Clothes to rent?

Would you consider hiring a one off garment? How about renting clothes that you’re not wearing?

My interest in this area has peaked recently as a few announcements caught my eye. Renting out clothes, accessories and hiring garments to others is becoming a growing market.

People have become more aware of the impact to the environment of ‘fast fashion’ and sustainability isn’t just a buzz word. Action is being taken and there’s some interesting results.


The high street retailer announced recently a free 24 hour suit hire for men under their new scheme: One/Second/Suit.

The initiative offers customers a single breasted navy jacket and matching trousers, a white shirt, a navy tie and red handkerchief.

This is a particularly pertinent initiative with people returning to work. Many are also facing the prospect of interviews. Frankly, I think it’s a fantastic idea as people don’t necessarily want to, or can afford to spend money on garments they’re unlikely to wear regularly. I saw first hand how young people could benefit when I worked with The Princes Trust a couple of years ago.

If you know anyone who could benefit from the initiative, send them the details here:

Wedding dress hire

It’s not unusual for the groom, ushers and groomsmen to hire their suits of course, but rarely do you hear of brides doing the same.

Carrie Symonds married Boris Johnson on 30 May and was reported to have hired her dress for the big day. I’m impressed at such a move and financially, it’s rather clever. She paid a fraction of the price for her designer dress which now won’t remain tucked in a box or hung up in her wardrobe.

Rental marketplace

There are various rental marketplaces which exist here in the U.K. Many may have begun with occasion wear, or even designer bags but now, it’s much more. You can manage the transaction yourself by renting out your garments to someone wishing to hire them and agreeing the price. Other sites will manage the process for you including cleaning and delivery and taking a percentage of the rental fees.

This isn’t fancy dress hire either. This could be anything right up to high end designer bags, shoes and clothes for one day or weeks at a time.

The impact of Fashion

I say it all the same to clients: fashion is what you buy, style is what you do with it. Fashion is one of the biggest pollutants using non-renewable resources. I read an article on the website stating: “fashion sucks up more energy than both aviation and shipping combined”.

Fast fashion is essentially mass produced garments sold for a low cost and because of the low cost, it’s easier to keep buying more. How many times have you bought another top or another pair of jeans even though you didn’t need them? One problem is that many of these garments end up unworn and thrown away to landfill.

A great book to read is Fashionopolis by Dana Thomas which was published a couple of years ago. The statistics are staggering:

– 100 billion garments are produced every year
– The average shopper was buying 68 items of clothing a year
– 20% of all items go unsold
– Less than 2% of workers in the clothing industry were earning the living wage
– 1 t-shirt and a pair of jeans uses 5,000 gallons of water

Make-do and mend

When I was younger, me and my friends used to have clothes swap parties. It was a great way to refresh your wardrobe and feel like you had something new to wear without buying and we would regularly switch things up.

Repurposing what you have or repairing it can extend a garment’s life but that only really works for you if you’re very creative or skilled so I understand that it’s not for everyone.

Donating is another way of extending the life of garments too. Charities are in need of support and the shops have a fantastic array of clothes at a fraction of the original cost and still be new to you.

Of course, why not help someone and make a little money for yourself by selling them on one of the many resale sites. eBay, vinted, debop and Facebook marketplace are all methods of selling on clothes rather than sending them to landfill.

Love your clothes launched in 2014 as a campaign to reduce the environmental impact of clothing across the U.K. They have some great tips for caring, repairing and upcycling your garments. Visit

Wardrobe detox

One of the easiest ways of reducing the impact of fashion on the environment is to buy less and wear more of your clothes. During lockdown, many people found they hardly wore their clothes. Some even stopped fitting! And many decluttered their wardrobe. There was a surge in the number of people who downloaded the five steps to spring clean your wardrobe guide from the website too.

Just take a look in your wardrobe and assess how many clothes you have that you hardly wear, if at all. Maybe someone else can benefit from them and love them like you no longer can?

If you need professional help, you know where I am – get in touch to organise a virtual or face to face session.

Guest podcast interview – the importance of being happy

I was recently invited to talk about work-life balance in a podcast!

I don’t often talk about such personal matters, but it’s an important subject to me. It was after all, one of the reasons for becoming an image consultant and why I decided to leave my corporate career behind.

Marcus Lee of Reel Street Productions is based in Leeds and has his own podcast. At the time of the recording, we were still in lockdown and had to resort to a virtual meeting over the telephone!

During the interview, we talk about the importance of feeling good and how to boost your confidence. Marcus asks me about the impacts of the first lockdown and things I’m looking forward to doing! There’s even a quick fire round of what he calls ‘would you rather…’ (cringe).

I hope you enjoy it!

Visit his website to learn more:

Listen to the podcast interview here:

Colour Analysis – Frequently asked questions

Wearing colour is the easiest way to update your image. Wearing colour is not only a simple way to boost your mood, but when you wear colour which brightens your features and compliments your colouring then you will look just fabulous too!

Here we address some of the frequent questions we get asked about colour analysis consultations.

“I don’t want to be pigeon-holed”

With our colour analysis consultations, it’s more than just showing you your colours and telling you what to wear. It’s about you. Just because you’re the same colouring as Vivienne Westwood, doesn’t mean that you have the same need to stand out in a crowd. You’ll learn how to wear colour. Watch our video.

“You’ll tell me I can’t wear black”

It’s not about not wearing certain colours, it’s about understanding how to wear them for the best effect. Some shades of colour will look far more complimentary on you than others. You’ll learn how to wear colour to achieve your best look.

“It’s old fashioned to have your colours done”

Quite the opposite. Understanding how to wear and combine different colours enables you to build a cohesive, versatile, modern and lifestyle appropriate wardrobe. Sustainable dressing and the desire to buy less and wear more has increased the desire for people to understand what suits them best so that they can make better buying decisions.

“Isn’t that something that they did in the 80s?”

Indeed, but like most things; it’s moved on from the dated 80s look!

In fact, many of my clients are surprised at how modern my approach to colour is. I’ve seen people as young as 17 and as experienced as 76! My Virtual Consultation service is one example of how I’ve stayed relevent and moved with the times.

“I don’t have the budget to start my wardrobe all over again”

Not many people do! It’s about having a wardrobe of pieces that work for you but also how to work with what you already have.

“Colour Analysis is expensive”

Having your colours analysed will prevent you from making expensive shopping mistakes. How many times have you bought something which doesn’t work for you? You only have to look in your own wardrobe to see those rash purchases. Take a moment to tot up how much you have spent on things you never wear. I’m confident that the figure will be more than a colour consultation with me. My prices start from £139 for a face-to-face session and from £79 for my online colour assessment.

“I’ve been colour analysed as a season in the past, so I know what suits me”

That’s great! But, if it was some time ago, or your physical features have changed like the colour of your hair, you might want to consider a review. The seasonal approach can be somewhat restrictive and often clients had shades in their palette that were not their best. Under the new system, the analysis is much more flexible and based on the Albert Munsell Colour System, you’ll find the shades of colours are much more refined and flexible. Depending upon the colour analysis service you choose, you’ll have 30 or 48 fabric swatches that work for you.

“What’s the difference between an online and face to face session?”

The principles are still the same for both sessions but they are conducted in a very different way. Our face to face sessions are also much more in depth and last longer too. We’ve covered full details here in our previous blog.

5 day challenge to help break the boredom of your clothes

In March, we introduced a five day challenge on social media. Aimed at helping you to break the boredom of wearing the same clothes on repeat: something which kept coming up in discussions!

Nothing too difficult or complicated, just a little motivation to get you wearing different things.

Some people took part by sharing their posts on social media and in our private VIP Facebook group. Others chose to take part behind the scenes but the messages received were so uplifting and joyful, it was a pleasure to be able to help.

We thought we would share the details here in case you missed out so that you can take part yourself. Feel free to tag us in any posts on social media and use the hashtag: #5daychallengetlc too.

Day 1 – wear a different colour

Day one challenge

Simply take a look inside your wardrobe and pick out something to wear in a different colour than you’d normally wear. Any colour you want in any garment you like! Simple. Colour helps to boost your mood too.

Day 2 – add an accessory to your outfit today

Day two challenge
Today why don’t you try adding an accessory to your outfit.

It could be a anything. A hat, scarf, gloves, brooch, tie, hair accessory, a belt or some jewellery! Just try to add something different to mix things up a little.

Day 3 – wear something you haven’t worn for a while

Day three challenge

It could be something smarter, something old or something you bought new and haven’t had chance to wear it just yet.

Just pick out one thing from your wardrobe that you haven’t worn in a long time.

Day 4 – take something out that you don’t wear or doesn’t fit

Day four challenge

Today is about going into your wardrobe or your drawers and actually removing something that either doesn’t fit you anymore (and so you’re not likely to wear it any time soon) or that maybe you’ve just fallen out of love with.

When you remove things you’re not likely to wear, you’re actually clearing clutter which helps you identify garments that you can and will wear! If you can bring yourself to remove something, do. Pop it in a bag or a box ready to gift, give to charity or sell on.

Day 5 – pick out something that needs repairing

Day five challenge

This could be a missing button, a fallen hem, loose stitching etc. Something that has likely stopped you wearing the garment. It’s a common reason that things remain unworn.

Then, we want you to repair it! You don’t need to be a seamstress and nobody will be inspecting your repair but when you repair it, you’re more likely to wear it again.

So when you repair it later today, you can leave it out tonight and wear it tomorrow ☺️

We hope you enjoy the challenge! Why not join us at our next workshop when we’ll help you feel confident in what to wear. Click here for full details.

Experimenting with detachable collars

I’m not big on being a slave to trends and fashions. But late last year, the detachable collars really caught my eye.

The idea of being able to switch up and smarten up a top really appealed. It was more like an accessory that you wear with your normal clothes and yet transform them so that you look different – especially on zoom!

Oversized, wide, long and pointed, embellished, lace; the array was appealing. Some were like half shirts that sit underneath, others were collars that you just wore round your neck.

Initially I thought it would be something that the creative types would like. As a natural/classic style personality, it wasn’t something which I was convinced I could style up and feel like me in. But, I was really intrigued. So much so, I did some research and bought one online to experiment. I have to say, I really like it! I went for a softer white with a little embellishment so that I could wear it over some sweaters and knitwear. Here’s just three items I tried it with initially.

Detachable collars

Style tips

There’s a few different colours and styles available. Different fabrics too so here’s a few tips from me to consider should you plan on buying into it yourself:


As it’s worn directly next to your face, choose a colour that compliments your skin tone and physical characteristics. For those of you who know the shades of colour that suit you, use your fabric swatches as a guide.

For many, pure white is too harsh so try a soft white or an off white colour as I did.

Triangles (pear shapes)

A wide collar will give the illusion of larger shoulders, which will balance out your hips.

Inverted Triangles

A long, narrow collar will draw the eye in, giving the illusion of smaller shoulders.

Larger Frames

A large collar will balance out your frame.

Short Necks

A long, open collar will elongate the neck.

Large Bust

An open neckline and floaty collar will complement your figure and curves

Where to buy

Amazon, Etsy and EBay have lots of statement collars at very reasonable prices. If you’re happy to buy from China and wait weeks for delivery; then Wish is another option. I found the high street brands and online retailers had a limited supply.

Give it a try and let me know how you get on!

What’s the difference between an online and a face to face colour consultation?

Getting your colours done is about helping you to understand the colours that suit you the best. The method of colour analysis and how it’s delivered has developed over the years.

Traditionally speaking, colour analysis involves ‘draping’ someone with fabric swatches. This has been the method of colour analysis consultations for decades whether using the ‘seasonal’ or ‘tonal’ systems of analysis. These two mainstream approaches are very different and you can read more here.

Online colour analysis has been around for a while but wasn’t quite as mainstream. It’s delivered slightly differently as it is provided virtually and not in person.

Whichever approach you are interested in, you should still gain the knowledge about what colours suit you and how to wear colour with confidence.

Online colour assessments were first introduced to our services in April 2020. During this time, we have received some fantastic feedback from clients. Read our reviews and testimonials here. Our online services will remain available even when we can resume seeing people in person as we understand that not everyone can attend in person.

Here’s some frequently asked questions on the difference between face to face and virtual colour analysis.

Will I still learn my colouring type with an online assessment?

Of course! You’ll learn what your dominant (core) colouring type is and how to wear the colours most suited to you. This means you can begin your colour journey with your 30 fabric colour swatches (supplied after the session).

What’s the difference between online and face to face?

One is delivered virtually from the comfort of your own home and the other is held at our studio in Wakefield, West Yorkshire. An in-person session typically lasts much longer, is much more detailed and more refined. You’ll learn your dominant colouring type with both sessions and how it all works but you’ll only learn your secondary and tertiary colouring type at a face to face session as we believe this is more accurate when it takes place in person.

Is online the same as I’d receive in person?

Almost. Our online colour assessments have been designed to take account of the virtual world and fit around you. They last roughly half the time of our full face to face colour analysis consultations.

Will you send me some fabric to test before my online session?

There’s no need. Whilst there’s no physical draping, many of our clients use clothes from their own wardrobes (and other props around the house) to try out! You’re encouraged to have some garments to hand from your wardrobe which is something we wouldn’t have the benefit of face to face!

How do I prepare for the virtual session?

Once you’ve booked your appointment, you’ll receive a booking confirmation. This includes everything you’ll need to know and prepare ahead of the session. You’ll be asked to send at least one photograph of yourself. This image needs to be taken fairly close up, in good daylight without any filters or makeup. You can supply photos with you wearing different clothes and colours or simply have them to hand for the session.

How do I prepare for the face to face session?

Once you’ve booked your appointment, you’ll receive a booking confirmation. This includes everything you’ll need to know and where to come for your appointment. To assist with COVID control, there are certain hygiene methods we have put in place to be adhered to.

Can I wear makeup?

For both types of sessions, we will ask you to be ‘make-up free’. This is so we can see your natural colouring.

Will I learn the same information?

Yes. During both a virtual and face to face session, you’ll learn about the colour me beautiful system and how wearing colour can have such an immediate impact on your appearance. We use examples to help illustrate the differences between our six dominant colouring types and how the shades of colour differ for each. You won’t learn your secondary or tertiary colouring characteristics online as this is only available face to face.

Do I receive any colour swatches?

Yes! With both consultations, you’ll receive a wallet of fabric swatches. Depending upon the type of consultation, you’ll either receive 30 or 48.

How long will a session last?

You should allow 1 hour for an online colour assessment and anything between 1.5 and 2 hours for an in person consultation (depending which of our consultations you choose).

Is 30 colours enough?

That depends! Sometimes, 30 colours are enough but for others, it is merely the start of their colour journey. It’s down to each individual. Take a look in your wardrobe at how many colours you have and imagine having a wardrobe full of clothes in the shades of colour which work for you. A follow up session is available in person when you’ll learn your additional colouring types and a further 18 swatches to add to your colour wallet.

How accurate is an online session?

We believe it is as accurate as a face to face session. We began colour analysing people in 2011 and have successfully analysed hundreds of people! Our skills and experience applies whether we provide a session in person or online.

Do you use any apps or programs?

No. We use a video conferencing system to perform the virtual session. We don’t believe there are any reliable applications or programs to accurately predict the ‘correct’ colours consistently and every screen is different. Much the same as an in house consultation, we piece the information together based upon your physical characteristics to provide you with a range of colours that make you feel and look fabulous.

Can I wear the same colours in makeup as clothes?

Absolutely! If it’s good enough to wear on your body, why not on your face?! We show you some of your best makeup colours during both types of sessions and you’ll also receive a list of your best shades which you can purchase from us at a later date.

How well does online work?

We believe online works just as well based upon the feedback we’ve received. Each person is different though and if a virtual assessment isn’t for you, that’s ok. Choose to book a face to face session if you prefer.

Can you accurately assess my skin tone virtually?

When assessing your physical characteristics, we aren’t just assessing your skin tone. We’re looking at the colour of your eyes and your hair colour (even if it’s changed because of lockdown!) and how these combine together. We only offer a dominant colour analysis online as we believe a full analysis taking into account your secondary and tertiary characteristics is best in person.

Don’t colours look different on screen?

Yes they can. They can also look different depending upon the fabric and weave of a garment and you’ll know this if you’ve ever done any online shopping! That’s why both a virtual and face to face session focuses on how to wear colour and the shades of colour that work best for you based upon your physical features.

Do I need special equipment to book a virtual session?

You need a phone, tablet or computer and internet connection for our online sessions. We’ll send you a link to join the session at your appointment time and you’re welcome to have a pen and paper handy too to take notes. We provide a follow up email too.

What if I want to know all my colours?

No problem – you can arrange a follow up session in person and gain a further 18 swatches to add to your colour wallet. Alternatively, you can book a full colour analysis in person.

How to get your mojo back

Are you fed up of wearing the same old things?

Starting to feel like you’re trapped in loungewear??

No idea about wearing ‘normal clothes’!

Here’s some tips to help you feel back in control and get some light back in to the wardrobe darkness!

Organise your wardrobe

It isn’t rocket science but a tidy, edited and organised wardrobe makes it easy to see what you have. You’ll be surprised sometimes at what you have forgotten about. Start wearing them and enjoying them! But, do move on anything that you’re unlikely to wear again. One person’s rubbish is another person’s treasure as they say.

If this is a task that you find difficult to do yourself, rope in a friend or family member who you know will be honest about items that don’t suit you. If you can’t, then bring in the professionals and get in touch. Our Wardrobe Audits can be conducted face-to-face (when lockdown is lifted) or virtually by Zoom or face time. They are an excellent and fun way to identify what works for you, what doesn’t and what changes you need to make. If you’re determined to tackle it on your own, use our free declutter guide which you can download here.

Know your colours

There will be certain colours in your wardrobe that always seem to gain compliments. Actually there are many shades which will work for you. Perhaps you haven’t discovered them all, especially if you’ve never had a colour consultation with me! When worn, they will make you glow; you will look healthier and more vibrant. Who doesn’t need a bit of that! What’s not to love?

So look through your wardrobe with a critical eye. What colours seem to give you that wow? Make a note and build on these shades when you next shop.

I can show you up to 48 of your very best shades. Imagine that; a fabric wallet filled with fabulous colours which work for you. You will have a mixture of investment busting neutrals, and fashion colours that work together and on their own, with endless outfit possibilities.


Identify your must-have pieces

These are items in your wardrobe that must pass many tests to achieve this glory status:

1) The colours look great on you
2) The styles and shapes flatter your figure
3) They fit in with your lifestyle
4) You feel comfortable and enjoy wearing them

Once you have worked out a few key pieces, you will be able to build on these with similar styles and colours in the future. Before you know it, your wardrobe will be cohesive, stylish, lifestyle appropriate and have longevity.

Of course this is what I show my clients every single day, during my Consultations. So why not invest in yourself? What better way to emerge!

New from old

As you work through your wardrobe to discover your Must-have Pieces, take the opportunity to try on different combinations. Split up any skirt and trouser suits; try the jackets with more casual pieces such as jeans. Dress down more formal pieces. Be aware of trends; cardigans are huge this season. Can you wear yours in a different way?

Be you!

It’s so easy to fall into the trap of copying your favourite celebrity, Blogger or Instagrammer, and even when you’re window shopping, because the outfits look amazing. Sadly it doesn’t mean that this will work for you. We’re all different, and what suits one person, may not look great on you. It’s far better to take inspiration and make it work for you rather than emulate a look that’s just not ‘you’.

Spend time discovering your own style, and dress for you. Understanding your style personality is key as there’s very little point in putting someone in heels and pencil skirts, if they’re happier in jeans and fleeces. If you’re a business owner, this is critical. Check out our new programme for 2021 here: Authentically You

Avoid the lull of bargains

It’s very easy to be swayed by the amazing savings to be had. 70% off! Just remember; every item that has been reduced, is because no-one wanted it at full-price! So, before you part with your hard-earned cash, ask yourself, ‘would I buy this at full price’. How many times have you purchased something in the sale, only to find six months later, it still has the tags on it?

That said, sales can be a great time to stock up on wardrobe basics (jeans, shirts, t-shirts, jackets), and investment buys (coats, boots and premium fabrics such as cashmere).

Make a list of items that you really need in your wardrobe and stick to it.

Get a quick makeup routine

We’re not all blessed with flawless skin, but a simple make-up routine can make you feel and look amazing. It’s incredible what you can achieve in ten minutes.

1. Cover dark under-eye circles and blemishes with the correct concealer.
2. Use a foundation or tinted moisturiser that is a good match to the tone of your skin.
3. Apply a swish of bronzer where the sun would naturally hit your face.
4. If you enjoy wearing eye-shadow, choose shades that complement your colouring.
5. Choose an eye pencil that works with your skin tone.
6. Define your brows.
7. Top off with mascara.
8. Multitask with a product for lips and cheeks.

Makeup example

If you have been applying your make-up the same way for years or don’t know where to start, get in touch.

Colour me beautiful 2021 colours of the year

Delighted to bring to you two new colour me beautiful Colours of the Year for 2021.

If you’re looking for some colour inspiration and longing for spring time garden shades, here’s two colour me beautiful shades which are very wearable and will instantly update your wardrobe. Both feature in the new colour collections.



This is a cool pink shade therefore those of you who have a cool undertone can wear it with confidence. If your secondary or sub type is cool then here’s a few tips on how to wear this new colour. Should you have a warmer undertone then scroll down to Olive Grove.


This is a lovely shade that will complement your colouring perfectly. Wear on its own or try mixing with a lighter colour from your palette, such as Icy Pink.


Add a deeper shade from your palette such as Dark Teal to balance out your strong look.


You will find that you need to add a stronger colour to Orchid due to your look. Try wearing it with Plum.


Wear tonally to complement your blended look. Jade works as a nice combination.


If you’re a Cool dominant colouring type, you can enjoy wearing this colour on its own. Also try to create new looks by combining it with deeper shades in your palette.

Olive Grove

Olive grove

This is a warm green that anyone with a warm undertone or secondary sub dominant can wear successfully. If you have a cool undertone, scroll up to see Orchid.


Keep your look delicate by combining it with Buttermilk.


Wear with a strong shade such as Mahogany to balance out your look.


Add contrast to Olive Grove with a lovely Zingy Lemon shade.


Try and wear it tonally to complement your blended look such as with Peach.


Those of you as a warm core colouring type, you can of course enjoy wearing this colour on its own, but create new looks by combining with your other warm shades.

Orchid and Olive Grove are part of 12 new colours introduced by colour me beautiful in the latter part of 2020. There are six new colours to compliment your colouring type and can be added to your current fabric swatches on a new colour card.

To obtain your six extra fabric swatch card and a guide to how to wear and combine them with neutrals in your palette, get in touch:

How to disguise the extra bulge this winter

I’ve long been a believer that how you dress has an impact on how you feel.

It’s not just Christmas that can be blamed if you feel that you’ve got a little extra bulge and cushioning, but lockdown too!

Clever dressing can help.

As it’s much colder here in the U.K., we tend to reach for the knitwear which add layers to our bodies to help keep us warmer.

But, if you are carrying a little extra weight, especially around your middle or you’ve lost definition in your waist, then you may need a different approach to dressing.

One of the most difficult things to get right is knitwear as ‘bulk’ might not be your best friend.

Here are some tips to bear in mind when choosing your knitwear

1) Stay away from figure hugging jumpers. Especially if you’re wearing skinny or straight-leg jeans. Your silhouette will not thank you!

2) Watch out for chunky knits. These will add bulk to your middle area – often something you don’t want to do.

3) Asymmetric hemlines are excellent at tricking the eye. They take the focus away from any troublesome bits.

4) Jumpers that are longer at the back can be very flattering. They cover ‘flat’ bums but also add a little interest. Make sure the front isn’t too short. It should be at least as long as the bottom of your hip.

5) Oversized sweaters cut straight can be great shapes for those of you with straighter bodies and little waist definition. If you carry quite a bit of weight around your tummy, look for jumpers that hang from the shoulder.

6) Stripes can trick the eye. Horizontal stripes can be slimming especially if they are variegated. But generally speaking any other detail on the bust and torso should be avoided. Why? Because wearing pattern will draw the attention and the eyes. If you don’t want to draw attention to a particular area; don’t highlight it with pattern.

7) If you are busty, opt for an open neckline or a v neck. It’s much more flattering.

8) Fine to medium weight knits are your friends. Try something like Merino wool.

9) Add a long scarf. It will give the illusion of a slimmer silhouette and provide focus.

Style it out at home

If you need any help shopping for items or styling up existing ones, now is the time to experiment! Use the time in doors to try out different combinations. Take photos to refer back to as well – you’ll be surprised at how different you look in a photo compared to the mirror.

Finally, if you’d like any professional advice, why not get in touch? You can now schedule a quick chat with me here. I can help you virtually from the comfort of your own home. Both zoom and face time have worked a treat during lockdown and it might just give you the boost you need!