Here is my last post of 2018 and the 119th of the year phew! So it seems fitting to do a bit of a roundup with a Looking Stylish Year in review. As I recently asked you to fill in a survey, I am also including your feedback which, thank you, has given me lots of ideas and inspiration for where to take Looking Stylish next year! A few of you expressed concern about whether LS would be continuing because of the suspension of the services and changes to the Style Club. I can reassure you that I am not going anywhere, but I needed to make some changes for a couple of reasons. Firstly, that I just can’t continue at the pace I have been going in the last few months of this year and something had to change. Secondly, as LS is now 7 years old I want to give it a refresh, keep the things that work well, lose some of those that are either too time consuming or not so popular and add a few that you have been asking for.
There were a few themes that came across in the survey and that many of you have mentioned in the past. Creating a capsule wardrobe and understanding colour and how to wear it are, and have always been, the two most popular topics. This is proven by the popularity of the Weekly Wardrobe, Seasonal capsules and the Colour Dossier service. So although these won’t be going anywhere, I do think I can make some improvements. I have already started this by updating the Colour Dossier service to make it much more comprehensive and to offer you your own personalised set of additional colours.
I am going to be rethinking the Seasonal Capsules too before the Spring one is out. Many of you mentioned body shape tips and wanting more budget friendly options, so I will be working out how I can include these in the Seasonal Capsules.
These are of course all paid for services/products. As far as the free content on the blog is concerned I will also be taking these requests on board. Other suggestions which I will be looking to include:
- The occasional business wear post and how to cross pieces over from work to weekend to get more cost per wear from your wardrobe.
- Mixing colours in your wardrobe and how each Dominant type uses colours to best suit them
- The ever elusive smart/casual formula, what it is and how to create one that works for you
- More on personalities and how to find and wear pieces to suit your personal style
Many of you also mentioned that you like to see outfits on a real person, so my outfit posts and videos were really useful for you. As I am past 50 and a long way past a size 10, you can see what things look like on someone you can relate to. However, for those of you who are a different size or shape to me, I think I can improve further. I rarely mention Petites or those on the taller side and of course the outfits I wear suit my lifestyle and personal style. So I thought some posts which take my wardrobe and outfits as a starting point and adapt them for different shapes and personalities would be useful.
Wearing one piece multiple ways and getting cost per wear from your wardrobe is something we all need at the moment. There was also the suggestion of having a monthly featured wardrobe basic and how you could wear that multiple ways. I really liked this idea, it is something like the feature I started to do in the last few Style Club magazines. For example taking a wardrobe classic like a shift dress or biker jacket and showing it several times in the month worn different ways.
JUNE – My proudest moment this year!
Another suggestion was about a “Going Out” wardrobe. Having pieces that can be dressed up and down so that when you have an invitation out to dinner for example, you have pieces that you know will work. An addition to this was knowing what to wear when you are invited to an event with people you don’t know.
Posts about my own capsule wardrobe have also been popular as you say they give you inspiration in creating your own. One person asked about my thought process at the beginning of the season and how I shop and decide what I will be including. I think this is a really good suggestion for a series of posts and/or video at the beginning of each of the 4 seasons.
I have been thinking long and hard about the variety of services I offer. I realise that if you visit my site for the first time it is hard to know where to start and to find what you are looking for. As my biggest traffic generator, many of you first find me via Pinterest and will land on a specific blog post or on one of the services pages. I also think that because there is such a variety in the capsule wardrobe services, it can be hard to decide what is right for you. I don’t have any definite answers yet, I am sure that over the Christmas period while my mind is resting, inspiration will strike.
I think the full 36 Item wardrobe in its current form has probably had its day – let me know if you think not – because the cost of the service and buying all of the items is prohibitive to many of you. The wardrobe builder is still popular and although I have closed the capsule services for now, I still have clients I am working with in this service. I think what might be more useful to you is more of a bespoke service, where you tell me what you need. Whether that be a number of new items to make outfits with pieces you already have, a virtual wardrobe clear out of things that aren’t right for you, personal shopping or a special occasion outfit. I just need to figure out how this would work and how to price it.
One thing that did become very clear as I read through the survey results was an underlying theme of being 50+ and how that has affected your confidence. It seems that my thinking about creating content for those of you, who like me, have entered that tricky period is on the right lines. I know what it is like have confidence dips, struggle to dress a changing shape, decide whether to keep the grey at bay or embrace it and to be in that sandwich generation looking after young adults, but letting them go it alone and ageing parents who need more of our time. Sometimes the juggling becomes all too much (as it has for me, more than once this year). At 50 and beyond, we have had a lot of life experiences and deserve some time to think about ourselves. Sadly, as I have said before, we aren’t considered or catered for very much and I intend to change that by providing much more in the way of help, advice and sometimes support for those of you like me trying to navigate this time.
What I have taken from the survey results and from those of you who email me, is that it isn’t necessarily what you wear that is the underlying reason for reading my blog or watching my videos. More it is how to feel confident in what you are wearing and how that can affect all areas of your life. I don’t believe thinking about what you wear is in any way “fluffy”, I think it is far more important than that. What I have learned from all of the women I have worked with over the years, is that we want to feel good about ourselves and once we do everyone around us benefits too. So next time someone criticises you for “spending too much time or money” on the way you look rise above it and know that you deserve to feel good about yourself.
If you have any comments or suggestions about any of the above, please do leave me a comment below.
I wish you and your families a fabulous Christmas and a Stylish New Year. Here’s to 2019 and being fabulous and stylish!
Much Love, Maria xx
PS Someone mentioned about my phone always being present in pictures and I just wanted to explain that it isn’t that I can’t drag myself away from it 🙂 I don’t have a photographer as you can probably tell (!) so my phone acts as my remote control for my camera. I try to hide it as much as I can but it doesn’t always work.
PPS Which was your favourite outfit of the year?