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This blog post has the best shopping tip EVER.

By | Home Page, Latest Articles, Personal Style, Style Tips

 

I bet your inbox is currently full of the latest items to buy? Full of shops pulling you into buy the latest trends.

But you are still left feeling lost about what to buy and overwhelmed with choice but underwhelmed with what you find?

At this time of year there is so much talk of party wear and the plethora of sequinned and bejewelled pieces that we fall for but we know from years gone by we only wear once.

We can get so excited about the glamour of it all; The wining and dining and the social occasions fill our calendar to the brim but it does bring with it more stress on what to wear.

An expensive time of year when we don’t need to waste any more money.

So how do we get better at shopping?

and ensure that we buy clothes that last beyond the festive season? 

I learnt this trick recently and now teach it to those I work with and I would like to share with you.

So here we go….

Ready???

The secret to successful shopping is to:

‘Search for the treasure’.

Now I’m not encouraging you to become a pirate although maybe a fashion pirate could look quite cool but to give you more clarity let me set the scene:

It’s Tuesday morning, You have a party on Thursday night after work. You know you should have worked out what to wear but it just felt overwhelming so you kept pushing it to the back of your mind but now the time is pressing. You’ve got to get it sorted

You have 3 options:

  1. Wear the same black sequin top with your jeans that you’ve worn to every party for the last 3 years and is going bald from the sequins falling off.
  2. Head to the shops and see what they have and hope you find something (in the 45 minutes you can free up).
  3. Don’t go to the party.

Now the third option is a consideration but not really an option as its a work do. You have to show willing to your team and there are some interesting people there that you want to meet.

On to the first option which is doable but it fills you with a sense of heaviness and ‘not quite rightness’. A balding sequin top isn’t filling you with Xmas cheer.

So the second option it is….again! Off to the messy shops we go, not knowing where to start or what to buy.

Your wardrobe is full of clothes that you bought in a hurry, that solved a problem in the moment but has caused you disappointment long term.

So to ensure you don’t keep repeating the same problem over and over again go shopping with the intention that ‘Theres always one special treasure to seek out’.

To ensure the ‘it’ll do pieces’ stay away from your wardrobe and you only buy items that successfully express YOU then start searching for that special piece on the rail.

The item that will help us to feel unique and true to ourselves does exist, I promise!

The power of going shopping with the intention of finding that one special item on the rail helps us to enter the shops with positivity and hope. Something that is missing when people hit the shops as opposed to the usual desperation and disappointment that so many have.

Search for the treasured piece, the item that will add magic back into our lives and skim over the ‘it’ll do pieces’.

When you enter the shop, enter with curiosity and with the intention that you are there to find your treasure. The piece that will help lift your outfitting and your soul. The piece that when you put it on year after year you shout YES!

The reason that this trick works so well is because of 2 reasons.

First you are shopping with a positive intention, that energy and focus will reward you. The more we set intention in our lives the more we will get back exactly what we want and need. You are setting a higher standard for yourself.

Secondly you are connecting with yourself, your identity and your needs. It becomes a personal mission not just a practical fulfilment. When you try clothes on, it no longer is a question of ‘it’ll do’ but instead gives you the ‘ooooooooh yea’ feeling. Follow that!

Important note: If you walk around the shops with this intention and curiosity and you only come across ‘it’ll do’ pieces then you are in the wrong shop. Its time for you to find a new shop to treasure. Widen your search and step in somewhere new!

Good luck with your hunt, your mission and finding your treasures.

& once you get to the party have a boogie for me!!

Would you like more advice like this? Sign up to your monthly style letters here 

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What I learnt about identity from working with the Katie Piper Foundation

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Life isn’t always fair. Some people are given tougher challenges to face in life. This was the hard reality I came across this weekend at The Katie Piper Foundation weekend retreat when I spoke to them about their identity.

It was such a pleasure running a workshop on ‘reclaiming your identity and rebuilding your confidence’. I was privileged to meet an incredibly welcoming group of people. A vibrant community that boosted one another with support, friendship and a commitment to a better future. The consequences of living with burns and scarring is very tough but with the support of the KP Foundation these men and women find ways to live life again to the fullest. Its not just the emotional support they benefit from but also the help they receive to feel more confident about their appearance. Helping them feel more empowered to deal with the change that has occurred in their lives.

It was such an eye opening experience that I thought I would share the key things I learnt that I believe can benefit us all:

Find YOUR thing that gives you confidence

What was very noticeable was the power that came from finding the thing that would make the biggest difference to your confidence and really focussing in on that. Whether that is having your eyebrows done, stretching every day, reaching out to get support, getting your hair done, investing in a beautiful moisturiser and moisturising daily, starting a new hobby, organising a get together with friends. Something that has been filling you with a feeling of ‘I need to sort this out’. Go get it sorted but make sure you first find out who can help you to do it, you are not alone.

People help people, don’t isolate.

Whether you have been through trauma or you are struggling with daily life, it is incredibly normal to feel isolated, stuck in your head and believing that you have to face it all by yourself. I learnt this weekend that if you reach out and ask for help, there is help there. You may have to do a little hunting but you will find what you are looking for, don’t be alone in your struggles.

Identity is intrinsic to us all

I had some preconceived ideas that going in to the workshop I’d be offering advice on what fabrics to wear against burnt or scars or outfitting ideas to cover up scars. In fact what became clear was that the challenges those facing in the room mainly came from the natural loss of identity through growing older. This feeling was heightened for many because of the scarring on their bodies but that feeling of ‘i don’t know who I am’ was the same as the many women I work with. Being disconnected to your identity can make you feel very lost and despondent of the future and rediscovering who you are, empowering.

Everyone can reclaim the future

The stories that I heard at the weekend, the heartfelt trials and tribulations that were shared with me proved that out of life; whether one that has had to deal with tragedy or just daily life challenges we all have the capability to reclaim our future. We may not believe it in the moment but human history tells us otherwise. We are more resilient than we realise, more powerful than we ever thought. It takes dedication and a commitment to knowing that a better future exists and going and seeking it out.

Start today, start learning about yourself, get curious, seek out that sense of belonging and know you are not alone in this.

If you have been affected by anything in this article then do get in contact with me by emailing loulou@thestylingstorey.co.uk.

For support with burns or scarring then please visit The Katie Piper Foundation HERE.

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6 ways to rediscover your identity

By | Home Page, Latest Articles, Personal Style, Style Tips

Credited Hattie Stewart

Have you lost your sense of identity? Do you know how to find it?

It’s amazing what we put up with. Day after day living a life that only just will do and feeling disconnected from our identity. I see it over and over again, incredible women who allow themselves a second rate life, allow themselves to sit in the shadows and hide away in clothes that are ill fitting, worn out and confirm their feelings of unworthiness.

Recently I was working with a truly beautiful and inspiring women who i’d been coaching for the last few months. She’d come to me at her lowest ebb but she’d been open to finding a new path.

There we were on the Kings Road in Peter Jones, a couple of hours into her session. She was trying on clothes she never thought she could pull off or have the confidence to wear, when she suddenly turned to me and said with a touch of sadness & regret; ‘i’ve just realised I’ve been hiding in the shadows for 20 years’. We paused for a moment both of us with a lump in our throats and as that sunk in her look changed to one of determination and she said ‘no more’.  With that the style lesson stepped up a notch and we really got to work on carving out the confident identity she had been desiring for so long.

It really is possible to see yourself in a new light, one you never thought possible. It may feel overwhelming but it actually just starts with a few small steps:

1. RECOGNISE & ACKNOWLEDGE

Coming out of the shadows begins with an initial moment of recognition that you are not where you want to be. It has to start there, with honesty & vulnerability.

2. INVITE CHANGE

So often we replay the same day over and over but is it actually working for you? Welcome in a new way of living and get some momentum going by starting with a small switch. Put some earrings back into an old piercing, wear an alternative pair of shoes to your normal choice, spritz a different perfume.

3. HAVE AN OOPS MOMENT

An oops is better than a what if. Give it a try and don’t beat yourself up about it. Reconnecting with what makes us feel good means that we have to make some mistakes. It’s not how often you get it right, its how open you are to self discovery.

4. POWER DRESSING

This is not 80’s corporate suiting i’m talking about. Power dressing is the items in your wardrobe that really shape your identity. Put another way they’re the clothes you own that make you want to puff out your chest, hold your head higher and shout ‘this is me’. Connect with them and then ask yourself why? Why do these do this for me and then seek out more of that!

5. PLAY DRESS UP 

Time to have fun with your dressing and pull out pieces that you’ve not worn in a while, match new  colours together, borrow your sisters dress and outfit with your wardrobe. Whatever it is to get your creative juices flowing and champion the power of  ‘I wonder if this might work together’.

6. GO BACK TO SCHOOL

Until you understand yourself & discover more about you, your clothing is redundant. Functional at best. Knowledge is the key. Take on learning about style with an open and forgiving heart. Remove the need to just ‘buy more’ or ‘buy new’ but start learning what suits your figure and your colourings by becoming more aware of when you get compliments or when you feel that power in your clothes.

Mindful dressing is the key and connecting with our own truth is at the centre of that.

If now is the time for self discovery and you are ready to enter down that path, a life out of the shadows with a confident sense of your true identity is a lot easier and a far more fulfilling way to live.

For daily #louloustylelessons come join me on Instagram or drop me an email if you are ready to discover how powerful rediscovering your identity can be.

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My Mumbod reality and the desire to get into my pre-baby jeans

By | Home Page, Personal Style, Style Tips

20 months ago I was overweight, powerless, lost and helpless. A very confused new mum definitely not fitting into her pre-pregnancy jeans, in fact hardly fitting into her maternity jeans. My head was full of depressive, limiting thoughts, my heart felt overwhelmed and my body felt heavy, lethargic and foreign.

My life had turned upside down, everything had changed; I’d moved cities, bought a new house, left my career to start my own business and had my daughter, Lola. I put on 3.5 stone whilst pregnant mainly down to my love of mint magnums and ice cream and following her birth I didn’t recognise my reflection in the mirror. The life changes I had made were meant to enrich me but instead I felt trapped; trapped in my body, my mind and my home. I was suffering with anxiety attacks, a constant ball of worry and full of desperation. I no longer knew who I was and I didn’t recognise my reflection.

At a time that I thought I would feel more connected to myself, my femininity, my future, I felt disgusted by myself. I was stiff, heavy and exploding with rashes and spots. My stretch marks on my stomach were enflamed and on fire, my thighs rubbed and my stomach was a soft empty sack that hung over my caesarean scar. I stupidly thought my body would just pop back but the obsession with those mint magnums and ice creams were clinging to me for dear life!

I was in shock and I was very frightened that I would be stuck in this strangers body forever. I felt low and at a loss and disconnected from myself and my daughter. I tried eating well but nothing seemed to change. I kept hearing that if you breast fed the weight would fall off. I struggled with breast feeding, managing 10 weeks and in fact my weight kept going up.

I went to the doctors for help, perhaps it was my thyroid to blame, perhaps there was another reason but I was told that ‘it sometimes happens when you get older, you know when you look at photos of old school friends and they are just bigger, it happens’.

I felt very despondent, He’d given up on me, I had nearly too. Feeling very low, very emotional but still with a touch of resilience I refused to back down.

So I started searching for HOPE to find the old me. I started with my mindset rather than my body. I couldn’t cope with feeling like a martyr and depressed, this wasn’t me. I started reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic.

This quote in the book stuck with me:

“And when you sense a faint potentiality for happiness after such dark times you must grab onto the ankles of that happiness and not let go until it drags you face-first out of the dirt – this is not selfishness, but obligation. You were given life; it is your duty to find something beautiful within life no matter how slight.”

I stopped watching the news, i couldn’t cope with that negativity. I then started looking after the inside, committing to eating one healthy meal a day and said no to cake where I could. I realised i was doing ALOT of self soothing with sugar and booze, more than I wanted to admit and so I cut back. Social media makes ‘wine a clock’ and ‘cake time” the mothers accepted nemesis but it wasn’t working for me.

Then I moved onto my body, I started getting my heart rate up, not just walking but introducing a 7min app workout in the house. I decided to show up for me. Small steps each day, which didn’t feel like much but it was all I could commit to with a new baby and I started to see some small progress.

My weight started to drop, very very slowly at first and then I found that my anxiety started to lessen, my hormones start to balance again, I started to feel a little lighter about the future. Positivity was creeping back in.

So where am I now?

Lola is about to turn 2. The benchmark of trying to get to my pre-baby weight and back into those pre-pregnancy jeans has happened in fact I am now stronger & healthier in mind and body than I was pre-Lola. I’ve lost 46lbs in total and I’m in better shape than I’ve ever been. The biggest change? I’ve learnt how to be consistent for the first time in my life, I am committed to me. I love doing Crossfit, although only go twice a week as that’s all I can commit to but that consistency makes a difference. Better than 4 times one week, none the next (the old me!). Creating these positive new habits have helped to built my new normal, to be a strong role-model for Lola but perhaps most importantly to be a strong role model for myself. This experience as hard as it was has created a more resilient me.

I’ve come to realise that its not about getting back to the old you but in fact its about creating the new you. The new improved, upgraded version. Life is about experiences, good and bad and how you bounce back from them. Motherhood is not easy but my goodness it has made me.

My name is Loulou Storey and I’m a style and confidence coach. I help women take control of their lives by feeling confident with their style and help them rewrite their own narratives and I have recently rewritten my own. I invite you to do the same.

Check out the original post here at The Huffington Post

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Six ways to fall in love with yourself and your style

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Paris Fashion Week Street Style | Spring 2017 Day 2 Plus – The Impression

 

Whether you are with your dream partner or not is irrelevant. It is time to start dating yourself and fall in love with how you dress.

Here are six quick tips to make you get all gooey eyed over yourself and how you look.

1. Give yourself a compliment. I’m sure you are probably your best critic, so its about time you became your best cheerleader! However its not so easy to start switch that on so try starting your day with a compliment to yourself as you are getting dressed. Be aware of the inner critic and acknowledge them by saying the opposite. So if you are feeling tired and lacklustre then perhaps you need a boost of ‘your vibrant and full of energy’. Say it out loud twice and that gentle nudge in the right direction will give you the boost you need

2. Luxuriate in the most decadent fabrics. Bring a little night time glamour into everyday with a touch of silk, lace or velvet to make everyday feel romantic and feels extra special against your skin

3. Go on, Impress yourself The biggest secret I can share with you is to start dressing to impress yourself. Whether your working or staying at home or heading out to a large networking lunch its important you let yourself know that you feeling your best (whatever that means to you) is all that is accepted.

4. Buy yourself a special gift. Something you’ve been dreaming over, something extra special that makes you go ‘oooh yea’. It can be functional but it must give you that valentines day loved up feeling.

5. Find your love. Get inspired, recreate your favourite looks from the best dressed muses in town and then take yourself on an adventure down a new style avenue. My current favourite muse is Caroline Issa of Tank magazine

Most importantly
6. Date Night. Once you are dressed, go out and have yourself some fun loving times and enjoy the magic of life!

Check out my Pinterest Boards for inspiration

What’s in fashion now?

By | Home Page, Latest Articles
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*Post originally published October 2016
Fashion week has been and gone and it is time to announce what is on trend, in the spotlight and has been sartorially successful over the last few weeks. This is a great opportunity for you to get inspired, and bring the fun into your style.
Do this with caution though, trends can be fickle. Your style is such a personal expression and exploration of you so do make sure that the trends you choose speak to you. It really is a great way to feel current, push yourself out of your comfort zone and an opportunity to try something that you will make your day feel a little special.
This Autumn, is is time to:
GET FUNCTIONAL WITH FASHION
If you have never been into fashion, now might be the time to make an introduction as fashion is having its moment in the casual and rather practical spotlight. Think sensible footwear like loafers, mules and trainers, see the ones below from COS. Comfort items like sweaters, tracksuit bottoms and grown up classics like trench coats, shirts and high waisted trousers. The skinny, body con shapes have lost their appeal and looser silhouettes have prominence. This gives you a great opporutnityt o get the most from your wardrobe. Dress up your trainers with tailored trousers and dress down your leather skirt with a tracksuit top.
Great for you if: You live a practical life but you want to still be fashionable

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ELLE.CO.UK

Functional Fashion

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COS STORES

Fun and Functional

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WAREHOUSE

Pop a sweater on

BEJEWEL YOURSELF WITH BOLD AND BRASSY EARRINGS
To counter the rather sensible clothing that is around bold and overstated earrings are very prominent. Designer J.W.Anderson had some great earrings on show at London Fashion Week, try these ones from Zara as a high street alternative or from Hackney designer Wolf and Moon. This extravagance is a great way to pick up on a trend without spending a fortune. This could also be a great opportunity to find some vintage pieces that are lying unloved and unused. Get your glitz on but keep everything else simple and functional.
Great for you if: You want to do fashion on a budget.

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JW ANDERSON

Glitzy earrings

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WOLF AND MOON EARRINGS

1920’s glamour

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ZARA.COM

bold and glitzy earrings

GO WIDE
The reappearance of the cullote last year has proved very popular and they are here to stay but they are going full length or at least ankle skimming for winter. There are a wide range of styles available from just below the knee to mid calf and we are now seeing a lot of very cool ankle skimming styles with great high waists. (see below pair from COS). I would really encourage you to try this new silohuette. So flattering, fun and comfy! A little touch of tailoring will help you to upgrade your style for this season.
Great for you if: You want to feel dressy but not prim.

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ELLE.CO.UK

Cullote Street Style

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ELLE.CO.UK

Wide and wonderful

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COS

High and Wide

GET BLOUSY WITH A SHIRTY
The classic shirt has been around for decades and if you have lots in your wardrobe then you are in luck. From the most classic of shapes in various lengths of crop, long or tailored to the latest styles with appliques, frills and ruffles the wardrobe staple is continuing it’s reign as a must-have in everyone’s wardrobe. Take a look in H&M who are doing some great upgraded staples as well as the newly refurbed Warehouse.
This is for you if: You want to add a little touch of feminity to your style.

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ELLE.CO.UK

Blousy shirt style

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H&M

Frill-tastic

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WAREHOUSE

A new take on the classic shirt

LIVE ON THE EDGE
Denim is having an interesting time at the moment, rough edges, fringing, two-tone and stepped cuffs (see Monki and ASOS ones below) are proving very popular. The fit of the jean stays quite classic with a straight leg, sometimes tapered into the ankle, the waist a good mid to high-rise but its the bottom hem and edging that takes the focus. Have fun at home and update your old jeans.
This is for you if: You live in denim and you need to refresh your style for this season.

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STREET STYLE

Frayed edges

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WWW.MONKI.COM

two-tone denim

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ASOS

A step and a fringed hem

So have fun this Autumn. Try something new and the most important thing is only buy what you LOVE LOVE LOVE.

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