(Photo: Tina Hart Prieto Capture 24 Photography)
Can you help me to dress better?
Recently I received an email with the subject line: “Help knowing what to wear and how to dress” from someone who struggles to know how to dress well. I was thrilled - this is exactly what I can help with and what I love to do!
So why do some women look so effortlessly stylish, but the rest of us struggle to put together a look that flatters us (and I include myself here)? That's where my styling services come in. So let's start by looking at those who already have the know how.
What do naturally stylish women do?
Some women naturally have the knack of seeing the overall look rather than individual items of clothing, in the same way that a skilled interior decorator can visualise the final look of a room which they are enhancing. They are creating their appearance rather than just wearing clothes.
They are objective about themselves and assess what works for their height and their proportions. The key is that they are not trying to work against their bodies, but will find a way of emphasising their good points. And they just seem to know this instinctively!
As for the rest of us, we need to learn the tools to put into our toolbox so we can pull them out each time we get dressed. We too have to learn to be objective and not look immediately for our faults (especially our fatter parts).
if we focus on the bits of us that we dislike, we will instinctively try to cover them up, usually with voluminous clothing. This is a mistake that we have to consciously work against. Obviously we don’t want to draw attention to our flaws – real or imagined – but wearing oversize, shapeless or loose items often works against our intentions.
Begin with the end in mind
This is a quotation which I remember from a business/self-help guide which I read years ago. It was applied to work project management, but the same is equally true when we think of our outfits. Without the sense of the overall effect we are creating, we end up buying a hotch potch of clothes which we buy randomly. They fall into a void because we haven’t taken the rest of our clothes into account.
You might have spotted a great pair of patterned trousers which you immediately love and buy. But if you don’t have the right plain tops to go with them, or shoes which work with the length and width of the trousers, what will you wear with them?
Those trousers have no friends! Instead, they hang in your wardrobe as strangers, all alone, with no friends to go out with. And Billy No Mates is just as sad in your wardrobe as he is in the outside world! Plus, you have spent money for nothing. Those trousers are not earning the space they are taking up.
How do you spend your time? Your clothes need to reflect that
When I work with women to help them to dress better and create a look that they are comfortable and confident with, I get them to consider how and where they spend their time. We often have an idealised picture of our clothing, based on an outdated view of our lifestyle. In other words, we are focused on what we wish we were doing, rather than what we are actually doing.
If there is a mismatch then clearly our clothes will stay in the wardrobe and not be worn. For example, someone who used to go out dancing, and always wore glamorous dresses when she went, yet still buys those kinds of dresses even though she no longer goes dancing, is wasting money. Unless the dresses are appropriate for other occasions, in which case they need to see the light of day!!!
So, can I really help you to dress better?
The answer is a resounding ‘yes’!
I will help you to look at the framework of the jigsaw you are trying to create. I will then work with you to look at your assets and make sure that you have the knowledge and skills you need to achieve the look you want. The look that is recognisably your look. Not just once, but again and again…
I know this sounds very mechanical, but just think of someone you know who always looks amazing. Or a celebrity whose style you admire and wish you could emulate. These people are already doing these things. They are clear about the shape of their bodies, they emphasise the good bits and draw attention away from the parts they are not so comfortable with. They are consistent – and therein lies the key.
Be consistent in how you dress
Look at the Duchess of Cambridge. She is very consistent in her style. She wears items which are both couture and high street purchases. She wears her clothes more than once and adds different accessories. She makes sure that her shoes and boots work, and work again, for her outfits. She has a recognisable, signature style which is modern, and yet timeless.
And it’s all her own.
Not only is hers a recognisable style, but how she presents herself also gives us an insight into her personality.
This is the secret that I can show you: to discover your very own style if you don’t know it or understand it yet; to develop it down the years so that it becomes recognisable as your own. Then you will have the ability to look as effortlessly stylish as the women in the public eye, in your own way.
And who knows, maybe your inimitable style will be an inspiration to others who recognise your gift and want to learn it themselves because they have seen how good you look. Then you won’t only look good, but you’ll feel great too.
But you already were, weren’t you?
Because looking good always does make you feel good, regardless of what others think. If you're dressing your authentic self, then you will feel fabulous every day…
And that my friends, is the heart of the matter, and why I love what I do.
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