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clothes Archives - Signature Five - A Personal Styling Service, Zurich

How To Be More Environmentally Friendly With Your Clothes

By | Sustainability

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

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

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

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

A little disclaimer 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Organise your wardrobe 

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

Wear all your clothes

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

“Always buy the best quality items you can afford”

Shop Smart

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

Focus on your style

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

Support local businesses 

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

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

Don’t buy anything you don’t LOVE 

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

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

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

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

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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! 

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.

 

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.