Making A Statement

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There are some items that, once you’ve seen them, you just know they’re coming home with you. This coat was one of those items.

I’d gone into Attic Womenswear for an entirely different reason, not knowing at the time that my wardrobe was missing an electric blue cocoon coat, but oh my it was!

The gorgeous vibrant blue colour winked out at me from the rails and I tried it on ‘just to see’, and…it was love at first site. I adore everything about this coat – the colour, the shape and the warmth it offers. It’s the perfect piece of outerwear to take me into Spring, but because it’s so cosy, with lots of room for layers, I can happily wear it now.

I have to admit, once I got it home I faltered slightly because it is bright and as someone who typically doesn’t like to stand out too much from the crowd, it was out of  my comfort zone. Having said that, it still felt very much in-keeping with my personal style and fitted with my style mantra* so even though I felt a little self-conscious the first time I wore it, I went for it, and I’m so glad I did. It really elevates my everyday wear; throwing it over a striped top, jeans and boots instantly makes me feel more dressed ‘up’ and polished. In the past I’ve always been one to opt for neutral outerwear that I then add pops to with accessories but I think I may be expanding my statement coat collection soon, I’m a convert!

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Make A Statement

My top tip if you fancy taking the plunge with a bright coat or jacket it to make sure it is in a colour from your palette as this will guarantee it’ll look good next to your skin. Make sure its one of your favourite shades so you don’t fall out of love with it a few months down the line (lots of people love to opt for a shade of red, which is a very powerful, passionate colour and one I’m liking for my next statement coat purchase).

The shape of my coat isn’t designed to show off or flatter my figure, the cocoon shape is what I call a ‘current classic’ – the shape is very popular at the moment but will never go out of style completely, so its a safe bet to make an investment in. Before I decided to purchase I considered what I could wear this with and on what occasions it would be appropriate to wear it – always do your fashion maths (cost per wear) before taking the plunge as you don’t want something sitting in your wardrobe that never gets worn.

Finally, how does it make you feel? This coat puts a smile on my face when I wear it, I stand taller and feel fab in it. All your clothes should elicit positive feelings from you when you wear them. Accept nothing less!

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* a style mantra is a phrase or set of words that I give my clients to express their personal style (how they want to look and feel when they dress), it comes out of understanding what suits, flatters and fits you best and knowing what type of image you want to present to the world. To discover your own style mantra book in for a full image makeover or style consultation over at www.imagebyannaelizabeth.com

I’m wearing…

Coat – Samsone & Samsoe

Top – Great Plains

Jeans – Waven

Boots – Mint Velvet

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Confessions of a Personal Stylist

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Whilst I was standing at the train station in Leeds this morning, waiting for my Starbucks and daydreaming about how little sleep I’d had last night (thanks 8 month old) a woman came up to me and said ‘I just had to tell you, you look amazing. I love your outfit, not many people can wear something like that, you look great.’

Honestly, I felt like giving her the biggest hug, because she can’t have known how much I needed to hear that, and I really did.

You may think that as someone who advises people on what they should wear to make them look and (more importantly) FEEL great, I would be pretty confident in the choices I make for myself when getting dressed each day. However lately this has not been the case.

After having my second child almost 8 months ago I have struggled to shift the baby weight. My tummy is now wobbly when it was once taut and flat, my hips and thighs have spread and, whilst I can squeeze into a good portion of my pre-pregnancy clothes, most of them are tight and uncomfortable. The result? Most days I don’t feel particularly happy with how I look.

So last week, when faced with a night out to celebrate the birthday of a dear friend I was forced to face the fact that I’d completely neglected my own image and sense of style. I had nothing to wear. Literally, not one thing that (a) fit properly and (b) was appropriate for the occasion.

It made me take a step back and I realised that since having my two children I had taken no time to review and refine my own style profile. I used the fact that I’m carrying a little extra weight as an excuse not to really bother too much with my clothes and image. As anyone with littles will know, its a HUGE lifestyle change so inevitably your style changes to fit the ‘new you’.

Now don’t get me wrong, I haven’t been slobbing about in hoodies and joggers with baby sick on my shoulder! But I have been feeling a bit down on myself and that’s largely because I haven’t been wearing clothes that reflect my personality. It actually doesn’t matter that I’m not at my ‘ideal’ weight, its about feeling good as I am now, accepting that I’m a work in progress and that I deserve to look and feel my best.

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So last week I conducted a style consultation on myself. I created Pinterest boards, I chose my ‘style mantra’ and put together a list of items I needed so I could conduct a personal shopping trip on myself. Just going through the process of clarifying who I am now and the image I want to present to the world made me feel more confident and comfortable.

I took myself to get measured for a properly fitting bra (always start with the foundations, more on that in another post) and I shopped till I dropped. I didn’t get much, but what I got fit me beautifully (wobbly bits and all), fit with my style mantra and made me feel great. One of the items was an American Vintage jumpsuit from a boutique in Ilkley called Attic. I wore it out for my friend’s birthday and am wearing it today for work meetings in London. I love it. Its been a long time since I’ve had an item of clothing that I have worn and loved.

I feel comfortable, I feel confident and I’m finally starting to feel like ‘me’ again. There’s still a way to go until my whole wardrobe fits with my new lifestyle, but its a process I’m excited about and glad that I’ve started. Sometimes you have to invest a little in yourself in order to add value to others. As a Mummy to young people it can sometimes feel hard to carve out time to do that, but its so important that we do.

So theres my confession! Please don’t judge me too harshly 😉 its always so much easier to advise others than it is to take your own advice I find!

And to the lady at Leeds train station this morning – you made my day/week/month. Thank you for your kindness, I will certainly make sure I pay it forward!

xo Anna

You can read more about my style evolution since having children here.

To find out how I can help you rediscover your style vibe take a look at my website here.

 

 

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