Body Positive, Educatement, Tips and Tricks

Different is beautiful…

Different is beautiful. This is so true yet we sometimes find it difficult to accept our individual beauty and see only our flaws. I see this so many times with the women I meet who are quick to point out the things they dislike or would like to change about themselves or their bodies and I wonder why we don’t highlight the great stuff about ourselves first?

Is it a British thing or are we taught or learn over time as women that we shouldn’t boast or brag about ourselves or our successes? I am always surprised about the way brilliant and often powerful women talk about themselves, often picking out their least favourite or even hated parts of their body which they feel I should know about. Sometimes it’s very useful for example if they’re big busted that helps me plan out relevant outfits/tops although I still think it’s a part of our bodies and without drastic decisions like surgery or severe weight loss it’s not something easily changed.

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My point is we may as well embrace our bodies; after all they have gone through with us, grown and birthed babies, endured hardships, taken us on wonderful adventures, weathered bad times, journeys of weight loss/gain, got us through illness, injury and embraced pleasure/love and beautiful friendships. I think the hardest journey is learning how to love our flaws and uniqueness rather than being embarrassed, angry or disappointed in ourselves and striving for perfection.

Clothes and the way we wear them can help us embrace our bodies, accept our supposed flaws and highlight the fantastic parts of our bodies and personalities which we can let shine through our personal style. Recently I met a potential who told me three very negative things about herself within minutes of meeting me, almost like an apology for who she is and the way she perceives her body looks. The weird part of this encounter was in my head I was instantly thinking ‘What a great smile she has, it lights up her whole face and I bet great legs underneath that!’ So who is right? Well we both are as the way she perceives herself is her belief that’s what everyone sees and the way I saw her is absolutely true as I am convinced that no-one could be immune to that mega-watt smile!

The way I would intend styling this woman is to help her achieve confidence by highlighting all the fantastic things about herself and teaching her that her perceived flaws are irrelevant compared to the many positives. Personal styling is just that, personal to each and every client and it should always empower and liberate the client from their self doubt and let their true personality and awesomeness shine through.

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It is difficult to let go of fears and self-doubt, I know as I have been there and we all have days where we just don’t feel great or on top of our game, but there are a few things I’ve learnt along the way that may help if you are feeling self critical or not liking what you see in the mirror;

  1. Think of all the brilliant things your body has helped you achieve in your life
  2. Repeat a positive mantra to yourself “I love ___ about myself.”
  3. Don’t compare yourself to others – you are unique
  4. Wear something you think you can’t and challenge your perception of age, size etc
  5. Surround yourself by other positive people who love/like you for you
  6. Invest in yourself – whether it’s time to yourself, a fresh challenge or a new haircut
  7. Believe in yourself – you are more brilliant than you realise!

I hope these tips help you learn to love yourself a little bit more and embrace the real you. It’s not bragging or arrogance, it’s believing in yourself so you can be the best version of you – we only get one life let’s make the most of it!

I love my resilience, I may get down in the dumps when times are tough, but I always come up fighting and I love my hair as it continually evolves which each colour and cut and it provides me with many random conversations with strangers! Let me know something about yourself that you love?

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Abbey,

Stories With Clothes.

Styling ideas, Tips and Tricks

Savvy Sale Shopping

Sale time. Music to some people’s ears who will be singing all the way to their favourite store OR are you one to avoid the shops like the plague, one of many who simply can’t stand the scrummage and the mess at some retailers during sale season?

And not to mention that as consumers we’ve become very attuned to bargain-hunting and rightly or wrongly have come to expect regular sales throughout the year and not just at traditional sale times. Many retailers have been on sale since mid December and some since Black Friday, and after Christmas shopping and the endless month of January, it’s no wonder we might be feeling a bit jaded by the big red sale signs.

However it can also be a wise move for smart, decisive and shrewd consumers, especially if you’re on the lookout for more expensive items such as coats and leather shoes/boots – now is your time.  So before you go hot-footing it to the retail giants, here are my top tips to Savvy Sale Shopping;

1. Write a list of what you need/want. This helps you remain focussed when out shopping and less likely to come home with items you don’t really need. On my list were black flats with a wide sole, black chunky boots and a striped top – I got all three and nothing else (my 11yo daughter spent more than I did!)

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2. Set yourself a budget. A budget you can manage and feel comfortable with as we all hate that feeling of buyers regret and many retailers only offer exchange on sale goods so you won’t be able to get refunds if you’ve overspent on that green faux-fur jacket you may only wear once. Try and stick within your budget and work out where you are best to allocate that budget ie it’s wise to spend more on longer lasting items like shoes or coats which are essential and hard working parts of our wardrobe.

3. Consider local boutiques. If you’re lucky enough to live in a town where there are independent boutiques I implore you to support them whenever you can. Not only are their collections more unique than the big retailers but they will know their brands and fits intimately which can save you lots of hassle whilst also providing you with a unique service. Often their prices will be extremely competitive during sale season as many boutiques don’t have the luxury of large store rooms to keep unsold stock, so they’ll need to clear the way for new season arrivals. Independent boutiques also often run events, customer loyalty schemes, offer unique fashion and accessories and will know their customers really well. Use them or lose them!

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Photo by Artem Bali on Pexels.com

4. Would pay full-price for it? When out shopping and you’ve found something you want to buy, think about if you’d be willing to pay full-price for it or if you’re only interested because of the reduced price. This will help you decide if you do really like/love it.

5. Plan an outfit. Think of three outfits you’ll wear it with using existing pieces from your wardrobe, is it going to compliment and work hard for you or is it going to be another top that sits at the bottom of your wardrobe gathering dust! Your list from point 1 should also help with this as hopefully you know what you want so you can be really focussed.

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6. Do you love it? If it’s just blah then save your money and the planet for another day. There is no point buying something simply because of the price. Be prepared to walk away.

7. Feel the magic! Sometimes, just sometimes you come across something wonderful that you fall in love with and just know is going to be a Wardrobe Hero for years to come and will give you that special smile every time you wear it. That smug, knowing smile that tells everyone how gorgeous you look and feel. And that is special and should not be ignored. I’m not saying hang all of the above advice, but I am saying allow yourself to have the freedom to fall in love…it might not happen this time and if not no worries there’ll be another day. I bought one of my most treasured items, a checked Joseph swing coat, on sale about eight years ago and it was a stretch for me even on sale but I simply adored it and it’s a classic, beautifully crafted item which I will love forever. Sometimes, just sometimes it’s worth pushing the boat out to feel the magic.

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Hope this has given you some food for thought and helped you to be more focused and buy items you’re going to love and get lots of wear out of, the next time you’re going sale shopping or in fact any shopping trip it will be useful for.  I would love to hear from you if you’ve found any fantastic beauties in the sales recently…

Until next time,

Abbey.

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