Apple, pear, strawberry, column, hourglass...there are general guidelines when choosing clothes to enhance and flatter your shape. 
She’s in her 50’s, an intelligent, well-educated professional woman who is really good at what she does. She’s competent, self-assured and is comfortable complaining if the food is not up to scratch when she goes out for lunch with friends. 
She’s strong, resilient and has the wisdom that you get from reaching her age. Life is short, she gets that and wants to have a bit more fun. She wants to enjoy being who she is and rediscover her identity… 
 
Her kids are older now, at university; so, she has more time on her hands but still not masses of disposable income as they’re topping up student finance loans.  
 
She’s been with her husband a long time, they’re at the ‘comfy slippers’ stage. She knows he loves her, but she sometimes feels a bit invisible to him. He doesn’t pay that much attention to how she looks so isn’t too handy with the compliments…she could quite easily change her hair and it would be a few days before he’d notice. 
 
They’re happy in each other’s company but don’t have to be in each other’s pockets so have developed separate hobbies and interests over time. She likes book club (with wine) and enjoys reading the books on her kindle while on the bus to work – Martin takes the old Volvo. Rock choir and yoga are her weekly nights out, she’s made friends by going to them but doesn’t see them out of those environments. 
I was asked recently if I'd thought of chatting with people in a networking meeting situation, being a bit more pro-active in my approach, and asking if they'd be open to a bit of feedback regarding their image/style/personal brand. I recoiled in horror! This is just not my way at all...I'm more about getting to know my client first, their likes, dislikes etc so that any advice I give is more likely to be taken. it reminded me of this story... 
I met a lady one time called Kate who was presenting at a conference I was at. She’s a very successful businesswoman in her field and is an inspirational author and speaker. She refers to herself as a fat lass with a laptop and a pack of tarot cards – it’s tongue in cheek, I don’t sense any confidence issues. (But who knows?) 
 
Anyway, she told me that one time when she was presenting somewhere an image consultant had approached her at the end of her talk and said something like ‘You know what would suit you better? A wrap dress.’ I would call this uninvited ‘style advice’ downright rude! She knows how to ingratiate herself with people – not. This is the type of person that gives colour and image consultants a bad reputation as being judgemental fashion police types. 
 
Being kind, I would like to think that this woman thought she was being helpful by sharing some of her styling knowledge and passing on free advice. She was giving away something that she would normally charge for and I expect she was keen to demonstrate and share her expertise with a view to gaining a new client. In truth I think this was quite presumptuous. 
Style Sisterhood Members Questions 
1. What type of thing(s) have you done with Lisa? 
 
Lots! I met Lisa when she first started her business and went to a couple of her mini workshops that she was running at home. They were an insight to colour and body shapes as I remember. One was a make up lesson. 
 
Then I had my colours done, and attended a 5 Steps Workshop. 
I joined in online with a 21 Day Style Challenge and have also enjoyed meeting the women online ‘in the flesh’ at 2 social events that Lisa arranged afterwards. 
 
I have done most of the 21 Day Style Challenges! Three or four that I can recall have been out of a suitcase while abroad!Following one of these, I did the Suss Your Style 5 week online challenge. 
 
I have volunteered and supported all but one of the Swish events that have been run.I attended the Glum to Glam workshop, and very recently I have had my WOW colours done. 
Here's the fabulous Pam Burrows - People Booster answering questions submitted by the members of my Style Sisterhood group... 
1. What type of thing(s) have you done with Lisa? 
 
I’ve had my colours done, a wardrobe weed and various ad hoc advice about particular outfits or events. 
 
2. What actually happens? 
 
Lisa adapts her whole approach to the person she’s working with, she makes you feel at ease. She asks questions to help her help you but that also help you realise lots of things about how and why you buy/choose/wear/or don’t. It’s like a gentle sort of therapy that helps you let o of some of the fears about how you show up in the world. 
 
3. What made you think about working with Lisa? 
 
She offered ;) And because I trusted her to help me in ways I could never have helped myself 
 
4. How did you feel before? 
 
A bit stupid and lost on the occasions when it really mattered how I looked. I felt lost when choosing, buying, and hugely lost when putting different items together to form an outfit. 
Personal branding means different things to different people. 
To some people in business that I’ve met it’s about being known for wearing a particular colour, always wearing yellow socks or dressing to match their logo. This is all well and good, it might help you be remembered and gets you known within your network. It will say something about you and affect how you are perceived. 
 
To marketers personal branding means something completely different; to a graphic designer it may be more about choosing one font and colour over another because of the psychology and what that particular sans serif says compared to that one.  
 
What we would all agree on is that personal branding is about keeping your message cohesive. 
 
To me, in my profession as a colour and image consultant it’s about looking the part – whatever the part means to you. 
 
I deliver a talk about it. My talk is called “If it looks like a duck…” 
It’s lunchtime, Wednesday 17 October, I’d been out to a networking coffee morning, Paul had been pottering at home on a day off. 
We’d eaten lunch and were chatting about this and that. It was an ordinary day. Paul was clearing up the lunch pots one minute and the next he was down on one knee asking me to marry him! It wasn’t one of those grand gesture pre-planned proposals, it was very spontaneous and from the heart. Of course, without hesitation, I said yes! Ten minutes later he’d left to do the school run and I was sitting at the kitchen table letting it sink in! 
 
We decided to tie the knot sooner rather than later and the date was set. Then we had lots of decisions to make…including the dreaded WHAT TO WEAR!!!???!!! 
 
I started to think about what I might like to wear to get married in and like any self-respecting bride set about creating a Pinterest board and looking for ideas. I pinned everything that I liked and began to see patterns forming. It was becoming obvious what I liked and there were themes emerging…so far so good. 
 
Then I had a rethink, I changed my mind and went off in a totally different direction. I got a picture in my head of EXACTLY what I wanted. This, of course, does not exist on ANY Pinterest boards, only in my head. I realise that this dress is going to have to be a bespoke creation and set about researching the typical cost with a seamstress. 
So here we are, it’s February and the media is just bonkers with Valentine’s Day stuff and all things romantic. Red roses, chocolate and prosecco, love hearts everywhere. Marks and Spencer’s even have a love sausage you can woo your beloved with on the 14th! 
There's so much stuff about love and romance in the air but my question to you is do you love YOURSELF enough? And how do you show it? How many of us do actually love ourselves (and I don’t mean in an arrogant, show off type of way) and take care to treat our ourselves accordingly? 
 
Do you take good care of yourself? Do you look after yourself as if you’re a precious thing to be loved and treasured? Nope? Thought not. I’m the first one to admit that I don't possibly treat myself as well as I could. Quite often us women feel guilty about spending time on ourselves. We look after our families and prioritise making sure they have what they need, and we slide down the list. 
 
More recently I have been making time for other things that I enjoy and giving myself a break. I realise that all work and no play is not good long term. I’ve started mosaic classes, picked up my knitting needles, joined the WI. All things that are ‘me time’. It's too easy for me to end up whiling away the hours working on social media. These hobbies might seem only little things but if we start thinking about the bigger picture and self esteem and self worth it's all linked to self care. Not selfish, important. 
What suited you then might not suit you now... 
You’ve had your colours done. 
 
You’ve sat in bright, natural daylight with a white cape, possibly a matching turban if you’re colouring your hair, no foundation or concealer to even out your skin tone, to hide the rosy cheeks or those fine red lines around your nose. 
 
She has looked into your eyes with a little light up magnifying glass to see the subtle nuances and flecks of colour in them. She’s asked you questions about how you tan, what colour your hair was when you were little. She’s even looked at your veins on the back of your wrist. 
 
You’ve had hundreds of pieces of coloured fabric draped across your chest as the consultant looks intently at what happens to your eyes and your skin each time she transfers one colour to the next. 
She decides whether you have warm or cool undertones to your skin. She assesses your levels of colour and tonal contrast and she will then declare which ‘season’ you fall into. And this is where many colour analysis consultations stop. You are presented with a pre-made swatch* and sent on your way. These are your colours to wear. They suit you and that’s that... 
Opinions are like a***holes – we’ve all got one. 
Do you have a friend who has something to say about anything and everything? And who likes to share it with anyone and everyone. 
 
They like the sound of their own voice. 
 
I get invited onto local TV and radio occasionally to give my opinions on topics, sometimes it’s stuff in the news, other times it’s local interest stuff, sometimes they ask me to talk about what I do and the reasons and benefits behind certain things such as the 21 Day Style Challenge, Glum to Glam workshops, the charity Swish clothes swaps that I organise etc. 
 
For some of the light-hearted topics it’s easy to provide an opinion and chat easily about stuff. Other times when it’s a bit heavier I’m aware that I might sit on the fence slightly, hedging my bets, being diplomatic one might say. The other guest I was on with last week asked me if I was one of those controversial type guests. I’m not. But I have been on several times with that type. 
 
I find myself being a bit cautious about being controversial and alienating people – you never know who might be watching. 
 
 
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