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Why I View Style As A Form Of Self Care

Last weekend I was invited along to The Capsule’s Fashion & Body event at the Aspire in Leeds to give a styling talk.

The stage was mine and I was kindly given the opportunity to talk about whatever I wanted; should I choose trends, body shapes, colours… there are so many topics I could cover as a stylist but what I wanted to share with the audience was what is at the very heart of my business, my WHY.

Having worked with over one thousand women during my career I have come to realise that when someone gets in touch with me it is NEVER just about the clothes, it's about SO much more...

I know for me it has never been just about the clothes.

I’ve always loved fashion and trends but it wasn’t until I’d had my two children that my personal style and image took on a whole new meaning.

After baby number 2 I gained weight, my body changed and none of my clothes fit me properly.

My self confidence took a nose dive and my internal dialogue was extremely critical… ‘just stop eating and start moving’…’you don’t deserve any new clothes until you’re slimmer’ etc. etc. (these are the kinder comments, I said MUCH worse to myself during that time).

With a toddler and a baby to care for my own wellbeing was right at the bottom of the list of priorities and it had an extremely negative effect on me.

My poor husband bore the brunt of how I was feeling and after an emotional outburst (on my part) one day he asked me what I would do if a client came to me saying the things I was saying.

In doing this he forced me detach myself from my own situation a little and see myself as I would a client. It was in this moment I knew exactly what to do – and it started with being much kinder to myself.

I immediately started a Pinterest board of outfits I liked and re-took the style questionnaire I ask my clients to complete to evaluate where my current tastes were at. Just this made a HUGE difference.

I then packed away all my maternity clothes (some of which I was still wearing, 8 months post-baby!) and embarked on a shopping trip.

The process wasn't a dramatic transformation, more a subtle (but significant) shift; I was putting myself, my needs and my wellbeing first - and taking action to make myself look and FEEL better.

I have of course simplified the process above but hopefully you get the idea!

It was around this time that the idea of STYLE being a form of SELF care really came to life and became the heart of my business and the way I work.

Now, I’m not claiming a new dress is a magical cure BUT, just like a regular yoga class, nightly bath or a girly spa day can revive and restore us, so can taking care of our personal style. 

Understanding what works for us, what looks and feels good, is empowering and equips us to go into any situation (or shop) feeling confident and self-assured. 

I speak from experience here but I’ve seen it happen with my clients too and honestly, it gives me such joy to see them stand a little taller and smile a little wider when I put them in an outfit that enables them to see how amazing they really are. 

Never feel frivolous or shallow for wanting to look your best - YOU ARE WORTH IT (it's so true!) and deserve to look and feel AMAZING, every single day.

I ended my talk on Saturday evening with two thoughts that I wanted to share with you here, I hope they help you if you’re not feeling your fabulous best right now, and if you are – well pay them forward and spread the love a little further 🙂

1. Pay yourself a compliment EVERY day (it can be anything but be KIND to yourself, you’re amazing)

2. If you want to step out of your style comfort zone but feel unsure, ask yourself this…”What would 90 year old me say?” – I’m pretty sure she’d say GO FOR IT GIRL, YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE!

Until next time,

Anna xoxo