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

inner critic

Oh My God You Can’t Wear That!

By | Mindset & Confidence, Style Tips

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

The inner critic

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

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

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

Sound familiar?

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

The solutions

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

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

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

Get visual

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

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

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

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

style and confidence

The Style & Confidence Connection

By | Mindset & Confidence

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

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

But I digress…

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

Confidence is an inside game

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

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

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

So, if you find yourself thinking…

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

Please STOP!!

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

Style is an external manifestation of you

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

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

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

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

Signature Style

How do You Create a Signature Style?

By | Style Tips

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

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

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

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

What is a signature style?

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

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

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

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

Let’s take a look at each of them…

Component 1: Mindset

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

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

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

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

I could go on and on!

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

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

Style comes when you care

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

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

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

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

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

How do you feel getting dressed?

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

How highly do you prioritise your self-image?

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

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

Component 2: Personality

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

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

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

Component 3: Lifestyle

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

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

Component 4: Physical Characteristics 

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

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

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

Component 5: Essential Pieces for a Signature Style

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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