Discussing the finer points of wearing sandals to the office. Is it ever a good idea?
Discussing the finer points of wearing sandals to the office. Is it ever a good idea?
Well, it’s now 2017 and if you’re feeling anything like me, you’ll be wondering where the last 12 months have gone? Is it something to do with getting older, that the years just seem to fly by?! I don’t know. But whatever it is, there is no better time to embrace your goals and dreams, than at the start of a New Year, and so I thought, what better time to share what matters to me, and what I care about and have dreams and goals for in 2017 – My love of Personal Styling and helping others to feel great about themselves on the inside and outside:
Indeed, a New Year is a great platform to launch your dreams, ambitions and goals. However, I do get a little dubious over these ‘self improvement’ books and courses, and I’ve purposely not used the strap line “New Year, New You”, which almost insinuates that we’re not quite good enough as we are, or we need to be more like this or that, in order to be a better version of ourselves. It’s all rather exhausting, this constant quest for perfection. I much prefer a more holistic approach; yes, setting goals is a very worthwhile thing to do, but so too is reflecting on how far you have already come, and dare I say it, celebrating yourself a little bit, for the person you already are.
This goes for all areas of our lives, and particularly, our self image. So, if you fancy it, then please take a look at my top tips below, which are really quick and easy ways to feel good and confident about yourself and your style. When we’re in harmony with who we are and projecting a true version of ourselves through our clothes and outfits, then it can help our confidence enormously, which can go a long way towards helping to fulfil those dreams.
If you would like to discuss ways that you can become more in-tune with who you are and reflect that through your self image, then please get in touch for a FREE STYLE CONSULTATION
The quickest way to feel good about you and your life, is to make peace with who and where you are, now.
Here are my top 10 tips on feeling good about yourself and find ways to enhance your own unique style (and it’s all free too!):
1. Make a list of your best qualities and features, and leave somewhere you’ll see it everyday, like your dressing table, mirror, or fridge door, so that you’re reminded, often.
2. Treat yourself to a glossy fashion magazine (an actual magazine, not online) and enjoy the sensation of reading it and when you’re done, pull out images of anything that catches your eye or inspires you, and then use as inspiration for your own style and create a mood board, or pin the images to the inside of your wardrobe.
3. List 3 things that you would love a passer-by in the street to say about your style, then, if you feel your current image doesn’t match up, then find ways that you can adapt to your current look – you could use tip 2 as inspiration 🙂
4. Learn to meditate (I did a course at the end of last year, and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done). Doing something as simple as switching off your inner dialogue (or critic) can reap huge benefits for inner confidence.
5. Do a mood board, but to reflect your life as it is NOW. The Universe loves gratitude and the more you fall in love with your life as it is, the more the Universe will give you to feel grateful about.
6. Organise your wardrobe so it is in sections – such as tops/trousers/ knitwear or colour combinations – and therefore makes getting ready in the morning a little less time consuming.
7. Wear an item of clothing or an accessory that you are saving for ‘best’. It’s important to preserve nice things, but also important to enjoy them as well.
8. Change laces in your shoes or trainers to something fun and colourful.
9. Make the most of those scarves you have languishing in your wardrobe, and tie around the handle of your handbag, or your wrist for a unique take on a cuff.
10. Find a creative outlet. I believe we all need an outlet for self expression, so find whatever you love to do, and that you can get totally absorbed in, which could be anything from gardening to astrology, and baking to Tai-chi..Whatever makes YOU feel good about yourself.
I love a bit of metallic at the best of times, but I reeeeally love indulging my love for all things that sparkle, during the festive season, and that includes my passion for champagne too! What with the bubbles and reflective metals, it makes me feel all misty-eyed and wrapped in a lovely warm glow.
So, I couldn’t resist a little retail therapy by selecting a few keys pieces for you to shop, and that will ensure you shimmer during the Christmas party season:
I’ve kept this look on the low-key side, by mixing just pewter and rose gold, then balanced with black jeans, cape and clutch, but you can build-up the effect with metallic nail varnish and eyeshadow.
I often find myself going from work to drinks and/or dinner, and so I would wear this look to the office, but swap the sandals for a stiletto boot or a metallic pump, and pop on a little knitted jacket or a blazer. And then, when you’re ready to go out – pop on the necklace, sandals and cape, then put all your essentials into the clutch purse (don’t forget phone and house keys!), and leave your ‘day’ bag at the office. If walking in heels is not your favourite pastime; then pop some little plimsoles into the clutch, so that you can change for the journey home.
I’ve always had a love of drawing and doodling, and see it as a way of jotting my thoughts onto paper; rather like the visual equivalent of a diary.
I particularly enjoy handwriting. I used to spend hours at my family breakfast table, writing my name in different styles and fonts, just to see what looked prettiest.
I’ve noticed that my passion for personal styling has brought out a desire to share my convictions about style and dressing through my doodling, and I’ve started to create, what I call my ‘power slogans’, to inspire and uplift, and to make you stop and think.
Now I’ve set up an Instagram account, dedicated to all my quick sketches – @zoe_doodler
Here’s one I made earlier…”What We Wear, Is an Expression of Who We Are”. I hope you like it. 🙂
It appears that many companies nowadays, are re-visiting their policy on office dress code. Even banks like JP Morgan, who made a global announcement in the summer, that they were prepared to scrap the formal suited and booted look, over something more informal.
However, there are still some companies who insist on maintaining a strict dress code, so much so, that it resulted in a recent court case regarding a receptionist who took a well known company to court because they had insisted that she had to wear heels, due to the business dress code policy, and when she refused, they sent her home.
I’ve had many clients over the years who have all struggled with balancing the need to look professional and yet, appear stylish. It’s a bug-bear, and can be tricky, particularly for women working in make male-dominated environments, of walking the tight rope of wanting to be seen as feminine, yet, powerful, strong and confident. I’ve featured some of my previous clients and looks that I’ve pulled together, to demonstrate that being stylish, and smart enough for a corporate environment, is achievable:
Talking revolutionary fashion, with the lovely Malcolm Boyden on his mid-morning BBC radio show:My recent radio interview on regional BBC station Hereford and Worcester, talking about a new fabric that has been created by a bunch of lovely scientists, which is basically cling film for the body. Intrigued? Have a listen below.
Recent interview on BBC regional radio, talking about how we could soon be wearing cling film, as clothing!
For those of you familiar with the first Sex and The City movie (God, I LOVE that film), you will remember Carrie’s savvy Personal Assistant, who, when asked how she could afford a designer handbag by Louis Vuitton, divulges her secret, and explains how she’s ‘renting’ it off a website, and proclaims to ‘stick with her, and she’ll hook her up’.
I was delighted to be invited to speak with my lovely (on-air) friend Malcolm Boyden during his morning radio show on BBC Hereford and Worcester, to give my thoughts. Here’s the interview:
In recent years, I’ve seen more of these types of sharing/renting/borrowing (whatever you want to call it!) websites of designer items popping up, as people (mainly women, I’m guessing) are seeing the advantages of saving thousands by simply, ‘renting’ and not buying designer pieces. I guess it’s a smart move, when you consider that a well-known ‘it’ bag (are we still calling them that? Are we?) can be a small deposit on a house. If the rumours are true, then Victoria Beckham could probably buy part of Park Lane – and could give Imelda Marcos’ shoe collection a run for its money in the process – with her collection of Hermes ‘Kelly’ bags (although these days she’s more likely to be seen with one of her own pieces of arm candy from her eponymous fashion brand), but for mere mortals, then, might this just be the jack pot?!
Well, aside from earning yourself around £60 -100 per month (every bit helps), depending on the type of designer bag you wish to rent out, you could be putting that money towards owning another high-end accessory, and then rent that one out, and voila- a booming little bag rental business takes flight…you can give up that day job after all!
If the thought of strangers with their paws on your favourite Prada give you the heebie-jeebies, then maybe this isn’t right for you, or perhaps rent only to your friends, who you trust with your life and who you know will return your cherished bag in the manner to which it was given. 🙂
However, if you’re a serious dedicated fashionista, and you have a bit of cash to throw around, then this might be a great way to keep your look up-to-date – you can choose from an array of designer bags, depending on your mood, and outfit. Also a great idea if you have big events coming up, where the right bag is going to make or break the outfit; wedding, christening, interview, date…you get the picture.
I’m always harping on about the fact that it’s the details that make all the difference when it comes to dressing really well; shoes; watches; jewellery; handbags..and so the smart woman knows that the right bag, can make or break an outfit. Focusing on little things like accessories can make all the difference from turning an outfit from WOAH!! to WOW!
Having perused some of these sites, I can’t say I’m that impressed at how user-friendly they are. The sites look a little dated, and dare I say it, all seems a bit..passé…..I don’t know, maybe it’s just me. There’s clearly a gap in the market for a cool & slick looking site that actually works (when I tried to click the dates on one of the sites, literally nothing happens).
Having the latest designer bag on our arm is a very quick and smart way to elevate an outfit, yes, I get that, but if you really want to look modern and contemporary, and less “designery” then please have a look at the beautifully crafted and stunning understated pieces of Mansur Gavriel. The beauty of their designs is in the simplicity of shapes and high quality materials. Certainly nothing like an ‘it’ bag as we have known before, but in my opinion, oh-so-desirable. I can’t see any of these across the designer bag rental websites, so you’ll need to go out and buy one. Prices start at £400, so certainly not inexpensive, but in MHO, a real modern classic, worth the investment, and that will stand the test of time.
Caroline Martin very kindly invited me onto her radio on BBC WM, to allow me the opportunity to give my view on this worrying modern day trend, which inspired my little blog post.
(radio interview here – Zoe talking recently on BBC Radio about the effects of disposable fashion in today’s society:
We live in an age now where we are obsessed with shopping. When everything is so readily available at the click of a button, how could it be any other way? The advent of ‘fast fashion’ has only made us more hungry for the next high fashion items at low cost prices – and with social media on our every trail – what is a girl to do, but keep buying and buying, to ensure that, (shock-horror), we are never photographed more than once in the same outfit!
I just cant see the sense in this. Not only does it mean we are playing into the hands of social media, but it’s incredibly wasteful, and not just a little vain too..
Far better to invest in quality, which stands the test of time, and be able to enjoy our purchases over and over again.
I mentioned to Caroline that I have a dear Aunt – pictured below – who is in her 90’s and still wears the stylish items she bought when she was in her 50’s. 40 years later, they still look great. She really is proof that you can be stylish at any age, and that quality really does prevail.
With the advent of ‘athleisure’ or ‘sport luxe’ (however you like to refer to this new style movement), Elliott Webb invited me onto his breakfast radio show, on BBC Hereford and Worcester, to discuss the comeback of that 80’s favourite, The Shell Suit, which, apparently, is having its own ‘fashion moment’…
If you’re desiring of a shell suit to relive your 80’s all over again – or perhaps you hadn’t even been born when it was in fashion the first time around and want to know what the fuss is all about – then I’d highly advise on giving this some serious thought. Firstly from a simple matter of, ‘taste’, but secondly, and rather more importantly, from a safety perspective. After a short spell of moderate exercise, you’ll feel like you’re wearing a boil-in-the-bag, and unless the fabric has advanced with the technological age, it is highly flammable! You’ve been warned.
Far better to invest in something a little more understated. I’ve found a nice stylish & sporty number from good old M&S, which will earn you some serious style points, and you’ll be working the athleisure/sportluxe look too. It’s a mere snip at £19.99.