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Body Beautiful: The Inverted Triangle

Here are a series of blogs I've written for the excellent Motherload team about the importance of dressing for your body shape...

Inverted-Traingle.png

Do you ever feel like your upper body is out of proportion with your bottom half? Do you have an issue with your broad shoulders? Are they wider than your hips? If so, your body shape is a classic inverted triangle (IT).

A frequent complaint from my IT clients is that they don’t feel their shape is feminine enough. The combination of dominating shoulders, a modest bust and narrow hips make them overly conscious of their lack of curves. These, I would argue, are all highly desirable qualities. Plus, if you’re an inverted triangle, the chances are you have cracking legs and toned arms.  

In terms of feeling your best and maximising body confidence, I would recommend following a couple of simple rules when buying clothes and getting dressed. It’s all about creating a body balance, streamlining the dominating areas and focusing on your assets. By softening your shoulders, drawing attention to your waist and adding weight to your hips you can easily create the illusion of some curves.

Here are some of my top tips and buys on the high street right now:

Tops

Never wear a sleeve that cuts you off mid-shoulder and focus on wearing tops with all the detailing around the middle so they draw the eye down. Ruffles, peplums and vertical features are all excellent choices. I love this frilly blouse, and this asymmetric top, both from Zara.

Jackets

Always remove shoulder pads (goes without saying!) and again focus on longer sleeves that streamline your arms. Cinched in blazers with detailing around the middle and waterfall draping are all extremely flattering choices. The wide lapels and feature pockets on this beautiful duster coat from Top Shop will draw the eye in and down:

Go get your hands on it

Skirts

Avoid skirts that are too tight as they’ll highlight your slimmer lower half. Go for anything A-line/fit and flair and accentuate your waist. I love this faux leather skirt from & Other Stories:

Dresses

Avoid anything that’s too tight and instead show off your waist and go for something with detailing and body at the bottom.  

The plunging neckline of this dress from & Other Stories, with its cinched waist and rounded hemline draw the eye in and down. It’s also the perfect Christmas party frock!

Likewise, the central vertical detailing on the bodice of this dress from Asos draws the eye in and the flaired midi skirt adds volume to your lower half:

Trousers

Best to go for wider, boot-cut or flared trousers and showing off a bit of ankle will accentuate the impression of curves. If you really want to wear a skinny jean, opt for something more statement like a faded denim to add detail to your bottom half. Pleated cropped trousers like these from Urban Outfitters are a great option:

Shoes

With slim legs like yours you can definitely put off strappy shoes of every description. Here are a couple of my favourites on the high street right now, a gorgeous pair with block heels and these amazing strappy ones, both from Office.

  

Get These Block Heels and Amazing Strappy Shoes

I dare any inverted triangle out there not to feel fabulous and extremely feminine in one or all of the above. Happy shopping MOLOs!

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Body Beautiful: The Triangle

Here are a series of blogs I've written for the excellent Motherload team about the importance of dressing for your body shape...

The Triangle.

If you’re a Triangle, the chances are your number one gripe is anything to do with your bum/thighs/calves/lower half. Here’s a quick recap on the key body traits of a Triangle:

• Your shoulder width is narrower than your hip width
• Your bottom half generally feels bigger than your top half
• You’ve got good arms, a slim upper body and a nice waist
• You tend to put on weight around your bum and/or legs

Sound familiar? Do you find shopping and choosing clothes that flatter your shape a real mood-dampening kerfuffle? Well, you’re not alone. All too often my clients bemoan the traumas of failed shopping trips and the evils of high street brands that make their clothes too small and their bums look too big. Here is the secret ladies: Shop with an understanding of what shapes suit you and the whole experience will become less stressful and more bountiful.

The key rule when getting dressed is to create the impression of an even top and bottom body balance. This means avoiding things like patterned and statement bottoms or anything that cuts you off at the widest part of your leg, be it your thigh, knee or calf. And adding detail, volume and attention to your upper half with structured tops and flowing fabrics that skim your waist and hips.

Here are some of my top tips and buys from the high street right now:

Tops

We’re talking statement patterns, collars, embellishment, halter-necks and boxy shapes. Even the humble shoulder-pad is your friend. I love this cute sweatshirt from Topshop.

Jackets:
Go for bell-shaped coats, double-breasted blazers that sit over your hips, waterfall detailing and not too much fabric as it can be swamping. This boxy coat from Cos is a perfect seasonal staple and best worn with the belt loose.

Kimonos:

If you don’t own one already I’d get purchasing pronto. They’re the perfect lightweight over-coat and can be teamed with a multitude of tops and dresses to give you extra bum-covering confidence. This one from Asos is great. 

Skirts:

The chances are you shy away from skirts because you’re not sure what style / length to go for. Keep them dark,simple and structured to give you a streamline lower half. Choose a low to mid rise cut rather than high-waisted. You can definitely can wear shorter skirts (a-line and pencil) but I would recommend teaming with dark tights or slight heels to elongate your legs. I love this wool skirt with front split from Crea Concept.

Dresses:

Again, focus on your top half with embellishment, halter-necks, collars etc. If you’re going to go short, choose an A-line cut. Just below-the-knee is also perfect for you but remember the dark tights/slight heel trick. I’ve chosen this beautiful maxi dress as I love the column shape and it’s the perfect silhouette to promote that golden body balance:

Trousers:

Dark trousers are best for you and I’d recommend structured and fitted fabrics that give some extra support. Always choose a mid to low-cut waist rather than anything that cuts you off at the slimmest part of your body, making your bottom half look bigger. Straight and tapered trousers are preferable to wide or boot cut trousers/jeans. I love these skinny turn-ups from Zara.

Shoes:

Stay away from anything that cuts you off at the widest part of your leg – ideally a shoe boot or a knee boot. A slight, wearable heel is always preferable as is a selection of nude shoes that elongate the leg. I LOVE these mules from Office:

Put one or all of the above together (give or take a skirt/dress/pair of trousers) and you’ve got the perfect outfit for your lovely triangular body shape. Treat yourself to a well-deserved break from the kids, go through your wardrobe and get rid of anything that doesn’t make you feel great. Focus instead on building up the items and staples that are perfect for your body shape. Happy shopping MOLOs!

Check out more from The Motherload: https://the-motherload.co.uk/body-beautiful-triangle/

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COLOUR IS YOUR SECRET STYLE AMMO

Right, here is it. One of the most important pieces of style advice anyone will ever give you: Get Your Colours Done. If you’re thinking a) reeeally? and b) what the bleep is ‘getting your colours done?’ read on and prepare to be amazed.

In a nutshell, Colour Analysis is all about establishing which Season you are and the colours you should be wearing to look your absolute best (there are 4 seasons; 30 colours in each). It’s about enhancing bright eyes, a clear, even skin tone, a sharp bone structure and an overall I’ve-slept-10-hours-and-slathered-on-the-touche-eclat glow. Sound too good to be true? Well, let me assure you; it genuinely, hand-on-heart, works.   

Ask anyone who’s already had it done. Some colours wash us out, others magnify our eye bags and a chosen range makes us look 10 years younger. The beauty industry makes billions out of people wanting to look healthier, less tired, more radiant etc. The simple trick that absolutely all of us should be doing is wearing the right colour palette to enhance our natural beauty.

As a stylist I realised fairly early on in my career that in order to dress my clients to look their absolute best, I needed to know which colours to put them in. Having always chosen colours instinctively, I soon realised that to understand the optimum shades to wear it was all a bit sciencey. It involves looking at your eye and hair colour, the undertones in your skin, the intensity of your features, and going through a draping process to determine which reds make you look jaundiced and which blues make you look reborn. Magic eh?

For the sceptics among you, let us flag an underlying concern. I agree; there’s a historic whiff of naffness to ‘getting your colours done’. For me it rings a vaguely embarrassing Hyacinth Bouquet-esque, head to toe in fuschia-magenta, memory alarm bell. I vividly remember doing a massive internal eye-roll when my mother suggested to the 15 year old me that I should go and visit her House of Colour lady to find out if I were more of a True Spring or a Clear Winter. I can still recall the mortifying horror of it all and my point blank refusal to do anything so deeply, deeply uncool. Ah, the arrogance of youth with our perfect dewy skin and our chiselled jaw lines.

Like so many things in life, I now realise how utterly spot on my mother was. The skin I have now is not the skin I had at 15. And in another 20 years it will have changed again, unlike our season, which blessedly remains the same throughout our life and amplifies in impact with age (hello perfect coordinated wardrobe of the future). It all just makes a little bit of practical sense. Think about any outfit in your wardrobe that washes you out and requires an abundance of eye-liner or a nail varnish that makes your hands feel grubby. Equally, think about one of your go to dresses that always attract the ‘you look amazing / have you been on a spa break?’ compliments. It’s not an accident; it’s all related to the colour you’re wearing and the impact it has on your face. Plus, once you know what Season you are, you’re armed with a fairly revelatory set of style rules that completely change the way you dress and shop.

So, for those of you up for a wardrobe/face epiphany, get your colours done. If nothing else it’ll make you think about what you’re wearing in a different way and give you the confidence to experiment with hues you would never normally consider. It’ll encourage mindful makeup application - should your blusher have coral undertones and your lippy a bluey-pinkness, or would the opposite bring out your inner goddess? So many discoveries to be had. Without a doubt, colour is your secret style ammo.  

Have a read of my other Huffington Post blogs here

 

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Mums: How to Dress Yourself Well

Here's a blog I wrote recently for the brilliant Peckham_Mamma's  Mother Of All Lists:

As a mummy and a stylist, I understand only too well how challenging that perpetual cycle of feeding/coping/exhaustion can be, without the added brain drain of figuring out how to look vaguely non-minging. Here’s a list of How To Dress Yourself Well from birth and beyond…  

Me and the wee man...

Me and the wee man...

·      Get some lovely feeding-friendly nightwear because you’ll be LIVING in them. Looking back at pictures of friends visiting my brand new baby, swear-to-God, did I not think about getting dressed? Thank Heavens for my vintage Sue Ellen-esque floor length teal number.

·      Get a pre-labour pedicure. All thoughts of personal grooming go up the swanny for a while so get your feet looking tip top. As you’re plodding around the maternity ward or shushing your baby to sleep for hours on end you’ll be silently congratulating yourself on having such glamorous toes.

·      When you’re a brand new mum you are 100% entitled to enjoy a bespoke set of fashion rules. Gone are the days of matching your clogs to your clutch: basking in a ruddy good shower and wearing a clean set of jerseys (even for 10 minutes) is the new Holy Grail of Fashion.  

·      Good scaffolding is essential when our bodies are so tender. Get yourself to a trained bra-fitters and invest in some decent nursing brassieres.

·      You are the Almighty invincible Mum Hero in your house now so how better to mark the occasion than with a gift. Send your partner some not-so-subtle subliminal ideas and mark your birth triumph with a lovely piece of jewellery to wear with your aforementioned nightie and toes and to make you feel great.

·      Once that initial fog lifts and you’re considering leaving the house, you face that feeding in public for the first time / I’ve nothing to wear wardrobe/confidence crisis. Fear not! You WILL get there. Top tips:

o   Vests: pull any top up and maintain tummy/boob dignity

o   Nice big scarves: forget those bibs /slings that make us feel like walking milk-me bovine

o   Big shirts/cardies/capes: I would drape mine over my shoulders and they worked a subtle treat

·      Throw on something nice. Not for the other mums at baby sensory or the postie, who might be your only adult contact that day. But for you. Yes, you’ve barely got time to brush your hair but the confidence boost a lovely outfit gives you on those knackered/hormonal/feel like crap days is invaluable. Looking good genuinely can make us feel better…

·      Don’t feel you have to succumb to the often-meagre maternity wear offerings of the high street. Admittedly ASOS has some amazing stuff and H&M do some lovely cotton staples but keep an eye out instead for dungarees, pinafores, draw-string dresses, off-the-shoulder smocks, cross-over jumpsuits and anything vintagy that is button down.

·      Human hip-opotam-arse: or is that just me?! Our poor bodies change so much after pregnancy and getting used to that mid-body spread can be a real challenge. Wearing over-sized and forgiving maxi dresses in non-clingy fabric is a great way of skimming curves. As are horizontal stripes and panels that draw the eye in.  

·      Mum tum: the new nemesis. My advice is to accentuate your bottom half with fitted jeans/leggings/awesome tights and team with bell shaped tops, dresses and jumpers. Crossover and regency-style dresses/tops that drop below the bust line are also great for hiding tums.  

·      New giant boobs. Wearing dark colours is an obvious slimmer as is wearing a fitted vest under dresses and jumpers to help create a more streamline silhouette. Big cardigans, open shirts, large overcoats and kimonos look ace draped over fitted tops and help to conceal cleavages that you’re still getting used to. I lived in a ‘70s leopard-print house coat when I was at my most curvy and made me feel so much more comfortable.

·      It is vital to retain your sense of self when you’re a mummy. I really struggled with that initial can’t-fit-into-anything-I’ll-be-wearing-this-cotton-sack-with-a-hidden-boob-flap-forever. You’re still you and wearing something that reminds you of that is a crucial mood lifter.

·      Confidence is key. So what if you’ve just walked through the doctor’s waiting room with your cheb out? You’re a mum and you’re awesome. So wear something that makes you feel fabulous.  

·      Apply the same taste principles when buying a changing bag as you would when buying a handbag, i.e. make sure you a) love it and b) would wear it, baby or not. I bought a lovely Marc Jacobs tote (not that spenny if you look hard enough) that will be used long after my son leaves home.

·      Invest in some awesome trainers. As someone who never wore them pre-babby, the minute I found out I was expecting, I bought some gold snakeskin Nike Air Max. It will make all those hours of walking both comfortable and stylish. Major life epiphany for me, thank you very much!

·      Wear lipstick or tinted balm. It takes two seconds to apply and adds a priceless brightening effect to the most exhausted of faces. 

·      Sunglasses: they’re as much a changing bag staple as Sudocream. Great for hiding eye-bags and making you look deceptively glamorous (even if you’re wearing PJ’s under your mac, which I did, often).

·      Get your colours done. And not in an ‘80s Tupperware party vibe of a way. It’s genuinely revelatory, enhances your natural complexion and makes you look less tired. You know those days when people keep telling you you look well? It’s probably because you’re wearing one of your best colours.

·      Practical style reigns. At home we’ll be spending the foreseeable running around choresville and getting down in the sandpit. That doesn’t mean you have to subscribe to a sensible mumiform. Who says we can’t go to the park in a velvet maxi (see pic above). As long as you’re not precious about getting covered in snot and mud keep it comfy and cool and never forget your individuality.

·      The Back to Work conundrum. The amount of mums who come to me with this crisis of ‘what do normal people wear’ confidence. More often than not it’s a displacement anxiety about leaving the nest rather than not knowing what suits them. Depending on the vibe of your office dress code, invest in some key staple items to build up a wearable and stylish capsule wardrobe that’ll make getting dressed in the morning so much simpler.  

·      We’ve all got difference styles, tastes and shapes but here are my top mum picks on the high street right now:

1.     Comfy, roomy and breastfeeding friendly: 

2.     I love a trainer with a touch of rose gold: 

Office, £84.99

Office, £84.99

3.     Up-style practical shirts with matching bottoms:  

Cos, Shirt £55 and Trousers £79

Cos, Shirt £55 and Trousers £79

4.     Experiment with button down vintage like this lovely dress from breast-feeding friendly Mummrah -  

Mummrah, £44

Mummrah, £44

5.     Hurray for the stylish and practical changing bags from hip mums Tiba and Marl - 

Tiba + Marl, £120

6.     Feed your baby / conceal curves in a stylish oversized kimono: 

Asos, £55

Asos, £55

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The Wearable Trends of London Fashion Week A/W 16

My latest instalment for the Huffington Post on LFW A/W16:

OK, so let's be honest. Who's going to be flashing their spanx in a sheer McQueen-inspired frock this Chrimbo? Or rocking a multicoloured fro as they pootle around Sainsburys? And I can't really see any of my most fashiony-mum friends rocking a muzzle on the school run or ANY of us hiding our Sunday roast bulge in a Violet Beauregarde-esque number (as ingenious as that idea is).

Gareth Pugh, David Ferreira, Ashish

Gareth Pugh, David Ferreira, Ashish

However, there are many, many other ways that we, the Greater Normal Public (GNP), can adopt and interpret the more wearable trends for Autumn/Winter. And what a delectable choice we have. From the stunning sequins of Preen to the gorgeous gowns of Emilia Wickstead; the drop-dead swoony dresses of Daks to the endless hipsta ensembles of Isa Arfen. Now, if you're a member of the GNP, chances are you're thinking, who the Hell are these people? Well, say I, let's unite in our ignorance, get real with how we need our wardrobes to work and figure out the best ways to pinch the wearable looks without pillaging our bank accounts.    

Here are the five most wearable trends for this A/W:  

1.    KEEP IT CLEAN

The catwalks have been rammed with a bevvy of minimalist and elegant shapes over the past week. A selection of block coloured beauties that are the most flattering, universal and stylish favour the fashion industry could have done us. It's a trend to suit all shapes, ages and lifestyles, so treat yourself to a few simple staples and I guarantee you'll be wearing them over and over. A quick trip to Cos or M&S will see you right.

1205

1205

2.    GRANNY CHIC 

This trend is nothing short of my personal Heaven. What could be better than comfy shoes, frizz-busting headgear and forgiving war-era frocks? It's all surprisingly un-fashiony, refreshingly vintage street-style and a look that's within most of our budgetary means. So, get down to your local vintage shop, have a good old rummage, put the kettle on and get channelling your inner Nanna. And for those of you who are thinking this is their personal Hell; pop a plazzy bag on your head and strut like you've never strutted before.

Christopher Kane

Christopher Kane

3.    COVER IT UP

Right, now we're talking. Picture the scene: winter is looming, our hips are spreading and the last thing we want to do is flash the flesh. So hoorah for the floor skimming, roomy as you like, maxi fantasti trend that is all over the catwalks. There's nothing more wearable than an oversized dress. It looks stylish, hides a multitude of sins and suits all ages. For those of you thinking you're too short or curvy to pull this off, pop on some comfy block heels or cinch in the waist with a belt and own the look with confidence. Zara and & Other Stories do some great maxi staples for now and before you know it the High Street will be heaving with options.

Molly Goddard, Emilia Wickstead, Edeline Lee

Molly Goddard, Emilia Wickstead, Edeline Lee

4.    GIRLY SHMIRLY

This trend's a bit 80s, a bit grunge, a bit tough and a lorra girly. That's right; sequins, velvet, big boots, epic ruffles and puffed sleeves. And how exactly is this wearable, I hear you guffaw? If we strip it all back and adopt the fundamentals, we can up-style even the most floaty Laura Ashley of outfits with an anti-girly-yet-girly trend. Just add some leathers, boots and attitude. If you throw in the occasional sequin you'll basically be owning A/W.  

Isa Arfen, Preen (Centre)

Isa Arfen, Preen (Centre)

5.    EXCESSorize    

We're talking bags, shoes and jewellery all in hyper silly overdrive. Think pom pom sling backs, slutty stilettoed bunny mules, retro arcade backpacks and fried egg handbags. The take home trend here is about having fun with your outfit add-ons and letting even the daftest found-it-in-my-parents-loft/lived-for-it-when-I-was-13 rule.  On a more serious note, and a personal favorite of mine, is the plethora of lovely neck bows seen on the likes of Temperley and Peter Jensen. Get yourself a bit of ribbon and add it to any outfit to rock da look.  

Temperley London, Anya Hindmarch (top), Clio Peppiatt (bottom

Temperley London, Anya Hindmarch (top), Clio Peppiatt (bottom

There we have it. Five hot-off-the-catwalk trends that will be all over the High Street in a handful of months. Will you be getting involved? Is their wearability the embodiment of #Fashion4All? As a rule, and in direct contradiction to me writing this blog, I don't tend to follow trends. In fact, as much as I love the beauty of a good Fashion Week, I find the notion of following a specific set of fashion rules that change at regimented points throughout the year totally bizarre. Of course it makes sense economically and it's a great way of picking up a few seasonal staples, but for the everyday individual should getting dressed not be more instinctive? Wearing clothes that make us feel good rather than ticking off a fashion forward check-list? Picking our outfits, as I do, based on how we're feeling that morning? 

So remember, while we're all having fun experimenting with the Big Five above, let's cherish this trend above all else: Dress with confidence and embody the creative empowerment at the very heart of London Fashion Week.

#Fashion4All

 

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How Do We Make #Fashion4All?

I've recently started blogging for the Huffington Post's UK Style Section. Throughout February they have been running an amazing #Fashion4All campaign, championing inclusivity and diversity in the fashion industry. Check out my article here:

Fashion is and should be for all. But for many of the people I know and work with, fashion - and specifically this month's embodiment of creative ingenuity and flamboyance, London Fashion Week - is about as relatable and relevant to their everyday lives as nipping to Mars for a quick charcoal facial. 

Why is that? Fashion is a multi billion-dollar industry that filters down from catwalk to high street informing almost every clothing purchase any of us have ever made. Fact. London and the UK are forerunners in style innovation, our talents spotlight us around the world, and we have produced some of the most exciting design talent adored by the global glitterati in years; JW Anderson, Christopher Kane and Holly Fulton to name but a few. Fact.  

Yet the conundrum is, and the real Fact remains, that to the average - fashion conscious, I might add - Jo/Joe on the street, the industry feels like a totally remote and intimidating Other World. I regularly ask my non-fashion-but-interested-in-fashion friends and clients (who are being styled and therefore have an interest in looking lovely) why that is? Their resounding reply is a cacophony of 'Who'd wear that on the tube? Thin people! Fashion androids! A world a million miles from my own.'

 

Whilst we all secretly enjoy lusting after the aspirational lives of the rich and famous, watching Suki, Cara and Kendall fall out of clubs and flirting with the fantasy that we'd be their perfect fourth wheel, it is critical that we strip back all the circus and understand exactly how fashion is and should be for all.

First and foremost, fashion is about confidence. You look good, you feel better. And anyone can own that, not just a size zeroid strutting down a catwalk. In fact, some of the most insecure people I've ever met are models. And some of the most lovely, accommodating and mindful are designers. Everyday I see the most insanely stylish people owning it around Budgens, the post office, the park.  Some with a pram, others with a walking stick. Not because they're dripping in couture but because they're oozing confidence. 

Fashion should be a statement, a coat of armour that shouts, loud and proud, I'm here and this is me. You just need to put yourself first every now and again, spend a bit of time making the effort to look your best and feel confident in your body, whatever shape or size you are. 

Take my 75 year old mother-in-law, for example, who was visiting recently and would snort with laughter if she heard me describe her as a fashionista. She appeared one morning in a bobby dazzler of a twin set from M&S, a dash of lippy and to me became the embodiment of style and confidence. We are lucking enough to live in a country with the most incredible high street, a high street that is a direct representative of the beautiful collections that we will see wafting down the catwalks of London over the next week. 

Furthermore, fashion should be viewed as a kind of visual therapy. A tool with which to help us feel better. For many of us, however, watching models prance around the Fashion Weeks of the world does the opposite, compounding our own shortcomings and feelings of insecurity. But that isn't the correct understanding of Fashion. LFW may be the showcasing of an essence of an industry but that world filters down and works in so many other, wonderful and empowering ways.

Over the past few years I have worked with some truly exceptional people who understand and embrace the true and inclusive meaning of fashion as therapy. These include a young woman adjusting to life with a colostomy bag, women suffering from post-natal depression, post-operative women recovering from chemo and mastectomy surgery, and another with such acute psoriasis she would never consider showing her limbs, even through tights. For these people looking good wasn't an option for so long; too paralysed were they by body dysmorphia. And yet all experienced a turning point when the power of a good outfit gave them a critical boost to their confidence, self-esteem and sense of wellbeing. What could be more inclusive and enabling of fashion than that? 

So on the eve of LFW with all its Other Worldliness, let us hold onto the fundamental feel good power that radiates down from those catwalks, across all of our lives and remember that Fashion is for One and All.

 

For more information and more articles visit http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/anna-shaw/

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Retail is Therapy.

The expression ‘retail therapy’ exists for a reason. Shopping has genuine health benefits and is scientifically proven to improve your physical and mental wellbeing. Here’s how:

1. It’s a mood lifter

We’re all familiar with that lovely boost you get when you buy something nice. Without doubt, shopping is associated with a sense of achievement; it’s a rewards-based experience that releases endorphins. All three conspire to give us that all-important psychological lift. Research proves that the effects of shopping are directly linked to the part of the brain connected to pleasure and positive thinking. One study has even found that just thinking about certain items in your wardrobe can give you a confidence boost.

2. It lowers stress levels

At its very essence, shopping with a friend or with someone you trust is all about social interaction. Connecting with people and having any kind of bonding experience is scientifically proven to give us a sense of belonging, to improve our mood and reduce stress levels. To those who are reading this and thinking that shopping is the embodiment of STRESS, I can guarantee that a styling experience tailored to make you feel better is a certified stress buster.

3. It’s empowering

Dressing to impress works. We all know that first opinions are made in a matter of seconds. Various studies verify that success levels can be directly linked to the psychological affects of what one’s wearing. I myself used to dress up for exams at school and uni. It made me feel more confident and unquestionably helped boost my performance. Looking your best goes hand in hand with doing your best.

3. It facilitates a New You

Shopping can be a rich source of mental preparation. As people shop they naturally visualise how and where they’ll wear the items they’re considering. In doing so they’re also playing with the idea of a new (more confident/successful/attractive?) them. As many great athletes will attest, visualisation is a bonafide performance booster and anxiety reducer. 

5. It counts as exercise  

Let’s face it, as much as we often can’t be bothered, moving makes us feel better. Debenhams recently tested ten shoppers with pedometers and surveyed 2,000 female shoppers to calculate the health benefits of a shopping trip. It found that the average person could lose up to a 400 whopping calories in one trip. Shopping = exercise = mood boost.

So, there you have it. What we wear can genuinely make us feel better. Clothes that evoke positive feelings, generate positive reactions from others, or that remind us of positive experiences, can make us feel happier. My advice is to invest some time and energy into you. To Dress Yourself Well, no matter how low, knackered or harassed you’re feeling. It could be just the right amount of TLC needed to give your mood that vital lift…

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Everyone Needs Inspiration

I'd like my first blog post to be a bit of a shout out to this phenomenal charity: Look Good Feel Better. For over 20 years they've been helping women with cancer around the world to feel better on the inside by giving expert guidance on how to look good on the outside. I will never, ever be able to thank them enough for the help, support and confidence boost they gave my mum at a critical and particularly gruelling stage in her chemotherapy.

The afternoon she spent with them back in 2009, learning how to draw on lines where her eyebrows used to be, how to affix lashes where she used to have her own and how to even her battered complexion with makeup tricks, will always be remembered as a joyful oasis in a desert of months and years of illness and pain. They reminded my mum that she was a person and not just an illness and taught her how to feel beautiful again. And for that I will be forever grateful.

It was also a turning point for me because at that moment I decided that I would use my skills to help others feel better about themselves, starting with my mum. I tried to volunteer with the charity but they only really needed professional make-up artists. So what could I do to help? If you've read my 'About' page you'll know the rest is history. As a fashion producer and stylist it was at that moment that I decided to change my career and work with people who needed a genuine confidence boost that would begin on the outside and have the most extraordinary impact on the inside.

If you or any woman you know is suffering with the physical effects of cancer I implore you to contact LGFB. It will be a game changer. Thank you again for your stunning work helping my mum become my mum again and thank you for helping me to realise the path that I was truly meant to be on.  

http://www.lookgoodfeelbetter.co.uk

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