Making a Geek more Chic - Colour and Style Consultations
Some of you may already know, I've been struggling for a while with my personal professional fashion style. Even those words seem a bit alien to me.
Since a young age, I haven't cared what people look like, and it's like I've always had blinkers on for what people wear. So from years of working in a black pants and branded polo shirt, to jeans and a t-shirt, I've always rebelled from "uniforms". So when I started my own business, I was still naive in thinking people thought like me, and only focused on how good you were at your job and what you said, not what you look like, but sadly I've learnt this still isn't the case in our modern world.
So over the past 6 months I've been on a personal learning curve of fashion and style. I've asked loads of questions, to lots of ladies - and some men with honest opinions - what to do to not only be smart enough to play with the big boys, but still have my personality come across.
With me, what you see is what you get, my northern, friendly and relaxed style, mixed with a super productive and organised persona, and that needed to be reflected in my style.
However, combo this with standing up all day, doing a lot of driving, being photographed at many regular events, dragging equipment around in a rucksack, being a hot sticky mess most of the time, and not wanting to wear skirts or dresses, I knew I needed to seek professional help.
I randomly met Parveen from ColourWorks at a ladies networking event and she came over to comment about my lovely shoes! To me these red, flat pumps from Tescos meant I didn't need to wear heels for a long lunch event, and I didn't have many other options that don't cut my feet to shreds to be honest. We talked for a while and a few days later I resigned myself to the fact I couldn't figure out this work style alone. I booked in two sessions with Parveen - 1 colour consultation to figure out what colours were my absolute best to wear; and a bespoke style consultation around my work clothes issues. There was lots of information to take in and lots of handouts I took away to re-read and learn from, including more of a clue what to look for when out in the quagmire of shops - did I mention I hate shopping yet?!
So I got my colour theme as "Dark Autumn" which isn't really a surprise, lots of bold colours, and to my surprise not black! For the style consultation I basically took most of my daily wardrobe with me, so when I got back home, I didn't just put the clothes back, I took a few days to filter through was was firstly left in my cupboards - mainly long sleeved tops and jeans for my casual weekend days (I doubt those will change much), then I started to sort through the smarter clothes in order of the colours that suited me well, not-so-well and not-at-all.
Even though I regularly declutter, I managed to get rid of a few trousers and shirts that just didn't suit me, but now I had a proper excuse to get rid of them - most went to charity.
So, I'm by no means there yet, I've since bought another smart summer suit jacket in a neutral linen colour to make my jeans and brown trousers a bit smarter (notice the new lack of black), but now think a lot more about the items I'm buying. And, in true declutter style Do I love it? Do I need it? Is it really me? And Parveen gave me an amazing top tip for the repeat events I regularly goto I worry about wearing the same thing at each time - put it in your diary or calendar! Why didn't I think of that?! Genius idea!
Then a few weeks later I had the pleasure of meeting another style coach lady called Rosie, over coffee, which then led to another brew and some Pinterest boards! Suddenly, making use of technology, digital calendars to track my wears, and social media image boards to pin styles I like, I'm suddenly a bit more engaged with the process. These ladies have been a massive help in getting me on the track, teaching me what I've always ignored and had no interest in. I'm not sure I'm anywhere near being there yet, but I feel like I've started a journey with some great support in finding out what this new work style me is.
I highly recommend something like this, to those of you who are geeks like me and hate shopping or just don't know where to start. You can learn the "rules" for you and then either follow them, or decided actively to break them for whatever reason, but I think it makes the process of getting a new pair of trousers that fit, looks smart and suit everything else in your wardrobe, less of a faff!