Tag

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

Coaching

The Power of Coaching

By | Expert Interview

So often people go into the coaching relationship with a whole load of expectations that the coach will do all of the work for them, and that they in turn will receive an almost instantaneous transformation. I will confess, I was this person 2-years ago while working with Mindful Money Coach, Ilana Jankowitz.

I thought Ilana would wave her magic wand and transform everything around me into gold. There were great expectations of money flowing easily into my bank account, and I really thought that by coaching with her my business would automatically shift up a gear. But when this didn’t happen, and I’d convinced myself that I hadn’t received any transformation at all, I was left feeling frustrated, annoyed and angry. It seemed to me like all we did was waste endless time doing exercises focused on my past. I didn’t want to look in that direction. I wanted to focus on the present and moving my business forward.

It didn’t help that at the time I was pregnant with my little girl Myla and I really suffered through the full 9-months. I was mentally exhausted, physically depleted through constant vomiting and sickness, and still working. 

But after I had Myla, and could finally take some time out, I had time to reflect on myself. I’ve been into coaching and personal development ever since I was a teenager. But sometimes when things don’t work out how I planned in my head, I’ve fallen back to old thinking, old patterns and old habits.

Since my time with Ilana I’ve done a lot more personal development and I saw the seeds that Ilana had quietly planted in me had begun to grow. Then a realisation hit me – that you don’t just change overnight, it’s a process and you have to be willing to change your old stories and patterns. 

Ilana helped me identify my stories through her exercises but her coaching wasn’t just about making money, it was so much more. It was really about learning about myself – how I am, how I am with other people and my limiting beliefs that stop me from moving forward. This is what I had to deal with but had been resisting.

I’m grateful to Ilana for her patience and persistence and for the seeds of change she sewed in me. I recognised as well similarities between my expectations of coaching with Ilana and those that people have when they work with a stylist. People come into the relationship with an expectation of a transformation like they show on TV. What I’ve seen (and especially with the ladies who took part in my recent ‘Style with Confidence’ program, which will be launching again soon), was that helping them to own and be confident with their style was just about sewing seeds, giving them the tools and making small tweaks that made a big difference.

As with my work with Ilana, the magic happens when we break our old habits. I was constantly doing my old habits, but once I broke through them using some of the tools Ilana gave me, that’s when the real magic happened. And that’s what I see my clients do too.

As women we have certain roadblocks. When it comes to style it can be telling yourself you don’t have enough money to have style. Or you’re not the perfect size, or you can’t have the wardrobe you want because you don’t look like XYZ! We all have these kinds of blocks that can stop us from being the best version of ourselves and reaching our full potential, or feeling confident about ourselves.

So that’s why I decided to catch up with Ilana, to let her tell you more about what she does and how she helps shift women’s road blocks, so they can heal their money mindset.

Over to you Ilana…

Q: Tell us a little bit about why you got into Money Coaching and how you help women transform their mindset?

Ilana: One of the women who really inspired me to get into Money Coaching was Lynne Twist. She’s a money coach and a philanthropist and I always had this vision that I wanted to help and empower women to be financially independent. I wanted to be able to help women across the globe – from the poorest to the wealthiest communities – because their money problems are often very similar or come from the same source. The work that I do is to help women understand where their behaviours, beliefs and patterns come from and understand that they are manifesting the life that they’ve got.

“I wanted to help and empower women to be financially independent”

I got into coaching because I needed it myself, and I’d put it off for quite a long time because I didn’t want to face it. Half my problem was that I was really set in my ways. I was the complete Tyrant archetype – controlling, manipulative, highly materialistic and I had all of those things around money because of my childhood. But in the end I went for it because it got to the stage where I knew I really had to fix it.

I remember at the time I was reading about Lynne Twist, and I listened to her being interviewed by Oprah, and I thought to myself, “I want to do that. I want to do coaching with girls from deprived communities, all the way to wealthy women, because as women we’ve all got the same struggles. That’s why I do what I do.”

Q: In your coaching work, what do you see as the number one obstacle for the women you work with? 

Ilana: Self-esteem, not believing in themselves, basically their self-worth has been knocked. This comes from childhood, it comes from our parents comparing us to our siblings. It comes from us feeling that we’re not enough because we’re trying to live up to our parent’s expectations. Even as adults we still try to live up to our parents approval, but we often feel like we’re falling short.

“Women don’t believe that they deserve the things they should be having in their lives”

When women are in business or trying to become financially empowered with their money situation, they often feel like they can’t do it, like they’re not strong enough. They don’t have the tools or believe enough in themselves, which is why I’ve started my “I AM” series. Women don’t believe that they deserve the things they should be having in their lives, and this is connected to their self-worth.

I find that’s a universal problem. It doesn’t matter if I work with women with a lot of money, or women who have got no money at all, across the board it’s self-worth.

Q: One of the obstacles I find a lot of my clients come up against, is guilt for investing in good quality clothes for themselves. What advice would you give to help them get over this hurdle? 

Ilana: I think clothing, especially for women in business, is your signature. You only have a few seconds to make a first impression and you get this opportunity only once, so a good investment in your outward appearance is vital. You don’t have to start your wardrobe from scratch every time, once you’ve made that initial investment, you’re then just adding to the basics. I think it’s very important to have a good wardrobe and especially a good one for work.

Look at it this way, investing in your wardrobe is investing back into your business. For instance in your business you invest in a new computer, new business cards, brochures or other equipment when you need them, and I believe clothing should also be on that list. It’s something that is actually really important because, as I said, you’ve only got a few seconds and one opportunity to make that first impression.

“Look at it this way, investing in your wardrobe is investing back into your business”

Women’s guilt with buying or investing in themselves is all wrapped up in the, ‘I don’t deserve’ mindset. That also comes from the way they feel about themselves and that they’re not good enough to spend money on themselves. For women who are in business, how you appear in your business is so important. You have to ask yourself if someone will want to work with you the way you look? If you’re going onto a call with a prospective client, they will see how you dress and remember you by it.

I often get that from people, they’ll refer to a video I did and say things like, “Oh that video you did in that grey top”, or something similar. People remember things about your appearance. Even if you don’t generally care that much about clothes, when it comes to work you have to.

Q: I meet so many women who find it hard to speak with their partner about money and will even hide new clothing purchases from them rather than face the conversation! How would you help them overcome this? 

Ilana: I always encourage my clients to talk about money, and that money is not a taboo subject, so to talk about it with their partners and even with their children. Believe it or not, you can actually talk with your partner about money, and it can be something that’s quite exciting, especially when you’re planning ahead for certain things like a holiday or putting away money for your pension, or for clothing.

“Believe it or not, you can actually talk with your partner about money”

I believe that clothing, as I said before, is part of your business (if you’re in business or going into businesses) and that it’s an investment in ensuring you have the right tools for the job. I think the more open you are and the more honest your conversations are with your partner this helps them to understand that it’s important for you to make that investment.

Q: The last 14-months have been strange and challenging in a way we’ve never experienced before. For a lot of people this confinement in their home and a lack of freedom has brought up a lot of old stories and beliefs, which has really impacted their mental wellbeing. What would you say to help people overcome this?

Ilana: Be creative and do things differently. It’s been a different year so do things differently. You still need to show up, you still need to be seen, you still need to get dressed! You still need to put yourself out there. A lot of people haven’t shopped but they’ve invested in their business instead – clothing is part of your business. I’ve been able to help a lot of clients in the last year because I’m more present online. And more people are of course doing a lot more things online. So, it’s really important that you wash your hair, get dressed and show up!

Get some coaching support to find your niche and your why for doing what you’re doing.

Q: As businesses start to open again, and people want to start shopping again they may also be feeling nervous about spending money. What are your top coaching tips for setting up and sticking to a clothing budget?

Ilana: People need to know how much money they’ve got to spend. In other words, it’s not on credit cards, it’s not getting into debt, it’s making sure you have the budget for it. Start slowly and invest in one item at a time if that’s all your budget allows. 

Also be sensible, know that there’s a long time between now and the next salary. Or, if they own their own business, where is the next money coming from? They need to watch their budget and look at why they’re spending. What emotions come up? Are you spending because you’re so happy to be out of the house now? Are you shopping out of boredom or just because you haven’t been able to shop for 4-months? Why are you shopping – what are you actually buying? Don’t let your emotions drive you to make a purchase. What drives a purchase should be a necessity – what you need.

“You need to think about your future and also the next generation if you’ve got kids”

Interestingly I was being interviewed earlier today about women turning 40 and how they haven’t saved before. We talked about getting their life on track when it comes to their money and getting them communicating and understanding their money. Being aware of their expenses and being aware of their savings and being aware of their future. And it was quite funny because one of the women said, “Yes but thinking about pensions makes us feel old!” The reality is it doesn’t mean you’re retiring now, but you are saving and planning and not waiting until you’re 65 and thinking, “Oh dear I should have done this in my 20s!”

I always say that you need to think about your future and also the next generation if you’ve got kids. What are you wanting to do, what’s your bigger picture? Is it just that you want to survive from month to month or do you want to be able to know that you can live the same lifestyle when you reach pension age? A lot of women don’t consider that, and a lot of them leave it up to their husbands. And unfortunately, for a lot of them, when their husbands reach a certain age they say, “Cheers” and then they’re off, which is what I learnt today from these women. Be prepared and be empowered with your money.

Q: I’m a big believer in morning routines and rituals. Do you have any morning routines or rituals that help you every day with your money mindset? 

Ilana: Yes definitely! I have a morning routine that I do daily without fail and have been doing it for a few years now. And I always encourage my coaching clients to do the same, and that is to keep a gratitude diary. I also meditate daily as well. Gratitude is very, very important so if you start your day off with gratitude, every day you’ll find more things to be grateful for. It’s important to remember that money is also energy, and it flows to you and, also, away from you, so it’s also a wonderful way to start the day with an attitude of gratitude towards your money and the money in your business.

“I’m eternally grateful that I have abundance in my life”

For me personally, when I do my gratitude obviously I include things that are important to me like my family and the positive energy that I have that I try to take into the day with me. I also have a strong prosperity and abundant focused mindset, and it’s one of the things that I say gratitude for every single day and even at night before I go to sleep. I’m eternally grateful that I have abundance in my life, so it’s definitely a morning routine that I practice. And, as I mentioned, I encourage ALL my coaching clients to practice this too. At the start some of them say they can’t find things to be grateful for, but the more they practice, you know, the more they go from being able to think of two to five to ten things, as they get into the rhythm of it.

Q: What coaching tips would you give to help women connect with their self-worth and know that they deserve to invest in themselves?

Ilana: Believing that they’re enough. Believing that they need to talk positively about their lives. If they keep saying things like, “I’m not good enough. I don’t deserve this”, all the negativity is exactly what the outcome is going to be. If they keep telling themselves, “I can’t afford this now. I can’t invest in myself or buy these things. I’m waiting until I’m ready, until I’ve lost weight”, they’ll never do it. They need to actually make peace with it and with themselves.

They also need to learn to understand what’s driving their behaviour to feel that they don’t deserve it. Where does it come from? Things don’t just change overnight, you need to actually know where these beliefs come from. Often it’s from your childhood, things like, “Your brother’s so good at maths, why didn’t you get 90% for maths?” Things that have along the way knocked your confidence; realise that those things have happened and you couldn’t control it, but now you can. You can talk to yourself and say, “I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. This is my time”. It’s about the words that you speak, the thoughts that you have, the mindset that you have over yourself.

Q: And finally, how can people connect for coaching with you?

Ilana: The Money Quiz on my website is a great place to start, and then I’ll be very happy to jump on a call with them. When they take my quiz they’ll be able to find out what’s driving their behaviour. Then we’ll have a chat about what I see in the quiz. It doesn’t only tell me what’s going on in their money story, it tells me what’s going on in their relationships, work, if they’re making money in their business. It will show me if they’re being an Innocent and giving the control over to someone else rather than to themselves. Or if they’re being a Victim and living in the past and not able to move forward. I’ll then be able to work through those issues with them.

So, that’s a wrap…I hope you enjoyed this interview with Ilana as much as I did and have taken away some nuggets of gold that you can apply in your life.

If you’re ready to take charge of your confidence and style, feel free to reach out to me at info@signature-five.com and we can chat through the ways we can make that happen for you.

winter layers

Tips for Winter Layering

By | Winter

I was recently asked on Instagram about winter layering and how to layer-up without looking like a Michelin man! So, I thought I’d answer that question in a blog.

I personally love winter clothing with plush coats, chic boots and cute layers, but it can also be sartorially challenging. It’s not easy to squeeze a cozy chunky sweater underneath a slimline coat without looking like a stuffed bird that can hardly move!

So, how do you stay warm and still look stylish?

Well, the main trick for successful winter dressing is thin layering. Layering is our greatest friend when it comes to hitting the mark with both style and warmth.

The base layer top

First things first, every winter outfit should start with a base layer. I personally love Uniqlo heat tech and I always buy them when I’m in the UK. But, if you don’t want anything technical, you can just wear a snug fit long sleeve top or a roll neck. Cos, H&M and Zara all sell these.

The important thing is to ensure this layer is as fitted as possible, and long enough to tuck into your waistband if you have one to give you a nice cosy, draft proof layer to build from.

Uniqlo HeatTech Top

Uniqlo

H&M

H&M

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next layer

I appreciate that instinctively in the winter we think chunky knits, but actually I recommend you avoid wearing them. They can look bulky and it’s difficult to add another layer on top. Instead, aim for a thin knitted cashmere sweater, which will keep you warm without being too heavy to layer on top of.

If you need to dress smart for work, why not opt for a beautiful cashmere sweater underneath your blazer. Cashmere sweaters are one of my absolute favourites every winter and an item I always put on every client’s must have list. Nowadays you can find cashmere for every budget, but honestly if there’s one item worth stretching your budget for it’s this one.

At this time of year, I personally like to wear a thin roll neck cashmere sweater underneath dresses, shirts and even blazers, and it can look super chic.

The wrap coat

I’m a big fan of wrap coats because they’re easy to throw on and work with almost everything. They have such a timeless elegance and always look luxurious. But most importantly in winter you can wear a lot more layers underneath without things looking and feeling too snug.

The good thing with wrap coats is that any type of body shape can wear them, and they help create a lovely feminine silhouette. To elevate your wrap coat why not add a leather belt to give more edge and shape. Or add a leather jacket underneath and have the leather lapels showing.

The puffer

Puffers are a definite must have for subzero temperatures, but if there’s one piece of clothing that could give that Michelin Man effect we’re trying to avoid, it’s this one!

So, the main thing to be aware of is how puffy it is. Try to go for one that is slightly cinched in at the waist to give you a more feminine shape and definition. Also be careful how the jacket is quilted. My favorite puffers are Max Mara and Moncler.

Footwear

To keep your tootsies toasty warm in winter, wool socks are a must. And, as well as having some elegant knee or thigh boots for a dressier look, I definitely recommend also having at least one pair of practical, warm and waterproof boots too.

These days we’re lucky these more practical style boots are on trend, and there are some really nice, stylish ones out there. Here are a few of my favorites…

Jimmy Choo

Jimmy Choo

Jimmy Choo

Jimmy Choo

Hugo Bosss

Hugo Boss

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope these layering tips help to keep your wardrobe looking and feeling lux this winter, while still ensuring you stay snug and warm.

If owning your style feels challenging because you’re lacking in confidence or you don’t know what your own style is, why not join me for my Creating Your Personal Style Workshop.

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 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!

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.

 

My Story

By | Our values, Personal

London to Zurich

From catwalks, photoshoots and model fittings to determining what women should be wearing across the world, for ten years I worked at the heart of London’s fashion scene.  After gaining lots of experience working for prestigious brands like Dior, House of Fraser and Harrods, I finally worked my way up to become Womenswear Merchandise Manager at Burberry.

Then love happened.

Like many I tried to combine my work and private life with the long-distance trips from London to Zurich. I had fallen in love, but I also loved my job.

In 2014, we finally got married and we made the decision to make Zurich our home.  A year later our son Kian was born.  I took a career break and enjoyed my new adventure of being a mum, but I had the desire to start a business which would help women and combine my love of fashion.

 

The light bulb moment

After the birth of my son, I felt slightly lost with who I was. Putting outfits together – something that once came so easily to me – was now a struggle, and found myself saying ‘I have nothing to wear’ or ‘nothing fits’.  The clothes I had in my wardrobe just didn’t feel appropriate.

My lifestyle had changed since my Burberry days but my wardrobe had not.  As a mum I needed a wardrobe that was functional but at the same time I didn’t want my clothes to read ‘mum’.  I longed for a capsule wardrobe with key pieces I could mix and match.

Last summer at a friend’s wedding in London, the idea of Signature Five came about. I was talking to one of my girlfriends, a mother of two who also has a high-powered job at a luxury online retailer.  Chatting away we discovered we were at a stage in our lives where we wanted a handful of investment pieces that we could easily put together, rather than a wardrobe full of clothes.  We joked that we should start our own label.

A seed was planted. I kept thinking there must be a lot of women having similar issues who just want signature pieces in their wardrobe that they can easily put together.  I realised that any woman going through a change in their life will feel they have ‘nothing to wear’ unless their wardrobe reflects this.

As I ascended into the clouds on the flight back to Zurich, Signature Five was born.

 

Signature Five is born

This motivated me to be ruthless – to clean out my closet and put my merchandising skills to use. I grouped, folded, hung and colour coded the remaining clothes in my wardrobe and from there I saw items of clothing I had too much of and what I lacked.

I updated my wardrobe and searched for items I knew I would wear time and time again.  I gave my wardrobe the revamp it so desperately  needed.  I put myself first and for the first time in ages, I invested in myself, and it was the best thing I did.  I knew what I wanted my clothes to say about me and I knew the impression I wanted to make.

I do believe first impressions are formed by how we dress, appear and our attitude. When we know we look good, we naturally come across more confident and have a positive attitude, which in turn gets us to where we want to be.

So many of us forget about our wardrobe, we put everything else first or continue to dress the same way our whole lives, without evolving our style. Sometimes we just need new pair of eyes to able to be more objective.

Signature Five’s mission

After gaining ten years’ work experience in fashion, a Masters in Fashion, a diploma in style coaching and extensive research on personal styling, my mission is to make women feel empowered, chic and confident with the power of dressing. I believe every woman should be able to show up as the best version of herself.

Through Signature Five, my goal is to provide clarity to women who are unsure of their personal style, and a wardrobe tailored to suit their needs. Our purpose is to work with women, to bring out their personality through their wardrobe, not change who they are. To show women of all ages and body shapes that we can all look phenomenal with the right styling.

I know I wouldn’t have made this happen without that conversation with my girlfriends.

Sometimes we all just need a helping hand to achieve the goals we want.