How to find clothes that are the right fit for you

If you find it a challenge getting clothes to fit you, it’s tempting to blame yourself. Often, it’s that they aren’t quite right for YOU.

Unless you make your own clothes, or have them made specifically for your body, there might be certain aspects of a garment that don’t quite work. Rest assured, there’s tips and tricks to ‘correct’ many elements, it’s simply understanding and learning what to look for.

This quote sums it up perfectly for me:

The dress must follow the body of the woman, not the body following the shape of the dress. (Hubert de Givenchy)

Identify what’s right for you and work with your body shape, not against it. So, if you’ve got a curvy figure then a boxy shape to a garment will add pounds to your frame because it hides your frame and shape. Nobody wants that!

I meet a lot of ladies who feel that things don’t work for them and they dislike shopping as a result. This is totally understandable, especially if you don’t know what to look for. What’s more, you’ll spend lot of time and money trying to find out.

Right colour, right style, right fit and lifestyle-appropriate. Nail these, and you’ll be grinning like the cat that got the cream. Let me go through these in more detail.

Colour

Have you ever put something on and noticed that the colour drains from your face? Or that suddenly your skin has gone a funny colour?

That need to add a brighter lipstick or slap more blusher on, is because the colour you’re wearing isn’t quite right for you.

The transformation to your overall appearance when you’re wearing the right colours for you, cannot be ignored! It’s a subject I cover frequently here on the blogs as well as on social media.

Colour analysis consultations are by far my most popular service and I never tire of seeing the transformation with clients. I work with a tonal colour analysis system, which assess the colour of your hair, eyes and skin tone to determine the three elements of your colouring type and colours which flatter you the most. My colouring type is soft, cool and deep which means that my core colouring type is soft (low clarity to my features overall, muted and mid-tone colours), with a cool undertone to my skin (blue toned shades rather than yellow) and with some depth (my tertiary as the light pale colours really do wash me out).

Wearing the right colour will visibly lift your appearance but unless it fits like a glove (or vice versa), it will never be perfect for you, so you’ll need to factor these next elements in as well.

Style

Your style is really what feels most like you. Sometimes, it can be hard to describe what your style is, or you may feel like you don’t have one! But, I can assure you that everyone does. Just think – what feels most like you when you wear it?

When you put something on that doesn’t feel like you, you’ll immediately protest as much and take it off! But, wear something which you feel happy, comfortable and more like you when you wear it, and you’ll be much happier. No point dressing like Paloma Faith if you’re really more a Jennifer Aniston type.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t dress differently, or try something new. Try to push your style boundaries, but in a way that feels authentic and still like you. Sometimes it can be the choice of fabric, but more on that shortly.

Patterns can be a real deal-breaker in the style department. For me, I’m not a fan of fussy patterns or stripes. They just don’t work for my style personality, so I don’t tend to buy them as I know I won’t get my £’s per wear or be happy in them.

Fit

We all know when something doesn’t fit right, but often associate this with the number on the label. It’s more likely not fitting your body shape, body line and proportions. Understanding these aspects will help you identify the right style, fit and fabric to choose. Let’s say that you’re petite in height, with a long upper body and short legs – of course it will be harder to get the right fit! But, understand how to dress your features and you’ll make better choices with styles and cuts.

Don’t forget the finer details like sleeves and necklines. A high neckline when you’ve a large bust will enhance the area. You’ll find a lower neckline (like a v-neck), will break up the colour and be more flattering. Sleeve lengths and shoulder seams can be corrective; like a ruffle sleeve when you’ve got small and narrow shoulders. On the other hand, they can enhance the area if you’re broader with wider shoulders by merely extending the shoulder line out, visually speaking.

Most people who come to me for a style and shape session don’t consider the fabric of a garment. Yet, it plays a crucial role in the fit of a garment. Different fabrics have different weights and feels, not to mention how it drapes. Whilst both light in weight, cotton and jersey have a different feel and structure to them. The same garment made from both will look and feel different when worn, depending upon the body wearing it.

In this example, the cotton top left loose over a satin skirt hides my underlying shape and proportions. A few tweaks and hey presto! Learn much more during a 2.5 hour style and shape consultation.

These are just tweaks. Tailoring can be a game-changer in achieving the perfect fit and I often recommend clients have a good seamstress on hand, if they need one. Transformed into bespoke pieces that fit YOU and make them a perfect fit! Which is a huge benefit when you do make your own clothes, because you can create the garment to take into account your own body measurements and adjust the pattern accordingly.

Not knowing what fits and flatters you means you can still end up making costly mistakes so it pays to understand these elements of your body.

Lifestyle-appropriate

Being able to tick all boxes with your clothes, or altering them accordingly, will make it so much easier to dress in clothes that make you look and feel good.

I’m a big believer in having clothes which work for how you spend your time. If you’re the outdoorsy-type and love nothing more, those knee-high, stiletto, velvet boots aren’t going to fare very well…

When your clothes suit the occasion you’re dressing for, you’ll feel appropriate and comfortable, especially when you know they tick all the boxes: right colour, right style, right fit and lifestyle-appropriate.

Get to know what works for you!

Gaining the knowledge can take time if you’re not sure what to look for and it can be costly if you keep making mistakes. My consultations are designed to guide you so that you understand what works for you, and why.

Discover the colours which enhance your natural features and how to wear your colours during a Colour Analysis Consultation. During a Style & Shape session, you’ll learn how to find clothes that tick all the boxes for you as we identify your style personality, shape and proportions.

Get in touch to book your session with me now!

The impact of hair colour in colour analysis consultations

Your hair, and specifically the colour of it, is often a huge topic of discussion during my colour analysis consultations!

I believe it plays an important part of your overall appearance, which is why I assess it during your colour analysis.

Over the years, I’ve seen many clients and heard lots of stories of how hair colour changes have an impact on what you wear. Whether it’s a choice of colouring your hair, ageing, or medical reasons like hair loss and cancer. They all have an impact.

Once you begin to notice that certain colours don’t look quite as good as they did, it’s worth determining if the reason is due to hair changes. If so, how permanent is it likely to be? You may be able to ‘weather the storm’ so to speak!

Skin tone

Worthy of note is that there’s a common misconception that the undertone of your skin doesn’t change as your age. Certainly, under the seasonal colour analysis system, you remain the same palette. However, I’ve seen plenty of examples where this isn’t the case.

The Colour Me Beautiful tonal colour analysis system which I use in my consultations, is more flexible as it recognises that as we get older, hair loses pigmentation, eyes become more muted, and skin becomes more transparent. These aspects will affect the impact of colour when you wear it.

The Colour Me Beautiful MD; Cliff Bashforth is a great example of this. Over the years, he has transitioned between palettes. Back in the early years of colour analysis, Cliff was an autumn. As the seasonal system was developed with CMB, he was a soft autumn Certainly, under the seasonal system, he would still be classified as someone with a warm skin tone, which he actually isn’t anymore. His overall features have changed.

Going grey

Along with Cliff, I have seen many clients over the years who have decided to embrace the grey! Revisit this blog here and take a look at Carol.

By way of another example, if you had dark brown hair in your younger years you’re likely to find that stronger, richer or bolder colours are now feeling and looking ‘too much’. They may be overwhelming your more delicate or softer appearance because the harmony between your hair, skin and eyes has changed.

Not all greys are the same either. There are ash tones, whites, silvers and salt and pepper. But, a colour analysis consultation can help to determine your best shades of colour and how to wear them.

Colouring your hair

Let’s say you were mousey and now have a more vibrant and striking red colour to your hair. The muted colours you will have looked amazing in previously are unlikely to have enough ‘bite’ or drama for you now. No doubt that if you’d been analysed previously, you’re likely to have stopped using your swatches some time ago! The key now is to match the intensity level of your hair with the colours you wear. Do be aware that red tones in the hair can be bold and bright or red and auburn and this difference can have an impact on the underlying hue of the colours which suit you best.

Medical reasons

This can be a very sensitive topic for people. Having worked with some cancer patients over the years, a result can often be hair loss. Many find that their hair grows back very differently! Resulting in a change to your appearance and therefore the colours which once loved you, might not love you the same now.

Deciding to embrace the no-hair look can be a brave move and I remember a client who had alopecia with the most remarkable pattern and design tattooed to her head for the summer. She found the heat was too unpleasant to wear her hair pieces.

Equally, hair pieces can transform your overall look in the same way. Choosing to go blonde, brunette, red or blue will all require an adaption if you want what you wear to harmonise with your features.

Wardrobe impact

If you have found that your hair colour changes are having an impact on your choice of colours and how they look, a wardrobe assessment might be in order.

Should the change be temporary, or you plan on frequently changing your hair colour, you may find yourself altering and updating your wardrobe frequently.

A more permanent change means it’s a good time to reassess your wardrobe and if what you have still works for you, or if you need to adapt it.

Be certain that it’s definitely the colour that’s not working for you, or if it could be the pattern/design/style/fit or material? These factors can also affect how ‘good’ something looks and how you feel.

Can you ‘rescue’ the colour by wearing it with another colour? Perhaps try a scarf or jewellery to break up the colour near to your face.

A piece of advice I give all my clients is to keep the ‘wrong’ colour away from your face and wear it on the bottom half. The impact of the colour will be far less severe when worn this way and you still get to wear and enjoy it.

Dyeing your clothes could be another option, especially if the fabric is not man-made. Synthetics don’t dye well at home (without major effort), but mixes still will (like polycotton).

For those that can’t be rescued and you decide to let them go, be clear about what colour you need to replace it with, if at all.

The impact of different shades of a colour

I always say that you can wear every colour. However, there is more than one shade, tint or tone of a colour!

I’ve recorded a video in which I show you examples of different tones of pink and greens against my features. I wanted to try and demonstrate the subtle difference in colours and how they would look different if my hair was different. You’ll find it on YouTube here.

A colour analysis consultation will help you with all the aspects discussed in this blog and shown in the video.

Get in touch to book your colour analysis consultation.

Appointments are available Monday to Saturday. To enquire about availability, just get in touch! Toni.carver@tlcstyleandcolour.co.uk

WOW Rotherham 2024 Festival

Delighted to have been invited to join the WOW Rotherham Festival on 11 May 2024.

The WOW Rotherham festival is a vibrant, colourful, bold, fun, and fearless festival celebration of women, girls, trans and non-binary communities, connecting Rotherham to other women and girls across the globe as part of the WOW – Women of the World family. Their theme this year is around fashion and sustainability and overall body-confidence, so I was delighted to be asked to get involved.

There is a whole host of activities planned in the town centre of Rotherham and if you’re familiar with the old Dorothy Perkins building – head there!

What’s on

You’ll find full details about the event here: https://wow.fluxrotherham.org.uk/festival-programme/ and announcements are being added each week. On social media, use the hashtag #wowrotherham.

Colour Analysis Taster Sessions

I’ll be there between 12pm and 3pm providing 10 minute Colour Analysis Taster sessions.

If you want to learn how wearing colour can make you look younger and healthier, you’ll gain an insight into my colour analysis consultations and see how impactful it can be when you choose the right colours! You can register your interest in booking one of these slots by emailing: toni.carver@tlcstyleandcolour.co.uk or wowrotherham@gmail.com.

Clothes Swap

Bring along 10 items to the Rotherham Central Community Hub (Formerly Burtons/Topman) between 11am and 3.30pm to take part in the clothes swap event. Which will be handy if you’ve booked your slot with me so you swap out some of your clothes which aren’t quite the right colours for you! Run by Thread Republic.

Workshops

There’s a variety of workshops scheduled. Here’s what’s been announced so far:

  • Jewellery design and creation – Kabuki Jewellery
  • Poetry – Eleanor May Blackburn
  • How to DIY – Brightbox

Need more information?

The WOW Rotherham team will be happy to help. Simply visit their website: https://wow.fluxrotherham.org.uk/festival-programme/ or drop them an email: wowrotherham@gmail.com

NEW On-demand Seasonal Masterclass – Spring/Summer 2024 recording out now!

The latest on-demand video showcasing the colours and trends you can expect to find this spring and summer 2024 is out now!

Watch this pre-recorded 45 minute video at your leisure and discover the trends and how to wear them.

It’s perfect for you if you missed the live group workshop, or you’d prefer to watch it in your own time.

The video takes you through the same presentation from the live workshop, but lasts 45 minutes. Get inspired with what to wear this spring and don’t forget to check what’s in your wardrobe as trends come and go!

You’ll learn:

  • The key colours for each dominant colouring type this spring/summer. (Light, deep, warm, cool, clear, soft)
  • London Fashion Week colours as predicted by Pantone® Color Institute and coded for the six colouring types
  • Colour combos featuring the Pantone® Color of the Year (Peach Fuzz)
  • The latest trends
  • Examples of where to find the key colours and trends this season

 

These seasonal masterclasses are recorded twice a year to coincide with Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter. They’re part of a range of seasonal update material to support you on your image journey. Designed to stop you making the same mistakes, buying more things you don’t wear/don’t suit/don’t need.

Having a colour and style consultant do the hard work for you saves you time scouring the internet and high street as this covers the key colours and trends, who they work for, where to get them and how to wear them. You just need to choose the format which works best for you! Visit the material available here.

The next seasonal update for Autumn/Winter 2024 will be available from 1 October 2024. Register your interest in ‘seasonal updates’ and join the wait list here.

Purchase the pre-recorded video masterclass here:

[/vc_column_text]

Will I be able to shop for my colours?

Once you’ve invested in a colour analysis consultation, you may be concerned about whether you’ll be able to shop for your colours.

Firstly, there are brands that specialise in this and I’ll share more on this shortly.

Also worthy of note is that, realistically, with 48 colours in your swatches, you probably won’t be able to buy something in every single one of them straight away!

Start here!

The first place to start is what you already have. There’s bound to be something that if you’re honest with yourself, you’ve been looking for an excuse to get rid of it! Equally, you’ll have things that work for you.

If you do find something which isn’t one of your best colours, can you wear it differently so it’s more forgiving? Can you change the colour of it (ie dye it)?

Please don’t be concerned that I’m one of those colour analysis consultants who will tell you to get rid of everything or stop wearing what you have! It’s something I’ve spoken about in the past – revisit this blog I’ve covered here.

Accessories are the easiest way to update any outfit so I recommend you focus on scarves and jewellery in your colours which are much cheaper and allow you to experiment a little. Plus, do consider your makeup shades as your look will be instantly updated when you wear the right shade of lipstick or blusher for your colouring type. (Also available from the studio and through the shop online).

New colours and trends

Once you’ve done a proper review of your wardrobe, you’ll be able to assess the gaps you have and then shop for these items in your colours. In the UK (where the majority of my clients are), we still have seasonally biased shopping. So, if you’ve had your consultation in the spring time, you’ll find lighter layers, summer dresses and tops, rather than winter coats, woolly knits and scarves! Of course, there’s always sale shopping and pre-loved to pick up garments you’re looking for.

As new styles are added each season, it’s often the colours I see change the most, so you’ll always be able to find your colours all year round! Designers and retailers take influences each season which is one of the reasons that I offer my seasonal updates – so you can learn the latest trending colours for your colour type and where to find them. Essentially, I do the hard work to save you time! You’ll find more details about what’s available for spring/summer 2024 here.

Depending what your colouring type is, you may find specific times of year easier to shop than others. But, trust me, I never struggle to find things for all colouring types, all year round!

More experienced

During your consultation, you’ll learn about the hue, depth and clarity of colours which will help you to shop better too. As you gain more confidence, you’ll find it easier to find your colours simply by having a quick glance through the shop doors!

As you begin to add more colourful pieces to your wardrobe, you’ll find it becomes more cohesive, even while you continue to wear any old ‘wrong’ colours.

Colour focussed retailers

Here’s a list of retailers which specifically design their clothes for those who know their colouring types:

Plus, I offer seasonal ‘shop the look’ guides for each dominant colouring type and have a small range of accessories coded for the six tonal colouring types (lights, deeps, warms, cools, clears, softs).

You can also watch my video on how to shop for your colouring type on Kettlewell here.

How to shop for makeup on Colour me Beautiful can be found here.

Finally, if you need any help shopping for your colours, please speak to me about your own personal shopping experience.

Struggling to put outfits together or stuck in a colour rut?

Meet Becca who travelled to my studio in Wakefield from Clitheroe for a colour analysis consultation.

Twenty years ago, she’d had her ‘colours done’ but felt stuck in a rut wearing the same colours. Especially navy blue!

Becca is a keen sewist, and had been recommended to me. She had lots of handmade clothes and had found herself with a huge stash of fabric she’d not used! Keen to reduce the stash, she was also struggling to put outfits together and wanted to make better choices with her colours.

Following her colour analysis consultation with me, she was initially surprised by her new colour palette. Her older palette was so different but mainly because she had much darker hair when she’d had her previous analysis aged just 15. Feeling much more confident with her new colours, here she is with just a few colours from her palette. That smile says it all!

Here’s what Becca had to say:

I do think having a colour analysis is well worth the investment – especially if I think how much money I’ve spent on fabric which has been stashed away for years. Toni is lovely and highly recommended if you live t’up North!

Becca is wearing 10 colours from her soft, cool and deep palette. She’s also wearing Colour me Beautiful makeup designed for each colouring type. Morning Light foundation in Oyster, Soft mauve lipstick, Marsala blush, Melon and Smoke eyeshadow with Teal eye liner and Navy Mascara. All cosmetics are available to purchase from the studio and through the online shop. Makeup is prescribed to each colour type, which you’ll be able to sample at a consultation. However, if you do need advice on the right shades for you, get in touch.

Both group sessions and individual consultations are available to book.

What to wear this spring

You don’t have to be a slave to fashion to look and feel up-to-date in what you wear!

Often, it may be some new inspiration you need. Or, some ideas adapting what you’ve already got. But, it isn’t always a brand new wardrobe! So, if you keep making random and ill-thought through purchases which languish in the back of the wardrobe, help is at hand!

Twice a year, I do the hard work for you with my ‘Seasonal Updates’ for you to learn what’s out there to suit you, and where you can find it – there’s something for everyone!

Make informed decisions, shop with intention and stop wasting money on things you won’t wear! Here’s what’s available and how I can help summarised below. I’ve also recorded a video which you can watch on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/u_ObU7YbWhY

Who are the seasonal updates for?

Quite simply, ladies who want to feel good and look stylish. Too many people have too many clothes they don’t wear which don’t suit them!

More specifically:

– If you already know your colouring type, you’ll learn the colours you can expect to find this coming season. Ideal if you’ve identified certain colour gaps in your wardrobe from your palette, or you need to invest in a specific colour or style.

– You want to feel up-to-date in your clothes. I’ve picked out the trends to look out for and how to wear them. This way, you can introduce them, or adapt what you already have in bringing them up-to-date so you can feel more confident in your outfits.

– A dislike for shopping, or feel overwhelmed by choice. I’ve already done the hard work scouring what’s available to make it easier for you to shop for specific items you’ll need and wear.

– You’re short on time, as I’ve done the hard work to make it easy for you to shop for specific items with my guidance.

– You’re an impulse shopper and keep buying clothes without purpose or because it’s there/cheap/available. You may already have something similar in your wardrobe and with my guidance, you’ll know what to look for and have ideas to style it different! These seasonal updates will also help you focus on the items you need to stop you buying more clothes you don’t need and won’t wear.

– Lacking inspiration and confidence. Sometimes you get stuck in a rut and need some help getting out of it.

– You make your own clothes and need some inspiration on styles or new designs you could try your hand at yourself.

What’s available?

A suite of support all guiding you on the colours and trends to suit you to save you time.

Spring/Summer 2024 Colour Update Guide

This guide has had an update to the design this year. It’s still a handy-sized guide to pop in your handbag, but it’s now slimmer, so it fits inside your colour me beautiful colour swatch wallet! (sneak peak in the video above!)

You’ll find the key colours for spring/summer 2024 organised by dominant colouring type (using the tonal colour analysis system which you’ll learn during your colour analysis consultation) to help guide you when shopping.

There’s seven colours for each of the six colouring types which includes three neutrals this year, making it easy to focus on updating your wardrobe this season and fill any specific colour gaps you’ve identified from your palette.

Between April and September, you’ll get a copy with all colour and style consultations.

Live Workshop – Spring/Summer 2024 Colours & Trends – Saturday 6 April 12pm

The next live group workshop takes place virtually on Saturday 6 April at 12pm and lasts around 90 minutes.

During this workshop, you’ll be guided on the latest colours, trends and where to find them. I’ll show examples I’ve found on the high street, plus I shop my own wardrobe too! All aimed at inspiring you to style up and wear what you’ve got so you only buy what you need. Get your ticket here.

Recorded video masterclass

If you can’t attend the live event, my pre-recorded video masterclass is for you so you don’t miss out!

I’ll share my presentation and guidance during this 45 minute pre-recorded video which you can watch in your own time. I’ll talk you through the latest colours and trends, with examples inspiring you in how to wear them.

Shop the look guides for each colouring type

I received some fabulous feedback on these new guides last season, so they are back for SS24 bigger and better!

There’s a ‘shop the look’ for each dominant colouring type and ideal if you know your colours to make shopping the new season colours and trends a breeze.

Each guide features a range of garments, including accessories. There’s over 40 items I’ve picked alongside stylist notes and links to each retailer website to buy.

When are the seasonal updates?

The spring/summer update guides will be available to purchase online from 1 April and the live workshop takes place on 6 April. Tickets to the workshop are available to buy here.

If you’re shopping the sales or pre-loved and missed the previous Autumn/Winter update, these are reduced whilst stocks last. Colour and style guides are available here.

Early access at a discount is available, but only if you join the wait list. Subscribing to a waiting list means I can make you an exclusive offer. The offers aren’t available outside of my email list (ie I don’t offer them anywhere else). So, if you’re not on the list then you don’t get this access. Joining the wait list means you’ll get 5 days exclusive access ahead of general sale at an exclusive discounted price.

To qualify, you need to be subscribed, select ‘seasonal updates’ as an interest and still be opted in by the time the offer email comes around. On 27 March, you’ll receive an email with your exclusive pre-launch offers. Register your details here on the wait list.

How will the seasonal updates help you?

Money doesn’t buy style, knowledge does.

I’m often told my guides stop you making the same mistakes and buying more things you don’t wear/don’t suit you. Having a colour and style expert find items you wouldn’t normally choose yourself actually saves time (and money)! Inspiring you and providing ideas for things you already have stops you wasting money on clothes you won’t wear and don’t need. Using my seasonal updates makes you more aware of what’s already in your wardrobe that you can re-wear again and again too.

Having a colour and style consultant do the hard work for you, stops you scouring the internet and the high street as I’ve gathered the colours and trends, who they work for, where to get them and how to wear them. You just need to choose the format which works best for you!

As a reminder:

  1. A summary guide of the key colours you’ll find this spring/summer 2024 for each dominant colouring type.
  2. Shop the Look guides for each colour type which features links to the retailer websites with style and fit notes from me too.
  3. Recorded on-demand masterclass which is pre-recorded showing you the colours and trends in the shops and tips on how to wear them and who they suit. The video uses the same slides I use in the live group workshop.
  4. 90 minute live group workshop, showing you a presentation of the colours and trends plus what examples I’ve found on the high street. Tips on how to wear them, who they suit and making them work for you. I’ll also show you examples of the ‘new’ trends I’ve found in my wardrobe which I’ll be re-wearing to inspire you to check your wardrobe and style them up a different way.

How much are the seasonal updates?

The price ranges from £7.50 to £19.50 depending what you choose. It’s a cost effective way to tap into the expertise of a colour and style consultant! But, if you’d prefer something more personalised, do get in touch: toni.carver@tlcstyleandcolour.co.uk[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Want to get your wardrobe ready for the new season?

Should you ration fashion like the war days?

It was often said that The Queen’s style often reflected the state of the nation, do you agree? Her colourful outfits deliberately chosen to help her stand out in a crowd – that’s the power of colour. I miss her visual statements and hoping she’s resting in peace.

I discovered recently that when she married, her Norman Hartnell wedding gown was paid using clothing ration coupons, due to measures in place following World War Two.

Clothing rations

Clothes were rationed in 1941. The rationing scheme allocated a ‘point’ value to each clothing type based upon how much material and labour went into the manufacture of the garment. Imagine if this was in place now!

Dresses – 11
Stockings – 2
Shoes – 5
Jacket – 12
Jumper/cardigan – 5
Knickers – 3
Skirt – 8
Trousers – 8
Shirt/blouse – 4

Every adult was given 66 points, which unfortunately reduced over time. From 1 September 1945 to 30 April 1946 only 24 coupons were issued which meant only 3 coupons a month could be used. People were encouraged to be frugal with their coupons so they would last the year. Seasonal and weather changes were highly recommended to be considered to ensure the best garment was chosen to last.

This meant that careful planning was essential but likely meant some people went without. How would you have spent yours?

Each item was bought with the appropriate number of coupons plus money. Each garment sold, whether it be a dress or a pair of underwear, would have the same standard coupon cost but that didn’t determine the cash value cost. So, those who were wealthier could purchase a very high-quality garment that would last a long time, whilst others had to settle for an inexpensive garment which wouldn’t last very long, for the same coupon.

At the time, fashion magazine Vogue were on hand to offer advice which is still great advice for today!:

Put your money into one good outfit and vary it with accessories

The average wardrobe

The English Heritage reported that in the early 1940s, the average wardrobe of a middleclass woman consisted of:

Dresses – 7
Two-piece suits – 2-3
Skirts – 2-3
Overcoats – 3
Mackintosh – 1 (as in ‘Mac’)
Shoes – 5 pairs split between the seasons

By comparison, a poorer woman may have:

Dresses – 3
Skirt – 1
Overcoats – 1-2
Shoes – 1-2 pairs

Both sound like a ‘capsule wardrobe’, but how do these compare to what you have in your wardrobe?

Make Do and Mend

The ‘Make Do and Mend’ campaign encouraged people to make their existing clothing last longer by repairing, reusing and repurposing fabric and garments into new outfits. This gave freedom for some to diversify and be more creative with what they had. Something which still occurs today of course.

Nowadays, it’s thought that over one million tonnes of clothes are thrown away each year. It’s estimated that 95% of the textiles binned in the UK could have been reused or recycled! So very different from 80 years ago.

Utility clothing

In 1942 the government introduced a scheme called ‘utility clothing’. It offered a range of well-designed, quality and price-controlled clothes, affordable to everyone. It was also the first time that high-end fashion designers were making clothes for the mass market. Of course, this set a precedent long after the war which we still see today.

The Utility scheme ended in 1952 and was thought to have given consumers confidence to demand value for money as well as higher standards in materials and manufacture within the fashion industry as a whole.

The development of Fast Fashion

Mass-market production isn’t new, yet the amounts being produced has increased hugely. Clothing was generally produced to sell for the forthcoming seasons – spring, summer, autumn and winter, which made planning and prediction of trends much easier. Today, there can be as many as 52-micro-seasons as manufacturers and retailers increase their product range in an attempt to increase sales. But, this hasn’t meant the best quality or fair prices for all involved in the process (ie. the workers).

I’ve always said that I’m not a fashion stylist. It’s not my thing. I’m not a slave to fashion, but I keep an eye on things. I aim to buy what I need and encourage my clients to do the same. Having so much choice can be overwhelming which is why I believe in simply making better, more informed choices.

How to make better choices

Understanding what suits you is key to helping you make these choices. After all, when you know what colours suit you, how to dress your shape and proportions, and reflecting your individual style, you can minimise the noise. The ability to make or alter your own clothes is a fantastic skill to have, but you’ve still got to have the knowledge on what’s right for you in the first place, or you can make mistakes too.

Alongside my consultations, I offer ongoing advice through my seasonal updates, twice a year. This coincides with spring/summer and autumn/winter which is roughly when the the clothes change. It’s not about encouraging you to make further purchases you don’t need and won’t wear. Instead I want to inspire you to plan, wear and buy what you need, from wherever works for you. Use the information to create your own clothes, shop pre-loved and charities and try the many rental marketplaces too.

These options simply weren’t an option to the ladies decades ago, but they are now. Plus, you’ll no doubt find something in your wardrobe which is similar to what’s ‘new’, especially if you invested in better quality pieces.

Back in the 40’s and 50’s, you were encouraged to be more mindful of your wardrobes and inventive with what you had. I encourage you to do the same today and my advice will help you gain the knowledge on what suits you so you get more wear out of your clothes.

 

References:
The book: Fashion Conscious by Sarah Klymkiw and Kim Hankinson is a remarkable read if you’re looking for a way to change your habits with clothes.

Thanks to www.english-heritage.org.uk, Fashion Conscious Book by Sarah Klymkiw and Kim Hankinson, www.iwm.org.uk, www.fabrickated.com and https://www.royal.uk for the enlightening reads and providing my sources.

NEW Spring/Summer 2024 Colour & Trend Seasonal Update Workshop

Sunnier days are coming, so I’m busy behind the scenes with my ‘Seasonal Updates’ to help you get your wardrobe ready for the next season.

I don’t believe in being a slave to fashion as trends do come and go. That said, colours change every season, so it’s the perfect opportunity to switch up your wardrobe. (Especially when you understand what suits you!).

Learning how to adapt these new colours and trends will help you create new outfits so you feel up-to-date rather than ‘fashionable’.

The spring/summer workshop takes place on the first Saturday of April (and October for Autumn/Winter). But, the new colour and trend guides are available from 1 April. Anyone registered on the wait list will receive discounted access to the guides prior to launch each season.

When is the Spring/Summer 24 workshop?

Saturday 6 April.

What time is it?

Starting at 12pm UK time, lasting 90 minutes.

Where is it held?

The workshop takes place online, via zoom. Once registered, you’ll receive a link to join the event online at 12pm.

What’s covered?

This season, I’ve got seven colours to share with you for each of the six dominant colouring types and 12 trends. I’ll share the Pantone colours from London Fashion Week which will be coded by colour types giving you even more colours to choose from!

Along with the trending colours and styles, you’ll also see examples of where you can find them too. You can expect me to raid my wardrobe again as I check these ‘new’ trends and show you how to style what you’ve already got. How many ‘new’ outfits can you make from things you already have lurking in your wardrobe??

Let me inspire you and guide you so that you can make informed choices on what suits you and help you shop with intention.

Do I have to know my colour type/style/shape/been to TLC Style & Colour to join the event?

Not at all! These workshops are open to everyone to find out the latest seasonal colours and styles to try out yourself.

How much are tickets?

£19.50 per person. This includes a link to join the live event and you’ll receive a summary of the colours and trends, a shopping guide, wardrobe checklist and discount voucher after the workshop.

Will it be recorded?

No. This is a live event. A recorded ‘on-demand masterclass’ is available to purchase from 1 April which illustrates the colours and trends covered to watch in your own time. Visit the colour and style update guides here.

How do I book?

Simply click below to secure your spot.

Is your wardrobe ready for spring?

Spring is on the way, so how is your wardrobe shaping up?

Like me, many of my clients aren’t slaves to fashion, but they do want to look and feel up-to-date. This doesn’t mean a new wardrobe every season though, but it could mean new inspiration and ideas adapting what you’ve already got. It can feel quite overwhelming, but knowing what suits you will help you to buy less and make better choices.

The temptation to buy something new is with us every day, but random and ill-thought through purchases can mean they languish in the back of the wardrobe, untouched and unworn which is when the guilt sets in!

Take a look at your wardrobe

If you rotate your wardrobe each season, these unworn items will be easier to spot. Ask yourself what the reasons are that you’ve not worn them to see if you should keep them longer. Previously I’ve shared a trick to help you identify the clothes you’re not wearing and what to do with them. Revisit this blog.

Whilst I don’t rotate my wardrobe every season, this trick means I’m constantly monitoring what I have and I can easily see what I’m wearing. Plus, I keep a list of specific things I need. Often, a new style or colour will come with a season which I can add to my wardrobe and keep outfits feeling up-to-date.

What to put on the list

Let’s say you have worn a t-shirt/sandals/boots/whatever to death, and you don’t feel like you can live without them. This likely means it’s a keeper and a core item in your wardrobe.

This isn’t an excuse to buy six of the exact same item! If you have a lot of the exact same thing in your wardrobe, you will get bored. Whether it’s jeans, blazers, Breton tops or flowered dresses – how many do you actually have time to wear? Only buy another if it’s to replace an already well-worn item!

On your list should also be items that you keep wishing you had to put an outfit together. It could be a wedge sandal or a nude shoe. A lightweight jacket for the not-quite-warm-enough evenings out. If you’ve got a classic style personality, you may want a bag to go with a pair of shoes, or a top to go with that skirt you’ve never worn! Putting them on a list creates a shopping list which helps you shop with purpose. This could be pre-loved, fabric to make your own garments or new spring finds.

What you’re not wearing often tells me more about your ‘style personality’ than you may realise. It’s understanding what does work for you and recognising when you can’t make it work. Sometimes, it’s time to let them go to someone who will wear them because it suits them rather than you holding on ‘just in case’. Might be worth adding them to your list of what not to buy too!

When to shop

There is no right or wrong time to shop. Ultimately, it boils down to what you need, when you need it. But, having a ready made list means that you can shop with purpose and you may pick something up in the sales, if you’re lucky!

Some clients prefer to shop early in the season and you may pick up just what you’re looking for. Other times, you might need to be more patient. A new season is a new opportunity for new colours, combinations and trends to update your wardrobe. This includes pre-loved too – as others clear out their wardrobes, you never know what nugget you’ll find.

Spring / Summer 2024 Updates

Each season, I do the hard work for you and scour the retailers to put together my seasonal updates. The spring/summer 2024 material will be available to purchase from 1 April (unless you’re on the wait list). The live group workshop will take place virtually on Saturday 6 April and tickets are available here.

This season, I’ve managed to narrow it down to seven colours for each dominant colouring type and 12 trends. Whilst trends do come and go, there’s definitely some repeats and something for everyone!

I’ve already begun gathering examples of where you can find the new colours and trends, because I know this inspires you to try something new and gives you ideas. You’ll have the opportunity to ‘shop the looks’ too.

This year, I’ll be raiding my wardrobe again picking out examples of the ‘new’ trends to show you how to style things up that you’ve already got to create ‘new’ outfits. You’ll see this and more during the live group workshop.

If you can’t make the live event, there will be a pre-recorded masterclass, and details will follow shortly. Join the wait list by registering your interest in ‘seasonal updates’.

How to wear and style a jumper to create a waist (and avoid a shapeless look)

Have you ever found that a jumper can look a little bulky or shapeless when you’re wearing it?

Sometimes what you need to do is wear it with a little tweak to style it in a different way.

I’ve talked about tucking in a jumper previously (so that you don’t look like a sack of spuds). It’s all in the styling and creating shape. You can revisit that video on YouTube here or click on this blog.

But, have you thought about the sleeves?

Rolling the sleeves up slightly will draw attention to where your waist is. Or, where you’d like it to be if you don’t have equally balanced proportions! It’s simply a clever trick!

It’s not just a yank up either and hey presto. You’re looking for a smoother line rather than a gathering of material.

This is a visual trick to draw the eye line into a waist and highlight more shape to your frame.

Just a simple adjustment of the sleeve area can help to create the illusion of a waist, if you don’t have a clearly defined one too.

In the video, you’ll be able to see how my silhouette looks better as a result of just a couple of tweaks and how to style it.

Watch it on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/zUDQUz3cw64

Why is colour analysis so popular right now?

Thanks to TV shows like Lorraine, radio interviews*, articles and Tik Tok, colour analysis is having a real moment. So what’s all the hype about?

It isn’t some new experience. It’s actually been around for decades! Colour analysis remains my most popular service since I started my colour and style business over 12 years ago.

Colour has a profound effect on how you look and feel. Wearing colours that harmonise with your physical features makes all the difference to your appearance.

As a trained colour analysis consultant, I never tire of seeing the transformation with my clients, or their reaction when they see how impactful it is.

Colour analysis helps you discover the colours which compliment YOU and your features (your hair colour, skin tone and eye colour). You’ll discover how to wear colour, helping you create a more cohesive wardrobe. Make more informed choices, and fewer mistakes too. More and more people are seeking a less cluttered wardrobe. Learning what suits you can help you achieve this.

Wearing your colours improves how you feel in what you wear. It’s an instant boost to your confidence! Many clients tell me how transformative their colour experience has been, and how easier it is knowing what suits them.

During my colour analysis consultations, I show my clients how to make colours work for them, even if they aren’t quite right. The right colours will lift your features and make you look healthier rather than tired, unwell or drained. If something isn’t your most flattering colour, it’s always best to wear it AWAY from your face.

Once you know the right colours for you, you’ll notice how easier it is to ‘match’ things and create outfits that go together, saving yourself time every morning! 

* Listen to this recent interview with my CMB colleague Lindsay. Skip to 15:14 and in under seven minutes, you can hear why the CMB tonal colour analysis system works so well. Listen here.

READY TO GET STARTED ON YOUR COLOUR JOURNEY? BOOK NOW!

Guest Blog: Top 10 nutrition tips and small changes by Sarah-Jane Johnston

In my first guest post for 2024, I wanted to introduce you to Sarah-Jane Johnston; a Nutrition Mentor and Coach, Pilates Instructor and the founder of evolution34. These 10 nutrition tips could be the small change you need which lead to improvements in your overall health and wellbeing.

Her fascination with nutrition came from finding out she had a severe wheat allergy at 19. Knowing the cause of her pain was linked to what she ate and the physical activity she carried out didn’t just help herself, but her future clients.

Similar to me, Sarah-Jane had a long career (23 years) in the events industry before launched her business: evolution34 to help people achieve their health, fitness and wellbeing goals. She’s an Associate with the British Menopause Society and a Board Member of the Barnsley Chamber Health and Wellbeing Forum.

Small Changes by Sarah-Jane Johnston

We often put pressure on ourselves, especially at this time of year to make changes. Reflecting on what we wanted to achieve in the previous year, and perhaps didn’t. But, it’s the small changes that can lead to the huge improvements you dream of.

Perhaps you’re aspiring to have a healthier diet and confused by social media and the so-called TV expert advice, so you don’t really know where to start. You may want to feel more energised, or find out what’s actually causing your IBS. Struggling to shift some weight, the noise and various diet plans can be confusing.

If something in your life is irritating you and your health, it’s your choice to make a change!

Common conversations around this subject often begin that you know that you “need to stop eating rubbish food, drink less and get to the gym”. Usually, this “start next Monday” approach doesn’t work for the majority of people. Monday will not happen unless you start with small changes, because life just doesn’t stop.

It’s important to decide what you feel is the most important aspect to start with. This can often be dietary intake which can help with any health concerns, energy levels and sleep problems. Then, you can begin to feel like being more physically active and do what motivates you, rather than what you feel is expected.

I believe in exercising both the body and mind which is why I combine nutrition and pilates. Pilates is an exercise for strength and stability and is a whole body work out too. Joseph Pilates developed 34 exercises and taught these using 6 principals: Breathe, flow, centering, concentration, control and precision. He said “in 10 classes you’ll feel the difference, in 20 classes you see the difference and in 30 classes you’ll have a whole new body.”

With your health and fitness in a good routine, hey presto; your overall wellbeing will shoot up!

Top 10 Nutrition tips

Pick one or two to start with and, once they are new habits, you can move on to another one.

  1. Make time for a seated breakfast within 1-1.5 hours after waking
  2. Include Carbohydrates, Fats and Protein in your breakfast
  3. Drink 2 litres of water each day (tea/coffee doesn’t count!)
  4. Mid-morning or afternoon snack (if needed) fruit and nuts are great
  5. Don’t eat your lunch stressed…if you’re at work eat away from your desk
  6. Take a 10-minute walk your lunch/dinner to fire up your metabolism
  7. If you drink juice limit this to 120ml the sugars in fruit change after processing
  8. Eat colourful meals for natural sources of vitamins and minerals
  9. Healthy swaps: potato = sweet potato, white rice = brown rice, pasta = lentils
  10. Healthy swaps: cereal = Greek strained yoghurt and berries, crisps = popcorn

I hope my top 10 nutrition tips inspire you to start making some good, new habits.

Should you require any guidance, I can be found at www.evolution34.com or call me on 07852333394.

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2024.

Sarah-Jane

Simple way to identify clothes you’re not wearing

How many times have you discovered something in your wardrobe that you forgot you had?

Chances are, if you’ve got lots of clothes, it won’t be easy for you to identify garments you’re not wearing.

So, before you buy more clothes, I recommend this task. It’s something that I undertake every year with my own clothes, but if you’ve never done it yourself, you may find you need to repeat the task a few times during the year.

A full wardrobe audit takes time and fills many with dread, which is why this task is a little smarter and much less daunting. (But, if you do need help with a full wardrobe audit, let me help!)

The task

Undertaking the task this year, I found around 12 items I’ve not worn in the previous 12 months and 9 of these, I’ve removed to sell on or gift to charity. It took me less than 10 minutes!

It was easy for me to identify these quickly simply because I simply turn the hanger round the opposite way when I’ve worn an item! (Plus, I understand what colours, styles, fabric and shapes suit me!).

At the start of January, I turn all my hangers in the wardrobe so they face the same direction. Then, as I wear something and hang it back up, I switch the hanger to face the opposite direction. Over time, this helps me identify clothes I’m enjoying wearing, and those I’m just not reaching for.

Visually, you’ll begin to see patterns emerge in your own wardrobe and the split of clothes you do and don’t wear. I’ve recorded a quick video to illustrate the task which you can also watch on YouTube: https://youtu.be/S2L8KN193lU

Try it for 30 days and see how you get on, or for for 3 months which will help you prepare for the next season (yes, I’ll be offering my seasonal updates guides again).

What to do with clothes you’re not wearing

As you identify garments you’re not wearing, question yourself for any reasons why this has been. Here’s a few that arise frequently:

  1. Not the weather
  2. The colour washes you out
  3. It doesn’t fit you (too big/too small)
  4. The fabric is scratchy
  5. No longer flattering
  6. Nothing to wear it with
  7. Other similar items you wear more
  8. Fallen out of love with it
  9. Looks dated
  10. Doesn’t work for you
  11. Not been an occasion to wear it
  12. Don’t feel like ‘you’
  13. Changed job/retired
  14. Don’t like how you feel when you wear it
  15. Sentimentally, you can’t let it go

Some of these are good reasons to keep hold of them a bit longer, but do try and wear them! For others, it might be time for you to remove them and let someone else enjoy wearing them instead.

Here’s my advice.

Not the weather

Keep hold of it so you can wear it when you feel it’s more appropriate weather-wise. Unless, you can layer it and wear it with other items you have.

The colour washes you out

Can you wear it away from your face so that it’s little more forgiving? If it’s a top, try wearing another top underneath to break up the colour or try a scarf. Change the colour by dying it or move it on. Or, seek clarity on the colours that do suit you by booking a colour analysis consultation. 

It doesn’t fit you (too big/too small)

These clothes take up room in your wardrobe and you won’t wear them if they don’t fit you! Retaining clothes that don’t fit you can make it harder and take you longer to get ready. For items which affect your mindset and how you feel, I recommend removing them. Even if that means storing them away for now and reviewing in three months or six months time.

The fabric is scratchy

If you hate the feel of something when you wear it, or you have static each time you wear it, you will not be happy when you wear it! Chances are, you’re likely to not wear it again. Move it on.

No longer flattering

Everyone wants to feel good in what they wear, so if something doesn’t flatter you and you don’t feel good when you wear it, why keep it?

Nothing to wear it with

Until you find something that you feel you can wear it with, it will remain unworn and unloved. Challenge yourself to wear it with something you already have, or make it a priority for your shopping list.

Other similar items you wear more

Duplicate pieces can replace older, worn out versions, but if you’re finding that you still prefer the older version and saving this, it means it’s taking up space. Chances are, you don’t need 5 jackets in the same colour, so try and move at least one on.

Fallen out of love with it

Put simply, you won’t wear it so it’s time to say goodbye.

Looks dated

Some items are more timeless than others. Trends come and go, so be honest with yourself if you can see yourself wearing it again, even in a different way? If you can’t then move it on.

Doesn’t work for you

Can you alter it so that you feel it does work for you? What are the reasons that you feel it doesn’t because if you can’t overcome them, you won’t wear it! Change it (tailor/sewer) so it does work for you, or bite the bullet and get rid. If you’re finding it difficult to identify things which do work for you, consider booking a consultation with me to learn them.

Not been an occasion to wear it

What occasion are you looking for? If it’s afternoon tea with The King, you’re better trying to wear it for a different occasion! Don’t put barriers in your mind and try not to save things for best.

Don’t feel like ‘you’

Trying something new to switch up your look is something I encourage you to do. But, if you’ve tried it and feel like ET in the little girl’s clothes (played by Drew Barrymore), then I’d be tempted to move it on as you won’t wear it again.

Changed job/retired

Be honest about how likely you are to wear those clothes again. If it’s suit, you might find you can still wear the jacket and bottoms separately. Give yourself some time to adjust – I often find clients struggle with their image as a piece of their identity has gone. Keep hold until you’re certain or if you’re not sure yet.

Don’t like how you feel when you wear it

Honestly? Let it go. Sure you can tweak it and how you wear it and style it. But, if you don’t like yourself in something, you won’t wear it!

Sentimentally, you can’t let it go

There will always be some things you can’t part with. My advice is to clean the garment and then store it safely away.

 

Finally, you deserve a wardrobe that works for you which is filled with clothes you love to wear! Undertaking this task regularly will help you to keep on top of it and means you’ll be able to quickly identify clothes you love and the ones you’re holding on to ‘just in case’!

Let me know how you get on! And, if you need any help, do get in touch to discuss the package which is right for you.

LEARN WHAT SUITS YOU AND YOU'RE HALF WAY TO ACHIEVING A WARDROBE THAT WORKS FOR YOU!

If you don’t know, get in touch so I can help you find the right package for you so you can feel good in what you wear.

How to wear Peach Fuzz – Pantone color of the year 2024

Let’s start the new year with a bit of colour, shall we??

At the start of every year, I share some advice on Pantone’s ‘Color of the Year’ (they’re not a UK company). Now in the 25th year, the Pantone Color of the Year is now a globally recognised programme. It influences and engages many communities and industries. it’s a colour you’re likely to see throughout the year.

Introducing the ‘Color of the Year’ 2024: Peach Fuzz

One that seems to have divided opinion thus far!

According to Pantone:

PANTONE 13-1023 Peach Fuzz captures our desire to nurture ourselves and others. It’s a velvety gentle peach tone whose all-embracing spirit enriches mind, body, and soul.

In seeking a hue that echoes our innate yearning for closeness and connection, we chose a color radiant with warmth and modern elegance. A shade that resonates with compassion, offers a tactile embrace, and effortlessly bridges the youthful with the timeless.

The Meaning Behind Peach Fuzz

For this year, Pantone felt a need for a more peaceful future. Taking care of ourselves, reevaluating what is important to us, like our family and friends. Looking for that warm and welcoming embrace to lift us into the future.

How to Wear Peach Fuzz

How can you incorporate it into your wardrobe?

It’s much less bold compared to last year’s Viva Magenta. Some will find it much more inviting and I can certainly see it in furry textures and velvet or suede. I’m also thinking that it’s much more wearable in makeup, from eyeshadow to nail polish, which could be a great option if it’s not your best hue.

During a colour analysis consultation, I’ll talk you through and show you the shades of colour which compliment you the most. With this particular shade, it will suit ‘warm’ dominant colouring types the best. Softs and lights will likely find it easier to introduce to their wardrobe, if they haven’t already.

If you’re not sure if it’s the right colour for you, it’s worth checking the impact it’s having against your features. I’ve written about this previously here.

For those who know what their colouring type is, I’ve put together some colour combinations to inspire you to further. I’ve chosen one neutral shade and another colour alongside peach fuzz, depending how daring you want to be. If you’ve had a full colour analysis and you know your secondary and tertiary shades (you’ll have 36, 42 or 48 swatches in your wallet), just combine one or two of these instead.

Lights: This is a flattering shade on you! Try mixing it with your lighter and deeper colours in your swatches. Try with light grey or lavender.
Deeps: Peach Fuzz will wash you out unless you combine it with a stronger colour. I’ve paired it with burgundy and violet.
Warms: This is your season! You’ll be able to wear it with so many tones in your palette. How about with golden brown or amber and pewter?
Cools: This will not be your best look. But, if you love the shade, who am I to tell you not to wear it! Try drenching it with one of your fabulous shades, try it in a print or as accessories. I’ve chosen navy and hot pink for you.
Clears: It isn’t strong enough a shade for you to wear by itself and your skin will look lifeless and pale. Give it some oomph by combining it with a strong, bold shade. I chose emerald turquoise and charcoal as your neutral.
Softs: Peach Fuzz is a wonderful soft shade for you to add to your wardrobe, especially if you have a warm undertone to your skin. Wear it tonally with shades of a similar depth. I’ve featured cocoa and verbena.

Consider wearing it as a scarf or accessory or as a pattern if you’d rather not wear it as a block colour. The fine wool, three-colour scarf is available to purchase from the studio which work suit you if you’re a ‘warm’ dominant or a soft & warm colour type.

Makeup

Peach Fuzz is a fabulous shade for lips, cheeks and nails and do remember it has a warmer hue to it.

I’ve picked out some Colour me Beautiful cosmetic shades to inspire you further:

Eyes – the peach eyeshadow refill is an obvious choice which can be worn by everyone. Use it as an all over base or as a blender. Melon would be a great alternative if you find peach to be too warm for you.

Cheeks – peachy tones are always better suited to you if you have some warmth to your skin. Salmon and Muscat will work well, but opt for more pinky tones if you’re cooler like marsala.

Lips – spiced peach, coral, warm pink are the obvious choices for those with an element of ‘warm’ in their palette. Chiffon would be a better choice for everyone else, or simply avoid the peach fuzz tones of course!

Browse the full range here. If you need help with any makeup, then do get in touch. You can try before you buy in the studio.

In the home and around

Peach Fuzz not one for you this year? Keep your eye out for a fabulous velvet couch, paint a feature wall or opt for a new electric device instead!

 

Should you wait to lose weight before buying new clothes?

I hear this a lot and my heart goes out because it’s a vicious circle. You don’t want to buy clothes that fit you now, because you don’t intend to be remain the same weight. Yet, feeling like you don’t deserve to buy something nice because you’re not your ideal weight, means you compromise on your clothing.

Granting yourself permission to buy new clothes when you’re thinner, sends a message to yourself that you’re not worth it if you’re carrying a little extra weight. This leads to wearing clothes that you don’t feel good in, and your self-belief is knocked down further. You end up trapped in a circle of despair.

Shape not size

I see very few people who are 100% happy with their body. Most people are too concerned with their own body to be looking at yours! Everyone’s body changes anyway!

With no universal sizing, it means you could be one size in one shop and another elsewhere. Unless you make your own clothes, garments you buy aren’t specifically being made for you, so you might have to make them work for your body (rather than the other way around). Size is just a number after all – it’s dressing your shape that matters.

If you’ve found a garment and it’s perfect for you in all other aspects (colour, fit, fabric), but the number on the label isn’t, will you really deny yourself the item?

Clothes can be altered or styled differently. They can be sold, swapped or given to charity. Waiting until you hit your goal weight is commendable, but it’s absolutely fine to feel good and look good whilst you’re working towards it. You don’t have to lose weight to look good or feel good. But, wearing clothes which are comfortable and which suit you will make a vast difference.

If you’re reading this thinking you won’t be able to pull something off, let me assure you it has nothing to do with your size. It’s all about your confidence and self belief. Many people end up reaching for oversized garments hoping to hide their body. Unfortunately, it often just makes you look bigger than you are. There’s better ways of doing it.

Too many clothes

Having a wardrobe full of clothes in multiple sizes, which don’t fit can lead you to keep beating yourself up. These clothes can end up taunting you every day, making you feel frustrated. They’re an unhelpful reminder of your former self rather than who you are NOW or, could be in the future.

Remove the clothes that you don’t wear because they don’t fit you and store them away. Most people need far less clothes than what they have in my experience! Curating a small wardrobe of clothes that fit you and which you can happily wear will make you feel good too.

Do you know what actually suits you? Not everyone is clear about the colour/style/shape/fit/fabric. Knowing what suits you will improve your confidence and help you to feel good in what you wear, right now as well as in the future. So, don’t put off booking a consultation because you’re waiting to lose weight.

Wearing colour is not limited to size! Using colour is a clever way to enhance your features and provide an instant boost to your confidence.

Remember, clothes don’t just cover your body, they tell a story.  What story are you telling the world?

If you’re not sure where to start or what package is right for you, get in touch with me first so we can have a chat.

The secret to layering your clothes and still look stylish (without adding bulk)

The secret to help you stay warm in the colder months is to successfully layer your clothes. Wearing lots of fine, thin layers, rather than one thick item of clothing is a smarter way to keep warm, whilst still looking stylish.

The cold weather doesn’t have to mean boring, frumpy or functional. Nothing wrong with that by the way – I love my giant puffer, duvet style winter coat! But, practicality speaking, I can’t really sit in it all day. Learn to master the basics instead.

I’ve recorded a 3 minute video which you can watch on my YouTube channel here. Below, I’ll explain the details and how to layer successfully.

Layer one – the base layer

For most of us, everyday life is being at home, work or being outdoors. It’s not trekking across Antartica. So adding lots of thin, fine layers is as simple as it gets. You don’t have to spend a fortune on fancy, expensive gear – unless you think you’ll get the use out of it of course.

This base layer is the first layer of protection which sits closest to your skin, so it’s better to be thin and fine as it’s the foundation to which you’ll build your further layers.

Think vests, t shirts and long sleeved t shirts. What I tend to do is actually have a long sleeved t shirt underneath a jumper. If I’m feeling particularly chilly, I might have a vest underneath it or a t shirt underneath. Because they’re thin, I can layer them and not add too much bulk to my frame. I use my summer items (vests, t-shirts) underneath my winter woollies so I get more use of out my basic, core items. Many of these I’ve had for years too!

Merino wool is probably one of the best (if you can’t afford cashmere!) due to its insulating and breathable qualities. It helps regulate body temperature, wicks away moisture, and if you sweat, you won’t be left feeling wet, stinky or clammy!

An unlikely consideration is silk which is one of the softest fabrics you’ll ever wear which is great all season round. It’s lightweight, hypoallergenic, and a natural insulator – a silk vest will be great.

You’ll read a lot in terms of outdoor wear that actually cotton is one of the worst. But actually, if you’ve got a cotton and polyester blend, which I think a lot of my long sleeve tops are, you’ll be absolutely fine for sitting in the house and popping to the shops. These blends are very popular and cost-effective options.

Layer two – the mid layer

Adding this extra layer of insulation acts as a barrier to the cold whilst retaining your body heat. It’s the middle layer between your base layer and your outer-wear.

Depending how many layers you’re going to have as a base layer, just think this layer is about what’s being worn on top of your base layer. Most likely; a jumper, sweatshirt, hoodies, cardigan or fleece, but could also be a shirt and then a jumper.

Consider the thickness of the fabric in the garments here. The thicker the fabric, the finer and thinner your layers underneath are better off being. If you had a fine knit jumper here, it will mean you can add another layer over the top if you need it.

Layer three – the outer layer

Your outer layer is about protecting you from the elements outside. You’ll know from coats you’ve owned in the past how effective they are against the wind, snow, rain, or ice! To help you stay dry, your coat will need to be be both waterproof and breathable. Water resistant options are cheaper but be aware that they will not protect you from torrential rain or being out in the rain a long time. Make sure you’ve got enough layers to protect you should the rain soak through.

Accessories

Whilst these layers play a vital role in keeping your body warm, pay close attention to your head, face, hands, and feet too.

Hats, mittens, gloves, scarves, socks and waterproof footwear are all worthy considerations! Merino and cashmere accessories are much cheaper to buy and will work wonders at helping to keep you warm. I’ve raved previously about my cashmere fingerless gloves and would highly recommend.

Keeping your feet warm is a vital part of retaining body heat and staying comfortable in colder temperatures. So consider cashmere socks or foot insoles to keep your feet warm and toasty with waterproof footwear for outside.

Your style

For ease of demonstration, I’ve talked about tops but you can also have base layer bottoms too.

Aside from the practicality of staying warm, layering your clothes is also a clever way to add interest or colour to your outfit. It’s something I’ve covered previously in this blog but if you’re struggling with any aspect, do get in touch: toni.carver@tlcstyleandcolour.co.uk

Christmas Jumper Alternatives (and the history of the Christmas jumper)

Let’s face it, Christmas jumpers can be a bit naff! There’s a huge range of options available but most people already have at least one in their wardrobe.

I’ve got some tips and alternatives to share with you in this blog because you don’t have to feel your style has to be compromised.

Christmas Jumper Day

The official ‘Christmas Jumper Day’ was introduced in 2012 to help raise funds for children facing serious issues like war, hunger and poverty. It’s an annual event, by Save the Children charity. Here’s more information and how to get involved: https://www.savethechildren.org.uk/christmas-jumper-day

In 2023, Christmas Jumper Day takes place on Thursday 7 December.

Christmas Jumper history

There’s many articles in circulation about where Christmas jumpers originated from. Norway, Scandinavia and Iceland are all named. Often knitted by hand in heavy, locally sourced wool and designed to keep people warm during the cold winters. Similar nordic style patterns still feature today which are much more traditional and less garish than some we see.

Pounds per wear vs cost

Are you like me and roll out the same ones every year?

Let’s say you buy a new festive-themed jumper from the high street giant: H&M. Currently they have Christmas jumpers online from £15.99.

Using my £’s per wear calculation, if you only wear it once, it’s £15.99 per wear.

Wear it another day and it becomes £8 per wear.

Roll it out next year and wear it twice more and you’re down to £4 per wear. Repeat again the following year and it’s £2 per wear.

These principles are the same for any clothes and not just for Christmas festive wear!

Christmas jumper alternatives

The cheap, comedy festive jumper might not be your style, so how about something more stylish which you can wear throughout the year?

I’ve researched and picked out 25 alternative festive styles which you can view (with links) here.

Do check eBay, Vinted and charity shops too.

A Christmas Jumper is not just for Christmas!

Finally, there is a serious side to the production of Christmas jumpers.

Millions are produced every year on top of the millions already in circulation. Arguably, it’s a prime example of fast fashion. Cheaply made by people who aren’t paid a fair living wage where the environmental impacts are questionable.

Get more use out of yours by wearing it every day – a jumper’s not just for Christmas after all!

Garments made from acrylic, will not be sustainable or biodegradable. Acrylic is a plastic which is made by fossil-fuels. When washing, they release microplastics into marine environments, polluting our oceans.

Those made with recycled plastic bottles might not be a better option. Once turned into clothing, the plastic cannot be recycled again so it removes them from the circular recycling loop. Plastic bottles can be collected and recycled multiple times, clothing made from plastic cannot, so it’s destined for landfill.

This year, why not keep wearing what you already have or consider a swap with family and friends. You could even customise your own by adding decorations to it. Or, why not knit your own like Mark Darcey’s mum in Bridget Jones!

Remember: buy less, choose well  and make it last. Don’t compromise, even if it is just a Christmas jumper! If it doesn’t tick all of the boxes that suits you (colour, style, fit, fabric) that you can wear again and again, then does it deserve a place in your wardrobe?

Festive update 2023

The festive season is well under-way and now the Black Friday madness is out of the way, I wanted to use this week’s blog to update you about the festive season.

Studio Christmas opening hours

The studio will close and there will be no appointments available between 22 December 2023 and 4 January 2024.

Emails will be monitored during this period, but there may be a short delay in response. The diary is open for 2024 so do get in touch to secure your preferred appointment date: toni.carver@tlcstyleandcolour.co.uk

Christmas postage

For all gifts (see below for some special packages) and physical gift vouchers for Christmas, please note the following deadline dates apply in the UK.

Monday 18 December is the last posting date for second class post and first class is Wednesday 20 December.

If you’re later than this, it means you’ll need to pay the extra charges for Special Delivery. The last posting date from the studio will be Thursday 21 December. 

Collection is available from the studio but this will be Thursday 21 December. Please do get in touch as early as possible to ensure that any gifts are in stock and available for collection! I would hate for anyone to be disappointed.

Festive gifts

I’ve introduced a new range of fine wool scarves but these are limited in their availability. You can check them out on Facebook and instagram. They’re available alongside my Colour me Beautiful Super Soft scarves and Mulberry Silk Scarves.

This year, I’m delighted to offer you the following gift sets packaged by Colour me Beautiful. Each one comes in a gift box.

Festive Lips Gift Set

Festive Lips – £24.50

Choose your perfect lipstick and lip pencil combo.

A retractable lip brush is included which is ideal for touching up your lipstick mid-party and makes application super easy!

RRP £30.80

 

 

 

 

Party Lips Gift set

Party Lips – £28.00

If a pencil is not for you, choose your perfect lipstick and lip gloss combo instead. Also includes a retractable lip brush – ideal for touching up your lipstick mid-party!

RRP £35.75

 

 

 

 

 

Festive Eyes Gift set

Festive Eyes – £35.50

Not just black!

Choose your shade of eye pencil and volumising mascara to define your eyes.

Includes CMB’s best-selling eye base which will help to keep your eye makeup in place all day!

RRP £40.78

 

 

 

Velvet Perfection Gift Set

Velvet Perfection – £35.50

Create a flawless finish with the velvet perfection foundation primer and morning light foundation.

Each gift box contains your chosen shade of foundation and velvet primer – the perfect duo.

RRP £41.80

 

 

 

 

Primer Trio gift set

Primer Trio – £39.00

This gift set includes:

1 x Neutral (yellow) Primer (perfect to disguise under eye circles)

1 x Mint (green) Primer (perfect for neutralising redness and pesky spots)

1 x Concealer

RRP £44.94

 

 

Primed & Ready – £58.50

Create a flawless finish with this set which includes a concealer, both the mint & neutral primer along with your chosen shade of morning light foundation.

RRP £66.24

 

 

 

 

Party Ready – £65.00

Get party ready this festive season and beyond with this perfectly prescribed gift set.

A pre-filled magnetic compact complete with 4 x eye shadows, 1 x highlighter, 1 x cream blush/lip gloss and a handy applicator brush. You’ll also receive a complimentary eye pencil within the set too.

Available in six pre-selected combinations to suit your dominant colouring type. Choose from light, deep, warm, cool, clear or soft.

RRP £72.15.

 

 

The Festive Compact – £69.00

A filled magnetic refillable compact complete with products for eyes, lips and cheeks. You’ll also receive your perfect festive shade of red lipstick!

Inside each pre-filled magnetic compact you’ll find:

1 x Blush refill
1 x Highlighter refill
1 x Lip gloss/cream blush refill
3 x Eye shadow refills
1 x Intense Eye shadow refill

Shades are pre-selected and available in a choice of ‘warm’ or ‘cool’ shades.

RRP £87.00

 

These gift sets are available to browse and buy online direct from Colour me Beautiful here. When ordering online, the sets will be packaged and posted by CMB HO. If you would prefer to collect from the studio in Wakefield, West Yorkshire do note that there’s no need to order online. Simply get in touch with me to pre-order yours: toni.carver@tlcstyleandcolour.co.uk

All festive gift sets are subject to availability and the offers will expire on 22 December 2023.

Gift vouchers and E-gift vouchers

Gift vouchers are available electronically so you don’t need to rely on the post! Simply browse and buy online here and once your payment has been processed, an electronic gift card will be sent to the email address you have selected. Do check your spam mail when ordering so you don’t miss it!

If you would prefer to give a physical gift voucher, please get in touch as I will be happy to prepare one for you. Additional costs apply to all physical gift vouchers as they are posted via special delivery. Do remember that the last date for Christmas orders is Thursday 21 December. This applies to both collection and UK postal orders.

Both digital and physical gift vouchers are valid for 12 months from the date of issue. There is no cash alternative and they are non-refundable.

Get in touch: toni.carver@tlcstyleandcolour.co.uk

Christmas gift and wish list

Finally, you’ll find all available products including the special festive offers, listed on the gift wish list. This is perfect if you need help dropping some firm hints!

You can download, print, select and supply to whoever needs it (or leave it hanging around of course).

Click here to download your copy.

What happens during a colour analysis consultation and what can you expect?

Colour analysis consultations are the most popular service available. They are often the subject of discussion on the blogs, in Youtube videos and on social media.

But, what can you expect when you book a colour analysis consultation at the studio? Here’s the low-down.

Arrival

When you arrive for your appointment, I’ll greet you and invite you into the studio. Refreshments are provided and as you get settled on the sofa and fill in a record card, I’ll put the kettle on.

Drink in hand, we’ll have a brief chat about your wardrobe, clothes and expectations.

Introduction to colour analysis theory and science

You’ll hear about the three elements of colour analysis and learn about the core colouring types.

We’ll begin with basic colour theory, the impact of colour and how to wear different shades. I’ll share some advice on what to look for and how to wear colours so you can feel confident about getting the most out of what you already have in your wardrobe.

I’ll explain the science behind colour analysis using Munsell colour theory and the colour wheel which underpins tonal colour analysis. (I’ve talked about the science briefly in the past which you can revisit here)

A colour analysis consultation is not about shoe-horning you into a box, but understanding the relationship between your physical characteristics and how these factors also feature in all colours. This helps you to determine whether a shade of a colour suits you better, or not at all.

To prepare you for the next stage, you’ll take a seat facing a large mirror and I’ll place a white cape around your neck. No need to worry about what to wear, it’s covered here.

Colour testing

In the studio there’s a table top with 145 precision-dyed coloured fabric sheets called ‘drapes’. The drapes don’t lie! They show you the impact of colour against your features so you can understand how to wear it.

Using coloured panels and these fabrics, I’ll place them under your chin and across your chest to determine your core colour type taking into account your physical features. Your core colour type will be one of six – light, deep, warm, cool, clear or soft and muted. Using the fabric helps to show the impact of the colours against your features to create harmony and balance. (I’ve covered the things to avoid recently here).

With your dominant colour type determined, I’ll go on to ‘test’ you twice more in the same way to refine your palette further. These ‘tests’ will assess your sub-dominants (your secondary and tertiary colours), so you have a personalised palette of colours which compliment you the most. Should you decide to book a dominant colour analysis only, this second and third element of testing will be skipped. Your colour type is made up of each of the three elements – the depth, the undertone and the clarity.

The colour swatches

Me showing my own colour swatches (there's 48 in a full palette now)

Showing my own fabric colour swatches (there’s 48 in a full palette now)

Having determined your colour type, I’ll put your colour swatches together. There’s an outer wallet cover, inside are strips of card containing fabric samples in plastic which match the precision-dyed drapes in the studio. This opens out so you can see your whole palette of colours together. There’s a handy makeup card with your best shades, a summary card and my details too.

Your colour swatches will help you shop your colours. Use them to review what you’ve already got and when buying anything new. During the session, I’ll explain how to use them and what the symbols and names mean too.

 

Makeup application

If you booked a session to include a makeup application, we’ll now discuss your skincare and makeup routine before I prescribe and apply your best makeup shades.

The cosmetics and skincare products in the studio are from Colour me Beautiful. The makeup has been specifically designed to compliment each colour type making it a breeze to shop for cosmetics in the colours which suit you. Most products have been manufactured in the UK with some vegan friendly. The entire skincare range is organic and vegan and you can sample most products at home too – just ask.

It’s a great opportunity to sample colours and products you wouldn’t normally as they are only available from Colour me Beautiful consultants.

You’re under no obligation, but all products are available to purchase on the day, and in the future. Anything not in stock, can be posted or collected and bought online through the colour me beautiful shop. Full disclosure: any purchases made through this dedicated website (which contains my name at the top), will generate a payment of commission.

 

Colour draping and combinations

Face transformed, it’s now time to show you your complete look as we go back to your colours.

During this part of the session, I’ll show you every colour in your swatches including your neutrals. As we go through them, I’ll talk you through how best to wear them and show you different combinations. You’ll have colours you’ve never worn before and some which are more familiar. This is an opportunity to get ideas on how you’ll be able to wear and introduce them once you leave the studio.

Summary and end of session

Having gone through your colours and played with different combinations, we’ll have reached the end of your consultation. Before you leave, I’ll give you some reminders and package up your wallet (30 swatches for a dominant, 42 for your full colour type, 48 for the complete set including the bonus collection card) with any items you’ve bought or included in your session.

After you leave

Most clients head straight home to their wardrobe to review what they’ve got and the rest hit the shops! A colour analysis consultation can last up to 2 hours so you’re unlikely to remember everything we’ll have discussed! So, I always follow up afterwards to help keep you on track and inspire you on your new colour journey using the email address you provided on the record card when you arrived. You can opt-out any time.

 

I hope this answers any questions you have about what to expect during a colour analysis consultation.

Should you have any further queries, or you’d like to book your appointment, get in touch: toni.carver@tlcstyleandcolour.co.uk.

4 Colour analysis mistakes, what to look for and how to get it right

In last week’s blog, I shared nine tell-tale signs that you’re wearing the wrong colour which you can revisit here.

As a professional colour consultant, I’m always asked how to tell if the colour you’re wearing is right for you. This is an important one, given that one of the (many) advantages of getting your colours done is to be able to know and understand what suits you so that you can make fewer shopping mistakes. But, it can also be very subjective and up for ‘opinion’ because not everyone sees colour in the same way.

Yet, your image makes up a very visual statement to the world. If something doesn’t suit, fit or flatter you, or you don’t feel good in it, this will be seen and reflected in your image. Your style and shape have an important part to play in your overall image but it’s colour which has the most impact. When a colour isn’t right for you, it will alter and impact your appearance greatly.

I’ve recorded a video which takes you through some of the common mistakes people make when assessing if a colour is right for them. You can watch the video on YouTube here but I’ve also summarised the key points below.

Mistake one

When you see the colour against your skin tone, shadows underneath your chin, dark circles (not diminished), or you look drained, sallow or grey – any of these are not good at all. The colour isn’t balancing with your features and is reflecting, or casting the colour to your face and making you look unwell, tired or washed out.

Mistake two

Assuming that a glow underneath the chin is flattering. A ‘glow’ doesn’t mean ‘glowing’ and will likely mean that the colour is reflecting underneath your chin.

Mistake three

You feel like you need to add more colour through your makeup because you’re trying to balance the colour that you’re wearing. The reality is that the colour isn’t the right tone for you which is why you feel the need to ‘add’ colour artificially through your makeup.

Mistake four

After checking the colour of your veins, you’ve either established that they are blue, green or purple. Whatever colour your veins are isn’t actually a reliable indicator to be able to assess if you have a warmer or cooler skin tone. Your blood is red after all.

What to look for instead

Whatever colour you’re wearing, the effect should be positive. You deserve to look and feel good!

You should look healthier, glowing, have clearer and brighter skin. Your eyes will sparkle and people will comment on how well you look. They may ask if you’ve lost weight or done something different with your hair.

The most accurate way to assess the colour against your features is to use fabric. Hold it underneath your chin because you want to see how it looks against your skin tone. Assess if the colour balances and harmonises with your features. The colour won’t jump out at you (if it does this is often an indicator that it’s not quite the right shade for you). You should be wearing the colour, not the other way around. The human eye looks for balance.

How to get it right

If you have self-diagnosed yourself or you’ve had a go at an online quiz or using a filter and you’re finding that you’ve been following the rules stated but it’s still not working fully, chances are, it’s not quite accurate enough for you.

Consider having a professional colour analysis to determine the right colours, the right tones and the right shades for you.

A colour analysis isn’t about being restrictive or prescriptive and telling you what to wear. It should be enjoyable as a journey because you get to learn how to choose and wear colours that you know flatter you and make you look good! This will in turn, help you to feel good inside too.

That’s what I talk to my clients about when they come for a colour analysis consultation with me.

Get in touch to book your appointment and learn what suits you.

Nine tell-tale signs that you’re wearing the wrong colour

When you wear a colour which isn’t right for you, it shows. Sometimes, it may be subtle but other times, the effect is so dramatic that you immediately take it off!

This year, colour analysis has exploded on social media. But, if I’m honest, I’ve seen lots of examples where people have arrived at their own colour conclusion, which hasn’t been right for them.

Or, they’ve asked people online and in forums what ‘season’ they are or what colours suit them. The people telling them are no more qualified than the person asking the question. They’re sharing an opinion on what they think rather than what is accurate. Colour Analysis (with a professional) is based upon a science and basic colour theory. It’s not an opinion.

I’m a bit gutted for them to be honest. I know how exciting it is to find out your colours and learn how to create a wardrobe of coordinating items that do flatter you. Unfortunately, the ones who haven’t quite got it right end up spending more money on clothes that don’t suit them. And, they don’t understand why because someone online told them, or the filter they used made them look good.

So, I wanted to call out some really obvious tell-tale signs that the colour you’re wearing isn’t right for you:

You feel the need to add more blusher

Essentially, you’re looking ‘washed out’ and so you’re trying to add some colour to your face. A classic sign that the colour you’re wearing close to your face isn’t right for you.

You want to reach for a bright lipstick

Feeling the need to balance out what you’re wearing often means the colour isn’t right as it’s taking the limelight away from you and your features. It’s all about the colour that you’re wearing rather than you. Colour doesn’t always mean bright either whether that’s in clothes or lipsticks.

It’ll look great with a tan

What if you don’t tan? Now you’ve got to fake tan?? Essentially, the colour is either overwhelming you (too bright/too warm) or washing you out (too heavy/too pale). Needing to artificially and temporarily alter the look of your skin to make the garment suit you better isn’t the right consideration.

There’s a glow under your chin

Remember when you were a child and you held a buttercup under your chin to see if you liked butter?? (I sincerely hope this wasn’t just me or now I look like a plonker). Anyway, there’s a difference between a ‘glow’ and ‘glowing’. A glow usually means that the colour you’re wearing closest to your face is reflecting upwards to your features. Usually, under your chin which creates a reflection or a glow. Glowing occurs when the colour doesn’t reflect onto your skin, instead you look brighter and your skin looks clearer. You’re glowing because the colour is harmonising with you and not isolating itself from you.

You’ve got shadows/dark circles/look tired

If you’re already shattered, you don’t need colours to make you look worse! The colours you wear should make you look (and feel) healthier and brighter. Lines and shadows accentuated aren’t a good look.

You look ill

Ever had someone come up to you and ask if you’re feeling ok? Or that you look a bit ‘peaky’ and actually, you were feeling just fine? Colours which make you look poorly or cast a funny colour to your skin tone ar doing you no favours. Unless you wanted to be sent home of course.

Your jaw line has disappeared / you’ve got a 5 o’clock shadow

Often I see that the definition in your features disappears in the wrong colour tone. A defined jawline is what you want. For the guys, if you look like you need a shave (and you’ve had one already), it’s not right for you. Ditch it.

Your skin looks dirty

Assuming you’ve washed then the colour is clearly wrong for you!

Your skin looks red and agitated

Usually, this means that the colour is fighting against your skin tone and it’s bringing out blemishes and heightening redness in your cheeks and veins. The right shade of colour should balance out imperfections, not highlight them and make them look worse.

Why get a professional colour analysis?

This isn’t meant to be an exhaustive list but things I hear and frequently see during my colour analysis consultations. I’ve been colour analysing clients for over 10 years and I’ve seen lots of ladies, and some men.

A colour analysis consultation with a professional is an investment. Do your research so that you can feel confident that you’re getting an analysis from a trained professional.

As a professional, I’ve trained in this field (with Colour me Beautiful) and what to look for using basic colour theory. I don’t offer a ‘seasonal’ colour analysis but a ‘tonal’ one which I feel is much more refined. Not everyone fits neatly into one of the four seasons and I assess your full colouring type based upon all your physical features. I don’t cover your hair and I don’t assess your skin tone based upon the colour of your veins.

I explain all this and what to look for to my clients during a colour analysis session so that when they go shopping, they know what to look for. They’ve got their swatches to use as a helpful guide too, not a bible or rule-book to follow. I can take you shopping of course, but I know realistically, it’s not always possible for me to be with you every second of the day. My clients get continued advice via email following their appointment to help support and guide them on their journey.

 

READY TO GET A PROFESSIONAL COLOUR ANALYSIS?

Get in touch to book your appointment: toni.carver@tlcstyleandcolour.co.uk

Autumn Spotlight trend: Styling the bias cut midaxi satin skirt

Satin is one of the many trends I’ve highlighted within my seasonal updates this autumn and winter. Like many trends, it’s not the first time we’ve seen it. It’s got a 90s vibe about it (just me?) and we saw it during spring and summer too.

Something which many people struggle with is how to wear a skirt. More specifically; what to wear with a skirt. Skirts can throw up all sorts of issues; the best length, what shoes, fitted or baggy top, to name but a few.

During my recent seasonal update workshop, I picked this bias cut satin skirt from New Look.* The colour was fabulous and the fabric just devine. Satin can add elegance to an outfit and make it feel dressier.

To demonstrate that you don’t need to restrict it to evening wear, I raided my wardrobe for things I could style it with. Here’s a selection of 8 (9 if you include the jacket):

Alternative options

– Smarten the skirt up with a blazer or jacket

– Try a waistcoat

– Wear a cropped top or t-shirt

– Swap the trainers for a pair of boots. Both long and ankle would work

– If trainers are not your thing, try some flat shoes, brogues or loafers

The skirt

As mentioned, the skirt featured is the burgundy satin bias cut midi skirt from New Look*. It comes in eight other colours too: black, dark grey, khaki, green, dark green, navy, red and gold.

It has an elasticated waistband which sits hidden inside the skirt. New Look classify it as a ‘midaxi’ length (which is somewhere between midi and maxi).

If you’re shorter in the leg or petite in size/scale, it’s likely to finish lower than it does on me. I’m 5 foot 5 and you can see that it comes to my ankles.

A bias cut can be flattering because it’s cut on an angle which creates more stretch and movement to the material. Whilst this is 96% polyester, it has an amazing soft, lightweight feel to the fabric and has elastane so it’s got some stretch.

Style personality and fit

However I’ve styled this skirt, your own style personality and shape needs to be taken into account. I talk you through fabric and styles plus your style personality influences during a style and image consultation.

I can help you select the most flattering styles and fabrics for your body shape – just get in touch to book your appointment.

 

*Please note that this is an affiliate link which means that should you make a purchase using it, a payment of commission may be made to me at no cost to you. Thank you for your support.

Should you invest in a seasonal update if you’re not a follower of fashion?

Are you thinking about investing in the seasonal updates but wondering if they’re right for you because you have no interest in fashion?

Here’s everything you need to know about the seasonal updates this autumn/winter and how they’ll help you make informed decisions, shop with intention and stop wasting money on things you won’t wear.

What are the seasonal updates?

A suite of material guiding you on the colours and styles to suit you. Aimed at saving you time shopping because I’ve done the hard work for you! You’ll find the latest trends and how to wear them so you don’t waste money on things which don’t suit you. Encouraging you to check your wardrobe and buy only what you’ll need and wear. You can work through them in your own time.

Who are the seasonal updates for?

As a colour and style consultant, these seasonal updates are for ladies who want to feel good and look stylish. Too many people have too many clothes they don’t wear which don’t suit them.

The guides are for everyone but usually:

– Those who already know their colouring type. The guides illustrate eight colours from your palette that you’ll find this season. Perfect if you’ve identified certain colour gaps in your wardrobe or you need to invest in a specific colour or style.

– Want to feel up-to-date and current with your clothes. There are twelve trends I’ve picked this season which can be introduced or adapted from what you already have in your wardrobe (or pre-loved). The guides will help you focus on how to update your wardrobe to feel more confident in your outfits.

– Feel overwhelmed by choice and dislike shopping. Having the guides makes it easier to shop for specific items you’ll need.

– Anyone short on time, because the hard work has already been done with examples and links (Shop the look guides).

– You keep buying things without purpose or because it’s there, you’re more likely to be wasting money. You may already have something similar in your wardrobe too! Use the guides to stop you buying more clothes you don’t need and won’t wear.

– Lacking inspiration and confidence. Sometimes you get stuck in a rut and need some help getting out of it. These guides will help.

How will the seasonal updates can help you shop with intention?

There’s a choice of material available to guide you:

  1. A colour and style A5 guide which summarises the key colours and trends that you’ll find this autumn / winter 2023 featuring eight colours for each dominant colouring type.
  2. Shop the Look book for each colour type which features over 30 garments in colours and styles to suit your dominant colouring type. Contains links to the retailer websites and style and fit notes from me too.
  3. E-book containing 19 pages detailing the colours, styles and trends and shape considerations. Includes eight colours and makeup shades for each dominant colour type and the 15 colours from London Fashion Week coded for each dominant colour type. Also includes wardrobe and shopping checklists so you can focus on what you have and what you need.
  4. Recorded on-demand masterclass which is a pre-recorded video showing you the examples of the colours and trends you’ll find in the shops and how to wear them. The video lasts 38 minutes and uses the same slides I use in the live group workshop.

What’s the cost of the seasonal update?

The price ranges from £7.50 to £17.50 depending upon the seasonal update guide. It’s a cost effective way to tap into the expertise of a colour and style consultant!

Who should not invest in the seasonal update?

If you want to become a trend-setter and aren’t bothered if something suits you, these guides are not for you!

You should have some idea about what suits you. If not, you’ve lost your confidence or you can’t find a way through the confusion then these guides may not be the answer. A consultation or bespoke session may be better suited and you’re welcome to arrange a no-obligation call. Click here to arrange a no-obligation chat: https://calendly.com/tlcstyleandcolour/schedule-a-call

What kind of results can you expect from seasonal update?

I’m often told my guides stop you making the same mistakes and buying more things you don’t wear/don’t suit you. Having a colour and style expert find items you wouldn’t normally choose yourself can saves time! Using the seasonal updates makes you more aware of what’s already in your wardrobe that you can re-wear again.

Ready to invest in the Seasonal Update for Autumn / Winter 2023?

How to wear a scarf – 3 ways and 3 reasons

Given the weather has turned colder here in the UK, it means that the winter woollies will have to come out!

For me, a scarf is the easiest and most versatile accessory that you can have in your wardrobe.

This autumn/winter season, you’ll notice an abundance of colourful scarves, capes and cover-ups available.

I’m sharing my guidance and more on the trends, colours and styles in my new seasonal updates which you’ll find full details to help you make informed decisions here.

3 reasons to wear a scarf

A scarf is a fabulous accessory to invest in and often a more cost effective way of updating your wardrobe too.

Firstly, when you wear a scarf in a shade of colour which compliments your features, you’ll look fabulous! That’s because the colour that you wear near to your face will reflect upwards. Choosing a colour that compliments your features will avoid casting shadows onto your features. You can learn your best shades of colour and how to wear them during a colour analysis consultation. A scarf is included in your package with me in the studio too.

It can rescue any outfit! So, if you’re wearing something which isn’t one of your best colours, it will cast shadows onto your features. This will have the unfortunately impact of making you look tired or older than you are and you don’t need that! Adding a scarf will break up the not-so-good colour in your outfit to rescue it and make you look much healthier (as long as it’s right for you of course!). A scarf is a really useful accessory to add when you feel you need to add a finishing touch which will elevate the outfit too.

This last reason may seem a little boring or practical, but it will actually help to keep you warm!

3 simple ways to tie a scarf

Many people struggle to wear a scarf as they feel unsure about how to tie it. They see others who make it look effortless and just can’t make it work the same way for them! Often though, the main reason they struggle is actually down to their style personality (this is something which you learn much more about during my style and image consultation).

I’m often asked for ways of wearing and tying a scarf and this is something which I’ve covered previously. In this video, I’m sharing my three favourite methods which are really simple and easy to do. I’m talking you through how to tie each one in turn in the video as well which you can watch here on YouTube. 

In the video, my first one is a really simple and effortless method which I call the loop. You simply loop it around your neck and adjust the ends. You can do this with any length or thickness of scarf.

The second is what I call the twisted loop. You start using the first method and then twist each end into the loop which twists the scarf. Easily than it sounds and definitely worth a watch!

Lastly, what I call the plaited hoop. In the video, I’ve slowed down the clip so you can follow it a little easier but you’ll start like that one where you push both ends through the hoop at one side (the one everyone does). Instead push one end through the hoop, twist the hoop round to make a figure of 8 and feed the remaining end into the hole you’ve just created. Lies much flatter and nicer too. Watch the video to see these come to life: https://youtu.be/XZ9i9ZPWLDc

The super soft scarf featured in the video

You’ll notice that I’ve used a long scarf in the video tutorials. This is the purple super soft scarf by Colour me Beautiful. There are 5 colours available (including the purple which is a universal one, so it suits everyone) but you’ll find one for every colour type and if you need help identifying the right shade for you, do get in touch. If you know your colouring type, you can refine the filter through the online shop to show you the ones which work for you. Available from the studio as well as online here.

New square scarves

To commemorate Colour Me Beautiful’s 40th birthday, they have introduced a very special new range. The new Sofia Mulberry Silk Scarves are available in three colour ways; Warm, Cool and Universal (so this one suits everyone).

Mulberry Silk is one of the most expensive and luxurious fabrics in the world. It is smoother and stronger than any other silk and breathable too. Order yours online or from the studio.

The Universal Sofia is made up of colours that we can all wear; soft white, teal, purple, pewter, taupe and stone.

The Cool Sofia is made up of cornflower, soft white, icy-grey, blue-green, cassis and hot pink and is perfect for anyone with a cool undertone.

The Warm Sofia is made up of olive, turquoise, cream, sage, terracotta and orange-red and will look sensational on anyone with a warm undertone.

Each scarf measures 88cm x 88cm.

NEW Recorded On-demand Seasonal Masterclass – Autumn / Winter 2023 update

The latest masterclass is now available!

This is a pre-recorded video which you can watch at your leisure to discover the Autumn and Winter 2023 colour and style trends plus how to wear them.

It’s perfect for you if you would prefer to watch it in your own time.

You’ll follow the presentation which has been prepared highlighting what’s available this season with Toni’s help and guidance.

The recorded video lasts 38 minutes. Get inspired with what to wear this autumn with tips on how to wear the new trends whilst checking what’s hung up in your wardrobe!

During this recorded video masterclass, you’ll learn:

  • The key colours for each dominant colouring type (light, deep, warm, cool, clear, soft) this season
  • Where to find the key colours this season
  • The latest styles and trends and how to wear them
  • Where to find the new trends 

Purchase it here:

These recorded seasonal masterclasses are recorded twice a year to coincide with Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter. They are part of a range of seasonal updates available to support you.

Each video lasts around 30 minutes which mans you can watch it as many time as you like! You’ll receive a link to video once your order has been processed.

The next seasonal update for Spring/Summer 2024 will be available from 1 April 2024.

Register your interest in ‘seasonal updates’ and join the wait list to receive a 5 day exclusive pre-launch offer on 27 March. Register here.

What to buy this Autumn/Winter

Money doesn’t buy style, knowledge does.

When you know what suits you, shopping becomes easier and your wardrobe becomes more cohesive and coordinated.

Shopping doesn’t have the same joy for everyone. So if you find it overwhelming and confusing about what to buy, or make too many shopping mistakes you often regret, listen up.

I’ve done the hard work to save you time scouring the internet and the high street. I’ve gathered the colours and trends, where to get them and how to wear them with my seasonal updates.

A new season doesn’t have to mean spending a fortune on new clothes to stay relevant and feel good about yourself. A simple change of accessories or a tweak to what you’ve got can make all the difference. Breathe new life into old pieces and bring you bang up to date.

Whether you’re a do-it-yourself kind, or you prefer a more guided approach, these seasonal updates are available all year round. Here’s what’s available

COLOUR & STYLE UPDATE GUIDE

This summary guide is a handy, double-sided A5 sized guide. It can be popped in your handbag to guide you on any shopping trips.

There’s a list of colours for your clothes and makeup organised by dominant colouring type (which you learn during your colour analysis consultation. You’ll find a summary of the key trends with tips on wearing them on the reverse of the guide.

I’ve got eight colours for each of the six dominant colouring types so that you can focus on any specific colours from your colour swatches and palette (if you’ve had a tonal colour analysis). This makes it easy to update your wardrobe this autumn and winter, filling any gaps. For an autumn boost to your makeup, there’s some combinations and colours to try too.

If you’ve booked a Complete Colour Analysis Consultation between October until March, a copy is included.

Add yourself to the wait list and get a 5 day pre-launch exclusive access to the guide. Simply register yourself for seasonal updates to get your hands on it, or wait until 1 October when it goes on general sale. Once your order has been processed, it will be posted (UK only) via Royal Mail. A scanned copy can be emailed to anyone outside the UK.

There are a few copies left of the previous Spring / Summer 2023 colour and style guide. This is perfect if you’re shopping the sales or pre-loved. It’s currently reduced until 30 September but only whilst stocks last. Get it here.

RECORDED VIDEO MASTERCLASS

For a more detailed guide on the autumn/winter colour and style trends, my pre-recorded masterclass can be watched as many times as you like!

You’ll receive a link to a presentation and video recording which you can watch. I’ll talk you through the latest trends, the colours and examples for each dominant colouring type. There’s some tips on dressing your shape too.

The recording this time is 38 minutes. Available from 1 October unless you’re on the wait list for my seasonal updates and you’ll get 5 days early access to the material at an exclusive price too! (Register your details, click ‘seasonal updates’ and hit the button to register).

The previous spring / summer 2023 on-demand masterclass is still available and on sale until 30 September. Get it here.

LIVE EVENT – WHAT TO WEAR ONLINE WORKSHOP – 7 October – 2PM

The next live workshop takes place via zoom on Saturday 7 October at 2pm and lasts around 90 minutes.

During this virtual workshop, I’ll guide you through what you’ll find in the shops this autumn/winter whilst assessing what you’ve already got in your wardrobe! I’ll talk you through my presentation and slides which I’ve put together illustrating the trends, styles, key colours for your colouring type and where to find them all with tips on wearing them too of course!

You’ll see items from my own wardrobe to demonstrate that trends really do come and go along with picks from the high street. Tickets cost £19.50 and are available to purchase here for the event on 7 October.

SEASONAL UPDATE E-BOOK

A complete guide of the colours and style trends this season to go through on your own.

The 19 page document includes:

  • A summary of the key trends, what to look for and tips on how to wear them
  • Tips on dressing your body shape
  • 8 key trending colours for each dominant colouring type (lights, deeps, warms, cools, clears, softs)
  • Makeup colours for each dominant colouring type
  • 15 London Fashion Week colour palette coded by dominant colouring type
  • Wardrobe checklist to help you review what you’ve already got and any gaps
  • An AW23 shopping checklist to help you identify what to shop for this season

This is a digital and practical guide delivered electronically and is available from 1 April. Join the wait list and you’ll get a 5 day pre-launch exclusive access (register for seasonal updates and watch out for the email on 26 September!)

SHOP THE LOOK: LOOK BOOKS

New for Autumn is a shop the look guide for each colouring type. Each guide features links and notes from me about the items I’ve found and featured for your colouring.

This makes shopping the new looks a breeze.

THE WAIT LIST

Subscribing to a waiting list means I can make you an exclusive offer. The offers aren’t available outside of my email list (ie I don’t offer them anywhere else). So, if you’re not on the list then you don’t get this access. This seems fair to me as a reward and thank you for signing up to be rewarded.

The wait list means you’ll get 5 days exclusive access ahead of general sale at an exclusive price.

To qualify, you need to be subscribed, select ‘seasonal updates’ as an interest and still be opted in by the time the offer comes around. On 26 September, check your emails for your exclusive pre-launch offer. (You’ll also get access to the spring/summer updates on 27 March too).

Register your details here: wait list

What do I do with clothes I don’t wear (and can’t let go)

Each month on the blogs I try and address some common questions I get asked.

A challenge which many people experience is having clothes they don’t wear, which they can’t bring themselves to get rid of.

Whilst there isn’t just one solution, here’s some ideas which may help.

A new life

Firstly, if you’ve got a lot of clothes you don’t wear, it’s worth seeing if you can identify any reasons for not wearing them.

Perhaps you’ve out-grown them, or they are no longer appropriate for your lifestyle. Maybe you don’t feel like ‘you’ when you wear them. Whatever your specific reasons, it’s worth asking yourself if this is likely to change and if you will re-wear them again.

Can you give a new lease of life to any of the items? With clothes I’m not wearing because of the colour, I’ve dyed them! Refreshing the colour in an old pair of jeans or completely changing the colour of other garments has helped me to wear things again.

Are any of them the wrong length or fit? It may take more effort or skill, but these can be altered so you do wear them again – even if it means taking it to a seamstress. Re-purpose clothes into other things, like a cushion cover, a bag or make a top or skirt from a dress instead.

If you’re not likely to re-wear them or change them to make them work for you, why is it that you keep them? Let the guilt go, thank it for it’s time and let someone else get joy from them.

Having a constant reminder each time you open the wardrobe doors does you no good. It’s a shame to let them gather dust at the back of your wardrobe when others would love them. Donating them will keep the item in circulation, avoid landfill and lighten your emotional load too.

Swap and swish

When I was younger, my friends at school would regularly have a clothing swishing party. Everyone would bring items along they don’t wear anymore and swap for something new! These events still happen today encouraging you to bring along your unworn items in exchange for a ticket to swap for another garment. They’re a great way of obtaining ‘new’ items, refreshing your wardrobe and culling things you don’t wear. You could even organise your own event too!

Sell

I like my money where I can see it; hanging in my closet! Carrie Bradshaw

A famous saying in the original series of Sex and The City. This is the reason that many people can’t let things go. The truth is that you’re unlikely to get the same money back that you spent in the first place (unless it’s vintage of course, then who knows!). But, this isn’t always the best reason to keep hold of things. Especially if you’re not wearing them.

Selling clothes you don’t wear (and unlikely to wear again) will help to lighten the load you feel emotionally and put some money in your pocket. Think of it as a reward for keeping them safe! There’s a huge pre-loved clothing market which I can’t see disappearing any time soon. Sure, it means competition, but everyone loves a bargain and your lovely clothes can be enjoyed by someone else whilst you earn a little cash.

Use the money you earn to treat yourself to something new (which you will wear), pay off some debts or treat yourself to a night out or a takeaway!

Ebay, Vinted and Facebook marketplace are the common places to sell and there are pre-loved groups on Facebook for certain brands too.

Rent

Whilst it won’t solve a bulging wardrobe, if you’ve got good quality, high end clothing and accessories you can’t bring yourself to part with, consider renting them out. Hurr, ByRotation and MyWardrobeHQ will facilitate the rental of your items to people for days or weeks at a time. It’s another way to give life to your unworn garments, make some money on the side and doesn’t mean getting rid of things.

The three F’s

Opening your wardrobe and feeling fed up that you can’t wear them will not help you to feel good getting dressed. There’s nothing worse than having a wardrobe filled with clothes that don’t fit you.

My advice? Get those clothes out of there!

If you can’t bring yourself to undertake any of the previous suggestions, store them away for now. Removing them from view will improve your mindset and how you feel each day. You can always revisit the items at a later date when you won’t feel quite so emotionally influenced by them.

Your wardrobe should be filled with clothes that fit you right now. They will be appropriate for you, right now. This way, you’ll have clothes you can wear now, even if it does make your wardrobe look sparse.

Clothes which fit you, flatter your figure and which make you feel good (the three f’s) should be in your wardrobe right now! Everything else is taking up space in your wardrobe (and your head).

Having help from someone who can be more objective and who isn’t emotionally attached to your clothes can also be helpful. This could be a friend, relative or a professional so don’t be afraid to seek assistance if you need it.

Use my guides here if you feel up for tackling your wardrobe on your own or get in touch: toni.carver@tlcstyleandcolour.co.uk

Unboxing the b.kinda mystery box

Given it’s Second hand September, it seemed like a good opportunity to introduce the B.Kinda mystery box.

They do things a little differently by putting together pre-loved clothing boxes. It’s a mystery because you won’t know what’s inside!

It’s worth pointing out that I’ve not been paid for this – in fact, it will be a surprise for them too! I wanted to highlight them for doing something different in the pre-loved, second hand space.

Detailed below is how it works and what’s included based upon my own experience. Plus, I’ve recorded a video to show you the items I received and how to use their website. Watch it here: https://youtu.be/CvR1GyAfD88

How does it work?

The mystery box is made up of four items picked for you based upon your preferences.

There’s an element of tailoring your order with scope to add notes (if you didn’t like stripes for example).

First, select the age that you like to dress, rather than the age you actually are. If you fancy something a little more mature or youthful, select a different age range box.

Next, it’s about sizing. The options are from 6 to 24. You’ll be asked to select the size for your tops, then bottoms and finally, dresses. I like this because it’s an opportunity to reflect your body shape. So, if you’re a pear shape or inverted triangle, being able to select a different size top to bottoms makes it much more customised to you.

In relation to trousers, you can choose the leg length which is great if you don’t have balanced proportions. Select short, regular or long.

Now the size and fit is sorted, you’ll move onto your colour choices. In this section, you mark the colours that you don’t like. Because I know my colouring type, it was an easy one for me.

Here’s the colours I didn’t want:

  • Auburn (too warm)
  • black (too draining)
  • brown (not a fan)
  • gold (I’m better in silver)
  • copper (too warm)
  • grey (don’t need anything)
  • beige (not a fan)
  • orange (too warm and bright)
  • yellow (too tricky getting the right tone)

This left me with: blue, green, purple, navy, pink, red, silver, white and burgundy.

Being able to refine to a colour group allows you to choose a colour you love or fill a gap in your wardrobe.

What’s inside the mystery box?

If you fancy a nosy, watch the video and I’ve summarised the contents below.

One top was cute with little details to the shoulders and a lightweight fabric. Very similar to blush pink in the soft, light, clear and deep dominant swatches.

The second top was a boho pattern on a lightweight fabric. The base colour was a little darker than the grey green in the warm and soft dominant swatches.

Onto the dresses; the first was a warmer shade of red with zip details to the front. Would definitely work for someone with warmer tones in their colour type (dominant or sub-dominant).

The final dress was a patterned dress. On closer inspection looked dark and night navy and soft white combinations. Colours which could easily be worn by most people. The dress was fitted, lined and had a side concealed zip.

The result!

At the time I ordered, it cost me £15 for four garments including postage (it’s a rather big box too!).

As at 1 September, the cost has increased to £20.95 which to me still represents great value for money! I asked about the change and they said: “Our boxes always reflect the change in seasons. From today (1st September), every box we pick will include autumn clothes as well as all year round pieces. We have tried to hold back with a price change for as long as we could but in order to continue to grow and support our community this is something we had to do.”

You’d have to spend much more to get four brand new garments. This method means you’ll have rescued four items from landfill and at the very worst, you’ll have given to charity.

The gamble is that it’s a mystery box – so you could have four new items you’ll wear, or nothing at all.

For me personally, two of the four would work for me. I’ll definitely be keeping the pink top because of the style, the fabric and the colour.

The colour of the second top is too warm for me, the pattern too much and too boxy for my shape.

Whilst I love a dress, I won’t be keeping either. The red dress was too warm a tone for me, not as fitted as I’d have preferred and the zips too dramatic for my style personality!

The patterned dress had all the features of being a keeper (colour, style, shape, fit) but, on reflection, I just don’t have a gap for it in my wardrobe.

Summary

Overall, I would still recommend having a go at the mystery box. It’s a great way to dabble in pre-loved and support a good cause.

It is a surprise and a mystery after all so the excitement of not knowing is part of the thrill! The ordering process is pretty simple as you can see in the video.

Whilst it doesn’t drill down to select the specific shades (like you’ll learn in your colour analysis), being able to focus on a colour you love or that you’re seeking is great. Tailoring the size and cut narrows down the chances of the fit being better for you too.

As Forest Gump said: you never know what you’re gonna get! Surely that’s all part of the fun.

Will you shop second hand this September?

Buying, wearing and donating second hand clothes helps to reduce the demand for brand new clothes. In turn, this can help to reduce the damage to our planet all without making you look any less fabulous.

Repair, rewear, recycle

In 2019, Oxfam launched Second Hand September which continues to inspire thousands of people to take up the challenge and not buy anything new for 30 days. Visit their website here to learn more and sign up to the campaign. You can also follow and contribute to the campaign by using the hashtag on social media #secondhandseptember.

Buying pre-loved isn’t the only way to make better choices.

I’ve shared these previously (credit to The Great British Sewing Bee and the previous blog about sustainable wardrobes here.)

Given the over-production of ‘fast fashion’, it’s much harder to avoid over-consuming it.

The choices can feel endless and thanks to online shopping, they’re available 24/7. It’s hard to overcome the problem without making a conscious effort.

Choose well, buy less

Buy less. Choose well. Make it last. Quality, not quantity. Everybody’s buying far too many clothes: Vivienne Westwood

RIP Vivienne; you were right!

Choosing well and buying less clothes will make a difference to your wardrobe, your pocket and ultimately the planet.

Knowing and understanding what really suits you will help you make informed choices about what you wear. This will help you to shop for the gaps you have in your wardrobe. These can be carefully chosen items each season (using my advice from seasonal update workshop) as well as pre-loved/second hand shopping.

Last year I was asked to contribute to an article in the Yorkshire Post as they were writing about Second hand September. It is proudly displayed in the studio and you can have a peak here.

Many clients assume I shop a lot, but the reality is that I don’t. I do browse a lot which helps to inspire new outfits and ideas and I help lots of ladies with their own wardrobes and shopping to fill the gaps. I tend to shop for key pieces I’ve identified which fill a gap in my wardrobe. Regularly, I’ll clear out items I’m not wearing by selling some and donating others. There are lots of garments I’ve had in my wardrobe for many years which I still re-wear today. Some are pre-loved too.

I do hope I’ve encouraged you to take part in the Second hand September challenge and don’t let the fact that you’re part way through the month stop you!

Consider a wardrobe clear out (use my guides if you need help) and donate your unworn clothes to charity or try and sell them instead to make some money back.

Good luck!