Wear it pink!

Don’t be surprised if you see a lot of people wearing pink when you venture out tomorrow! On Friday 22 October it is ‘wear it pink day’ in support of Breast Cancer Awareness which runs throughout October.

It could be a favourite top, shirt, shoes or a crazy hat, but it’s a great opportunity to help raise awareness as well as vital funds.

If you’re not sure what your best shade of pink is to wear then fear not. Here I have created some suggested combinations of wearing pink. I hope this helps to inspire you to wear your best shade of pink today, even if you’ve not had your colours done. Simply use the celeb examples below and descriptions as a way of identifying yourself. Or, if you’d like to know more, then get in touch about my colour analysis consultations. 

Lights and deeps wearing pink

Lights

Think Reece Witherspoon – light delicate colouring, naturally blonde hair and light eyes. Wearing a delicate pink such as a pale pink or dusty rose shade will look fabulous when worn with another light shade such as Stone.

Deeps

Next up think Michelle Obama or Rachel Weiz with dark hair, dark eyes and any skin tone.
For you, try a deeper shade of pink with a strong, deep colour such as Charcoal.

Warms and cools wearing pinkWarms

Stacey Dooley is a fabulous example with warm hair and skin tones which will have a golden appearance. Eyes can be green, blue and all different shades of brown. You’re best steering clear from any cooler shades. Instead opt for Coral and team with Golden Brown.

Cools

Here we have Jamie Lee Curtis with ash and grey hair tones, any colour eyes and either a pink or blue skin undertone. You suit many shades of pink so go for it! Try Hot Pink and wear it with Light Grey to give contrast.

Clears and softs wearing pink
Clears

Sophie Ellis-Bexter is a fabulous clear with her bright sparkling eyes with lots of contrast with her hair and skin tone. A brighter shade of pink is much more flattering especially when worn with a strong colour such as Black.

Softs

A fellow soft is Emma Watson or Kate Winslet. They have blonde to medium brown hair, any eye colour (which will be muted). Like me, they have very little contrast between their hair, eye and skin tone. A perfect shade of pink would be shell or a dusty shade and worn with a similar toned colour such as claret.

Show your support and wear pink today! Join in on social media too with the hashtag #wearpink – it would be lovely to see you.

 

It’s Breast Cancer Awareness month throughout October. You can find out more about the charities here: https://www.wearitpink.org/about and https://www.breastcancernow.org.

How to stop impulse buying

It was great to do my What to wear workshop for Autumn at the weekend and share the new colour and style trends that you’ll find in the shops and online.

I find that everyone is different when it comes to shopping, but often there is a little common problem I hear time and time again. Impulse shopping!

Now, I’m not trying to take the fun out of life and be a party pooper! It’s a common problem I hear all the time but one which can be solved!

The scenario

You go shopping, hoping to buy something new. You find nothing that fits your proportions / in your colours / in your size / flatters your shape / makes you feel good / feels like you. So, you go home feeling deflated, fed up and totally uninspired. That’s not a great place to be!

Because, it all looks so tempting, inspiring and seductive with the adverts, emails and the rails promoting those ‘must-have’ pieces and outfits. Encouraging you to part with your hard-earned cash. After all, you want to look that good too right? Fashionable. Stylish. On trend.

Stop ✋

Shop with purpose

That’s why my advice is to always shop with purpose. You need a better plan and one your wardrobe, purse and self-esteem will thank you for!

New outfits and clothes don’t have to be new all the time. Sometimes you just need to feel inspired to try a different combination to create a new outfit. If you look hard enough, you’ll probably find ‘new’ things in your wardrobe. Those pieces you bought ages ago and actually forgot that you had. Or those items you bought but didn’t know what to wear it with.

You see, trends come and go and fashion isn’t quite so ‘new’. Yes, the styles may be ever so slightly different but only you know if you’ll get your money’s worth out of buying it.

My what to wear workshops occur every six months for Spring/summer and Autumn/Winter. It’s an opportunity to hear me share my tips on how to make the current seasonal styles work for you but also how to review what you’ve already got and style them up differently. On Saturday, not only did I showcase some of the new trends you’ll find on the high street, but I also picked out 16 items I already had in my own wardrobe which ticked off those same trends! That’s why it’s important to know what you’ve got in your wardrobe.

Shopping tips

These are questions I ask myself when I shop:

Is it the right colour for me?

Does the style work for me?

When would I wear it? (occasion/lifestyle appropriate)

Does it fit and flatter my body shape and proportions?

Is it comfortable to wear?

What else can I wear it with?

Final thoughts

As you can see, it’s all about understanding what works for you, your lifestyle as well as your budget. Even when you know your colours, choosing the right fabrics and styles is equally as important or you still won’t feel ‘right’. That’s where my style and image consultations come in.

Finally, don’t forget about accessories. These can be a great way to put some jazz into your existing clothes and do a nod to the new trends at the same time. Plus, they’re a much more cost effective way of adding something new to your wardrobe.

Remember; just because it’s in fashion, does not mean that it suits everyone. If it’s not ‘you’, don’t buy it! It’s about being authentic and true to yourself. Wearing something that doesn’t feel like you will only make you feel uncomfortable and unhappy and that doesn’t make for a confident feeling person.

My style and image consultations will identify your style, your shape, proportions and the cut and fabrics which suit you best. Contact me to book your session.

Four tips to perform an autumn audit

Fashions fade, style is eternal. Yves Saint Laurent

You don’t need to constantly add things to your wardrobe every year.

Yes, you might need some updates or tweaks to bring things up to date and items of course will need to be replaced. But, as a good old fashioned Yorkshire girl I believe you can and should get your money’s worth.

I call it £s per wear and it’s a simple concept.

Buy less and wear more and learn how to re-style pieces you already have to remain current; it’s a simple concept and one that your wallet will thank you for too.

In my latest video, I share four tips to help you perform an autumn audit. Watch it here.

That Leeds Mag guest article – dress with confidence this autumn

In the September issue of ‘That Leeds Mag‘, you’ll find my new article: Dress with confidence this autumn.

As the seasons change, our dressing habits change too. Perhaps you’ve begun adding layers or the debates are raging on whether to wear your winter coat, change the duvet or put the heating on!

I’m sharing four tips to help you with your Autumn edit. You can pick up a copy of the magazine if you’re in North Leeds or alternatively, check it out online here: Dress with confidence this autumn.

Changing the colour of your clothes

In last month’s blog, I spoke about my three D approach for when clothes aren’t quite the right colour for you. (Revisit it and read it here.)

Something as simple as changing the colour can be a really easy way to get it back into your wardrobe circulation. Moving it from something that you’re not wearing, to one that you are.

I often introduce the idea of dyeing clothes to clients and I love the look on people’s faces!

For those who feel a little frightened at the prospect, I wanted to share my latest colour experiment with you.

Whilst this is a task that’s easily done at home nowadays in the washing machine, there are a few things to be aware of.

Clothes which are made of synthetic fibres (such as polyester) can’t be as easily dyed at home. A blend or mix of fabrics will dye, but the final colour won’t have the depth. Natural fibres such as cotton and linen will take very well to home dyeing.

I came across this great article at Dylon which explains everything you need to know about fabrics and dye here.

For my experiment, I chose three garments; a t-shirt and two dresses and used Dylon dye pod which I bought through Amazon.*

Item 1. A T-shirt

This was a great little top I’d picked up a few years ago in Oasis. It was fun and different in white with pink flamingos🦩! Overall, it was the white base I wasn’t a fan of as I felt it was too white for me. A soft white is always more complimentary (for everyone in fact). The fact was, I just wasn’t wearing it enough.

The fabric is 50% cotton, 50% modal and you can see me wearing it at York Fashion week below.

Yfw flamingo tshirt

2. Cotton dress

Next, I identified a simple T-shirt dress bought from M&S. It was nice, casual and easy to wear and cool during the warmer months. It was ivory (more like an off white) with blue stripes and (the holy grail of dresses) it had pockets!!

This was made of 100% cotton. Perfect!

3. Final dress

In truth, this was the main reason I had the dye in mind. I’d bought this from Zara last year as it felt an ideal lockdown wear item. Casual and comfortable but not loungewear.

A neutral colour (similar to stone) was something I was missing in my wardrobe. The style was quite different too. Sweatshirt style from the front, buttoned sleeves, light shirt style at the back with a tie belt. But, I always felt a bit uninspired when I wore it as I felt it lacked colour for me even though the style and fit was nice.

The front and the back of the dress were different fabrics, so I knew I’d have a challenge on my hands. 50% viscose, 37% polyester and 12% polyamide was the blend of the main fabric and the secondary fabric was 1% elastase and polyester! Here’s a pic of the front and back of the dress – the belt is the same material as the back.

Colour

My chosen shade of colour was plum red from the Dylon machine dye pod range. From the name, I knew it would be a cooler and muted shade and berry like so seemed a perfect fit for me as a soft, cool, deep. I also wanted no fuss.

With the Dylon pods, the garments need to be damp and clean, so I ran them through a wash cycle. Once clean, I took off the labels on the pod and lid and stood it upright in the machine drum on top of the clothes. Next, I set it on a cycle as per the instructions.

It’s quite nerve wracking and exciting seeing the colour go round the machine! Once finished, you have to run another cycle with detergent. When this is finished, you’ll need to run an empty cycle with detergent to clean the washing machine of any dye residue.

The result

Here are the items following their colour transformation!

You’ll see the Flamingo t-shirt and the M&S t-shirt dress both dyed well. The stitching around the neck, base and sleeves are still white as most likely synthetic and the patterns have remained on both too.

As expected, the Zara dress was completely different. The back didn’t colour at all because it was polyester and it’s created a nice two tone effect and style. The front of the dress which had the blend of fabrics has coloured a much paler shade. It’s got a kind of mottled effect because of the fibre mix which I quite like.

Bizarrely, it’s like I’ve got some new clothes and I’ve worn all three items at least once!

If you do happen to have items which you’re willing to be brave with, it could be worth the experiment! Let me know how you get on or if you have any of your own stories to share as I’d love to know. Why not tag me in them on social media?

 

*The Dylon pod I used was deep plum bought through Amazon for £5.00 in August 2021. If you have synthetic fabrics, Rit Synthetic dye is recommended and also available from Amazon.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from any qualifying purchases you make using the links above.

I’ve also seen them at Wilko’s and eBay as well.

What to do if it’s not the right colour for you

This is a popular discussion when people begin their image journey with me.

When you have a colour analysis session with me, we’ll talk a lot about colour and how to wear it for best effect.

It isn’t just about what colour to wear, but how you wear the shades of colour and combine them with others.

If you haven’t experienced your own colour analysis, you’ll know when the colour isn’t right as you’ll take the garment off claiming something along the lines of ‘it’s not right’. You often can’t put your finger on why. You might also find you need to apply more makeup so it balances you out. Or, you may see shadows under your chin or eyes, or your skin has turned a funny colour. These are all examples of when a colour isn’t right for you. When your skin looks smooth, you look brighter, younger, healthier and lighter then you’ll know these are the good colours for you.

When you’re assessing the colours in your wardrobe and specifically the ‘wrong’ colours, think of the three D’s:

Ditch it

When you have your colours done, one of the first things you’ll do is check inside your wardrobe and compare what you have to the colours in your swatches!

I encourage this simple task because there’s always something hanging in there which you’ve never been sure of. Each time you’ve put it on, you’ve taken it off shaking your head that you can’t quite put your finger on why it doesn’t look right. And so as soon as I confirm that it’s not one of your better shades, you’ll instantly want to remove it from your wardrobe!

Dye it

Always an interesting one this as it can divide opinion. Sometimes, a garment isn’t quite the right shade but you can’t bring yourself to ditch it. So, it hangs there for a little longer. Unworn and unloved. Of course, I’m not going to arrest you for wearing the wrong colour remember, but I do understand that once you know something isn’t right, you don’t feel as compelled to wear it! The way I see it, there’s three options:

1. Wear it. It’s not your best so if it’s worn near to your face then just be aware that it isn’t your most flattering and you risk those annoying questions asking if you’re feeling ok as you look poorly/tired etc. If you can wear it away from your face or with a scarf, then this will work also.

2. Change the colour! If you can’t bring yourself to ditch it because you spent money on it / like it / it fits well, then simply change the colour to one that will work for you! This is easily done at home nowadays in your washing machine (look out for the blog next month when I share my own experiment). But, be aware that any garments which are 100% polyester won’t dye. A blend or mix will, but it won’t have the depth of say 100% cotton.

3. Keep it hung up, unloved and unworn and taking up valuable space.

Delay the decision

I wouldn’t want you to make a rash decision which you’ll later regret. Life’s too short after all! Just ponder it and see how you get on. How does it make you feel if you wear it? Have you noticed any comments about how you look when you’re wearing it? Does it give you joy?

Now, if you’ve still not worn it after 12 months (or a global pandemic for example) then maybe it’s time to reconsider if it’s time to revisit the other two D’s.

Knowing the colours that suit you best and determining how to wear them to achieve a flattering look is the first step of your journey. All my sessions are about helping you to feel good in what you wear. When you don’t, it doesn’t just affect your mood but your overall confidence level and self belief. If it’s time to change things, or you’re not sure what to do next, get in touch and let’s have a chat about starting, or continuing your journey.

DIY wardrobe planning tips

How many times have you uttered the words: I have nothing to wear??

We’ve all done it! However, clicking the fingers and imagining it’s different doesn’t tend to happen so what have you done to actually change it?

Here’s a few of my do-it-yourself pointers.

1. Assess your contents

Firstly, you need to know what you’ve got and if things are suitable. All too often we have clothes that just aren’t appropriate for the occasion we are dressing for and that’s when we feel like we’ve got nothing to wear. So, use these wardrobe charts to help you assess the contents along with how you spend your time. You can read this blog about what to do when your wardrobe doesn’t work and download the charts here.

2. Take the hanger challenge

This really does work! It’s as simple as turning all your hangers round so they face the same way. Then, as you wear things, switch them round to face the opposite way. You’ll soon begin to easily notice what you are and aren’t wearing! Plus, it’s a quick little tip to help you snap out of the wearing the same thing habit you might be stuck in. You might even spot some obvious things you’re not getting your use out of too. Read more here.

3. Declutter your wardrobe

This can be challenging for people and it’s often why I’m called in. But, if you’re up for the challenge to do it yourself, then here is my declutter guide which will help you spring clean your wardrobe in five easy steps. You’ll need to give yourself time to embark on this one but it will be worth it. Download it here.

4. Declutter in chunks

If a total declutter is too overwhelming, then simply try it in manageable chunks. One drawer at a time, one area at a time. It will take you longer overall but you can squeeze bits in as and when you feel you have time. Read the blog and view the videos I’ve made previously on this here: Five areas to declutter in manageable chunks!

5. Create a capsule wardrobe

You’ve read the articles and seen the programs saying you need just 23/35/70/insert number of items you need to create the perfect capsule wardrobe! But, rarely is there any advice over how to do so, or indeed making it relevant to you or your lifestyle.

So, if you want to shoot straight to creating a capsule wardrobe that works for you, then this workbook will take you through every step to creating one. Get it here.

Let me know how you get on and if you find you need some professional help, don’t be afraid to get in touch with me.

Good luck and let me know how you get on!

Toni x

Choosing shorts

Gap have recently announced that they’ll be closing their high street shops soon and remaining online. It’s a common theme for the high street unfortunately.

It did remind me of my own shorts collection and a client of mine.

She contacted me to ask for some shopping advice for shorts as she struggled finding the right styles and fit.

Here’s some tips.

Firstly, shorts are for anyone of any age (just like most clothes in fairness). It’s all down to how confident you feel in what you wear. And, choosing your clothes which fit your shape, proportions and style preferences. This is covered in my style and image consultations. 

The main issue my client had with shorts was the width of the leg. She had lovely slim legs and was petite so if the shorts were too wide, they looked baggy and her legs looked too ‘spindly’!

If you are petite, it’s key to get the right size or they can swamp your bottom half and make your legs appear shorter than they are.

Short lengths and styles

The length of your shorts should also be considered. Just like a skirt or dress, shorts can also come in different lengths and styles.

That’s where Gap was one of my favourite retailers. They featured different lengths and styles and often in a range of colours and fabrics and prints.

Here are a few from my own collection:

Bermuda

These have a longer length. Bermuda styles are usually more fitted and straight legged too. I have 9 inch and 10 inch lengths.

 

girlfriend shorts

Offer a more casual style. Mine are a 3 inch length so the shortness of these may not be for everyone. You’ll also find activewear or beachwear this length.

3 inch girlfriend shorts

3 inch girlfriend shorts

city shorts

A slightly smarter version and similar to chino styles and come in different lengths. Mine are 3 inch.

3 inch city shorts

3 inch city shorts

 

Paper bag

These are high waisted and gathered at the waist, often a dressier very of shorts. Unfortunately, they aren’t universally flattering. They tend to suit those with a clearly defined waist and those with a longer body better.

pleats and darts

These will create shape so be more fitted and tailored. If your curvier, these will be much more flattering for your figure.

mid length

This would be the most universally flattering length in my view. Typically, around 5/6 inches length in the inside leg. This is because this is usually the point of your leg when it begins to narrow and therefore more flattering.

Sit and stand test

When you’re trying your shorts on, sit in them as well as stand! You don’t want them too tight on the thigh so that when you sit they are too restrictive.

Fabric

Natural fibres have more breathability to them. They tend to come from animals, plants and minerals. These include fabrics such as cotton, linen, silk and wool.

Synthetic fibres are usually made with artificial fibres and chemicals. As they are man made, they are more affordable and are designed to be used more frequently. Polyester, rayon and acrylic are common fabrics often created to mimic the natural fibres mentioned above.

The result!

Following my advice, my client sent me some pictures.

Here, in the first picture are her standard shorts.

Client in her standard baggy shorts

In the second picture, her new tailored fit shorts. Slightly longer in length but more fitted and much more flattering for her shape and frame.

Client in her fitted, tailored shorts

If you need some styling advice, get in touch.

 

 

What to do when your wardrobe doesn’t work for you

How many times have you opened your wardrobe doors and felt uninspired by what’s staring back at you?

Despite having clothes to wear, you still feel like you have nothing appropriate to wear for the occasion you’re dressing for.

This is something I find time and time again with clients. It could be that your lifestyle has changed and let’s be honest; lockdown has had that effect for many of us!

If the contents of your wardrobe no longer match your lifestyle or how you spend your time, then you’ll constantly feel like you’ve got nothing to wear.

The solution isn’t to get rid of all your clothes and start again (and nor would I advise to!). Instead, it’s worth looking at how you spend your time and what clothes you can wear which you own.

These charts have been created to help you do just that. First, map out how you spend your time. Things like walking the dog, working (from home or out), looking after kids or parents, exercising and so on. Next, review your clothes and if they fit in with your lifestyle.

You see, when your charts don’t match in equal proportion, you’ll need to focus on adjusting the balance. Seeing this will probably confirm why you feel the way you do.  And, you’ll be able to identify where the gaps are in your wardrobe. If you don’t adjust the balance then you’ll constantly feel like you have nothing to wear.

If the clothes you own do match how you spend your time, then congratulations: you have the right balance!

You can open and download the wardrobe charts below and if you need professional help, reach out and get in touch.

Download your wardrobe charts here

These charts will help you achieve the right balance in your wardrobe so you can stop feeling like you’ve got nothing to wear!

Wardrobe charts

Introducing Style dilemma SOS

Are you fed up of your wardrobe and sick of not knowing what to wear or what to buy?

You’re not alone!

Maybe it’s lockdown, or maybe not, but I’ve had many conversations with people who are so fed up. Nothing seems to fit, nothing seems to work and they’ve actually lost confidence in how they dress!

If this sounds like you, then this announcement will be of interest.

Introducing Style Dilemma SOS

Want to be able to talk to someone who can help you resolve your styling dilemmas?

Answer your dressing challenges and put you back on track to loving your clothes again?

This is for you.

It’s a dedicated and bespoke 1 hour service all about you.

We can tackle a specific style issue you’re having or address any challenges or questions you might have about what to wear or what suits you.

It takes place virtually from the comfort of your own home. Video is best, but if you’re zoomed out then we can always discuss on the phone.

Here’s what Anna said after her session with me:

Thank you so much for this morning. I found it very useful and insightful. Loved the time spent with you – left with a passion for clothes. Thank you so much!!

Let me help you to get your mojo back. Get in touch to book your session now.