The sun is out and the traditional exodus to the beach is upon us. Being by the sea is a wonderful tonic and I love a beach as much as anyone but - and there is a “but” – my annual beach holiday is to a caravan, a pebbly beach and very few people. It is my week off from all things image related – a makeup-free face slathered in sunscreen (see below), an ancient tankini, a large sun hat and a good book.

Many of you, I know, will be heading off for beach holidays where you would like to look good so I have taken advice.  Jackie, who runs Sheen Uncovered and Ruby Blue in East Sheen (and their legendary sale is on!) has over twenty years’ experience of not only fitting women for bras but also for swimming costumes and bikinis.  She sees herself as a problem solver.  Many women, she says, come in for a black costume, probably because they think it will make them look slimmer, but following a fitting with Jackie, that is not what they walk out with. 

Here are three of her tips:

  1. Get fitted. As with bras, women very often have a false idea of their size and so the costumes they buy don’t fit properly. Has that been your experience? Once you get a costume or bikini that fits well, you will notice a big difference in how you look in swimwear. Maybe you will start to enjoy the experience instead of feeling negatively that it is a “covering up” exercise.

  2. Black is rarely the best colour for you. Jackie is an expert in this field and her observation is that colours you wouldn’t necessarily wear as clothes, can flatter when you are exposing the amount of flesh swimwear reveals.

  3. Patterns are more slimming than plain colours. (That was a surprise to me!)

So, the advice is – go to an expert! Get fitted, look and feel fabulous!



Relax knowing you look good on the beach.

Are you a "Procedures" or an "Options" person?

If you have trained in NLP you probably know already.  I haven't but this particular concept of types of behaviour can be applied with great effect to your wardrobe and how you like to dress in the morning. It is a subject which we discussed at a recent workshop I held and I think it can be helpful to reflect on what your behaviour is when it come to how you dress.

 Put simply, do you like to follow rules or do you like lots of choice? If you are someone who tends to plan ahead and feels comfortable with guidelines and steps to follow, you may well be a "procedures" person, in which case it will suit you to have an outfit hanging, with its accessories, on one hanger.  You know then that you will have no stressful, time-consuming choices to make - it is all there!  You may also be someone for whom a limited "capsule" wardrobe will work; i.e. 12 pieces - 5 tops, 2 jackets, 2 skirts, 2 pairs of trousers and a dress -  all of which look good together.  Any of these tops will go with any trousers or skirts and the jackets will go over everything.  Minimal choice and, if the pieces are well-planned in colours which are right for you, there is a recipe for stree-free dressing!

 For me, as very much an "options" person, the capsule idea is an anathema. I like lots of choice. One of my pleasures rests in putting together an outfit I hadn't thought of before.  For example, I went to a wedding recently and was planning to wear a taupe three piece Armani trouser suit (bought on ebay, I hasten to add!).  In my wardrobe is a long dark red vintage Ghost coat which doesn't get much wear as it quite dramatic for every day, but which I love.  Anyway, at the last minute I decided to wear that instead of the suit jacket.  I felt good in the outfit and the bit of creativity that went into putting it together gave me an extra boost (see not very good photo taken at the Royal Horticultural Hall in Victoria.)

Whether you are a "procedures" or an "options" person it is to your advantage to refine your wardrobe so it has only your best colours in it.  Whether you have a tiny capsule wardrobe or a rich abundance of clothes, you will automatically have more possibilities of putting different pieces together effectively, whether as a result of planning or a last-minute whim! ‘

Please visit my Facebook page for more easy - to - implement tips and ideas on improving your style .

Come along to my next style workshop, "Style Doctor" on 6th May if your wardrobe fills you with despair rather than delight.  Email hilary@richmondpersonal-style for more details and cost etc.