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Why I Aspire To Be Imperfect

23 Aug

image via here 

 

When people first meet me and discover I’m a personal stylist  I think sometimes they’re taken aback a little.

I’m not that impeccably groomed, blow-waved and meticulously manicured person they might assume I will be.  You see I aspire to be imperfect.

Those of you who are born perfectionists, as I am, will know it can be exhausting and stressful.  In a couple of areas of my life overcoming my (Virgo) perfectionism is still a work in progress, but when it comes to how I dress I think I’ve just about nailed it.

I like my hair to look undone (slightly messy even), my nails to be short and neat, and my jeans to look a bit worn in.  Sure I can pull it all together and look very well presented when I need to – I did it for over 20 years when I worked in banking – but these days you’re more likely to see me in my favourite black (sometimes faded) jeans, a Gap t-shirt and a blazer with my hair slightly tousled.  It’s my personal style.

Recently I was reading Nina Garcia’s, The Little Black Book of Style and came across a passage that resonated with me.  It was titled, “How to be imperfect”.

“I call it “The Kate Moss Factor”.   Kate Moss has this tactic down.  She never looks like she is trying too hard.  Something is always a bit off.  Her hair is messy, her accessories don’t match, her shirt is rumpled.  And yet, she always looks amazing.

It’s kind of painful to see girls so pristinely put together all the time.  Those girls that always look like they are ready for a photo shoot do not interest me.  I’m more interested in those girls who are less than perfect (perfection is overrated).  They are the ones whose hair is not flawless, whose outfits are not perfectly matched, who are somehow breaking the rules. Every time I see a girl who has mastered this tactic, I smile in silent worship.  They know how to live, these girls.  They know how to have fun and let their hair down.  They never look too perfect.  These are the girls who know the most about style”

It was during my first trip to Paris when (as Oprah says) I had a light-bulb moment.

Parisian women, well at least the Parisian women who caught my eye, were not over-groomed.   Certainly there were those walking their poodles with coiffured hair and  couture suits, but these were not the ones who inspired me.  It was those who were casually, yet stylishly dressed.  I realised it was all about how you wore the look.  If you stood and walked tall, ensured there was an element of uniqueness and femininity, dressed in clothes that flattered your body shape and did it all with confidence – you could be chic and elegant in a simple jeans and tee combo.

Ines de la Fressange, who masters this look beautifully,  talks more about French imperfectionism in this article here.  Of particular interest to me (as a woman in her 50’s) were her views on grooming.

“It gives you a lot of age if your hair is too done—I am fifty-four, and it makes me look much older. I think it is good to take care of yourself, but it shouldn’t show. I hate, for instance, when women have things on their nails, like a French manicure. I think that sometimes women do too much—they put earrings, and color, and necklace, and the lipstick, and fake eyelashes, and fake hair—it’s a nightmare.”

 

These are my style influences and this is my style – not my Mums, my sisters, my friends or my clients. Just mine.  Who are your style influences and what’s your style?  Have you spent time working out what your unique personal style is?   Have you defined it?   Understanding your personal style will help when you shop.  Knowing how you want to look and dress will mean that you won’t waste money on clothes that are not complementing your style.   It will make you feel confident and self assured.  By understanding how you want to look and the image you want to achieve you’ll fill your wardrobe with things you love and things that will make you feel confident.  Not understanding your style properly means wearing things that might not feel right and feeling uncomfortable and often self conscious.  No one wants that.

Details of my personal styling services (Including prices) here

Get to know me and my style on Facebook here

..& Instagram here

Do Your Clothes Represent Who You Are?

25 Jun

image via here

 

Do your clothes represent who you are?  Are they where you are now in 2018 or are they where you were five, ten, fifteen years ago?  Were they ever you? Or are they someone else’s style?

Think about it…..

Are they outdated?

Are they tired and worn out?

Are they too bright and colorful?

Are they too conservative?

Are they too old?  Or too young?

Are they too business like?  Or too casual?

Are they too pretty?  Or too boyish?

Example

I arrived at a clients home recently and as soon as she opened the door to greet me I could tell she had a warm and friendly, gentle, inviting, laid back nature.  She had a beautiful big smile, amazing (signature) hair, great skin and a curvaceous figure.  She looked much younger in real life compared to how she looked in the photos that she’d sent me.  The combination of lovely personality and lovely features, meant she was a very attractive woman.

However her clothes were letting down.  Who she was and the clothes she wore, didn’t match.

In the photos, and I soon discovered in her wardrobe too, she mostly wore black – but not in a good way. Black can be very chic, flattering and interesting or it can be faded, tired and boring. Hers was the latter.

She was creative, she was energetic, she was bubbly, she was sexy, intelligent, entertaining and interesting….her clothes were drab.

Some were too tight (she wore a lot of exercise gear for comfort) and some were shapeless. (Covering up the bits she didn’t like but along the way some of her best features also)  Her lovely figure, that she didn’t really acknowledge she had, was often hidden in ill-fitting garments.   …and because many of the pieces she had in her wardrobe were decades old, they were now outdated – which in turn was aging her.

So here’s your exercise.  Make a list of all the things you are.  I’ll get you started….

I am relaxed

I am fun

I am intelligent

I am a traditionalist

I am the life of the party

I am artistic

I am confident

I am shy

I am ambitious

I am sophisticated

I am subtly sexy

I am youthful

I am conservative

Once you’ve done that, open your wardrobe, look inside and ask yourself, do these pieces express who I am….or do they tell a different story?

*It might even be an interesting exercise to ask a friend or loved one what they think your clothes say about you.

If you don’t find it easy letting go of pieces from your wardrobe (and perhaps this is one of the reasons your clothes don’t represent who you are) keep in mind I am here to help. Enquire or book in for a Wardrobe Overhaul here

READ: “How To Wear Black” here

Details of my personal styling services (Including prices) here

Get to know more about me and my style on Facebook here

..& Instagram here

How To Feminise An Outfit

21 Nov

image via here

If you put an outfit together and it feels a little more masculine than you’d like, try feminising it.

For example, a polo shirt and a pair of chinos.

Together or on their own they may not feel feminine enough for you. (Of course it depends on your personal style, your personality, the image you want to portray, etc.)

In this case Ines de la Fressange has piled on and layered several pieces of jewellery  (She’s also carrying quite a “ladylike” bag).

Some things (like dresses) can be thrown on and they instantly feel right, and others (parkas, boyfriend jeans, shorts, brogues, cotton shirts, etc, etc) often need some styling to achieve the desired look.  (and feel)

Adding jewelry is not the only way to feminise an outfit. Experiment!  (Or give me a yell and I’ll help you 🙂 )

READ: “An alternative to your jeans” here

Details of my Personal Styling Services are here

Follow me on Instagram here & Facebook here

Read what my clients have said about working with me here

When I Stepped Outside Of My Comfort Zone

9 Aug

I wore a skirt! 

(But was very tempted to change my mind and take it off) I used to wear skirts, and occasionally dresses, when I worked in an office but when I left I pretty much stopped.  Nowadays I tend to only wear them to funerals, the races and weddings. When I do put one on I feel slightly uncomfortable and a bit self conscious – despite the fact that I love a beautiful dress…and even love the idea of wearing them.

(I liken it to my clients who tell me they stopped wearing heels for whatever reason and find it hard to get back into them)  Sound familiar?

It’s not because I’m being lazy or that I’m just all about comfort, (well I am to an extent, isn’t everybody?) it’s just that I feel more me in pants – interestingly more feminine too.

Anyway, I decided when I ummed and ahhed about wearing this skirt,  that this spring and summer I’m going to challenge myself to try more dresses and skirts (particularly anything 70’s inspired) and see how I feel in them. Promise!  Just like wearing heels, perhaps for me, wearing dresses might take a bit of practice til I feel like myself in them.

Then again, perhaps I’ll decide just like one of my style idols, Emmanuelle Alt (who talks about not wearing dresses and skirts in the video below), that they’re just not my thing.

The most important thing for me (and for you) is that I wear what makes me feel my best –  good about myself.. confident and authentic!  Rather than just wondering what clothes do that though, this does require trying, sampling and challenging from time to time.  Otherwise, there’s a good chance I’ll (You’ll) get stuck. Nobody wants that. Stuck in a time and/or stuck in a rut.  Emmanuelle might not deviate too much from her uniform of pants or jeans and great jacket or top look, but what she does do is stay modern and current in new season shapes, fabrics and styles.

READ: “You Don’t Have To Wear Anything Unless You Want To” here

Details of my Personal Styling Services are here

Follow me on Instagram here & Facebook here

Read what my clients have said about working with me here
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