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,
Link up here at WOTM or with another of us in the Lovin’ Life Linky team:
Leanne of Deep Fried Fruit | Kathy of 50 Shades of Age |
Deborah of Debbish | Jo of The Hungry Writer – Joanne Tracey.
It doesn’t matter where you link up as it will magically appear on all five blogs.
I am actually doing this right now, Min with my friend, Christine Blundell from My Private Stylist. I just wanted to get a new perspective and she will be doing my colours in October.
How exciting for you Sue! I can’t wait to hear how it all goes for you! 🙂 xo
Nope, never have. Oh, hang on … I did meet up with a couple of lovely bloggers once, one of whom was a fashion blogger, and after our cuppa she went and found me a pair of jeans which I still wear today. Does that count?
Kinda, sorta, maybe! LOL xo
Nope, never. I’m also one of those strange women who really truly doesn’t like shopping with other women. Weird, I know. If I had the money & I needed a corporate wardrobe I absolutely would invest because my style these days is so different to how it used to be.
I’m not much of a shopper either Jo. I don’t like the whole change room process and the time it takes to go from one shop to another trying things on. I’m a huge fan of on-line shopping! 🙂
What a great idea for a birthday gift. We all need great shopping help like this.
I would be very interested to see what advice would be given to me, that’s for sure! xo
My mum got me one before my first real job – and money to buy suits. I have to say, it was fine for conservative work but not really ‘me’. I could never do it for my weekend clothes or night time clothes. I like too kooky stuff. I probably don’t flatter myself (ie pick clothes that are flattering) but I don’t really care. If I like it, I wear it – unless I look in the mirror and recoil. That happens a bit more now that my body is older than my brain….
What a lovely Mum you have! I can understand what you’re saying. I have a few different looks that I like – plain, solid colours to help give the illusion of height …. but then also I love the bohemian / gypsy / hippy look, for example. I wear whatever makes me feel good. It’s the way to go! I have learnt a lot in recent years though and have had to change my style to suit my changing body shape as I’ve gotten older. No more middrifts for example! LOL
I do feel confident doing my own fashion styling and rather enjoy it. I’m also lucky to have a hubbie who’s happy to shop with me, scours racks and finds fab things! Has the sales assistants in awe. But if you struggle with the whole thing, a bit of pro advice might be just the thing.
My goodness where did you find a hubby like that?! Mine would rather have teeth pulled than go shopping with me! Fantastic that you’re confident with your own fashion styling. I’m a lot more that way too these days. 🙂
Nope, I can’t stand shopping and while I’d hope a consultant of some kind makes it more efficient, I’d rather clone my body and send along a blank shell to endure it 🙂
Haha – I can relate Vanessa. I’m not a big fan of trawling around the shops either. Hence began my love affair with on-line shopping! 🙂
I’m with Jo – I don’t do “shopping with the girls” – it overwhelms me and makes me buy stuff I’d normally walk away from – and I always regret it later. I tend to look at clothing catalogues and stuff online and then wait til things are on special. I have no understanding of women who happily pay hundreds of dollars for an outfit – I just can’t justify it. I like cheap and fun – wear it for a season or two and then move on to the next thing that catches my eye. I’m a cheap dinner/shopping date because I’m pretty easy to please and I know what I like these days – nothing fancy-schmancy for me.
I don’t like shopping with the girls either Leanne. I don’t like waiting around while others try clothes on and I don’t like holding up others while I try things on. I do like honest opinions though and I usually highly doubt I get that from the sales lady! I don’t like shopping much. All that trying stuff on and looking at yourself in the mirror and usually unflattering mirrors. I prefer shopping online and have a few favourite stores that I am happy with! 🙂
I’m a huge fan of reading the blogs and following the Instas of women of my age or whose style appeals to me. I hate buying under pressure and feel that if I was with a stylist, I’d just buy, buy, buy!
I enjoy following some fashion blogs too SSG – especially those with ‘real’ sized women showcasing reasonably affordable clothes for the average person. I don’t like buying under pressure either and probably I would feel a bit that way if with a stylist. xo
I much prefer to shop for clothes on my own Min. I feel time-pressured if I’m with someone else, even my husband, because I don’t want the other person to feel like they’re waiting for me endlessly. I like to have lots of time to browse, try on a few things, think about it, go to another shop, try on something else, think about it, go back to the first place, try on again, etc etc – if necessary!! I bought a winter coat while in Melbourne a couple of years ago, and it took me all morning to make the decision to buy it, all the while wandering around Emporium and weighing up the cost/benefit!! I love the coat, wear it all the time, and am SO glad I finally bit the bullet, but I think I would have driven a shopping partner nuts with my vacillating!!
On the other hand, I love shopping with my husband for clothes for HIM and we always have very successful trips that don’t take long at all!!!
I’m exactly the same Sue! Only difference is – I hate traipsing around shopping centres … more and more as I’ve gotten older. Online shopping appeals very much to me! 🙂
No, never have but I wouldn’t mind having a good stylist’s services as a gift 🙂
Maybe you should drop a hint to a few people! 🙂
I have and I haven’t. I went to a styling session offered by a designer years ago and they did offer up some ideas that were quite different to what I’d normally wear, but it was still more about promoting their own stuff. An independent stylist with a range of brands would be ideal I think. x
That’s closer to seeing a stylist than I’ve ever been! I’m not sure if I’d want to see one or not? I kinda know what I like and what suits me now. However, I do ponder if they could offer something fabulous that I’ve overlooked or not realised as yet. Just wouldn’t like all the trying on of clothes and feeling pressured to buy stuff.