I am delighted to have Lisa Newport, owner of My Ruby Slippers, as my guest for my blog this month about self image and clothing! Enjoy!
Mona: Hi Lisa! Tell us about yourself and about your consultancy business?
Lisa: Working with me is about quietening those self image demons that chatter in your head. They say stuff like “Why are you even bothering trying to look nice, you can still see your lumps and bumps” and all other kinds of rubbish, to knock your confidence.
I guide women how to define and refine their personal style. I teach them how to take the stress out of getting dressed by figuring out what is just right for YOU. We’ll remove self doubt because you’ll be feeling mega comfortable and confident in your personal style choices.
I graduated from Loughborough College of Art with a BA Hons in Textiles and Fashion. I then worked as a designer, creating printed fabric for the fashion industry and in the specialist area of the colour forecasting industry, predicting trends.
My design work was distributed in many High Street stores including Miss Selfridge, Oasis, Burtons, Dorothy Perkins, Marks & Spencer, BHS, Littlewoods, Monsoon and Next; as well as many American brands. I then moved on to become a college lecturer teaching others how to design.
I’m also a qualified make-up artist, a member of the Federation of Image Professionals International and feature regularly as a “Loose Lady” on BBC Radio Nottingham. Oh, and I’ve been on Notts TV, Newark Radio and am a published author for Henpicked.net, currently working on my first book – eek!
Mona: Why is Self-Image so important these days? What are its pros and cons?
Lisa: I work primarily with women over 40. Quite often they feel unhappy with their wardrobe. They don’t like shopping as their body shape has changed as they have got older. They don’t know where to shop as they feel too old for many big street stores – they don’t want to look like mutton dressed as lamb but feel too young to dress like their mothers. More often than not they are stuck in a rut and feel like they have lost their identity somewhere along the way as they were busy being a mum and putting everyone else first. They stand in front of a wardrobe that is stuffed full of clothes but feel like they have nothing to wear. Then the self image demons start chattering away with negative, critical comments bringing all the insecurities to the fore. If you don’t feel good in your clothes it can affect your life in terms of your self confidence and self esteem. It can impact negatively on your performance at work and even your relationships. You carry yourself differently when you are wearing clothes that make you feel good. You have an air of self confidence that creates a ripple effect and people treat you differently. If you look good and feel fabulous you then feel like you could conquer the world!
Mona: In your professional opinion, how much clothing and accessories must a man/women/child have in order to oblige with the pros of self-image you mentioned earlier?
If you know what suits you in terms of style and colour it’s relatively easy to manage with a capsule wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe is a select collection of items that are coordinated separates. If you stick to a colour theme it makes it easier to mix and match, creating lots of different outfit combinations. I have a template consisting of 12 items plus a few accessories, there are over 70 outfits that can be made. You don’t need loads of clothes to be stylish. It’s not what you wear, it’s how you wear it.
Mona: As you may know, staying on top of fashion is in some way costly, and it’s making our wardrobes look in some way “fatter” with excessive items in them. What is your advice regarding shopping smartly?
Lisa: Understanding what suits you and why you like what you like can go a long way in helping you to buy less yet wear more of your wardrobe. I believe there are 5 basic elements to refining and defining your style…
1) style personality
3) body shape and styles to suit
4) capsule concept and,
5) finishing touches.
I run courses to help women define and refine their personal style and create their individual style recipe. This helps you have a list of criteria for shopping to fit your “rules”. Have a clear idea of the type of thing you are looking for before you go shopping. Before you buy it think about how many other items you have that it would go with. Also don’t get drawn into buying things that don’t make you do the happy dance just because they are cheap and in the sales. It’s not a bargain if you aren’t going to wear it. Think also about cost per wear. Some things that you’ll wear a lot are worth spending on e.g. work shoes that you wear 5 days a week should be more of an investment than shoes you’ll only wear on special occasions.
Mona: After decluttering, I normally organise a client’s wardrobe in a practical and simple way. Most of the time we put everyday clothing where it is accessible, and items that are worn in particular seasons a bit out of sight (maybe under the bed or the back of the wardrobe). Do you have a certain approach you advise your clients in terms of organising a wardrobe or a drawer?
Lisa: I advise clients to sort their wardrobe into categories first, then colour. So, for example, all tops together, then sort into colours – all red tops together, then orange tops, yellow tops etc. You do the same with trousers, skirts, jackets…this way you can see at a glance what you have and what gaps there might be in your wardrobe. The first time I did this I was really surprised to realise how many black and white patterned tops I had! My other tip is to put all the hangers the ‘wrong way’. Once you’ve worn an item you hang it back the ‘right way’. At the end of a 6 month period you’ll easily be able to see if there are items you haven’t worn that you might be better letting go of.
Mona: One of our objectives as coaches/mentors is for our clients to achieve their goals and to be happy. I suppose you share this as everyone is looking for happiness! People want from me this equation: (less clutter = happy life). What would your equation be and what would you do to make people maintain it?
Lisa: If you look good, you feel fabulous = increased confidence and self esteem
Mona: Last but not least, what final message would you like to send to our readers?
Lisa: “You always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself.” Glinda the good witch
Mona:Thanks you Lisa for your words of wisdom!
Check out Lisa on her Social Media: