Ever fancied a personal stylist? We went shopping with Bella at Style By Bella and here’s what happened…
Our Head of Sales Rosie took the plunge with a wardrobe detox and all-day shopping trip – and she’s still smiling!
Those of you who know me will have figured out that I’m not the most fashionable: I don’t spend a lot of time on my appearance, I’ve never really thought too much about what I’m wearing, and I have a lot of self-confidence issues related to my body and size.
I’ve gained weight since I graduated, so the clothes I bought four years ago for work no longer fit. Instead of acknowledging that I’m not going to lose the weight again fast, I’d refused to purchase new outfits – opting, instead, to pick up the odd, random piece from Sainsbury’s or ASOS, going for loose and comfortable. I don’t know anything about colours, shapes or patterns.
When I started working at High Life North, I began getting out of the office a lot more to meet new people, and finally wanted to pay a bit more attention to what I was wearing and how I presented myself. I’d seen Bella (@stylebybellas) on Instagram and I knew she could help me. Bella is a personal stylist and a colour and body shape expert, and I’d seen some of her ‘transformations’ on Instagram too. The results were impressive. So I enlisted her help!
We started with a Wardrobe Detox. I have to admit, this was pretty brutal. I had decided to let go of all embarrassment and shame and just let Bella in, so in she came!
She had kit with her: a clothes rack, colour swatches, and a handy Pinterest of styles to look at. This was particularly good for me, as one of her first questions was “what sort of style do you like?” – which floored me immediately, as I’ve never even thought about my style, let alone which styles I admire.
We looked through Pinterest and I gained an idea of the different styles I was drawn to. And with Bella having already identified some good colours for my skin tone, we got cracking on my new wardrobe.
Bella was excellent. Having set her handy clothes rail up, we removed all of my clothes from my wardrobe, moved them across to the empty rail and let the culling begin. As I’ve said, I decided to go all-in on this process.
After all, why not? I had access to Bella’s expertise and, if I didn’t, nothing would change – and I wanted it to. So, over a few hours, we stripped my wardrobe and chest of drawers back to their bare minimum. We kept the pieces I really loved, (I couldn’t let go of my thick, baggy jumpers as we head into Winter), threw out pieces that were ragged or worn out, and made a big pile of clothes to donate or sell.
This was another helpful aspect of Bella’s service – she introduced me to Vinted, a second-hand clothes selling app. I was able to upload a lot of pieces to sell and, since doing so, have made £50 back from clothes I would otherwise have thrown away.
This was a refreshing process. I felt lighter afterwards and ready to go shopping to fill my wardrobe back up again. In just a few hours, Bella had got an idea of a style that I’d like and would suit me, introduced me to colours I’d not usually have chosen, helped me significantly increase my wardrobe space and also taught me a lot about myself and my shopping habits.
I had no qualms about spending this time with Bella – previously a stranger to me. She made me so comfortable, was professional and un-judgemental, but also efficient and great company. So, although anxious, I was looking forward to going shopping with her.
You already know I went all-in with this, no holds barred. So Bella and I set aside a full day solely for shopping which, in reality, was around five hours for me – but almost seven for Bella!
I was very impressed with the process; by the time I met Bella in Eldon Square, she had already picked out the shops we should go to, as well as a selection of outfits. One of the best things about shopping with Bella is her capacity to envisage how one garment would fit with the other things we had already selected.
For me, this was brilliant, as someone with no clue about colours that complement each other or clash, what patterns work with others, etc. She helped me find the basics to build my wardrobe with, plus the eye-catching and colourful pieces that would reflect my personality.
I came out of this session having kept my spending within my budget, with a full selection of clothes that I felt confident in and suited me. Most of all, I came out of this with the confidence I hadn’t had before – confidence that has been picked up on by my colleagues in the weeks following my shopping trip.
These new outfits work for me; they’re comfortable, easy to wear and feel good in, and they’ll last. I know they suit me, and that comes across when I wear them.
If you’re in a position in your life where you feel like you’ve not changed your style for a while, or, like me, you’ve never known what your style actually is, then I would definitely recommend some time with Bella. It doesn’t matter what budget you have, what size you are, or what stage of life you are. Finding confidence in what you’re wearing and how you look is worth so much. Take the plunge!