bedroom-storage-2_largeIf you haven’t done so already, now is the time to do the seasonal wardrobe change and have a bit of a spring wardrobe audit.

The best way to check out what you have, what works and what doesn’t work in your wardrobe is to go through each item of clothing piece by piece.  Allow yourself at least a day to do this.

Put your clothes into three piles:

Pile 1:  Clothes you will keep
Pile 2:  Clothes you might keep
Pile 3:  Clothes that must go

How do you decide?

Is it the right colour?

  • If the answer is yes, then ask yourself if it is the right style. If it is then it goes in Pile 1.
  • If it’s the right colour but the wrong style, can it be altered or worn differently to make it work?  If it can, it goes in pile 2.

Is it the right style but the wrong colour?

  • Can you wear it with a complementary colour from your palette?  Do you have accessories like a necklace or scarf that will make it work?  If yes it goes in Pile 2.
  • If it’s the wrong colour and the wrong style, it goes in Pile 3.
  • If it’s not your current size and you haven’t worn it for a year it goes in Pile 3.

Pile 1 – Clothes for keeps

  • Organise garments by categories: coats, jackets, suits, skirts, trousers, blouses and shirts. Group them by colour within these categories to help give you ideas for combining clothes.
  • Button up jackets and coats, and pull up zips, so that garments hang straight before you put them in the wardrobe, all facing the same way.
  • Don’t put anything back in the wardrobe unless it’s clean
  • Don’t overcrowd your wardrobe

Pile 2 – Is it worth keeping?

  • Check every piece against what you have in your wardrobe to see whether it is worth keeping.  You might find that a jacket in the wrong colour, for example, can be made to work for you if worn with a top that you’ve decided to keep.
  • Can you update some items? A skirt that isn’t quite this season’s midi length nor mini could work simply by shortening the hem.  Changing buttons on a jacket can give it a new lease of life.

Pile 3 – Dispose of clothes as you see fit

  • Give them to a friend
  • Sell expensive items and those that are still current and good quality
  • Arrange a clothes swapping (swishing) party
  • Donate them to charity

Finishing Touches

Before you put everything back in your wardrobe, vaccum and dust it and perhaps place some moth repellent products at the bottom.  To preserve the shape of your clothes, you will need the correct hangers

  • Sturdy wooden hangers for jackets and coats
  • Wooden hangers with clips for skirts and trousers
  • Padded hangers for lightweight and delicate luxury fabrics
  • Basic plastic hangers for blouses, shirts and lightweight summer dresses

 

Extracted from Colour Me Beautiful the book April 2014
Chapter 7 – Your Everyday Wardrobe, page 188

Next sweat blogOne of the most versatile fashion pieces this spring is the statement sweatshirt.  It’s not as heavy as a knit and not as light as a T-shirt.  It’s perfect to snazz up a pair of jeans with some heels or you can wear it with a skirt (pencil, A-line, full and mini). Mixing this sports-luxe look of the season with the ladylike trend creates a nice ‘relaxed-feminine’ look.  It is the perfect top to see you through from an early spring chill to a summer cover up.

The new look slouchy trench coat will look chic as well as keeping you dry and warm in spring’s unexpected rainfalls and evening chills.  It is less structured than the traditional trench so it is better suited to milder weather when you want lighter layering and more breathable fabrics.  Wearing it open and loose as if you have thrown it on at the last minute will look effortlessly stylish.

Neat ankle boots are the ideal, versatile footwear for ‘in-between weather’.  They will work for both cold and rainy days and on sunnier spring days too.  In milder weather, team them with sheer or light opaque tights (because the legs aren’t quite ready to go bare yet) and a skirt with layered tops. If you buy a really smart pair they will be acceptable for work (depending on the company and sector, of course) and you will be spot on trend too.

Find the best transitional key pieces for you this season with a Style Update.

 

Fiona Wellins
Colour Me Beautiful

Yellow Radley blog

 

Get ready for some instant sunshine!  Yellow is a sunny, feel-good colour but you need to get just the right shade for you and have the confidence to wear it.  

Yellow is a warm colour so it won’t complement you if you have a cool, pinkish skin tone, but if you love it, wear it as part of a print, or in your accessories.  The exuberant yellows will be too strong for certain colourings, you really have to test your yellows against your face to see how much brightness you can take. Remember the acid yellow shades of the eighties? They are back but they are still not easy to wear and not very flattering on anyone so are best avoided! You can mix yellow with other colours in your wardrobe, but you don’t need much to make a statement in this shade – even shoes, a handbag or scarf will set-off your look or just a shot of colour peeking from under a jacket.

If you want to invest in a dress in this colour, keep it simple. You don’t want too much detail on the garment and keep accessories to a minimum for an elegant statement look.  Yellow with white this summer will look crisp and smart. Be careful wearing it with black, you don’t want to look like a bumble bee!

skin tone resizeThere was much debate over the lack of ethnic models at London Fashion Week and whilst we are not attempting to get into a political debate here, from a simple fashion/style/beauty point of view, it doesn’t make sense not to represent the various ethnic looks and skin tones that make up the British demographic today.

Along with your hair and eye colour, your skin colour and skin tone (coolness, warmth and depth in colour) will dictate which colours suit you.  Your personality will also influences your colour choice, of course, but you can’t deny that there are some shades you instinctively know make you look either utterly amazing or truly awful.  Certain shades will compliment not just the colour but the tone of your skin wonderfully, and others will make your skin look dull and even cast shadows on your face.  Also, you need to consider that the texture of your skin changes over the years which means the colour and tone will change slightly too.

In our new, just launched Colour Me Beautiful book the expanded colour section now provides a range of colour profiles for women of all skin tones including Caucasian, Asian, Black or Oriental.  Understanding your dominant colouring and knowing your skin tone is the same as knowing you have a high or short waist, a long or short neck or small or large bust; once you really understand what your individual characterstics are you can make better choices in your clothing and make-up.

Consider the people you know and imagine grouping together those with blonde hair, those with freckles, those with dark skin, and so on. Within those groups, each individual will have a different eye colour and skin tone and will suit different shades of colours.  When you think of a simple pair of tights in a ‘nude’ shade, what is YOUR nude won’t be a “nude” for your friend who might be a British born Spaniard, Caribbean, Chinese etc.  So, it was very clever of Mr. Louboutin to create a range of shoes in five nude shades to cater for a variety of skin tones http://bit.ly/1otW8Rd  In 2011 Debenhams launched a range of ‘invisible’ skin tone hosiery, available in different shades for women with fair, medium and dark skin.  Just the same as clothing sizes and body shapes, one ‘nude’ does not fit all.

So, without even stepping into the politics of this discussion, it is a simple fact that we are all a combination of different hair, eye and skin colourings and within that we all have different skin tones.  And thank goodness! How uninspiring it would be if we all looked and dressed exactly the same.

We can help you determine your ‘dominant’ colouring, skin tone and personal style.  Get in touch with a Colour Me Beautiful consultant near you to find out more about our one-to-one Colour Consultations

 

Fiona Wellins
Colour Me Beautiful

anna_de_vereeditBy Anna de Vere – Director of Corporate Training and Development at Colour Me Beautiful

Watching Mr Selfridge has made me fall in love with retail all over again. One of the reasons for this is seeing the dedicated care and attention given by the staff to their customers. There is great satisfaction in seeing a customer’s excitement over a purchase they have made which you have helped them carefully choose. Plus, a happy customer is likely to be a repeat customer.

Shoppers are much more informed than they were a century ago because there is so much information available to them now, but general advice only works up to a point.  In terms of fashion, what the customer wants and needs to know is “does this particular item look good on me?” and “is this a good purchase for me?”.  Moreover, they want the truth, not a hard sell. Some instinctively know what suits them, but they may not understand why and they won’t always make the right choices.

Most of today’s shoppers go to the high street (or online) with a good idea of what they like and what they want but they still need guidance; useful guidance. Not only do staff need to know the product range and what is special about it, they need to understand what is special about each individual client too.  Customers come to your staff for advice and you want to build their trust in you. Staff who are trained in the key concept of styling and who have the tools to identify the most flattering colours and styles for your customers will show dividends at the end of the day.  You want to allow your staff to be proactive and knowledgeable to increase sales and generate repeat business.

Clients’ lifestyles and personalities also need to be considered when putting clothes together for your customers.  You will have clients who want to find the right garment and go, whilst others will be happy to wander around, try it on and chat.  Staff need to be able to “eyeball” the customer to figure out what type of client she/he is and to be able to present her/him with what she/he will like and what will suit her/him. In effect, each member of your sales team becomes a personal stylist and is able to help the customer put together the best possible outfit from the range you sell.

From the staff perspective, this also creates more job satisfaction as they will take great pleasure in knowing they can help their clients make a well-informed choice.  It adds enormous value to the customer experience and builds trust and loyalty between consumer and retailer.

You can see

Anna De Vere – Director of Training and Development, Colour Me Beautiful
Seminars at Pure London Show 10th & 11th February
Full details here 

oliverbonas brolly


Adopt these five colour tips to feel instantly perkier this January:

1.  Wear colour near your face.
If you don’t have any colour in your winter wardrobe, invest in some now!  It really will lift your mood through the dark days.

2.  Apply stronger lip colour.
Lips should be bolder in winter to help you you look healthier and more vibrant.


3.  Buy yourself a stylish and colourful umbrella!
You won’t feel miserable pulling out a glam red/pink/vibrant blue umbrella (unlike dull black).

4.  Get yourself a mani/pedi in your favourite colours
 They don’t have to match, go for your two favourite colours!

5.  Start planning your colours for spring!
As the days begin to get lighter and longer you can start introducing some spring colours, so get ready!

6.  OK, one more just incase you haven’t done it already – get your colours done!

Umbrella at Oliver Bonas 

 

Radiant OrchidRadiant Orchid is Pantone Colour of the Year 2014.  Read our latest newsletter to find out how YOU can rock in Radiant Orchid!

“Expressive, exotic Radiant Orchid blooms with confidence and warmth” Pantone

When Pantone announced its Colour of the Year 2014 there were some oohs and there were some ohs. Some of you will love it, some of you will not. Radiant Orchid is not strictly purple nor entirely pink, it is a pinky-purple which can make it a tricky colour to define.  You don’t have to wear this colour, of course, but it will be everywhere in clothes, make-up and accessories this year so if you want to try it out, here’s how…

How to wear it

This shade has mostly cool undertones so it will flatter some complexions and not others. You will know the instant you put it next to your face whether it works for you or not. The easiest way for most people to wear Radiant Orchid is as an add-on colour rather than head-to-toe. If you have a cool skin tone you can wear Radiant Orchid on its own. How much of it you can wear in your outfit will depend on your personality and other characteristics in your colouring. You can mix and match it with other shades in your colour palette too; wear it with your pinks for an elegant and feminine tone-on-tone look. For a bolder look, wear it with stronger colours in your palette such as vivid red or bright violet. Radiant Orchid will brighten up your work wardrobe nicely when you team it with your neutrals such as grey, navy or black.

Those of you with a warm skin tone ideally want to wear this shade away from your face and mix it with warm shades. Purple is a perfect match for Radiant Orchid as it is a universal colour, meaning that there is a shade to suit everyone…Read the full newsletter here.

Fifty Plus Christmas BlogWhatever your style or Christmas occasion, follow our tips to be the belle of your Christmas party…

Office to office party

Your office Christmas party is straight after work so you need to decide whether a complete change of outfit is required or not. If you’re not sure whether to bring a different outfit, follow by example and do what your female seniors and colleagues do. If you are not changing, don’t panic, you don’t need to bring the entire contents of your dressing table into work in order to look your best.  Read more…

Party blogThe Christmas party season is fast approaching and whether it’s the office party or an annual gathering of friends you are probably beginning to wonder what to wear.  Follow these simple tips and you’ll be sure to turn heads for the right reasons.


Black is not the only colour
When Coco Chanel invented the little black dress she created a fabulous evening wardrobe staple.  But whilst the ‘LBD’ will always be a party favourite, do take care as black doesn’t suit everyone’s colouring.  If it’s not in your palette but you’ve got your heart set on wearing your LBD you will need to make sure you wear it with the right accessories.  Fortunately, there is a range of colours out there to choose from, so take advantage of them to get you through the party season… Read more…

M&S blue pencil blogDresses have been our friends for so long, we have almost forgotten about wearing separates. “What has happened to the skirt and top?” we hear you say.  As it happens, we will be making the skirt our wardrobe staple this autumn and winter.  This season’s skirt shapes offer some interesting ‘twists’, so which one will you pick?  Read more…