When I first start working with a new client and ask how they are feeling about their current style, I often hear some variation of the following:
‘I used to love clothes and fashion but since I’ve gained weight/got older/am menopausal, I feel lost. I can’t wear what I used to wear. There is nothing in the shops for me these days and now I just feel frumpy’.
They then go on to point out the areas of their body that aren’t ‘right’ any more. Those parts that make them feel self-conscious, without noticing all that is gorgeous about their beautiful bodies.
I see this even more often in my Facebook group. As new members join the group, they tell me what they want to learn about. And I keep a list. And each week, I take one of the concerns and talk about it in my weekly live. But the other day, I was looking at my list, wondering which to pick and I had a lightbulb moment.
I realised that many women believe if their stomach was flatter, boobs were bigger/smaller, legs were longer etc, etc then they would feel more style confident. Shopping would be easy and life would be good.
I’m sure that in reading this you can see where I’m going. And I also know that you need reminding of this from time to time.
Great style and feeling super confident in your outfits is so much more than having long legs, a flat stomach and all those potentially out of reach things.
Your style is the bigger picture. Not one part of your body that you aren’t that keen on.
In fact, dressing in a way that doesn’t draw attention to your tummy is just one teeny part of dressing for your body shape. There is so much more to it than that.
And dressing for your body shape is just one of the four key elements of style that determines how to dress to make you look and feel amazing.
So today, I want to educate you (or remind you if you’ve forgotten), on what great style really is. And how it’s different for each of us. And how, when you find your version, you can quickly and easily dress for any occasion, look like the best version of yourself and feel bloomin’ fantastic. Then you stop thinking about your tummy, or your legs or whatever you think it is that holds you back. And start living a bigger, bolder and more fun life.
the four key elements of style (and the secret to stylish dressing for everyone!)
Before I list out the elements of style, I need you to know that I see style as a puzzle. This puzzle has 4 pieces. And although each piece needs attention, when they come together they make up your unique and fabulous style. It’s not enough to just know your colours, or how to make your legs look longer. Each piece plays a part to determine whether an item of clothing, or a full outfit works well for you…or not.
On top of this, one or two of the puzzle pieces will likely be more important for you than the others. When you know this, your style ‘rules’ become easier to work with, because you know how to flex them and have fun with them. I believe style should be easy and joyful – not a rigid set of rules to live by.
The first element of style is colour. This is where you learn how to spot the colours you love but that also love you back. These are the colours that literally light you up, cast a gorgeous glow over your complexion and that make you happy. Colour Analysis is how we determine your best shades and tones of colour as well as your best light and dark neutrals. When you have this information about yourself, you can apply it to clothing, make-up, accessories and even your hair colour.
2. dressing for your shape
The lines that your outfits make will either be super-flattering for your figure or be accidentally making you look bigger, shorter, wider, thinner than you’d like. When I support a client with dressing for her shape, we look at whether she is top heavy, bottom heavy, or evenly balanced. We look at the lines of her bone structure and apply that to the necklines, sleeve-lengths, top and jacket lengths and cuts and shapes of her clothes and accessories. Right down to the shape of the toe of her shoe. I also give tips on fabrics, textures and prints that will work and which to avoid.
3. clothing style
This piece of the puzzle is often, for many of my clients, the one they had no idea was a ‘thing’. Your clothing style is made up of the ‘looks’ that suit you best. We work out your casual style (which for some still needs to be quite smart!) right through to their special occasion looks (which for some still needs an element of dressed down!). My concern is that you always look and feel like you, rather than dressing up as someone you are not. You need to feel that your outfits ‘fit’ and not just in the size sense.
The 4th element of style is Scale. Your personal scale is determined by your physical size but is also massively impacted by your style (see point 3). The more drama you have in your style, the bigger your scale will be. The more classic or girlie, the smaller your scale will be. I have a special algorithm to help you to work this out. This helps you to pick out prints, jewellery and details on clothing that’ll enhance your looks rather than be a distraction or make you look less gorgeous than you truly are.
As I said earlier, one or two of these elements of style will be the most important for you to stick to, because they make the biggest difference. And this also (hopefully!) demonstrates why your true style will be so different to your friend’s style. Or your sister’s, or your colleague’s style. Which is why getting your style advice from those around you isn’t always helpful!
is it time to discover your true style?
Are you ready to discover this for yourself?
I know it can all sound a little overwhelming at first glance… But when you understand what’s right for you, you’ll have that knowledge with you for life. You can stop wondering and experimenting and getting frustrated when you are shopping for a new outfit or getting dressed for an occasion. You’ll have the tools and you’ll know where to go and what to try.
If you’d like my help in discovering this knowledge for yourself, I’m running a fantastic event soon where I can support you in your journey to looking and feeling fabulous.
Over the weekend of 17th & 18th September, I’m co-hosting The Body Love & Style Retreat alongside Body Love Expert, Harriet Waley-Cohen.
Harriet will help you transform the way you feel about your body and massively increase your confidence on day 1. Then, on day 2, I’ll share the secrets of the 4 elements of style. You’ll be primed and ready to focus in on what you really want to wear that’ll make you look and feel more gorgeous.
We are going to go deep and have a lot of fun along the way. I’d love to see you there!
Click here for the full details, and to book your place. We’re currently offering an early-bird special where you can bring a friend along for half price. This special offer is only available until 12th August, so you have just over a week to take advantage.