Friday, July 20, 2012

Understanding Style

Style, what is it? It seems some have it, and some don't. Can this be rectified? Yes it can. Everyone can have their own sense of style and it doesn't mean being a slave to fashion trends, copying others or spending lots on clothes.

The best style is your own individual way of wearing clothes and colours that suit you and having the confidence you look great. Women with style other women want are women who have come some way to accepting their own body shape and are happy enough in their own skin.

Who would I rate a style icon? Well to be honest, you can't really go past Audrey Hepburn. Here was a women who knew what suited her body shape and she stuck with it her whole life. She understood the good and the not so good bits about her body and she emphasised her best asset at all times, her 22 inch waist.

She was brilliant at adapting the current fashion to suit her style. Someone who understands their body shape and colours is able to do this quite easily. I also loved her philosophy on life, which I believe have her that inner glow that helps with the outer confidence she portrayed.

A current style icon for me is Princess Kate. Here is another women who has a lot of money at her disposal and designers clambering to dress her. She often wears clothes from mainstream shops and when I see her in them I admire her for not only showing the world you don't have to spend a fortune to look well dressed, but that she chooses first and foremost what suits her body shape.

For both these women, less is more. Well cut, great shaped clothing and timeless elegance. It doesn't mean we need to copy their style, it means we need to find our own sense of style and feel confidence in our choices.

I shall leave you with one of my favourite quotes from Ms Hepburn “I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and... I believe in miracles.”

Stay colourful!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Does size matter?

In an era where nearly every image you see of women in magazines is 'touched-up' and air-brushed within an inch of their lives, is it any wonder many women have unreasonable expectation of how we are supposed to look/age/dress?

And how much does size really matter in this equation? In my job I have seen women from size 6 to size 30, all of whom have come out looking and feeling fantastic. If anyone has ever seen Gok's "How to look good naked" British TV show, one thing is always clear, it is never about size. It is about enhancing the great and diminishing the not so great. Focus on looking good with the body you have NOW, not the one you will have in 1 year, 10 kgs lighter or the one you had 10 years ago.

The fact is that lifestyles, babies and hormones - to name a few - change women’s bodies. In our lifetime we go through many shapes and sizes and it can be hard to adjust to all these changes. If the size or shape of your body makes you feel down, you need to make the decision to do something about it. That doesn't have to mean weight-loss, it can mean getting on with the job of looking great with what you have.

There are aspects of every single body I see that are truly fantastic. These are the things we highlight and put ‘on show’ so to speak. The areas that give you the greatest discomfort are then accordingly minimized. There are dozens of ways of making a difference to certain areas of your body by knowing the right lengths and dressing for your body shape. Clients' are often pleasantly surprised by how small these adjustments can be and what a difference they make.

Add great colour to these style changes and as the compliments roll in, your confidence will rise. It may sound simple, but it works. However, the first area of change is your mindset. It doesn’t matter if you are a mother at home or a high-powered lawyer. You need to feel as confident as you can and when you look good, you feel good. If you need help, seek it, if you feel you are able to go it alone, trust your instincts and go for it!

Stay colourful!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Street Style - Auckland vs Wellington

A couple of weeks ago I had a corporate presentation in Auckland and on my way from the suburbs to Wellington Airport, then from Auckland Airport to the CBD, I took notes on the street styles I spotted. What an interesting experiment this was. I alternated between sticking my head out the window to give the big thumbs up and slumping down in my seat with images of colour and style tragedies burned upon my brain. Wellintonians, you have a complete and utter love affair with the black puffer jacket. Short and simple. Dozens and dozens of them. You also win the 'sportswear on the street' award. I didn't spot one person on the streets of Auckland exercising or wearing sportswear. That was mainly because they were all in their cars to be honest but I did peer in a few as I waited in my traffic jam. Yay to the ONE women in Wellington in a hot pink wool coat and the lady in the cobalt blue coat that I gave a crazy smile to at the lights. My previous conclusion that I see a whole lot of fairly safe, conservative dressers loving black was pretty obvious - in both cities! But I had to smile at the kooky extremes in Wellington with a guy wearing a real, vintage fur jacket on one side of the street and on the other a man in shorts and a vintage Swandri. Sorry to the man at Wellington Airport who heard an excited squeak as he walked towards me wearing a purple checked business shirt with a hot pink, fitted v-neck jersey over the top. Primo. Both cities are full of people wearing black. Wellington favours adding a splash of red to this and Aucklanders the more monochrome white. No surprises there. I did see a pink puffer in Auckland that I thought would go down well in Welly. So who won the biggest fashion tragedy award? I was starting to panic that it would be Wellington after bumping into a woman wearing black trousers, pink and white coloured socks and a black high heeled Mary Jane shoes - with, wait for it, a fleece. I was saddened to have to give my beloved hometown the award but as I exited my cab in the centre of Auckland CBD I spotted a woman wearing a gold puffer jacket, leopard print skirt and moccasin slippers. Phew. Let's just call that one a tie.