Posts tagged “Wardrobe”

“Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.” — Rachel Zoe Your clothes make a statement about you before you open your mouth. Do you ever think about the messages you might be conveying about yourself through how you look? 
Having a Signature Style is kind of like finding your own uniform or YOUniform as I prefer to call it. This week I’ve been chatting with lots of lovely ladies who volunteered to have a half hour conversation to help me with some market research. During these calls I’ve been explaining the four elements of my Style Nirvana System that I work on with clients to create their Signature Style. 
 
So for this week I’m giving you a few pointers on the types of things for you to consider if you want to create your own Signature Style. It really is worth taking the time to sort if out as it helps relieve the stress from getting dressed. No more standing in front of your wardrobe stuffed full of clothes but feeling like you’ve got nothing to wear. 
 
Element One: Colour 
Wear colours that look good on you 
As you know I’m VERY passionate about colour and the impact it can have on how you look. The ‘right’ colours will make your complexion appear clear, radiant and glowing; your eyes will sparkle, and you will look healthy. The ‘wrong’ colours will exaggerate shadows, can make your skin appear blotchy or sallow and generally make you look tired. And who wants that?!? 
 
Figuring out whether you suit warm or cool colours is the first step and then matching your natural contrast levels to the colours you are wearing helps too. 
 
Check your veins on your inner wrist. If your skin has warm undertones your veins appear green, skin appears peachy, cool veins appear blue, skin pink. 
 
 
My tip to share with you this week is to help you buy less but wear more of your existing wardrobe by exploring the concept of Capsule Collections. 
One of my favourite things to do with clients is help them shop their wardrobe and create a capsule collection. This is basically playing around with what is already in your wardrobe and mixing and matching exploring new combinations, so you create lots of new outfit ideas from stuff you already have. 
 
It’s said that we wear 20% of our wardrobe 80% of the time, sticking with the same things despite our wardrobes being stuffed to the gills with clothes that never see the light of day. So my challenge to you this week is to make some time to give it a try. 
 
Here’s my step by step guide to Shopping Your Wardrobe for a Capsule Collection 
 
Have a wardrobe weed and clear out anything that doesn’t fit. Then hang things by colour so you can easily see what you have. You can get my Wardrobe Weed guide here. 
Think about what type of outfits you want to create e.g. work/leisure/smart casual 
Choose a couple of neutral colours to start with and a couple of interest colours to work with. 
Maybe take inspiration from one of my colour inspirations videos that I’ve been sharing on social media. Or use a scarf, necklace, flowers in the garden or a painting or design you like to take ideas from regarding colours. 
 
 
I've been pondering how I could help you as we continue in the state of lock down and you might have a bit more time on your hands to sort out your wardrobe. It led me to thinking about this statement..."I have loads of clothes but don't seem to have many outfits." 
Sound familiar? I hear it a lot. 
 
So, I want you to put the lock down to the back of your mind for now and use your imagination that we are in normal times and read on... 
 
It’s Karen’s birthday in a few weeks she’s having a party for her 50th and you want something new to wear but you’re not sure what. You go out shopping without a plan or any ideas in mind of what you might be looking for, just browsing.  
 
You see a lovely top you like, you can’t be bothered trying it on because you can’t be bothered with the faff of changing rooms and the lighting is always awful anyway…You buy it thinking you’ll return it if it’s not right. 
 
You go to the next shop and same thing happens. This time you’re not sure if the style is right for you or the colour is a bit different for you, it’s a step away from your usual black.  
 
You’ve never worn navy because it reminds you of your school uniform, but you read it somewhere that navy suits everybody. And also, you saw Sandra wearing navy in a photo on Facebook the other week and she looked amazing in it. Her eyes were sparkly, and her skin look fab. In your bag it goes. 
 
 
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. 
Here's the fabulous Pam Burrows - People Booster answering questions submitted by the members of my Style Sisterhood group... 
1. What type of thing(s) have you done with Lisa? 
 
I’ve had my colours done, a wardrobe weed and various ad hoc advice about particular outfits or events. 
 
2. What actually happens? 
 
Lisa adapts her whole approach to the person she’s working with, she makes you feel at ease. She asks questions to help her help you but that also help you realise lots of things about how and why you buy/choose/wear/or don’t. It’s like a gentle sort of therapy that helps you let o of some of the fears about how you show up in the world. 
 
3. What made you think about working with Lisa? 
 
She offered ;) And because I trusted her to help me in ways I could never have helped myself 
 
4. How did you feel before? 
 
A bit stupid and lost on the occasions when it really mattered how I looked. I felt lost when choosing, buying, and hugely lost when putting different items together to form an outfit. 
As it's full on sale season I'm introducing you to my mate Bargain Bev...she’s a bugger for a ‘good deal’. She loves to shop in the sales and TK Maxx is one of her favourite shops. She has wardrobes stuffed full of clothes many of which still have the tags on, dresses, tops, trousers, jeans, t-shirts, jackets, coats... – you name it. 
She’s got all kinds of boots and shoes too and more handbags than you can shake a stick at. She absolutely CANNOT resist a bargain. 
 
The Lure of the ‘WAS’ Tag... 
She can’t leave it there for the price and because it’s in the sale or TK Maxx she feels that it’s a bargain. She is lured by the ‘WAS’ numbers on the price tag i.e. was £113 now £27. She impulse buys and because she can’t resist a bargain it’s compounded by the ‘it might not be here next time I come’ mentally. Her shopping focus is on how much she’s saved not how much she’s spent on stuff she didn’t need. Ring any bells??? 
 
She LUUURVES a Bargain... 
This means that she might buy things that don’t even fit - unless she loses half a stone or has the leg length shortened. (But she never gets around to doing either of these things.) So the bargain price isn’t so much of a bargain anymore because it’s £113 worth of a pair of trousers that Bev only paid £27 for to just gather dust in the wardrobe. 
 
Never Anything to Wear 
The trouble is with Bargain Bev she never has a plan when she goes shopping. She doesn’t think about the stuff she already has and what she might need to fill a gap. (She probably doesn’t even remember half the stuff she has.) This is why she still never has anything to wear despite the massive amount of stuff in her wardrobe(s). For example, it might be that by adding a navy blue jacket to her collection of clothes she’d all of a sudden be able to wear it with several other items and they all then become outfits suitable for work. 
When it's hot we just aren’t used to it here in Blighty. The heat and sun is all well and good if you are lazing around in the garden or on holiday. Then a vest top and shorts or a sundress are fine. 
But what do you wear to work? 
What is acceptable to wear to the office or to meet clients? 
 
Here are my tips for dressing professionally even when it is scorchio… 
 
1) wear lighter neutrals – white, tan, taupe, grey or a crisp white and navy combo 
 
2) wear nude underwear if you are wearing light colours – it does not show through clothes as much as white 
 
3) keep your fabrics light weight but not too lightweight or floaty 
 
4) cotton, linen and silk are good, linen blended with something will crease less 
 
5) the more skin you show, the more casual you will look 
 
6) think light layers if you are going from heat outside to cool air con (nippy is not good) 
 
7) only go without hosiery if it’s appropriate 
Accessories are to punctuate an outfit they should finish off your look making you look well put togther. One of the greatest challenges when selecting accessories is to know how many to apply. When you apply too many, your overall look can appear tacky. 
When you fail to apply enough, your outfit can look a little boring and Ordinary Olive - let's have a look at how to create the perfect combination. 
 
When it comes to choosing accessories, it isn’t simply about numbers; it has a lot to do with creating an overall look that is well balanced. To achieve this, it is a good idea to take a leaf out of the interior design book. 
 
In the world of interior design, designers are advised to choose one focal point in the room. Other aspects of the room are supposed to support the focal point, rather than compete for attention. These rules also apply to any outfit. 
 
If your outfit already has a focal point, for example a dress with a sequined bodice, the rest of your accessories should tie in with your bodice in a low key way.  
 
For example, a pair of diamond studs and simple nude court shoes would most likely be complimentary. In contrast, a chunky necklace, three bangles up the arm, and contrasting coloured shoes, would most likely be overpowering. 
Do you ever look in your wardrobe, that is stuffed full of clothes, and think that you have nothing to wear? Why is that? 
 
Have you got stuff that you are hanging onto that no longer fits? Or did it not fit in the first place? You bought it thinking it would be perfect when you'd lost a few pounds...but you never did. 
 
Are you a hoarder? Do you think that you'll hang on to stuff because it has good memories. Or because you just love it even though you don't wear it and more. Was it expensive? Do you think it might be worth something if you ever got round to sticking it to eBay. Are you thinking it might come back in fashion one day?Are you a repeat buyer? Do you have lots of pairs of black trousers for example? Or 18 black dresses (you know who you are)? Or a penchant for white shirts? Or, like one of my clients, if you really like something buy it in several sizes just in case your weight changes. 
 
Do you love a bargain? Is your wardrobe full of clothes that still have tags on, bought in the sale. Stuff you wouldn't have ever looked at it was full price, but it was such a good bargain you just had to have it. Or are you a charity shop shopper with the "I'll get it because it is only a few quid mentally". 
It's said that we wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time. I think that is probably true for most of us. 
 
Have you got stuff that you are hanging onto that no longer fits? Or did it not fit in the first place? You bought it thinking it would be perfect when you'd lost a few pounds...but you never did. 
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