Last week I had the pleasure of spending a few hours in the company of fashion stylist Anna Mewes. Anna’s friendly, warm and relaxed and always looks effortlessly stylish in a chilled and laid back way. She feels comfortable an easy to be around and that’s exactly why she’s the perfect person to tell you how best to dress, to suit you!
Busy Mamas Don’t Have Much Time for Style
When we become Mamas we’re usually so busy running around doing everything for everyone else that we often loose sight of ourselves. As a new Mama I found getting dressed was just an achievement in itself – it didn’t matter what I was wearing! Pre-requisites of clothes included; comfortable, easy to wash and it was always a bonus if it meant I didn’t flash my knickers when I was kneeling down at some playgroup or another.
Your Identity as a Mama Can Get Lost
As the years ticked by I just bought clothes that I think suited me; my body had changed and I no longer needed a ‘work wardrobe’ so I lived in jeans and a sweatshirt most days. Whilst that all sounds very comfortable I began to miss shopping for pleasure, dressing up and looking nice in general. Functionality had taken the place of style. Along with loosing my identity as a person in my own right – rather than as a Mama – I’d also lost my sense of style.
Passionate about helping Mamas rediscover their style
Anna’s story herself, is a similar one to most Mamas out there. Whilst she was a successful marketing expert for fashion and hair care brands in a previous life, motherhood left her struggling to find her own style. So after retraining and building her stylist business over the last eight years she’s now passionate about helping women in similar situations rediscover all the things that make them look and feel fabulous.
When we Look Good we Feel Good
Spending time with Anna has helped me refocus my wardrobe and spend a bit of time thinking about me. It’s the same for most of us, when we look good we feel good. So it matters to spend some time thinking about you and what makes you feel good, because when you feel good everyone around you feels good too and that can only mean great things for the Smalls too!
Anna spent some time with me in her gorgeous style studio taking me through a full image make-over covering three key points; 1 – my style personality, 2 – the colours to wear that suit me and 3 – how to dress best for my body shape.
My Style Personality
Anna believes that understanding how to express your personality through your style is the key to looking and feeling your absolute best. One Mantra she shares on her website is that of Rachel Zoe, celebrity stylist “Style is a way of saying who you are, without having to speak”.
To find out a little more about my style personality Anna gave me a questionnaire to complete which asked me questions about the sort of clothes I like to wear. Feminine and comfortable seemed to come out as my popular answers.
Romantic and Natural Dresser
Anna revealed that I was indeed a ‘Romantic’ dresser mixed in with a ‘Natural’ dresser.
My Romantic side means that I love everything about dressing up and planning my wardrobe. My clothes are pretty and I adore all sorts of details: bows, ruffles, flounces, appliqués and fringes. All very true!
Mixed with the Natural side of me meaning I prefer casual styling to formal wear, and I hate a cluttered look; simple lines and designs are more me. In keeping with my no-fuss attitude, clothes must be easy-care and ideally non-iron. Again totally spot on!
Knowing all that means that when I get dressed I know I feel relaxed and much more ‘myself’ when I dress in these styles. For me, if I tried a vintage bo-ho look, I’d feel like a bit of an imposter and I wouldn’t be being true to my style personality. Again if I was dressed in a more classic style I would feel suppressed by my clothes and not at all myself. So knowing what style of fashion suits you really helps you feel more confident in your clothing choices.
Next it was on to colour
We all know there are certain colours that work for us and others that don’t. Anna says when you wear colours next to your face that harmonise and balance with your colouring, you look your best.
Usually the colours that people say to you ‘you look really lovely in that’ turn out to be the colours that really suit you and as a rule of thumb, simply wear more of those!
Anna held up a host of different colours next to me, that based on my skin colour, eye colour and hair colour really suit me. I was really surprised by what I discovered!
Turns out black is not my colour, who knew – when most of my wardrobe is black! Ha! And colours that really suit me I have hardly any of!
Colours that are good neutral shades for me include; Charcoal, Light Navy, Pewter, Rose Brown, Taupe and Stone. Anna said I will always look best in tones of medium depth and need to avoid high contrasting colours.
A set of coloured fabric swatches will be coming in the post from Anna as part of her service, which will be perfect to take shopping, to pin-point the exact colours that will work well for me.
Finally it was all about Body Shape
I pretty much knew my body shape, as it’s not changed since I was a teenager, I mean it’s got bigger and bumpier all over, but the basic shape is still the same! I’m a triangle – which is a nicer way of saying pear-shaped! I’ve always had bigger hips and a smaller waist and chest.
What I hadn’t known is the best way to dress for this shape! Anna enlightened me!
Anna told me to keep patterns on my top half and that horizontal stripes are great for me above the waist. She suggested avoiding any detail below the waist and also that halternecks were a no, no! To avoid anything that finishes at my widest point (hips and bottom) and to buy jackets and tops that fit my shoulders rather than my hips.
Anna’s Top Tips
Anna imparted a host of knowledge to me during our session, which I really valued and learnt loads from. She also created a personalised style report for me detailing all that we’d talked about.
Here are some of the most useful tips Anna gave that I’ve been putting into practice so far…
- Have nothing in your wardrobe that you don’t feel an eight out of ten in! I love this piece of advice best. There’s nothing worse than wearing something you don’t feel good in. So why would you? If you don’t like it – just give it to charity, it will only make you feel bad about yourself when you look at it everyday hanging in your wardrobe otherwise!
- Use the ‘half-tuck’ which means just half tucking in jumpers/tops into your jeans or skirt rather than letting them hang over. It’s amazing how many people have asked me if I’ve lost weight since starting this little trick (including Harrogate Papa! Ha!)
- I need to stick to wearing dark colours on my bottom half – jeans in navy, burgundy and dark green suit me better than black.
- Earrings are not just for night time, but can add a bit of energy to a daytime look too and are a great way of adding colour. Gold and rose gold are good colours for me for jewellery.
- Add dramatic flairs to outfits with simple accessories, I’ve had my leopard print boots out a lot more recently!
- Wear colours that suit you. I bought a burgundy winter hat recently (a colour I would never choose before Anna recommended it to me) and I have had SO many lovely comments on it. I’m amazed and can’t wait to buy more clothes in colours that actually suit me!
Anna offers a huge range of services for clients looking for style advice, her gorgeous style studio is out near Ilkley in a very beautiful setting.
If you’re looking for inspiration for your own Christmas list a styling session with Anna might be just the perfect thing!
Anna also hosts a global membership hub where she shares weekly style videos and tips and tricks to all her members called The Style Lounge. It’s designed to provide knowledge to members to help them look and feel amazing, every day.
To keep up to date with all the latest style news and views you can follow Anna on her Instagram page.