Posts tagged “Comfydence”

Listen here to a short interview I had with Brad Burton UK's #1 Motivational Speaker, founder of 4Networking and highest rated 5* Amazon business author about his YOUniform. How and why he came to be wearing the same outfit of jeans, trainers and branded t-shirt EVERY day. 
The story of when my sister needed my services...in her own words, she describes the transformation she felt having the experience of my 'hands on' Premium Package
What’s your name and where do you come from? 
 
For those of us who did most of our growing up in the 1980’s, this question featured heavily on a Saturday evening. Blind date with ‘our Cilla’. 
 
In the 1980’s, for me, it was a very easy question to answer, “Hi Cilla, I’m Linzie from Leigh, Lancs.” 
 
Fast-forward to 2019, that question wasn’t quite as easy to answer. 
 
Let me tell you why. 
 
I was born in 1967 to a working-class family. My mother made all of our clothes as they were not a disposable commodity. New clothes were as a direct result of an event, Christmas, Easter and summer holidays. My mum was a dab hand with a sewing machine and knitting machine. We were always very well turned out. 
My older sister and I were always dressed the same.  
Often, I had her clothes when she outgrew them. Fortunately for me, I grew a lot taller than my sister and dodged a few outfits as we got older. 
When I was given the responsibility to buy my own clothes, I didn’t always make the best choices, much to my sister’s amusement… 
 
Ok, I had a thing for uniforms. There, I said it. Brownie guides, girl guides and girls brigade. I loved being smartly turned out. I liked looking the same as everyone else. No judgement from the fashion-conscious peers. 
 
It was a natural progression for me to pursue a career in the police. For nearly 30 years I wore police uniform. It was designed for men. I wore men’s clothes, no make-up, nails or hair were allowed. Completely de-feminised.  
 
When I progressed into a plain clothes department, I wore a suit (another kind of uniform) I felt comfortable and professional in my suit. 
 
Three years ago, my life changed; I got married, retired, moved away from my hometown, nursed and lost my mum, and my daughters moved in with their partners…. 
 
So now, “what’s your name and where do you come from?' Felt like a difficult question to answer. I’m Linzie from LLanfechell never really took off. 
 
I didn’t have a structure to my day for the first time as an adult. I lived in the middle of nowhere and only saw my husband and the dogs. I stopped wearing make up as it was a waste if nobody saw it. I started living in fleece joggers, tops and wellies. Hair scraped back as it is too windy to let it down. Most days I didn’t care and other days I appalled myself with my slipping standards. 
At this stage I knew I needed the transformational services of my sister in her professional capacity. I’d seen the results she’d got with other women and decided it was time to ask for help. 
 
I was embarking on a new career path but didn’t know how to pitch myself. My experiences were unique and valuable, my cardigan and crocs weren’t going to sell my products...Lisa’s confident approach was inspiring – it was interesting seeing how she worked in style coach mode. I felt totally comfortable opening up my thoughts and wardrobe without feeling judged.  
 
We established my style personality and updated my colours – I’d had them done over 5 years ago. We then progressed to a wardrobe weeding session. Very liberating, all those clothes that I would ‘slim into’ were about 20 years old. In the charity bag they went. That took the pressure off, no longer were those clothes reminding me of my failed weight loss attempts. 
 
Lisa has a very keen eye for colour, she has intuition and instinctively knows what clothes suited me best. She was able to advise on how to accessorise each piece for maximum ‘wow factor’. Her vast experience together with a friendly, empathetic manner made our session much more than just being about clothes. 
 
Once we had found a few treasured pieces, she created some style mood boards for me to include them and from that we were able to style a capsule wardrobe that took the stress out of ‘what to wear’. I was armed with a shopping list - she even gave me links to shops so all I had to do was click and buy!  
 
All the clothes suited my colour and style. It lifted my soul and made me feel like me again, but a better version. 
 
I went from feeling like I had let myself go and apathetic about myself and appearance to feeling strong, beautiful and more like me again – I am Linzie from Leigh, Lancs again (even though I don’t live there anymore). 
 
 
 
 
She’s in her 50’s, an intelligent, well-educated professional woman who is really good at what she does. She’s competent, self-assured and is comfortable complaining if the food is not up to scratch when she goes out for lunch with friends. 
She’s strong, resilient and has the wisdom that you get from reaching her age. Life is short, she gets that and wants to have a bit more fun. She wants to enjoy being who she is and rediscover her identity… 
 
Her kids are older now, at university; so, she has more time on her hands but still not masses of disposable income as they’re topping up student finance loans.  
 
She’s been with her husband a long time, they’re at the ‘comfy slippers’ stage. She knows he loves her, but she sometimes feels a bit invisible to him. He doesn’t pay that much attention to how she looks so isn’t too handy with the compliments…she could quite easily change her hair and it would be a few days before he’d notice. 
 
They’re happy in each other’s company but don’t have to be in each other’s pockets so have developed separate hobbies and interests over time. She likes book club (with wine) and enjoys reading the books on her kindle while on the bus to work – Martin takes the old Volvo. Rock choir and yoga are her weekly nights out, she’s made friends by going to them but doesn’t see them out of those environments. 
I was asked recently if I'd thought of chatting with people in a networking meeting situation, being a bit more pro-active in my approach, and asking if they'd be open to a bit of feedback regarding their image/style/personal brand. I recoiled in horror! This is just not my way at all...I'm more about getting to know my client first, their likes, dislikes etc so that any advice I give is more likely to be taken. it reminded me of this story... 
I met a lady one time called Kate who was presenting at a conference I was at. She’s a very successful businesswoman in her field and is an inspirational author and speaker. She refers to herself as a fat lass with a laptop and a pack of tarot cards – it’s tongue in cheek, I don’t sense any confidence issues. (But who knows?) 
 
Anyway, she told me that one time when she was presenting somewhere an image consultant had approached her at the end of her talk and said something like ‘You know what would suit you better? A wrap dress.’ I would call this uninvited ‘style advice’ downright rude! She knows how to ingratiate herself with people – not. This is the type of person that gives colour and image consultants a bad reputation as being judgemental fashion police types. 
 
Being kind, I would like to think that this woman thought she was being helpful by sharing some of her styling knowledge and passing on free advice. She was giving away something that she would normally charge for and I expect she was keen to demonstrate and share her expertise with a view to gaining a new client. In truth I think this was quite presumptuous. 
Personal branding means different things to different people. 
To some people in business that I’ve met it’s about being known for wearing a particular colour, always wearing yellow socks or dressing to match their logo. This is all well and good, it might help you be remembered and gets you known within your network. It will say something about you and affect how you are perceived. 
 
To marketers personal branding means something completely different; to a graphic designer it may be more about choosing one font and colour over another because of the psychology and what that particular sans serif says compared to that one.  
 
What we would all agree on is that personal branding is about keeping your message cohesive. 
 
To me, in my profession as a colour and image consultant it’s about looking the part – whatever the part means to you. 
 
I deliver a talk about it. My talk is called “If it looks like a duck…” 
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me… 
Remember the ditty from school? 
 
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. What bollocks that is...on my Facebook feed recently an article came up from Twitter July 2017 with the hashtag #TheySaid. 
 
#TheySaid 
The article is basically women relaying stories about comments made by parents or other people during childhood or teenage years that stuck well into adult life. Quite often offhand, throw away comments from our nearest and dearest that weren’t necessarily said with malice but have an enormous impact for a very long time. 
 
These words have cut deep. 
 
There are scars. Some are still open wounds, twenty, thirty or forty years on...comments made about our bodies, our physical appearance, our weight, perceived inadequacies related to our appearance. 
 
It’s hot, hot, hot and you want to stay cool.Long floaty maxi dresses are great, but for many of us (who don’t have a thigh gap) hot weather and dresses just don’t cut it because of the hell that is often referred to as ‘chub rub’, inner thigh chafing. 
If you suffer from this you know how uncomfortable it can be. 
Me and my trusted gang of researchers in the Let's Chat Wardrobe Wobbles group on Facebook have been on the interweb for you and found a few possible solutions that might help widen your wardrobe choices this summer and beyond. 
 
Talc/talc free alternatives 
A low cost, portable option that your nana might have used back in the day 
 
 
Longline pants/cycling shorts 
Not the sexiest thing in the world but neither is red raw skin 
 
 
Bandalettes 
The ‘sexy’ solution - make sure you order the right size though or they roll up or fall down 
 
 
I speak a lot, in my role as a colour and image consultant, about style personality and levels of dressing. 
Knowing your style personality is the key to understanding why you have all those unworn clothes languishing in the wardrobe. Some of them even with tags on. They looked great in the shop, you really like that shirt but every time you’ve tried it on to actually wear there’s something about it that is not quite right – and you can’t put your finger on what it is. I’ll put money on the fact that it is not aligned with your innate style personality. 
 
There are 6 main style personality types: classic, urbanista, dramatic, natural, romantic and creative. We usually fall into one category, perhaps with a secondary influence. The categories determine your tastes, whether you like fuss and frills or plain and simple, the types of fabrics you prefer, the styles and shapes, sometimes colours, types of patterns and designs etc. 
 
I have a free quiz that you can take which helps you get an idea of which style personality you might fall under. – Sign up for it here...style-personality-quiz 
Be your flawesome self. What's your biggest 'flaw'? Do you think other people are anywhere near as conscious of it as you are? 
Do you think they even notice? Perhaps they are so hung up on their own 'flaws' they have no interest or concerns with yours. 
 
My biggest 'flaw' in my eyes is my limp. I've had it since childhood, I've had lifelong problem with my hip and developed a limp after one of my surgeries despite my legs being the same length.  
 
My limp has even got a name, it's... called the 'Trendelenburg Gait'. it's a specific type of limp - not just a common or garden limp. 
 
Some days it's worse than others but it's always there. My big goal after my hip replacement a few years ago was to improve my gait - it didn't happen...I'm stuck with it. 
 
I'm not telling you this for sympathy or anything. I'm telling you in order to illustrate my point ...Just recently, twice within the space of a fortnight, I was asked why I was limping by people I'd known and mixed with in my networking circle for quite sometime, they thought I'd hurt myself. 
 
My biggest flaw had not even registered with them previously, something that I'm conscious about had not even been on their radar for whatever reason. 
 
Food for thought ladies...what are you focussing on that isn't really on anyone else's radar? 
'Be yourself, everyone else is taken.' Oscar Wilde Who are you? Do you feel like you really are showing up everyday and being yourself?  
 
Are you being kept prisoner by your clothes? Do you sometimes wish you looked different but feel scared to try anything new incase your friends or family think you look 'different'?  
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