I have recently been thinking a lot about my 'typical' client and why they initially decide to contact me. I work with extremely interesting, successful, busy and generally confident women. But very often they come to me because they are feeling fed up with their clothes and stuck in a rut - frumpy and that they are not quite themselves anymore. Maybe they are returning to work after having a child, or have given up paid work and become a homemaker and mum. One of the most striking things I have noticed over the years about many of these women, is how often they appear much older than they actually are. So I ask you to consider:
Do people ever think you’re older than you really are?
A natural assumption is that it is your skin quality; the lines and wrinkles, or thinner, greying hair that is the age definer- tempting women into considering botox, fillers and face lifts. However, almost without exception in my experience it is the general appearance, clothes and manner, of a person that defines their perceived age. I have proved to my clients time and again that changing what you wear and learning how to project yourself with stylish clothes can take 10 years off you without going anywhere near a needle or a knife!
Below some tips for some small changes you can make yourself to check that you are not adding years to your image, as while some pieces in your wardrobe may be just right for you, other items have the word “matronly” written all over them. I’ll show you where these culprits live and encourage you get them out of your wardrobe. Consider these key points:
Updating Staples An easy way to shed some matronly years is to update your t-shirts. Get rid of the ‘too short’, the ‘been-through-the-wash-too-many-times’, and the low quality boring plain cotton ones. Swap those culprits for t-shirts that are longer, are made from a finer knit, and have a smooth, dressier finish. Great quality brands are Velvet, Theory and American Apparel and on the high street Uniqlo, and Gap.
Add Details You may be adding years to your image by playing it safe with a conservative, too plain look. You want others to find you interesting, right? A sure way to do that is to make your outfit interesting. So steer clear of a too predictable conservative outfit like a white or cream shirt, black trousers, sensible ‘comfy’ black shoes with a matching handbag. Try adding some age-defying accessories to create more definition to your look such as a colourful printed scarf. Adding a bold and interesting necklace or cinching your waistline with an interesting detailed belt will break up the simplicity of an outfit.
Play with Colour Think about your layers! If you’re wearing a neutral-coloured cardigan, wear a bold-coloured top underneath. Or wear a bright, patterned or animal print cardigan over a neutral-coloured top. Other places to add colour can be in gloves, brooches, or bags. If you’re not keen on colour, then go for interesting textures. Underneath a clean lined blazer, add a blouse with ruffles or a top with a drape front. Not Your Toddlers Jeans There are jeans out there (and maybe in your wardrobe) that could be making you look matronly. No jean should have an elastic waistband – unless you are young or trendy enough to look good in this seasons ‘jeggings’! If your jeans do not have belt loops, a zip, or front pockets, they’re imposters. A great pair of jeans is a perfect way to add more youthfulness to your wardrobe. You need to try on many pairs and styles and find ones that compliment your shape. Try Not Your Daughters Jeans, Citizens of Humanity, or Paige.
Shoes: Fashionable & Comfortable Look down at your feet. Are they getting the attention they deserve? Are your spoiling your style with running shoes, walking boots or slippers? There are more solutions out there. Shoe designers have cottoned on to the idea that the majority of us we don’t enjoy walking in heels all day. They’ve put design efforts into creating flats, heels and boots that feel nearly as comfy as trainers while adding fashion details. Try some of these: Clarks, French Sole, Kurt Geiger, Geox
Banning the Granny-anything Maybe someone in your life calls you Grandma, but nothing in your wardrobe should say “Granny.” Watch out for the shapeless, mid calf dress. This offender will add at least a decade to your image. Granny visible- panty-lines are a big no-no. Full brief underwear is ok if it is seam free or special 'shapewear'. Any jumper that could be mistaken for a quilt or an afghan is too close to being a 'granny jumper'. Remove it from your wardrobe immediately and replace it with a finer knit sweater, which will look more elegant and refined.
Everyone wants to drink from the fountain of youth, but until we find that miracle water, pay attention to what you can do to look great, at any age. This means paying attention to what you want your outfit to say about you. Always check that what you are wearing tells people what you want them to know. Instead of matronly, mumsy, or tired you’ll want to be described with more attractive adjectives such as stylish, sophisticated, and fun!
As a fully trained and experienced personal stylist, I can help you find your own personal style. I can take years off you, and help you let other know who you are through helping you begin to build a wearable, practical and comfortable wardrobe that is also flattering, modern and stylish. If you need help finding your inner style adjectives and making them blossom through your personal style, I am only a phone call away.
I am currently taking bookings for late November & early December. If you feel you could do with a helping hand in getting your winter style organised , and looking years younger, do give me a call on 020 7193 8956 or send an email to enquire about my availability.