You’ll know by now that I’m a keen follower of fashion. I enjoy shopping for new clothes be it online or in person (I’m not fussy) and shopping is the one activity that I am more than happy to do alone. It’s rare that I find anyone who has the stamina to keep up to be honest!
A lot of the accounts I follow on Instagram are fashion-related or people whose style I admire. One such person is Rebecca from Style Redressed and when I discovered that she lives only a few miles from me, I was in touch immediately.
I couldn’t wait to welcome the lovely Rebecca (she really is the nicest person) into my home for an afternoon of style chat. Rebecca is an experienced stylist and by that I mean that she’s helped to dress the rich and famous, worked at London’s Fashion Week and these days you’ll find her accompanying clients to Bluewater as they update their wardrobe. The perfect job!
Discovering Your Colour Palette
Having trained with London College of Style, Rebecca has two areas of expertise – individual colour analysis (yes we all have one that suits our skin tone and features best) as well as body shape.
I invited five friends to join me in the two-hour session and we all went away wowed by what we had learnt, not to mention itching to purge our wardrobe!
Firstly we looked at colour; Rebecca brought along colour swatches to represent each of the seasonal colour palettes.
These were used to see which shade suited us best. We were amazed at the transformation when the right one was put against our face – lines were diminished, eyes looked brighter and there was no shadow under the chin.
For most of us, there was a clear winner but because a couple of the seasons have very similar palettes, we had to do a bit of experimenting. We started with green, moving through to blues and then we looked at which reds suited us best – crimson, raspberry or one with a more orange tone. The reds provided the definitive answer.
In our group we had three ‘Springs’, two ‘Autumns’ and a ‘Winter’. I’m an Autumn which didn’t come as a huge surprise as the swatches were colours that I often wear already. I also know that pastel colours don’t really suit me, although ironically I was wearing pale pink on the day – a blouse that has since been donated to charity!
Can You Wear Colours that aren’t in Your Colour Palette?
What I didn’t know, is that I should stick to gold jewellery and shouldn’t wear white or black against my face (my wardrobe features both quite heavily). Rebecca explained that as long as you have a v-neck (ie some skin showing) or break it up with a coloured scarf that is in your palette or perhaps a gold necklace, then you can get away with it.
It’s more about focusing on the shade rather than the colour. Most of the seasonal palettes feature the whole of the rainbow but there are some subtle differences when it comes to the shade. I’m looking forward to taking my colour wheel out on my next shopping spree!
Discovering Your Body Shape
Although different sizes, everyone fits into one of the five standard body shapes: pear (bottom heavy), apple (holding weight around the middle), strawberry (broader shoulders than hips, bigger bust), hourglass (the traditional curvaceous figure, think Jessica Rabbit) and column (even shoulders and hips, slightly boyish figure with not much definition at the waist).
I think most of us have a preconception about our body shape and our group was no exception. Most of us went in thinking we were one shape, only to discover that we were totally wrong!
Our group consisted of 2 Columns, 2 Hourglasses, 1 Strawberry and a Pear – almost a fruit salad! Once Rebecca talked through the definitions, it was actually quite easy to see. She then focused on each shape, explaining which clothing styles would suit us best.
Being a column (about the only thing the Duchess of Cambridge and I have in common), I should wear more feminine necklines (v-necks are good) anything that gives definition to the waistline (sleeves pushed up to the elbows), wide-leg paper bag trousers, clothes that give shape to a rather boyish figure – floaty hemlines and sleeves. Apparently, a column can wear most clothing styles and get away with it.
Colour and Style Take-Aways from the Day
All of us left the afternoon with some colour and style inspiration…
“Intrigued that I am a strawberry shape as I had always thought I was a pear! Looking forward to researching more things that will fit a strawberry”
“It doesn’t matter what shape you are, you can look good in the right cut of clothing. Hourglass figures need a bit of balance.”
“I’ve never had my colours done before and was surprised to find that all my favourite colours I love to wear are the spring colours that suit me already! I also learnt some great tips for colours that don’t suit me eg break black up with gold accessories.”
“Never knew I was a Winter, always thought I was an Autumn! I was thrilled to find out I can wear black or white near my face with no problem. I’ve since been wearing white more and even bought a white dress the other day!”
“Even though I had my colours done a long time ago, it was really good to be reminded and to learn about body shapes. After a recent big birthday and feeling a bit ‘lost’, it’s given me my confidence back when choosing clothes.”
Growing older, it can be easy to lose our sense of style, especially as our bodies begin to change shape but I am a firm believer that we mustn’t give up! My thanks go to Rebecca for an inspiring afternoon that has given us all so much to think about.
*Disclaimer: Rebecca provided us with 2 hours of free styling advice. All opinions, photographs and words are my own *