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

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.