All Posts By

Monika Mueller

confidence

Confidence: It’s an Inside AND an Outside Job!

By | Body Confidence

One of my core beliefs is that true confidence can only be achieved when we work on the inside and the outside of ourselves. These two things are completely interconnected and finding confidence in one cannot be achieved without finding confidence in the other.

Now, while I definitely have a wealth of knowledge around finding confidence in our outer appearance, when it comes to the inner work, I want to introduce you to my friend Selina Man Karlsson. Selina is a previous client of mine and an expert when it comes to the world of inner confidence.

During our time working together I helped Selina elevate her outer confidence and style so it became beautifully aligned with the internal confidence shifts that she’d made in her life.

But I also have first-hand experience of Selina’s therapy work. She helped me make internal shifts at a time when I knew I was going to start speaking at events, but I was afraid of public speaking.

It’s my absolute pleasure to share this interview with you. Selina and I chatted about confidence and self-esteem, and you’ll be introduced to the transformational way she works with her clients using RTT.

This blog is a little longer than usual as there was so much juicy content shared, but I didn’t want to leave anything out, so grab yourself a drink, get comfy and let’s dive in…

I’d love to start by having you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into RTT and what RTT is?

Selina: I’m British born Chinese and I’ve been living in Switzerland for almost 20-years. I came over because of my work for a bank, which I worked for, for 13-years before setting up my own company called Curious Courses. I remember going to a conference that was given by a guy called Brian Weiss, who wrote this amazing book called ‘Many Lives, Many Masters’. After the 3-day conference I thought, “WOW, I really want to go deeper into this”. I felt a real urge to start looking and I found Marisa Peer’s Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT) course.

RTT has been developed by Marisa who is spoken about as being the best therapists in England. She combined her 30-years of experience into RTT, and the basis is hypnotherapy. But she also combines quite a few other tools within it to support people. During RTT you’re guided into a very relaxed hypnotic state, and the idea is that if you’re facing an issue or challenge now, you go back to a previous experience where your subconscious mind has been told it wasn’t safe or that something was dangerous.

You’re guided to different points in your life, when you were 5, 10 or it could even be last week. It’s just little points in your life where your subconscious has believed that something was really a big deal at that time. Then by understanding that you’re no longer in that situation anymore you can start turning things around. Then we produce an audio recording that helps you change your belief, which you listen to for 21 days.

So that’s the essence I would say. But there’s quite a few other things depending on what comes up. We have different tools to handle different situations.

So, if I’m understanding this correctly, you go into people’s pasts, and look at what’s triggered them with creating their current thoughts, beliefs, and stories. So, in what way does that help your clients?

Selina: The best way I can describe it is that a belief that you had leads to a thought, which leads to a feeling, which leads to the actions you take, which leads to the results, which feeds back into the belief.

So, let’s use the belief that I’m no good at public speaking as an example. By changing the original belief and giving yourself more positive beliefs like, I look forward to public speaking. And I’m helping other people. Then the thought is, “Well actually I’m going to help other people. It’s not about me, it’s about others.” And the feeling is that you feel a bit calmer about it. The action is that you get up on stage and you’re able to do your thing because you know you’re actually helping other people, you’re not thinking about yourself. And the results are good because these people are happy with what you delivered, and that feeds back into, I’m helping others.

You can see how, by going to the route of the belief, and letting go of something that things change. Your subconscious is always trying to protect you, even if things don’t seem that way. Once you understand that it’s so much easier, because then you can communicate with your subconscious mind and make the changes that you want.

One of the reasons why I’ve been dying to interview you is because I see connections between the work you do and what I do. We’re both providing women with tools to make them feel good about themselves and be confident. I would love to know what advice you’d give someone who may lack confidence or have low self-esteem?

Selina: Well, there’s actually a lot you can do! Let me give you a couple of examples.

First, start identifying the negative voice. Generally, it’s telling you not to be stupid, don’t do that, who do you think you are, and all that kind of nonsense that goes on in your head. Some people call it ‘monkey chatter’, but it can just be a negative voice. The first step is to identify that voice, and then it’s almost like you can observe it. You can start to realise, oh it’s not necessarily me, it’s something else.

A very easy trick is to imagine one of those old radios and that you can turn down the volume dial – or even turn it off completely! Or you have a very positive voice that counteracts it, and you say, “Hold on! Shut up! It’s my turn to talk!”

So, you can either turn the volume off on the voice or you can start talking back. You can ask what the concern is, what’s the worst that can happen? And go to the point where you negotiate with your fear and say, “What if I try this? What if I do that? What will you feel then?” Then things will start changing.

Another thing you can do is journal about your fear. That’s similar to the process of speaking to it and just seeing what it has to say. It’s just a different way of doing it. So, either imagine yourself speaking with it or just writing it out. Then you can get a lot of insight into the situations that have caused you to feel this way.

You recently spoke to the ladies in my Style with Confidence online program and the common challenge that practically everyone shared was seeking validation from others. So, what are your thoughts on that?

Selina: I think it’s something that’s so ingrained in our systems. Even from childhood as a baby, you learn that if you gurgle and smile, you’re going to get a great reaction from your parents. And if you don’t, they’ll say, “What’s wrong with you?” Or make some negative comment. So, it’s really natural because as children we need to please our parents otherwise we might not get our basic needs met. It’s a survival mechanism.

If you think back to how we lived in tribes. The worst thing you could do was be ousted from a tribe because you wouldn’t survive. Nowadays you might survive but it won’t be great. Survival is inbuilt in us, so you can understand that we want to stay cool with our tribe so that we look after each other.

Just having that awareness can help. When you don’t have awareness and you’re doing it automatically then you’re just people pleasing. A lot of us are people pleasers – me included! But sometimes I have to ask myself the question, is this what I really want as well? Giving a little bit of a gap between saying yes to everything or doing something that you think someone would want rather than what you want, allows you to really evaluate and ask if this is what you really want as well.

Monika: For me that’s really important, because when I’m working with clients, often they say they can’t wear something because their husband likes them to look a certain way. This creates an inner conflict. I always say style doesn’t start with your wardrobe it starts with your mindset, goals, and vision – who is the woman that you want to be? How do you want to come across?

You talk about turning the volume down. But when it’s your partner, a friend or family member, what advice would you give someone if they’ve got conflicting dialogues going on?

Selina: Good question! I definitely agree with you – first of all it’s important to find out who this woman wants to be? She’s come for a reason. She’s obviously not happy with something and wants some sort of change. Ultimately, it’s not the other person’s life. It’s her life that she’s choosing, so the first place to start is to accept what she wants. Because it’s very easy to be influenced by others and do what they want.

I believe you won’t feel good until you decide on what you want no matter what anyone else says. Maybe people need to adjust to your new style, but if they really are truly a loved one, a partner, a friend, they will understand and take in your needs. You can’t try to change someone; the person must want to change from within. So, I totally agree with you, start with what the person wants for themself and go from there.

So, what types of challenges can RTT help with?

Selina: Well, there’s many benefits. So, I typically work with people who are procrastinating and are having trouble taking action and doing something they want to do. But I’ve also worked quite a lot with people who are having relationship issues. And they might not be partner relationship issues, it might be a mother/daughter or mother/son relationships and I’ve found that very rewarding too.

I also work a lot with people who see a pattern that they have trouble breaking, for example if they keep having the same pattern repeat itself in relationships. It’s amazing because it can really shift something so easily and quickly. It just works, by reprogramming the mind and putting the work in and being open to going into places to let go of things. Even for very traumatic things we’ve found that it really helps you let go of situations.

One of the things you’ve spoken about in my Style with Confidence program is body confidence. I find this is the number one thing that stops most women from dressing or turning up how they want. If someone came to you for help with body confidence, how would you help them and what would be the 3 tips that you would give?

Selina: I would discuss with them the situations they find themselves in where they’re not comfortable. And then I’d ask them for a wish list on how they would like to feel instead. That might look like: I would love to feel relaxed and comfortable wearing a bikini on the beach. Or I would love to feel confident and strong on stage. Then I would use RTT and then give them an audio of positive affirmations that they listen to for 21 days to really change their mindset.

It’s also important to experiment a bit and play with things. It’s about noticing how you feel doing everyday things. So, wearing a different colour or setting yourself up in a situation where you get to try something new.

It’s also about upgrading your life. I follow Denise Duffield Thomas who talks a lot about upgrading your life and this is the thing you also helped me with – totally upgrading my wardrobe. You came up with pieces that I would never have normally gone for myself. And I love that. I was really happy with the work we did together because it helped introduce me to different brands as well at a time when I felt like I was in a bit of a rut, buying from the same kind of shops. I really appreciated having your extra eyes on things.

I’d love to wrap things up with you sharing a personal story that relates to your own body confidence journey

Selina: I’m Chinese and I grew up in England and whenever I went for holidays as a child to Hong Kong, it was awful. The Chinese are very blunt and very direct, and they’ll tell you what they think! So basically, they would say to me that I was fat or that I’d put on weight. I don’t think they meant it in the harsh way it came out! Chinese people tend to be very slim, and all the sizes are pretty small. So, whenever I went it was just a nightmare.

First of all, I’d be preparing myself for these comments, and then whenever I bought clothes, they would be extra-large or extra extra large, but in England I was probably a medium or something like that. It was depressing! And I think I carried that with me for quite a while, because I’m not a slim Chinese woman. I’m medium and I’m average if I look at myself from an English perspective, so for me that was always a struggle.

It definitely left a bit of an impact on me. I always found myself not feeling comfortable with my body size and shape. But when I lost weight, my parents would say to me, “Oh you don’t look good!” They want weight because in the old Chinese days actually having some weight was good because it was safer, and you’d survive through famine and things like that.

So, for me it has been a lot of work. I’ve worked on weight issues. I’ve worked on feeling confident. I find that I do sometimes flip flop a bit. It’s really about being conscious of it and knowing that I do feel healthier, fitter and stronger when I eat well and do more exercise.

I think that’s more important to me actually than the weight now, and I think that reflects in my clothes and how I wear my clothes as well. I feel more confident in that respect. It does take time and it takes effort. But I have changed my diet a lot and I take supplements and I exercise, and that gives me confidence to feel good in clothes. Especially if I’m speaking on stage, it does help when I’m feeling confident.

So that’s a wrap! Selina and I hope you’ve enjoyed our chat and have taken away some golden nuggets to bring into your own life.

If you’re interested in connecting with Selina further, she regularly holds workshops. To find out when the next one will be, CLICK HERE to visit her website and under programs you’ll find all her upcoming events.

midi dress

Midi Dress Magic

By | Summer

Last weekend it felt like summer had officially started, so my family and I decided to head off to our local badi (public swimming area).

It appeared that everyone in the surrounding area had the same idea too, and there was a wonderfully endless parade of women wearing all sorts of beautiful summer dresses. All of the different styles, fits and colours inspired me, and especially the midi dresses.

The Midi dress has been around for so many seasons now that it’s become a wardrobe staple. It’s incredibly easy to wear and ticks so many boxes. As well as ease, it’s a style of dress that instantly makes you feel put together and can help keep you cool in the heat. And, because it’s so versatile, it’s also a perfect transition piece for Spring and Autumn as well.

As with everything though, not every midi silhouette suits everyone, so here are my tips for choosing the best fit and how to style it…

Midi Dress Length

As a general rule of thumb, when it comes to dresses and skirts I ask my clients to go for a length that sits at the smallest and slimmest part of their legs. Normally this would be just above or below their knee.

A midi, however, is designed to sit right on your calves. So, to make it more flattering, you need to find ways to elongate your legs. The easiest way of course to do this is with footwear.

Fabric and Fit

Two important things to look out for when you’re choosing a midi are the fabric and fit. These two things will make all the difference as to whether the dress is going to work for you or not.

If you have a curvier body shape then you’ll want to opt for a silhouette that emphasises your smallest part. With a fuller bust, a wrap-over or a shirt dress will work really well and help to cinch in your waist.

Or if you’re curvier on the bottom half, accentuate your top half with a sleeveless midi or one that has some kind of embellishment. I’d also recommend a fabric that has some fluidity about it. In other words, not something structured or heavy as this will be unflattering to your shape.

If you have a small waist show it off in midis that are cinched at the waist or have a belt detail.

If your shape is quite athletic and you don’t have defined curves, you can create them yourself. Go for a midi that has a lower waistline. Or alternatively you can create a waist by adding a belt or short cardigan or jacket. A more structured fabric and design will also create the illusion of curves, as will a tiered style dress.

Footwear

When it comes to footwear, it’s important to ensure you don’t chop your leg dimensions up too much. Ideally opt for shoes that show off your ankles, so things like low-cut trainers, sandals, wedges, sliders and mules.

You can really switch up the look of your midi dress by using different styles of shoes to create different looks. Wearing heels will naturally dress-up your midi and elongate and flatter your legs, but of course wearing heels all day isn’t always practical (or comfortable!). So, for day-to-day styling I recommend adding trainers, flat sandals or a small wedge.

Outerwear

Of course, here’s hoping we continue to have more of these glorious days and don’t really need too much outerwear this summer!

But, in case it does get a little chilly, a nice short cardigan over your midi will look really chic. Or for a slightly warmer, casual look try a short denim jacket or for something a little dressier a short smart jacket works too. And, if you want an edgier rock and roll vibe, add a leather biker jacket.

Whatever style you go for, a great midi dress is such an easy and versatile must-have piece for your wardrobe, and you’ll get endless wear from it.

Knowing which styles work for your shape can be a complete game changer. If you want to learn more about this and how you can dress this summer, come and join my ‘How to Dress for Your Body’ masterclass – CLICK HERE for all the details.

professional

The Power of a Professional

By | Body Confidence

The following is a blog post written by my client Ilana Jankowitz. Ilana shares from her heart about her experience of working with me and the positive impact it’s had on her life and her body confidence. I hope you enjoy it…

If you’ve ever read my story on my website, you’ll know that I grew up around a lot of scarcity.

My scarcity beliefs came with some deep routed traumas and growing up my fear around money felt very real. My childhood experience of spending came with extremes that swung wildly between lack and indulgence.

Not surprisingly, when I was finally old enough to control my own money, I found myself overcompensating and operating from a place of fear of not having enough.

Thank goodness I found money coaching!

Through my own coaching journey, I’ve dedicated a lot of time to working through the blocks and attachment I had to scarcity, and now have a different, healthier mindset. This is why I continue to do the work, because I believe we’re all constantly creating money stories.

I’m a completely different person now and see prosperity and abundance in every area of my life. The transformation has been nothing short of miraculous.

Which is why a recent experience completely knocked me sideways!

I needed help!

I’m currently having a beautiful new website made and a while back decided that I really wanted some new images. I don’t like having my photo taken at the best of times, but the idea of having professional images that would be out in the public domain started getting me into a bit of a spin.

I felt completely stressed out and my head was filled with all sorts of thoughts…

“I can’t wear that anymore!”

“I can’t wear black.”

“I feel fat – maybe I should wait until I lose some weight.”

“Shopping is so stressful, I hate it!”

Can you relate?

Eventually I decided enough was enough. I knew I needed professional help with my wardrobe dilemma, so I reached out to Monika Mueller from Signature Five.

Professionals are a godsend

Monika is now my fashion angel! She strikes a wonderful balance between being extremely professional but incredibly kind and approachable. Her softly spoken warmth and vast knowledge of fashion immediately puts me at ease. There’s something so calming about knowing you’re in the safe hands of someone who really knows their stuff.

On our first call I explained to Monika that I had a photoshoot coming up. We chatted about what I needed and wanted, but honestly, I had no idea about either! I didn’t have a clue about what colours I like, styles I like or what even suits me.

Not fazed by my lack of knowing, Monika took over and got to work creating mood boards and searching stores online for the perfect pieces to fit my needs. I cannot tell you the relief I felt – Monika made the entire experience so unbelievably easy and stress-free for me. She gave me back hours and hours of time that I could instead use focusing on my business.

Once Monika finished her selection, she sent me links to each item so I could go ahead and make my purchases. In the end I ordered two sizes of everything because I didn’t even know my size – no joke!

What on earth is happening to me!

That night, purchases made, I suddenly woke up at 3am in a complete panic!

“What have I done!”

“Why am I overindulging!”

“Why am I spending money on myself!”

“Why didn’t I just buy one item or do my photos for the website another time!”

And then the big one hit me…

“This is a luxury, and I DON’T DESERVE IT!”

I couldn’t believe the fear and flood of scarcity and lack that came up.

I’m sharing this because I don’t believe for one minute that I’m the only one that experiences feelings like this. Through my years as a money coach it’s something that comes up time and time again. But what really shocked me was that I thought I’d dealt with these feelings!

With knowledge comes calm

The next morning, with my head still in a spin, I took myself off for a walk in the forest to give myself a good talking too!

Dropping out of my head and the noise of my ego, I could finally hear all the things that I knew were true. That I’m okay. I have more than enough to do this. I’m worthy. I’m abundant. I’m deserving. I’m confident and want to show up and be seen.

All the money work I’ve done over the years allowed me to shift my mind from fear and panic into truth. And, knowing that I was in such safe and professional hands with Monika, calmed me and gave me security that the purchases I’d made were an investment in me and my business.

I want you to ask yourself right now…

  • Do you deprive yourself of living abundantly?
  • How often do you miss out on going to wonderful events because you believe you have nothing to wear?
  • Do you allow yourself to dress as the successful woman you are/are working to become?
  • Do you hate shopping like I did and want a fashion angel like Monika to support you?

Working with a professional like Monika has been lifechanging for me. Before this experience I would rather have gone to the dentist than shop, that’s how much I hated it!

But I’m so excited I made the decision to reach out for Monika’s help. The signature style we’re creating together feels perfect for me and my lifestyle. Monika’s inside-out approach to styling has helped elevate my confidence to new levels and I couldn’t be happier.

We all deserve to feel confident in our bodies and look our best. I’ve waited a lifetime for this experience – please don’t wait so long!

If, like Ilana, you’re ready to feel confident in your body, my ‘How to Dress for Your Body’ masterclass will be a perfect fit for you. CLICK HERE to register for the next one, which is happening on Saturday 19th June at 9:30am CET.

weight gain

How to Feel Confident After Weight Gain

By | Body Confidence

I’ve noticed that over the last year my weight keeps fluctuating, and every time it goes up my confidence takes a bit of a knock. It would be super easy to blame COVID lockdown or the lack of sleep I’ve been getting because I have two little ones. And, while those things are real, I recognise that if I’m honest with myself they’re also excuses.

And I know I’m not alone. We all look for all sorts of reasons outside of ourselves for why we feel the way we do.

I recently had a client who shared with me that she keeps wearing the same clothes over and over. She’s been stuck at home, has gained weight and it’s really knocked her confidence. So much so that she now tries to avoid going anywhere where she might need to dress up.

Lacking confidence because of weight gain is such a common scenario for women. And while, for sure, the pandemic hasn’t helped, we can’t hang our hats solely on that for the reason why.

I’ll let you in on a secret…

Confidence is an inside job! No pandemic, children, job, relationship or anything else can make us feel unconfident or, on the flip side, confident. While it might look like those things contribute to how we feel, the truth is they just don’t have that power over us!

How we feel begins and ends with the thoughts we have that we hold on to and then create an experience of. Holding on to a whole host of negative thoughts and beliefs about ourselves can have a knock-on effect with so many different areas of our lives. This is exactly what was happening with my client that I mentioned. She avoided meeting family or friends because of what she thought about her body and clothes, which in turn impacted her confidence.

Be gentle

First and foremost, I want to really encourage you to be gentle with yourself and take care of you. We can often have the tendency to not love ourselves fully when we don’t look a particular way.

When we find ourselves in that place our internal dialogue can become critical and harsh. We start saying things to ourselves that we wouldn’t dream of saying to our kids or friends, so why do we think it’s ok to say them to ourselves?

It’s ok to acknowledge that some areas might need improving. But we need to remember that it’s a two-way relationship. We need to treat our bodies with love and kindness and gratitude. When you think about it, your body already does so much – criticising it will do nothing for your self-esteem or motivation.

Reality check!

For most people, having clothes in their wardrobe that no longer fit makes them feel worse.

So, first things first, you need to have a reality check and see what fits you.

Anything that doesn’t fit you at the moment, I want you to put those clothes aside. Or better still put them in a box or somewhere you can’t see them.

BUT…

If you’ve gained a lot of weight over a long period of time, then I urge you to start thinking about giving these clothes away.

Clothes that no longer serve you but are still hanging in your wardrobe don’t encourage you to feel good about yourself and are not good for your sanity. Seeing items every morning that don’t fit anymore is not the best way to start your day. In fact, it’s a sure-fire way to start beating yourself up before your day has even started.

So, they need to go!

Pack them up and either donate them to charity or give them to someone you know will get use out of them.

After you’ve cleared out the clothes that aren’t serving you right now, look at what’s left. Decide what you want to add that will help you feel good about your wardrobe and give you a few different options, so it won’t feel like you’re always wearing the same clothes.

Make a shopping list of possible items and then buy a few that, when you think about them, you feel good about your outer appearance.

I’ll do it when…

Something I often hear is women saying that they’ll join my program once they’ve lost weight.

While of course there are always exceptions to every rule, I can honestly say that in all my time as a personal stylist, rare is the woman who actually gets to her ideal weight while she’s waiting! Instead, a common pattern is that they get stuck in a cycle of not feeling good about themselves and wearing clothes that don’t lift them up either. This often causes overeating and doing less, which just perpetuates the cycle.

In my experience, when clients who are carrying extra weight invest time in their outer appearance and learn how to dress for the body they have right now, the weight actually comes off more quickly and easily.

Honestly – it’s like magic!

Because they’re feeling good about themselves and want to have more of that feel good factor, they’re naturally inspired to start taking better care of themselves.

Having clothes we actually like wearing and feel amazing in makes the world of difference to every woman. Looking and feeling great whatever the scales say, can’t help but raise our confidence and ignite our self-love.

If you’re someone whose shape has changed, it’s time to start exploring how to dress your body as it is right now. To find out how to do this, and start using your clothes to your advantage, join my ‘How to Dress for Your Body’ masterclass. CLICK HERE to register.

style sabotage

Are You Sabotaging Your Style?

By | Style Tips

Getting up and dressed is something we do every day, so we’d be forgiven for assuming that it should automatically be easy.

Maybe you’re one of the lucky few that wakes up every morning, bounces out of bed and excitedly flings open the doors to your closet because you know that every item that greets you is something you love and just can’t wait to put on?

Hmmmm… maybe, or maybe not!

The all too familiar reality for most women is quite the opposite. It’s far more akin to waking up with an impending feeling of dread and anxiety at the idea of having to think about what to wear, and whether it will look ok and if it’s actually clean and ironed! Then you begin the slow walk to your wardrobe, open the doors and, even though it’s packed to the gills, you look inside and feel like you have nothing to wear.

One of the things I’ve noticed is that when women feel like they’ve got nothing to wear, they tend to cycle their way through what I call the ‘6-stages of style sabotage’. style sabotage

Stage 1 – Belief

What we tell ourselves over and over has an impact on the beliefs we have about ourselves and our situation. Starting your day telling yourself, “I have nothing to wear” when in reality you’re staring into a closet full of clothes, just reinforces that belief.

Stage 2 – Hope

Because the belief, “I have nothing to wear” really doesn’t feel good, after a while you start to do something about your situation. Perhaps you look for hope in places like Pinterest, Instagram or YouTube. You get busy trying to find inspiration reading blogs, taking screenshots and pinning like crazy. Or perhaps you spend time watching videos trying to find out what kind of style, or what kind of items you need in your wardrobe.

Stage 3 – Purge

Then it’s off to your wardrobe to purge like crazy because everything you’ve got in there isn’t exactly what’s on your Pinterest board. So, you get rid of your clothes and just leave a handful of items behind. The problem is you now have very little left to wear, so you end up wearing the same things over and over and grow bored with them very quickly.

Stage 4 – Spend

The danger with getting bored is that you now want to go out and shop to fill in the gaps. Because you actually need new items now, you go on a massive spree and spend, spend, spend because there’s so many shiny objects in front of you. And of course, the sales assistant is telling you, “Oh that looks amazing on you”, so you buy the clothes because, hey, they make you feel good because they’re brand new.

Stage 5 – The High

For a while you find yourself loving your new clothes. You feel great and confident in them and enjoy getting ready each day. This is the way you dream of feeling every day and you don’t want it to end.

Stage 6 – The Low Wave

Once the high of your new clothes starts to fade, these items no longer feel like you. Slowly the feeling of “I don’t have anything to wear”, starts creeping back in because, let’s face it, you’re getting bored of them again now. They’re just not fulfilling you in the same way as they did when you first bought them. Slowly but surely you start wearing them less and less, and you might even start reverting back to your original clothes again.

And then the cycle repeats itself, leaving you once again with a wardrobe full of clothes but nothing to wear.

I find this perpetuating cycle happens with a lot of women. To break the cycle, you need to know the foundations of the style you want.

My Signature Five Style Formula

This is where my Signature Five Style Formula comes in. It’s the formula I’ve been using with my 1:1 clients for almost 5-years now.

It entails building a wardrobe based on:

  • Who you are – your personality
  • Your characteristics
  • Your lifestyle
  • Your body type (putting on clothes that really fit and flatter you), and
  • Your goals

style sabotageI take clients through each of these steps to get the style they want, so they no longer experience closet frustration, or waste money on the wrong items, or experience boredom with the clothes they wear.

So, what are your goals?

Because believe it or not your goals correlate to your style. You need to embody who you want to be and what you want to achieve in life, and how you show up style wise is part of that.

My Signature Five Style Formula enables you to create your Signature Style and stop the sabotage cycle of spending money on clothes that, in the end, end up being given away or given to charity.

I’m excited to announce that I’m running a workshop to teach women how to dress for their body. This is one of the things that really stops women from dressing how they want to and is one of the most common and major style blocks. Dressing for your body shape and wearing clothes that fit and flatter you are the easiest way to start loving your clothes. Click here to show me you’re interested and I’ll send you the details for the workshop.

Christmas Partywear

Finding Your Dressing Up Mojo

By | Style Tips

Last weekend I was in town shopping for a client who was going to be on CNN news and urgently needed something to wear. 

The weather was gorgeous, and as restaurants with terraces were open again, town was buzzing. It felt so good and just like any normal day with no sign of a pandemic.

What was also really special was seeing people dressed up again. Everywhere I looked there were women in beautiful dresses and heels, and some wore more casual outfits but still looked like they’d made a real effort. There was hardly a jogging bottom or lounge pant in sight – it was balm for my stylist soul!

It was such a wonderful sight and made me really happy, which inspired me to write this blog. 

I’ve always found the connection between getting dressed up and happiness really fascinating. I know being a stylist might make me a little biased, but I honestly believe, as Geraldine Wharry said in a BBC News fashion article, that “Dressing up is a way of reclaiming happiness regardless of outside factors”.

And let’s be honest, after everything we’ve been through this last year, I think we all deserve a big dose of happiness in our lives! 

Bye bye joggers!

No matter how popular or luxurious humble tracksuits and loungewear sets became in 2020, the fact is that these items of clothing will always be synonymous with a relaxed, comfortable vibe. 

In 2020 they fit the bill perfectly for our stay at home lifestyle. But now that we’re finally starting to break free and get out into life again, it’s time to refocus on our style and start wearing slightly dressier and more put together outfits again.

Finding your dressing up mojo

One of the things I’ve been noticing a lot over the last month, is just how uncertain so many women are feeling about their style right now. For some the uncertainty is because they’re out of touch and out of practice with putting together a great look. While for others there’s a desire to step out into this ‘new normal’ rocking a whole new vibe, but they just don’t know where to start or what will suit them.  

I totally resonate with the fact that gaining an understanding of your personal style can feel quite daunting. Sometimes it’s easier to just stick with what you know and refresh a few bits in your wardrobe, even though deep down you want something more for yourself. 

When you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing, it can be hard to motivate yourself. So here are a few tips that will help you get your style mojo fired up again… 

  • How do you want to turn upin my last blog I talked about the connection between your style and identity. Our clothes are such a powerful tool for helping us to express ourselves and embody certain roles and mindsets. So, as you’re getting ready every morning and are thinking about where you’re going and what you’re doing, also consider how you want to turn up and be seen by others. 
  • What’s already in your wardrobe – during 2020 most of us have worked from home, and for many of us we’ve been existing in some kind of weird fashion groundhog day, wearing the same few items of clothing on constant rotation. To rev up your motivation for dressing up again, it’s time to explore the deeper depths of your wardrobe and reconnect with all those long-forgotten items that you love. 
  • Get inspired – if you’re uncertain of your style, why not draw inspiration from other women. I often look at celebrities, magazines, Instagram and Pinterest for my inspiration. There’s no shame in falling in love with someone else’s style and then emulating that. Over time you’ll grow in confidence and start adding your own special twists to outfits that make them uniquely you. One of the things I do with all of my clients is create a Style Board with them on Pinterest. They’re a lot of fun to make and are a brilliant tool for getting our creative styling juices flowing again. 
  • Come and join my workshop – honestly you’d be crazy not to! You see the easiest and ultimate way to motivate and inspire yourself is to work with a professional like me. I have a wealth of knowledge and a whole lot of tools that make finding your personal style effortless. My live and interactive workshops are amazing for helping you get clarity and create a style board, so you know exactly what styles light you up on the inside, and will fit perfectly with your current lifestyle. 

As Spring continues to blossom and we slowly emerge from our own bricks and mortar cocoons, let’s get excited again about dressing up!

Are you ready to make 2021 the year you claim your unique style? Come and join me for my 2-hour ‘How to Create Your Personal Style’ workshop. I’m gifting you (yes that means it’s free!) this opportunity to completely revolutionise your style – click here and join us on Saturday 1st or Sunday 2nd May. Let’s make style magic happen!

identity

The Style and Identity Connection

By | Style Tips

Have you ever thought about the message your clothes are conveying and the stories you’re telling with your current style?

There’s so much available to us now with endless choices and influences that it can sometimes be challenging to know what to wear. And with all of the external input, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that our personal unique style should be a reflection of our identity, not the style that others dictate for us.

Is your style reflecting your identity?

We often base the way we dress on the roles we’re playing, and on the stories and beliefs we carry about ourselves. For example, when I was going through my teens I completely changed my identity from being a tomboy to becoming more girly.  By changing my interests and behaviour, it also shifted the way I dressed.

I’m guessing, when you get ready in the morning, you probably don’t even think about what identity you’re going to adopt that day. Like everyone else you likely just grab clothes and go! Unless of course you have an important event; then you might spend a little more time thinking about what you’re going to wear.

Generally though, on the surface it might seem like you don’t think that hard about what you’re wearing each day! But subconsciously you make a choice without even realizing it. Your choices are likely based on what you have planned for the day, what you like, how you feel, how you want to turn up, maybe what’s clean or what’s easy or what makes you feel confident or what fits, etc. And, in amongst it all, your choices are also based on who you are, your IDENTITY.

Clothes are an outward expression

The clothes you put on are an outward expression of who you are and how you feel about yourself and can speak a 1000 words even before you’ve opened your mouth. So, dress for the impression you want to make.

When you don’t like what you’re wearing it’s because somewhere it doesn’t feel like you or the woman you want to be. Our clothes should always resonate with us on every level.

There’s a lot of talk these days about being authentic and coming across authentically, but what does that actually mean? We can spend an endless amount of time pondering this question, and in the end twist ourselves up in so many knots and narratives about who we should or shouldn’t be and what we should or shouldn’t wear!

Dress as you want to be

When I work with my clients I keep it really simple and remove the ‘shoulds’. We get clear on what their values are, how they want to turn up, and what’s important to them. We work together to make sure the clothes they have reflect and support the best version of themselves in every situation.

For example, many of my clients at the moment are working from home and don’t feel comfortable wearing their usual office attire. But they also don’t feel comfortable wearing t-shirts and more lounge pieces. To make sure they’re still aligning and presenting professionally, we have added some soft tailoring pieces in their wardrobe that can be smart enough for a Zoom meeting, but casual enough to pick the kids up from school.

What you wear also influences people’s perception of you. Yes, maybe this shouldn’t matter because the most important person who needs to feel comfortable is you! But if you’re prospecting for clients or want to impress the boss then it does matter how you appear. People make preconceived ideas of who you are based purely on factors such as your appearance.

Unfortunately, this is a fact we can’t get away from, but how I like to see it is, use your clothes to your advantage, and dress in a way that gets you the results you want.

Clothing is like armour

Kids are an amazing example of how this works. Take my son – he loves wearing superhero t-shirts and as soon as he puts one on he of course feels like he’s invincible (it’s super cute!).

There have also been many studies on adults who were also told to put superhero t-shirts on, and they also took on the identity of the superhero. Doesn’t that make you want to buy a Wonder Woman t-shirt? : )

Have heard of the doctors’ lab coat experiment? People felt superior as soon as they put a white lab coat on and were told it was a doctor’s coat as opposed to a technician’s.

Using our clothes to our advantage to create the identity we want can be a powerful tool. For example, I have a client who’s starting a new job and wants to feel confident and feel like the leader that she is. So, we’ve created a signature style that reflects her personality and lifestyle but also encapsulates the identity that she wants to embody.

When we use our clothes in this way, to BE the person we want to be, over time this actually sends subconscious messages to our brain that allows us to naturally adopt the identity we want to take on.

Change your style, change your identity

When you change your style to be in alignment with who you really are, you create a healthy self-image, and your natural confidence automatically shines through.

To create a style that truly represents your identity, you need to focus on YOU. You need to know…

  1. How you want to show up
  2. What your style personality is and what you’re drawn to
  3. Your lifestyle and having clothes that reflect this.
  4. Your vision and goals

While you’re not the sum total of what you wear, you have to recognise that you can become what you wear. Wearing different styles of clothes has the power to change your identity and how others see you. This is why it’s important to pay attention to the clothes you put on.

If you’re ready to shift your mindset away from unconscious grab and go dressing and start embracing your unique style identity, my brilliant ‘How to Create Your Personal Style’ workshop is the perfect fit for you. This FREE 2-hour workshop really is the first and most powerful step you can take towards finding your Signature Style. There are two dates available, Saturday 1st or Sunday 2nd May. Click here and select the date you want to attend, and I’ll see you there!

Common colour questions

Common colour questions answered

By | Colour Consultation

As a Personal Stylist I find myself answering a lot of the same colour questions when I’m working with clients.

And that got me thinking. If most of my clients have these same questions, then it stands to reason that you might have them too!

So, I thought it would be helpful to take a look at the most common ones I’m asked and answer them for you.

Are you ready? Great, let’s get started!

Q: I’ve been told not to wear black, but I love black. Do you have any advice?

A: More often than not, if you’re Caucasian and have had a colour consultation, you’ll be told black is a colour you should stay away from because it can be quite harsh. While this might be true if you’re pale skinned, it doesn’t mean you can’t wear black. If you love black then by all means wear it!

With colour analysis, we find out which colours bring harmony and balance to your physical characteristics. Certain colours will be too strong or harsh, but there are ways you can make a colour more balanced and harmonised, even if it isn’t in your colour palette.

Remember, the number one priority is that a colour should give you confidence regardless whether it’s in your palette or not. As long as you feel good, you’re going to look good.

Here are a few tricks to make black work for you:

  1. Put something close to your face, like a necklace or scarf, in a colour that works well for you. This will immediately make black look better.
  2. Be sure to wear some makeup because black can be a little draining on your face.  It doesn’t need to be a lot, just a little blusher and lipstick will bring more colour to your skin.
  3. If you wear a black top, try to opt for a V-neck or low neckline. This will allow your natural skin tone to reflect against your face.
  4. Wear different textures of black. This creates some fun and makes your outfit a little more interesting.

Q: Which colours are slimming?

A: While many believe black is the most slimming colour, this is not 100% true.

The main thing that will make you look slimmer is well fitted clothes that work for your body shape and create feminine lines. Often people think wearing loose baggy black clothes will give a slimmer appearance. Actually it has the opposite effect.

While darker colours can make us appear slimmer, it doesn’t mean that these are the only options. I always tell my clients first and foremost to wear clothes that fit them well. Then I encourage them to highlight their assets and draw attention there.

If you want to detract attention from certain areas of your body darker colours can help, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be black. Also wearing different shades of the same colour can be slimming.

Q: I love bright colours but I’m too scared to add them to my wardrobe. How do I know what colours to add?

A: Before adding bright colours into your wardrobe, make sure you have your neutrals and core colours covered.

If you’re a novice with wearing colour then add it in a little at a time. You could start with trying different coloured scarves and jewellery and see how you feel.

Next, try a blocked colour you love in a basic item (like a t-shirt) and see how that makes you feel. Then team this up with neutral or core coloured pieces. I advise only adding 2 or 3 accent colours in your wardrobe rather than having a whole array. Too many can start to make combining outfits a little tricky.

If you feel you’d really like a second opinion, my advice would be to get help from a colour expert. You can find one on the Colour Me Beautiful website or, of course, you’re very welcome to get in touch and book a colour consultation with me.

Q: How should I combine colours?

A: There are many ways to combine colours. The best thing to do is experiment and see what you feel comfortable with, because it also depends on your style personality.

Here are a few ways to consider…

Go monochromatic! If you don’t feel confident mixing completely different colours, then start by working with one colour and wearing different shades of it. I talk more about monochromatic dressing in my blog, ‘How to Add More Colour into Your Wardrobe’.

Mix colour with core classic items. For example, you can generally put any colour with a good old pair of jeans. Or a classic white t-shirt worn with bright coloured bottoms also works.

Get familiar with a colour wheel. If you’d like to be more adventurous with wearing colours, then the colour wheel can be a really great tool.

In essence, colours next to each other on the wheel can be combined together, and colours that are opposite work well together too. But just remember, try not to wear more than 3 colours at a time. I personally don’t like to wear more than 2 shades together, but that’s just my personal preference.

I hope this short Q&A has been helpful and has cleared up a few of your colour related questions, and if you have any more please feel free to reach out and ask me.

If you’d like to book a colour consultation and move into Spring knowing your perfect shades, get in touch – I’d love to support you.

Coaching

The Power of Coaching

By | Expert Interview

So often people go into the coaching relationship with a whole load of expectations that the coach will do all of the work for them, and that they in turn will receive an almost instantaneous transformation. I will confess, I was this person 2-years ago while working with Mindful Money Coach, Ilana Jankowitz.

I thought Ilana would wave her magic wand and transform everything around me into gold. There were great expectations of money flowing easily into my bank account, and I really thought that by coaching with her my business would automatically shift up a gear. But when this didn’t happen, and I’d convinced myself that I hadn’t received any transformation at all, I was left feeling frustrated, annoyed and angry. It seemed to me like all we did was waste endless time doing exercises focused on my past. I didn’t want to look in that direction. I wanted to focus on the present and moving my business forward.

It didn’t help that at the time I was pregnant with my little girl Myla and I really suffered through the full 9-months. I was mentally exhausted, physically depleted through constant vomiting and sickness, and still working. 

But after I had Myla, and could finally take some time out, I had time to reflect on myself. I’ve been into coaching and personal development ever since I was a teenager. But sometimes when things don’t work out how I planned in my head, I’ve fallen back to old thinking, old patterns and old habits.

Since my time with Ilana I’ve done a lot more personal development and I saw the seeds that Ilana had quietly planted in me had begun to grow. Then a realisation hit me – that you don’t just change overnight, it’s a process and you have to be willing to change your old stories and patterns. 

Ilana helped me identify my stories through her exercises but her coaching wasn’t just about making money, it was so much more. It was really about learning about myself – how I am, how I am with other people and my limiting beliefs that stop me from moving forward. This is what I had to deal with but had been resisting.

I’m grateful to Ilana for her patience and persistence and for the seeds of change she sewed in me. I recognised as well similarities between my expectations of coaching with Ilana and those that people have when they work with a stylist. People come into the relationship with an expectation of a transformation like they show on TV. What I’ve seen (and especially with the ladies who took part in my recent ‘Style with Confidence’ program, which will be launching again soon), was that helping them to own and be confident with their style was just about sewing seeds, giving them the tools and making small tweaks that made a big difference.

As with my work with Ilana, the magic happens when we break our old habits. I was constantly doing my old habits, but once I broke through them using some of the tools Ilana gave me, that’s when the real magic happened. And that’s what I see my clients do too.

As women we have certain roadblocks. When it comes to style it can be telling yourself you don’t have enough money to have style. Or you’re not the perfect size, or you can’t have the wardrobe you want because you don’t look like XYZ! We all have these kinds of blocks that can stop us from being the best version of ourselves and reaching our full potential, or feeling confident about ourselves.

So that’s why I decided to catch up with Ilana, to let her tell you more about what she does and how she helps shift women’s road blocks, so they can heal their money mindset.

Over to you Ilana…

Q: Tell us a little bit about why you got into Money Coaching and how you help women transform their mindset?

Ilana: One of the women who really inspired me to get into Money Coaching was Lynne Twist. She’s a money coach and a philanthropist and I always had this vision that I wanted to help and empower women to be financially independent. I wanted to be able to help women across the globe – from the poorest to the wealthiest communities – because their money problems are often very similar or come from the same source. The work that I do is to help women understand where their behaviours, beliefs and patterns come from and understand that they are manifesting the life that they’ve got.

“I wanted to help and empower women to be financially independent”

I got into coaching because I needed it myself, and I’d put it off for quite a long time because I didn’t want to face it. Half my problem was that I was really set in my ways. I was the complete Tyrant archetype – controlling, manipulative, highly materialistic and I had all of those things around money because of my childhood. But in the end I went for it because it got to the stage where I knew I really had to fix it.

I remember at the time I was reading about Lynne Twist, and I listened to her being interviewed by Oprah, and I thought to myself, “I want to do that. I want to do coaching with girls from deprived communities, all the way to wealthy women, because as women we’ve all got the same struggles. That’s why I do what I do.”

Q: In your coaching work, what do you see as the number one obstacle for the women you work with? 

Ilana: Self-esteem, not believing in themselves, basically their self-worth has been knocked. This comes from childhood, it comes from our parents comparing us to our siblings. It comes from us feeling that we’re not enough because we’re trying to live up to our parent’s expectations. Even as adults we still try to live up to our parents approval, but we often feel like we’re falling short.

“Women don’t believe that they deserve the things they should be having in their lives”

When women are in business or trying to become financially empowered with their money situation, they often feel like they can’t do it, like they’re not strong enough. They don’t have the tools or believe enough in themselves, which is why I’ve started my “I AM” series. Women don’t believe that they deserve the things they should be having in their lives, and this is connected to their self-worth.

I find that’s a universal problem. It doesn’t matter if I work with women with a lot of money, or women who have got no money at all, across the board it’s self-worth.

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.

“Look at it this way, investing in your wardrobe is investing back into your business”

Women’s guilt with buying or investing in themselves is all wrapped up in the, ‘I don’t deserve’ mindset. That also comes from the way they feel about themselves and that they’re not good enough to spend money on themselves. For women who are in business, how you appear in your business is so important. You have to ask yourself if someone will want to work with you the way you look? If you’re going onto a call with a prospective client, they will see how you dress and remember you by it.

I often get that from people, they’ll refer to a video I did and say things like, “Oh that video you did in that grey top”, or something similar. People remember things about your appearance. Even if you don’t generally care that much about clothes, when it comes to work you have to.

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’s quite exciting, especially when you’re planning ahead for certain things like a holiday or putting away money for your pension, or for clothing.

“Believe it or not, you can actually talk with your partner about money”

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: The last 14-months have been strange and challenging in a way we’ve never experienced before. For a lot of people this confinement in their home and a lack of freedom has brought up a lot of old stories and beliefs, which has really impacted their mental wellbeing. What would you say to help people overcome this?

Ilana: Be creative and do things differently. It’s been a different year so do things differently. You still need to show up, you still need to be seen, you still need to get dressed! You still need to put yourself out there. A lot of people haven’t shopped but they’ve invested in their business instead – clothing is part of your business. I’ve been able to help a lot of clients in the last year because I’m more present online. And more people are of course doing a lot more things online. So, it’s really important that you wash your hair, get dressed and show up!

Get some coaching support to find your niche and your why for doing what you’re doing.

Q: As businesses start to open again, and people want to start shopping again they may also be feeling nervous about spending money. What are your top coaching tips for setting up and sticking to a clothing budget?

Ilana: People need to know how much money they’ve got to spend. In other words, it’s not on credit cards, it’s not getting into debt, it’s making sure you have the budget for it. Start slowly and invest in one item at a time if that’s all your budget allows. 

Also be sensible, know that there’s a long time between now and the next salary. Or, if they own their own business, where is the next money coming from? They need to watch their budget and look at why they’re spending. What emotions come up? Are you spending because you’re so happy to be out of the house now? Are you shopping out of boredom or just because you haven’t been able to shop for 4-months? Why are you shopping – what are you actually buying? Don’t let your emotions drive you to make a purchase. What drives a purchase should be a necessity – what you need.

“You need to think about your future and also the next generation if you’ve got kids”

Interestingly I was being interviewed earlier today about women turning 40 and how they haven’t saved before. We talked about getting their life on track when it comes to their money and getting them communicating and understanding their money. Being aware of their expenses and being aware of their savings and being aware of their future. And it was quite funny because one of the women said, “Yes but thinking about pensions makes us feel old!” The reality is it doesn’t mean you’re retiring now, but you are saving and planning and not waiting until you’re 65 and thinking, “Oh dear I should have done this in my 20s!”

I always say that you need to think about your future and also the next generation if you’ve got kids. What are you wanting to do, what’s your bigger picture? Is it just that you want to survive from month to month or do you want to be able to know that you can live the same lifestyle when you reach pension age? A lot of women don’t consider that, and a lot of them leave it up to their husbands. And unfortunately, for a lot of them, when their husbands reach a certain age they say, “Cheers” and then they’re off, which is what I learnt today from these women. Be prepared and be empowered with your money.

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. And I always encourage my coaching clients to do the same, and that is to keep a gratitude diary. I also meditate daily as well. 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.

“I’m eternally grateful that I have abundance in my life”

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 coaching 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: What coaching tips would you give to help women connect with their self-worth and know that they deserve to invest in themselves?

Ilana: Believing that they’re enough. Believing that they need to talk positively about their lives. If they keep saying things like, “I’m not good enough. I don’t deserve this”, all the negativity is exactly what the outcome is going to be. If they keep telling themselves, “I can’t afford this now. I can’t invest in myself or buy these things. I’m waiting until I’m ready, until I’ve lost weight”, they’ll never do it. They need to actually make peace with it and with themselves.

They also need to learn to understand what’s driving their behaviour to feel that they don’t deserve it. Where does it come from? Things don’t just change overnight, you need to actually know where these beliefs come from. Often it’s from your childhood, things like, “Your brother’s so good at maths, why didn’t you get 90% for maths?” Things that have along the way knocked your confidence; realise that those things have happened and you couldn’t control it, but now you can. You can talk to yourself and say, “I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. This is my time”. It’s about the words that you speak, the thoughts that you have, the mindset that you have over yourself.

Q: And finally, how can people connect for coaching with you?

Ilana: The Money Quiz on my website is a great place to start, and then I’ll be very happy to jump on a call with them. When they take my quiz they’ll be able to find out what’s driving their behaviour. Then we’ll have a chat about what I see in the quiz. It doesn’t only tell me what’s going on in their money story, it tells me what’s going on in their relationships, work, if they’re making money in their business. It will show me if they’re being an Innocent and giving the control over to someone else rather than to themselves. Or if they’re being a Victim and living in the past and not able to move forward. I’ll then be able to work through those issues with them.

So, that’s a wrap…I hope you enjoyed this interview with Ilana as much as I did and have taken away some nuggets of gold that you can apply in your life.

If you’re ready to take charge of your confidence and style, 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.

curating wardrobe

Top Tips for Curating & Styling a Wardrobe You Love

By | Uncategorised

I recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by the very gorgeous Helena Zachariassen from My Happy Home here in Zurich.

Helena is a KonMari Consultant and Life Coach and all round wonderful human. We discussed our top tips for curating and styling your wardrobe with more happiness and sparkle during these challenging times.

We had a great time chatting together, and here’s the end result of our conversation…

Helena’s 6 Tips for curating your wardrobe 

Covid, lockdowns and many of us mainly working from home has immensely changed the way we dress and show up every day. However, we can and should get up every day, get out of our pyjamas and choose to show up as if we weren’t staying home all day. In addition, it has a massive impact on our mental wellbeing if we choose to dress with joyful pieces of clothing from a curated, well organised wardrobe, and act as if every day is a fantastic opportunity to shine (which it is)!

If you haven’t yet decluttered and organised your wardrobe don’t worry. Here are some simple tips to bring joy and more order to it!

Tip 1: Ruthlessly edit

I hate to tell you this, but your wardrobe will never be perfect, ever. We are all human, and we will continue to make mistakes and shopping errors and our bodies will change. And that’s OK! Just make sure to continuously declutter and edit what you own. The perfect timing is always right before a season change.

Tip 2: Let go of everything that doesn’t fit

It’s finally time to let go of those unfitting items that are at the back of the closet waiting for a different body shape. The truth is, you will feel so much better when all you have in your closet sparks joy, has a perfect fit and is comfortable to wear!

Tip 3: Donate, sell and give away items often

It will make you feel so good to give things away to a new home, where they can be reused and appreciated.

Tip 4: Use matching hangers

This tip will make your closet smile back at you every time you open it. My favourites are the thin velvet ones, which keep slippery items in place, as well as look gorgeous and tidy.

Tip 5: File fold

Folding makes such a big difference when it comes to smaller items. Try file folding at least with your jeans, sweaters, t-shirts and underwear. You will notice how much calmer your drawers/shelves will look and you will easily be able to see all your favourites at a glance! And you don’t need to go out and buy specific boxes or containers for your folded items. Use what you’ve got in your home (shoe boxes are great!) or let the items stand alone on a shelf, supported by other clothing items.

Tip 6: Add a little something you love

Whether it’s a picture of a loved one, a drawing your child gave you or your wedding shoes – display them so that you get a smile on your lips every time you open your closet.

“Opening up your closet should be like arriving at a really good party where everyone you see is someone you like.”

Amy Fine Collins

Monika’s 8 style tips for refreshing your wardrobe 

Tip 1: How do I know which colours suit me best?

I’m sure you’ve experienced walking into a store, loving a certain colour and when you try it on it either makes your skin glow and radiate or it does the opposite, makes your skin look dull and causes shadows.  Colour reflects differently on different skin tones and characteristics.  Having been trained by Colour Me Beautiful for every skin tone there is a spectrum of colours that work best.  What I mean by that is colours that create balance and harmony and compliment your skin tone.

So, for example, if you have a warm skin tone, colours that would work best for you are shades which have a yellow base.  If you have a cooler skin tone, colours with a blue base would work better for you.

Tip 2: What is the best way to determine my own unique style?

I always like to think how do you want to turn up in the world? How do you envision yourself? That is the starting point. Because our style should encapsulate the best version of ourselves and tell everyone what we’re about.

We all have a certain style we gravitate towards, even if people say they don’t have style, they do but maybe it’s not the style they would like. As there is so much choice now a days and also lots of information on what we should be wearing, we can get lost in having a style that truly represents US.

With my clients, I do a style personality test which identifies what overall style appeals to them. And another important aspect I look at is my client’s lifestyle.

If for example you love Meghan Markle and Victoria Beckham’s style but you are a stay-at-home mom with little kids, this look wouldn’t fit into your daily life but you can take inspiration from this.  You probably want to feel more put together, have clothes that are flattering and good quality and look chic during the day. So, I would incorporate elements of this to make you feel good but also have clothes that are practical for your lifestyle. As mentioned before I also look at what are my clients overall goals and I make sure their outer appearance represents this.

Tip 3: How would you advise people working from home to dress in both a comfy way but also appropriate for online meetings?

Well, I have two free handy guides; one giving suggestions on what to wear for video conferencing and the other one is work from home outfit formulas.  I also share tips on setting the stage for your video conferencing as you always want to make sure you are giving off a professional image even if you are working from home.

Tip 4: I have a closet full of clothes but nothing inspires me. Is there a way to combine the items differently or should I just discard what doesn’t speak to me?

If your closet is full and you’re not utilising more than 80% of it then I would definitely do a wardrobe detox and get rid of any clothes that aren’t serving you. However, prior to doing that, think of it as a project. When you have a project, you start with a plan and what you want the end result to be. The same thing applies to your style. Think about what kind of style do you want? How do you want your mornings to be when getting ready? And how do you want to turn up?

The second step, get your style juices going. Getting some inspiration of style and clothes helps with ultimately seeing what type of garments we want to see hanging in our wardrobe. I’m a big fan of Pinterest.

I would also experiment with your clothes. We tend to wear our clothes the same way, again you can use Pinterest for outfit inspiration.  Try combining your clothes differently and play around with accessories.  Just adding a belt can make the world of difference.

Tip 5: How can I make smarter and more mindful choices when shopping?

Buy with purpose and intention. Basically, before you hit the shops think about what you need.  I always recommend keeping a list in your wallet of items you would like. So next time you hit the shops, you just whip out the list stopping you from making any impulse purchases.

Another handy tip when buying something ask yourself ‘can I style this two different ways with items in my wardrobe?’  If the answer is no, then the chances of you getting the most wears out of this item is slim.

And for staple pieces or pieces that you know will live in your wardrobe for a while I would say buy the best quality you can afford. To be mindful and to shop smarter always think less is more, and quality over quantity.

Tip 6: Would you recommend having a capsule wardrobe, i.e. having a few selected items that all work together?

For many when using the word ‘capsule’ they automatically think omg this means I can only have a few clothes in my wardrobe on rotation.

For me what’s important is that you utilize your wardrobe to the fullest. You could have lots of clothes or you could just have a few clothes, but what’s important is that you get the most wear out of your clothes and have a wardrobe that you can easily mix and match.  I recommend having a functional cohesive wardrobe whatever the size. When you have this, getting ready every morning becomes easy & effortless.

Tip 7: How can I spice up my current wardrobe with little investment?

Accessories – just adding accessories can make the world of difference and also add versatility into your wardrobe. Another thing that can spice up your wardrobe but depending on your style personality and lifestyle is a statement blazer or jacket. Just having a well-fitted blazer or a beautiful jacket can instantly up-level your style. Also having variation in shoes can dress up and dress down any outfit.

Tip 8: If I want to get myself a new spring wardrobe – how shall I choose what staple items to buy?

I would firstly look at what you already have in your wardrobe and what you feel is missing. I would also look for inspiration, again Pinterest is great for this.  Even magazines or influencers etc.

I personally don’t like to give a generic list of staple pieces, because it should be dependent on your style personality, and lifestyle, and clothes that flatter your body. By getting some inspiration and seeing what you would get the most wear out of, these are the items I would say buy.

Try not to go for what’s on-trend unless it’s something that you really like and know you can pull it off. Otherwise, I would invest in pieces that you know you will wear for many springs.

I hope you’ve found all of our tips really helpful. If you’d like some expert guidance with curating your wardrobe, Helena is offering a very generous 15% discount to all my readers on your first KonMari Method session. Click here to contact Helena and book your session – she can’t wait to help you inject joy into your wardrobe.

 

wardrobe detox

Decluttering Your Wardrobe Isn’t The First Step

By | Mindset & Confidence, Wardrobe Detox

Many stylists (me included) often talk about a wardrobe detox being the first activity we do with our clients.

But it’s recently occurred to me that I actually need to do a little rewind on that. Because, in actual fact, before I start doing anything physical with my clients, the very first step we take is an internal one.

You see, to truly find a style that speaks to you on every level, the first thing you need to do is get clear on your vision. And having a true vision means understanding your mindset and the limiting beliefs you have about who you are, what “society” expects of you, how comfortable and accepting you are of your body, and so on.

When you can be really honest about these things, you bust your own BS around them, the excuses about why you can’t have the style you want stop, and you’re free to just go for it.

Encouraging and supporting my clients with this mindset work can feel as enjoyable to me as the styling itself. When the internal pieces slot into place, magic happens and it’s like seeing a woman reborn and ready to take on the world – it’s truly glorious!

So, before you fling open your wardrobe doors and go full throttle into a declutter, first let’s find out…

What’s going on in your head?

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.

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…

  • I don’t have the perfect body
  • I have kids
  • They don’t make nice clothes in plus sizes
  • I need lots of money to have a great wardrobe

Sound familiar?

It’s easy to look at super stylish women and think it’s a breeze for them, but that simply isn’t true. There’s no such thing as effortless style; it takes work and commitment and a desire to genuinely care about how you look.

What style vision are you holding?

When it comes to your style you need to have a vision that’s fully aligned with your goals. How do you want to be in the world? How do you want people to see you? When you align your inner vision with your outward appearance your whole demeanor changes. You hold yourself more confidently, you command attention in an authentic way and you allow yourself to fully show up.

A great example of this is going for a promotion at work. If the promotion requires you to step up and lead a team, create a clear vision of how your outward appearance can support this? Never underestimate how much dressing for the role you’re stepping into can help you embody the mindset and confidence you need. Your style really is that powerful!

Once you’re clear on your vision and goals, give yourself permission to have some fun browsing magazines or searching Pinterest. Resources like these are brilliant for sparking your creativity and helping you understand what styles speak to you. In the ‘Get Visual’ section of my recent blog “Oh My God You Can’t Wear That!” I share more about using Pinterest as a tool for this purpose.

Are you working with your body?

Knowing what suits your body shape, skin tone and features is an absolute game changer. But I want to be clear, I’m talking about owning your body shape as it is right now, not how you hope it will be one day!

You deserve to feel amazing in your clothes whatever shape and size you are! And, when you use your clothes to your advantage, they can really accentuate and elevate your assets and minimize any less than desirable aspects.

Knowledge about which styles work best for your shape will help you create a more cohesive and streamlined wardrobe, which makes putting outfits together a dream.

Does your wardrobe reflect your time?

If you find yourself saying you have nothing to wear, it’s because your wardrobe is not entirely matching your lifestyle. Your clothes need to be aligned with how you spend most of your time.

When you have a few minutes spare, record how your week is broken down. Are you 60% at work, 20% doing sports and 20% socialising? Look at how this breaks down. Then look at your wardrobe and see if it represents 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.

Once you have clarity on all of these elements, it’s finally time to throw open the doors to your wardrobe and let the decluttering begin! And I can guarantee you’ll do it with a far greater feeling of purpose and ease.

If you’re ready to commit to finding your style and would like support with piecing your your vision together, get in touch – it would be my pleasure to help you.

Shopping Online

Shopping Online Like A Pro

By | Uncategorised

There’s an art to shopping online successfully. With physical shops closed for the majority of us, it’s an art that’s well worth mastering.

Do you ever find when you come to buy a few things online, that you feel overwhelmed with all the choices available?

If your answer is yes, you’re not alone!

To help you navigate the minefield that is online shopping, I thought I’d share some tips that I use myself and with my clients to help reduce the overwhelm.

Let’s dive in…

Know what you’re looking for

All too often we rush into shopping online without some kind of plan. This leaves us wide open to losing hours and hours of our life scrolling and waiting for inspiration to strike! Or we make impulse purchases because something is a bargain or looks great on the model.

So, before you go charging in, take a moment to step back and plan exactly what it is you’re looking for and what budget you have.

What’s your style?

Whether you’re shopping online or offline, knowing what your Signature Style is, is so important if you want to shop with ease.

If you need help getting clear on this, my blog ‘How do You Create a Signature Style’ will be a helpful read.

When you know your style, before you head online, gather some visual inspiration. One of the best tools for this is Pinterest. The beauty of Pinterest is that you can create yourself a private board and then use specific keywords to search for images. For example, if your style is city chic, search these words and then pin images that you’re drawn too.

You may find entire looks, or a specific top, bottom or accessories that you’re drawn too. Once you have a collection of images that depict the style you want to achieve, find the common thread that runs through them. Is it a specific cut of trousers, a certain style of top? Whatever it is that you’re drawn too, keep a note and use this to guide you when you get online and start browsing.

Make a shopping list

Making a list is a great way to be really intentional with what you need to buy, which makes the whole process much quicker and easier once you get online.

Of course, spontaneous shopping can be a lot of fun, and there’s nothing wrong with that once in a while. But if you’re doing most of your shopping that way, the downside is that you end up with a closet that’s full, but you feel like you still have nothing to wear.

Narrow your choices down

The thing that generally creates the highest level of overwhelm with shopping online is the sheer volume of choice.

Filters (not the selfie kind!) are your online shopping bestie. If you’re someone who suffers from shiny penny syndrome they really are a godsend. Using the filter options allows you to massively narrow down your search results to only the items you’re looking for.

For example, if you’re looking for a white t-shirt you don’t need to work your way through all the tops! Use the filters to select t-shirts, and short sleeves and then colour.

It’s also helpful to include sizes in your search criteria. There’s nothing worse than falling in love at first sight with something, and then seeing your size has sold out.

If your search results don’t turn up anything that inspires you, head over to the ‘What’s New’ or ‘Style Inspo’ sections to see if there’s anything there that fits the bill.

Know your size

One of the challenges with shopping online is sizing, so make sure you’re armed with your measurements in centimetres and/or inches. Measure your shoulders, bust (largest part), waist, hips and also your inside leg.

When you’re ordering from different brands, having your measurements handy will really help because their sizing fluctuates. If you know your sizes, check out the brand’s sizing guide. If you can only see a generic one then go onto the brand’s own website and look at the sizing. Some websites will also let you know in the description what the model’s height is and size she’s wearing, so that helps too.

Don’t let a sale tempt you

It’s so easy to get drawn in by the allure of a sale and convince yourself that just because a pair of Prada trousers are 50% off that you need them!

This is where knowing what you’re looking for and having a list will really come into its own, and help you resist the temptation of bagging yourself an unnecessary bargain.

Before you checkout, check in

When you’re merrily filling your shopping basket it’s easy to forget exactly what you’ve put in there.

So, before you hit the checkout button, look over all the items in your cart and make sure that you haven’t duplicated any and that each one goes with at least two other items in your wardrobe.

My top four online shopping sites

Net a porter – I love this site because they deliver internationally, which makes life much easier. There’s also so many high-quality brands all under one roof, plus it gives great style inspiration.

Farfetch – has tons of great brands and also some really interesting niche brands. Again, they ship internationally, but unfortunately they charge for delivery even if you’re total is over a certain amount.

Zalando – has designer brands as well as high street ones, so you can do the whole family’s shopping on this site. Their delivery is also quick, which is always a bonus!

Vestiaire – is my favourite place to go for secondhand designer items. You can also put your items on consignment there.

So, there you have it. If you follow these guidelines you’ll be shopping online like a pro in no time.

If it’s working from home items you’re shopping for, why not get some inspiration by downloading my free outfit formula guide.

working from home

Perfecting Your Working from Home Style

By | Uncategorised

When you’re working from home, do you have your video on or off when you have a work call?

I personally believe that for business calls, best practise is to have your video on. You see, people build relationships with people. Even though we’re currently all working from different locations, it’s important to remember that if you were in the office, you would be having face-to-face meetings. You wouldn’t be drawing the blinds down between you and the people you’re talking to.

So, my next question is this. Why are you turning your video off? Is it because you don’t look “meeting ready”? Or perhaps you don’t want anyone to see that you haven’t brushed your hair or put any makeup on? Or maybe you’re still sitting in your PJs?

The reality is we don’t know how long we’ll be working from home. Some companies have already told their workforce that this year they’ll continue to work like this. Many people have adjusted well to this new way of working. They’ve got their home work station all set up and are in a groove with new routines and have established a new style for how they dress each day now they’re not in the office.

For others though, this change in the working environment has been a lot trickier. It can be particularly challenging when you have a client facing role and are now spending a lot of your time on video conferencing calls.

I noticed these challenges with some of the professional women who joined me in my “Style with Confidence” program. Dressing from home is very different to how they would most probably dress going to work.

So, how can you look successful, stylish and also be comfortable?

Get up and get ready for working from home 

I know, this sounds simple and easy – and it is, that’s why it works!

What I want you to do, even if you’ve no plans to have any meetings that day, is to get up and get ready as you would normally do if you were going into the office.

Believe me it makes such a difference to your mindset. It’s like making your bed in the morning. When you make the bed you just feel complete and ready to move on with your day.

Get dressed, put on some makeup, brush and style your hair and add a few pieces of jewellery to finish off your look.

“When we dress the part we’re more likely to perform better and focus on the task in hand”

I know there was a pyjama trend happening last year, and there’s still a sweat pant one as we’ve rolled into this year, but I want you to dress the part. And make sure you put a bra on. You would wear one going to work, so do the same at home.

And finally, get some working from home shoes that are comfortable but also make you feel like you’re fully dressed.

For more on this download my free “Working from Home Outfit Formulas” guide.

There are multiple studies that show when we dress the part we’re more likely to perform better and focus on the task in hand, so make this a priority.

Find your style vs comfort balance

When I talk about getting dressed I don’t mean you have to wear a full-on suit or your roll necks with a leather skirt. You need to be comfortable and not awkward in what you wear in your environment. This is about finding that healthy balance between looking smart and being comfortable.

For us ladies it’s much easier than it is for men because we can put on a nice top and comfortable stretchy trousers or silk pants. If you want to wear leggings, make sure you go for good quality ones that look like trousers, and wear them with a longer top.

“You need to be comfortable and not awkward in what you wear”

We can also get away with wearing a dress that does everything. A great comfortable option is a shift dress or a modern-day house dress.

A nice, fitted cardigan is a good substitute for a blazer and gives enough structure to your outfit to still look smart.

For more examples of dressing for style and comfort, download my free “Working from Home Outfit Formulas” guide.  

Establish a working from home uniform

I’m a big believer in having a Signature Style because it definitely makes it easier when you’re getting ready every morning.

“A home uniform gives you structure and switches your mind in and out of work mode”

Having high quality, essential pieces that you can mix and match easily, and re-wear often in different ways, makes choosing your daily outfit much simpler.

Having a home uniform gives you structure and helps to switch your mind in and out of work mode.

For example, a go to uniform might be solid leggings and a great long white shirt. Or it could be a silk top worn with comfortable stretchy jeans and a cardigan. Having these basic pieces in a few different colours, means you can wear the same uniform outfit but feel like you’re changing it up each day.

Life’s brighter with colour

Wearing colour is great for video calls. The camera loves colour and wearing colours that suit you will make you glow and radiate as they reflect upwards to your face. A great colour will also make you stand out on screen from the usual sea of navy, grey and blues.

“Wearing colour brightens your day and puts you in a better mood”

Studies show that wearing colour brightens your day and puts you in a better mood, and who doesn’t need a bit of mood lifting during lockdown!

One thing’s for sure, even when restrictions are lifted and some level of normality returns, working from home in some way will likely still remain for the foreseeable future. So, rather than keep resisting this new reality, let’s embrace it with both hands and adapt our style so we can look and feel great wherever we are.

If you’d like more details of what to wear, download my “Working from Home Outfit Formulas” guide, and feel free to share it with your work colleagues and friends and family too.

inner critic

Oh My God You Can’t Wear That!

By | Mindset & Confidence, Style Tips

“No seriously, you cannot wear that! I mean, who do you think you are? You look ridiculous. You’re way too young/ old/ fat/ thin/ short/ tall…” Blah, blah, blah! Let’s be honest, most of us have an inner critic that can easily pop a word (or ten) onto the end of a statement like that!

The inner critic

As a stylist, I often find myself coming up against my client’s inner critics. I can see the moment when this internal dialogue kicks in. Insecurity and doubt surface, which holds them back from making decisions about what to buy or wear.

I recently worked with a client whose inner critic kicked in whenever she went to buy clothes. The insecurity she felt about her choices and whether items would suit her or not, stopped her from buying anything at all.

In almost every area of her life she was extremely successful and capable. But when it came to her personal style and shopping for clothes, she found herself constantly going back and forth about whether she should buy something or not, or whether something was her style. She kept having a constant inner dialogue with herself. So much so that by the time she’d made the decision to go for it, more often than not the item she was considering would be sold out!

Sound familiar?

If, like my client, you also find yourself feeling insecure about buying clothes because you don’t know if it’s the right piece to invest in. Or you don’t know if something is going to suit you. Or you don’t know how to wear it. I’m here to let you know there are solutions.

The solutions

The first place I always start with my clients is with their intentions and desires for their style. As with most things in life, if you don’t have a clear image in your mind of what you want, it’s so easy to get hijacked and thrown off by your inner critic. Start with how do you want to turn up in the world? How would you like to dress?

Then review your wardrobe. It’s important to see what you already have and to decide what you do and don’t like and, just as importantly, how each piece of clothing makes you feel. It’s amazing how many of us have wardrobes filled with clothes that are completely out of alignment with our lifestyles and the woman that we are right now and/or are working towards becoming.

Instead, we allow all sorts of other things to dictate our style. The expectations and habits of the person you used to be. The image that family, friends or your profession have of you. The “appropriateness” that society puts on you. All of these things create a disconnect between you and your true style personality.

Get visual

One of the most powerful and fun ways I help women connect with their style is by creating a mood board of images. Pinterest is hands down my favourite resource for doing this. You can start a board and then have a wonderful time exploring the incredible array of images available on the platform. What you’re looking for are images that light you up and speak to the woman inside you. You might pin complete head to toe looks or individual items, colours, textures, or even images that simply portray a vibe and energy and feeling you’re looking for.

Having this kind of visual representation of your style is so helpful for putting looks together. Initially you might copy a complete look, which is fine, or you might immediately find that the images spark your own inspiration for how you want to put pieces together and create looks that are unique to you.

And remember, you can always get a tailor to alter your clothes, so they fit you perfectly. So, don’t let your inner critic keep you sitting on the fence because an item you love doesn’t fit quite right. If you love it take the plunge and get it altered.

If you’re letting your inner critic hold you back from having the style you want, please get in touch. Together we can kick your critic to the curb, so you can sashay into your future owning a style that’s truly yours.

Add more colour

How to add more colour into your wardrobe

By | Colour Consultation

Quite often at this time of year we instinctively opt for a darker colour palette or earthy tones with our clothes.

But here’s a fun fact for you, wearing colour influences your emotions and can make you happier (I talk more about this in my blog ‘Colour is Your Superpower‘)! According to Dove research, 79% of women shy away from bright colours because of a lack of body confidence – a statistic that makes me feel really sad to be honest!

More than anything I want women to learn to embrace their beautiful bodies, feel happy and confident in their skin and find ways to introduce more vibrancy into their wardrobes so their personalities can shine brightly.

Introducing colour to your wardrobe

So, how can you introduce more colour into your wardrobe in a way that helps you to build your confidence?

Let’s take a look at some options…

  1. If you shy away from colour but would love to add a dash of it to your look, a great way is with your accessories. Adding a vibrant shade of shoe or boot, handbag or even some jewellery, makes a beautiful statement against darker clothing.
  2. Scarves are a fantastic option for adding tone, print and texture to an outfit. There are so many different lengths, thicknesses and fabrics to choose from and a variety of interesting ways to wear this versatile accessory.
  3. If you know a certain silhouette works for your body shape, why not buy that style in a shade that compliments you. For example, if you have a dress that fits you perfectly and makes you feel great, buy it in one or two different colours that you know work for you.
  4. Experimenting with patterns or prints can be an easy way to introduce colour into your wardrobe. It’s not about going completely OTT and wearing patterns and/or prints from head to toe (unless you want to of course!). You can bring them in with a beautiful shirt, dress or scarf. The most important thing is finding a pattern that makes you feel good.
  5. Your beauty routine is another avenue for adding colour, with a splash on lips and nails – it’s easy and effective and makes a stylish and feminine impact.

Combining colour

If you’re feeling a little more confident and are ready to take things a step further, look at ways you can combine colours.

Here are a few different ways to do this:

Monochrome

A misconception about monochrome dressing is that it just means wearing black or white. But actually, a monochromatic look is all about picking one colour and then wearing different shades or tints of it in separate pieces to create an overall look. This way of using colours can be very chic and also slimming.

The great thing about a monochromatic look is that it will work with virtually any colour. When it’s done well, this look can be just as show stopping as a patterned dress or statement piece.

Mixing colours

When it comes to mixing colours, the best way to understand which ones complement each other is to look at a colour wheel. You then select colours that are opposite each other on the wheel.

This is known as colour blocking, which can be a really fun and vibrant way to express your style personality. It’s also a very flattering way to wear colour because darker blocks can hide areas you aren’t so happy with, while the vibrant colours can attract attention to areas you want to show off.

If you’re wearing a print or a pattern, you can use the colours as inspiration for introducing another colour. For example, if you’re wearing a patterned blouse, take a colour from the blouse and match your skirt in that colour.

Always remember, the golden rule when it comes to mixing colour is don’t mix more than 3 at a time.

I hope this has given you some inspiration and confidence to start having fun with using colour.

If you really find it hard to put colours together, why not get in touch and book a colour consultation for next year – I’d love to help you look and feel vibrant and confident.

winter layers

Tips for Winter Layering

By | Winter

I was recently asked on Instagram about winter layering and how to layer-up without looking like a Michelin man! So, I thought I’d answer that question in a blog.

I personally love winter clothing with plush coats, chic boots and cute layers, but it can also be sartorially challenging. It’s not easy to squeeze a cozy chunky sweater underneath a slimline coat without looking like a stuffed bird that can hardly move!

So, how do you stay warm and still look stylish?

Well, the main trick for successful winter dressing is thin layering. Layering is our greatest friend when it comes to hitting the mark with both style and warmth.

The base layer top

First things first, every winter outfit should start with a base layer. I personally love Uniqlo heat tech and I always buy them when I’m in the UK. But, if you don’t want anything technical, you can just wear a snug fit long sleeve top or a roll neck. Cos, H&M and Zara all sell these.

The important thing is to ensure this layer is as fitted as possible, and long enough to tuck into your waistband if you have one to give you a nice cosy, draft proof layer to build from.

Uniqlo HeatTech Top

Uniqlo

H&M

H&M

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next layer

I appreciate that instinctively in the winter we think chunky knits, but actually I recommend you avoid wearing them. They can look bulky and it’s difficult to add another layer on top. Instead, aim for a thin knitted cashmere sweater, which will keep you warm without being too heavy to layer on top of.

If you need to dress smart for work, why not opt for a beautiful cashmere sweater underneath your blazer. Cashmere sweaters are one of my absolute favourites every winter and an item I always put on every client’s must have list. Nowadays you can find cashmere for every budget, but honestly if there’s one item worth stretching your budget for it’s this one.

At this time of year, I personally like to wear a thin roll neck cashmere sweater underneath dresses, shirts and even blazers, and it can look super chic.

The wrap coat

I’m a big fan of wrap coats because they’re easy to throw on and work with almost everything. They have such a timeless elegance and always look luxurious. But most importantly in winter you can wear a lot more layers underneath without things looking and feeling too snug.

The good thing with wrap coats is that any type of body shape can wear them, and they help create a lovely feminine silhouette. To elevate your wrap coat why not add a leather belt to give more edge and shape. Or add a leather jacket underneath and have the leather lapels showing.

The puffer

Puffers are a definite must have for subzero temperatures, but if there’s one piece of clothing that could give that Michelin Man effect we’re trying to avoid, it’s this one!

So, the main thing to be aware of is how puffy it is. Try to go for one that is slightly cinched in at the waist to give you a more feminine shape and definition. Also be careful how the jacket is quilted. My favorite puffers are Max Mara and Moncler.

Footwear

To keep your tootsies toasty warm in winter, wool socks are a must. And, as well as having some elegant knee or thigh boots for a dressier look, I definitely recommend also having at least one pair of practical, warm and waterproof boots too.

These days we’re lucky these more practical style boots are on trend, and there are some really nice, stylish ones out there. Here are a few of my favorites…

Jimmy Choo

Jimmy Choo

Jimmy Choo

Jimmy Choo

Hugo Bosss

Hugo Boss

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope these layering tips help to keep your wardrobe looking and feeling lux this winter, while still ensuring you stay snug and warm.

If owning your style feels challenging because you’re lacking in confidence or you don’t know what your own style is, why not join me for my Creating Your Personal Style Workshop.

Pink Colour Shirt

Colour is Your Superpower

By | Colour Consultation

When I first started Signature Five, I had no intention of also being a colour consultant. My mission was to help professional women find their Signature Style, love their clothes and feel confident in what they wear.

I also wanted to help women simplify their choices in the morning by wearing clothes that not only flatter them, but allow them to simply and easily create stylish combinations.

With a background as a fashion buyer, putting colours together came quite naturally to me. Rather than using a colour concept with my clients, I followed my instinct with what I felt suited them. Having worked for global brands, I understood how colour reflects on different skin tones. For example, with a warm undertone to the skin warmer colours work better, and with a cool undertone it’s cooler ones.

The power of colour

I finally decided to train with Colour Me Beautiful, even though I initially felt it was slightly outdated and from a different era. However, I quickly realised that colour really can be a woman’s superpower!

As part of the training we all had our colour analysis done. I was surprised to see how different colours looked on me. Certain shades balanced and harmonized my skin tone and made it look more even, whereas other ones created shadows on my face.

“Colour really can be a woman’s superpower”

Another interesting aspect was the way certain colours made me feel. With red against my skin I naturally felt more confident and sexier, and the same with navy and neutrals. These are definitely my go-to colours. On the flip side I  saw how another of my favourites, light grey, didn’t really work so well for my skin tone.

I’m sure you’ve also experienced this when you’ve tried on certain colours and seen the effect they have on your skin tone; they either drain us or make us glow. We usually have an inkling as to which colours work best for us, yet sometimes we still wear ones that highlight certain things we might want to cover such as wrinkles and dark circles.

Colour characteristics

Colour Me Beautiful is based on the Munsell Colour System. I won’t go into all the history, but in brief, it was developed by an American artist, Albert Munsell, in 1988 and is now the most used and widely accepted colour measurement system. The system is based on three characteristics: Hue, Value and Chroma.

During your colour analysis I find your dominant characteristics and then your secondary and tertiary. By the end you have 42 swatches that best fit your characteristics. It’s nice to know its 42, but I do feel that having all these colours in your wardrobe can be slightly overwhelming. It can also end up making you look like a walking rainbow, and we definitely don’t want that!

“There are no rules to say you can’t wear certain colours”

So, I like to keep it simple and practical. With my clients I split their pallet into neutrals that best suit them, then their core colours, plus 2-3 accent colours. This simplification makes it easier to add additional colour to their wardrobe. The neutrals are brought into their foundation pieces and then we build from there.

What I want you to understand though is that there are no rules to say you can’t wear certain colours. Anyone can wear any colour they want. The most important thing is that you feel confident and comfortable wearing it. Colours are a wonderful thing that are there to be embraced, enjoyed, and used to help you stand out because you know you look and feel great.

Wearing the right colours can…

  1. Make you look younger
  2. Give you a natural glow
  3. Help you feel confident
  4. Make you stand out and get noticed and
  5. If you’re a business owner it can help make your brand stand out.

Colours make a difference

It’s amazing the many ways that colour can make a difference and influence our lives and environment.

It can elevate your style

One of the easiest and fastest ways to transform a plain outfit into something more exciting, is to simply add a little bit of colour. It also creates versatility. Once you know what silhouettes suit you, you can add colour to create more options in your wardrobe.

Colour influences

Colour can be used as a tool to express who you are and to influence others. It not only invokes feelings in you as the wearer but also in others when they look at you! You can make a statement about yourself by using colour. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or work in corporate, colour can be used to give you a distinctive personal brand.

Draw attention to your assets

By cleverly wearing colour on parts of your body that you like, you can instantly draw attention there and away from areas that you’d prefer to disguise!

Colour creates emotions

Colour not only affects your physical appearance, but also your emotional state too. Wearing the right colours can help to create a happier, more empowered mood, but wearing colours that drag you down can also have the opposite effect.

It’s your superpower

In the workplace, you can use colour to your advantage. It can help you stand out from a sea of blues, blacks, and greys, and can also give you the edge at interviews. As more of us are continuing to work from home and spend time on video conferencing calls, colour is a great tool to help you be more visible on screen.

It can also affect how others perceive you. For example, wearing navy and black can convey authority or simply make the wearer seem less approachable .

Overall, knowing what colours work for you can help you have a clearer and more decisive wardrobe. It can also take the frustration out of shopping when there is so much choice out there.

I will end here with one of my favourite quotes…

“The best colour in the whole world is one that looks best on you” ~ Coco Chanel

If you feel a little in the dark about which colours suit you best book a ‘Refresh Your Style & Colour’ call. I have two spots left and I’d love to work with you.

style and confidence

The Style & Confidence Connection

By | Mindset & Confidence

There’s no getting away from the fact that style and confidence go hand in hand.

I’ve always thought that an interesting test of how confident you’re feeling about your self-image, is when you go into the dreaded shop dressing rooms! Don’t even get me started on why so many of them have the most god-awful lighting and mirrors in this crucial decision-making area!

But I digress…

You see, style is external, confidence is internal. This means that your style is an outward reflection of how you feel about yourself. If you look in the dressing room mirror and pick holes in everything you see, then there’s some work to be done!

Confidence is an inside game

When we’re struggling internally it’s really easy to adopt a, “I don’t give a s**t what I wear, I just need to get x, y, z done” mindset. We slip into the rut of putting any old combination of clothes on without thought or care. This unconsciously feeds our negative mindset and makes us feel even worse about ourselves.

But here’s the beautiful thing. You can totally transform how you feel about yourself and your life with style and confidence. Now I know you’re probably thinking that’s a big statement but hear me out.

You see, all of your experiences of life are happening from the inside-out not the outside in. When you understand that you’re the one in the driving seat, you can change how you feel and how you see yourself.

So, if you find yourself thinking…

  • But I’m not the ‘right’ dress size
  • I’m not the ‘right’ weight
  • I don’t have someone special to look good for
  • I don’t have enough money to have style

Please STOP!!

You’re just putting big old excuses in your way. True confidence never comes from an external source or someone waving a magic wand. All the confidence you’ll ever need is already inside you – all you need to do is turn the dial up a few notches!

Style is an external manifestation of you

One of the easiest ways to turn up your confidence dial is through the clothes you wear.

Look at it this way – you have to get dressed every morning anyway, right? So why not go all in and choose clothes that help you feel confident and really good about yourself.

My advice is to think about what your clothes are saying about you. If you don’t like what they’re saying and they don’t make you feel good, it’s time to make some changes. You’ve got one shot at this magical thing called life, so why not sashay through it wearing clothes that make you feel incredible!

One of the things I adore the most about being a stylist is seeing women’s confidence skyrocket when they look in the mirror and just know they’ve found their Signature Style. If you’re ready to have this experience too and would love my help, book a Refresh Your Style and Colour call – I can’t wait to hear from you!

Owning Your Style

Why Owning Your Style Matters

By | Style Tips

I know there are some people who think there’s no need to spend time on what we wear. For many it’s actually perceived as frivolous. But I believe owning your style really matters.

Let me tell you why.

We’re judged on our appearance!

Unfortunately, whether we like it or not, the first thing we’re judged on is our appearance (and even more so as women). I know this might not sound right, and I assure you I’m not saying it is, but it’s the cold, hard truth, and something we all do! Before someone’s even opened their mouth and communicated, we’ve all subconsciously made a preconceived judgement about who they are.

So, to those who think clothes don’t matter, I say, “Well if clothes are just clothes, what made you choose what you’re wearing?”.

Your clothes aren’t something that just miraculously appear in your wardrobe. There’s a reason why you were attracted to them and then bought them. There was something about each piece that you liked that gave you a nice warm feeling inside and (hopefully) made you feel good. Buying them was, on some level, an emotional decision.

So why does owning your style matter?

So, if style matters, let’s have a look at some reasons why…

Your style is a reflection of your personal brand

Most people (especially those working in a corporate environment) don’t think about the fact that they’re actually a walking expression of who they are and what they stand for.

Your clothes tell people how you feel about yourself, which helps them to understand you. If you’re a business owner or have a client-facing role it’s even more important to give the right impression, and one that makes people trust you and want to engage in a dialogue with you.

“Your clothes tell people how you feel about yourself, which helps them to understand you.”

For example, imagine you needed some legal advice and sought out a lawyer. What if the lawyer turned up in ripped jeans and a t-shirt? Would you feel confident that this person would be respected and able to put a strong case forward for you? However, if she turned up in soft tailoring or even a suit, you’re far more likely to be inclined to hire her to represent you.

Remember, you have the power to influence how people perceive and remember you with the clothes you wear.

Defining your style saves you time

It’s amazing how much time we lose at the start of every day just deciding what to wear. If your wardrobe is chock full of random items, putting together a look that’s stylish and you know looks great, is that much harder.

However, when you have a clearly defined style, dressing becomes so much simpler and quicker! Maybe it’s the colour pallet you’ve chosen. The skirt length and style. Or perhaps combinations you always gravitate towards that you know you look and feel amazing in. When your wardrobe is filled only with these pieces, selecting a look for the day becomes a piece of cake!

“When you have a clearly defined style, dressing becomes so much simpler and quicker!”

And don’t underestimate the psychological impact your clothes can have on how productive you are! Because of lockdown many of us have had first-hand experience of this phenomenon this year. If you’ve been working from home, did you notice a difference in your productivity levels between the days you dressed down in yoga/sweat pants, and those when you put in a little more effort and dressed up as if you were going out to work or to a meeting?

Owning your style shows people your self-worth and confidence

Women who aren’t afraid to take the time to pull a thoughtful wardrobe together understand the power of clothing. When you dress in a thoughtful way you allow your self-awareness and self-knowledge to shine through. Cultivating these two traits takes time, but once you begin to embody them, it becomes clear that you’re more secure in yourself.

“Women who aren’t afraid to take the time to pull a thoughtful wardrobe together understand the power of clothing.”

Of course, we all have insecurities, but part of embodying self-awareness and self-knowledge is truly valuing all of who you are. In order to value yourself, you must first have some level of understanding and comfort in who you are without the external world telling you. That is creating strength from within. And that is super attractive and magnetic.

If owning your own style feels challenging because you’re lacking in confidence or you don’t know what your own style is, book yourself in for a style consultation. We can chat together about the challenges you’re facing and help you find solutions to move past them.

Shopping Online

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.

working from home

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.

style sabotage

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!

style and confidence

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! 

coaching

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.

wardrobe detox

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

working from home

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 like we’re 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 dress like the models on the 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. Instead they would disappear to the back of my cupboard with the price tags still intact!

Now I am more aware of who I am and my attitude towards clothes has changed. I’ve found a deeper respect for my wardrobe and I don’t feel I need to fill it up with so many items. 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 woman’s wardrobe should contain 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 you can dress it up or down just by the 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 this 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 which looks very 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.

Some of my favourite brands are:

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

Paige

Rag & Bone

Re/done

Topshop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

T-shirts

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

My favourite brands for tees are:

  • Cos
  • Zara
  • J-crew
  • Splendid

Cos

J Crew

Splendid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pencil Skirt

A pencil skirt suits most body types, and is 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.

Rocking a pencil skirt:

  • All-time favourite Pencil skirt collection was Burberry’s 2014 collection
  • Victoria Beckham always rocks a pencil skirt!

DVF

J crew

Malene Birger

Victoria Beckham

Burberry’s S/S 14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cashmere Sweater

“If you own only one sweater, make sure it’s cashmere”

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

My favourite reasonably priced brands for good sweaters are:

  • Duffy
  • Vince
  • J Crew

Vince

J Crew

Duffy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shirts

It’s always said that 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.

My favourite brands for a good shirt are:

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

Jill Sander

Theory

Zara

Tommy Hilfiger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’d like to discover your essential pieces that suit your style, get in touch.