Tagged as: what styles to wear

A session with a personal stylist will boost your self-compassion

boost your self-compassion


Self-acceptance is the foundation of self-esteem – so the saying goes.. or the foundation of self-compassion which is the new buzz word to use instead of self-esteem. Self-esteem has tinges of narcissism and comparison about it apparently, whereas self-compassion enables you to see yourself (and others) as a flawed human being on a journey who will make mistakes and has some good and some less good attributes, skills and qualities.

Regardless of the terms used, the concept is the same, which is that you have to be at peace with yourself both physically and mentally and able to accept your personal attributes – both good and bad. In relation to your personal appearance this could be an acceptance of your height, your overall body shape i.e. short legs, rounded shoulders, large boobs, no boobs and so on and your colouring; red hair, freckles, blue eyes, no hair, grey hair etc etc

So many clients that I see confess that they hate a certain part of their body or that they wish they were taller or that their hair hadn’t gone grey, that it wasn’t so curly, that they didn’t need to wear glasses and so on and on. If people were fundamentally accepting of their appearance they would feel happier and more confident to face the world as instead of railing against how they looked..a negative view- they could take steps to address what they feel to be their physical shortcomings – a more empowered and positive step. Such an example would be “I wish I didn’t have short legs, I feel like I look dumpy all the time and that my legs look like sausages”  contrasted with “I can see that I have short legs compared to other people around me – how can I make the most of the legs that I do have?”  Positive steps to take would then be to find out how to make legs look longer either by browsing online for tips and information, reading in magazines or coming to see a personal stylist whose sole aim is to give you guidance to make the most of the body and colouring that you do actually have.. not the body that you would like to have but the one that you have.

Speaking from my own experience – having a colour analysis done when I was in my mid-20’s helped me massively with my self-acceptance/self-compassion as I learned about the different looks that humans present with; soft and light or bright and deep etc and saw how and why anyone could look fantastic once they understand their own colouring and how to make the best of it. Now I understood why I didn’t look very good in black or bright colours and why my best friend did, but also crucially how I could make myself look just as good as her but in a different way by wearing sludgy and muted colours with similar makeup colours. It was this initial colour analysis session which set me on the road to complete (well almost) self-acceptance of my physical  appearance. If I didn’t like this or that about myself there were tools and tips I could use to make the most of myself.

Don’t believe what I’m saying? I guarantee that a colour analysis or style analysis will boost your self-compassion about your physical appearance.. whatever your age, race, gender or background it can only be a positive thing to understand how best to dress based on your colouring and body shape.  Using this information you will start to be more at peace with your physical appearance as you will be certain that you are a) accepting of yourself and b) making the most of yourself as you are.

Follow up

For any questions about this blog or to contact me to find out how I could help you dress well call 07500 443974. If you like this blog please share with your friends and/or comment and to get regular updates on  what to buy and how to wear it please like my facebook business page and subscribe to my monthly newsletter on my homepage.

Seven Seasonal Trends for the Savvy Shopper for Autumn Winter 2017


autumn 2017 fashion trends

Jacket Next

So it’s most definitely that time of year when I give you my recommendations for the key items to buy from the high street for the coming six months to ensure you look stylish and modern without wasting money on here today gone tomorrow trends.  The weather has most emphatically become autumnal and it’s time to drag out the coats, boots and scarves and get ready to face the winter with our best foot forward ..hopefully in a red boot!!

First up, is a long sleeved floral midi dress. They look great with trainers and bare legs whilst you can bear it and then with tights and ankle boots as the mercury starts plummeting. Layer with a leather jacket right now and with a polo neck and coat when necessary. Favourites I’ve seen are from Hush, Dorothy Perkins, H&M, FCUK, Ganni and Zara. They will work though autumn and winter and into the spring and early summer and again for next autumn and winter. Ensure the colour you buy suits your complexion.. there are a plethora of dresses with florals on a black background.. if you are anything other than very dark haired go for a burgundy or navy-esque background.

autumn 2017 fashion trends

Dress Hush


Next, red is abounding as the colour of the season particularly visible on coats, shoes and boots. I personally think bright red boots could be a here today gone in February kind of trend so would advocate going for red in a more subtle shade such as burgundy instead. Burgundy or versions of this shade are always stylish so it makes sense to play into the trend with a classic colour that will last years instead of months. If you do want to invest in some red boots M&S has a very attractive ankle boot with kitten heels for £50.


autumn 2017 fashion trends

Boots Very


Sock boots in a rainbow of colours  are also having a moment. Seen with both skyscraper heels and kitten heels they are available everywhere including Zara, Topshop,M&S, Kurt Geiger and Aldo. Invest in a lower heeled pair as you will get more wear out of them and don’t spend too much. I have bought a navy pair from M&S but go wild and buy a coloured pair which will definitely put some zing into your wardrobe.No need to spend more than £30-£40 as they are only made of fabric. Look great paired with midi dresses and skirts, cropped and full length jeans.


autumn 2017 fashion trend

Boots M&S


Slogan t-shirts and sweatshirts have been prevalent for the last little while. Hush has a fantastic collection especially when worn with their range of lounge pants which plays into the Athleisure trend without much effort required.
The sweatshirt shown here is my favourite of their offerings. As long as you buy your slogan top in a flattering colour you will wear it throughout the season and into next spring and beyond as its so easy to pull on and wear with any kind of trousers, jeans, skirts and shorts.


autumn 2017 fashion trend

Sweatshirt Hush


Pleated midi skirts show no evidence of disappearing so if you haven’t already it is most certainly time to invest in one. Available everywhere – Next has a very good range this autumn as does M&S. Look great with both ankle boots, court shoes and trainers. A useful item to your wardrobe which can be worn year round.


autumn 2017 fashion trend

Skirt Next

High cut court shoes a la Victoria Beckham also show no sign of going away and are available everywhere . Even if you don’t lead a court shoe kind of life they do look great with jeans and a top & blazer or leather jacket for a night out. Great pairs available from M&S, Next, Zara, Topshop and most major retailers. No need to spend a fortune unless you are going to wear them for work but I would recommend investing in a pair as they are very of the moment and will lend a modern twist to your existing wardrobe.

autumn 2017 fashion trend

Shoes Kin at John Lewis


Finally, a round cross body bag. Most certainly a trend but a cross body bag is always useful.. go larger if you will be using it for day and smaller if just for evenings.  Don’t spend too much but definitely invest in a coloured one and wear to lift any outfit. Great options in most retailers. This one from Cos I really like.

autumn 2017 fashion trend

Bag Cos


Possibly all seven trends are not your cup of tea but investing in just one or two won’t break the bank and will lift your current wardrobe to new heights!  If you haven’t already, I highly recommend investing in 3 perennial classics; leather biker jacket, white trainers and cropped wide leg jeans. Year round useful and here to stay and stay!

autumn 2017 fashion trend

Happy shopping!


Follow up

For any questions about this blog or to contact me to find out how I could help you dress well call 07500 443974. If you like this blog please share with your friends and/or comment and to get regular updates on  what to buy and how to wear it please like my facebook business page and subscribe to my monthly newsletter on my homepage.


Not so corporate headshots!

not so corporate headshotsnot so corporate headshots



Having met Lindsay Wakelin  a local Colchester based photographer at a networking event a couple of years ago we decided to set up a joint collaboration whereby she would offer not so corporate head shots for women looking for something a little different for their websites and social media personal profiles.

As part of the not so corporate head shots package I would work with the client to work out what colours and styles they should be wearing ready for the photo shoot ensuring they looked their very best for the photo shoot.

As part of the process of moving forward with this initiative we did a photo shoot where I was the model and tried out a variety of head shots and full body shots wearing clothing that made the most of my colouring and body shape but was a little different from the traditional corporate head and body shots.

The below photo is one of the head shots from the day and is now the head shot on all my social media profiles. It’s clearly me but a little different from a usual head shot  and using a handbag nicely links in with my profession.

not so corporate headshots


Our joint collaboration will allow women to have a head shot taken to show the real and authentic them which is different and better than a traditional corporate head shot.

Lindsay is very experienced, professional and welcoming and immediately puts you at ease before and during the photo shoot.If you have a look at this link to her blog about our collaboration you can see various examples of different head and body shots to give you some inspiration.

As part of the head shot package I am offering a bespoke colour and style analysis service along with outfits compilation. I will come to your house prior to the photo shoot and discuss what colours and style clothing and accessories you should be wearing and why and help you choose some outfits ready for the photo shoot. This will typically take around 1.5 – 2 hours and will include a colour chart, style cheat sheet and several outfits compiled from your own wardrobe to consider for the photo shoot. All this for only £95.

Lindsay can also arrange for you to have your hair and makeup done on the day of the shoot so that combined with your carefully curated outfits you will look and feel photo ready.

In fact the photos don’t even need to be for any particular work reason…why not have some photos ready to mark a special occasion, a big birthday, retirement, change of career, promotion or just because you would like some great professional photos taken of yourself combined with a bit of advice over what clothing suits you best.

A photo shoot could be an amazing experience giving you photos to treasure. Whether you would like not so corporate head shots or full body shots or both Lindsay is more than happy to oblige.


Follow up

For any questions about this blog or to contact me to find out how I could help you dress well call 07500 443974. If you like this blog please share with your friends and/or comment and to get regular updates on  what to buy and how to wear it please like my facebook business page and subscribe to my regular newsletter on my homepage.


Capsule Wardrobe Tips – Invest in a denim jacket


One item of clothing I recommend to ALL clients when I’m sorting out their wardrobes, giving them capsule wardrobe tips and compiling a shopping list of key items to invest in is a denim jacket. It works for everyone; young or old; skinny or curvy, classic or romantic dresser. It’s an integral part of a summer wardrobe and can be worn year round. If you don’t have one – I highly recommend that you invest in one and here’s why…

  • It goes with everything… .colour, neutrals, patterns, plains, florals, stripes, metallics….denim is the ultimate neutral – just as jeans are. Who wouldn’t want a jacket that will go with absolutely everything in your wardrobe? My tip would be that if you are fair or redhead go for a mid blue colour and if you are brunette or darker go for a dark blue or indigo wash.


  • They are inexpensive. My current denim jacket is from the Gap outlet shop at the Braintree retail outlet. It cost less than £25. I wear it year after year throughout the spring and summer meaning that the cost per wear is down to pennies. This is the mark of a great and useful of clothing within a capsule wardrobe. There is definitely no need to spend any more than £40.


  • They keep you warm. Unfortunately, this is critical during a British summer. An ideal item to take on your holiday abroad too as they are perfect for before and during the flight and can be balled up in a bag once you land in warmer climes and will look as good as new once you shake it out.


  • They work with all styles of clothing; maxi skirts and dresses, knee length (or shorter) dresses and skirts, shorts, trousers, palazzo pants,jeans..whatever you want!  One word of warning…if you do do double denim just check in the mirror before you go out that the double denim is working as there is a fine line between looking good and looking like an aging rocker!


  • A useful item for layering in the spring and summer underneath a sleeveless waistcoat, gillet or leather jacket.


  • A youthful look for all ages without running the risk of looking like mutton.


  • Can get in a variety of colours and washes – there will be something for everyone. The most versatile colours will be a mid or dark blue in a standard wash.. these will stand the test of time and trends. If money is less of an issue then by all means invest in a denim jacket with ruffles or embroidery but prepare for it to be out of fashion within the year.


  • They wash well and will last for years. I find mine wear out and get all faded long before I have tired of them.


  • It’s best to buy a size smaller than you are as the snug fit is the look you are after and it’s unlikely you will be wearing it done up.As long as it fits on the arms it’s definitely best to go down a size. The trend right now is for oversized styles but this is a passing trend so I would always recommend the snug fit than the slightly baggy to oversized…within a few months it will look odd.


Other places to source a classic and inexpensive denim jacket right now would be:

capsule wardrobe tips

Gap Denim Jacket £39







What to wear now – Latest Fashion trends for Women – Spring Summer 2017


latest fashion trends for women

Shirt Top Shop

latest fashion trends for women

Trousers Net a Porter

So now it’s finally the first day of spring, the days are lengthening, the flowers are coming out and we can definitely smell spring and eventually summer just around the corner. Could it finally be time to throw off the winter coats, boots and thick tights and turn our attention to what to buy for the coming 6 months? Let’s hope so!

There is a plethora of information in magazines, online and in daily mailshots from retailers and industry blogs about what to buy and wear now so here’s my quick and easy guide to navigating exactly what the latest fashion trends for women are right now.

My advice is to just pick and chose a couple of trends that you like, that suit you, your body shape and your style preference and lifestyle and focus on them. No need to access every fashion trend…just a few key pieces that give a nod to current trends to mix and match with your current wardrobe..maybe a gingham shirt, or a bomber jacket or a floral dress. There is every permutation of option available combining multiple trends..tread carefully with a gingham skirt with a ruffle peplum down the bias or a gingham off the shoulder top with ruffles or bell sleeves as that screams right now and won’t stand the test of time… If you do want to go for the full Monty with an item don’t spend too much money..such a trend led item will be here today and gone tomorrow.

Buying into only a couple of fashion trends updates your look, shows you are aware of the latest trends but stops you looking like a fashion victim.


Fashion trends still going strong from last year

latest fashion trends for women

Bardot top – Net a Porter

Shoulders out. Be it cold shoulder tops, bardot or off the shoulders tops and dresses. A multitude of options are out there…particularly in cotton type fabrics as shirting is having a moment right now.


latest fashion trends for women

Shirt Zara

Florals. On anything and everything and floral embroidery also a big trend right now. Available widely on the high street.


latest trends for women

Bomber French Connection


Bomber Jackets. H&M do a great and inexpensive range in a multitude of colours.


latest fashion trends for women

Cropped Trousers M&S


Cropped trousers. Be it jeans, trousers, culottes.. they are everywhere and continue to be very versatile..how did we cope without them? I am living in my cropped jeans and trousers right now.


latest fashion trends for women

Shoes Boden


Block heels with ankle straps.  Look particularly good when paired with cropped trousers and jeans as it draws your attention to your slim ankles



Latest fashion trends for Spring Summer 2017


latest fashion trends for women

Skirt Topshop

Gingham.Everywhere  in tops, dresses, skirts, trousers..you name it you can get it in gingham right now. Try Topshop and Zara for excellent ranges.


latest fashion trends for women

Skirt Topshop

Ruffles. In every colourway, permutation and location including peplums, on shoulders, on the back, on skirts on sleeves… Definitely an option for a romantic style preference. Widely available on the high street.


latest fashion trends for women

Shirt Topshop

Shirting. All manner of styles and patterns but if you get a gingham one with bell sleeves and a few ruffles on it you are bang on trend. Available all over the high street. Wearing button up shirts back to front with a shoulder showing has been all the rage among the fashionistas but for us lesser mortals just stick to wearing your shirt the right way round.

latest fashion trends for women

Top &Other Stories

Bell sleeves. On tops, shirts, blouses, dresses. I particularly like the offerings from Finery and Zara. I think whilst the sleeves look good they are not particularly practical so think this will be a short lived trend.


latest fashion trends for women

Trousers Net a Porter

Paper bag Trousers. Otherwise known as high waisted trousers with belt or some other form of gathering at the waist. Not for anyone carrying weight on their tummy – better left to those with defined waists. M&S and Next do a good range.


latest trends for women

Mules Topshop


Mules. Flat and heeled. Available everywhere. Boden has a good selection of flats. Topshop and Zara both have an electic range of heeled and flat versions.

latest trends for women

Ballet flats Sam Edelman


Ankle ties on shoes. Particularly ballet flats. Some high end versions from Chloe are being endlessly copied. I particularly like these Sam Edelman ones.

latest trends for women

Shoes Whistles


High cut toes. Mainly on court shoes. Continuing its range of excellent and affordable shoes M&S does an excellent range as does Whistles.


So there you have it – my quick whip around current trends for women for the coming season. I personally don’t like gingham, florals or ruffles as I have a Classic Natural style preference but will definitely be getting some paper bag trousers as I am hour glass shape and they will show off my waist and all of the shoe options. I always find it easier to add trend led items to my wardrobe by buying current style shoes. Also no need to try on in the changing room or post back if it comes in the post but doesn’t look like I thought it would.

If you’re not sure what trends to go for based on your body shape and style preference please get in touch to arrange a personal shop.


Follow up

For any questions about this blog or to contact me to find out how I could help you dress well call 07500 443974. If you like this blog please share with your friends and/or comment and to get regular updates on  what to buy and how to wear it please like my facebook business page and subscribe to my regular newsletter on my homepage.