5 Benefits of Wearing Colours That Suit You

   

cropbennirasI have been an image consultant for 10 years, it was the first business I ever started back in my late twenties. I was drawn to it through a love of colour, and of course clothes! Having ginger hair growing up made it trickier to pick colours to wear but luckily my mother had her "colours done" when I was about 10 so she was able to help me pick clothes that suited me, as we are the same colouring. I didn't really care about it at that young age but certainly appreciated it as a teenager discovering fashion. As a result I grew up loving wearing light bright colours.

I find that the clients I meet often have one or two colours they stick to or might even just stick to the safer option of neutrals. They want to experiment with colour but are not sure where to start with the vast array of choice in the shops.

There are some amazing benefits of wearing colours that suit you and some disastrous effects of wearing ones that don't....

The wrong colours can:

  • Make you look ill, sometimes even jaundice
  • Make you look older (God forbid!)
  • Completely over power you, so that you get lost behind them
  • Wash you out
  • Create dark shadows and lines across your face, and highlight blemishes
  • Give the world the completely wrong impression about your personality

The good news is the benefit of wearing colours that suit you are:

  • You look healthy and radiant
  • You feel great and your self confidence grows
  • Colour is an expression of your personality so you can really feel like "you" in the right colours, and people will pick up on that
  • You look younger (just this weekend I got asked by two separate people at a party if I was studying at uni.....err I am 40 next year!)
  • You naturally stand out, not in a showy look at me kind of way (unless you want that and wear dramatic clothes to create that), but in a way that people notice you simply because you look so good. So great if you are single or looking for a new job!

You can learn what colours suit you though a colour consultation. A 1-1 session takes about 1.5hr, we'll be sitting in front of a mirror and I will drape different colours over you. We'll start off by assessing your natural colouring to work out the best types of colours for you and then I'll show you a whole range of colours that will look fantastic. You can wear any colour, it's just what shade, clarity and undertone you pick so don't worry I won't be telling you that you can't wear your favourite colour....unless maybe it's black, which is not most flattering for everyone. I will give you options though on how to wear black in the most flattering way if you want to keep wearing it.

What is really fun is to get a group of friends together to do this. It lowers the cost and you learn from watching each other having it done too.

I carry out 1-1's in the Brighton and Hove area but happy to travel for group sessions, as far as London. Please contact me to find out more! [email protected]

Have a colourful week!

Louise x

A Few Spring Trends 2014 & Tips How To Wear Them

  daffsI love this time of year when the days are getting longer and signs of warmer sunnier weather are here. The shops are filled with lighter, brighter clothes and we can soon think about leaving our winter coat at home.

I am going to meet a client tomorrow to go through her wardrobe to have a good clear out for Spring and assess what top up's she needs for the new season, to go with what she already has. It's a really good thing to do before going out shopping as it saves you money ensuring you only buy things you need. Also we often forget about things we have tucked away in there from last year or so. Just this morning I discovered a blouse in my own wardrobe I had nearly forgotten about :-)

The clothes in the shops this Spring are really pretty, gorgeous pastel colours, floral prints, sheer fabrics and interesting details. Following are a few of the main Spring trends 2014 and tips on how to wear them:

Pleats - pleats can be really flattering as the vertical lines with lengthen and slim. Great with a belt around the waist for a dress and a high waistband with a skirt. Good for disguising the hip area if you feel like you need to!

Pastels - if you have very deep colouring, i.e. dark brown - black hair then be careful of wearing pastels on their own by your face as they could drain you. Instead contrast them with a dark colour, find a top with light and dark colours in or just wear them on your bottom half and a stronger shade near your face.

Pink - you'll notice all shades of pink in the shops this Spring. Make sure to pick the correct shade and tone for your natural colouring. If you have warm golden undertones then a salmon or coral pink is going to be better than a fuchsia or baby pink which are better for those with cool colouring.

Florals & birds - prints are everywhere, especially of the pretty variety. With pattern taken into consideration your height and scale, for example if you are very petite then go for small prints, the taller and bigger bone structure you are the larger the size you can take. Small prints will make you look bigger if your natural scale is large and huge patterns will drown you if you are very petite. You will also see lots of artistic style prints, like paint strokes, same rules apply when choosing the scale of the print.

Sheer - I love sheer blouses for Spring time, they still give you that cover up when it's not yet warm enough to be bare armed but still feel nice and light after winter heaviness. Wearing a bandeau bra top or a vest underneath will help if you don't like to feel too exposed.

Sculptured - If this is all a bit to pretty for you and you prefer a more sleek, masculine style then you might enjoy the sculptured trend, where the lines of the clothes look like something an architect may have designed. Rather than pretty prints and lots of details, the lines are smooth but creative, perhaps a skirt with a dramatic flick at the end or a top with some folds of fabric down the side. The shape and form are the details rather than prints and embellishments.

Bomber jackets - this is THE jacket of the season, and there are some really lovely pretty feminine ones around.

Sporty  - bright colours, slogans, funky trainers, metallic touches, this is not a casual look but think more glam with a sporty touch.

White - white looks best on those with cool colouring, if you have more yellowy/ golden undertones then cream is going to be much more flattering.

Metallics - there are lots of lovely soft metallics around, I especially love them in shoes, bags and jackets. Go for gold if you are warm toned and silver if you cool undertones.

Warrior Woman - think gladiator styles, structured pieces, hardware, chain mail, black, bronze, khaki, browns. Great for warm deep colourings, for example like J Lo. The structured tough look this gives is great if you have an angular structure body line but if you are more soft and curvy it won't be the most flattering look for you. For curves think soft fluid cuts and fabrics, but you may like to wear some gladiator sandals if you fancy a bit of this trend.

If you'd like some help in discovering what will suit you, sorting through your wardrobe or going shopping please do get in touch. I travel up to London to do this so it's not limited to Brighton. [email protected]

Enjoy the Spring!

Louise x

 

 

 

New Trends In The Shops This Autumn

  Being a bit of a beach lover I am loathe to start to say the summer is slowly drawing to a close but if the weather is anything to go by this week Autumn is creeping up around the corner. The good news though is that there are lots of lovely new clothes in the shops right now to keep you warm and looking fantastic. Here are a few of the new trends in the shops this Autumn for women:

PINK

Quite an unusual colour for the winter months pink will be shaking our wardrobe up this winter. Personally I love a change from all the dark, winter colours. There will be a range of shades so make sure you pick the one that best suits your natural colouring.

THE SKIRT

Alongside with the femininity of pink, skirts are also going to be plentiful. Mainly you will find longer lines like knee length and calf skimming although there will be a few minis around too. One thing to consider when picking a length, is where the hem line cuts across your legs. Where ever you place a horizontal line you will shorten and/or widen that area. So if your legs are short be careful to find a skirt that ends around the knee (which is a flattering length) or shorter. If you have chunky calves then avoid a skirt that ends right across the widest part.

CHECKS

Tartans and checks are a big pattern this season. When you choose a print take into consideration your personal scale, that is your bone density and hight. If you are very petite then small fine prints will be the best size for you, whereas if you are tall with a larger bone structure then you will be able to take the larger prints which would completely drown someone very small.

METALLIC SHOES

I love these! Such a great was to jazz up an outfit by wearing gold or silver shoes, even in the day time. I love my gold trainers! Remember Gold if you have warm tones and silver if you have cool undertones.

VINYL

Perfect for wet days, vinyl mac and dresses.  Be aware that anything bright, light or shiny will make an area look bigger so be careful how you wear it!

ANIMAL PRINTS

I almost didn't include this as every winter animal print is included in the trends list. Will we ever get tired of it? I don't think so. Each year it evolves a little and this year we will be seeing a whole variety animal prints like dalmatian, pony, croc, tiger and snake.

FLORALS

Flowers have been big this summer and continue to be through out the winter, in a more moodier darker form. I am loving the femininity of this winter.

FEATHERS & SPARKLES

Feathers are a lovely touch for party dresses and outfits this season, a nice change from the obligatory sequin (not to put then down, I do love a sequin!). There is also still the trend for embellishment and sparkle but a bit more toned down this year. Think just subtle shimmers on clothing rather than full on disco ball.

September and October are great months for hitting the shops for your new season's wardrobe, just before the Christmas mayhem kicks in. If you would like some help working out what will suit you best or a hand shopping please do get in touch; [email protected]

I am also running a colour day in my flat in Hove on Saturday 28th September, an opportunity to come with a friend (or on your own) and learn all the colours that will be most flattering for you to wear. Having your colours done in a group is a really useful way of learning how to notice the impact the wrong/ best colours have on you whilst watching each other. Please let me know if you'd like more details.

Many thanks,

Louise x

5 Spring Cleans to Welcome in New Energy!

  It's that time of year where we are all starting to wake up. I know I am feeling this for sure; sunshine, a bit of warmth and suddenly I am filled with more energy and inspiration. It's a time for new beginnings, being in action and creation.

It's also a perfect time for a spring clean, but not just of your home. Spring cleans are the perfect opportunity to clear out the old stuff, with stale stagnant energy that no longer serves you, to make room for the new.

Here are my top 5 re-energising spring cleans that are great to do around this time;

1: Email Junk

How much time do you spend in the morning sifting through emails you don't actually read. Have you signed up for newsletters and updates that no longer interest you any more?

Make a list of the sites you read regularly, that you find interesting and stimulate your mind.

Then un-subscribe from the rest. Yes it may take a little time but think how much simpler your inbox will be in the morning plus you know that the emails you do get will actually be of interest.

2. Ex Junk

Do you still have his/her stuff hanging around the place? Do you still have text's saved just in case you want to look over them one more time? Are you still getting a running commentary of their life via Facebook? If this is causing you pain bin, delete, hide. Get rid of their stuff, as hard as it is to rip off that band aid once it's done you will be freed up to get on with your life, mentally and emotionally.

I read somewhere recently that people find it harder to deal with deleting ex's from Facebook and longer to get over because they could still search for them and view their profile anonymously. The article recommended blocking them so they don't show up in search results either.

The sooner you can clear the junk the sooner you can get over the relationship and move on. Enlist the aid of a good friend if moral support, and maybe wine, is needed!

3. Toxin Junk

Is your body jumpy and irritable from too much sugar, caffeine, or alcohol? Are you feeling bloated from consuming foods and drinks that disagree with you? Is your sleep broken and are you constantly feeling tired?

Then maybe it's time for a spring detox! Now I am no expert on detox's but from my experience cutting out caffeine, sugar, alcohol  wheat, diary and meat can leave you feeling amazing. My sleep improves, I have less cravings, I feel slimmer and emotionally balanced.

Out of all of those sugar is hardest for me, it's so addictive. Once I have gone through a few days though the cravings do lessen. It helps to replace that chocolate fix with something healthy, so you still feel like you are eating something. Seeds are a great snack, slow release and tasty of you sauté them in a bit of soy sauce and chilli.

Research, ask what has worked for friends, speak to a nutritionist (I can recommend you mine)  and find a detox that feels right for you.

4. Old Clothes Junk

We change over time, who we were 10 or even 2 years ago will have evolved. Some of the clothes in your wardrobe will no longer feel like "you". This often happens when we go through major life changes like having a baby, coming out of a relationship, getting married, relocating, starting a new career and so on. Our values shift, what is important to us changes.

Now is a great time to look through your wardrobe and ask yourself is it a true reflection of who you are now? Try on things you have not worn in a while and honestly review if they really are "you"still. Are you hanging on to them out of sentimentality?

Ditching old "stale" clothes will make room for clothes that reflect your new energy, the person you are now to shine your light into the world.

I've been busy recently helping my image clients with this, it's such an empowering and releasing exercise to do. It can also feel quite overwhelming and daunting, if you feel like you need some help please do let me know; [email protected]

5. Habits Junk

How healthy are your habits? Do you have habits that serve and support you in living the life you love or hold you back. To explore this I suggest for the next couple of days noticing what your habits are, what you do regularly without consciously thinking about. May be there is a habit that you have been wanting to shift for a while, Spring's new energy is a perfect time to do this.

It takes 21 days to build a new habit, so the trick is to think of something new, something healthy, that will positively replace your unwanted one. Then with all your will power do this daily for the next 21 days. after this time it will get easier.

If you have no habits to release, then it could still be fun to consider are there any new habits that would support you in what you want to achieve. A few healthy habits could be things like:

  1. Getting out into the fresh air every day
  2. Experiencing mindfulness daily, for example sitting outside and just watching the birds/ the sea/ a flower. A few moments of completely being in the moment.
  3. Meditation
  4. Regular exercise
  5. Fruit every day
  6. Telling someone you love them each day
  7. Planning to do something that will make you smile each day
  8. Prayer
  9. Writing down what you are grateful for each day
  10. Writing a diary

The list could go on and on! Find one that feels good for you.

Harness the energy of spring to make these changes in your life and embrace the "new" it brings towards you!

Enjoy the sunshine x

 

 

What's In The Shops This Spring

  Spring is only 5 days away.....yes that's right, on 20th March is the Spring Equinox. Hoorah! Personally I can't wait to get out of thick heavy winter clothes and into some prettier feminine outfits. There are lots of lovely new clothes in the shops right now, lots of different colours and styles to choose from. Following are some of my favourite ones to look out for:

mint dress Mint

This is one of the seasons big colours. It will look great with anyone with light colouring. If you have darker colouring and still want to wear it, teem it with black to create a contrast.

I love this dress from Anthropologie, it's the brighter end of the mint spectrum.

 

 

Purity291199-52-1

Designers have bought back a clean pure minimal feel to clothes to replace lots of the fussiness over the past few seasons.

This dress from Reiss is a perfect example, it's also in mint but at the lighter end of the shade.

This style is perfect for those people that don't like lots of accessories, detail and fuss. Just pure simple style.

 

ginger dressPatchwork

Completely different from minimal is the patchwork style, the mixing of different fabrics, textures and colours. When used cleverly this is a great style to cover up any lumps and bumps you wish to hide! It does not have to be over the top as you can see in this unsual dress from Anthropologie, who are fantastic for unusual and pretty pieces.

This is a great light options for someone with Autumnal colouring, team it with a brown cardi or pick out one of the green shades.

 

 

jacketThe oriental jacket

This is a fantastic jacket to wear with simple summer clothing, it will jazz up just a pair of jeans and a vest top perfectly. Look out for boxy shapes and mirror detailing like this one from Monsoon.

I also love this more glamorous one from French Connection.

Statement jackets really can make an outfit, they are especially useful for meetings and those chillier Spring/Summer days.

 

 

boots

Cowgirl!

Yep cowboy boots are back in fashion, yee ha! They are so perfect for festivals and look great with dresses/shorts.

These ones from Kurt Geiger will be really flattering as they have that all important V at the front and back which elongates and slims your legs, plus the taupe colour will be kinder on pale legs rather than black. Perfect!

 

 

Also.......

Floral Shirts

Flowery shirts are an easy way to lighten up and bring spring into your wardrobe. They'll look great with faded jeans or denim shorts.

I love this one on My Wardrobe by Hermoine de Paula

The Pencil Skirt

The pencil skirt is back with a vengeance, it's so great for hour glass shapes who like to show off their curves and if your body line is straight. Ted Baker have some great ones, they also have a few pleated skirts which are still fashionable from last year. You can see the whole range via this link.

As you can see there are all sorts of styles to choose from, eclectic, minimalist, festival chic, colourful, feminine.....the most important thing to do is to choose what feels right for you. Clothes are a way of showing the world your personality and how amazing you are, when you do this you will feel amazing and shine.

Enjoy!

xxx

7 Tips for Bringing Some Colour into Your Wardrobe

Image ConsultancyOne of the things that people know about me is that I have a love for colour and that I am passionate about encouraging people to wear beautiful colours that really make them shine. Whilst neutrals have their place in your wardrobe,  colour is what will really make you stand out, look healthy, vibrant and show your personality. Over the years of being an image consultant I have learnt that it is common for people to shy away from colour, preferring to stick with the easy and safer option of black or other neutrals. People tend of feel a bit afraid of colour mainly because they are not sure which colours suit them or how to put an outfit together that goes. Often people have certain colours they stick to, that are easy to grab when they are rushing round the shops and don’t often branch out to try new ones. If that sounds like you don't worry, you are not alone!

PLEASE NOTE - I am not against black! Black looks amazing on certain colourings and can really create a striking image. Unfortunately on other colourings it can over power and drain the colour from your face. If this is the case for you then focus on wearing a colour by your face and stick to black on your bottom half.

As there are so many lovely colours in the shops for Spring I have compiled my top 7 tips to wearing colour to help you out if that is something that feels a bit daunting to you:

1. You do not have to match your colours. This might be a bit shocking for some people but it is ok to clash colours or just wear colours together without neutrals in between, it is actually more up to date to do so. Matching shoes with your clothes with your eye shadows can look a little twee and out of date.

2. A dress is a really easy way of wearing head to toe colour. If you are not sure how to wear colours together then make it really easy for yourself and go for a dress!

3. To build your confidence around wearing colour experiment with some accessories to start off with. Shoes, scarves, handbags and necklaces are a great way of doing this.

4. If you have not had your colours analysed yet, which I recommend doing as it makes it all so much easier, then really assess the colour when you are looking in the mirror. Ask yourself does this colour make me look alive, vibrant and amazing? If not then it’s probably wrong. You never want a colour to detract from your natural beauty, change the colour of your skin tone, show up dark circles and lines or make you look washed out. This season there is a mix of very bright shades and more soft pastel colours, if you have soft low contrast colouring brights will over power you so instead go for the softer muted shades.

5. Light and shiny colours reflect the light which means they can make you look bigger if you wear them on an area you are not comfortable with. Dark and matte colours absorb the light which is why they can be more slimming. This is why people feel safe with black, although it is not only black that has this effect it’s any dark matte colour.

6. Watch where your colours break on your body. Where an item of clothing ends it will create a horizontal line across you, horizontal lines shorten or widen an area if you are not careful. This is also why people like to dress head to toe in black as it creates an uninterrupted vertical line which is lengthening and slimming. This same effect can be created with any colour though; you just have to blend your colours so you don’t have any horizontal lines ending on your widest parts.

7. Set yourself a challenge, the next time you go shopping ban yourself from going for your usual colours and try on some new ones. Only allow yourself to buy something if it is in a colour you have not worn before and looks great when you try it on. Then see what happens, often when people I have helped have started to wear new colours they start to get compliments from people or they simply feel a shift in their confidence/energy that day when they are wearing something different.

Often after having a session with me, and experimenting with new colours, my clients report how many complimentary comments they get from their new clothes. When a colour suits you perfectly you will naturally stand out with out having to be the most loud or confident person in the room. You simply are going about your everyday business but people notice and remember you which is fantastic if you are aiming for a promotion, looking a partner or networking for your business. Knowing you are looking great also helps to boost your own self confidence levels from within, you look in the mirror and like what you see. This creates a shift that will spill over into your how you move your body, speak and your actions.

If you'd like some help with knowing which colours will really suit you please get in touch. I offer 1-1 colour consultations and also group colour parties. The group sessions are a great excuse for a girlie get together and it's really helpful to learn from watching each other have your colours analysed.

Have some fun with colour and notice the difference it creates!

photo

Show The World How Fantastic You Are

  Do you dress to show the world how fantastic you are? You know, all that great lovely warm stuff about you; like what you are good at, your loving characteristics, your playful side, your creative flare, you loyalty, your courage?

Or do you dress to hide something away? To shrink away from the limelight.

Many people I meet to discuss their image and how to make the most of how they look do the latter. Their main focus is hiding their bottom, their thighs, their tummy, their chest, the list goes on.

Most of the time when I ask someone to tell me something they like about them self they get a stuck.

Many of us are so used to looking in the mirror and focusing on what we don't like that is all we see and that makes it exaggerated. People always think they look a bit bigger than they actually are.

How about this year doing something completely different?

How about this year choosing to just focus on what you like about yourself?

Then show this to the world.

We all know that people make assumptions about you in the first few seconds of meeting you, which is largely based on your image and body language (followed by how you speak, only a small per cent is the actual content of what you say). If you are hiding yourself away how are they going to know how fantastic you are?!

Consider the times when it could be important to make a great first impression;  a few examples are networking for business, dating, wanting to step up your career ladder or make new friends.

I am NOT saying you need to dress to conform, wear something that does not feel comfortable to you or be head to toe in high fashion.

What I am saying is celebrate your greatness, dress in a way that feels totally authentic for you not based on a need to cover up or hide away.

Look in the mirror and focus on only what you like about yourself, dress to draw attention to this.

Grab a pen and paper to make notes on the following;

  • Write 3 qualities you love about yourself
  • Think of someone who loves you, write 3 qualities they love about you
  • Think of someone you have worked with and write 3 qualities they like about you
  • Think back to a time when you feel really good about yourself, write 3 words to describe how you were feeling, what you were saying to yourself.

Looking down at your pad these words are an expression of who you really are. Pick the top 3 you are drawn to the most, that you really feel represent your true self.

Next consider how you could show these qualities through how you dress. A few suggestions are:

Fun - bright colours, fun jewellery, quirky accessories.

Creative - mix matched colours and patterns, individual vintage, hand made pieces, unusual make up.

Friendly - softer colours are perceived as more approachable where as anything really contrasting (eg black and white) or really high fashion can be perceived as more powerful so could give off the impression of being less approachable. Yellow and orange are seen as friendly colours.

Loving - red, pinks, flowers and heart shaped accessories or patterns.

Confident - bold patterns and colours, statement pieces, high heels.

Have fun with this and enjoy fully expressing yourself. Remember like attracts like so if you are really showing the world your true self you are likely to attract people like yourself into your life.

Louise x

PS If you'd like some extra help with your image, learning what colours and styles will really suit you and how to express yourself fully please do get in touch! [email protected]

Learn to Accept Yourself

  Over the past 8 years of being an image consultant there are three common things I have noticed that we humans often to do at least one of when looking in a mirror;

1. We focus on the bits of ourselves that we don’t like

2. We think we look bigger than we actually are

3. We have a tendency think we are not good enough

Most of this is to do with comparing ourselves with others. We notice other people’s good bits and revert back to thinking about our perceived “bad” bits. The bits we don’t like about ourselves we look out for in others and they always seem to look better.

For example if you don’t like your bum, you will be constantly checking out everyone else’s behinds to see how they compare to yours. However if you are happy with that area you probably never look!

Ultimately people are so concerned with how they look they probably won’t even notice the parts you dislike about yourself.

I am often surprised to find when I ask my clients to tell me one thing they like about themselves, many struggle. Even when I have met people with model looks there is always something not right.

What if you were to purely focus on what you did like?

We are all different, we all have our own unique beauty……after all wouldn’t it be dull if we all looked the same?! Attractiveness is purely subjective, what I may find beautiful may not be your cup of tea.

Could you imagine the chaos if we all were attracted to the same things?!

Plus it’s not just about how you look, it’s the way you move, the way you speak, your personality and also your chemistry with who you come in contact with.

By truly accepting yourself you learn to appreciate all your great bits, make the most of who you really are and stop all that negative self-talk that just puts you down.

You are amazing, inside and out. Other people know this; it’s time to appreciate it yourself.

My mission for you this month is to;

1) Whenever you look in the mirror pay attention to what you like about yourself.

2) Ask yourself “how can I draw attention to the bits I like?” You can do this with colour, make up, hair, extra details, lines of clothing, having that area on display (for example your legs or arms) and so on.

3) Every time someone says something nice to you, accept the compliment (we have a bad habit of dismissing compliments sometimes!) and if this really is a challenge for you write it down as well. Collect compliments and refer back to them when you are feeling low! To learn full how to make the most of your body, wear the most flattering styles and colours for you please contact me at [email protected]

The Power of Colour

In my earlier post this month about What is Reiki? I detailed the different energy centres called Chakra's we have running through our bodies. Each Chakra has a different function or effect on our body, mind and emotions. For example our heart chakra links to how open our heart is to give and receive love, how we are around relationships and how compassionate we are. There is a colour associated with each Chakra and you can utilize these colours through what you wear to bring your attention to what area you would like to focus on, heal and express to the world. Using the example of the heart Chakra, wearing the colours green or pink, especially around your heart will help to heal and open your heart to love. Rose Quartz, Aventurine and Malachite crystal pendants are perfect for this.

Following are a list of the seven Chakra's, their corresponding colours and how to translate them into what you wear:

1. Root - Security, fear, survival, grounding and physical energy. Brown or Red. Brown is psychologically seen as a very grounding earthy colour. Wear red to overcome fear and demonstrate your power and self confidence.

2. Sacral - Action, sexuality, peace and creativity. Orange for creativity, peace and energy (action) and Red for sexuality.

3. Solar Plexus - Emotion, power, wisdom and action. Yellow is well known for being a happy colour, try wearing a yellow top and be miserable! People tend to react positively when they see someone wearing yellow, it's a natural response.

4. Heart - Love compassion, life force and relationship. Green and Pink. Pink it well known for romance, femininity and love.

5. Throat - Self expression, creative energy and sound. Blue, it's such a calming colour and turquoise is great if you are in a situation where you want to ensure you communication is clear.

6. Brow/ Third Eye (inbetween eyebrows) - Intuition, intelligence, light and telepathy. Purple is seen as a spiritual colour, also as one of royalty. Amethyst is a great stone to wear to calm the mind, remove headaches and help you sleep.

7. Crown - Spiritual vision, enlightenment and positive energy. White for it's purity and it's perceived links with spirituality.

 

 

Ditch The Mirror!

  Over the past couple of months travelling around India I have hardly seen myself in a full length mirror, there have been a few days with out even seeing what my face looks like! My experience of this is that it is really liberating not having a clue what you look like. You get up in the morning, put on the clothes you feel drawn to wearing and then for the rest of the day you fully forget what you look like. You feel how you feel inside rather that letting what you see you look like on the outside dictate how you feel.

Sometimes it’s easy to look in a mirror and focus on what you don’t like. I know this is common as for the past 8 years being an image consultant most of the clients I meet do this. I have also toured UK conducting style consultations in shopping centres and when I ask people to tell me one thing they like about themselves they often get stuck. They can of course tell me what they don’t like.

Then you get stuck on what you don’t like and that is all you focus on.

Of course it’s easy when you are travelling to not have to care to much what you look like. Back at home going into work is a different matter. We need to create a good impression and show that we care enough about ourselves and our career to make an effort. However it is easy to get caught up in looking in the mirror way more than we really need to.

We check ourselves out when we go to the toilet, in shop mirrors, in passing windows, in hand mirror and so on. Is this really good for us? It can become an obsession, focusing so much on how we look on the outside and thinking that has something to do with how good a person we are, how we compare to others and how confident we feel in our self.

 

How we look is not really who we are. Our ego (or mind) gets attached to our body, what shape it is, how thin it is and we start to define ourselves through how we look. But our true Self is what is inside. Happiness, contentment, peace, self confidence all comes from with in. Just not looking in the mirror so much will help to detach from thinking too much about how we look and thinking it makes us who we are.

I am not saying we ditch mirrors altogether, like I said above there are times when we need to create a good impression and also making the most of how we are naturally does help to raise our self confidence. I just think it’s about getting a balance. Dress in a way that you know suits you and then minimize checking a mirror so often. Just try it and see how it feels.

 

I am going to be out of the country until June 2012, if you have any questions about image at all or would like to book something for when I get back please email me on [email protected]

Dressing for your face shape!

Yes you read it correctly, dressing for your face shape not your body shape. Of course dressing for your body shape is crucial if you want look your best but we are not going to focus on that now. Wearing the right neck lines, accessories, frames and hair styles around your face will also work to compliment you and enhance your features. First of all sit yourself down in front of a mirror and assess what your overall face shape could be; is it oval? Square? Long? Round? Heart? Or diamond?

If you can’t work it out exactly don’t worry, sometimes we can be a bit in-between. Just try and work out a rough idea.

Then take a look at your actual facial features to see if they are more angular or contoured? For example do you have round or more almond shape eyes (almond is more angular). Do you have sharp cheek bones or more rounded softer cheeks? Is your nose angular and pointed or does it have soft curves?

Here are a couple of examples;

Angular
Round

Once you have worked out for face shape and features consider overall does your face have more angles or curves?

If you get stuck try on a V neck top and then a round neck to see which really defines your features more.

The lines that you wear around you face will be most flattering if they match the natural contours of your face. To put quite simply if you have angular facial features then you need to wear angles around your face such as V and square necks, pendants instead of necklaces, angular glass frames, peaked lapels and straight hair styles. If your face is more contoured then round necks, softer frames, hairstyles with waves or curls, rounded lapels and accessories will flatter you.

This is advice to help you to look your absolute best and really define your features, of course you can still look fantastic in a top in the perfect colour and style for you but with the wrong neck line, it really is the finishing touch though. The wrong neckline, hairstyle or glass frames can impact how you look and detract from you looking to your best. For example if you wear a round neck when you have angular features you lose definition to your face, a rounded face with dead straight hair can look bigger, square earrings can look off set if you have tumbling curls and soft features.

What you wear around your face is crucial as that is what people are looking at the most when they speak to you. It is called your triangle of influence. So it is good to be most careful with the colours, styles and shapes you wear around your face to ensure you always look amazing.

Business Wear Check List

It’s easy to be a little unsure what is totally appropriate for work or not these days with businesses having a more flexible approach to work wear. Unless you are told you have to wear a suit it can be a bit confusing as to what you can and can’t get away with. Whatever the dress code you are likely to want to project a fantastic professional impact, to stand out and get noticed by your boss. A great professional impact is when the style of your clothes is appropriate, in good condition, looked after and fit you properly.

Following is a helpful check list from Aston and Hayes (where I trained as an image consultant) to find out if your clothes are an asset to you or a liability:

A

B

JACKET
Does your jacket fit properly across the back of your shoulders?

yes

no

Is there 2-3cms of fabric spare at the side of your torso?

yes

no

Are there any obvious creases or stains?

no

yes

Is there any puckering or fabric sheen caused by dry cleaning?

no

yes

Are there any loose buttons or threads?

no

yes

SKIRTS
Is your skirt long enough to cover your knees

yes

no

Does the fabric pull or gape anywhere?

no

yes

TROUSERS
Can you slip your hand easily into your waistband

yes

no

Are your pockets or pleats gaping or pulling?

no

yes

Does the hem rest on the top of your shoe?

yes

no

SHIRTS & TOPS
Are your shirt collars and cuffs pristine?

yes

no

Are you showing too much cleavage?

no

yes

Does the fabric pull anywhere across your bust or torso?

no

yes

Are your tops long enough to avoid showing your midriff?

yes

no

KNITWEAR
Does your knitwear have any bobbles or pulls?

no

yes

Shoes & Hosiery
Are your shoes in immaculate condition?

yes

no

Are your tights free of snags or runs?

yes

no

 

TOTALS:

Now count up all your A’s and B’s. A is the most appropriate wear to create a professional impact so if you have scored lots of A’s you are doing well! If B was your higher score then it might be a good time for a wardrobe weed to sift out the clothes that don’t work so well anymore and create a key items shopping list to build a fabulous working wardrobe.

Contact me for more details: [email protected]

New Year, New Image Resolutions

  It’s the time of year when everyone is making New Year’s resolutions so I thought I would come up with a few suggestions for getting dressed in 2012! 1) Be Yourself. It’s great to get inspiration from others but then use that to dress exactly how you feel, show your personality, dress to suit your body shape. Whenever we try to fit ourselves into something we are not it can end up feeling uncomfortable and not right somehow. You are amazing just the way you are, dress to show that.

2) Try a new colour. It’s easy to get stuck in a routine of wearing the same colours most of the time. For example many people I meet say to me “I only ever wear black”. Make 2012 the year you experimented with a new colour! Be brave, try one out and see how you feel.

3) Try a new style. As with colour it’s very easy to get into the habit of grabbing the same styles of clothes. Often when I take people shopping I will pick things out they would never have thought of trying and then find themselves pleasantly surprised when they see themselves in the mirror. So next time you go shopping, just take a bit of time to experiment, you never know what you might find!

4) Before springtime plan a wardrobe clear out. It’s the task we often put off month after month but once it’s done you feel fantastic for doing it. Getting rid of clothes that don’t work anymore or remind you of past times you would rather forget is extremely cathartic. It makes way for new energy to come into your life, plus any new purchases! 5) Wear lipstick for a week. If you don’t normally wear lipstick just try out for fun wearing it for a week and see how it feels. No hidden agenda or reason.

6) Try a new hairstyle. As we see on all the makeover shows hair and make-up really make a huge impact. Your hair can dramatically change how you look. If you have had the same style for a few years, how about trying something different for 2012. Again, just for fun! If you really want to treat yourself, go see Jamie Stevens at Errol Douglas in Knightsbridge. He is the hairdresser on Gok Wan’s TV shows and X Factor.

7) Try a new exercise. Exercise makes you feel good inside and out. Whether you don’t do any at all or are stuck in the same routine, try something new this year and see how it feels. I love Zumba and Hot Yoga, both totally lift my spirits and put me in a fantastic mood! When you feel good this shines out.

Happy New Year!!!