Category

Style Tips

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.

Signature Style

How do You Create a Signature Style?

By | Style Tips

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

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

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

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

What is a signature style?

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

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

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

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

Let’s take a look at each of them…

Component 1: Mindset

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

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

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

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

I could go on and on!

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

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

Style comes when you care

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

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

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

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

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

How do you feel getting dressed?

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

How highly do you prioritise your self-image?

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

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

Component 2: Personality

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

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

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

Component 3: Lifestyle

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

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

Component 4: Physical Characteristics 

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

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

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

Component 5: Essential Pieces for a Signature Style

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Groom to Zoom

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

By | Style Tips

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

Yep, me too!

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

Ummmm sadly no!!

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

Look professional when you Zoom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wear colours that compliment you

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

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

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

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

Accessories

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

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

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

Prints

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

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

A little bonus Zoom tip

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

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

Wear heels!

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

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

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

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! 

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!

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.

My Signature Style

By | Style Tips

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

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

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

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

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

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

Denim

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

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

Paige

Rag & Bone

Re/done

Topshop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of my favourite brands:

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

T-shirts

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

Cos

J Crew

Splendid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My favourite brands for tees:

  • Cos
  • Zara
  • J-crew
  • Splendid

Pencil Skirt

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

DVF

J crew

Malene Birger

Victoria Beckham

Burberry’s S/S 14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rocking a pencil skirt:

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

Cashmere Sweater

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

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

Vince

J Crew

Duffy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My favourite reasonable priced brands for good sweaters are:

  • Duffy
  • Vince
  • J Crew

Shirts

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

Jill Sander

Theory

Zara

Tommy Hilfiger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Favourite brands for a good shirt:

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

 

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