I am writing this on April Fools Day.
My children are on school holidays and have been pranking each other (and me) all morning.
It’s very sweet seeing them concoct ideas that they think are hilarious, but also slightly annoying, so I’m now in a more sombre mood and ready to write a blog with a more serious note.
Those of you that have been following me for a while know that my mission is to build confidence in women. It saddens me that so many women feel so bad about the way they look.
They compare themselves to unrealistic images in magazines and on red carpets. Some can barely bring themselves to look in a full length mirror (even with their clothes on).
This lack of confidence around the way one looks isn’t restricted to over-weight people, people with large noses or fuzzy hair.
I see it everywhere, in varying degrees of discontent from women struggling to find the right thing to wear for an occasion, to women turning down invitations as they don’t have the right clothes to wear and feel the task of shopping to buy them is too daunting.
I wish what I do for women was available on the NHS to every female once they hit adulthood . That way, those that felt they needed it would have a guide, something just for them. A way for them to interpret fashion, a blueprint way of dressing that makes them look their best, but most importantly that makes them feel good enough (or even beautiful).
This would take years and years of stress and feelings of inadequacy away from those women who struggle with their personal image.
My style story
Before I trained to become an image consultant, I wasn’t always 100% confident in my skin.
I always loved clothes and shopping, even as a little girl but I didn’t really know why sometimes I felt confident, stylish and attractive and other times I felt dumpy, unattractive and a bit “try hard” from one day to the next.
In my early thirties I suffered a miscarriage followed by another traumatic pregnancy loss at almost full-term. I fell completely out of love with my body, It hadn’t worked in the way it should have and I was carrying excess pregnancy weight with no babies to show for it. My therapy was my mission to lose weight, get fit and healthy and try again.
Happily a year and a half later I was cradling my healthy son and forgot all about my appearance for a while, (or focussed on it less) whilst I doted on my perfect little bundle. Two years later I had another beautiful boy. I spent the next few years in a haze of happiness, near exhaustion and contentment.
As my boys started to grow and I started to regain my figure, I began to be interested in clothes and shopping again but I had no idea what mums should wear. I was never the type to go make-up free and wear jogging bottoms but I wasn’t sure what I wanted to wear anymore. I wasn’t going to work but I didn’t want to be the stereotypical harassed looking mum.
I went to get some help from an image consultant who gave me some direction. It helped for a while but for me, it wasn’t enough.
When I decided to set up a business so that I could work from home and be more in control of my hours, I thought back to that experience and wondered if working with women to get clarity and confidence around their style was something I could learn to do.
I recognised that the way that I felt that I looked on any given day would affect how confidently I behaved and that fascinated me. If I knew what it was about an outfit that made me look and feel so confident I could get it right all the time.
After lots of research I found the perfect woman to train me. She was at the top of her game and was one of the only people I found that offered one to one training. I didn’t fancy the idea of training with a group of women in a training room. If I was going to become an Image Consultant I was going to be a brilliant one.
My training was AMAZING.
As a part of the program I sat in the chair of a client and had everything analysed. I learnt things about my body, my colouring and my style that I had never seen before and that were wildly exciting. I was being given permission to wear bright bold colours and edgy styles. I learned why I wore certain pieces of jewellery really well and others were lost on me.
It was a life-changing experience.
My trainer made me work on model after model to ensure that I was confidently able to offer the right advice in the right way to different women.
And the best part wasn’t the transformation that I had undergone, it was the fact that I could do this for other women and make a huge difference to their confidence.
That was back in 2009. Since then I have helped hundreds of women through one to one appointments, mini workshops and through webinars and this blog as well as my annual live masterclass.
I have pages and pages of wonderful feedback with people telling me how this clarity around their style has made such a difference to their lives and that makes me feel happier than anything. (especially the lame pranks my kids pull on me!).
Can I help you too?
If reading about my style story has made you think its time to focus on your own wardrobe, please get in touch. We can have a no-obligation telephone consultation and see whether working together could be the right next step for you.
You can book your call by clicking here.
I’d love to hear from you.
Did you enjoy reading this? Then let's keep in touch!
I send out my popular Style Notes newsletter once a fortnight - it's full of my favourite tried and tested style tips to help you shine and feel at your best. Because it's not about what clothes you wear, it's about how they make you feel - and I believe every woman deserves to feel her very best, every day! Sign up below to join my mailing list - and you'll receive the next issue direct to your inbox.
Wow! Helen, I really feel moved by your openness and courage to share this piece. You are an inspiration! All the best on 16 May! Clover
Thank you Clover. x
Helen – you choked me up with this post. I’m so glad that things got better for you. I loved the way you describing the ‘permission’ to wear colours and jewellery etc – that was just how I felt after I met you, although it’s great to have a bit of reinforcement now and again;) Please keep up the good work – maybe, if each of us who learns from you can pass a bit of that knowledge to our daughters/nieces etc, one day you’ll be out of a job! (in the nicest possible way of course) x