In this series, I interview women who boost other women's confidence. They share their personal stories, top tips, and talk really honestly about what makes them feel great.
Here's Lizzie Edwards, founder of Lizzie Edwards Style Consultancy and her passion for clothing that gives you confidence...
My job title is Personal stylist, but I boost clients confidence through putting together an effortless, everyday wardrobe of clothes that they love.
I started my style consulting business 11 years ago. Previously I had a varied career path, including the fashion industry, but I then trained more specifically in colour and style as an image consultant as I wanted to work with ‘real’ people and use my skills as a stylist to help people with everyday clothes and confidence.
I love working 1-1 with people and getting to know them, and everyday is different. The demographic of my clients is similar, but they each have very different personalities and lifestyles. I enjoy spending time with them, getting a sense of who they are, and how I can help them achieve what they want to achieve, both personally and professionally.
I spend 1-2 days with my clients, and in that time people begin to relax and talk on a different, more personal, level and I feel I really get to know them.
The process can be emotional for some people; they get insights into what they think, how they feel, or things they do that are sometimes surprising to them, and me. There are quite often tears as they reflect on things that have happened, or reasons why they do something.
A lot of people don’t give themselves much space to think and tune in to how they feel, and having time aside to spend on themselves is great for self-reflection.
If a client has confidence issues around their weight, for example. a couple of different things can happen. Sometimes they see themselves in new items and are looking at their reflection again and again in the mirror during a session, and are surprised that ‘I don’t look as bad as I thought’.
They visibly change, and have a totally different energy when they feel good.
Others are not necessarily happy with what they see in the mirror, but they come to accept themselves and to make the best of what they have. They can choose to wear clothes that they love regardless of what they think of their size. Again, when they see themselves in nice clothes, they have quite a different energy to when there wearing an "it'll do" kind of outfit .
If they have been stuck in a negative spiral feeling bad about themselves, so not taking care of themselves and eating things they would rather not be, often they report back to me in the months that followed our sessions that the excess weight they have been carrying has begun falling off.
The act of self-acceptance, self-care and wearing clothes they enjoy, has had a knock-on effect... it's as if this stops them wanting to eat junk, and has somehow inspired them to getting to the gym more. The spiral can go up as well as down!
They smile more. They carry themselves differently, and they stand differently in front of the mirror. And they tell me! They tell me how much better they feel about themselves, and about life in general.
If people have stopped wanting to go out, or stopped accepting invitations, because they don’t feel good or have nothing suitable to wear, suddenly, having a new wardrobe of suitable clothes is life changing.
When we feel more confident, new things come our way: from promotions, work opportunities, to social invitations.
Women get so easily stuck in a negative thought spiral about themselves, and all it takes is a small intervention and the spiral can be slowed or stopped.
One hint of feeling good, the self-love and positive feeling can have a knock on effect that leads to further change and seeing themselves differently.
Dressing yourself with love and care will help you see yourself differently.
My advice is to take some time for self-reflection. Knowing what style of clothes you like and need, means that your wardrobe reflects you and will naturally give you confidence.
Having a wardrobe of clothes from a previous lifestyle, that don’t suit or fit will hinder your confidence. Letting go of bad and unsuitable choices is very cathartic!
Pilates and weights helps my posture and make me feel stronger which gives me confidence.
I dress for me. I wear what I like and feel so much more at ease now that I’m older. I feel more confident about my looks and body at 45 than ever before!
Jess Baker, founder of MIMI More Than Skincare, is Chartered Psychologist and Confidence Coach. She's fascinated with the relationship between how we see ourselves, and how we want to be seen: jessbaker.co.uk