Category: Style

Blog, Image, Style

Size doesn’t matter

Sunday, October 30, 2016 /

That’s right – creating balance and proportion matters so much more than a number on a clothing label (they’re so infuriatingly inconsistent anyway!). Looking great doesn’t depend on your size, it’s what you do with it.

The first step to creating balance and proportion is to understand our body shape and our natural proportions. From there you can work out where you’d like to add width (yes you read that correctly) and where to keep things streamlined. It’s all about tricking the eye.

Here are the four most common body shapes for women. Which one best reflects your shape? Click on the pictures/links below to get more details on each body shape and suggestions on what to wear to create balance and proportion.

triangle-female rectangle-female inverted-triangle hourglass-female

Still unsure or would you like more detail on how to dress for your body shape, style personality and lifestyle? Then join us for one of our upcoming Group Style Sessions in Canberra or Brisbane. We also run individual sessions if you’d rather do it in the comfort of your own home and let us have a sneak peak in your wardrobe.

Blog, Style

Long Legs or Short Legs?

Thursday, August 11, 2016 /


ShortBodyLong Legs


Due to the art world’s penchant for creating images of the human body that are impossibly perfect and in proportion, the human eye likes……….no, actually, LOVES proportion. Case in point, Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian man, who is perfectly proportioned at eight of his own head lengths in height–four from head to hip join, and four from hip join to toe.

We’re here to reassure you though, that there are very few of us born with this perfect proportion.

Instead, the overwhelming majority (including me!) are usually seven to seven and half of their own head lengths in height and vary significantly when measured from head to hip and hip to toe.

Here’s a little ditty to illustrate. I vividly recall the night my girlfriend, Ms T, and I had our style consultation with the gorgeous Fiona. First up, as I sipped Champagne, she measured Ms T. All good. Then she measured me. Cue Fiona’s puzzled face. She measured my legs again…. and again. The puzzled face remained. She then measured Ms T’s legs twice more. More of the puzzled face. Why? Because she could not believe, despite my being approximately a head taller than our Ms T, that she found our legs to be exactly the same length!

So, if the human eye loves to see, and finds beauty in, proportion and balance, but most of us don’t have it, how do we create the illusion of it?

Here’s how! First you must know your body proportions. For example, my height is all in my body but mostly in my freakishly long neck (the longest Fiona has ever measured, in fact…….just call me giraffe lady). This makes me a long body/short legged person. Ms T is a long legged/short bodied person. Therefore, to create my (illusion of) proportion, I would follow the tips and tricks outlined in the Long body/Short legs image. Ms T, on the other hand, would create her (illusion of) proportion by following the tips and tricks outlined in the Short body/Long legs image.

Through an individual Style Analysis or one of our Style Liberation packages we can help you establish your vertical body proportions and provide you with more tips and tools to navigate them and many other types of body variations. So give us a call. We’d love to hear from you.

Blog, Style

Style Personality: The Quick Guide

Thursday, January 22, 2015 /

I’m always going on about defining your style personality. That’s because I think it’s the most important step in putting together a wardrobe that is not only fabulous but also reflects you. If you’re not clear on what our style is you can often feel a little lost, confused and uncomfortable with what’s sitting in your wardrobe. Leading to the dreaded cry ‘I have nothing to wear!’ Actually you do, but you just don’t like what you have or how it goes together.

I used to have lots of pieces in my wardrobe that I loved in theory but they never made it out the front door. They fit well, were the perfect colour but every time I put the piece on and looked in the mirror I felt like a bit of an alien. It just wasn’t me – not my style.

To get you started I’ve listed the 7 common style personalities. Be aware, you probably won’t fit neatly into just one category (unless you’re a Classic), rather you’ll probably be a combination of 2 or 3. For example, at work you may be more Classic but for play you may be Natural. Your style personality can also change over time depending on your lifestyle. I experienced my Natural style personality kick in when I had children where wash and wear is a must.


The Natural


Everett Collection /

Relaxed and effortless. They prefer natural fibres and neutral colours. Naturals love nothing more than pulling on a pair of jeans, cargoes or linen pants and teaming it with a tee and flats. The look is all about comfort and practicality.


The Feminine


cinemafestival /

Soft and romantic look. They prefer draping or flowing fabrics, including ruffles and frills. Feminines love to wear dresses, embracing florals and other softly rounded patterns.


The Classic


K2 images /

 I like to call it the suited and booted look but being classic doesn’t necessarily mean that you only wear suits. Classic’s prefer timeless pieces in neutral colours. Pieces are usually semi-fitted and always appropriate.


The Elegant


Ricardo Esplana Babor /

Very similar to a classic in the sense that pieces are timeless, structured and streamlined. The difference is that they use richer colours such as purples, deep blues and reds. The look is polished and everything looks expensive (it doesn’t mean that it is but it looks that way).


The Sultry


Helga Esteb /

Oozes glamour and sex appeal. Sultry’s love body contouring clothing and bold colours. They love attention and would never leave the house without their hair and makeup done. They also have a fondness for animal print (insert leopard purr).


The Dramatic


JStone /

It’s all about the look rather than comfort. Highly stylised and always on trend (or creating them) dramatics love structure and colour. They wouldn’t think twice about doing the groceries in stilettos but let’s be honest they have probably outsourced this chore. These ladies are confident.


The Creative


s_bukley /

Quirky and fun, Creatives make up their own rules. They are known for their use of unexpected colour combinations (that just work). They use an eclectic mix of styles and shapes and love motifs on jumpers and tshirts.


If you’re still feeling stuck and would like to explore your style personality further take the quiz. Do this exercise as if there are no constraints in relation to lifestyle or budget. Why? No matter your circumstances there is a way of injecting the things you love into your everyday wardrobe.

Why not explore your style further at one of the Group Colour or Group Style Consultations coming up on Sunday February 22nd at the Hub – Canberra Centre. You’ll get all the tips and tools to create a fabulous wardrobe that truly reflects you. For more details click here.

Retail Therapy, Style, Top 5 Tuesday

Top 5 Tuesday: Event Wear

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 /

Over the last few weeks I’ve had lots of questions on what to wear to various events. From  cocktail and formal here are my picks for the week and they’re all from Events. Usually I wouldn’t put together a post of items all from the one store but after spending an hour at Events with a one of my gorgeous clients on Saturday, I’m really excited about their stunning dresses and the fabulous fit. Can you guess which one I want?y-21

L-R: Contrast Deep V Dress in Black & White $149.00, Grecian Bead Dress in Red $199.00, Half Sleeve Lace Dress in Green $199.00, Hollywood Dress in Grey $199.00, Peplum Gown in Multi $149.00.

Retail Therapy, Style

Top 10 Suits

Thursday, July 31, 2014 /

Buying a suit can be tricky, especially if you want something other than a stock standard black number. So bearing this in mind I have pulled together my Top 10. I’ve included the usual suspects – the neutrals including black, charcoal, grey and navy. I’ve also added in some pops of colour such as cobalt and mustard.

If anyone has seen a great red suit can you please let me know. It’s a key colour for Spring/Summer but I couldn’t find any that really stood out for me (I may be looking in the wrong place).

So here they are. Which one works for you?

1. Bolt of Blue 

Cool & Clear; Cool, Clear & Dark; Cool, Clear & Bright and possibly Cool, Muted & Soft; and Warm, Muted & Dark.


Classic, Elegant, Sultry  and Dramatic.


2. Streamlined Suiting 

Great neutral for most colour palettes. Just remember that if you are Light or Bright that you will need to wear the right colour with the jacket to balance its depth.


Classic, Elegant, Sultry and Dramatic.


3. Gorgeous Grey 

Great neutral for all colour palettes.

Hourglass, Rectangle and Triangle.

Classic and Elegant.


4. Stand out from the crowd 


Warm & Muted; Warm, Muted and Soft; Warm, Muted & Dark and some Cool, Clear and Dark.

Rectangle and Triangle.

Elegant, Dramatic and Creative.


5. The Full Ensemble

Great neutral for most colour palettes. Just remember that if you are Light or Bright that you will need to wear the right colour with the jacket to balance its depth.


Classic, Elegant, Sultry, Feminine  and Dramatic.


6. Keeping it natural 

Warm & Clear; Warm, Clear & Light; Warm, Clear & Light and some Cool, Muted & Light.


Classic, Elegant, and Natural


7.  A little bit nautical

Cool & Clear; Cool, Clear & Dark; Cool, Clear & Bright and possibly Cool, Muted & Soft; and Warm, Muted & Dark.

Hourglass and Rectangle.

Elegant, Dramatic and Creative.


8. Traditional tweed

Cool & Muted; Cool, Muted & Soft; Cool, Muted & Light and some Cool & Clear if combined with the right colour.

Rectangle and Inverted Triangle

Classic, Elegant, and Natural.


9. Subtle suiting

Cool & Muted; Cool, Muted & Soft; Cool, Muted & Light and some Warm & Clear

Hourglass, Rectangle, Inverted Triangle and some Triangles.

Classic, Elegant, Sultry  and Feminine.


10. Printastic

Cool & Clear; Cool, Clear & Dark; Cool, Clear & Bright and possibly Cool, Muted & Soft; and Warm, Muted & Dark.

Hourglass, Triangle and Inverted Triangle.

Elegant, Creative, Sultry  and Dramatic.


Would you like to discover your best colours, styles and shapes? Join me at the Hub – Canberra Centre on Sunday 31st August for Group Colour and Group Style Consultations. Find out more.

Image, Style

In Search of the Perfect Suit

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 /


Has the suit had its day? Even though trends have moved to a more ‘mix and match’ approach there are still many industries and professions where  you are required to be suited and booted.

So here are some of the things to bear in mind when buying a suit and making sure you get the right fit.

1. Colour

For work the darker the colour the more authoritative you appear. For example, on a scale of 1 to 10 (where 1 is white and 10 is black) you want to wear a colour that is 5+. The obvious choice would be investing in a black suit because ‘it goes with everything’ but I feel that black can often (not always) be too harsh with colour. It’s best to combine black with white, cream or grey.

Instead opt for a (still conservative) charcoal or navy suit. Not only will they go with so many other colours but also means that you don’t look like you have played it completely safe. If your industry and confidence allows – embrace colour.

2. The Cut

I often hear from clients that they find it difficult to find a suit that works for their body shape. This makes sense given that suits were originally designed for men. Suiting has evolved and are available in a number of styles including boxy, fitted, semi fitted or draped.If you understand your body shape (Hourglass, Rectangle, Triangle and Inverted Triangle) and know the shapes that flatter your figure it will be much easier to identify the silhouettes that will work for you.

Check out next week’s post – Top 10 Suits, which will be categorised by colour, shape and style. There will be lots of detail so that you can work out the best match for you.

3. The Fit

An ill-fitting suit can undermine your look. When buying off the rack, alterations are the key to getting the perfect fit.

What you should look for:

  • Jackets that fit well across the shoulders and bust area with no creasing or excess fabric.
  • Jackets that can be done up.
  • Skirts that finish no higher than 5cm above the knee.
  • Skirts and trousers that you are able to fit two fingers between the waist band and you, any more and the it’s too big, any less and it’s probably too tight.
  • Traditionally for trousers, the line of the fabric should fall straight from your bottom to the floor rather than contour around your bottom. However, as fashion evolves we are seeing more contoured styles (this does not include leggings!) in the workplace. If your work is more conservative then opt for a straighter style.
  • Trousers that finish where the heel and the sole of the shoe meet.

Remember stay tuned for next week when I’ll post the Top 10 Suits categorised by colour, shape and style.

Do you need help to discover your best colours, styles and shapes? Join me at the Hub – Canberra Centre on Sunday 31st August for Group Colour and Group Style Sessions. Find out more.


Create a Little Drama at Work

Thursday, June 26, 2014 /

Who says you can’t create the right kind of drama at work? The trick is to introduce one to two statement pieces so that you don’t intimidate your clients or colleagues (of course there may be times when that’s what you’re trying to achieve).




Clockwise from Left: Sass & Bide The Jaw Dropper Tailored Jacket $390.00, Peter Lang Brazil Festival Earrings $98.00, Mimco Casablanca Nights Statement Choker $119.00, Oxford Shona Black Diamond Pave Ring $24.50, Tory Burch Ella Striped Tote at Selfridges $305.oo, Sheike Medusa Belt in Stone $19.95, Oxford Olivia Leather and Suede Sandal $114.50.


Colour, Retail Therapy, Style

Top 10 Coats for AW14

Thursday, June 12, 2014 /

It’s getting cold out there! Well it is if you live in Canberra and it’s surrounds. If you haven’t purchased your winter coat yet don’t worry you haven’t left it too late. In fact, it’s the perfect time to make that investment as there are so many great sales on at the moment.

I recommend ditching the boring black (or grey or beige) coat and make a statement this winter. They may be a little harder to find this season but they are out there. Your coat should reflect your style personality so let’s take a look at my top 10 categorised by colour, shape and personality type:

Classic with Attitude


Freda Alexis Wool Coat in Midnight Blue (available at Matches Fashion Online) $350.00

Cool & Clear; Cool, Clear & Dark; Cool, Clear & Bright and possibly Cool, Muted & Soft; and Warm, Muted & Dark.

Rectangles and Inverted Triangles

Classic, Elegant, Dramatic, Creative and Natural


Lady in Red


Review Theodore Coat in Red $224.99


Cool & Clear; Cool, Clear & Dark; Cool, Clear & Bright and possibly Cool, Muted & Soft

Hourglass, Triangle, Rectangle and Inverted Triangle.

Classic, Elegant, Feminine and Creative.


The Natural


Gorman Derailed Coat in Olive $399.00


Warm & Muted; Warm, Muted & Dark; Warm, Muted & Soft

Inverted Triangle and Rectangle

Natural, Classic and Creative


Lady Like


Alannah Hill Lady Luck Coat in Blue $449.00


Cool & Muted; Cool, Muted & Soft; Cool, Muted & Light; and possibly Warm, Clear and Light.

Hourglass, Triangle and Rectangle.

Feminine, Elegant and Creative.


Military Blue


Table Eight Anna Military Detail Coat in Cobalt $179.99


Cool & Clear; Cool, Clear & Dark; Cool, Clear & Bright.

Hourglass, Triangle and Rectangle.

Classic, Elegant, Dramatic and Creative




Seduce Entrapment Jacket in Gunmetal (available at Birdsnest) $149.00


Cool & Muted; Cool, Muted & Soft; Cool, Muted & Light; and possibly Warm, Muted & Soft.

Hourglass, Triangle and Rectangle

Elegant, Dramatic, Sultry and Creative.


The Floral Number


Blue Illusion Winter Floral Coat $249.95


Cool & Muted; Cool, Muted & Soft; Cool, Muted & Light; and possibly Cool & Clear; Cool, Clear & Dark.

Inverted Triangle and Rectangle.

Feminine, Elegant and Creative.


Splashy Spring


Cue A-line Long Line Coat in Watermelon $247.50


Warm & Clear, Warm, Clear & Light; Warm, Clear & Bright; and possibly Cool, Clear & Bright.

Rectangle and Inverted Triangle.

Natural, Creative, Classic and Elegant


Animal Instincts


Karen Millen Leopard Print Coat $399.00


Warm & Muted; Warm, Muted & Dark; Warm, Muted & Soft.

Hourglass, Rectangle and Triangle.

Sultry, Dramatic and Creative.




Sass & Bide The Miraculous Trench Coat in French Navy $950.00


Cool & Clear; Cool, Clear & Dark; Cool, Clear & Bright.

Hourglass, Triangle and Rectangle.

Dramatic, Natural, Creative, Sultry and Elegant.


What Do I Wear With This? Isabel Marant Jacket

Thursday, June 12, 2014 /

Do you have a great piece in your wardrobe but you never wear it because you’re not sure what to wear with it? You love it, the piece fits perfectly and it’s a great colour so why doesn’t it work?

Often the solution is right in front of you. Sometimes it’s as simple as playing in your wardrobe and experimenting with what you already have. At other times you may need to invest in one or two pieces to make it work . If this is the case think strategically as any pieces that you introduce should go with at least three other items. If you are buying something to save one piece (unless you absolutely love it), it’s probably not worth the investment.

A big thank you to Johanna for volunteering her ‘tricky’ piece  – an Isabel Marant Jacket she picked up from one of her favourite boutiques Donna Tienda in The Hague. Johanna loves the jacket but every time she wears it, it doesn’t feel quite right. We looked at the jacket from top to bottom to determine which elements of the jacket worked and didn’t work. We discovered that whilst the colour and general cut are perfect for Johanna’s shape and style, the collar and the sleeves were perhaps on the feminine side. So how do we make it work?

The piece

Edgy Etoile Isabel Marant Jacket.


How do I wear it?

I was so excited to take a look inside Johanna’s wardrobe, she has a style that I admire – simplicity with an edge and attitude. To ensure that the jacket fulfils the brief it needs to be worn with simple pieces, neutral colours and unexpected accessories.


Johanna understands the colour palette that works for her and has lots of pieces that mix and match brilliantly with the jacket. My favourite is the black leather dress from COS  (a European retailer stocking gorgeous pared back pieces), teamed with the black snake print leggings by Soaked in Luxury and the Ash pink high tops.


The other look I love is pairing the jacket with Bonds grey sweatshirt, G-Star Raw denim skirt (I want it) and the yellow belt that Johanna picked up at Vinnies (St Vincent De Paul) in Sydney.



Here are the other great pieces that we found in Johanna’s wardrobe.

DSC_1295   DSC_1294

L-R: G-Star Raw Denim Skirt and Yellow Belt from Vinnies, Black Leather Dress – COS

DSC_1275  DSC_1277  DSC_1280

L-R: Brown Wedges – Gorman, Pink Heels – Johanna’s own, Silver Bracelet – Buddha To Buddha

DSC_1269 DSC_1262  DSC_1252

L-R: Sleeveless T-shirt – American Apparel, Yellow T-Shirt – COS, Grey Drape Top – Zara

If you have a ‘tricky’ item that you would love some help with please email I will be featuring one piece per month and happy to work with what you have in your wardrobe or suggest something new. 


Dress for your shape: Inverted Triangle

Thursday, May 29, 2014 /

Female Inverted Triangle


Your bust is proportionately larger than your hips which means that you may wear a lager size on top. You have slender legs and a well defined waist.


To create balance by making the lower half of your body appear wider.

Great pieces


Trenery Tuck Front Shift Dress $149.00 Review Opera Dress $269.99

L – R: Trenery Tuck Front Shift Dress in Red $149.00, Review Opera Dress in Navy $269.95

Review Belle Jacket $259.99110515131

L – R: Review Belle Jacket in Grey $259.95, Sheike Daydream Jacket $109.95

Witchery Cuff Wide Leg Pant $149.95  Trenery Yarn Dyed Check Trouser $189.00


L – R: Witchery Cuff Wide Leg Pant $149.95, Trenery Yarn Dyed Check Trouser $189.00

Events Valentine Skirt $99.95Sheike Neo Check Skirt

L – R: Events Valentine Skirt $99.95, Sheike Neo Check Skirt $29.00


Look for:

  • A-line skirts and dresses
  • Flared or wide leg trousers
  • Dresses that do not have a defined waist
  • Peplum jackets and dresses
  • Skirts or pants with horizontal stripes or pattern.



  • Shoulder pads
  • Straight and boxy dresses and jackets in a stiff fabrics.


Great places to shop

  • Country Road
  • Witchery
  • Sass & Bide
  • Sussan
  • Collette Dinnigan
  • Camilla & Marc
  • Veronika Maine
  • Zara
  • Seed
  • Sportscraft
  • Sheike
  • Review