Style Coaching Session 1

Session 1, 28th November 2012

Excited about my first session with Kim this evening. Hair, clothes, make up, shopping, how I feel about my clothes and wardrobe, the physical space I keep them in and my relationship with myself in these areas isn’t something that I really ‘struggle’ with, but it is there every day, a mild discontent tingeing the edges of my day, day in, day out.

I learn a lot in this initial session: Firstly, we talk boundaries, outline of the sessions and clarify what my priorities are. We settle on the areas of style, grooming (to include hair, nails, make up and skincare), shopping (mostly of the window kind at the moment) and finally, an overall theme or thread running through everything: femininity. I almost forget how to spell the word, which is pretty symbolic of my disconnection from it in my life.

Kim tells me that because of my fairly ‘structured’ shoulders (love that word!), I am, according to Style Coaching, an hourglass shape. Very flattered to be considered in the same grouping as Marilyn Monroe, although I know that Style Coaching shapes are different from the traditional ones that are used in women’s mags. Nevertheless, I feel pleased that there isn’t work to be done on balancing up my physique; I can simply choose clothes that emphasise my features and that I love.

I also learn that my colours are primarily muted, and secondly cool. The note to self that I have known all my life (apart from one unforgettable mistake in California) is, “Orange = bad”. I can get away with some reds, some pinks, but am definitely on the green/blue/violet/brown/grey end of the spectrum

It’s time to set some goals – eek. Making it real, concrete and clear through setting goals really hammers home that I am truly engaging in this bold act of self-care. My four goals are:

1. Style: To find my true sense of style with a big injection of Elloaness!

2. Grooming: To explore and experiment with grooming.

3. Shopping: To play with window shopping, looking at colours and putting myself into expensive clothes and shoes.

4. To embrace femininity.

Meeting these goals will be an act of demonstrating my self-worth, playing and developing self-confidence, and giving myself the freedom to choose how to dress and show up in the world from a place of creativity, joy and self-expression rather than a dread and sense of stuckness.

The session brings up some really interesting questions for me: What does femininity mean to me? I have garish pictures involving pink, fluff and American beauty-queen style pageants running through my mind, clashing noisily with feminism, interspersed with various dances and the image of Woman they portray – Argentinean Tango, Charleston, Waltz.

How would it be to wake up one day and decide that I was going to have a fifties style day, or just wear bright pink lipstick because I felt like it, or chose not to wear make up but had electric blue nails? (Answer: really, really cool.)

I’m given four pieces of homework and sent on my way. In seven days’ time I need to have done free writing on femininity, been to the counter in Debenhams/Boots and got free samples of skincare products and if possible, make up, collected and started thinking about shades of brown (brown!) in order to explore warm and cool colours – if you can do it with brown, you can do it with the other colours too, apparently: who knew?! – and finally , done an exercise on self-limiting beliefs.

So, Style Coaching has gotten off to a fabulous start. Having voiced my fears – that I can’t go and try on expensive clothes because I’ll be judged just like Julia Roberts was in Pretty Woman (even though I’m not, ahem, a hooker), has already helped to dispel them, and I feel freer already.

Give me three months and I reckon I’m going to be more confident, more stylish and more comfortable in my own skin than ever before.

Isn’t life fun?!