This post is part of the Gorgeous 50’s series inspired by a book given to me by one of my sisters on my 50th birthday – ‘Grown up and Gorgeous in your 50’s’ by Pamela Robson. I will be sharing some of Pamela’s words and my own thoughts along the way. To see all posts published as part of this series, go here.
Shopping with a friend is pure therapy – and good exercise – but when it comes to fashion advice, you’re better off with an independent, professional opinion. Friends tend to be too kind; shop assistants have a vested interest; and partners – well, even if they are among the rare few who don’t climb the walls through sheer boredom, they aren’t exactly the best judge of women’s fashion. They’ll either have you in a burka or a naughty maid outfit.
Here’s an idea:
Ask for a style consultant for your birthday. They’ll give you advice that’ll last for years. They offer services such as taking you shopping and showing you what clothes you should wear, going through your wardrobe and explaining what items do and don’t work. They can advise on colours and make-up. They usually charge by the hour, half day and full day. Look under Image Consultants in the Yellow Pages or online.
I agree that friends might be too kind, not wanting to upset you with their opinion on how you look in a certain outfit but not all friends are afraid to speak the truth, kindly of course! The same could be said for shopping with family (like sisters and/or your mother). If I looked awful in something, or it was unflattering on me in some way, I’m pretty sure my friends, mother and sisters would let me know!
Shop assistants on the other hand, rarely speak the truth! They just want the sale! Mostly!
As for partners, hahaha – gee Pamela, you made me laugh! True, very true!
With regards to engaging a ‘style consultant’ – look, if you can afford it and could do with some guidance (or family could rally and gift it to you for your birthday as Pamela suggested), then go for it! My research tells me that style and/or image consultants cover more than just fashion advice. They’ll look at your hairstyle, your make-up routine and much more, personally and professionally, if you’ve engaged a consultant to help you with your whole image!
If you need some help but a style consultant is beyond your budget (and not a gift option), I find that there’s a lot to be learned and gained from following fashion blogs, particularly those that cover fashion for your age group and for varying body shapes. You learn what is in, what suits different body shapes, and you’ll discover stores and stockists (online and in-store) that you otherwise might never have discovered. They even provide guidance on how to sort through your wardrobe. Other than that, it’s a matter of trial and error really – to work out the best styles to suit and flatter your body shape. I know that boxy, billowy, loads of fabric kind of garments absolutely swamp my small frame and make me look bigger and dumpier than I am, for example. I know that certain colours make me look washed out whereas others seem to flatter me. Be honest with yourself. If you love a particular style or colour but it looks crappo on you, you’ve just gotta accept it and move on. There will be something else that suits you but looks crappo on someone else. We’re all different!
How about you? Have you ever engaged the services of a style consultant before? If you did, how did it go?
Ciao for now,
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