Like the idea of wearing a skirt but not sure what style or shape is going to suit you? Read my article for Vavista.com to find out all you need to know about how to wear all skirts from minis to maxis. Click on the image for the the full article.
I was contacted last week by someone who had used a Personal Shopper in John Lewis. It was a really interesting email because it highlighted all the things that make an Image Consultant a much better option for somebody who is looking to update their image.
I'm often asked by women "why would I pay for an Image Consultant when I can get it free in a department store", well, here's the answer:
"....So here's the thing. Last Sunday I bit the bullet and tried to go shopping at the Mall. A kind personal shopper in John Lewis took me under her wing, but she didn't know me, my personality, my work etc etc. I was desperate for a bit of an update to my wardrobe. I left having spent £800 on things - most of which I will be returning this weekend!? It was not a great experience. So, in a good way, it helped me make a decision. I have never enjoyed shopping, but I love having nice things to wear. And I need to shop for the body I have now, not the one I might have in the future. I have no time to shop and find things that suit me yet am in a high profile role where I have to look good. So - that's where I'm hoping you can come in......!"
At the end of the day, a store paid personal shopper is still a salesperson who is employed by the department store to sell clothes to you. They have no prior knowledge of your existing wardrobe to know whether or not the items they pick out are going to fit seamlessly into your existing collection. They don’t know anything about who you are as a person, your lifestyle etc. Their client isn’t you, it’s the store that pays their salary.
An Image Consultant is employed by you and works with your best interests at heart. They should be completely independent which means they have no monetary gains from any purchases you might make. A good stylist will already have been through your wardrobe and will have compiled a focussed shopping list that they know will work with everything you already own and is appropriate for you, your lifestyle and most importantly your budget. You won’t be under any pressure to buy if you don’t want to, making the whole experience stress free and enjoyable.
You might have to pay upfront for an Image Consultant but I promise you in the long run, they will save you time, effort, stress and money. AND you’ll have a complete collection of clothes that you look amazing in.
This season there's one colour that is going to overshadow all the others and it's bright, bold and beautiful. It's the colour of love and passion and is sure to get you noticed. Move over the LBD, this Autumn/Winter it's all about the LRD.
It's a brave colour so if the thought of head to toe scares you, break it up and use it in a jacket, a necklace or even a hat. I've done a quick round up of some items currently on the high street which includes Warehouse, Oasis, Hobbs, Phase Eight, Debenhams and M&S.
Two of my particular favourites are the double breasted coat (Hobbs) and the leopard print pencil skirt (Warehouse). If anything catches your eye and you'd like to know where it's from don't be afraid to ask. This season be bold!
I think it's pretty obvious that I have a bit of a thing for old ladies after all my talk recently on FB about Fashionable Fashionistas so when I spotted this lovely lady coming up the stairs at The Mall during Bristol Fashion Week, I had to stop her and take her photograph and have a bit of a chat.
She's 72, gets up early every day to do her hair and make up because its important to her that she looks stylish and feels good. For the last few years of her husbands life she cared for him but still made an effort over her appearance. Often the carers would turn up first thing in the morning and she would be there glamorous and looking amazing much to their astonishment.
When something is important to you and of value, making the effort isn't a chore and you're happy and willing to invest the time. I already know this but this inspiring woman reinforced it to me. Isn't she great.
Unless you've been walking around with your eyes closed for the last few months, you'll have noticed that boyfriend jeans are everywhere. I've personally been wearing them for years as I love how comfortable they are yet they still have a stylish vibe to them and sometimes you just want an alternative to the ever faithful skinny.
There are lots of styles around with ready made rips which unless you smarten the look up with a blazer, could look a bit grunge. I also love how wearing a smart heel can change the feel of the outfit. So I thought I'd create a couple of looks for you and show you how I put together my cool casual look for a night out last week.
One question I'm always asked by women of a certain age group is how to look stylish and age appropriate. Not wanting to dress like their daughter but not wanting to look like their mum either is a real concern for many women. My
response is always that style is ageless. Using the current trends to INFLUENCE your wardrobe rather than have them dictate what you should wear, is a pretty good rule to stick to. There are a few others, but that would involve a longer post and I've got a 6 yr old that needs picking up from school and taking to her swimming lesson.....I digress....
Anyhow, whilst out and about in Bath yesterday I came across the most amazing woman who's style was so unique and was carried with such confidence that I was captivated by her. Her name is Jean Woods and she's a very stylish 75 years old!
What do you think of her style? To me, she embodies everything that clothes should do: express your unique personality, send a message about who you are, be fun and give you confidence. Jean certainly says all of those things doesn't she?
If you're interested in fashion for ladies of a more advanced age but of a youthful spirit, check out Ari Seth Cohen Advanced Style Blog - it makes me smile every time my Inbox pings with a post and might make you think twice before you say "I'm too old to wear that". http://advancedstyle.blogspot.co.uk/
The amount of women I talk to and work with, who soooo easily reel off a list of things they dislike about themselves, yet when asked about what they do like, look at me like I'm crazy! Us women in Britain are really brilliant at putting ourselves down, someone pays us a compliment and instead of saying “thank you” we justify it by saying “it was only a fiver in Primark”!
I see it all the time with clients who concentrate their attention on the areas of their bodies that displeases them the most. They try an outfit on, look at their reflection and instead of seeing themselves as a whole, zoom straight in on their tummy or their thighs and pointedly make a negative remark about it. A big part of what I do is about refocusing and appreciating their good points and trying to create a more positive body image, because often how we see ourselves is very different to how others see and perceive us.
I recently watched this video by Dove which perfectly illustrates this. It's really interesting to watch and if you're anything like me, by the end of it, you may have a tear in your eye!
If you had taken part in this film, how different do you think the portrait you described of yourself would be to the one that was described by somebody else?
I'm a lover of all things fashion, style and image related but more than that I believe passionately in the power of feeling good in your clothes.
I'm also a mum to a teenage daughter who is taller than me with legs longer than mine and a dog whose curls are glossier and bouncier than mine!!