Confident Style – Your Way Every Day

Five Steps to Develop Your Style Sense

FIVE STEPS TO DEVELOP YOUR STYLE SENSE

This Five Steps to Develop Your Style Sense post has been incubating inside my head for months. Let’s start by identifying what I mean by ‘Style Sense.’ ‘Style Sense’ refers to how our five senses can support and guide us to understand the elements of our individual and unique dressing style or as I am calling it ‘Style Sense.’ It is all about identifying and choosing your personal preferences so that your clothes are supporting who you are as a person, your NOW body and your lifestyle requirements.

Let’s explore how your senses can contribute to your ‘Style Sense.’

STEP 1. SIGHT – What do You See? 

The sense of sight relates to understanding how to dress your body shape, proportions and variations in an enhancing way.

We use our sight to interpret what we see when we look in the mirror, wardrobe, shops, magazines and at others. Quite often this leads to thoughts of comparison which leads to undervaluing yourself.

Many women avoid looking in the mirror and when they do, they focus on what they see as perceived flaws and the lumps and bumps that may be covered by the clothes. When you do this you are missing a great opportunity to change your focus from  your body  to the clothes and observing how the clothes are working with or against you. It is worth noting that other people don’t notice your ‘perceived flaws.’

Sometimes shopping purchases are made on the premise that the clothing fits and looks okay – (a friend or shop assistant said so) and then the purchased item remains in the wardrobe not worn. Beware that clothing can fit the body and look good but still not appeal to the wearer. This is where your sense of taste becomes important.

STEP 2. TASTE – What are Your Personal Tastes?

You are probably thinking that the sense of taste has nothing to do with getting dressed and developing your style. Taste is the sense that traditionally relates to eating and enables us to distinguish between food items we like or don’t like.

I am going to stretch the interpretation of this sense to relate to recognising the elements in clothing that relate to  identifying your Style Personality.

The elements that make up your Style Personality include:-

  • colours,
  • patterns,
  • shapes,
  • fabric,
  • accessories,
  • patterns and prints,
  • hair style,
  • levels of detail,
  • comfort levels,
  • underwear style,
  • scale.

These elements become your unique style fingerprint and tell the story of how you wish to be perceived.

Your visual appearance and ‘Style Sense’ is not just based on your outward appearance but comes from the inside out through your personal preferences.

The chances are you have clothes in your wardrobe that fit you well, look good but you still do not wear. This is because there are aspects in these unworn clothing pieces that are not part of your Style Personality.

Understanding your Style Personality is an important element and influences 80% of your shopping choices. When you know your Style Personality elements you will save time and money when shopping. You will also have less unworn orphaned clothes hanging in your wardrobe.

Take notice of the elements listed above and identify which ones relate to you. Let these items guide and influence your future shopping choices. If you try something on and it fits and looks good but you just don’t feel right in it, it is because something in the clothing / outfit is not relating to your Style Personality elements.

STEP 3. TOUCH –  How does it feel?

The sense of touch also relates closely to your Style Personality. Wearing clothes is definitely a sensory experience. Everybody is different and unique in their preferences for what fabrics & materials they prefer to wear and have different comfort level requirements.

I have a very high comfort level requirement which has resulted in a wardrobe with mostly stretch fabrics and some linen. I cannot tolerate any shapewear / spanx garments as I feel like I have been put in goal. I do not buy online because I have a strong need to touch the fabric before I try it one. My tactile sense is high when it comes to the clothes I wear.

Do you have clothes in your wardrobe that you are not wearing because they do not meet your comfort and tactile needs?

A very important question to ask yourself when shopping or creating outfits from your wardrobe is ‘How do I feel?’ I call this the ‘Goldilock’s Principle.’

Do not purchase any item that doesn’t feel just right. If it is not just right then you are wasting your money and it will take up valuable real estate space in your wardrobe.

STEP 4. HEARING  – What do You Hear?

The sense of hearing relates to the voice inside your head, what others are saying to you as well as your personal noise barometer. What are you saying to yourself? Start to listen to that voice inside your head and take notice to whether your thoughts and comments to yourself are being positive or negative.  This inner critic voice will always want to foster negative thoughts if you let it. 

It is time to start to reframe your thinking when looking at your body and outfits. The other day I tried on a jumpsuit that I didn’t buy because it was just a little firm around the hips. When I came out of the change room and the sales lady asked , ‘How did it go?‘ I replied ‘This jumpsuit wasn’t made for my hip area.’ My words were not focused on my body not being right but on this article of clothing not being the best choice for the look I wanted and needed. It is possible to change the focus of your inner critic from being negative to being supportive.

What do you do when someone pays you a compliment? Many of us usually argue against what was said. Take notice of compliments and be accepting of them with a thank you and a smile.

Some accessories and fabrics can be distracting for the wearer and others because they can be noisy. Do you have some accessories or clothing that you are not wearing because it makes a noise. I had a pair of shoes that I loved wearing but they were so distracting because they made a squeaky sound.

STEP 5. SMELL – What are your preferences?

This sense is not quite as significant as the others. If your sense of smell is strong then you may find that some fabrics may not appeal to you. The other area that this sense can impact on is our personal hygiene and perfume preferences. It is important to remember to not over or under do the amount of perfumed products you wear.

Take a look in your wardrobe and notice the clothing that you are not wearing. Create outfits with the unworn clothing and try to identify what is not working for you.

‘Style Sense’ needs to start with recognising the elements in the clothing  you wear that you love, bring you joy and confidence. When you recognise these elements then use this knowledge to inform the outfits you create and the clothing you buy. Become more aware of YOU.

A professional style consultation explores how you can combine these elements to create a harmonious, coordinated and balanced outfit that enhances who you are, your NOW body shape and supports your work and social lifestyle.

FURTHER READING

How Can vertical Lines Impact on Your Look?

 

HOW CAN VERTICAL LINES IMPACT ON YOUR LOOK?

Vertical lines can have a positive effect on your look and style as they have the power to create an optical illusion that can create a lengthening and slimming effect.  Our eyes travel more quickly up and down vertical lines and this means that the eye is drawn upward thus elongating your look. When you understand how to dress for your body shape and proportions you can use vertical detailing and lines to create an enhancing outfit.

1. Vertical Details in Construction

Next time you choose an item of clothing take notice to the vertical detailing that it has. There are many different ways vertical detailing can be expressed in clothing such as:-

  • seams
  • pleats
  • zips
  • single breasted buttoned fronts
  • vertical stripes (width and colour combination of the stripes can influence your look in different ways)
  • folds created by the way the fabric drapes and hangs
  • pintucks
  • trouser seams and creases
  • vertical panelling

2. Vertical Details in Your Outfit

Vertical details can be created by the way you put your outfit together.

  • Wearing a monochromatic colour scheme. A monochromatic colour scheme is one that consists of tones of the same colour. When you wear a monochromatic colour scheme you are creating a continuous line of colour with no colour breaks to interupt the eye . This creates a lengthening and slimming effect.

How can Vertical Lines Impact on Your Look - Monochromatic Colour Schemes

 

  • Accessories such as scarves, earrings  and necklaces also can create a vertical line.

How can Vertical Lines Impact on Your Look - necklaces, earrings, scarves

 

  • A handbag shoulder strap also can create the illusion of lengthening in the top half of the body. Be aware of where the bulk of your bag stops in terms of your body. You don’t want to add any bulk to an area of your body that you don’t want to draw attention to such as bust, tummy, hips or even thighs.

How Can Vertical Lines Impact on Your Look - Shoulder Strap

 

  • An open cardigan, jacket  or vest will break your body up into thirds and create two vertical lines. This will be more flattering if the opening is not too wide. I have tried on many cardigans that fall on the outside of my breasts and this tends to make me look and feel wider. A more flattering effect is when the body appears to be more evenly divided.

How can vertical Lines Impact on your Look - Open Cardiga

 

  • Toning your shoe colour with the colour of your pants or skintone (if wearing skirts or dresses) will also create a continuous line and draw the eye upward. (I do not own a pair of nude / skin colour shoes because I haven’t found any that matched my preferred shoe style).How can Vertical lines impact on Your Look - Tone Shoe Colour to outfit

3. Vertical Stripes – What to be Aware Of 

Not all vertical stripes are created equal. The colour combination and width of the stripes can impact differently.

  • Narrower stripes lengthen.
  • Larger stripes widen.
  • Low contrast colours – These are colours that sit close to each other in terms of their lightness or darkness and can be more slimming.
  • High Contrast colours – These are colours that are light and dark (eg:- black and white) will be more noticeable and attract more attention.

How can Vertical Lines Impact on your Look - vertical stripes

 

4. Vertical Details – Creating Body Balance

Dressing your body in a way that enhances your look is about balancing your body shape and body proportions. Using vertical details can support the creation of balance in the following way.

Most of us have an area of the body that tends to be the place where we experience more weight gain. The area/s of our body where we tend to experience weight gain is generally a proportionally shorter area on the body.

Your body proportions could be:-

  1. longer body, shorter legs
  2. shorter body, longer legs
  3. balanced top and bottom but proportionally shorter from the bust to knees (this is me)
  4. balanced top and bottom.
  • Vertical detailing placed on your shorter area/s  will create the illusion of lengthening and balance.
  • Using vertical detailing throughout your outfit is a way of appearing taller.
  • Low contrast, narrow stripes can be great for someone who wishes to appear slimmer.
  • High contrast, wider stripes  can give the illusion of more width and work well for petites or those that want a look that creates curves.

Vertical detailing in your clothing can be your best friend. Take notice of the vertical detailing in your clothing and notice what is doing for your look.

A professional consultation is a great way to understand how to dress your body shape and proportions to discover

CONFIDENT STYLE – YOUR WAY EVERY DAY

 

 

 

 

The Way Ahead for 2019

The Way Ahead for 2019

 

THE WAY AHEAD FOR 2019

Welcome to 2019. How do you set yourself up for a happy, fulfilled and successful year? Many people set New Year Resolutions but these never seemed to create any difference to my life. That all changed in 2012 when I started to choose a Lighthouse Word to give me direction and purpose. The words that have given me a way to guide and direct me through my years have included:-

  • 2018 Empowerment
  • 2017 Questions
  • 2016 Focus
  • 2015 Balance & Momentum
  • 2014 Impossible which translates to I’m Possible
  • 2013 Declutter
  • 2012 Celebrate

After much deliberation over the last two weeks I have finally decided on my LIGHTHOUSE WORD for 2019 – STRENGTH.

Since adopting an annual LIGHTHOUSE WORD I have noticed positive steps in my thinking, actions, achievements, gratitude and adopted an approach to every day that creates a pathway to become an improved me every day. For 2019 I want this to contine and I want the STRENGTH to:-

  • move forward in a positive way that doesn’t drain my energy,
  • be there to suppoprt others in their difficult times,
  • respond to rather than react to situations (I find reacting to situations  very energy draining),
  • ask for help when I need it both personally and professionally,
  • step out of my confort zone both personally and professionally so that I can explore new opportunities and grow,
  • admit to those close to me that I may not be coping as well as I would like,
  • move forward with Individually You and create new workshops and an online program,
  • make improved choices so that my fitness and health continues to support me in the way I want it too,
  • recognise when I need to step away from things and have some down time,
  • give myself opportunities to engage in more creative pursuits such as collage, gardening, music,
  • to take care of myself and feel the gratitude that is in my life,
  • to make a difference to my own life as well as others.

The word STRENGTH is going to be my 2019 benchmark to assess whether my choices, actions, reactions, intentions, opportunites, thinking, beliefs and values are creating a stronger, more improved and happy me. It will ensure that I am accountable and guiding me to create and live a fulfilled year.

 

WHAT DOES THE WAY AHEAD FOR 2019 LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?

 

 

 

 

Guidelines for Shopping with Friends

GUIDELINES FOR SHOPPING WITH FRIENDS

Who do you shop with? Do you prefer to shop alone or with a friend? There are advantages and disadvantages for shopping alone or with a friend. This guideline for shopping with friends outlines my thoughts and observations from my own and observing others shopping experiences. There can be advantages and disadvatages when you shop with someone else.

Guideline 1 – TRUST YOUSELF

Most people have the tendency to step out of the change room and ask their shopping partner this question:-

What do you think?

 When asked this question people usually respond in two ways:-

  • from what they see and how it looks or
  • from their own personal preference base of colour, style, pattern, texture and shapes.

Clothes can fit and look good on you and other people’s opinion can influence your decision or thoughts which can result in purchases that you regret and hang unworn in your wardrobe. When you only consider the fit and how it looks you are overlooking a very important element and that is how the clothing feels on you.

Before you step foot out of the changeroom look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself this all important question:-

How do I feel in this?

There is only one person who can answer this question and that is yourself. No matter how well clothing fits you and looks good on you if it doesn’t feel right then you will not feel comfortable and will not wear it. If you buy the item influenced by your friend or sales assistant’s opinions then it probably will become a put on and take off outfit and never make it out of the bedroom.

No matter how great something fits you do not buy it if it does not feel right.

Guideline 2 – KNOW YOUR PERSONALITY STYLE

How clothing feels on you strongly relates to understanding your Style Personality. Your Style Personalityy identifies the colour, shape, styles, comfort level, fabrics, scale, patterns and prints that relate to who you are. These elements combine to create your visual image that reflects who you are. This is very unique and individual.

This information about your Style Personality gives you the knowledge to understand why something that looks good and fits okay  just doesn’t seem right. With this knowledge you can be empowered by identifying what it is that doesn’t feel right.

This results in you making more informed choices about what you purchase and not be influenced by others or what’s in fashion. You know yourself and undestand what works for you. You can then make statements like :-

  • “This looks good but I don’t like the feel of the material. I know I wouldn’t wear this.”
  •   “I am not going to try this on because I don’t like wearing floral prints.”

Let me share a shopping story with you. I was shopping with a client who had brought her friend along for support. My client had great difficulty finding clothes that fitted and appealed to her. When she walked out of the change room with a smile on her face I knew she felt good in this. She also looked good in the dress.

Friend: “No, I don’t like that.”  – Clients smile disappeared.
Me: “What don’t you like?”

Friend: “The colour, I hate that colour.”
Me: “You might not like or wear that colour but how do you like it on Mary.”
Friend: “Oh, it does look good on her.” (Smile reappeared on my client’s face)

Me to Client: “How do you feel?”
Client: “I really like how it feels and looks.” (Client purchased the dress and has loved wearing it.)

If I had not questioned my client’s friend we would not have realised her response was coming from her own preferences and not really related to her friend.

Guideline 3 – Questions to Ask

The following questions are important questions and ones I ask my clients when shopping or working in their wardrobes. This helps them make informed decisions when thinking about what to buy. An individual item in the shops is only worth buying if you are going to enjoy wearing it.

Guidlines to take shopping with friends

 

These questions give you and your friends a guideline for thinking about purchases and not resonding to outside influences such as someone elses opinion or the latest trends.

When you go shopping with friends you need to support each other to buy wisely and not on impulse. You want to:-

  • Love the feel.
  • Love the look.
  • Love wearing it.

 

 

 

Five Deadly Wardrobe Sins

Five Deadly Wardrobe Sins

Five Deadly Wardrobe Sins addresses the reasons why many women feel frustrated and challenged by their wardrobe. Many of the women I work with feel that they have nothing to wear when they actually have endless outfit options hanging in their wardrobe without realising it. This usually results in an endless cycle of shopping but not necessarily more wearable outfits.

The starting point for wardrobe frustration or overwhelm is to look at the habits and routines that have developed over time that are stopping you from exploring what you already have. If you feel frustrated with your wardrobe consider which of these wardrobe sins you could approach differently.

1.Overcrowded Wardrobe

Having an overcrowded wardrobe

  • restricts your ability to see, seek and locate clothing items.
  • results in forgetting and loosing track of what clothing items you actually have.
  • requires much more time, effort and energy to choose an outfit each morning.

SOLUTION: Create Your Own Wardrobe Boutique

Your wardrobe needs to be the storage place for:-

  • current season clothes,
  • clothes that fit your now body and lifestyle.

Any clothes that do not meet the above criteria could be stored elsewhere so that the unneccesary clutter is removed. You need room to be able to move your clothing along the hanging rail and not have a daily tug a war and wardrobe meltdowns.

For more organising tips read https: How to Have an Organised Wardrobe

2.Keep Wearing the Same Outfit Combination

Mornings can be quite a hectic time and quite often it becomes the habit to reach for a tried and true outfit. This quite often results in a feeling of boredom and thinking that you have nothing to wear. Most people wear only 20% of their clothing 80% of the time.

SOLUTION: Plan and Play

  • Change your reach and grab strategy to one that involves some wardrobe exploring. This involves planning some outfits in advance. This could be done at the weekend or the night before. The more you do this the more aware you will be of just how many potential new outfits combinations you actually have.
  • Create a look book of outfits that you enjoy wearing by taking photos. This ensures that you can remember all the elements of an outfit and have outfit inspiration on the run.

Read more here:- Style Inspiration to Create Your Outfits

3. Shopping Without a Plan

Many women go shopping without a plan of what they are looking for. You cannot create a wardrobe that supports you if you don’t know what you already have and what you need. This often results in clothing hanging in wardrobes not being worn.

SOLUTION: Create a List

Most women create a shopping list for groceries and household needs but not for their clothing needs. Create a list of the clothing items that you need to replace or need to fill the gaps in your wardrobe. When you do this you will be shopping with purpose and direction.

Read more here:- Five Questions to Take Shopping with You

4. Buying Clothes and Not Wearing Them

There are many reasons why we buy clothes and don’t wear them. If you go shopping you usually have an expectation that you will buy something and this can result in purchasing items for the wrong reasons.

SOLUTION: Ask this question?

Quite often we buy clothing just because it fits. Fit is not the only consideration when buying clothing. You need to ask this important question – HOW DOES IT FEEL? If you have any doubts no matter what other people think leave it in the shop because it will just become another orphan in your wardorbe.

When you purchase something new plan to wear it as soon as possible. Before you hang it up create at least one outfit and plan when you will wear it. Clothes that are purchased and then hung in the wardrobe can easily be forgotten.

5. Unsure  What Clothing Suits You, Your Body and Your Lifestyle

We get dressed every day but do not always feel good about it. Your clothes have the power to give you confidence and to look and feel great.

SOLUTION: Seek professional help

Contact a professional who can provide you with the knowledge and understanding so that your wardrobe supports you by giving you

CONFIDENT STYLE

YOUR WAY EVERY DAY.

Services

 

 

No Clothes Shoping For a Year Challenge

NO CLOTHES SHOPPING FOR A YEAR CHALLENGE 

Have you ever thought about under taking a no clothes shopping for a year challenge? This is exactly what one of my lovely clients ‘Michelle Jones’ decided to do. Michelle is seven months into her challenge and here is her story.

1.What prompted this year without clothes shopping challenge?

  • Throughout 2017 I listened to several TEDx talks about the ‘minimalistic’ approach to belongings and also decluttering one’s wardrobe and building up a ‘core’ collection of items for each season and from there how many outfits could be made up from the ‘core’ collection. By core items the speakers referred to the absolute minimum to build an essential wardrobe for each season so that all the clothes for that season were visible in the wardrobe. Items not relevant to the season were moved to another wardrobe or packed away in boxes. The reason for this was to make it easy to decide what to wear. Once the ‘core’items had been selected then there were some additional items that you wore infrequently, for example rain jacket and evening wear. Then there were ‘complementary core items’ which included scarves, t-shirts, jumpers, bags, jewellery and accessories. The combination of these items with the ‘core’ collection increased the number of outfits.
  • Another reason for the ‘No Clothes Shopping for a Year Challenge‘ was because I already had some outfits that I had bought but never worn because the hem needed to be shortened. Additionally some other clothes needed to be altered and I didn’t want to buy any more new clohtes until I had altered these.
  • I had a wardrobe full of clothes and wanted to work out different combinations to get more outfits.
  • It was a challenge to me to see if I could last the year.
  • Philosophically I believe that our society is becoming very materialistic and that advertising influences us to keep buying even though we can do without the new item. In 2012 and 2017 I visited Myanmar (Burma) and I was influenced by the gentleness of the people I met and their happiness despite their lack of items which in Western Society we consider essential.

2.What guidleines did you set yourself?

I could buy accessories, for example handbags, shoes, and scarves to complement my wardrobe and in this way get more outfits. As I can sew very well if I wanted new clothes then I would use my resourcefulness and buy the fabric and sew the item. However so far I have not had the time to sew anything.

3. Describe your shopping habits prior to this challenge.

Usually I waited until the Christmas and the mid-year sales to buy clothes and then would buy items that I already had the right colour accessories for or would complement other items in my wardrobe. Every now and then I would buy some items not on sale that I ‘loved’ and always gave me a special feeling whenever I wore them. I also bought clothes that I didn’t particulary like which were bought in a hurry because I thought I did not have enough clothes to wear to work. This was because I had not taken the time the previous evening to work out an outfit to wear the following day. When I woke up in the morning I would just stare at my clothes and think “What will I wear today?” and be in a hurry to select an outfit.

4. What concerns did you have in regard to not shopping for a year?

I was concerned that I would not last the year. In fact, in March I couldn’t resist buying two beautiful outfits at full price. This was an impulse buy because as yet I have not worn either outfit. As I bought these on 12/03/2018 I now need to wait the full year until 12/03/2019 before I can buy new clothes. If I ended this challenge on the original date 31/12/18 then I would not have finished the one year challenge.

5. What are you finding challenging?

  • My biggest challenge is not to buy any clothes. I love fabrics and new styles and I have to avoid going into dress shops in case I am tempted to buy something.
  • I also watch several current affairs programs on television and am constantly reminded what the latest fashions are because the current female presenters wear them. It is a challenge to override the urge to buy similar styled outfits or prints.
  • It’s been difficult and yet at the same time rewarding that I have stuck it ou so far. After I did the ‘Work Your Wardrobe’ workshop with Individually You I was very aware that I needed more neutrals, brown and cream in my wardrobe to maximise my numbers of outfits. However because of the challenge I have to wait until the end of it to buy them.
  • At present I need a pair of dark blue jeans because my other pairs have faded and the challenge is not to buy a new pair. A new pair would enable me to have more outfits for a Friday work day because my work has a policy of ‘Friday Jeans Day.’ The next challenge is to find the time to sew the jeans. I would selct a simple skinny leg style without pockets and then wear tops that end under my hip line as that length is most flattering for me.

6. What has changed for you?

  • I’m giving more thought on how to combine clothes to get different outfits and how to change one outfit with different accessories.
  • When I recently bought a scarf I gave great thought to the colour and selected the scarf so the colours would complement several outfits in my wardrobe to give them a different look.
  • I’m more comfortable wearing styles in public that I only wore at home, for example wearing very fitted clothes and shorter hemlines which flatter my figure. Wearing the fitted style in public increased the number of  outfits for work.
  • I now take time the night before to select the outfit that I will wear to work the next day and also iron it and clean the shoes that go with the outfit so it will be ready for the next day.
  • I’m more aware of what looks great on someone. I ask myself why and then see if I might get the similar outfit with what I have in my wardrobe.
  • I’ve changed hair dressers and now have a modern hairstyle that suits me better.

7. What are you learning about yourself?

  • I have perserverance to stick things out. Even though I bought the 2 impulse items two and half months into the challenge(mid-March) I have shown resilience by not buying anything since then which is now 7 months later (mid October).
  • I understand my wardrobe better and so far have been pleasantly surprised that I am getting a larger number of different outfits even though I haven’t bought any new clothes.
  • Just because I am not buying clothes I can still learn more about my wardrobe hence I enrolled in Individually You’s ‘Work Your Wardrobe’ workshop.
  • I’ve learnt that ‘less is more’  and it’s taking me less time to manage my wardrobe.
  • I’ve learnt to manage my time better and the value of setting time aside to continue the work of decluttering my wardrobe to have my ‘core’ items for each season.
  • This one year challenge has reminded me of the role of clothes in one’s life and how we can use them to ‘ power dress’ and the big part they play in non-verbal communication when people first meet and form an opinion about someone.

Thank you ‘Michelle’ for sharing your ‘No Clothes Shopping for a Year Challenge’ story.  You are an inspiration. Your persistence and resilence is to be admired. You have really got me thinking but I know I wouldn’t set myself a year long challenge but possibly one or 2 months. The question would be which months would I choose. Look forward to hearing from you after your ‘No Clothes Shopping for Year Challenge’ ends.

 

What self care looks like for me

 

WHAT SELF CARE LOOKS LIKE FOR ME

Self Care is a concept that has been around for a while and will be different for each individual. It has taken some time to grasp what it means for me. It is not about anybody else but is entirely self focussed and involves:-
– Accepting who you are.
– Believing in yourself.
– Caring about yourself.

My approach to self care focusses on both internal and external processes and activities.  It is  all about how I am being each day and realising how my thoughts and expectations may be  influencing and affecting my actions and reactions.

This is the what and how my internal self care process over the last year:-

  • Being a friend to myself – a friend is kind, accepting, supportive, encouraging, helpful and uplighting.
  • Finding ways to quieten and shut down my inner critic monster who wants to put me down, tell me I am not good enough or you can’t do that and  compare me with others. Did you know that the person you hear from or talk to most each day is yourself? No matter how much other people mention your positive attributes you still tend to believe that inner critic monster who just wants to derail you with irrational thoughts.
  • Creating a new habit – A year ago I planted a great big red STOP SIGN inside my head in an attempt to derail my negative thoughts and messages. Every time that voice tried to interfere my STOP SIGN would pop up and push it aside. Over time this has worked for me and I have been quite surprised at how much power I was giving away to something that only existed inside my head. However on days when I am feeling tired or overwhelmed that inner critic tries to rear it’s ugly head.
  • There is no such thing as perfection. I think that perfection is great friends with our inner critic and wants us to feel we are never good enough because  we don’t look a certain way, have a big house, an expensive car or travel the world. Once again comparison becomes the enemy and places us in a negative space if we let it.
  • Looking for the magic moments in my day.
  • Checking in with myself regularly to recognise how my thoughts and actions are helping or hindering my day and reframing if I  need to.
  • Gifting myself and others with a compliment each day.

My external self care process involves doing activities that I enjoy and make me feel whole. These activitie include:-

  • being in my garden
  • reading each night before sleeping
  • taking the time for a long soak in the bath with lots of bubbles (maybe once a month)
  • doing a creative activity such as collaging, knitting, sewing, gardening
  • catching up with friends
  • going on a date with my husband
  • pilates class once a week and home program three times a week

All these activities involve people or involve creating and keep my tank full. These activities need to be scheduled into my monthly diary.

For me it is about looking out for myself and valuing me as a person

To contribute to anyone else’s life you need to feel good about your self. This let’s you give more in a positive way without draining your own energy.

What is your version of self care?

 

How to Organise Your Wardrobe to Prepare for Moving

First appeared in @ashbypartners

HOW TO ORGANISE YOUR WARDROBE to PREPARE FOR MOVING

Moving house can be a hig stress event. Quite often packing up clothing items is one of the last jobs on your very long to do list. This can result in clothing items being packed in a hurry and without any sense of order.

Let’s look at some tips for:-

  1. Packing up your wardrobe to make it easier to find what what you need when you move.
  2. Cleaning the wardrobe chaos and clutter before you move house.
  3. Organising your wardrobe in your new home

What to do before moving:-

Don’t wait till the last minute to pack up your wardrobe. Taking time before your final packing days to start to sort and cull your wardrobe will mean that you are only taking the clothes that are relevant to your NOW life. Why waste the time packing items that you don’t wear, do not fit or no longer support your lifestyle only to discard them at your new destination or to rehang  them and let them take up valuable space in your new wardrobe.

The process I am suggesting involves  setting up a system of labelled packing boxes, bags or suitcases that you can place clothing as you are sorting and culling. Suggested labels for these storage containers could include:-

  • Trash:- Clothes you no longer wear or do not fit  but are not in good enough condition to give away.
  • Take Aways:- Clothes in good enough condition that you can give away to charity and friends.
  • Treasures:- Clothes that you are keeping and are appropriate for the current season. If possible keep these clothes on their hangers for transporting. Put straight into your new wardrobe.
  • Out of Season:- Sorting your clothes according to seasons means that you don’t have to unpack the out of season clothes on arrival at your new home.
  • Memories:- S0metimes we have clothes in our wardrobe that hold precious memories and we find it difficult to part with. Pack these into separate boxes / suitcase and store as a memory box at your new location. I have some of the special dresses my mother sewed for me hanging as wall art in bedrooms.
  • Maybe:- There are always clothes that we are not sure about keeping. If you pack these separately then you can rethink them at another time.

Go through everything in your wardrobe and use these questions to help guide your packing decisions.

  1. Do I wear this?
  2. Does it fit me?
  3. Can it be altered?
  4. Do I enjoy wearing this?
  5. How does it make me feel?
  6. Does it support my present lifestyle?
  7. Where and how can I wear this?
  8. Am I likely to wear it in the near future?
  9. Does it easily coordinate with other clothing?
  10. Would I buy this again?

It can be helpful to pack a couple of suitcases / boxes with a number of outfits for each family member so that on moving day you are able to easily locate something to wear.

Wardrobe Organisation Tips for Your New Wardrobe

A wardrobe without organisation makes it difficult to find clothing items and easy to forget what you have.

Here are some steps for organising your new wardrobe space:-

  • See and Reach Principle – Hang as much as possible. Clothing that is not clearly visible and easy to reach can be forgotten.
  • Arrange in Wardrobe      – Hang same with same:- skirts, tops, pants, dresses, jackets etc. Within each clothing group                                                                       organise into same colours, light to dark, plains and patterns.
  • Out of Season Clothing   – Free up space in your wardrobe by storing these items elsewhere. Utilise space under beds, top                                                              shelf of wardrobes or unused suitcases.
  • Rolling                                   – Rolling clothing items that do not crease can make it easier to locate in drawers or baskets.

Your wardrobe plays a very important part in your daily life so taking the time to plan your decluttering and packing process can ease the transition into your new home.

Individually You can asssist with this task.

Ten Lessons from the Last Decade

 

WHAT HAVE BEEN MY TEN LESSONS FROM THE LAST DECADE 

June is my birthday month and I have celebrated turning 60 and feel very privileged to be moving into the next decade of my life. It has been a great adventure and time of reflection for me. I realise that the last ten years have involved much change for me both personally and professionally. Moving into the next decade of my life has prompted me to look back at what :-

  • has changed for me
  • is different for me and
  • what lessons I have learnt.

These are my ten life lessons from the last decade:-

LESSON 1 –  Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Just over ten years ago I stepped out of my comfort zone and resigned from a much loved 26 year teaching career. I had no idea what I was going to do next and while this felt right for me it certainly was scary. There was much self doubt about what I could and would do next. I tried very hard to let myself believe that something would come up and let myself be open to the thought of new and different opportunites.

What happened next was a complete surprise. I applied for a job as a Kitchen Designer and thought I had nothing to lose, at the very least I might get some interview practice. Well I walked out of the interview in a state of shock and fear – I got the job and believed I had no skills in this area. Many sleepless nights followed because of my self doubts and feelings of not being good enough. Yes it certainly was a steep learning curve and challenging for me but I came to realise that my teaching career had given me many skills that I had not realised were transferable to different situations. Doubting your own capabilities only limits your possibilities.

Career wise I was not finished stepping out of my comfort zone. I also decided to undertake study in Personal Styling and Image Consultancy which led me to make the terrifying decision to start my own business. This has been the most terrifying, challenging and wonderful experience. and I am so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and let myself be open to new challenges.

 LESSON 2 – Permission to Say No Without Guilt

I use to chase my tail most of the time with an overcrowded work, social and family commitments. I couldn’t say no and was always juggling my calendar to fit everything in. I think I didn’t want to miss out on anything and thought that if I said no I wouldn’t be asked again. Yes, I realise now not saying no had a lot to do with my own self worth. This approach left very little time for me to think about myself, perhaps I was just trying to avoid this.

Now that has changed. I realised that I was not super human (oh no) and running myself into the ground. This was not a very healthy and productive way to live. I can now say no without guilt and I am stronger in both mind and body because of this. My schedule now allows for ‘me’ time.

LESSON 3 – Accept and Believe in Yourself

I was not always a friend to myself. My self doubts were crippling me. I always thought I had a positive approach to life but neglected to realise that my internal voice was always one of self doubt and saboutage. No matter how positive I was on the outside my inner self was always doubting and beating me up. Developing a sense of self worth and  self acceptance started to happen after I did my Personal Styling and Image Consultancy training. I now was working from an inside out approach and truly looking at who I really was. I could never have imagined the imapct of this. Over the last five years I have developed a much stronger internal platform to face what life throws at me because I value, accept and believe in myself. I really like the person that I am.

LESSON 4 – You Can’t be Everything to Everyone

What a lesson this was. I have always been someone who wanted to be there for others but the problem was I wanted to be able to fix everything for them. That is not possible. You can be there to support, help and guide others but you cannot fix their problems.

LESSON 5 – I Know My WHY

Why do we do the things we do? This is a big question that is not easy to answer while we are busy living day to day. When I was starting my Individually You I was asked the question ‘What is Your Why,’ I didn’t have an answer. It took much reflection, time and energy for me to realise that my WHY was to make a difference. I want to make a difference every day to myself and everyone that I meet. I want to give people a reson to smile  feel good about themselves. Realising this has had a positive impact on my internal thoughts and external behaviours in my personal and professional life. It kept me accountable to being true to the person I wanted to be. Thank you Shar Moore  for asking me this question.

LESSON 6 – Connecting with Others is Important for Me

Working from home made me realise how much I enjoyed and needed to be with people. When I first started to work from home it took me a while to realise that my energy levels, productivity and feelings of motivation were decreasing when I wasn’t interacting with others. I enjoy and need to be around others to feel balanced so now make time and plan for this.

LESSON 7 – My Emotions and Thoughts and Actions have a Strong Impact on My Overall Wellbeing

Why did it take me soooo long to realise this? To be physically and emotionally strong relates very much to my own sense of self belief, self acceptance and self care. When I carried around and supported my negative emotions and thoughts I created so much unneeded tension within my body. This created physical pain and illness. Now that my internal thoughts and feelings are stronger I am not as reactive and approach most days in a positive frame of mind. I am not sweating the little stuff.

LESSON 8 – Just Do It Now

Procrastination is an energy drain. Quite often I would delay doing some tasks. These were usually small tasks that really wouldn’t take long to do or tasks that I didn’t like doing. These tasks would pile up and annoy me. Sometimes it was simply moving something from one area of the house to where it actually belonged or filling out a form – (don’t like paperwork).

I made a conscious decision to adopt a DO IT NOW approach towards these tasks. When I would see something that was annoying me such as the folded washing still sitting on the lounge or the hand basin needing a clean a voice in my head now yells JUST DO IT NOW and you will feel better. This has worked for me. I also try to start my work day doing a task that I don’t like so at least I feel good about making progress instead of feeling guilty and having this task hanging over my head.

LESSON 9 – Self Care is Important

Self care starts with the little things we do for ourselves each day. It is not to be confused with being selfish. The first step towards self care for me was accepting and liking myself and trying to turn off my inner critic. The next step involved taking notice of how my body was feeling because I realised that my body reacted with pain when I wasn’t taking care of myself. Self care will be different for everyone. When your body lets you down then you are not able to support others or yourself.

LESSON 10 – Age Does Not Define YOU

Being a year older does not have to mean you are old. Being old is a state of mind, yes changes happen to our body but that is so for everyone. The only alternative to having another birthday is death and that is not an option I want.  I want  this decade to be one of strength, style, surprises and celebrations.

Age is out of your control.

How you handle it though, is in your hands.”

Diane von Furstenburg

 

B is for Bra Support

B is for Bra Support

 

B IS FOR BRA SUPPORT

Most women overlok a very important element when creating an outfit. This element isn’t even visible but it can impact on how flattering and enhancing your outfit appears as well as how comfrotable you feel. You can change the look of an outfit by wearing a good fitting bra.

BENEFITS OF WEARING A WELL FITTING BRA

  • Breasts will be supported and uplifted so that the fullest part of your breasts sits halfway between your shoulders and elbow thus lengthening the mid section of your body and creating the illusion of a waist even if you don’t have one.
  • Stay uplifted and suppported by adjusting the straps of you bra as they stretch over time. Ideally you want to be able to fit no more than two fingers between the strap and your body.
  • Your overall silhouette will be enhanced.
  • Comfort is improved greatly. You avoid boob spillage, straps digging into your shoulders or falling off and the band riding up all the time.
  • Can have a reduced impact on back, neck and shoulder pain especially if your breasts are larger.
  • Save time, money and frustration by shopping where there is a professional fitter. I had my first bra fitting five years ago and it  is the best thing I ever did. Size is determined by circumference measurement of your breast (cup size) and circumference of the area just below the breasts (band size). If you need a bigger cup size you need to godown a band size.

 

FIND THE RIGHT BRA SUPPPORT

NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF A WELL FITTTED BRA 

SUPPORT YOURSELF EMOTIONALLY AND PHYSICALLY BY HAVING A PROFESSIONAL BRA FITTING