My day with a personal stylistJanuary 14, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Posted in Daily Life | 5 Comments
Tags: Caroline Shaw, colour analysis, Fashion, how to dress well, how to look good, personal stylist, Style Intelligence
Just before Christmas I met a lady by chance at the opening of a florists. She complimented me on the top I was wearing (you always remember people who compliment you, right?) and it turns out that she’s a stylist. I love fashion. I shop on a high street budget with some investments in more luxurious pieces from Karen Millen, Jigsaw or Whistles.
I really don’t shop extravagantly. Caroline is the brains and beauty behind Style Intelligence – she was a retail buyer for years for stores including Warehouse, Oasis, Coast and Miss Selfridge. Thousands of thoughts start running through my mind including ‘my god I need a stylist in my life’ and ‘I wonder if she thinks my jacket is too tight’ as well as ‘she’d think I was insane if she saw my wardrobe organised in colour order’.
Yet a few weeks later I did invite her to come and inspect my wardrobe. Which is quite unlike me as I am usually very hard pressed to part with my hard-earned cash to any type of expert or guru. The only similar investment I’ve made in the past was with a accupuncturist which was so worth it. So Caroline, the stylist came and spent three hours with me at my humble abode one Friday morning.
I had last-minute doubts – it was like a first date – would it be awkward sitting on my bed – in my bedroom – my personal space – looking through my clothes? Well those doubts lasted all of a few minutes. Armed with a cuppa each we started by flicking through fashion mags looking for inspiration and pulled out lots of outfits we both envisaged me wearing.
Now, my wardrobe wasn’t a disaster area in terms of individual items but I struggled to put together complete outfits and was getting fed up of that ‘nothing looks right’ sulk each morning. Caroline said that she’d help me with a list of a few key items that would pull together my existing wardrobe – queue relief that I wasn’t going to be starting from scratch and needing a new credit card.
We happily ate toast after we’d finished the first section, excited to move on to the next. I was really astounded by a number of revelations – the colours that suit me being summer tones rather than the autumns I’d imagined and springs I’d envisaged as a second choice for a start.
Caroline also measured my proportions and explained which parts of the body to focus on as a result – my neck and shoulders with jewellery, scarfs and fur, as well as my lower legs (more skirts or shorts and tights). This was such a simple exercise but so enlightening.
Alongside all of this we looked at which shapes and styles suit me and it turns out I can’t wear yellow, mid length coats or puffy sleeves. So this saw a small heap of clothing being evicted from my wardrobe which are now happily hunting for new homes on eBay. Caroline explained why none of these items worked for me – and most were simply too big or too frumpy – bought in a wave of desire to look more grown up. And to that end, my new stylist (hark at me) said not to be afraid to dress in young fashions because it suits my personality. Could I be more pleased?!
The icing on the cake for me was the fact that Caroline had already been for a mooch around the shops and spotted a few items that she thought would work well for me – including a pair of plum skinny work trousers from Whistles which by the time I got there were reduced from £150 to £40 in the sale. If only they’d still had my size…
So as a result I’ve bought one or two things – and I haven’t gone crazy by any means – I’ve actually spent far less because I’m not wasting money on impulse purchases. And my little colour swatches come everywhere with me so that I can confirm that clothes I pick out are the right shade for me. Caroline also had a rifle through my makeup bag and it turns out I was wearing totally the wrong colour foundation, blusher and lip gloss. She gave me a Liz Earle tinted moisturiser to try and my skin was totally transformed to this dewy alabaster appearance. All this new-found confidence could be trouble – but I like a little trouble!
Caroline did a mini style review for me which included colour analysis, wardrobe review and style advice. I can’t recommend her highly enough, she has totally transformed the way I think and feel about clothing – I still get it wrong some days but more often than not, I feel pretty damn comfortable in my own skin. Check out What I Wore Wednesdays for a little insight.
My mum really wants a session with Caroline, so if you do too, do what I’ve suggested to her – sell a load of old clothes on Ebay that you never wear and use the profits to pay for a session. Prices from £65 per hour.
Shhh… new purchase (Zara sale, god love it).