Tag

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

Christmas Partywear

Finding Your Dressing Up Mojo

By | Style Tips

Last weekend I was in town shopping for a client who was going to be on CNN news and urgently needed something to wear. 

The weather was gorgeous, and as restaurants with terraces were open again, town was buzzing. It felt so good and just like any normal day with no sign of a pandemic.

What was also really special was seeing people dressed up again. Everywhere I looked there were women in beautiful dresses and heels, and some wore more casual outfits but still looked like they’d made a real effort. There was hardly a jogging bottom or lounge pant in sight – it was balm for my stylist soul!

It was such a wonderful sight and made me really happy, which inspired me to write this blog. 

I’ve always found the connection between getting dressed up and happiness really fascinating. I know being a stylist might make me a little biased, but I honestly believe, as Geraldine Wharry said in a BBC News fashion article, that “Dressing up is a way of reclaiming happiness regardless of outside factors”.

And let’s be honest, after everything we’ve been through this last year, I think we all deserve a big dose of happiness in our lives! 

Bye bye joggers!

No matter how popular or luxurious humble tracksuits and loungewear sets became in 2020, the fact is that these items of clothing will always be synonymous with a relaxed, comfortable vibe. 

In 2020 they fit the bill perfectly for our stay at home lifestyle. But now that we’re finally starting to break free and get out into life again, it’s time to refocus on our style and start wearing slightly dressier and more put together outfits again.

Finding your dressing up mojo

One of the things I’ve been noticing a lot over the last month, is just how uncertain so many women are feeling about their style right now. For some the uncertainty is because they’re out of touch and out of practice with putting together a great look. While for others there’s a desire to step out into this ‘new normal’ rocking a whole new vibe, but they just don’t know where to start or what will suit them.  

I totally resonate with the fact that gaining an understanding of your personal style can feel quite daunting. Sometimes it’s easier to just stick with what you know and refresh a few bits in your wardrobe, even though deep down you want something more for yourself. 

When you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing, it can be hard to motivate yourself. So here are a few tips that will help you get your style mojo fired up again… 

  • How do you want to turn upin my last blog I talked about the connection between your style and identity. Our clothes are such a powerful tool for helping us to express ourselves and embody certain roles and mindsets. So, as you’re getting ready every morning and are thinking about where you’re going and what you’re doing, also consider how you want to turn up and be seen by others. 
  • What’s already in your wardrobe – during 2020 most of us have worked from home, and for many of us we’ve been existing in some kind of weird fashion groundhog day, wearing the same few items of clothing on constant rotation. To rev up your motivation for dressing up again, it’s time to explore the deeper depths of your wardrobe and reconnect with all those long-forgotten items that you love. 
  • Get inspired – if you’re uncertain of your style, why not draw inspiration from other women. I often look at celebrities, magazines, Instagram and Pinterest for my inspiration. There’s no shame in falling in love with someone else’s style and then emulating that. Over time you’ll grow in confidence and start adding your own special twists to outfits that make them uniquely you. One of the things I do with all of my clients is create a Style Board with them on Pinterest. They’re a lot of fun to make and are a brilliant tool for getting our creative styling juices flowing again. 
  • Come and join my workshop – honestly you’d be crazy not to! You see the easiest and ultimate way to motivate and inspire yourself is to work with a professional like me. I have a wealth of knowledge and a whole lot of tools that make finding your personal style effortless. My live and interactive workshops are amazing for helping you get clarity and create a style board, so you know exactly what styles light you up on the inside, and will fit perfectly with your current lifestyle. 

As Spring continues to blossom and we slowly emerge from our own bricks and mortar cocoons, let’s get excited again about dressing up!

Are you ready to make 2021 the year you claim your unique style? Come and join me for my 2-hour ‘How to Create Your Personal Style’ workshop. I’m gifting you (yes that means it’s free!) this opportunity to completely revolutionise your style – click here and join us on Saturday 1st or Sunday 2nd May. Let’s make style magic happen!

identity

The Style and Identity Connection

By | Style Tips

Have you ever thought about the message your clothes are conveying and the stories you’re telling with your current style?

There’s so much available to us now with endless choices and influences that it can sometimes be challenging to know what to wear. And with all of the external input, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that our personal unique style should be a reflection of our identity, not the style that others dictate for us.

Is your style reflecting your identity?

We often base the way we dress on the roles we’re playing, and on the stories and beliefs we carry about ourselves. For example, when I was going through my teens I completely changed my identity from being a tomboy to becoming more girly.  By changing my interests and behaviour, it also shifted the way I dressed.

I’m guessing, when you get ready in the morning, you probably don’t even think about what identity you’re going to adopt that day. Like everyone else you likely just grab clothes and go! Unless of course you have an important event; then you might spend a little more time thinking about what you’re going to wear.

Generally though, on the surface it might seem like you don’t think that hard about what you’re wearing each day! But subconsciously you make a choice without even realizing it. Your choices are likely based on what you have planned for the day, what you like, how you feel, how you want to turn up, maybe what’s clean or what’s easy or what makes you feel confident or what fits, etc. And, in amongst it all, your choices are also based on who you are, your IDENTITY.

Clothes are an outward expression

The clothes you put on are an outward expression of who you are and how you feel about yourself and can speak a 1000 words even before you’ve opened your mouth. So, dress for the impression you want to make.

When you don’t like what you’re wearing it’s because somewhere it doesn’t feel like you or the woman you want to be. Our clothes should always resonate with us on every level.

There’s a lot of talk these days about being authentic and coming across authentically, but what does that actually mean? We can spend an endless amount of time pondering this question, and in the end twist ourselves up in so many knots and narratives about who we should or shouldn’t be and what we should or shouldn’t wear!

Dress as you want to be

When I work with my clients I keep it really simple and remove the ‘shoulds’. We get clear on what their values are, how they want to turn up, and what’s important to them. We work together to make sure the clothes they have reflect and support the best version of themselves in every situation.

For example, many of my clients at the moment are working from home and don’t feel comfortable wearing their usual office attire. But they also don’t feel comfortable wearing t-shirts and more lounge pieces. To make sure they’re still aligning and presenting professionally, we have added some soft tailoring pieces in their wardrobe that can be smart enough for a Zoom meeting, but casual enough to pick the kids up from school.

What you wear also influences people’s perception of you. Yes, maybe this shouldn’t matter because the most important person who needs to feel comfortable is you! But if you’re prospecting for clients or want to impress the boss then it does matter how you appear. People make preconceived ideas of who you are based purely on factors such as your appearance.

Unfortunately, this is a fact we can’t get away from, but how I like to see it is, use your clothes to your advantage, and dress in a way that gets you the results you want.

Clothing is like armour

Kids are an amazing example of how this works. Take my son – he loves wearing superhero t-shirts and as soon as he puts one on he of course feels like he’s invincible (it’s super cute!).

There have also been many studies on adults who were also told to put superhero t-shirts on, and they also took on the identity of the superhero. Doesn’t that make you want to buy a Wonder Woman t-shirt? : )

Have heard of the doctors’ lab coat experiment? People felt superior as soon as they put a white lab coat on and were told it was a doctor’s coat as opposed to a technician’s.

Using our clothes to our advantage to create the identity we want can be a powerful tool. For example, I have a client who’s starting a new job and wants to feel confident and feel like the leader that she is. So, we’ve created a signature style that reflects her personality and lifestyle but also encapsulates the identity that she wants to embody.

When we use our clothes in this way, to BE the person we want to be, over time this actually sends subconscious messages to our brain that allows us to naturally adopt the identity we want to take on.

Change your style, change your identity

When you change your style to be in alignment with who you really are, you create a healthy self-image, and your natural confidence automatically shines through.

To create a style that truly represents your identity, you need to focus on YOU. You need to know…

  1. How you want to show up
  2. What your style personality is and what you’re drawn to
  3. Your lifestyle and having clothes that reflect this.
  4. Your vision and goals

While you’re not the sum total of what you wear, you have to recognise that you can become what you wear. Wearing different styles of clothes has the power to change your identity and how others see you. This is why it’s important to pay attention to the clothes you put on.

If you’re ready to shift your mindset away from unconscious grab and go dressing and start embracing your unique style identity, my brilliant ‘How to Create Your Personal Style’ workshop is the perfect fit for you. This FREE 2-hour workshop really is the first and most powerful step you can take towards finding your Signature Style. There are two dates available, Saturday 1st or Sunday 2nd May. Click here and select the date you want to attend, and I’ll see you there!

wardrobe detox

Decluttering Your Wardrobe Isn’t The First Step

By | Mindset & Confidence, Wardrobe Detox

Many stylists (me included) often talk about a wardrobe detox being the first activity we do with our clients.

But it’s recently occurred to me that I actually need to do a little rewind on that. Because, in actual fact, before I start doing anything physical with my clients, the very first step we take is an internal one.

You see, to truly find a style that speaks to you on every level, the first thing you need to do is get clear on your vision. And having a true vision means understanding your mindset and the limiting beliefs you have about who you are, what “society” expects of you, how comfortable and accepting you are of your body, and so on.

When you can be really honest about these things, you bust your own BS around them, the excuses about why you can’t have the style you want stop, and you’re free to just go for it.

Encouraging and supporting my clients with this mindset work can feel as enjoyable to me as the styling itself. When the internal pieces slot into place, magic happens and it’s like seeing a woman reborn and ready to take on the world – it’s truly glorious!

So, before you fling open your wardrobe doors and go full throttle into a declutter, first let’s find out…

What’s going on in your head?

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.

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…

  • I don’t have the perfect body
  • I have kids
  • They don’t make nice clothes in plus sizes
  • I need lots of money to have a great wardrobe

Sound familiar?

It’s easy to look at super stylish women and think it’s a breeze for them, but that simply isn’t true. There’s no such thing as effortless style; it takes work and commitment and a desire to genuinely care about how you look.

What style vision are you holding?

When it comes to your style you need to have a vision that’s fully aligned with your goals. How do you want to be in the world? How do you want people to see you? When you align your inner vision with your outward appearance your whole demeanor changes. You hold yourself more confidently, you command attention in an authentic way and you allow yourself to fully show up.

A great example of this is going for a promotion at work. If the promotion requires you to step up and lead a team, create a clear vision of how your outward appearance can support this? Never underestimate how much dressing for the role you’re stepping into can help you embody the mindset and confidence you need. Your style really is that powerful!

Once you’re clear on your vision and goals, give yourself permission to have some fun browsing magazines or searching Pinterest. Resources like these are brilliant for sparking your creativity and helping you understand what styles speak to you. In the ‘Get Visual’ section of my recent blog “Oh My God You Can’t Wear That!” I share more about using Pinterest as a tool for this purpose.

Are you working with your body?

Knowing what suits your body shape, skin tone and features is an absolute game changer. But I want to be clear, I’m talking about owning your body shape as it is right now, not how you hope it will be one day!

You deserve to feel amazing in your clothes whatever shape and size you are! And, when you use your clothes to your advantage, they can really accentuate and elevate your assets and minimize any less than desirable aspects.

Knowledge about which styles work best for your shape will help you create a more cohesive and streamlined wardrobe, which makes putting outfits together a dream.

Does your wardrobe reflect your time?

If you find yourself saying you have nothing to wear, it’s because your wardrobe is not entirely matching your lifestyle. Your clothes need to be aligned with how you spend most of your time.

When you have a few minutes spare, record how your week is broken down. Are you 60% at work, 20% doing sports and 20% socialising? Look at how this breaks down. Then look at your wardrobe and see if it represents 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.

Once you have clarity on all of these elements, it’s finally time to throw open the doors to your wardrobe and let the decluttering begin! And I can guarantee you’ll do it with a far greater feeling of purpose and ease.

If you’re ready to commit to finding your style and would like support with piecing your your vision together, get in touch – it would be my pleasure to help you.

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.

Pink Colour Shirt

Colour is Your Superpower

By | Colour Consultation

When I first started Signature Five, I had no intention of also being a colour consultant. My mission was to help professional women find their Signature Style, love their clothes and feel confident in what they wear.

I also wanted to help women simplify their choices in the morning by wearing clothes that not only flatter them, but allow them to simply and easily create stylish combinations.

With a background as a fashion buyer, putting colours together came quite naturally to me. Rather than using a colour concept with my clients, I followed my instinct with what I felt suited them. Having worked for global brands, I understood how colour reflects on different skin tones. For example, with a warm undertone to the skin warmer colours work better, and with a cool undertone it’s cooler ones.

The power of colour

I finally decided to train with Colour Me Beautiful, even though I initially felt it was slightly outdated and from a different era. However, I quickly realised that colour really can be a woman’s superpower!

As part of the training we all had our colour analysis done. I was surprised to see how different colours looked on me. Certain shades balanced and harmonized my skin tone and made it look more even, whereas other ones created shadows on my face.

“Colour really can be a woman’s superpower”

Another interesting aspect was the way certain colours made me feel. With red against my skin I naturally felt more confident and sexier, and the same with navy and neutrals. These are definitely my go-to colours. On the flip side I  saw how another of my favourites, light grey, didn’t really work so well for my skin tone.

I’m sure you’ve also experienced this when you’ve tried on certain colours and seen the effect they have on your skin tone; they either drain us or make us glow. We usually have an inkling as to which colours work best for us, yet sometimes we still wear ones that highlight certain things we might want to cover such as wrinkles and dark circles.

Colour characteristics

Colour Me Beautiful is based on the Munsell Colour System. I won’t go into all the history, but in brief, it was developed by an American artist, Albert Munsell, in 1988 and is now the most used and widely accepted colour measurement system. The system is based on three characteristics: Hue, Value and Chroma.

During your colour analysis I find your dominant characteristics and then your secondary and tertiary. By the end you have 42 swatches that best fit your characteristics. It’s nice to know its 42, but I do feel that having all these colours in your wardrobe can be slightly overwhelming. It can also end up making you look like a walking rainbow, and we definitely don’t want that!

“There are no rules to say you can’t wear certain colours”

So, I like to keep it simple and practical. With my clients I split their pallet into neutrals that best suit them, then their core colours, plus 2-3 accent colours. This simplification makes it easier to add additional colour to their wardrobe. The neutrals are brought into their foundation pieces and then we build from there.

What I want you to understand though is that there are no rules to say you can’t wear certain colours. Anyone can wear any colour they want. The most important thing is that you feel confident and comfortable wearing it. Colours are a wonderful thing that are there to be embraced, enjoyed, and used to help you stand out because you know you look and feel great.

Wearing the right colours can…

  1. Make you look younger
  2. Give you a natural glow
  3. Help you feel confident
  4. Make you stand out and get noticed and
  5. If you’re a business owner it can help make your brand stand out.

Colours make a difference

It’s amazing the many ways that colour can make a difference and influence our lives and environment.

It can elevate your style

One of the easiest and fastest ways to transform a plain outfit into something more exciting, is to simply add a little bit of colour. It also creates versatility. Once you know what silhouettes suit you, you can add colour to create more options in your wardrobe.

Colour influences

Colour can be used as a tool to express who you are and to influence others. It not only invokes feelings in you as the wearer but also in others when they look at you! You can make a statement about yourself by using colour. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or work in corporate, colour can be used to give you a distinctive personal brand.

Draw attention to your assets

By cleverly wearing colour on parts of your body that you like, you can instantly draw attention there and away from areas that you’d prefer to disguise!

Colour creates emotions

Colour not only affects your physical appearance, but also your emotional state too. Wearing the right colours can help to create a happier, more empowered mood, but wearing colours that drag you down can also have the opposite effect.

It’s your superpower

In the workplace, you can use colour to your advantage. It can help you stand out from a sea of blues, blacks, and greys, and can also give you the edge at interviews. As more of us are continuing to work from home and spend time on video conferencing calls, colour is a great tool to help you be more visible on screen.

It can also affect how others perceive you. For example, wearing navy and black can convey authority or simply make the wearer seem less approachable .

Overall, knowing what colours work for you can help you have a clearer and more decisive wardrobe. It can also take the frustration out of shopping when there is so much choice out there.

I will end here with one of my favourite quotes…

“The best colour in the whole world is one that looks best on you” ~ Coco Chanel

If you feel a little in the dark about which colours suit you best book a ‘Refresh Your Style & Colour’ call. I have two spots left and I’d love to work with you.

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!

Owning Your Style

Why Owning Your Style Matters

By | Style Tips

I know there are some people who think there’s no need to spend time on what we wear. For many it’s actually perceived as frivolous. But I believe owning your style really matters.

Let me tell you why.

We’re judged on our appearance!

Unfortunately, whether we like it or not, the first thing we’re judged on is our appearance (and even more so as women). I know this might not sound right, and I assure you I’m not saying it is, but it’s the cold, hard truth, and something we all do! Before someone’s even opened their mouth and communicated, we’ve all subconsciously made a preconceived judgement about who they are.

So, to those who think clothes don’t matter, I say, “Well if clothes are just clothes, what made you choose what you’re wearing?”.

Your clothes aren’t something that just miraculously appear in your wardrobe. There’s a reason why you were attracted to them and then bought them. There was something about each piece that you liked that gave you a nice warm feeling inside and (hopefully) made you feel good. Buying them was, on some level, an emotional decision.

So why does owning your style matter?

So, if style matters, let’s have a look at some reasons why…

Your style is a reflection of your personal brand

Most people (especially those working in a corporate environment) don’t think about the fact that they’re actually a walking expression of who they are and what they stand for.

Your clothes tell people how you feel about yourself, which helps them to understand you. If you’re a business owner or have a client-facing role it’s even more important to give the right impression, and one that makes people trust you and want to engage in a dialogue with you.

“Your clothes tell people how you feel about yourself, which helps them to understand you.”

For example, imagine you needed some legal advice and sought out a lawyer. What if the lawyer turned up in ripped jeans and a t-shirt? Would you feel confident that this person would be respected and able to put a strong case forward for you? However, if she turned up in soft tailoring or even a suit, you’re far more likely to be inclined to hire her to represent you.

Remember, you have the power to influence how people perceive and remember you with the clothes you wear.

Defining your style saves you time

It’s amazing how much time we lose at the start of every day just deciding what to wear. If your wardrobe is chock full of random items, putting together a look that’s stylish and you know looks great, is that much harder.

However, when you have a clearly defined style, dressing becomes so much simpler and quicker! Maybe it’s the colour pallet you’ve chosen. The skirt length and style. Or perhaps combinations you always gravitate towards that you know you look and feel amazing in. When your wardrobe is filled only with these pieces, selecting a look for the day becomes a piece of cake!

“When you have a clearly defined style, dressing becomes so much simpler and quicker!”

And don’t underestimate the psychological impact your clothes can have on how productive you are! Because of lockdown many of us have had first-hand experience of this phenomenon this year. If you’ve been working from home, did you notice a difference in your productivity levels between the days you dressed down in yoga/sweat pants, and those when you put in a little more effort and dressed up as if you were going out to work or to a meeting?

Owning your style shows people your self-worth and confidence

Women who aren’t afraid to take the time to pull a thoughtful wardrobe together understand the power of clothing. When you dress in a thoughtful way you allow your self-awareness and self-knowledge to shine through. Cultivating these two traits takes time, but once you begin to embody them, it becomes clear that you’re more secure in yourself.

“Women who aren’t afraid to take the time to pull a thoughtful wardrobe together understand the power of clothing.”

Of course, we all have insecurities, but part of embodying self-awareness and self-knowledge is truly valuing all of who you are. In order to value yourself, you must first have some level of understanding and comfort in who you are without the external world telling you. That is creating strength from within. And that is super attractive and magnetic.

If owning your own style feels challenging because you’re lacking in confidence or you don’t know what your own style is, book yourself in for a style consultation. We can chat together about the challenges you’re facing and help you find solutions to move past them.

working from home

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

By | Style Tips

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

Yep, me too!

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

Ummmm sadly no!!

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

Look professional when you Zoom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wear colours that compliment you

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

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

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

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

Accessories

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

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

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

Prints

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

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

A little bonus Zoom tip

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

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

Wear heels!

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

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

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

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!

style and confidence

Why Your Style is Stuck (and How to Change it in 2020)

By | Style Tips, Wardrobe Detox

There are a million and one reasons why your style might be stuck right now. But knowing what to do to change it, isn’t always easy! 

I find a helpful way to start changing stuck energy around anything, is to ask myself a couple of key questions. My answers give me clarity and excitement, and this is no different when it comes to my clothes. 

Here are a few questions to ask when your style feels stuck…

  • Are you dressing how you actually want to?
  • Do you feel confident with your current style?
  • If not why not?

Many women I meet believe they have certain style-blocks that they just can’t move past, but more often than not they’re nothing to do with how to wear their clothes. In reality their blocks are mind ones about their body, their finances or whether they look like they’re trying too hard to be stylish. 

Let’s take a closer look at these…

‘My body is too…’

As a stylist I hear so many weight related excuses holding women back from dressing how they want, by insisting they need to be X size before they take action.  If this one is you, believe me, I hear you – media & society paints a very specific picture of what we should look like. 

“You really can look like a million dollars whatever shape or size you are!”

But I’m telling you now, you really can look a million dollars whatever shape or size you are, and feel great about yourself instead of hiding away behind clothes that make you feel down right blahhh!

When I have money, I will invest’

Have you ever heard the phrase ‘rich people have no style’? There’s actually an underlying thread of truth in this! I can assure you, you don’t need to make a big investment to have nice clothes and look great. Money is not the source of style – what is, is knowing how to combine and wear your clothes in a way that compliments your shape, personality and lifestyle.

‘I look like I’m trying too hard’

I hear this excuse a lot, especially here in Switzerland! Is it really such a bad thing to present yourself at your best and feel great? Let’s face it ladies, life is way too short to dress in a way we think other people expect. Forget everyone else – if you want to wear that tutu skirt and edge it up with a biker jacket, damn well go for it! Who knows, you might even encourage others to step up their style game in the process.

 So, do any of these ring true as obstacles you’re putting in your own way?

If they do, don’t worry, I’ve got you! Now let’s have a little look at how you can switch things up and elevate your style game for 2020:

Enough With the Excuses!

First things first, it’s time to stop making excuses and take some action – that may seem harsh but it’s true! If all you do every day is open your wardrobe doors, groan and tell yourself nothing will ever change, then low and behold it won’t! 

“Make this the year you take your style by the proverbial balls!”

So make the decision now – are you going to continue staying stuck in a rut, or are you going to make this the year you take your style by the proverbial balls and do something about it?! 

There’s Nothing Like a Good Review

With every 1:1 client I have, the first action we always take is a wardrobe review. If you want to create and embody the style vision you have for yourself, your first stop has to be your current wardrobe – it’s essential! 

There really is something magical that occurs when you clear your wardrobe and make it look aesthetically beautiful. But the magic is not just in how it looks, it’s also in the understanding it gives you of your style, what you like wearing, what makes you feel good and what is missing. 

If this is something you’ve been wanting to do but it seems like too much hard work, why not join my ‘Wardrobe Detox Challenge’ – it’s always more fun doing a task with other great women!

Take the Time to Plan Your Clothes

I have no doubt that as a busy woman you have plenty of know-how when it comes to planning your business, home, family, social engagements (the list goes on!), so why not use these skills to plan out your outfits too.

You could even put a variety of top-to-toe looks together in advance, take a photo of each and create yourself a little image reference library for future use – imagine the time that would save you! 

Small Things Can Make a Big Difference! 

The saying goes ‘the devil is in the details’, so gaining knowledge around the best way to dress your particular body type, and finding ways to add colour or extra touches with accessories, can make a huge difference to how you feel about your style. 

“Don’t be afraid to try something new”

Don’t be afraid to try something new. Just remember the colours you choose need to lift your complexion and your accessories must complement your clothes, rather than going into battle with them! 

Invest in a Style Expert

If you’ve been trying for a while to up your style game but always slip back to what is tried and tested, then it might be time to think about investing in some expert guidance. 

So many people think it costs an arm and a leg to hire the services of a stylist, but I promise you that’s not the case! When you weigh up the time it takes you each day to decide what to wear, buying clothes you don’t end up wearing, the dissatisfaction you feel wearing the same-old-same-old clothes every day, or the insecurity of not knowing if the style you really want to embody suits you, it really is an investment that’s worth making.

Now the decision is yours – are you going to stay stuck or will you take action and knock your style game out of the park in 2020?

If you’re up for the challenge of clearing out the cobwebs and deepest darkest crevices of your wardrobe so you can make better outfit decisions every morning, come and join me in the ‘Wardrobe Detox Challenge’ – I can’t wait to help you create wardrobe heaven! 

How to Dress With Confidence & Style

By | Style Tips

Clothes that flatter and make you feel fabulous, help to tell a story about your personality and the lifestyle you lead. However, putting together a look that conveys confidence and style doesn’t come naturally to everyone.

But how exactly do you put multiple looks together that showcase these different elements of who you are? 

Let’s walk through the process together…

Don’t Forget Your Basics 

Most commonly when I do a wardrobe detox with my clients, the number one reason they find it challenging to build a cohesive wardrobe is they lack versatility in their basic pieces. 

If you find yourself in this same situation, I highly recommend that your first port of call is to shop for some basic staples that fit with your personality and lifestyle. For some inspiration on what these basics need to ideally consist of, download my Ultimate Wardrobe Checklist, which will give you some additional guidance. 

Choose Your Anchor Colours

Image by engin akyurt from Pixabay

Colour is super important with wardrobe basics. Not only is it important to wear colours that you love, but also to know which shades of those colours work with your particular skin-tone. Getting the shade right can transform the whole look, not to mention make you look younger and radiant. 

Choosing a few core colours anchors the look you’re wanting to create. For example, you may be drawn to navy and white, so ensure these are represented across your basic wardrobe staples. 

Once you have your basic colour pieces nailed, you can then start adding some accent colours that are more exciting and unique. 

Not all of us are always aware which colours look the best on us and make us look our most vibrant. If this is you, I highly recommend investing in a colour consultation, which will help immensely with understanding which colours, and in particular which shades of those colours, look best on you. 

Tie Your Outfit Together With a Theme

Visca Wedding

When you’re lusting after the style of a beautifully dressed woman, you’ll notice that the items she’s wearing are somehow linked together. There is a common head-to-toe theme that creates a polished look.

There are numerous ways you can achieve this type of uber stylish look:

  • Opt for wearing similar shades of the same colour. Or, wear colours that match well together – don’t over do it though, wear no more than three different colours together, but really the ideal ratio is two. 
  • Choose a style that links your whole outfit together. For example, it could be a bohemian vibe, a romantic look or perhaps city chic. This doesn’t mean everything needs to match, but there needs to be one clear theme working across your whole outfit that helps people identify with you.

Find Inspiration From Others

I must admit I love a bit of people watching! 

Now to be clear I’m not suggesting you become a stalker, but if you’re drawn to the style of someone, then take note of how they’ve put their look together and what makes it stand out.

As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, one of my favourite places to find inspiration is Pinterest. As part of my styling service I create a style board for each of my clients using this fantastic tool – why not have some fun and create one for yourself? 

Find Your Signature Style

I’m a firm believer that if you want to look polished and feel super confident, then find a style that matches your personality and lifestyle (as I’ve alluded to throughout this blog).

To stand out, choose something about your style that people will always associate with you. Is it a certain colour you wear, or perhaps you always wear long earrings or a hot shade of red lipstick? 

For me, most often I wear blazers, silk blouses and stilettos and I’m also known for rocking a jumpsuit or two. These looks have now become my Signature Style.

So, what’s your Signature Style going to be? Or perhaps you already have one? 

If you’re interested in learning more about your style and colour, why not book a Style and Colour Consultation with me at my style studio in Zurich. Together we’ll work out what colours best suit you and identify a Signature Style based on your personality, lifestyle and body shape.

For more details, please feel free to contact me at info@signature-five.com – I’m excited to hear from you!

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.

A Guide to Winter Layering

By | Winter

As winter is fast approaching, it’s time to dig out our coats and boots and get all snuggly with the clothes in our wardrobes. For many though, dressing for winter feels like quite a challenge – you want to keep warm, but you also don’t want to feel like you’re walking around looking like the Michelin Man!!! 

Let’s be honest, on a chilly winter’s morning when you’ve just got out of your warm cosy bed, all you want to do is keep that feeling going by wearing something that makes you feel snug and warm. So the question is, how can you achieve this and still look stylish?

The answer…layering! 

Layering is our greatest friend when it comes to hitting the mark with both style and warmth. Here are a few key layering pieces that can instantly elevate your look, and make your wardrobe look and feel luxe while still keeping out the cold. 

Cardigans

This season is all about the cardigan. This often overlooked, yet super versatile little piece can be dressed up or down for the office, or worn with a casual pair of jeans. And this season make your cardigans bang on trend by wearing them as an extra layer on top of a dress to keep you snuggly warm. 

Here are a few of my favourites… 

& Other Stories

Ganni

Joseph

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cashmere Sweaters

This is one of my absolute favourites every winter, and an item I always put on every client’s must have list. Nothing looks richer and more luxurious than a gorgeous cashmere sweater.  Nowadays you can find cashmere for every budget, you just need to keep in mind that the quality of the cashmere may not be the best at the lower price range. 

Honestly though if there’s one layer that’s worth stretching your budget for it’s this one, because a great cashmere sweater is a truly timeless piece that, if looked after properly, will be fashionable year in and year out. I suggest having a few in neutral colours, and in either crew or v-neck depending on your personal style preference.

Massimo Dutti

Joseph

Theory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wrap Coats

As cashmere is to the sweater, the wrap is to the coat – timeless and always luxurious looking! What I love about a wrap coat is that you can wear lots more layers underneath, without it looking and feeling too snug. 

To elevate the look of your wrap coat, why not add a leather belt, to give it a little more edge and shape. Also why not put a leather jacket underneath and have the leather lapels showing. 

& Other Stories

Ted Baker

Max Mara

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roll necks

This is another winter wardrobe essential! This is a piece that is designed specifically to keep out the cold, but is stylish enough to be worn either on its own, under a blazer or even under a dress. 

However you wear your roll neck, warmth is absolutely guaranteed! 

Uniqlo

Reiss

Hugo Boss

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scarves

Never underestimate the humble scarf – it really can make such a difference as a layering piece.  Scarves come in all shapes and sizes, colours, fabrics and textures and can be worn in multiple ways. You can instantly add a dash of colour to your look, or add a statement scarf to give your outfit some extra dimension. 

There are also many ways you can wear scarf.  Here is a great YouTube video to get your creative juices going 

Get creative and make scarves a fun and cosy accessory to play around with this winter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you struggle with selecting the right winter layering essentials, and you’d like help finding something new for AW19, please feel free to email me at info@signature-five.com – I’d love to help you!

 

Dress for the Body You Have Now

By | Accessories, Style Tips, Uncategorised

All too often I hear women complaining about their bodies, and using all of the negative things they see as obstacles to dressing in a way that they truly desire.

What’s fascinating is that the way we see ourselves when we look in the mirror, is more often than not worlds apart from the way others see us! 

I mean let’s be honest, who hasn’t had the experience of staring at your reflection and then laser focusing in on all the bits about your body you don’t like – “I’m too fat”, “I’m too thin”, “My hips are too wide”, “My bums too big”, “My boobs are too small”. On and on and on we go, magnifying each little thing to be so much more than it is.

I get it, truly I do – I’m a recovering self-abuser myself! But you can bet your bottom dollar that if you let someone else listen in to your internal dialogue, half of what we see they won’t even have noticed.

The struggle feels real

Women who are interested in my styling services contact me because they really want to elevate their personal style. Many have a desire to start dressing like the woman they visualise themselves becoming, but find it challenging because they’re struggling with their weight or body image. 

These women will often arrange their appointment for 3 months time and, as the appointment approaches, they’ll then call me to move the date, telling me they haven’t quite got to the place they want their body shape to be.

Every time this happens I give a little sigh inside, because I know, hand on heart, that living a life continuously dissatisfied with your body and chasing a perfect ‘ideal’ shape is a soul destroying exercise. The reality is your body is amazing and a miracle and by learning how to dress it properly, whatever your shape or size, will help you embrace and love the hell out of it, so you feel gorgeous every day.  

Can I really wear this? 

I’m often asked, “If I’m a certain shape can I only wear certain clothes?” The honest answer is no… aaaand yes (sorry)! Of course, you are free to wear whatever you want, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! My only rule is your clothes need to match your personality and lifestyle, and most of all you need to feel confident in them – that is always the end goal.  I mean let’s face it, no one wants to be fidgeting or feeling self-conscious in their outfit.  Your clothes should feel like your second skin, so that you forget about them as soon as you walk out of the house.

With this in mind, let’s dive in to some common issues I hear and some ways you can address them…

How to hide your midriff

I understand that the urge is great to shroud this area with as much coverage as possible, but don’t do it! PLEASE! Doing so just ends up creating more bulk, which in turn draws more attention there. Cover by all means, but keep it to no more than a couple of well fitting layers.

Don’t conceal your waist

If you have a small waist really emphasise this asset by wearing tops that skim your body but are not baggy. You need to ensure the top fits you well across your bust and waist, and then from there it can flare slightly – the key is to make sure it isn’t too baggy.

Alternatively if you feel more comfortable in loose tops, focus on ensuring the bottom half is drawn in, perhaps with an elasticated ribbed panel or tucked into a waistband.

Shapewear

For some outfits shapewear is every girl’s best friend, and a godsend for creating the silhouette you want.  I personally keep a pair handy in my underwear drawer for those occasions when I’m wearing skimming dresses, to help smooth any lumps and bumps I want to hide.

Shoes

It’s a little known fact that wearing the right shoes can help slim down your midsection.  Yes, I know that might sound daft, but I’ll repeat it again, the type of shoe you wear can help you slim down your midsection! How? Well, wearing a thicker heel helps balance your proportions out. 

For the diehard stiletto wearers amongst us, I recommend opting for a pointy shoe, to help elongate you through the body.

Wear the right size

We need to be realistic ladies – wearing clothes that are a size too small does not make you look smaller! While we don’t want to be hiding behind clothes that are baggy and shapeless, squeezing yourself into something too small is definitely less than flattering for any figure, and not to mention fraught with potential wardrobe malfunctions!!

Accessories for distraction

The humble and massively underestimated belt is fabulous for drawing your eye to your smallest area and creating a great waistline.  Also, jewelry can be used to great effect as a distraction from your least favourite areas. Wear bold statement earrings to draw your attention up and away from the body, or a long necklace to make the eye travel inwards rather than outwards. Clever hey!

How to conceal your thighs

Another issue I hear a lot about is slimming the thigh area. This can be a really problematic area for many women, but a few simple tricks can have you conquering this troublesome spot with ease! Let’s take a look…

No thrills or frills

Opt for trousers with minimal detailing, especially around the pocket area or down the sides, as this widens the thighs and draws attention there. 

Long & lean

Straight and bootcut pants are the perfect style to elongate your silhouette, and give a longer and sleeker look to your thighs. Who doesn’t want legs that look like they go on for days!!

Fabrics

It’s amazing what a difference certain types of fabrics can make to the appearance of your thighs! Choose lightweight fabrics rather than heavier ones, as the latter will add more bulk where it’s least wanted.

Choose the right length of skirt

The most flattering skirts have a hemline that finishes on the slimmest part of your leg. Think 50’s wiggle skirts – now there’s a style that accentuates curves and elongates the legs!

The key thing to remember is…

The best way to divert the eye away from your least favourite bits, is to showcase your best assets as much as possible.

If you’re unsure what your best assets are, and would like some expert guidance, feel free to get in touch at info@signature-five.com – I’d love to help! 

And if you have any particular body/fashion challenges that you’d like me to address in my next blog, I’d love to hear from you – again please email me at info@signature-five.com.

 

The Right Footwear for This Fall

By | Autumn, Style Tips

One of the questions I’m asked frequently is, “What shoes do I need?” I love this question as I can’t emphasise enough shoes are such an important part of an outfit, and are all too often overlooked. Shoes really do have the power to elevate a look to – out of this world stunning, or plunge it into the depths of just plain bleh! 

You see the right pair of shoes can completely change the entire look of your outfit. They can also help in creating a very distinct statement, and help detract from areas you’d rather not draw attention to.

Shoes also impact positively on your body language in the way you hold yourself and walk. The right shoes can help you feel super confident and powerful and, as the saying goes… 

“Behind every successful woman is a fabulous pair of shoes!”

I can’t emphasise enough that shoes are well worth investing in, and I encourage you to try to always buy the very best quality your budget allows. The worst thing you can do for your feet (and for your sanity!) is to wear cheap, badly made shoes that pinch, hurt and cause all sorts of cuts and blisters on your feet. If your shoes don’t feel great it will show in the way you move – we want you gliding like a swan not waddling like a duck!! 

Variety is the spice of life and ideally you want to reflect this in your shoe collection as well. Here are a few variations I suggest, and keep in mind these may not all be suited to your personality and lifestyle, so pick and choose which you feel best represent you. 

Ankle Boots 

As mentioned in my previous post ‘Five Trends You Can Wear all Year Round, these boots have become an all year-round wardrobe staple.

Here are a few boots I’m loving this fall:

Arket

Gianvito Rossi

Isabel Marant

 

Nude and Black Stilettos

These are an all year round must-have.  My personal favorites are Jimmy Choo – who doesn’t love a pair of Jimmys! Yes they’re pricey, but the investment is definitely worth it as they are the most comfortable stilettos I have ever worn, and they also come in different heel sizes. 

Flat Shoes in Brown and Black

Depending on your style flat shoes are essential, be they ballerinas, lace ups, brogues, pointed toes or slippers.  I recommend you have a couple of these styles in both black and brown. 

Clarks

Gucci

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Loafers

These are such a versatile all-rounder and look great for the office as well as out and about at the weekend. Thanks to Gucci loafers are now hot property again! For me these have always been a timeless and important style to have in every shoe collection. 

White Trainers 

Believe it or not the white trainer is another big trend at the moment.  Many have said these should be attire purely for the sportswear arena, but that’s really no longer the case – now they’re popular for wearing with dresses, jumpsuits, and anything else you care to pair them with. 

Veja

Converse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knee High Boots

This style is elegant and flattering for most women and I recommend having pairs in black and brown, as they’ll go with every colour of outfit you wear. I’m also a big fan of Bordeaux boots in winter. 

Evening Sandals 

In the fall you may have Christmas parties, balls and all sorts of glamorous functions to attend. A gorgeous pair of evening sandals will adorn your feet and really complete an elegant outfit all year round. 

If high heels are not your thing never fear, kitten heels and square heels can look just as beautiful. The priority is to select a style that helps you feel both comfortable and fabulous. 

Gianvito Rossi

Stuart Weitzman

Prada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rain Boots 

All of the above styles are great, but let’s face it when it’s pouring with rain a pair of waterproof shoes is a must, and you can’t beat a good pair of wellies.  My personal favorite are Hunters as they’re practical but still stylish – no need for the rain to impact negativity on your style! 

Snow Boots

(Particularly for those of you living in Switzerland or other snowy climbs

In times gone by snow boots were definitely less than glamorous, but now true outdoor brands like Sorel have made them cool again.

If you struggle with selecting the right footwear, and you’d like help finding something new for AW19, please feel free to email me at info@signature-five.com – I’d love to help you!

Five Trends You Can Wear all Year Round

By | Style Tips

The two seasons in fashion can often appear so distinctly different that it feels hard to know how to transition from one to the other with ease. One week we’re in our cute summer dresses and sandals and then it’s on with the jumpers and boots! 

As a stylist I love to show women just like you how easily you can transition into the coming season. 

I don’t advise following trends. For me style is all about adapting your clothes to your personality, lifestyle and individuality.

“You are a beautifully unique woman, not a sheep who needs to mindlessly follow the fashion crowd!”

However when a new season starts I appreciate it can be difficult not to take note and slowly become influenced by trends.  Perhaps you find yourself wondering, “Would that fluorescent suit look great on me?” or, “Could I pull off those cycling shorts?”. To add to the pressure all the stores are celebrating the latest trends, with the most popular ones taking centre stage everywhere you look.

But never fear, I’m here to give you a little guidance on how you can rejuvenate your wardrobe without the need to go crazy and buy everything the latest season dictates. 

Blazers

You either love them or hate them! 

Personally, I’m a big fan because they’re something that you can easily dress up or down. The wonder
of blazers is that there’s a style to suit every shape, you just need to be careful with proportions.  

For instance, if you are petite, try to avoid long boyfriend blazers, if you are tall and broader, make sure the blazers don’t have shoulder pads and they are not too short on your torso. For the slightly more curvaceous amongst us, single breasted is best. 

One of the great things about blazers is you can also add a belt to give some chicness, or try rolling the sleeves for a more casual ‘street style’ look.  

Beige is Back!

I love beige every season, however this Autumn it is back with a vengeance.  For autumn/winter I find
a beige or camel coloured coat a staple wardrobe must-have, and for spring a beige trench is a timeless necessity.  This is such an easy trend to adopt, and one that will stand the test of time.  

Floral Dresses

Spring/Summer 2019 was full of short, midi and maxi floral dresses of various styles of prints, and this trend is likely to stay for another season or two, which is great news!

To easily transition your summer dresses into winter, try teaming them up with ankle boots and layering them with a cute sweater or cardigan to give you some extra winter warmth. 

White Shirt

If you Google ‘capsule wardrobe’ or ‘essential pieces for everyone’s wardrobe’, I can hand-on-heart guarantee you that somewhere will be written a white shirt. 

I’m also a big fan of the white shirt. It doesn’t need to be your conventional office 100% cotton white shirt without any stretch – you can be a lot more adventurous than that! I would strongly recommend choosing a white shirt with some stretch, which, for all women, is far more flattering.

There’s such a variety of styles of white shirts, which can also be worn in various formations. I encourage a lot of my clients to opt for a more feminine softer fabric, such as silk, as an alternative to a standard white cotton shirt for work. This can also transition into a more casual look and be worn with jeans. 

Ankle Boots

This boot has now become an all-year-round fashion favourite. This summer ankle boots were being worn with midi floral skirts, as were Doctor Martin inspired shoes. 

I personally wear ankle boots from Autumn onwards, and recommend this look for every woman’s wardrobe.  A tip to bear in mind if you have heavier calves is to be careful the boot doesn’t cut on the heaviest part. To avoid this either opt for a shoe/boot style or for knee-high boots. 

So there you have it, my five timeless trends, and click here for some more inspirational photos to show you how to wear them.

And for more inspiration on key items to have in your wardrobe to create a variety of fabulous outfit combinations, here’s my ultimate wardrobe checklist

Keep in mind that everyone’s style is uniquely different, so don’t feel you need all these items.  The idea here is to have a few key pieces that help you create a variety of gorgeous outfit combinations. Choose pieces that match your personality and lifestyle to ensure your style stays on-point and reflects you. 

If you would like help pulling your wardrobe into shape for AW19, please feel free to email me at info@signature-five.com – I’d love to help you.

Why What You Wear Matters

By | Style Tips

When people find out I’m a stylist, they either ask, “So what would you recommend I wear?” or they tell me, “I don’t really pay much attention to my clothes, I’m too busy”.

I totally understand the latter – life can definitely get busy! As women, we all too often find ourselves wearing multiple hats, and juggling multiple tasks because of our never-ending ‘to do’ lists. It’s exhausting and so paying attention to the clothes we’re wearing just doesn’t feel like a priority.

But this needs to stop!

What You Wear Matters

Even though we might not care to admit it, what we wear does matter. Even if you’re an online business owner, and it’s not a day-to-day requirement for you to physically meet people, or maybe you’re a stay at home mum raising your beautiful family – you’re not off the hook, it still matters! 

Because you see your clothes speak a language about who you are and what you do.  They are more than just threads put together. Your clothes are an expression of your personality, taste and lifestyle, and they also influence how you feel.

“Your clothes are an expression of your personality, taste and lifestyle”

I’m pretty confident that at some point we’ve all had the experience of getting ready in a rush, only to find that an item of clothing you’ve thrown on doesn’t quite fit or has a slight stain on it. You desperately try to get the offending stain out with water but, alas, it’s not budging and, given your lack of time, the only thing you can do is hope for the best and pray no one notices.  

Then sods law you end up bumping into the one person you really didn’t want to see, and throughout the entire conversation you feel self-conscious and tug and pull at your clothes in the vain hope you’ll make yourself look more presentable.

Confidence from Clothes

Believe it or not the clothes, shoes and accessories we wear impact our confidence.  

All too often I see women holding themselves back from reaching their true potential and achieving their goals, because of a lack of confidence in their outward appearance. Taking a little time to think about the look you want to create, has a really positive impact on how you feel about yourself. 

I’m not sure if it’s just a British thing or a universal thing, but we have this mindset that we should only wear our best clothes on special occasions! Why do we do that? We have these beautiful clothes that only get to see the light of day once in a blue moon, which in my book is just plain crazy! 

I like to look at it this way – every day is a special occasion and worth celebrating because you’re alive! Why shouldn’t you look and feel fabulous whenever you want to. If you want to wear your favourite dress and sexiest shoes and work from home – go for it! If you want to wear a gorgeous blouse and take your baby for a stroll around the park – then go for it!

When you look and feel fabulous no matter what you’re doing, your confidence skyrockets and life takes on a whole new level of interesting.

“Why shouldn’t you look and feel fabulous whenever you want to”

First Impressions

We’ve all heard the sayings ‘first impressions count’ and ‘it only takes 8-seconds to form an opinion’, and whether we like it or not there’s a great deal of truth in them. Before you’ve even opened your mouth and said a word, someone will have created a whole story about the person they think you are, based purely on your top-to-toe look – it’s harsh, but it’s true! 

A recent article from the The Harvard Business Review recommends you aim to ‘dress 25% better than anyone else in the room’, as this will create a positive impression and help elevate your confidence. I love that!

Performance and Productivity

When you take a few minutes every morning to get ready and wear an outfit you love, it makes you stand a little taller, which sends messages to your brain that are empowering and confidence building. This fuels your day with positivity, making you more productive and increasing your performance – how great is that!

This is also why many workplaces have a uniform. When we wear clothes that match our role, we are more likely to have that mindset when carrying out our work.

Dress for a Raise

Believe it or not I have first-hand experience that dressing well and looking polished, can get you a promotion and a salary raise.

There’s a saying ‘dress like the job you want not the job you have’. When people with a higher-ranking role than you see you looking the part and behaving the part, you are so much easier to promote.

Now I appreciate you might be thinking, “Our clothes shouldn’t justify who we are – in this day and age people should accept us however we dress”.  Believe me, I so wish this was the case, but unfortunately the harsh reality is us women are still judged by our outer appearance more so than men, whether we like it or not!  What you wear could be what’s holding you back from achieving the things you want in life.

I hope this has given you some food for thought as to why what you wear matters, and how your image plays an important role in your success. If you would like to learn how you can leverage your personal style and increase your confidence and potential, please feel free to contact me at info@signature-five.com – I’d love to hear from you.

What to Wear on the Beach?

By | Style Tips

During the summer months, going on a beach holiday can stir up all sorts of anxiety about our bodies, and dread about revealing ourselves to the world in a swimsuit or bikini. We start to worry about our wobbly bits, our too skinny bits and all the bits in between, and sadly for many the excitement of a lovely holiday becomes tinged with a little (or a lot of) dread!

Finding the perfect beach look can, for some, feel like an uphill battle. So many of us can’t bear the idea of trawling around the shops trying swimwear on, so instead we opt for ordering it online and keeping our fingers and toes crossed that when it arrives it fits and looks as we imagine.

My advice when buying swimwear is to really shop around (even if that is online) and don’t just settle for the first thing you see and hope for the best! These days we’re really lucky as there are so many more options to choose from for every shape, that help you look and feel as fabulous as possible in your swimwear.

Bikini vs Swimsuit

Can you remember the time when bikinis were the thing everyone wore and swimsuits were seen as, well, a bit mumsy! Fast forward to today and the swimsuit is now hot property and is personally something I feel more comfortable in than a bikini.  With a bikini I’m constantly fidgeting and fiddling to make sure there’s been no embarrassing slips, and everything is still where it should be after going in the water!

The range of bikinis and swimsuits is so vast now, that with a bit of time and thought you really can find the perfect style that flatters your body shape, and helps you feel confident and on-trend.

Body Hang Ups

Not in shape?If you feel your body isn’t the shape you would like it to be, swimwear anxiety can feel crippling! If this is you, I recommend going a for a swimsuit rather than a bikini and choosing one that has the most Lycra possible. A good brand is Miracle Suit, which has three times the control of ordinary swimwear fabrics – godsend!

Tummy Concealer

If you want to conceal your tummy and enhance your waist, look for designs that have ruching around the tummy area. As you can see from the image shared, this style is extremely flattering for the curvier amongst us.

Reduce That Bust

If you’re large busted, I recommend a bikini or swimsuit that is underwired and provides plenty of support, so you can feel confident that things will stay where you’d like them too!

Increase That Bust

If you have a small chest, then padded swimwear is a great option for you. The padding will help create better proportions, and halter necks are a really good shape to flatter and enhance your bust.

Bottoms Up

Bigger bottom area? I advise going for bottoms that offer more coverage and support. 50’s style high waisted bikinis are very fashionable this season for all ages and are great for covering and enhancing the waist and bottom in a very elegant and flattering way. I also recommend keeping any pattern or detail to the top half of your swimsuit or bikini, as this helps to draw the eye upwards.

Miracle Suit

Norma Kamali

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cover Ups

Welcome to the wonderful world of cover ups! Nowadays you’ll be relieved to know that you can look super-stylish on the beach without having to bare all. I love cover ups as they’re so versatile and can also be worn as daywear, which is a godsend when you’re putting together your holiday capsule wardrobe.

To give you a little inspiration on the variety of coverups available, here are a few of my favourites:

Marie France Van Damme

Mara Hoffman

Melissa Odabash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Accessories

This season there are so many gorgeous holiday accessories to choose from, it’s sometimes hard to know where to start! My advice when it comes to beach accessories is less is definitely more. Adding a couple of well-chosen pieces elevates your look and helps divert attention away from the areas of your body that you’re not so confident about.

Here are some of my favourites beach accessories for this season:

Tohum

Rae Feather

Kenneth Jay Lane

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We all deserve to relax and enjoy our time at the beach, without dragging the nagging negative talk around in our heads, and with a little bit of thought you really can create a fantastic look that has you feeling like the confident beach goddess you are. And if you need any extra support to find your perfect beach style, please feel free to get in touch and see how our styling services can help you.

My Signature Style

By | Style Tips

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

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

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

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

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

Here are my five signature pieces I could not live without. These are items I wear on daily basis…

Denim

I truly am a jean girl. I practically live in denim and I love the way you can dress it up or down just by the top and shoes you wear.

Jeans are universal and there is a style to suit everyone. I personally love skinny jeans that are slightly above the ankle; worn with stilettos this automatically elevates a casual look.

I also love boot leg/ flared jeans worn with a high heel, with just the top of the shoe showing which looks very Parisian chic.

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

Some of my favourite brands are:

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

Paige

Rag & Bone

Re/done

Topshop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

T-shirts

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

My favourite brands for tees are:

  • Cos
  • Zara
  • J-crew
  • Splendid

Cos

J Crew

Splendid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pencil Skirt

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

Rocking a pencil skirt:

  • All-time favourite Pencil skirt collection was Burberry’s 2014 collection
  • Victoria Beckham always rocks a pencil skirt!

DVF

J crew

Malene Birger

Victoria Beckham

Burberry’s S/S 14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cashmere Sweater

“If you own only one sweater, make sure it’s cashmere”

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

My favourite reasonably priced brands for good sweaters are:

  • Duffy
  • Vince
  • J Crew

Vince

J Crew

Duffy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shirts

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

My favourite brands for a good shirt are:

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

Jill Sander

Theory

Zara

Tommy Hilfiger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’d like to discover your essential pieces that suit your style, get in touch.