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curating wardrobe

Top Tips for Curating & Styling a Wardrobe You Love

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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.

 

Shopping Online

Shopping Online Like A Pro

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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

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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.

Shopping Online

How to Look Effortlessly Stylish

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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.

Wardrobe must-haves

How to Personalise Your Wardrobe ‘Must-Haves’

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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. 

 

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