Suzanne’s style journey

Before meeting Jacqui

My work with Jacqui is the beginning of a journey that continues to unfold. I was introduced to Jacqui through yoga classes, I run a busy healing centre and Jacqui comes to yoga classes there. I noticed that she always looked great, very well put together, vibrant and modern. This was the very opposite of how I felt, l was constantly wearing black, drab loose fitting clothes. I felt scruffy, unkempt and not in keeping with my personality, which is vibrant and energetic.

My bedroom and wardrobes also reflected this. It was untidy with clothes all over the floor, it was unloved and not cared for, it had literally become a dumping ground. My husband, bless him, could see I was struggling and bought me vouchers to have a session with Jacqui. I was secretly pleased but it took me weeks to actually go and book the session.

On the day, I was very resistant and a little bit anxious, I felt that I was being frivolous and that this stuff wasn't that important - that I had a busy life so that's how it was. Jacqui met me with a big smile (she is a very genuine person), I told her I was feeling hesitant, she just laughed putting me at ease. I was offered refreshments and I felt touched that she had gone to the trouble of making healthy treats for me.

We started by looking at some of my clothes; I was asked to bring some clothes I liked, some neutral and some I didn't like. As I was trying on the outfits it became obvious to me that I had no idea was suited me. I thought that my body type was pear-shaped but Jacqui told me I was an hourglass, which made me feel fabulous as I had always admired that particular shape. I instantly realised that I hadn't dressed for my shape.

I also realised that I was doing a lot of impulse buying, so typically (like many women) I had lots of clothes and nothing to wear. I dreaded getting dressed up as it resulted in a marathon session in the messy bedroom trying lots of clothes that never seemed appropriate.

Jacqui took me through a process to identify my style statement, which turned out to be: Natural, Beautiful, Flowing, Fun.

This made perfect sense to me when I looked at what I enjoyed wearing and felt really ‘me’.

I had bought lots of beautiful structured coats which I never wore as they felt too restrictive for me. I much preferred soft flowing fabrics as I could move better in them. I also have a great sense of fun, I love faux-fur, faux-leather and playful, glamorous clothes - I could also be a bit daring and adventurous.

Colour-wise - I hated black, it made me feel miserable and yet I was wearing it every day. As a therapist, I was totally aware of the effect our clothes have on our energy but I literally wasn't walking my talk.

My favourite colours were coral and turquoise and guess what? These colours made me feel joyful and alive. I found one outfit, which was a turquoise jumpsuit, it was a big favourite of mine and now I was beginning to see why. It ticked all the boxes; the colour was perfect as was the cut and style. It was also very comfortable, which is important to me. Was it really as simple as this? Get your style statement sorted, colours and body shape right and you can't fail.

This made perfect sense to me when I looked at what I enjoyed wearing and felt really ‘me’.

I was getting excited, but I also realised that most of my clothes were inappropriate, didn't fit the criteria and, by the end of session, I realised that I needed to let them go (this was my personal decision). I felt like I needed a fresh start and to literally clear out my closets and start again. I also realised I didn't need to lose any weight, I just needed to dress for my shape. I was feeling fantastic.

We talked over the emotional reasons for my messy room and the causes of it. This for me was difficult and emotional, but Jacqui was very supportive and made me realise that I needed to look after myself and my space more. She reminded me that my room was the first thing I saw every morning. This was a sobering thought and, as someone who likes to think positively, I could see why it would affect my mood, and ultimately, my day.

By the end of the session, I was feeling much lighter and was looking forward to
getting home and making a start. At home, I continued to clear out my wardrobe, it was very painful to look at the big pile of clothes in the room and also realising that I had wasted so much time and money and had nothing to show for it.

10 bags of clothes went to the charity shop and hopefully someone else would enjoy wearing them. My wardrobe was now empty but I felt good. My next job was to tidy up my messy bedroom. This took less time than expected and as I finished putting fresh flowers in place I knew I was on the right track.

My first shopping trip was tentative, nothing was right, not the colours nor the style - was I ever going to buy anything again? Feeling deflated I went home empty - handed. On my second outing I tried on a red bomber jacket, I felt fantastic, it fitted all my criteria and looked great, I was getting the hang of this. Slowly, over time, I bought new items for my wardrobe that fitted my style statement.

Jacqui gave me some ideas for work clothes that were more suited to my lifestyle.
They ticked all the boxes for comfort, style, colour and obviously, my style statement.

She really understood what to put together as a functional capsule wardrobe for
work. I had to be comfortable and able to move in it as a lot of my time is spent as a hands-on therapist. I ordered them and was thrilled by the style, quality and the
vibrancy. The first time I wore my new work clothes I knew I would never wear black again. In fact I don't own a single black item in my wardrobe. I get so many
compliments now.

After the experience

Life is good and on a recent trip to New York I wore every single item of clothing I had taken and felt relaxed, comfortable and fabulous every day.

My journey continues as I have now started to go through the house clearing and getting rid of clutter and things that don't bring me joy. I’ve even had a hair makeover too with the hairdresser she recommended.

This has had a massive impact on me as I feel lighter, joyful and have much more time and energy. I have also saved money as I don't waste time on impulse buys. I would definitely recommend this for every woman, especially one like myself who is very busy, over 50 and maybe lost their way a little.

And so the journey continues … My husband has bought me more sessions with Jacqui, so watch this space …