Category

Home Page

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

By | Home Page, Latest Articles

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.

SaveSave

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.

SaveSave

SaveSave

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

SaveSave

Six ways to fall in love with yourself and your style

By | Home Page, Latest Articles

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
57e52f011700002c00ac6a13
*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

57e548891b00001b00ef1b04

ELLE.CO.UK

Functional Fashion

57e678ea1b00001b00ef1dc8

57e67b671a000018005b45e5

COS STORES

Fun and Functional

57e6802e1b00001b00ef1dd7

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.

57e551961a000017005b4340

JW ANDERSON

Glitzy earrings

57e53d391b00002200ef1ad1

WOLF AND MOON EARRINGS

1920’s glamour

57e534f21b00001f00ef1aad

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.

57e536871a00002e005b42a2

ELLE.CO.UK

Cullote Street Style

57e535db1b00001b00ef1ab4

ELLE.CO.UK

Wide and wonderful

57e547dc1700001300ac6a84

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.

57e537871b00001800ef1ab9

ELLE.CO.UK

Blousy shirt style

57e552da1b00001800ef1b46

H&M

Frill-tastic

57e681b11a000030005b45ee

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.

57e5380a1a00001b005b42ab

STREET STYLE

Frayed edges

57e53a8e1700001500ac6a4a

WWW.MONKI.COM

two-tone denim

57e682ae1a00001b005b45f0

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.

SaveSave

The 5 Reasons why changing your wardrobe will help you change your life

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

Change happens; We wish change would happen to us, we wish change hadn’t happened to us, we are finding change hard to deal with. Whatever your status at the moment, the chances are life is occurring and you need to be prepared to take it on.

That is often easier said than done but I believe by reinventing what you wear and how you wear it, that change in your appearance will help you to make the shift to be truly prepared to take on the life that you are going through. Just like when a caterpillar becomes a butterfly, you’ve got to be dressed with your wings on ready so that you can soar high.

If you are not convinced then read on, here are my 5 reasons WHY you should change your wardrobe when you change your life:

1. Welcome the New You.
Your wardrobe is full of old clothes, old memories and old associations. It it important for you to start to realise that the person that used to wear those has evolved, moved on and an updated more fabulous person exists in her place.

Perhaps you have a new job, or you’ve taken the plunge to start your on business? Perhaps you are a new mum? Perhaps you have recently got divorced or your kids have left home and you are now a free spirit. Whatever your challenge. Work out who are you? What do you want the world to see? Your wardrobe should evolve with you, come along for the ride and show off who you truly are.

2. Shake off the old.
That dress you love to wear that reminds you of THAT holiday, that night, that boy (who then met that other girl) is a beautiful thing. Those memories are dear but those memories aren’t going anywhere and come on be honest with yourself, there is small tinge of pain that exists there. “Oh I was young then, oh I was beautiful then, Oh I was happy then.” Well goddamit you are vital, gorgeous and resilient and the new you is going to be even happier. Stop dragging yourself down with the memories of the old and start dressing to create the dreams of the future.

3. Fake it until you make it.
Everyone has to start somewhere. Have you heard the saying “if you walk like a General and you talk like a General, then you are a General”. Well I want to add to that “dress like a General”. Use your clothes as a way of realising that you can handle the change that is coming your way. Even if you are quivering at the knees inside with the right uniform you will be ready for the change in your life.

4. Take Action.
Get inspired, plan, organise and then SHOP.
Regardless if you are causing change in your life or change is happening to you by taking some action you can see that you are in control of the situation but I warn you don’t just go in to the shops and hope you’ll find the new you. I can assure you she won’t just be sat in the window. So have a look around, get on Pinterest, follow me on Instagram @thestylingstorey and get inspired. Plan who you want to be, clean out your wardrobe (do you even know what’s in there?) and then you can shop and hey Presto NEW YOU.

5. Live the dream.
The final reason to change your wardrobe when you change your life is that you are worthy of your dream. Dreams and desires matter, they shape our perception, they shape why we get up in the morning, they shape what keeps us awake at night. So when you dress yourself everyday if you feel that your clothes do not match the change you wish to see in your life then I believe its time to change your wardrobe.
You are worthy of all the happiness you desire and I believe its time to start looking after you.

My name is Loulou Storey, I’m a Style and Confidence Coach and if any of this rings true for you, then get in contact loulou@thestylingstorey.co.uk and I can help you transform. Buying new clothes can often feel overwhelming but I can help you reduce the overwhelm with my personal shopping services.

Do also see my article The 5 shopping fears, which one do you have? for extra help.

Are you following me on Instagram for daily advice, you’d be crazy to miss out!

Photo Credit: @laurentfranks

SaveSave

How to spring clean your style when you have a life

By | Home Page, Personal Style, Style Tips, Wardrobe Detox

Style Confidence: How to spring clean your style

You’re busy, life is full to the brim and you don’t have hours to dedicate to weekly decluttering and alphabetising your wardrobe by brand, I get it.

You would like to have more control over your style, gain a bit more clarity with what’s in your wardrobe and move on from the clothes that no longer showcase you.

Read on for the quickest, most impactful and unexpected ways to help you get organised. Spend 5 minutes a day tackling one of these and in no time you will feel great in your clothes and feeling back in control.

Step 1. Tidy your knicker drawer
Start small. Organise the drawer you use most frequently; your knicker, lingerie, sock, undergarment drawer, whatever you choose to call it, get it looking pretty. To do that, say goodbye to those holey socks, that sexy thong you’ve not worn in the last 15 years and the crazy pattern tights that you just aren’t you.

Marie Kondo’s vertical folding is the best underwear organisation. Check out this video on how to do it.
Then move on to shoes, accessories and bags at which point you’ll be emboldened and ready to make the leap to your clothes.

Step 2. Wear something old.
When you struggle to find the time to do a full wardrobe detox then do it one piece at a time by wearing your forgotten pieces, pair them up with something new and see how you feel in that item during your day.

If it turns your day into a joyful one then say hello to a new staple but if you are reminded of why its been hiding for so long then don’t put it back in the wardrobe, say thank you and goodbye.

Step 3. 3 things a day
If you find yourself being indecisive with what to keep and what to get rid of then put the pressure on by setting a goal of getting rid of 3 things a day. A manageable deadline will keep momentum happening without overwhelming you. Just make sure you stick to it and remember if it’s not helping you to thrive then it may help someone else.
Some great selling sites to be aware of: Ebay, vestaire collective, smart works charity (old suiting and work clothes), debop (trend and high street) and seek out your local preloved store.

Step 4. Colour your wardrobe
To feel like you own lots of new clothes the best thing you can do without spending is to move them around. For the ultimate breath of fresh air to your wardrobe then organise your wardrobe into colour order. When your clothes are in rainbow order (remember ROYGBIV) you can see exactly what you own, a great visual cleanse. Not only does it make you aware of which colours you keep buying but it also encourages you to keep your wardrobe looking pretty, which in turn is a far easier way to make you feel pretty!

Step 5. Spring clean social
If none of this sounds fun then its time to throw a party. It will turn getting rid of your clothes from what may be a stressful event to a fun night out with your friends. Having fresh eyes look over what you own can often shed new light on old clothes and you never know your cast offs may help a friend feel special with a new piece of clothing.

Lastly once all that is done enjoy your wardrobe, enjoy your clothes and enjoy the control being firmly back in your hands as you will now be able to start truly wearing it like you.

Photo credit: Who What Wear

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave