September 17, 2020
We welcome our guest blogger to the ELC community Claire Jensen.
With over 10 years extensive experience in fashion retail and Visual Merchandising, Claire is now an accredited 1:1 personal stylist, workshop facilitator and Australian Style Institute Trainer.
Claire's message is around empowering and building confidence for her clients. With a focus on creating a positive dialogue around body image and educating our clients about how the clothes we wear can impact the way we see ourselves and how we feel.
Getting dressed every day is something we all do, from undies to accessories. But how many of us start our day in an outfit that makes us feel lackluster? Sluggish? Less than desirable? Not as confident as we would like? If you’re anything like my clients when we first get together, it’s most days.
The famous celebrity stylist Rachel Zoe is famous for saying:
“Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak”.
And I truly believe that.
With 80% of communication being unconscious - and only about 7% of communication being verbal - our style can speak volumes.
I know for a lot of my clients; they feel really underwhelmed by their current wardrobe. Often having cupboards that are bursting at the seams, but still feel like they have nothing to wear.
What I find as we go through the Wardrobe Edit process (something that’s part of the packages I offer) - is that we soon come to realise that not all the items they have are worth keeping. And, with less items (the right items) - we can actually create more options.
It’s in the curation of the right pieces that their own authentic style can really shine through, and no matter what outfit they choose, they will always look and feel their best.
I’m going to share with you the 5 key tips I use with my clients to ensure the right pieces end up in the wardrobe. The kind of pieces that, no matter what outfit they choose to wear that day, will always leave them feeling amazing, confident, powerful, and ready to take on the day.
Fit is the number one thing that must be right in order for something to look good and for it to be comfortable. Have you ever shopped for a pair of jeans (a dreaded task for most) and ended up buying the pair that will just “do the job” - but the fit isn’t 100% right for your shape? For a lot of my clients, generally speaking, the fit is too loose around the waist. And every time they put those jeans on, they take them off again because they know you’ll be hitching them up all day because they don’t fit right. So, the jeans just sit there - acting as a reminder that jeans shopping is a terrible experience and one that leaves so many of us feeling deflated.
As a stylist - it’s my job to research on my client’s behalf to find the right fit for their body shape. But once we know a garment fits right, and is comfortable on the body, reflects their authentic style and makes them feel good - we know it will get first choice over anything that doesn’t quite cut the mustard.
It’s amazing the transformation I see in my client’s body language as soon as they put something on that truly fits and flatters their shape. It’s one of the many highlights of my job. And I know - every time they put that garment on, it will have the same effect.
I can’t tell you how many times I have been in a client's wardrobe and come across clothes that are worn out, stained, have holes in them, missing buttons, fallen hemlines… To some, these seem like minor details that should not really matter. Or there is the mentality that “it’s just a small stain or missing button, no one else will notice it”. But the fact is, you deserve to wear clothes that are of good quality and in good condition. It’s those “minor imperfections” that can really let an outfit down.
If you’re someone who works in a corporate or client facing role, can you really afford to turn up to that meeting in a shirt with a missing button, or that is slightly yellow under the arms? What kind of message does that send your client, your boss, and your colleagues?
Have you ever worn something that you knew wasn’t in the best condition and found that all day, you’re constantly worrying if anyone has noticed that you have left over Bolognese or a red wine stain on the front of your shirt? Being distracted by something so minor can take up so much mental energy that could be put to better use.
Imagine I turned up to a styling session with you in a garment that has a hole in it...You would probably start to question my credibility as a stylist.
Quality is so important. It really can make all the difference when it comes to an outfit looking sharp, elegant, professional, or polished, and making you feel confident in it.
3. FORGET TRENDS
With trends changing faster than a Pedestrian TV headline, it’s important to have a core wardrobe stocked with pieces that give you options. Capsule wardrobe is a buzz word we’ve been hearing a lot lately, in line with sustainability movements in the fashion industry. But outside of the positive environmental impacts, a capsule wardrobe allows us the opportunity to mix and match, and to create maximum outfit options with less pieces. This then allows us to shop smarter when it comes to trends, rather than being a slave to them.
Once you get the basics right - think a great fitting pair of jeans, the perfect pair of black or navy trousers, a crisp white shirt, good quality, soft knitwear, structured blazers and the covetable LBD (little black dress) - you can then look for trend colours, prints and pieces that actually elevate your look and reflect your authentic style.
My recommendation when it comes to what is on trend is to select 2 to 3 highlight pieces to inject into your wardrobe and play with fun accessories.
“Fashion comes and goes, by style is forever”
4. MAKE FRIENDS WITH COLOUR
When I ask my clients during our consultations what colors they wear most - 9 out of 10 will say black, white, grey and navy. And while these colours give a great base structure to the wardrobe and are great for those core wardrobe pieces I spoke about above, it’s clear that colour is highly underrated.
What most people don’t realise is, colour has the ability to instantly lift our mood and state. And when you find the colours that work for your complexion, it can really transform your entire wardrobe.
I know for me, as soon as I wear bright, vibrant colours, I feel lifted. More positive. My skin glows and my eyes become brighter. I own this bright pink dress with puff sleeves and a micro pleat skirt in a textured fabric. And every time I wear it I receive the most wonderful compliments. And I very much doubt I would receive the same reaction if this dress was in black, white, grey or navy. Sure, it would still be a nice dress, but it wouldn’t give me the same feeling or glow-up for my skin.
Colour is powerful. Play with it in your wardrobe and experiment with it in your outfit. Adding colourful accessories like a necklace or statement earrings can be a great place to start if the thought of colour is as scary as the thought of another round of covid lockdowns. Utilising colour in print and pattern can also be a great starting point.
The secret to colour is to make sure it enhances your features. Look for colours that make your eyes pop, your lips pinker, your skin glow or give you that post-holiday, refreshed face (that you may or may not have forgotten what it looks like due to the fact none of us have been on holiday in 2020). Trust me when I say, making friends with colour will drastically improve your mood when you find the colours that work for you and start building outfits that include them.
5. STOP DRESSING FOR EVERYONE ELSE…
As we go through life we start taking on the opinions and rules of other people. And it’s no different when it comes to the “rules of dressing”. You might be someone who was once told that blue and green should never be seen or that horizontal stripes can make you look bigger (thanks mum). Or perhaps your mother once told you, you shouldn’t wear a particular length of skirt or style of trouser because it cuts you funny or makes your bottom look big.
Take a moment now to think about some of the rules you may have in place when it comes to the clothes you can and can’t wear. In fact, write them down. Once you have your list, I want you to cross every one of them out, and start to consider - How do I want to be perceived?
Stop dressing for everyone else and start to really consider how it is you want to present yourself each and every day. As I mentioned at the beginning of this article - we all get dressed every day. So who are you dressing for?
The freedom that comes when you truly understand your own authentic style and how to create a wardrobe and outfits that reflects that is truly transformational. I know, because I’ve seen it happen time and time again with my clients. I’ve seen clients go from shy and unsure of their shape - to feeling confident and sexy. From someone who wore clothes to try and fade into the background, but really, their goal was to stand out.
It is possible. And the power lies in your wardrobe.
A mentor of mine, Lauren Di Bartolo, once said -
“Clothes aren’t just beautiful or frivolous, they’re powerful”
And you’ll get to experience this for yourself if you consider these 5 tips when it comes to your own wardrobe and the way you dress, every day. And if you feel like you need some help to unveil your authentic style and start to feel confident and amazing in what you wear each and every day, I know a great stylist, and she would love to help you ;-).
To learn more about Claire Jensen and her world of styling follow her at @Clairejensenstyle on Instagram or visit her website www.clairejensenstyle.com
Don't forget to check out Claire's previous blog article for ELC, Is your self-talk destroying your child's self-confidence?.
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