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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. 

 

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.

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.

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.

 

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