Monday, 27 October 2014

Loving Unique You


We tend to look at the differences between us and other people as our flaws and failings rather than the things that make us us. 

We have such diversity.  In height, colouring, build.  When we compare ourselves with other people, we will often feel we fall short because we see that we are different.  But that's by design!  We were never intended to be anyone but ourselves.

I think the things that make us different are the things that make us beautiful.

Your uniqueness is your greatest beauty secret.  There is only ever going to be one of you to love.

This is part of a series on #selflove.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Loving Real You

 

Only 5% of women have the type of bodies we see in ads.  Blogger Jes Baker teamed up with photographer Liora K to give attention to the other 95%.

The project is all about each person's beauty and uniqueness, Liora K says:


You can read more in this piece from Huffington Post.

Comparing ourselves with other people is usually what makes us feel bad about ourselves.  But a project like this takes away some of the facade and secrecy and shows that under the clothes and the fears, perfection is a myth and we are all real, unique, beautiful...

Monday, 29 September 2014

Loving Imperfect You

This is part of a series about #selflove.  Last time I said that you are A UNIQUE, MIRACULOUS MASTERPIECE!!

And I want to add that you are BEAUTIFUL.

Yes!  Even beautiful.  People tend to think it's wrong to see themselves as beautiful because they don't belong in the world of the beautiful women.  They were never one of the girls who was considered to be pretty.

We grow up surrounded by ideas of what pretty equals and we feel we can't love ourselves when the world tells us what beautiful is, that it's not us and that there are people who are prettier than we are.

But you are allowed to think of yourself as beautiful.  You have every right.

The magazine and self improvement industries play on our deep fears and make us feel that we have no right to be 'imperfect' when we could do 'better'.

But... what if you don't have to be perfect to be beautiful?

Monday, 15 September 2014

What's To Love?


This is the start of a series about loving ourselves.  But before we even talk love or like, I want us to think about what it is that might make us worthy of us paying ourselves any attention at all...

Here's 3 reasons to start with:

1.  You are a MIRACLE.  This is undeniable.  It is miraculous that you exist.  The sperm that made you beat 400 million other sperm to fertilise the egg.  That's 6 1/2 times bigger than the entire UK population in sperm!

2.  You are a MASTERPIECE.  Just biologically.  You have 4 million pores.  60,000 miles of blood vessels (they would stretch 2 1/2 times around the earth) and 9-12 pints of blood that make 4000 trips a day around your body.  50 miles of nerves connect your brain, spinal cord and body.  And you have more than 3 million working parts in your eye alone.

3.  You are UNIQUE.  I really like the definition of that word:  one of a kind, extraordinary, distinct from others in a way that makes you worthy of note.

There's never been anyone like you before and there never will be again.  Your identity is in the unique DNA of all your 75 trillion cells which are so tiny 200 of them could fit on a full stop.

But marvellous as your body is, you're not just a unique body.  Of all the zillions of people who have ever lived, and will ever live, not one could be mistaken for you.  You have a unique personality, a unique mind and a unique potential to bring a unique style and creativity to everything you put your hand to.  As an original there must be some things for you to express that no one else can.  Only you can be you and impact the world your way.

A UNIQUE, MIRACULOUS MASTERPIECE = YOU!!!

Friday, 29 August 2014

Signature Style Boards


We've been talking finding your personal style for a few weeks now.  Here's a quick recap:
Today, I wanted to tell you about this signature style series by Carrie at Making Lemonade.

She's gathered a group of people who have all put together a signature style board each and talk you through their choices on their blogs.  There are 22 signature style boards to look at - most relating to home style but still really inspiring and interesting.  Click here and scroll down the page to the list of boards.

Monday, 25 August 2014

I RECOMMEND: The No Brainer Wardrobe


I started reading Hayley Morgan aka The Tiny Twig's blog during her 31 Day No Brainer Wardrobe series back in 2011. 

The series is well worth a look as is the book that came out of it:  The No Brainer Wardrobe.  And so is her latest project - an ethical line of children's clothing - Wildly Co - that she's currently looking to fund.


She gives lots of good advice and all with a really positive attitude to what can be the very depressing subject of getting dressed!!

I especially wanted to recommend it today as for the last two weeks we've been talking about translating inspirations into real clothes.

Hayley is really big on this.  She's a fan of Pinterest and gives lots of helpful examples of turning inspirations into real clothes for real life.  Like this one:


She runs through this outfit explaining that:

1. She picks out the main components of it:  t.shirt, knitted waistcoat with shawl collar, wide belt and black trousers.

2. She finds things in her wardrobe that emulate it:  leggings as she doesn't have black trousers, grey t.shirt, the waistcoat although it's a bit longer.

She says:  "You see, it's all about the spirit of the outfit... not the exact match." which is exactly what I've been trying to say and I hope you're starting to see.

For more examples, buy the book!  Here's the testimonial I wrote that's on 'The No Brainer Wardrobe' website:

I have read so many books about all things to do with clothes but I found 'The No Brainer Wardrobe' like a breath of fresh air.  It simplifies something so many of us over complicate without taking away the creative element of having a unique style.  In fact, Hayley suggests really practical ways you can identify your personal taste and convert it into a real wardrobbe for real life.  Unlike other books, it encouraged me that having a wardrobe that works for all occasions is within reach and that getting and maintaining it can actually be straightforward and fun.

(Just so you know - I get no remuneration for recommending any of this).

Monday, 18 August 2014

How I Found My Personal Style VII: Translating Cuttings Into Clothes Part II





You can see in these examples magazine cuttings, fabric swatches and the real clothes they have been the inspiration for.

While you can (TRY TO!!) exactly copy cuttings, it's more realistic to see them as helping you to uncover the taste that is already in you.  Having identified that personal taste and style, you begin to look for clothes with a different feeling:  more clarity and more freedom.  You shop with a greater sense of who you are.

Monday, 11 August 2014

How I Found My Personal Style VII: Translating Cuttings Into Clothes Part I

The point of doing cuttings is that you get in touch with your own personal style.  We all have taste that's unique to us - doing cuttings is a way of helping us to see it.

As you start to work on translating your inspiration into real clothes for real life, why not make a list of the occasions you have to dress for and then go through your cuttings and use them to help you think about how you'd ideally like to dress for the different things that you do.

Possible Activites & Ideal Looks:

for example:  
WORK  
wide legged trousers, cropped cardigans, worn with pearls

TIME AT HOME

DAY TIME OUT AND ABOUT

EVENING OUT

SPORT AND EXERCISE

SPECIAL OCCASIONS - (like weddings/ parties)

Some of these may be irrelevant to you so replace them with other things and add anything else I've left out.

Monday, 4 August 2014

More Mood Boards

Here are some more mood boards to inspire you in making your own.
Clockwise from left - 1. dramatic style, 2. feminine, pretty style, 3. sporty, relaxed style, 4. natural style, 5. classic style

Link to mine from last week here.

Via The Inspired Room, office mood boards here.  You can make mood boards for your house or for a creative project - not just for your wardrobe!

Monday, 28 July 2014

How I Found My Personal Style VI: Mood Board


If you get a piece of A3 card or paper, you can make it into your visual signature - your personal mood board.

You stick key images onto it:  shapes, colours and prints you like that sort of sum up your taste.  Don't worry about these things being in fashion.  Add words that most describe your style.

You could pin this page inside your wardrobe door as a constant source of inspiration and ideas.

Monday, 21 July 2014

How I Found My Personal Style V: Organising Cuttings


The next step in your quest to find your personal style:  Sort out your cuttings.

You may want to divide your pictures up into different sorts of items - put coats together, skirts, tops etc. and stick them on to pieces of paper or put them into a file.  Or there may be some other way that works better for you to organise your inspirations.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

How I Found My Personal Style IV: Words

Last week you looked through your cuttings and assessed why you chose them.  You started to think about words that would describe each of them.

Today, choose a few words that you feel describe your style overall - the style that seems to be emerging that is.

And then in a sentence or two, write down a description of your style.

You might say:
"My style is classic.  I tend to go for quite formal looks even for casual clothes and like to keep everything simple and just use discreet accessories."

Or:
"Girly.  Pretty.  Romantic.  I like floaty fabrics, soft colours and delicate pattern and decoration."

Perhaps to help you, think of it like this:

"How would I like someone to describe my style?"

Imagine a friend is describing you to someone - how would you like them to talk about your style?

Monday, 23 June 2014

How I Found My Personal Style III: Analysing Cuttings

So you've hopefully managed to collect some CUTTINGS and thought about your taste in general - asking yourself what you like the look of...

The next step is to assess your cuttings.

1.  Ask yourself:  'What style is this?'  How would you describe each picture you're got?  Is it 'classic' style or 'feminine/ masculine', 'dramatic', 'sporty' etc.

2.  Think about why you like the item/ outfit.  Take each picture and ask:  'So why did I pick this?'  Was it the length/ colour/ fabric/ shape/ neckline/ decoration etc.  Try to work out if there are any lengths, necklines, fabrics, colours you like particularly.  And look at how clothes are put together - whether they're layered or not for example, how colours are combined and whether you are drawn to patterns or plain.

From asking yourself why you're drawn to the pictures you've chosen, make a list like this one below and, where you can, write down what you like in the way of the following:

SHOES
BAGS
JEWELLERY
OTHER ACCESSOREIS LIKE BELTS, HATS ETC.
MAKEUP LOOKS
HAIRSTYLES
JACKETS/ COATS
TOPS
SKIRTS
TROUSERS 
DRESSES

Monday, 16 June 2014

Loving Our Differences

 

Shannan Martin says it so well here.  So today we are pausing in our series on How To Find Your Personal Style to remember some of what is at the heart of MIRROR MAKEOVER.  That:

"I AM BEAUTIFUL AND VALUABLE AND SO ARE YOU."

"I HAVE MY STYLE AND YOU HAVE YOURS." 

Monday, 9 June 2014

How I Found My Personal Style II: Questions of Taste

It's been a week or two since we were working through this series on finding your personal style.  We left it with you doing cuttings.

Continuing to get a feel of your tastes, the next thing to do is ask yourself:  "What do I love the look of?"  This is not just of clothes but things in general.  If you have pictures to illustrate your answers, that will help you even more.

LANDSCAPES or CITIES I love the look of:  This could be a kind of weather, like snow or a particular country or city.

PERIODS IN HISTORY:  You don't have to know the history of fashion although there are books on this at libraries and information online.  But perhaps a Romans toga

FILMS/ TV PROGRAMMES:  This could be anything from the fashion icon films like Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast At Tiffany's to quirky and colourful cartoons.

PAINTINGS:  You don't have to be an art historian.  It could be something a friend paints or a picture on a greetings card you've got.

HOMES:  Could be anything from a National Trust house you've visited to something you've done in your own home.

DESIGNERS:  Perhaps it's a fashion designer whose work you admire or a shop window that attracts you and you always stop and look in when you pass.

PEOPLE:  Whose style do you admire?  We're bombarded with pictures of celebrities - it could be one of them.  It could be someone from the past or someone you personally know.  Maybe it's not all the time you admire a person's style but sometimes you glimpse something that appeals.

INTERESTS/ HOBBIES:  Do any of your hobbies give you ideas?  This could be something like food packaging or from the world of music.

CHILDHOOD:  Children often have a freedom around clothes and decorating if they're allowed to.  Remember your taste as a child.  Was there anything you loved the look of?  It could have been a character in a story book.  Or did yiou used to play dressing up - what did you choose to wear?

...Go!  Don't take too long pondering.  Just write anything that comes into your head.  And ignore any question that doesn't apply to you.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

The Nesting Place: A GIVEAWAY


13 very un-dream houses.  That's Myquillyn Smith's story.  Not one of them was where she would have chosen to live but those houses have helped teach her lessons about decorating, making a home and even about life that she shares in her book:  The Nesting Place.

She encourages us to do what she wishes she'd done 13 times:  
  • embrace the house you live in
  • make it lovely according to what you find lovely
  • make it a home - one that works for you and is welcoming and comfortable for other people
She gives us permission to lower our standards.  Ignore our fears.  Have some fun.  And take some risks - even if that means making a mistake or twenty.

She wholeheartedly believes that it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful.  In fact, she talks about giving up on perfection because imperfection is quite simply the reality:

IMPERFECT.  INCOMPLETE.  UNDONE.

Because:   'no amount of striving can create the perfect life we think we are looking for.'

She writes:  'as long as we all choose to walk around clothed, the laundry will never really be finished...  As long as we eat, walk, and need places to sit down, the kitchen sink will have a few dirty dishes in it'

And she talks about seeing this inevitable imperfection differently:  as signs of life.

'The too-small twin bed in the fifteen-year-old's room could be a trigger to be annoyed that we have to provide a new bed...  Or it could be a time to appreciate that our boys are growing up, which is exactly what they should be doing.  What a gift...  These messes all stem from gifts in my life.  My home is a reflection of our life, and life's messes can be gloriously beautiful.'

Wherever you live and whatever your circumstances, Myquillyn encourages creative freedom and an enjoyment of life that makes this book well worth reading.

I have one copy to give away.  There are lots of pictures so it's definitely much better in real life than on Kindle!

Simply subscribe to mirrormakeover.org and email me to let me know that you have or already are!

Closes at 11.59pm GMT Sunday 8th June.

This giveaway is part of #imperfectweek. 

Sunday, 1 June 2014

It Doesn't Have To Be Perfect To Be Worth It


So, we've been talking about taking the first steps to finding personal taste.  And I asked you last week about doing cuttings - whether you found it difficult.  Revealing ourselves through the style choices we make can feel very vulnerable.

I said knowing you will have to share cuttings with other people or seeing what they've produced can make it worse.  But actually I find we can be a bit scared of ourselves too.

I was reading about Maggie Whitley taking up embroidery.  She shows some pictures of what she's made and says that we will probably notice that it's not very accomplished and we'll see the mistakes.

I was very struck by what she says next:


What?!

That's certainly not the way I generally feel about doing creative things or other things for that matter.  I make meals and am very conscious of everything that's not as well cooked as it could be (or as healthy as it could be come to that).  Food is measurable in a way - you do know if something is beautifully cooked or not - although there's more uncertainty about judging combinations of flavours.

I go to drawing or sculpture classes and feel frustrated by working on something that isn't perfect.  Obviously it's not going to be.  'Perfection' in art of that kind is very hard to measure, doesn't even exist.  As a human I can create beauty perhaps but it is always going to be inferior to nature where life and magic and what is truly exquisite are made.  But even if it's not perfection, I feel there's still something higher to attain to than I reach.

I realise that takes away from the enjoyment of the creative process and of the finished result.  It's easy to live that:

If it's not perfect, it's not worth it.

It's also easy to live that:

If I'm not perfect, I'm not worth it.   

Are you hard on yourself?  You don't even really know what 'perfect' would be but there's a higher standard, a higher something, to attain to than you reach?

But what about if it doesn't have to be perfect to be worth it - not you or what you do?  That 'sometimes a little imperfect is all we really want anyway'?

It's #imperfect week here again on Wednesday with a giveaway you won't want to miss.

Monday, 26 May 2014

So How Did You Find Doing Cuttings?

The first time I did some cuttings, I just got all the old magazines and clothing catalogues I could find and went through tearing out looks I liked.  I can't remember what gave me the idea to do that but I really enjoyed it and it helped me so much to begin to know how I wanted to dress - even if I can't always achieve it!

But when I've worked with women individually or they've been asked to bring cuttings to a group workshop, very often they come without anything or they bring just one or two scraps they can hardly bear to admit to having torn out.

Mostly they're reluctant to do the cuttings and embarrassed about what they've got.

I can understand that - they're not for their eyes only.  They're either going to share them with me or a group.  And in sharing with a group, they're going to see what other people have brought and that can lead to all sorts of fears of how their cuttings will compare.

It's sad because it's such a helpful thing to do.  I hope you've been enjoying finding looks you like and not been feeling inhibited.  Perhaps as you're not doing the cuttings to show to anyone, you've felt a freedom and not been editing as you've gone along - trying to make them into something you feel comfortable with other people seeing.

At workshops, what never fails to amaze me is how diverse everybody's cuttings are.  Even if they've been using the same magazines, each person is so completely different and has such a distinct style.

As part of the activity of doing cuttings, I think it helps to think about our attitudes.  I want to encourage you to be willing to celebrate your own uniqueness and know that it is special and to appreciate that others are unique and special too.

I think an attitude of walking down the street thinking:  "I have my style and you have yours" rather than thinking:  "What on earth is she wearing?" increases our freedom to be ourselves and uncover our own style.


Coming next week:   #imperfect week - we're going to be looking at the effect the whole concept of perfection has on our creativity and development of a personal style.

Monday, 19 May 2014

How I Found My Personal Style I Continued: Cuttings

I think the easiest way to find your personal style is to get pictures of things you like to begin to work out your style.  Ultimately, I will show you how to create an 'inspiration board'.  In order to do this, you will first need to get some cuttings.

With Pinterest, it's easy to make an online pinboard of images you collect from all over the internet.  But for me, I still like having pictures in my hands - getting cuttings from magazines and catalogues or printing images off the internet!

But whether you're going to make an online board or get lots of cuttings, here are some ideas of sources:

MAGAZINES - online or paper versions.  If you're going to buy them specially, it's best to flick through them in the shops to see if there's anything good in them - you don't want to buy them and find they're no use.  If you can afford just one, In Style can be a good place to start.

And I would look at Vogue.  You may not be into 'fashion' but clothes are put together creatively in fashion magazines and there are lots of adverts too that are professionally styled.

Hello is full of pictures as well.   

NEWSPAPERS

CLOTHES CATALOGUES & CLOTHES SHOP WEBSITES

CELEBRITY WEBSITES, FAN PAGES ON FACEBOOK, FAN BLOGS, PICTURE LIBRARIES
If there is somebody whose style you admire or a film or television programme where you like the clothes, GOOGLE them and you're likely to find lots of images.  Also gettyimages is a picture library where you'll find pictures of most well known people.  Some celebrities have websites, fan pages on Facebook and blogs people have set up to keep a record of their style.

STYLE BLOGS & STYLE WEBSITES
The Sartorialist - the famous fashion blog with pictures of people photographed on streets around the world.
style.com - like the Vogue website, you can see catwalk shows, search for celebrites, look at pictures of people at parties.

ETC.
I recommend sourcing things from everywhere which appeal to your eye - whether it's a style of writing, a book cover...  And get inspired - you could take a trip somewhere like the costume galleries at a museum, go the library to look in books, hire some films.  Look at postcards, nature, colour swatches in paint shops, the people you pass in the street...

When it comes to doing the cuttings, tear or print out pictures of clothes, fabrics, makeup looks, hairstyles and any other things you feel drawn to the appearance of - it may be interiors - whatever.  Just pull out anything that jumps out at you without trying to work out why you like it.

It's important to do the cuttings ON YOUR OWN.  Don't be limited or put off by anythning.  Don't even consider whether it would fit/ suit you/ be affordable.  Sometimes women feel upset because they can only find pictures of models who are nothing like them in looks or age.  That's really not going to matter when we use the cuttings later. 

Have fun making your collection.  And come back on Monday to continue to find out what to do next...!

Monday, 28 April 2014

How I Found My Personal Style I

As a child, I liked clothes and I knew which ones I liked.  Apparently I chose the dress I was going to wear on my first birthday.

A few years later, the maid in the Heidi television series was the height of what I wanted to be so my mother had to go to great trouble to recreate her outfit for a fancy dress party I was invited to.

On holiday at the age of about seven, I was very taken with the wardrobe of one of the hotel guests mostly on the basis that she had a baby which I thought was the ultimate accessory, and I made notes and drew pictures of what she wore.

I fell in love with clothes and shoes I saw everywhere from characters on television to people in real life.  I can remember secretly admiring a friend of my mother's jumpsuit, the knitted dress worn by a cousin of my father's, planning dressing up outfits for myself and my dolls, pouring over a book of pictures of Princess Diana, and discussing our teachers' clothes with my friends...

But as I grew up, it was as if personal taste didn't exist.  All that seemed to matter was wearing the right, fashionable labels and in the early 90's, that was usually written in big letters across your chest.

By the time I was an adult and introduced to ideas and methods of 'finding your personal style', I had lost sight a bit of my tastes.

I came across the concept of 'wardrobe personalities' you choose from - things like 'gamine', 'sporty', 'creative', 'dramatic', 'classic'.  I came across charts too where you are meant to mark on a scale your preferences between patterned and plain, colours and neutrals etc.

But I didn't really know the answers.  It was before everyone was busily pinnining on pinterest so I got some magazines and went through them tearing out pictures of looks I liked.  I selotaped them together as you can see in the picture and suddenly I began to see my taste again, began to get back into touch with my personal style. 

And that was the beginning, the first step for me in finding my style.  I had realised I couldn't describe or pinpoint it without visual references.  And I found too that the wardrobe personality descriptions didn't give any inspiration for developing your style with real clothes - they just weren't visual enough.

Next week, we'll talk all about cuttings and how to do them.  In the meantime, don't throw away your magazines or the clothing catalogues that drop through your letterbox!

Monday, 7 April 2014

You Have Style!


You have a unique style.  I love that quote above from 'The Cheap Date Guide To Style' because it's true.  We can feel in awe of the whole concept of being stylish or having style.  But even if you've thought you haven't got style, you have!

If you've felt that you have bad taste or people have laughed at what you like and you think your style is inferior, I want to tell you that I don't believe that there is any right or wrong when it comes to preferences of style, no inferior or superior way of being.

We are all born with a uniquely stylish style.  Your individual way of experessing yourself is priceless.  Your individuality is an amazing gift.

Only you can be the stylist you can be!  And there really is value in you being that stylist.

The designer Lulu Guinness says she often wears evening wear because that's her personality.  She doesn't really do 'functional'.  And she has been seen food shopping in M&S in a little black dress and stilettos.  And why not?!

So how do we go about finding our personal style?  We're going to spend the next few weeks answering that question.  Can't wait to see you here after the Easter holiday! Happy Easter!

Thursday, 3 April 2014

The Same Moon And Stars

"The whole world over, we share the same moon and the same stars.  This T reminds us to play nice and to see the good in others." 
 Wildly Co.

Wildly Co. are a new line of ethically produced children's clothes.  This t.shirt is for children...!  But its message is for us all and highlights the equality message that is at the heart of Mirror Makeover, that:  "You are beautiful and so am I.  You have your style...  I have mine." 

Monday, 31 March 2014

Surprised By A Charity Shop Fashion Show

 
Monday 2 March 2014
At the end of the week, I'm giving a talk at an evening called:  'Style On A Shoestring'.  There's going to be a fashion show and everyone who wants to take part has to wear clothes bought from charity shops - at least part of the outfit.

I won't be in the fashion show exactly but I do need to wear a charity shop find.  So no pressure!  I am the invited speaker.  I fear they will be disappointed if my outfit isn't a wow.

Apart from my favourite charity shop thing ever when in our dressing up days as children, we got to fill carrier bags for a few pounds with whatever we wanted from a shop that was having a clearance sale, I have to admit to not being a charity shop shopper.  I've looked for bits of vintage before but I'm afraid I like new clothes!

However, I start out quite excited by the challenge.  I do various shops in Hertfordshire and some in Kensington.  In Welwyn Garden City, the clothes look quite worn and are mostly more casual than I'd choose.  Ideally I'd like a top or jacket I could wear with trousers I've already got.  But I go home with a couple of tops from the YMCA for £2.50 each!

 
Pieces are definitely cheaper than London where although some of the brands are better, the clothes are no less worn or sad looking.  £39 for a cardigan that no longer hangs properly seems a lot just because it has a label hidden inside.  I do find a jacket at the FARA store on Gloucester Road.  But it's a bit too big and I'm not a good enough sewer to take it in.

It seems people are giving china, furniture, books and ornaments to charity shops but there are a lot less clothes than there were a quarter of a century ago in my dressing up days.

I don't know why.  Perhaps they sell less clothes - after all you can buy new things just as cheaply.  Or perhaps people don't give as much.  I've certainly put more on ebay than I've given to charity shops in recent years. And with success:  I even had people contacting me from around the world with interest in a shirt from Zara.

So the benefits of a bit of charity shop shopping?

I try sizes and makes and styles I wouldn't normally.  The reality?  They probably don't fit if they're not my size and things that aren't my taste don't become it just because I try them on!  But I don't know if it's the low prices, the mish mash of things or just the fact that I absolutely have to get something that somehow makes me feel more creative, or more daring, than I might in an ordinary shop.

I don't think I'm much of a rummager unless it's through lots of treasures.  Even TK Maxx and I don't get on although other people come away with clever bargains.  But you can feel it in the air in the charity shops, much more than factory outlets actually - that sense that you could find something wonderful hiding.

Friday 6 March 2014
When Judy of women@stnix told me that she was planning the event she'd invited me to speak at around a charity fashion show, I'll be honest, I was concerned.  It sounded really fun but knowing what us girls can be like with our insecurities about how we look and our style choices, I didn't feel completely confident that people would join in.

Thankfully, I couldn't be more wrong!  Tonight is the night and the majority of people have bought something at a charity shop and they're eager to strut their stuff on the red carpet.

And the things they've found and outfits they've put together leave me in awe.  Most haven't shopped in charity shops before but they've found such fantastic pieces and put them together with so much flair.

I suspect some of them have found a creativity and confidence they didn't know they had.  It's probably been helped by us asking them to choose a category so some have come dressed for a wedding: one as a bride, others as guests.  Some are ready for a weekend in the country, others for a formal dinner etc.

They're playing a part in a way and I'm sure that takes away inhibitions.  Just like dressing up as children, we felt such freedom.  There's something sad about that - that it's easier to go for it with our clothes when we're not exactly being ourselves.  But far more cheering than any sadness is this confidednce and creativity that's been unearthed and unleashed.

It's a really positive evening and definitely something I'd recommend thinking of if you're planning an event!

Monday, 17 March 2014

MIRROR MONDAYS: an update

Mondays have been a bit crazy and while I'm working on some new, exciting posts, I've been over on Facebook on Mondays.  This is just to let you know, if you don't already, that on Mondays when I'm not here, I'm there.

Just so you haven't missed anything:

We had a fun link to what news anchors look like with and without their makeup - click here.

A money saving tip: owning more tops than bottoms will look like you have more clothes...

And some looking back from Shannan Martin about her style evolution - click here

See you next Monday!

Monday, 20 January 2014

"All Women Are Beautiful..."

"All women are beautiful..."
-Catherine Bailey
(quoted in February edition of Vogue)

Catherine Bailey is the wife of the famous portrait photographer David Bailey.  He's taken so many pictures of her, a selection will take up a room of 'Stardust', the exhibition of his work which opens on 6 February at the NPG.  Along with pictures of other people - a mixture of ages and nationalities.

Shes' right.  Women as a whole are a beautiful creation, each individual a work of art.  Unique, interesting, special.

Bailey goes on, in reference to photos, to say:  

"Everyone has something extraordinary about them when they're caught in the static frame."

The beauty of each individual and the fact that we are all in this together are concepts at the heart of Mirror Makeover.  That we should each:

  • accept that we are worthy of being called 'beautiful'
  • appreciate every other woman's worthiness of it too

A mentality that says:  "I AM BEAUTIFUL AND SO ARE YOU!"