I recently did a live masterclass as a guest expert in a Facebook group for Female Entrepreneurs, and one of the questions that was asked was what pieces of clothing would I recommend to a woman who is wishing to build a new wardrobe.
So I thought, I'm sure other women are probably wondering the same thing so let me put a list together!
To keep it simple, I chose 10 must have pieces from my list of Wardrobe Essentials.
I chose 6 pieces of clothing, 2 pairs of shoes and 2 accessories which is ideal for anyone wishing to start a capsule wardrobe too.
By choosing pieces in neutral colours that can mix and match, it's easy to create over 30 outfits using just these 10 items!
That's a month of outfits ready to wear without any extra time or effort!
Here are the 10 pieces that I would recommend to any woman that is ready to start building a wardrobe full of clothes that will actually be worn!
A Quality Blazer
A blazer is a wardrobe staple that can be dressed up or down. Regardless of your personal style, a blazer has a home inside your wardrobe.
Invest in a quality piece that can easily be worn with a pair of jeans and flats or with your favourite LBD.
A Buttoned Shirt or Blouse
A buttoned shirt or blouse is another wardrobe essential that can be dressed up or down. If you're looking for a formal look, you can wear a buttoned shirt with a smart skirt or trousers or with a pair of jeans for a smart/casual look.
A silk blouse is an ideal alternative to a buttoned shirt, to give a softer yet stylish feel to your look.
A White T-Shirt
A simple white t-shirt can be dressed up with your favourite patterned scarf or statement necklace and smart trousers or worn casually with a pair of jeans.
Choose a slogan t-shirt to make a statement and express your personal style!
A Long Sleeved Top
A long sleeved top whether the classic striped breton or plain is an essential piece for those days where you require sleeves for your casual or smart/casual look.
A smart pair of trousers in a neutral colour such as a black or navy is ideal for a formal event or meeting or with silk top for a girls night out! Choose a mid to high rise to fit and flatter the waistline to avoid the 'muffin top' look!
A Smart/Casual Skirt
A circle skirt or one with pleats is ideal as a smart/casual skirt. Choose a style to fit and flatter the shape of your body to give you confidence.
If you don't wear skirts, swap this item for a casual pair of trousers or dark rinse jeans.
Whether flat or a killer high heel, a court shoe can smarten up your outfit and make your outfit look more stylish and polished.
A black suede court shoe can add a stylish flair to your skinny jeans or a 'she means business' look with a pencil skirt. Either way you will ooze style and elegance!
Loafers or Ballet Flats
Whether you prefer loafers or plain ballet flats, these are a stylish alternative to a pair of heels. Wear with trousers with the correct hem length or a skirt and tights in the winter.
Another wardrobe essential, a structured bag or tote in leather or suede, is worth investing in. You can use a structured bag whilst wearing your gym wear and you'll still look like you mean business!
A Statement Necklace
You can take the plainest outfit from a day to night look with a statement necklace! They can dress up your favourite LBD or look dressed down with casual footwear!
Simple right! You can swap the blazer for a classic Trench or Mac or the statement necklace for a scarf! Whatever you decide, keep the essentials in neutral colours and patterns to create more outfits to choose from!
So, the third Monday in January is called 'Blue Monday' and known to be the most miserable day of the year. Apparently, the reasons for feeling 'blue' include, the slump after Christmas, too much month at the end of the money, not sticking to New Year resolutions, etc.
For someone like myself who suffers with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), any day can be 'blue' if I don't intervene!
If I had the choice, I'd move to a warmer climate In October, or make every day a duvet day until Spring, but as a Mother of two and with a business to run, that is not possible!
There are a number of things I do during this season to prevent the spiral of mood swings and over eating, but my favourite and proven method is to wear brighter clothes. Simple right!
As a Style Coach, I work with women to find the right pieces to fit and flatter their body shape and give them confidence. I also encourage adding colours in shades that compliment their natural colouring as this can turn an outfit from drab to fab, while increasing confidence.
Adding colour to our wardrobes, even for those that prefer to wear black or monochrome styles, can have a positive affect on our mood.
My favourite colours to wear are fuchsia pinks and cobalt blues and these colours have a positive affect on my mood. Other ways that I like to wear bright colours during this season, are with makeup and accessories. A bright nail polish or lipstick is an instant mood booster for me even if I'm wearing darker colours.
For women that are afraid to experiment with colour or add any new coloured pieces to their wardrobe, I suggest starting small with accessories and makeup. Even tying a bright scarf to the handles of a plain handbag can change the style and add a pop of colour.
When we're feeling confident, our productivity and motivation can increase which is especially beneficial during the darker months.
Whether you work from home, a SAHM or go to work full-time, you can beat the 'Blue Monday' blues by choosing to wear brighter pieces and set the intention to have a good day.
Other stylish and mood boosting ways to beat the blues could be to wear something you wouldn't normally wear that day, such a top you're saving for a special occasion (even though you bought it two years ago). If you're going to the gym or working out, choose brighter workout clothes.
Don't reserve these ideas for 'Blue Monday' though! Try adding a pop of colour to your wardrobe during the darker months, especially to the pieces that you wear the most such as work wear.
For style inspiration and a selection of mood boosting bright pieces, head over to Pinterest and check out my 'Winter Brights' board here.
Do you have a side hustle that you really want to make public?
That was me in 2017.
I finally 'came out' and told my nearest and dearest about my Personal Styling 'side hustle' over a year ago. I shared it on social media and have been happily enjoying working my true purpose ever since.
However, I wasn't so quick to tell my clients and contacts in my Property Management business that I'd previously run full-time! It look many, many years to be taken seriously as a woman in a male dominated industry. I leaned so much into my masculine side that I didn't even know I had one until now.
There was one occasion where I had a site visit at a new development and arrived wearing black trousers and black suede heels. The site manager insisted I wore a hard hat and I gingerly stepped on to planks of wood while dodging the cables swinging from the floor above! I knew I was dressed inappropriately, but I had a job to do and that was it.
I think deep down, I was worried that I would lose clients, credibilty, etc, if I revealed my Personal Styling business to a room full of suits. That I would feel like I'd gone back nearly 20 years, when I first started my property career. I didn't want to appear 'fluffy' or that I wasn't cut out for the cut throat property industry after all.
The truth is, I'd fallen out of love with it.
In 2016, I attended a 3 day workshop to help grow and market my business. It was a great weekend with other Lettings and Estate Agents as well as other various industries. During one of the exercises when we had to talk about our business, why we do what we do and what we love about it, one of the trainers looked at my answers and said "That's good, but you need to sexy it up a bit"
"Sexy it up a bit"? There's nothing sexy about Property Management!
The thing is, I knew exactly what she meant and secretly wanted to my job to sound more exciting than it was. Unbeknown to me, that was when the first seed was planted.
Later that year I joined an online membership site for Female Entrepreneurs and found myself surrounded by women for the first time in years! It didn't matter that it was virtual, I communicated with these women every day. I learned so much in terms of growing my business in a short space of time. I soon discovered that I had a creative side that I never got to explore or enjoy before whilst running a Property Management Company.
My personal development was growing too and I threw myself into learning and became a sponge ready to soak up anything that would develop myself as a person as well as my business.
The creative side was pulling even more and I began to feel lost. I always wanted to have a Property Management business that put the Tenants first. I wanted to surprise them with a bottle of wine in the fridge, flowers on the table and and an emergency roll of toilet paper when they move in. Unfortunately, the urge wasn't strong enough to try it out.
So I explored the Serviced Accommodation market. Perfect!
In my head I had already designed the personalised candles and fluffy towels that would be awaiting every guest that arrived. Myself and my then business partner and trusted friend, researched the best companies to provide the airport transfers and soon found our first client.
I won't bore you with the details, but I soon realised that Serviced Accommodation was not enough to relight my fire with the property industry either!
You see, it wasn't the industry, but the people I was serving. I wanted to work with people that needed my help. I guess this is why I wanted a property management company that focused on the tenants needs more.
Instead I had tenants that wanted a loft style apartment with a bedsit budget and expected a concierge service even if they broke something. Landlords who believed their property was Buckingham Palace, but wouldn't dream of living in it themselves and was more concerned about the rent being paid on time than providing a 'home' to someone.
This just wasn't aligned with who I am and I was becoming more and more miserable.
It soon became apparent to me that I was running a Property Management company because I was a fantastic Property Manager and not because I wanted to. I started my company when I had a baby so it was the natural thing to do. It never once occurred to me to do what I loved instead.
I wondered how many others out there are working day to day and feeling unfulfilled.
The 'E-Myth' was the book that changed my life and career. It had been recommended to me so many times, even on that 3 day workshop, but I never 'heard' the words that would change my life until a year later.
There is a visualisation exercise in the book where the author takes the character to her funeral. Someone (a family member) is about to get up and say something about you, what do you want them to say? What do you want to be known for?" I haven't actually listened to the book past this chapter! That sentence changed everything!
Would someone at my funeral stand up and say what a great Property Manager I was? No! Would I want them too? Hell no!
The reality of anyone saying that I had recovered their rent arrears, found them the best tenant, won their court case or found them the best property to live in was never going to happen and I didn't want to be remembered for that anyway.
I know my mourning family will say I'm the best Daughter, Sister, Auntie, Mother, Friend but I wanted more. I wanted to change lives and have those people remember the impact I made in their lives.
So the soul searching began. I walked, I journalled, I prayed, I meditated. I did everything I thought would work to bring about what to do. I was being pulled in another direction, away from my property business and I didn't know where. But I trusted the process. I was actually quite excited!
The visualisation exercise was still at the forefront of my mind. What would I want someone to say at my funeral. What do I want to be known for? It's said that when you're doing work you love, it doesn't feel like work or words to that effect. So I asked myself "If money was no object, if I didn't need to work, but wanted to be of service in some way, what would I do for free?" And that was it! Styling women was a no brainer as I've always enjoyed it and do it for free when I find myself in a complete strangers changing room in a store giving styling advice!
But, I knew I wasn't going to be a just a stylist. I wanted to change lives, I wanted to work with women on their style confidence. I wanted to work with a modern day Cinderella and help her to get her man, get the job, have the dream!
And so my journey began.
I wasted no time in obtaining my qualifications and launched my business within 6 months. Since then, I have been a guest speaker on stage at women's events, frequently asked to be a guest speaker online, run styling workshops and have been working as a Style Coach & Image Consultant to female entrepreneurs ever since.
Showing women how to dress for success, how to dress the body they have now and not focus on the body they want, how to create a wardrobe of clothes that reflect their style and personality, is what sets my soul on fire.
The tears in the changing when a simple dress has transformed a womans vision of herself is what gets me out of bed, and this is what I want someone to say at my funeral.
The funny thing is, although I had found my true purpose and launched my business very quickly, I was still afraid to tell those around me for fear of being judged for changing career and continued to do both! If I ever referred to a 'Client', I pretended it was a Landlord and not a woman who had hired me for Personal Styling!
I don't regret the years I spent running Miller Management, in fact I still have the company, but with a team so I can work in my Style Coaching Business, full time, doing what I love.
Are you doing what you love and enjoy? What would you like to be remembered for?
If you would like to know more and how you can change your wardrobe in 6 simple steps, download my FREE eBook here >> 6 Simple Steps To A New Wardrobe
A Style Coach & Image Consultant.