From Frumpy & Frazzled to Fabulous at Fifty
“I want every woman I work with to feel the joy of knowing she can look her best every day, know what to wear for different occasions, how to work with her body shape, scale and her own style personality. I want her to be body confident and love how she looks..”
Loraine Birchall, TransformMyStyle.com
I've been coaching and offering consultancy to small business for best part of 20 years, some digital (web, networks etc) but mostly creative problem solving, project management and web strategy (form/function).
Having had a good year about 10 years ago I felt it was time to invest in me and paid for a Colour and Style consultation. The very nice lady spent all of 20 minutes speed draping me, one colour after another and in such a rush I couldn't see what was working and what wasn't. But, she's the expert, right? Not one question about my lifestyle or what I liked to wear, some general advice about suits and I was on my way without so much as a cup of tea or a natter. I followed her advice and she typed me as a Soft Summer.
Being a get-on-with-it kind of girl, I spent a small fortune (to me) on suits, blouses, tops, shoes, bags and accessories in my new colours and really thought I looked the business.
For the next 8 years or so, every client who knew me well kept asking if I was ill or feeling okay? There's only so many times you can keep saying "I'm fine thank you" before it gets a bit repetitive and you start wondering what's going on.
Even my lovely Mum kept commenting about how pale and grey I looked, my skin was blotchy and every blackhead or blemish looked like Mount Versuvius to me. When I finally stared at photos of me wearing the Summer colours, I looked like I was seriously ill.
I decided that maybe the expert was wrong.
Had the Consultant taken even 20 minutes more to look at how my skin reacted to the colours, she'd have been able to see my true colouring. I had wasted a lot of money to look like an extra from the Walking Dead.
I trained in Colour Analysis and loved it. I could add this to my existing consultancy, go online with services, it was a whole new world of colour that took me back to a childhood with my head either in a book, drawing or painting. I'd forgotten how much colour, texture inspired me to create. I added Colour Psychology and Hair Colour Analysis soon afterwards.
I spent weeks looking in the mirror with this drape and that drape and decided that I am in fact a Soft Autumn, so my colouring is warm and NOT cool, the expert had it wrong.
I quickly put together a capsule wardrobe of grab-and-go outfits. Wearing one of these outfits at a meeting, I bumped into a colleague I hadn't seen for 12 months or more and he yelled. 'Bloody hell woman, you look ten years younger than the last time I saw you, have you lost a lot of weight, what's different?' I hadn't lost weight (I am still a curvy girl), but dressing in the right colours, shapes and styles to flatter my shape had made all the difference. I was floating on cloud nine with happiness.
I can't wait to share that feeling with other women and men, after all, who doesn't want to look and feel fabulous?
Wearing Soft Autumn Colours
Loving the khaki
I feel so much better in a soft/muted and warm khaki, no need for make up other than a bit of lippy.
Soft Autumn top
No make up, a rich burgundy heathered top, nice even skintone and it's reduced the appearance of any fine lines.
Wearing the Wrong Soft Summer Colours
Ghastly in Grey
Grey ombre sweater, looking old, tired and haggard, look at the deep lines on my face and this was taken four years ago!
Woeful in Black
Campaigning in 2016 and looking old, grey and washed out in black and strong patterns. Eeek.
Better in Universal Purples
A soft/muted purple scarf, it's a little cool in colour but it's not awful. My skin tone is much more even in this photo and the only make up I have on is some lip gloss.