I moved back to the UK about a month ago and it's been a period of uncertainty and change. Anyone who has gone through the 'repat' process will know it feels like you have lost your identity a little and settling back into your home life can be just as challenging as finding your feet in a new country. Add to that the fact I recently turned 32 and the result is that I have been struggling a little with my personal style.
I am still fairly 'young at heart' (hopefully that phrase doesn't make you cringe too much) and like to wear colourful and fun clothes. I am also aware, however, that I am not 21 any more and some trends just don't feel right on me.
Finding that balance can be a little tricky as there aren't that many shops that fall into this bracket. I've had lots of conversations with other girls about this and I know that many of us in our late 20's or early 30's feel the same way.
After only wearing summer clothes for the last 8 months I am in dire need of an autumn wardrobe revamp. A lot of the time the clothes I was wearing didn't feel right, like the dresses below, but I didn't really know why!
|Both these dresses are the wrong shape and colours for me!|
This is where the wonderful Helenlee Loves came into my life! Helenlee is a professional stylist and fashion blogger who is also a trained makeup artist. Helenlee loves to make women feel beautiful in their own skin and I can certainly say that I have a new-found spring in my step since we spent the afternoon together last week.
The personal style experience is made up of three parts, which all together make up your personal 'style code'. This is a combination of your ideal colour palette, your body shape and your style personality.
I was quite apprehensive as I waited for Helenlee to come round but I needn't have worried at all. Helenlee put me at total ease and any nerves had disappeared within five minutes of meeting her. With her warm and bubbly personality, easy-going manner and great style and fashion knowledge you know you are in very good hands.
The first part of our session was determining my colour season. To do this, Helenlee looked at my skin tone, eyes and hair first. She then looked at a number of different colours against my skin to see how they worked with my underlying tones. Helenlee determined that I am a dark/deep autumn that flows into winter.
This means that my most flattering colours are those which lie in both of those seasons; my best being pine green, deep aubergine, chocolate brown and deep olive green. You can see on the photos below just how significant the difference was to my skin tone when wearing a warm yellow as opposed to a deep green!
We went through various pieces in my wardrobe and found that quite a few items are just not the right colour for me. Pastels wash me out and colours which are too bright like the yellow above are not flattering.
Like many women, I would previously buy items because I liked the colour on the hanger or because it was something I'd seen someone else wearing, rather than working out if it was the right tone for me.
Here are some more examples of colours I have worn regularly but just don't look the best for me.
The next step was body shape. Helenlee measured me and found that I was a neat hourglass which is quite common and means my shoulders and hips are a similar size, with a smaller waist.
Helenlee gave me loads of tips for how best to flatter my shape. Anything which nips in at the waist is perfect and I will definitely be adding waist belts from now on to add definition.
I actually thought I was a pear shape so it goes to show how useful it was to find out this isn't right and I could definitely show off my shape more effectively. I shouldn't be wearing loads of layers or loose fitting clothes as this will drown my frame and not show my waist at all.
In the first picture above, the colour isn't bad but the style of the shirt just isn't doing anything for my figure and makes my shoulders look wider than they really are. I wore this so much whilst living in Singapore and had no idea it didn't really suit me!
The middle dress shape is a little better, but the black just doesn't look right with my skin at all. The final picture is a jumper dress I already have which is a loose fit, adding the waist belt just makes it more flattering.
I actually struggled to find items in my wardrobe to take these pictures which shows just how much it needs an overhaul. I can't wait to go shopping soon equipped with new knowledge about what works with my body! Just imagine entering a shop and knowing exactly which rails to head for without being overwhelmed: that's honestly how I feel now.
The style code does not end here. Helenlee has already set up a WhatsApp conversation with me where I can reach out to her if I am shopping and need some advice, or we can exchange ideas about what I should be wearing. It's like having a personal stylist to carry round in your pocket, I love it!
The next step as part of the package is to go into my style personality and style up some perfect outfits. Watch this space, I can't wait to share with you how that goes!
For amazing style tips and further information on how to book your own 'style code' experience: check out Helenlee's website or Instagram.
This experience was kindly gifted to me but all opinions are my own.