Saturday, 10 October 2009

my personal style assessment

I had my personal style assessment/wardrobe consultation/personal presentation workshop/whatever you want to call it. You may remember that I was sceptical, heavily. And this continued right up until about 2 hours into the session.

It went like this: he turned up, armed with a large mirror. We (me, him and my mum) had a long question and answer section about ourselves, our lives, jobs, families, friends, how we see ourselves and how others see us, and why we are having the session. We talked, for a long time. It was a bit awkward doing this with my mother. I kept silent when he asked her questions and vice versa, although I could see her itching to have her 2 cents when I answered questions. Answering the questions was probably the most confronting part.... A few times I felt extremely wanky, vain, self-absorbed, overindulged, but I think thats pretty standard when you answer questions about how you see yourself and what your friends say about your outfits.

After this part he gave us a bit of a preliminary assessment, which was when it all got a little emotional. There was nothing said that I didnt already know, really, but it was all things that you sort of refuse to admit until someone says it to your face and you know they are right. As in, I repress my personal expression, hide my style under a bushel, and am afraid to express myself through my wardrobe. (the killer came when I repeated this to my dad, who said "yeah, I'd agree with that".)

This almost made me cry, but then I wasnt the only one when he told my mum she was so afraid of being inappropriately dressed that she played it far too safe, and that she pressed this onto both me and my dad as well (possibly contributing to my repression?)

Next we did "figure analysis" and "colours" (!). Figure analysis was nowhere near as horrifying as I thought it might be. Our analyser pointed out every single amazing feature of both of us and what we could do to enhance these lovely areas, and what we could do with clothing to minimise the less than ideal areas. Understand this was not done in a Trinny and Susannah way, but instead was more like "Now, if your jeans have low pockets, they will sit across your widest point, which is precisely where you dont want them to sit, try a pair that have no pockets across this line and therefore will not enhance this area." It was GENIUS.

I took some clothes along and it was really interesting to see that what I was actually wearing that day really didnt suit my figure (pockets in bad places, sleeves finishing at unflattering lengths, jumper length also quite unflattering (note all three of these things all finished at my "widest point" therefore making me even WIDER)) but the three pieces I brought along were all perfect. These were a black dress that I love but dont wear very often, my new leather jacket, and a cashmere jumper. These were all impulse buys that I could not leave behind cos they made me look and feel so good- why dont I always shop like that? (I do now).

Finally, our colours were done, which is quite a prolonged process but was quite fun. I am a Winter. I cant exactly explain what a Winter is, but I know I like those colours so I think thats all that matters.

The best things I got out of this session are,

1. Finding the perfect hem length. For me, straight across the middle of the knee (slimmest part of my leg). For my mum, just below the knee. Very slight adjustment, but makes ALL the difference. Get someone to analyse this for you, then have all your hems adjusted. You will never look stumpy and dowdy in a dress again.

2. Realising that some colours honestly and seriously can make you look amazing. And that others wont. So dont settle for that "nice" colour that really has no impact whatsoever when you try it on. Instead, try a few other colours and wait til you get one that makes your skin look increadible.

3. Having someone point out the most awesome parts of me has given me a lot of confidence to actually USE these parts to advantage. I know I have a little waist and quite big bottom, but this is actually pretty freaking cool (he said I have an "hourglass" figure. I almost kissed him.) and I should be proud, not hiding.

4. When I go shopping now, I look for different things- namely, is this top/jacket sitting at my "widest" point? Are the sleeves making my bust look wider? Is this neckline flattering? Could I get this adjusted to be a better length?

5. When trying things on, some things will just look perfect. They will suit you, enhance you, flatter you, make you feel stunning. You should always buy these. Then wear them everywhere. Why would you waste your money and your self-esteem with anything less?

6. You should buy things because you love them. As our analyser pointed out to me (as my eyes welled) why cant I buy a pink shirt if I love it? If it lifts my spirit and makes me happy to wear it, what more could I want? It's completely irrelevant if I "have nowhere to wear a pink shirt" or if "it's WAY too dressy". If I cant wait to wear it and it makes me happy, who cares?

I said this last point to a good friend of mine and she looked at me in amazement and said "No one has ever pointed that out to me before. That makes getting dressed so easy. Just put on what you WANT TO WEAR." We contemplated this previously taboo point for a few minutes.

Everything sartorial I have ever complained about in the past has become irrelevant now. I just wear whatever makes me feel happy at the time. So far I've worn 3 things I've never worn before. And the sky has not fallen in. And I've felt great, all day, every day.

Finally! I have not really bought anything since the assessment (much more discerning these days), but today I went out with no intention of buying (always the best time to actually find things) and came home with a vintage YSL 80's-by-way-of-40's black tuxedo style jacket. Big shoulders, little waist. A bit Balmain, a bit Dynasty. TOTALLY AWESOME. I wore it out of the shop (Shag, on Chapel St, if you are interested) over my tshirt and pants, and loved it.

Any questions on the style assessment I'm happy to answer.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Sunday, 4 October 2009


Oh no! I'm turning into Maggie Alderson! I'm about to lament about packing!

I've just been away on a week long camp and I took three bags and still had to carry odd ends and bits! lol  I took one enormous bag, a green bag and also a bag with all my bedding (so it doesn't count).  The enormous bag was VERY heavy- so heavy in fact that every guy I got to carry it for me (how could I possibly carry it?!) asked me if I had a body in it.
I think the reason I packed so much was that I had ALOT of different clothing scenarios to account for.  First of all, the camp was up in the Dandenongs (Melbourne's kinda mountains) and I was told it was going to be freezing.  I took alot of jumpers and my big finnish winter coat and big pink gumboots for playing muddy games.  It was, however, too muddy for games so they were mostly played inside, and the weather was gorgeous and warm so I barely wore a jumper.   I basically wore the same thing everyday so all my natty ideas of remaining clean and dry and warm were totally redundant AND I FORGOT MY TOWEL.  sigh the worst! 

Next time I am going to pack a towel and just the clothes on my back (yeah right).

a  Vintage Mod SAMSONITE Fashionaire Marimekko Suitcase from etsy