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Getting through the wobbly moments..

During the Covid-19 pandemic, I have been shielding from my family in my bedroom for five weeks. I’m nearing the end now, with just a few days to go and wow, what a journey it has been. (If anyone is interested, there’s quite a few IGTV posts recording my journey over on www.instagram.com/my_stylishfriend)

Over the last five weeks I have managed to keep my chin up, my big girl pants on but I have also sobbed with helplessness (this has been a time when my three young children have so desperately needed their mummy and I have seen them struggle), I have been doubled up in pain, I have feared for my life and woken with nightmares pretty much every night. I have wondered why me, and why us?

But, I have smiled and I have laughed, I have looked on the bright side, I have made the most of the situation in the best ways I can (including moving my styling business online and helping clients remotely!). I have tried my best and reminded myself at any of those ‘wobbly’ moments of a few key things… Here are some that have helped me through:

From day one I said this was survival mode. This is not a ‘normal’ situation that any of us should have to deal with, so just getting through every day however we can, is a success. One day at a time.

I try not to worry about anything I can’t control. It’s ok to let stuff go and leave it outside my door. It doesn’t mean I don’t care.

We are way stronger and more adaptable than we believe and when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. (This was a big for me when I had to go to hospital two days in a row for an MRI scan and an operation!)

Feeling guilty about anything doesn’t really do any good. I shouldn’t feel bad about anything I can’t manage right now or beat myself up about what I think I should be doing versus what I am actually doing. I am trying not to be too hard on myself.

It’s ok for me to focus on the things that make me feel better right now and that help ME through. I’m the only one in my boat and who can see my end in sight.

People cope. We will get through this. It will have its challenges, sadnesses, losses and highs, but we will manage. I struggle most with this when I think of my children and what they have experienced this last five weeks, but that is now the past, we had no choice and we all managed the best we could. I can’t change it.

I can only look forward. My children will be ok, they will catch up on anything we haven’t been able to teach them and recover and grow from this little ‘blip’ in their lives. And in the big scheme of things, this is just that, especially for the little people… a blip.

This will all pass and good will come. We have the opportunity to decide what we want our new normal to look like, an opportunity to start carving out a new normal, a better normal for ourselves, our families, for people around the world a better normal for our planet.

Always look for the silver linings…

How to stay sane and stylish in lockdown

We are living in crazy times. Right now, more than ever we all need to don our super women capes and stay safe, sane, strong and… yes, stylish. Why? Because are clothes have the power to make us feel better and to help us emotionally get through this. Wonder Woman didn’t save the world in her pyjamas did she!!!!!

We have to use all we have right now to help us through and our clothes can make such a difference to our wellbeing, mood and productivity. We get dressed every day and it is up to us to choose to put our positive pants on and rock those zoom calls, survive knee deep in paint and play dough or simply feel help us feel comforted and like us again, as we embark on this new stay at home lifestyle. I am not saying you have to commute to your living room in your heels or tackle the supermarket shop in a ball gown, but by having a wardrobe full of clothes that you love and know how to wear, that suit you, your style and your shape and you know how to mix and match to create effortless and versatile outfit options, WILL help you through this.

Wonder Woman didn’t save the world in pyjamas did she!

It might sound trivial, and some might still argue that clothes are somewhat low down on the priority list during such a global pandemic, but I disagree. My clothes make me feel like me again. The very act of getting dressed makes me feel like there is reason for my day. What I choose to wear varies from day to day depending on my mood and what I am attempting to achieve that day.

I’m donning my virtual cape every day, in order to help other women just like me who are facing the toughest emotional rollercoaster of their lives. Yes we can meditate, yes we can eat to boost our immunity and we can immerse ourselves in yoga online, but I know clothes and how they can also help.

So if your wardrobe isn’t working for you right now, is full of clothes you never wear, you just need some guidance on what is going to work for you and your new lifestyle or could do with some online personal shopping, then I am here to help. At the other end of your phone or computer…

Cape tied. Knee boots on.

(All my styling services, including wardrobe workouts, style consultations, personal shopping and my group style parties are ALL now available virtually and being done ONLINE via Zoom and FaceTime etc.)

LOCKDOWN… STYLEUP – online styling services

Just because we’re in lockdown doesn’t mean we don’t deserve to feel good in our clothes, in fact now more than ever it is so important to get dressed into whatever makes us feel better, and we need to use everything we have available to use, to up our wellbeing and sanity and help us all get through this…

I have been helping lots of women with their wardrobes, style and confidence over the last five weeks, all virtually via video call, and I am absolutely thrilled at the results.

If you would like some help with any aspect of your wardrobe, why don’t we have a quick chat to see how I can help. Maybe you need some guidance sorting your wardrobe and some expert advice on what styles, shapes and outfits are going to work for you and ways to breathe new life into what you’ve got, curating some go-to new outfit formulas for effortless mix and match dressing every day or that new work from home capsule wardrobe? Maybe the thought of online shopping fills you with dread, you don’t know what to look for or where or you simply don’t have the time…

I am taking bookings for virtual 1-1 personal style consultations, wardrobe workouts and style/shape analysis, all via video call on you phone or laptop, as well as online personal shopping and group styling soirees (think girly night in on Zoom with style advice galore!), plus group style workshops and downloadable webinars (more info about these coming soon!)

To have a free chat over the phone to see how I can help you or to book a session, please email me mystylishfriend@gmail.com

I would love to hear from you and hope you staying safe, well and sane (and stylish)!!!

Take care,

Sophie

5 reasons a leather jacket is a wardrobe game changer

It’s the August Bank Holiday weekend and set to be a scorcher, so not really leather jacket weather, but as we head into autumn, I guarantee you, if you have a leather jacket in your wardrobe, you will be thankful. I have had my soft and luxe leather jacket for over 10 years now and it is still one of my most versatile and worn wardrobe items and I am so looking forward to giving it more outings as the weather cools and we start layering and covering up. Why?

Jacket & image: Pretty Special Jackets

1. VERSATILITY – a leather jacket goes with so much of your everyday wardrobe, from jeans and tees to floral midi dresses and pleated skirts and blouses, on the school run, after work drinks or ‘out out’.

2. ITS COOL – if you want to instantly add an air of cool to your style, give an ‘edge’ to more feminine wardrobe pieces or breathe new life to older wardrobe items which otherwise feel a bit ‘dated’, throw a biker over.

Jacket & image: Pretty Special Jackets

3. IT FINISHES AN OUTFIT – use a leather jacket to dress down the glam pieces and outfits, and dress up the casual, always adding a polished yet edgy finish. It is a great ‘third piece’ to elevate basic wardrobe separates.

4. WORKS FOR EVERY SHAPE – you can find a leather jacket to suit your style and shape, from tough and embellished boxy styles to more tailored and draped, soft luxe leather.

5. FOREVER FASHION – they are a timeless classic and work well across the seasons-the perfect trans-seasonal piece to take your wardrobe from one season to the next.

Jacket & image: Pretty Special Jackets

How fab are these jackets, outfits and styling  from Pretty Special Jackets @pretty_special_jackets who make the most gorgeous embellished leather jackets. Their Instagram feed is so stunning too. 

What trainers with winter tights?

Rocking a skirt or dress with white trainers is a look I like to partake in. Super cool, comfy and just easy. But come winter, and tights weather; I am a little perturbed by the idea of sporting my white trainers with my black tights.

Knowing how to style trainers with your winter outfit when tights come in to play, is quite the style dilemma. A pair of ankle boots, slouchy knee boots or suede over the knee boots all look fab with tights and dresses or skirts, but what if you want to stay uber casual, cool and comfy in your trainers? “Can I wear my white trainers with black tights?”, is a question I am often asked…

Image: Camille Charriere (camilleovertherainbow.com/Pinterest)

As I always say, when it comes to style, I don’t believe in rules. Just wear what you love. So if you love sporting your white trainers with your winter black tights, then good for you! Go for it. I think it looks fab, as shown here by the gorgeous Camille Charriere. But for me and for my style, I find the look a little stark and have found my answer in black hi tops. I picked mine up at the House of Fraser sale for just £22 and I’m loving them. They’re also super with my boyfriend jeans and winter trousers. A footwear staple.

Whatever trainers you do own, just put them with your black tights. Or change it up with a pair of patterned or coloured tights, add a pair of ankle socks or treat yourself to a new pair and step out on confidence.

Here are a few looks, which I hope will inspire you to wear your trainers your way this winter…

Why not bring out your individuality with a pair of print trainers? Love these playful hearts. Quirky patterned tights are also a great alternative to classic black.

Image: liketoknowit.com/Pinterest

A pair of black and white trainers, hi tops or Converse look fab with thick black tights. Why not throw some leather and a blast of colour in the mix, for a chic but tough-luxe edge.

Image: Leandra (Medine) Cohen/Pinterest

How about a pop of colour or sparkle? Love these hi-shine gold metallic numbers worn by Leanne Taylor…

Image: Instagram @leannetaylor75


The importance of a workwear wardrobe

Credit: Pinterest

As I embark on my first day of 2019 (well sacred few hours should I say) childfree and back to work, I had to think about what to wear… I have spent the last few weeks in PJs for a considerable number of the morning hours, followed by all things sparkly for the rest of them, but now that I am trying to get back to some kind of normality and productivity, I realised it is time to revert back to my go-to uniform. My children are back in theirs, I might as well step back into mine.

I work from home. I could just get productive with my mum bun and PJs or get fully made up and power-dressed, complete with statement earrings and killer heels, but for me, I like the simplicity, style and comfort of MY go-to uniform.

I love wearing my denim jumpsuit as I don’t have to think (credit: Pinterest)

For at home admin days such as today, my uniform consists of a denim jumpsuit and hi-tops, boyfriend jeans, tee, blazer and animal print ankle boots or luxe joggers, sweater and white trainers. Something along those lines. I know I can just throw these outfits on without any thought. Not too scruffy and not too formal. Getting dressed in the morning is easy and stress free (a must when you have three children to coax into their uniforms!)

Luxe joggers and a sweater look chic and stylish teamed with a leather jacket (credit: Pinterest)

I have curated a work wardrobe… and it is basically just a few simple and trusted outfit formulas which I have come to rely on and love. They are comfortable, functional and make me feel and look good. Whether you work in a high-profile corporate lawyers, for a local charity or at home, the clothes you choose to wear are so important as they make you feel a certain way. Our clothes give off a statement of who we are. They can be a comfort blanket, our armour. If you are lucky enough to have the choice of your uniform, spend time understanding what you want to wear, how you want to feel and embrace this. Curate a uniform that makes you feel and look like YOU, yet a you who means business, one which gives you confidence, is comfortable and functional and makes you ready to face the day.

Jeans and a blazer – so simple and comfy yet so stylish (credit: Pinterest)

Discover your uniform and embrace it. Bring on 2019 – I’m ready and dressed.

What do you like to wear for work? Do you have a go-to uniform?