“Do One Thing That Scares You Everyday” Eleanor Roosevelt
It is fair to say that I am at a bit of crossroads, essentially work wise. Am I the only one in this case? Certainly not ! It is also fair to say that I’ve been at the crossroads for a while, patiently waiting for something to happen, a sign of some sort…So, I am determined to follow Eleanor Roosevelt’s advice and I am keen to try new things. When I was invited to attend a personal styling workshop by ClassBunny, I said yes. I have a vague idea of what personal styling is, and I don’t consider myself completely hopeless in the style department. However, I was curious. Why would you do a personal styling course ? Under what circumstances ?
I first heard about personal styling from a colleague who did such a course and absolutely loved it. And I was envious. More recently, I met a personal stylist at a conference and we didn’t seem to get along. This woman seem to take an instant dislike to me and me to her… I felt judged and put down in a very short period of time. I couldn’t help but have a negative image of going through an analysis of my style and body shape with her… In short, she scared me…
So, when the opportunity came to discover what this personal styling session was all about, I thought I would count it as my scary thing for the day.
Would you believe that first impressions are formed within three to seven seconds of meeting someone ? It’s a scientific fact. And which elements would come into this equation ? Eye contact ? Handshake ? Body language ? All the above would, and of course, clothing…
I’m always curious to see who would attend a class and why. This brief personal styling lesson met my expectations in that respect: the attendees were mostly women in their late forties and fifties, conscious of the image they project, and wanting to give themselves more confidence. Some of them were looking for new careers and some were quite age-conscious. Overall, I think everyone was also looking to enjoy themselves a little more and learn to balance the professional and casual wardrobes.
Colour, Colour, Colour
As the styling workshop could only run for an hour or so, Lynne from Stylish You had to focus on the most important thing. And that, is colour ! The first exercise was to discover everyone’s colour undertones. In order to do this, you hold a silver or gold piece of fabric next to your face and see what works better. It’s hard to do this yourself in front of the mirror, you need someone to look at you and form an opinion. If the silver cloth suits best, you’re into cool colours, such as blue, green, gray… On the other hand, if the gold cloth suits best, you’re into warm colours, such as red, yellow, or orange… Now, a red or a purple can be a cool colour, if there is strong element of blue in it. If there is more yellow, then it’s a warm colour…
The result for me was quite surprising… Warm colours are more suitable for me than cool ones… And I thought my love of blue ruled everything !
Some colours can be worn by everyone, such as navy, which is softer than black.
So I got a basic set of colours to choose from and I have to say I completely agree with it… My colour scheme is warm + light.
Signature Style Formula
Your style is not just in your clothes, but in a combination of things that make you who you are. A big takeaway of this personal styling lesson is the signature style formula:
Lifestyle + Colour + Body Shape + Style Personality + Decluttering
This is important, because the personal styling lesson is not about changing your style, but more about re-discovering it. You are who you are, and it’s more about enhancing your features and assets.
The Different Styles
Everyone has different styles, in fact, your personal style is a blend of different tendencies, and the style personality questionnaire offered by Lynne will help you define your own blend.
The Classic Style is defined as timeless and elegant, with simple, often tailored cuts. It usually involves a lot of black, navy and neutral colours. There is an emphasis on quality fabrics and quality basics. The Classic Style is a great one to have as a base. However, it can be challenging to put together a “play” wardrobe. The corporate wardrobe can be a little formal and strict.
Relaxed or Casual Style
The Relaxed Style likes to focus on comfortable and easy to maintain clothes. This style is not too fussed about the latest fashion details, but more about layering, and giving an impression of effortlessness. In this style, there are lots of flat shoes, denim, natural colours. It’s easy to shop for the basics and the Relaxed Style should be enhanced through accessories. However, this look can be a little too casual, and give the impression that you’re not making an effort.
The Dramatic Style gives a sense of glamour and drama. It is full of bold details, statement jewellery, vibrant colours and strong shapes. There is a need to create excitement but this style can be a bit over the top.
Innovative or Trendy Style
The Innovative Style works well for creative types, keen to mix things up and to try new things. As an innovator, you are a trendsetter, maybe an impulsive buyer. You are ready to step out of your comfort zone and experiment with cutting-edge details. This style is very much about attitude and can go a little a little crazy. Also, you might find it difficult to shop for basic pieces
The Alluring Style is all about bringing sexy back ! You love to show a bit a skin, flirt a little and play with short skirts and plunging necklines. However, this style can be a little more difficult to carry off in a corporate environment.
The Feminine Style is a softer way of dressing, using clothes and accessories typically associated with women, such as dresses, skirts and cute details. You would wear nothing too androgynous and would avoid typically masculine details. However, this look can come across as excessively “girly”.
My personal style is defined as Classic, Relaxed and Innovative, and I completely agree with it. Again, the personal styling lesson wasn’t about redefining my style, but more about re-discovering it.
A Style Trick
Upon meeting a personal stylist, the first thing you look at is their clothes, right ? Lynne wore a fitted skirt with a blue and white textured pattern, a cream blazer and, bold detail, animal print heels. It just worked, but I couldn’t figure out why or how…
A simple trick is to establish a connection between the top and the bottom. In Lynne’s outfit, the animal print shoes responded to a gold necklace, that’s why it worked so well !
This is where the styling journey starts… In your closet, with your existing wardrobe. I am quite fond of Start Decluttering Today already but I’m in for another round. Also, I might have a look at Marie Kondo’s book, for an all-over house effort !
Brief Verdict on a Brief Lesson
The personal styling lesson was too brief to form a full verdict but overall, it is definitely something worth exploring further. To me, personal styling works best if someone else tells you what to do, or at least gives you a few directions. As for my personal fear of stylists, it’s gone. There was nothing judgemental in Lynne’s approach, it was more about enhancing and celebrating who the participants were.
Lynne left us with an interesting affirmation:
“Commit to honouring yourself everyday by dressing in a way that makes you feel proud.”
Lynne is the brand stylist and business coach behind Stylish You. She started her journey in fashion in London and the idea of personal styling came when her friends kept inviting her on shopping trips. Fancy getting a career out of shopping, that’s what I call living the dream !
Have you done a personal styling course ? What did you get out of it ? Please share your stories in the comments below.