Have you lost your style mojo over the last 18 months?
Since lockdown eased on Monday 12 April, our social media feeds have been awash with the cheering of long-awaited cocktails and smiling faces together in pub gardens.
But among all of the excitement of now being able to make plans – from where to holiday in the UK and which restaurant has a garden there’s another thing on our minds: WTF do we wear out now?
You would think that after 18 months of our clothes gathering dust, we’d have planned our re-entry outfits months ago. After all, we finally have somewhere to wear everything we impulse bought out of lockdown boredom. But many of us are finding dressing for this new normality harder than ever.
And so comes all of the doubt fuelled questions sent between group WhatsApp chats in various states of panic: “Will I be wildly overdressed for a pub garden?” “Why does nothing I own go together?” “How do you put an outfit together again?” “Is it too cold for a dress?” “Do jeans and a nice top still work?”
This month, as month we emerge from lockdown I’m answering some questions that you may have as well as sharing my top tips on how to rediscover the joy of proper clothes once again.
The Power of Colour
Firstly lets talk colour, are you someone that lives in black or neutral colours all the time?
It’s something of a fashion urban legend that wearing colour is a mood elevator. But actually, it’s grounded in fact: When the eye takes in bright, bold hues like pink, red and green it triggers the release of dopamine, a powerful hormone that makes you feel happier. So there is no better time to wear colours that really suit you and make you feel great.
I trained as a Colour & Image Coach which includes Colour Analysis, Style consultations, Wardrobe Detox and Personal Shopping. For me the one that lights me up every time is Colour Analysis. Why? because it is the most dramatic. I love seeing how my clients really can see the difference when wearing the right colours for them. It is a colour journey that you go on finding and understanding which colours bring out the best in you. Can wearing colour make a difference to how you feel? Yes, I believe it really can.
Understanding colour has really made me mindful of the colours I choose to wear each day, and the effects they have. If you would like to know more about my services particularly my colour sessions pop over to my website now – www.appearanceandattitude.com
Do heels fill you with dread?
Hands up, who has worn heels in the last year? I’m betting very few, me included and I love a good pair of heels! But the good news is, that designers have taken inspiration from 2020 lockdown and we’ll be seeing lots of flats; slip ons, mules, loafers and flip flops.
Got used to elasticated waistbands?
Me too! But elastic isn’t just for joggers. There’s a great selection of elasticated waist trousers and skirts. They’re not just for grannies circa 1975! Take wide leg pull on trousers; they can work on many different levels. Style with a formal shirt or top for Zoom calls (you’ll look very professional on the top half, but still remain comfy on your bottom half. Or add a blazer for proper days in the office. Team with trainers and a t-shirt for a casual look, or add a going out top and heels for date night. Shop around for stretchy jeggings in different colours. Marks & Spencer have a great range in different colours.
Happy in a jumper?
Well the good news is that knits are huge this summer into autumn. Do you already have thin knitted jumpers and cardigans in your wardrobe already. Pull them out and try them on. If you need to replace them, make sure you choose shades that make you look amazing.
Can’t do tight jeans anymore?
Relaxed denim will enable you to remain relevant (in the fashion sense) and comfortable. But, make sure the style you choose is flattering for your body shape. How do you look from the front, side and back? Are you happy with what you see? if you carry weight around your middle or hips, you may want to swerve the relaxed denim trend as it will only add pounds to your frame.
What do I wear to a job interview?
Firstly wear something that’s comfortable and is the real you. The first advice I give any client is be true to your style, ok you can tweak it a bit. Trying to be someone your not will cloud your mind and you will end up focusing on the wrong things during your interview.
Firstly, find out about the company – what’s their dress code? What type of role are you doing? Speak to HR? Is your role client facing or are you a sole worker? Gaining as much insight into the business and what’s expected of you will really help when choosing your outfit.
Wear a neutral colour – navy is always a good option and suits everyone, but add some accessories in brighter colours to inject your own personality & style. If all else fails smart jeans, a tailored shirt & blazer is a professional yet smart casual look that suits most employers.
Last but not least don’t forget the finer details: polish your shoes, keep your hair & makeup clean and neat. Don’t overdo the perfume and make eye contact!
Forgotten how to combine colour?
A colour analysis will help you to understand why certain shades work better on you than others. Further, you will learn how to combine colours for maximum impact. So for example, Jennifer Aniston with her mousey hair and soft eyes looks amazing when she wears two medium depth colours together (I call this tonal dressing). Whereas, Courtney Cox with her bright eyes and dark hair needs that extra oomph, so dressing in two contrasting colours is her best look.
Try on different colour tops underneath a favourite jacket and really concentrate on what it does to your complexion. You may be very surprised.
Want an easy update?
You don’t need to reinvent your wardrobe each season. A new pendant or scarf will freshen up old outfits and they are cheap & easy investment pieces whist you find your confidence again. Statement pendants are big this season. Do you still have yours from 10 years ago?
The good news is casual wear is hear to stay, and it seems people are opting for wardrobe detox & curation rather than buying new trends. But the thing dressing up and socialising both have in common is that they’re both meant to be fun. Maybe the key is to think less and enjoy what we’re wearing – and where we’re going – a little bit more and if you need some style or colour inspo why not book yourself an image consultation.