Tagged as: what colours 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.

What to wear for Xmas – parties, drinks and the big day itself!

Party or day wear

Having just given a talk about Xmas dressing at the Lifehouse Spa in Thorpe le Soken at their Pamper & Sparkle Xmas event I thought I’d write a seasonal blog to sum up what I said about what to wear for Xmas  which hopefully you’ll find quite useful.

In essence there are two main areas of Xmas dressing…. party wear and lounging around in the house wear.. In general parties tend to be in the evening so it’s dark with lots of candles and fairy lights twinkling. It therefore makes sense to mirror this “twinkliness” with some sequins or glitter or sparkle on your clothing. Christmas dressing is most definitely the time for texture on your clothing…be it velvet, fur, sequins, chiffon or anything else you fancy…velvet is having a big moment right now and whilst it can look great.. if you are anything more than slim be mindful that it can add bulk and structure to your frame.

Lounge wear or anytime you are at home either chilling or entertaining does not mean it’s time for a onsie..obviously comfort is key but try a loose dress or jumpsuit for Xmas day so that you looked pulled together but still lots of room for tummy expansion after you have eaten your body weight in Xmas dinner and festive chocolates! Pair with some metallic jewellery and heels or shoe boots – high-ish if you can stand it…lower if not.. you’ll inevitably kick them off during the day!


Festive colours

In terms of colours to wear.. if you are very dark – black is always a good and safe bet. However, why not push the boundaries a bit and go for pine green, fuschia or royal blue. If you have lighter coloured hair and eyes then try pink (there’s a lot around this year), navy, soft burgundy, silver or grey. If your colouring is warmer copper, gold, navy,forest green  and brown are all good options. Having looked around the shops online and IRL I think there are a multitude of options in all colour ways which would work without having to go down the usual black root. Places to look include H&M (their forest green sparkly jumper at only £17.99 is well worth purchasing), Phase Eight (especially with their 25% off everything Black Friday offer right now) and Next.



Christmas Jumpers

Whilst understanding that novelty Christmas  jumpers are very popular I don’t really grasp why… they are hot, unflattering and only see the light day once a year. Why not wear something equally festive but that is more flattering, cooler and can be worn more than once a year? Good options would be this jumper from Next, great for Xmas day or for lounging but can equally be worn in February. Sosandar and M&S have some good options for tasteful Xmas jumpers this year. If you are more of a traditionalist with your festive attire then Primark has some great and inexpensive options.



If you read my blog from earlier in the year when I waxed lyrical about the benefits of wearing metallics then you will already be familiar with how useful metallic shoes, boots, bags, belts and jewellery can be ….silvery or pewter coloured if you have cool skin and gold or coppery coloured if you have warmer skin. Rose gold is having a moment right now and particularly suits  summer colouring but can be viewed as universally flattering. Alternatively, get some three tone (yellow gold, silver and rose gold) jewellery.  However, during the Xmas season metallic clothing can also be a great option – a silver top worn with jeans or black trousers with silver boots or heels is a stylish and very easy festive-esque outfit to procure. A gold dress or short cardy paired with a simple top and gold jewellery will look fantastic and again very festive but can be worn throughout the year. I’m a big fan of gold shoes so would highly recommend these from Boden as shoe boots are a great option that will go with skirts, dresses, trousers and jeans.



A question I am always asked is about what to wear on your legs during the winter. In general I am not a fan of sheer tights… I don’t think there is ever an occasion for them…at a push if you have great legs and are wearing a LBD you may be able to get away with sheer black tights but in general I think opaques in the same colour as your boots or shoes work best in the winter. For evening wear I think you can definitely get away with bare legs if your dress or skirt is knee length or below…any higher hem line and I’d put the opaques on. Over the knee boots are also a great option for legs with skirts and dresses and totally remove the issue of what to wear on your legs as your legs are entirely hidden!


Magic Metallics – time to embrace metallic accessories!


metallic accessoriesEver since I had my first colour analysis done in my my mid 20’s I have been a fan of gold jewellery and accessories seeing how it looked really lovely against my skin making it look warm and burnished and really bringing out the the yellow undertone. This opposed to silvery coloured jewellery that made my skin look cold and unappealing.

I have bought gold coloured necklaces, bracelets, bangles, earrings, toe-rings, ear cuffs …. you name it I have bought it. When funds or a birthday came along I might invest in real gold jewellery but in the main it was gold or copper coloured costume jewellery. I found that not only did it work with my skin tone but it was so versatile.. it went with  everything in my wardrobe.. summer or winter.. day or night…

metallic accessories


I slowly started investing in gold/copper coloured totes, clutches, shoppers, sandals, court shoes, flip flops, belts and scarves… eventually there wasn’t a single accessory that I didn’t have in a gold hue….


As with the jewellery I found that there wasn’t anything in my wardrobe that wouldn’t work with a gold bag or pair of shoes, scarves or belt. I believe I have found the ultimate neutral (an colour that works with the majority of items in your wardrobe).

In any holiday capsule wardrobe I put together either for myself or a client there will be at least 2 pairs of metallic shoes/sandals and a metallic bag or clutch. In every wardrobe audit and shopping list compilation there will metallic accessories on the list as they are an integral part of any fully functioning and cohesive wardrobe and are often overlooked by people so are rarely in people’s wardrobes until I come to visit!

The only issue here is working out what your metallic colour should be…if you have yellowy skin with greenish veins you have warm skin and as I do, should wear  yellow gold or copper shades of accessories. If you have bluey/pink skin with blueish veins then you have cool skin and should wear silver or pewter coloured accessories. This could also incorporate platinum, white gold and silver jewellery.

Around 70% of people in East Anglia have cool skin and silver coloured jewellery has been the metallic colour of choice for well over 20 years so if you are in any doubt stick with silver coloured metallic accessories as statistically you are more likely to have cool skin if you live in Essex or Suffolk. Alternatively, colour analysis session will definitively confirm which undertone of skin you have and therefore which metallic works best with your skin tone.

metallic accessories










Rose gold also works well for cool skins but I do believe that those of us with warm skin can get away with it metallic accessoriestoo.. I certainly wear it. Rose gold is having a moment right now so please do incorporate it into your wardrobe as I think it’s such a pretty colour.



One word of warning… metallics work best when you have a uniform look of colours so a gold coloured watch on one wrist and a silver coloured bracelet on the other wrist looks a bit odd so one solution that I have embraced for years is wearing two or three tone jewellery and watches to bring silver, gold and rose gold metallic shades together in a cohesive look. I invested in a three tone watch not long after finding out that I should be wearing gold coloured metallics . This enabled me to be true to my skin tone but also wear silver coloured pieces whilst I was building up my collection of yellow gold/copper coloured accessories… try it it does work!


Any questions or suggestions I’d love to hear from you.



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.


What neutral colour suits me?

what colour suits me


One of the comments I often hear when I see clients is that they always wear the same colour, typically black or grey, and are sick of always wearing the same thing and want to know what colour suits me? They are scared of wearing bright colours or indeed any colour as they don’t know what suits them nor what will work for them.  These comments bring up an interesting point namely that we like wearing neutrals – also known as safe or dark colours.  The trick is making sure that you are wearing the correct neutrals based on your natural colouring. No one should wear every neutral shade… So the question is – what is a neutral colour?

A good way to describe neutrals is that they are those colours which mix and match more readily with other colours in your palette. Co-coordinating your wardrobe is easier and more successful if you chose neutral colours for the important ‘building block’ items such as suits, coats, jackets, trousers, skirts, shoes and boots.

Interest and colour is best added with accessories  such as jewellery, scarves, bags and tops.  Typically we have more of these items than we do of the neutral items i.e. 2-3 coats against 15-20 tops, scarves or pieces of jewellery.

As previously stated no one can wear every neutral. What neutrals we should wear depend on what our natural colouring is like. Dark pigmentation in hair, skin and/or eyes paired with cool skin (bluey/pink) overall bright or high contrast look works best in black, dark navy, charcoal grey, burgundy, taupe and mid grey. Wearing these neutrals on their own as a monotone look or paired with bright accent colours can look amazing. It’s just a question of how you feel on any given day.  There is no wrong or right way to pair colours together once you have a good understanding of your general palette of colours.


what colour suits me

Winter Neutrals

.what colour suits me

Winter Neutrals


If you have light pigmentation levels in hair, skin and/or eyes paired with cool skin and an overall soft or low contrast look then you neutral shades will be greyed navy, soft grey, burgundy and taupe.



what colour suits me

Summer Neutrals

what colour suits me

Summer Neutrals


Darkish pigmentation levels in hair, skin and/or eyes with warmer (more yellowy skin) but still an softer or low contrast look should wear neutral shades of camel, chocolate brown, soft brown, bronze, khaki and marine navy.

what colour suits me

Autumn Neutrals


what colour suits me

Autumn Neutrals


Warm skin tone paired with a bright overall look works best with neutral shades of tan, golden brown, light camel and beige and french navy.

what colour suits me

Spring Neutral

what colour suits me

Spring Neutrals



A couple of important points to bear in mind with neutrals are that navy appears in all palettes albeit in slightly differing versions of it. My advice to clients would be when in doubt of what colour to get or what colour suits you then go for navy as it suits everyone, it always looks chic and as it’s a dark colour is slimming.

Finally, once you know what neutrals and general colour palette suits you it’s easy to dress well, look good and feel great.

For more information on finding out what palette suits you email or call me to book an appointment. Why not have a read of my colour analysis page to see how having a colour analysis could help you with shopping and dressing well.


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.