Knowing yourself, your values and aligning the way you dress, shop and live is as much about Your Signature Style as anything else. There are a lot of people telling you how to create a sustainable wardrobe, there are a lot of colour analysts out there who dress like colour-coded grannies, a lot of stylists who claim to be eco-stylists but still support brands that aren’t eco-freindly, ethical or sustainable. Hypocrites are rife. It’s a bit like greenwashing – it’s everywhere at the moment. EVERYONE is an ‘expert’ or touting their qualifications – but what irritates me the most is people who claim to be something but their identity doesn’t align with their so called values… I truly believe that’s because they haven’t found their Signature Style… when you find it, it becomes part of everything you say and do. It goes beyond what you wear – although how you present yourself to the world matters (more so than many would want you to believe).
Personal appearance matters
“Psychologists call it ‘thin slicing’ – within moments of meeting people, you decide all sorts of things about them, from status to intelligence to promiscuity”- (Business Insider UK) you do it to others – and believe me, they do it to you. So whilst we all may want to believe how we dress is rather trivial compared to everything we have going on in life – a lot can be said for those who recognise it’s importance and use it to their advantage – and do so authentically.
Finding your personal style…
The truth is ‘personal style’ is a fluid concept it means different things to different people. What one person finds pleasing to the eye, another finds less so, or even offensive. So how do you know how to get started and who to trust when you need styling advice? First of all, the person who you work with should inspire you… you should probably like them as a person, as well as the way they dress, even if it’s not the way you want to dress – but their personality and creativity should ‘pop’ and you should feel drawn towards them.
Take me for example, I’m young at heart, creative and proud of my body shape (for years I wasn’t), I embrace my femininity and youthfulness – I’m 36 but people think I’m younger, but I embrace that now. There is no ‘dress-code for your age, if you can get away with it – do it! The entrepreneur and risk taker in me still believes I can get away with showing off a tiny bit of my mid-drift, so I do when the mood takes me – but in a grown up and classy way of course.
Find a Stylist that you can relate to
Second step, do your research and find someone who ‘you’ personally relate to and all of their content, comments and work is aligned with their ‘so called values’ – actually when it comes to styling there are some things to consider – are you more swayed by ‘academic qualifications’ or do you value natural creativity and personal style? You decide which is more important. Of course check out stylists reviews! Personal Style is as it suggests in the title, is ‘personal’ and what one person may consider stylish, another person may not. That’s why it’s hard to compare – the main bit that is missing for many stylists is Personality. Find someone who you will get on with and enjoy the experience.
Check the stylist’s client reviews
See what other women have said about their work – do your research and look for testimonials which include photos and videos. Here’s an example of what one of my lovely clients said – we worked on restyling some old clothes from her 90’s wardrobe – a black halter neck jumpsuit and denim shirt dress. We looked at ways to breath new life into them (other items featured: white T-shirt, necklace, aztec handbag and peplum top were all from the Sapelle Showrooms in London).
“Roberta is a force of creativity and confidence in abundance. I was very nervous about attending a personal styling session but decided to treat myself for my birthday. I left with new ideas and a great understanding of what clothes and accessories best suit my body shape and how to co-ordinate them.
Over the coming weeks I noticed by self esteem increased which has inspired me to seek out more sustainable designers and a new way of shopping and seeing life. I really look forward to working with Roberta again in the near future” – Yvonne, Career Coach, London
Make sure your stylist is authentic
What do you think? Do you think Yvonne’s review reflects me and my signature style as business woman, coach and stylist? I was thrilled to get this testimonial from Yvonne as I felt she summarised me in a nutshell, who I am – what I believe in, and best of all I inspired her to think about life, not just her clothes.
Now it’s up to you to decide what model works best for you. You can see that my client’s comments are very aligned with who I am as a person and what I do. I’m known as the Sustainable Stylist which means I don’t promote shopping unless you really need it. I start with what you’ve already got and look at ways to reinvent your wardrobe. I don’t encourage big shopping hauls either. I also don’t influence clients to buy clothes in shops where I have negotiated ‘commission’ – instead I gently direct my clients towards the Ethical Brand Directory, a non-profit project of mine that is true to my values and who I am as a person.
When I worked with Neen (shown below) she didn’t have the budget for a big ‘shopping haul’, she was quite crafty and owned a sewing machine – so her makeover focused on making the most of her wardrobe (decluttering) and making alterations. A lot of the work we did together was around finding her confidence, identity and femininity in her signature style – something she felt she had lost after having her child, in addition to being a stay at home business woman – and living in the Highlands. A practical style that embraced her personality and lifestyle was all factored in.
“Roberta helped me see that my weight isn’t an issue and that with thought I can make my clothes work better for me. She helped me see the potential in my existing wardrobe that I’d given up hope on and helped me feel confident in some of my past buying choices and now I feel able to move forward with new ones with ease, never again will I cry in a dressing room!” – Neen, Mum & Business Women, Scotland
Some key questions to ask yourself
Do you want to discover your true identity or dress like another coloured-coded Stepford wife robot? Who do I want to be? WHY am I doing this? Who am I now? What will it take to become the powerful woman I know I can be?
Creating Your Signature Style is about empowerment. True empowerment. True to you. True to your lifestyle. Embracing your natural beauty. Feeling good about yourself as you are right now. Embracing your personality. It’s about empowering the amazing women within and allowing her to step into her most fabulous self. Every woman deserves to look good, feel good and live great. And you are no exception…
Of course my styling services are all centred around my beliefs that our actions in life and business should not be at the cost of other people, animals or the planet. I empower women from the inside out, but do so in a responsible way. Now that’s my Signature Style in life and the way I dress.
What could yours be?
I’d like to invite you to SIGN UP to my new course Create Your Signature Style. It’s a blended learning programme both independent online study and via online group training sessions. I will take you on a journey of self-discovery, empowerment and enable you to develop your own style, with the support of me and your study buddies. The course covers off all the usual (pretty boring) basics, body shape, colours, colour combinations, wardrobe editing etc – but what you get with this course is more than the ‘technical stuff’ – we get creative, we look at doing things in a way that’s right for you – sometimes that means throwing the ‘stylist’s rule book out the window’.
The current course is full and the next one runs in January 2018. You can also buy this as a gift for someone as we have digital vouchers available now too.
I’d love to help you discover Your Signature Style – if you have any questions please don’t hesistate to get in touch.