll discuss your current wardrobe, your style and what you’re looking for
  • After the discovery call, we’ll design a style board together for your SS20 wardrobe
  • You will arrive in London and walk into a private dressing room with gorgeous options waiting for you. Before you arrive, I will have already preselected pieces and combinations perfect for you. I’ll fetch anything else you need whilst you enjoy the experience with a glass of bubbly. 
  • We’ll continue to explore some beautiful brands & boutiques in the heart of London
  • We will finish the day with a quintessential English high tea 

Pricing

Please contact me at info@signature-five.com for pricing information. 

Special deal if you bring a friend

There’s nothing more fun than spending the day in one of the coolest cities in the world shopping in style with your friends. This experience is perfect for enjoying with a group, and I offer a great group discount, so why not gather a few of your besties together and make a weekend of it? 

 

This exclusive experience will be in March/April 2020 – the final date will be confirmed shortly

Has it been that long?

By | Wardrobe Detox

Do you know this feeling that you want to do something and you say to yourself, ok tomorrow I’m going to start and then tomorrow comes… and you don’t start!!  It could be exercising, it could be cleaning your house or even just picking up the phone to call an old friend.  This is the feeling I had with this Journal.

This Journal is something I always mean to do but everything else ends up taking precedence.  Or is this just an excuse?

For a whole year, I would start writing and then somehow, I kept stopping myself short from posting. One of the factors that kept stopping me, was fear. I kept thinking I needed to reinvent the wheel by having something original to post.

Masterminding

This weekend I was at a two-day Mastermind event with other women entrepreneurs. I totally embraced this weekend and listened to all the advice they had to give me.  What I realised was that we all are unique and it is all about taking ACTION.

So, both my entrepreneurial friend and myself decided to write two blogs a week. We were inspired by another beautiful friend who always has our entrepreneurial backs who is actually doing 100 blogs in 100 days.  We felt two per week suited us just fine.

This got me thinking about how often we procrastinate in doing something, overtime it builds up and then it gets to the point where the task seems bigger than it actually is.  Now I’m writing this post it isn’t as daunting as I thought.  In fact, I’m rather enjoying it with my warm cup of English Breakfast.

This can also be true for our wardrobe.  We always have the intention to organise and declutter our closets especially as we go into a new season but we never quite get round to doing it and then it gets to the point where the jobs just seems unfathomable.

If you took the time to organise your wardrobe by removing clothes that don’t suit the purpose anymore and putting last season’s clothes away, you will be freeing up space for some new season pieces that you can easily mix and match with your current wardrobe.

This small action of doing a Wardrobe Detox can help you build your ideal Fall wardrobe.

Five Actionable Tips For A Wardrobe Detox

  1.  Break the task down – Trying to do your whole wardrobe in one day will end up leaving you disarrayed and throwing everything back inside.  Therefore, I would start with one category per day.
  2. Have three different piles for your clothes – Love, Give-a-way and Alteration/Drycleaning.  The love pile is what you put back in your wardrobe and the other two piles require an action.
  3. Fill your space with joy – the space in your wardrobe is valuable, so why not fill it with hanging as much as you can. The more you hang the more likely you are going to wear it.
  4. Organise your wardrobe by categories – This helps with creating different outfit combinations.
  5. Pimp up your wardrobe – Make your wardrobe your sanctuary.  You look at it everyday so why not make it beautiful.  A quick fix is to have identical hangers.

Take action now and start creating that perfect wardrobe that is unique to you.

My Story

By | Our values, Personal

London to Zurich

From catwalks, photoshoots and model fittings to determining what women should be wearing across the world, for ten years I worked at the heart of London’s fashion scene.  After gaining lots of experience working for prestigious brands like Dior, House of Fraser and Harrods, I finally worked my way up to become Womenswear Merchandise Manager at Burberry.

Then love happened.

Like many I tried to combine my work and private life with the long-distance trips from London to Zurich. I had fallen in love, but I also loved my job.

In 2014, we finally got married and we made the decision to make Zurich our home.  A year later our son Kian was born.  I took a career break and enjoyed my new adventure of being a mum, but I had the desire to start a business which would help women and combine my love of fashion.

 

The light bulb moment

After the birth of my son, I felt slightly lost with who I was. Putting outfits together – something that once came so easily to me – was now a struggle, and found myself saying ‘I have nothing to wear’ or ‘nothing fits’.  The clothes I had in my wardrobe just didn’t feel appropriate.

My lifestyle had changed since my Burberry days but my wardrobe had not.  As a mum I needed a wardrobe that was functional but at the same time I didn’t want my clothes to read ‘mum’.  I longed for a capsule wardrobe with key pieces I could mix and match.

Last summer at a friend’s wedding in London, the idea of Signature Five came about. I was talking to one of my girlfriends, a mother of two who also has a high-powered job at a luxury online retailer.  Chatting away we discovered we were at a stage in our lives where we wanted a handful of investment pieces that we could easily put together, rather than a wardrobe full of clothes.  We joked that we should start our own label.

A seed was planted. I kept thinking there must be a lot of women having similar issues who just want signature pieces in their wardrobe that they can easily put together.  I realised that any woman going through a change in their life will feel they have ‘nothing to wear’ unless their wardrobe reflects this.

As I ascended into the clouds on the flight back to Zurich, Signature Five was born.

 

Signature Five is born

This motivated me to be ruthless – to clean out my closet and put my merchandising skills to use. I grouped, folded, hung and colour coded the remaining clothes in my wardrobe and from there I saw items of clothing I had too much of and what I lacked.

I updated my wardrobe and searched for items I knew I would wear time and time again.  I gave my wardrobe the revamp it so desperately  needed.  I put myself first and for the first time in ages, I invested in myself, and it was the best thing I did.  I knew what I wanted my clothes to say about me and I knew the impression I wanted to make.

I do believe first impressions are formed by how we dress, appear and our attitude. When we know we look good, we naturally come across more confident and have a positive attitude, which in turn gets us to where we want to be.

So many of us forget about our wardrobe, we put everything else first or continue to dress the same way our whole lives, without evolving our style. Sometimes we just need new pair of eyes to able to be more objective.

Signature Five’s mission

After gaining ten years’ work experience in fashion, a Masters in Fashion, a diploma in style coaching and extensive research on personal styling, my mission is to make women feel empowered, chic and confident with the power of dressing. I believe every woman should be able to show up as the best version of herself.

Through Signature Five, my goal is to provide clarity to women who are unsure of their personal style, and a wardrobe tailored to suit their needs. Our purpose is to work with women, to bring out their personality through their wardrobe, not change who they are. To show women of all ages and body shapes that we can all look phenomenal with the right styling.

I know I wouldn’t have made this happen without that conversation with my girlfriends.

Sometimes we all just need a helping hand to achieve the goals we want.

My Signature Style

By | Style Tips

Keeping up with current trends, latest fashion or the next beauty rage can be slightly exhausting at times. I of all people, love browsing through fashion magazines, visiting stores and reading blogs for inspiration but sometimes it feels we are constantly trying to reinvent the wheel.

In my twenties, I followed the latest trends avidly and I was obsessed with fast fashion thanks to the likes of Zara, Topshop and H&M. These stores were my fashion haven. I could look like runway for the fraction of the price. I would buy, buy, buy and a lot of the times not even wear the items I bought, they would disappear at the back of my cupboard with the price tags still intact.

Now in my mid-thirties I am more aware of who I am and my attitude towards clothes has changed. I have found a deeper respect for my wardrobe and I don’t feel I need to fill it up with so many items, but instead I make sure I have the right key pieces for my style.

I have a capsule wardrobe that is redefined, refined and retuned to suit my lifestyle.

I feel every wardrobe should have the basic pieces that can easily be mixed and matched depending on their personal style and it doesn’t always need to be about reinvention. Sometimes the basics can create the perfect outfit with the right accessories.

Here are my five signature pieces I could not live without, these are items I wear on daily basis:

Denim

I truly am a jean girl, I practically live in denim and I love the way how you can dress it up or down just depending on what top and shoes you wear.
Jeans are universal and there is a style to suit everyone. I personally love skinny jeans that are slightly above the ankle; worn with stilettos automatically elevates a casual look.
I also love boot leg/ flared jeans worn with a high heel with just the top of the shoe showing creates Parisian chic.

My favorite wash is dark denim with no fuss, something about dark denim just makes it look crisp and clean. Lighter washes work better in the summer.

Paige

Rag & Bone

Re/done

Topshop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of my favourite brands:

  • On a budget: Topshop Jamie
  • True old school denim brands: Pepe, Levis
  • Premium: Paige, Rag and Bone and J brand
  • Wish list: Re/done

T-shirts

I love T-shirts, it doesn’t get more staple than a white T-shirt. This should be in everyone’s closet.
It is important to find the right fit for you. A t-shirt can be worn out or tucked into your jeans or skirt. Once you have found your perfect fit buy lots of them. T-shirts are such easy items to create a relaxed and chic look.

Cos

J Crew

Splendid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My favourite brands for tees:

  • Cos
  • Zara
  • J-crew
  • Splendid

Pencil Skirt

A pencil skirt suits most body types and it is again one of those pieces that can work for the office and after office hours. Worn with a t-shirt creates a casual look; put with a blouse/shirt gives more of a smart professional look.

DVF

J crew

Malene Birger

Victoria Beckham

Burberry’s S/S 14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rocking a pencil skirt:

  • All-time favorite Pencil skirt collection was Burberry 2014 collection.
  • Victoria Beckham always rocks a pencil skirt!

Cashmere Sweater

‘If you own only one sweater, make sure it is cashmere.’

Nowadays you can get cashmere sweaters at good value. My favourite are crew neck sweaters, this can be worn with a blouse/t-shirt, added with heavy costume jewellery creates a different look. Everyone should own basic colours but one colour that is a must have is beige/nude.

Vince

J Crew

Duffy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My favourite reasonable priced brands for good sweaters are:

  • Duffy
  • Vince
  • J Crew

Shirts

It is always said a white shirt is a staple piece. I do love a white shirt but I would say my favourite is a blue and white stripe shirt. It has a crisp casual feel but it can also look smart.

Jill Sander

Theory

Zara

Tommy Hilfiger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Favourite brands for a good shirt:

  • Stella Mccartney
  • Tommy Hilfiger
  • Zara
  • Theory
  • Jill Sander

 

If you would like to discover your essential pieces that suits your style, get in touch.