Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Back to some time for yourself

Half term holiday is over (already!) and back to the rat race of school runs, homework, kids' clubs and the usual routine of rushing around. It is only when we are removed from the situation we realise how stressful it can be and how quickly time seems to "seep through the fingers".

I visited my family in the Czech Republic. We only see each other twice a year so every moment together is very precious. Half way through our time together, we all fell ill with a cough and runny noses, and generally feeling fluey. I was a little annoyed at the time but in retrostpect, it gave us the time to stay indoors and really BE together. Although slightly devoid of energy, we resorted to simple things like playing 4-in-a-row, my 9-year old daughter learned how to play chess (I still haven't mastered it), and we cooked and baked and occassionally watched DVDs.

It was nice not to have to get dressed if one didn't feel like it and leave the make-up off for a while. However, after about three days I started to feel the need to look a bit better, a little "healthier" with a hint of colour in my face, be it artificial from a foundation and a bit of blusher. Let's face it, at this time of year, with the constant lack of sun, very few people manage to retain any healthy glow naturally.

The state of mind gets fooled by what it sees. Slowly I started to feel better in myself - you will probably say that, obviously, with time, one gets better anyway, but I know that a bit of help from make-up gives one an instant boost in the self-esteem department, which gets the ball rolling...

Despite of feeling under the weather, I even received a compliment (not from the family...) about looking well, to which I answered that it must be because I am very happy with life and it probably shows. The internal feeling good definitely shines through to the outside, so if you are unhappy, even the best make up won't hide what the eyes give away about the state of your soul.

So go on, kids are back at school, give yourself a little more time to spend on what you like doing - be it reading a book, a short meditation, some time in the garden or even a power nap. And although it may seem a little extravagant, 30 minutes a day spent just on you is vital for you to be happy, and for it to show. It goes without saying that, as a side-effect, everybody around you will also benefit from you feeling more composed. A little bit of blusher or a hint of lipstick will, of course, propel you even further on that journey of rocketing self-esteem, even feeling in control! How's that?

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

What is Style?

Style is the way you dress, and the way you dress is the way you express yourself. I would always say that you dress for yourself, not for others – to make you feel good about yourself from within. Your style should reflect your personality and lifestyle, as well as flatter your body shape. And although all this sounds like common sense, there are few women who are able to combine all those three categories successfully.

Naturally, we have to dress accordingly for the occasion. You will wear something very different to the office, to a black tie do, around the house or a leisurely walk. However, there will always be certain “rules” that should be followed, i.e. the contours of the clothes, internal/external lines, fabric weight, textures, colours, cut, length of jackets or skirts, etc. They should always be the same for the same person, whether it’s a little black dress or an office suit or a track suit. Not forgetting the colour, of course, that plays a vital role in dressing, and which a lot of stylists dismiss (!!).

Everything we do starts with us, and the way we feel about ourselves on the inside will influence the outcome. If you feel good about yourself with a bit of a spring in your step, the meeting you are having with your boss will go better than if you walk into that meeting with lack of self-esteem and feeling glum. The dreaded phone call will go better if the feel-good factor will give you a smile on your face, because it can be felt on the receivers end …

Feeling good and being positive is contagious! It will affect people around you and you will also attract more positive people to you, resulting in different kind of friendships, even a partner. It’s a self-perpetuating process - good vibes will attract good vibes! Believe or not, learning more about yourself and what looks good on you will give you that feeling. Come and find out, it is for life!!

Curves are back (are they really …?)

Yet another article on curvy ladies being back in fashion in the Sunday Times. I’d say, “Hurray, at last!”, but I have heard it all before. Yet the catwalk is still swarming with stick insect-like wafer thin girls (who never smile…no wonder, they look malnourished and must be devoid of energy). The thing with thin bodies is that almost anything suits them, and most designers’ creations seem to be produced with stick men, or rather women, in mind.

But that is not the real world. I don’t consider people like Victoria Beckham, who might fit into those creations, the real world. Most of us have curves and they should be celebrated. And although it is the news from time to time that curvy models are back, it doesn’t seem to materialise whenever you watch a fashion show.

This Style section article, by Eleanor Mills (on 24 Jan 10), talks a lot about the importance of good well-fitting underwear, especially the bra. Wrongly fitting bra can have big breasts heading towards the tummy, which will make you look two sizes bigger than you actually are. The problem with big bust is that women usually tend to try to “hide” it, either under a big loose jumper or hunching the shoulders over, which, again, can make one look very top heavy. Hiding a waste – what a crime! We all have one, be it different dimension, so show it! I you have got it, flaunt it – be it your bust, a waist or curvy hips. Curvy means feminine and that is what men prefer anyway.

Banish all those hang-ups about your shape. If somebody likes you for who you are (there is an inside of a person, too, rather than just the shape!), they will love everything about you. Nobody is perfect. And what is perfection anyway? It is rather a philosophical question and, thank goodness, we all like different things. It is all in the eye of the beholder, remember! The most important thing is that you are happy with yourself.

I will believe that curves are back in vogue when I see big designer names dressing some more curvy models on the catwalk, and people like Kate Moss will just have to put on a bit more weight to represent the real world…

If you would like any help with finding what type of clothes are right for your shape, get in touch.