It’s been 10 years this year (next month in fact) and boy has it been a journey. Over 3,000 women have crossed my Stylefish path. Not only is that unbelievable to me on so many levels but what I have really learnt myself about styling through the ladies I’ve met has both surprised and humbled me.
I mean yes there has been all the learning about body shapes, fabrics, proportion, colour, high street sizing, the rise of online shopping and the popularity of street style bloggers. But, I have mainly worked with real women, with busy lives, families, jobs and who are not immersed in fashion everyday. They mainly just love style and really want to have a wardrobe that they equally love, that works hard for them and that when they look in – it is ten, you know? The holy grail of what I do – the perfect wardrobe.
So I have therefore been thinking about the biggest things I’ve learnt about women and their style through Stylefish over the last 10 years!
Every single woman is different
I mean this is obvious right? Even if I had a class full of apple shaped ladies (and it has happened), how I would style them, what they learn about what to choose for themselves is ALWAYS completely different, which leads to the main bit about this point – personal style so much more than a box ticking exercise. Yes, you need to have a basic understanding of your body type and direction but there are so many elements that make a purchase a ‘good’ purchase for a person.
For one apple, she may have a light colouring and really hate showing off her arms. She may have a short waist and be much more Alexa Chung than Carrie Bradshaw.
Lesson: The suttitles of truly nailing our personal style is immersing yourself in ALL the little things that make the biggest differences to you.
The secret to great style is great confidence
I have met so many women walking into classrooms and appointments that society would consider as having ‘the perfect shape’. I have learnt one of the biggest lessons from some of these ladies and that is, having the perfect anything doe snot guarantee the right frame of mind about it. Low levels of confidence about what they can or can’t wear is what rules their life.
Lesson: Great style is about truly having self confidence and an inner peace about what you have been given. The most stylish ladies I know don’t just consider clothes to be the most important part of their journey but talking steps to look after their health and well being.
Great style is not a destination but a journey
Well I had to have a cliche in here somewhere A bigger truth I have not spoke however! I have learnt over the last 10 years both from my own wardrobe experiences and also through those I teach that there is not ‘one’ shopping trip or consultation or class or book you can finish and all the answers will be revealed. Like everything worthwhile in life, it takes work, patience and constant evaluation and effort. Trends change, you change, the world changes. What you need from your wardrobe and your style definitely changes.
I would say when I started Stylefish I was a total girlie girl, now, not so much! My 20’s were dominated by floral prints, sweetheart necklines and dresses. My 30’s is more a fish mash of monochrome, oversized blazers and runners! Is it age? Being influenced by the trends or just me? The point we are always evolving and this is why having a great core wardrobe, buying in a considered way and taking the time to invest in your own style journey are all so important.
Lesson: A happy wardrobe is a constantly evolving process. One you have to invest time and love for yourself in
You don’t have to be perfect to be stylish (or work in styling!)
A big lesson! Both for me and for the women I have met. I too felt like an imposter when i first started Stylefish. I mean will people think I am stylish enough? Will I have to be all dressed up to go buy a pint of milk? Why do women constant go to the point of knocking themselves down so much? It’s a thing I have seen in 85% of the women I have met. We see the things we don’t like, what we see as our weaknesses, our flaws. Instead of realising you don’t have to be perfect all of the time and you don’t have to be perfect to feel and be stylish.
In fact one of the reasons I believe I have built my business is that women want real. A real person to relate too. Someone who isn’t afraid to show her own flaws but it has really thought me that to be stylish and to succeed in fashion
Lesson: You just need to be you but to see that being you is ok! It’s what makes you different. It is what will draw people to you. It is what makes you interesting. Having a confidence in ALL OF YOU makes you stylish.
The best wardrobes have a really clear sense of a person
I have learnt this one from decluttering and teaching decluttering in my Diploma in Personal Styling! It is normal to get fed up with your own wardrobe. After all you are looking at it everyday. You end up wearing the same top with the same jeans and the same dress with the same shoes. The magic of personal styling and wardrobe decluttering sometimes is that a fresh pair of eyes allows you to see what you own in a totally different way.
(This to be honest is the magic of all personal styling services! – personal shopping, you see yourself and you’re shape in a totally new way; colour analysis, you see your skin tone, wardrobe choices and the mistakes you have made in a totally refreshing way!).
But the best wardrobes I have seen happen when I have gotten to know a little (or hopefully a lot) about a person and you see into their wardrobe and you just think, this wardrobe just looks like you! It’s thought through in terms of the shapes that suit not just from a body shape perspective but what they like and don’t like, the colour tones all mix and match with no mash mash of a million different shades, there may be more dresses and girlie separates than jeans because that is her personality or maybe she is more of a pared back quality over quantity girl who researches and waits for the just right item to come along no matter how long it takes. This vision makes me very happy. You see a happy, content person whose wardrobe truly reflects her life and her personality.
Lesson: The best thing any women can do for her style is to stop shopping and start learning about herself. Immerse yourself in your own quirks and personal styling quirky. Start a style note book, take a class, join a group. Just stop shopping, start learning and remember styling is a much about what you feel like ‘you’ in as it is about anything else.