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It’s Not Just About Fashion

9 Dec

Last week, out of the blue, I received this beautiful email (that made me cry).  This is the reason I do what I do.  It’s not just about fashion and shopping.

Hi Meaghan,

I just wanted to send you a very long overdue email.

I had a personal shopping experience with you about 2 years ago.

You opened up my eyes and you were actually the catalyst for a lot of change in my life. After the shopping experience, I realised that I could make small changes to make me look and feel so much better. You gave me the confidence to value myself and take pride in my appearance.

After the shopping trip, I decided to make some changes. I actually lost 45kg and have managed to keep that weight off for 1 year now. I have attached a before and after pic.

I now enjoy deciding what to wear each day and experimenting with different styles. I’m also wearing make up to work for the first time ever!  I feel confident in what I wear, and I have become more social as a result of the confidence.

My family are all amazed at the changes I have gone through these past 2 years (I also ended up buying a dream lifestyle property partly due to me taking more care of myself) and my family believe that it is ever since our personal shopping trip that I have made the changes.

So, I just wanted to say thank you. For me – it has literally been a life changing experience.

What prompted me to write this email today is that I’m thinking of asking my husband to buy me another session with you for Christmas. Lol.

So anyway, a big thank you to you, and hopefully I get my Christmas wish and get to have another session with you soon.

Best wishes

Sarah

Isn’t she amazing!

I might have helped kick start Sarah’s incredible transformation, but she’s given me (and I’m sure many others) so much inspiration and such a rewarding gift by sharing her photos and with her lovely words.

Details of my personal styling services (Including prices) here

Get to know me and my style on Facebook here

..& Instagram here

How To Be Confident

16 Sep

Treasure your health every day

“Your body is your instrument, and you have to take beautiful care of it. I do one hour of yoga and walk for 30 minutes every day. You really enjoy life a lot more if you’re healthy. And I never leave home without putting on lipstick—it makes me feel pretty!” – Esther Tuttle, 99

Defy expectations

“People have their own ideas about what a dancer should look like, and many times when I perform, the audience is stunned that I can move the way I do. I’m truly fortunate to be part of a dance company that accepts me for me. My hips let me do things on stage that skinnier girls can’t!” – Francine Ott, 29

Own the room

“Confidence has nothing to do with what you look like. If you obsess over that, you’ll end up being disappointed in yourself all the time. Instead, high self-esteem comes from how you feel in any moment. So walk into a room acting like you’re in charge, and spend your energy on making the people around you happy. Giving confidence to others will come back to you and you’ll end up feeling better about yourself.”  -Marian Seldes, 82

See more of these wonderful photos with great advice for “how to love yourself”,  from Shape magazines , “Confidence-Boosting Tips from Real Women Age 9 to 99” slide show here

Details of my personal styling services (Including prices) here

Get to know me and my style on Facebook here

..& Instagram here

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

Why I Do What I Do

29 Jul

When I first started this career, I had a very clear idea of what it was I wanted to do – I just wasn’t sure how to go about doing it or what title to give it. I decided on Personal Stylist after I thought that best described primarily what I do and nobody would find me if I called myself a Shopping Frustration Solver or Women’s Self Esteem Booster.

What I knew for certain was I wanted to help women feel better about themselves.  I wanted to help them improve their confidence and self esteem and I knew that I could do it (If I sharpened up my skills and gained more knowledge) through helping them to dress.

Certainly the fashion side of my job is important to me because I’m passionate about it, along with style and beauty – and clothes are the tools with which I use to help people feel good, but realistically what I do isn’t really about fashion and beauty at all, it’s about inspiring, guiding and encouraging women to be and feel the best they can.

I always knew a lot of women struggled with their identity, their bodies and aging – I was one of them, so I recognise the issues – but it wasn’t until I started doing this job, and spending time with different women, I realised just how deeply unhappy some people are with their appearance.

Often, a style consultation is so much more than trying on clothes. Sometimes personal issues are eating away at a person’s confidence and affecting how they see themself and they need to be listened to, understood and then reassured.

Recently I worked with a really lovely lady who I discovered during our time together, saw herself so differently to how she really was.  She was in her early fifties a mother of three grown children and she contacted me because she felt “frumpy” and because she felt she “had no style”.  She wanted me to take her shopping.  So we met and we wandered around, talking all the time about how she saw her current style, how she’d like it to be and how together we might achieve that.

Once we had a clear idea of how she wanted to look we headed into the stores to try some clothes on.  I got her to put on a pair of pants she would never have dreamed of trying by herself. She looked amazing. Even another shopper in the change rooms commented on how she looked.  She was tall and slim and the pants highlighted her figure beautifully.  But she couldn’t see it.  All she saw was the faults that she looked for every time she looked in the mirror.  When I asked her if she felt she was very self critical her eyes started to well up. She went on to tell me she was constantly given negative feedback by those around her, about her body and how she looked. She was like a little puppy that had been beaten. She was sad. It really affected me that she felt so poorly about herself. For the next hour or so of our time together we just wandered around the stores, chatting.  I made her try on several different things to give her a good understanding of what worked for her shape and to encourage her to sample different things, but the emphasis now was on making her understand how special she was and how she needed to tell those who made her feel bad about herself, how their comments were affecting her.  I got on the train to come home and I couldn’t stop thinking about her.  And I realised that this woman was not alone. There are so many of us who live with low self esteem.

So you see a Personal Stylist is what I call myself, but for me, it really is so much more than that.  My absolute focus and intention is to show each woman I work with how amazing they are and to help them to get the best out of themselves. Sure I do that with clothes, but I certainly don’t just enter a home, take measurements and tell you what you should be wearing. I listen and try very hard to understand each person’s issues, provide advice, ideas and encouragement. And that’s why I love doing what I do.

READ: “How Can I Help You? here

Details of my personal styling services (Including prices) here

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

..& Instagram here
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