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My Style Icon Blog

By margaretdoyle, May 23 2020 05:37PM

Those of us mature enough to remember the power dressing era of the 1980/90s, will remember the dramatic shoulder pads, the tailored suits and the overall business image designed to impart of the image of a powerful woman in business. While does days are long gone and the office place has become more a reflection of the local gym, what lessons can we take from these polar opposite approaches to office/ business dress?

Scientific evidence tells us that "Enclothed Cognition" is the term coined by Hajo Adam and Adam D. Galinsky (Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. ) in their 2012 experiment relating to the effect which clothes have upon a persons mental process, the way they think, feel and function, in areas like attention, confidence and abstract thinking. While Joe Oinsker in his article in The Atlantic, determined that formal clothing helps one feel authoritative and powerful. Let's think about this for a moment? When you go for an interview, would you feel more confident wearing your jeans and a top or in a smart suit? If you had to speak infront of a group of 20 or more adults, would you feel more confident in a tracksuit or your favourite smart casual or formal outfit? For me personally, when I have to compere a large fashion event, I definitelyt feel more confident doing so once I have my hair, makeup and a favourite outfit on.

With so many of us now "working from home", are our clothing choices imapcting on our ability to be as productive and indeed successful as we would be if we were in the office? In Benfit or Burden? Dress Down Days, CPA Journal we discovered casual clothes can boost openess and agreeableness, but does it make you a good negotiator?

Are you rolling out of bed into the nearest tracksuit and onto your laptop, or are you still getting "dressed for the office". Have you noticed a difference in your productivitiy? Is it harder to switch your brain from work to home, and if you are like me it is work to home, home to schooling and back to work again. Is your clothing choice actually have a impact on your productivity? Maybe it is time we all got back to the '20s version of power dressing and see does it imapct on your work and WFM work/ life balance!

By margaretdoyle, Mar 12 2018 04:49AM

Aideen Bodkin at Ryan Design, Clonmel
Aideen Bodkin at Ryan Design, Clonmel
Mother of the Bride at Klassy Lady, Cahir
Mother of the Bride at Klassy Lady, Cahir

This is a busy time of year for a Personal Shopper with Communions, Confirmations and Weddings all around the corner. For clients who's style is usually casual, this can be a very stressful purchase. Follow my top tips to help make it less stressful.

1. Wear the right undewear when going shopping

The biggest turn off any potential purchase happens when you look in the mirror and all you see is muffin top or belly overhang brought on briefs that are just too skimpy. For dresses you must wear full briefs that come up as high as your natural waistline. Anything lower and your dress will cling to all those places you are self conscious of.

2. Take photos

You will be photographed on the day, so when picking the right outfit it's important that you take pictures from all angles to see how the otufit will photograph and to make sure you will be happy in years to come looking back on those memories.

3. Flatter in the right Shape and Colour

Be open to new ideas on shape and colour and even to try something different from what you had in mind. You might be surprised that you can pull off a style you have previously shyed away from. The style should flatter your shape and draw attention to your best features and draw away from the worst. Choose a colour you personally love to wear, as you will wear it with confidence. Colours that suit our skintone (and this is not linked to your hair or eye colour, a regular myth I often hear stated), will make your eyes sparkle, your lips will appear to suddenly have had a fresh coat of lipstick applied and your cheeks will appear fuller.

4. See the bigger picture

The wow factor does not come from the dress alone. So often people leave a perfect dress behind because it alone seems too plain or simple. They cannot picture how amazing the complete outfit will look. An occasion outfit is not complete until you add the finishing touches, a customised headpiece, a statement piece of jewellery or a statement bag or shoes will bring even the simplest dress to a differnt level of stunning!

5. Be Yourself

You want to feel fabulous and confident on the big day. So if you don't feel WOW in the outfit then don't buy it, regardless of what anyone else thinks. After all you are the only one who will be wearing it!

If you have an occasion coming up and you need some professional advice, please contact Margaret on 087 7926244.

By margaretdoyle, Nov 12 2017 08:40PM

Getting ready for the party season is all part of the fun of the Christmas season. If you are a busy working mum like me, its one of the few nights I get to dress up (without it being work related that is) and let my hair down. The most important tip that I can give you when choosing your perfect style: "You must get the underwear right!"

We see so many client's nearly leave the perfect dress or look behind because they were wearing the wrong underwear on the day they went shopping. In my very glamorous job, I have yanked more underwear and bras into the right place and even had to get the client to remove them just so they could see how the dress will look with the right underwear.

Style Icon Tips for the perfect underwear this party season:

1. Definitely invest in a Bridget Jones Style Full Brief No VPL Underwear

A full brief that comes up as high as your own natural waistline ensures your figure hugging dress shows off your curves and not your underwear. Low slung hipsters will create a unslightly line in the wrong place that even the best shapewear won't hide. They may not be pretty but they do work wonders and you may not need any more help than this. I personally like the M&S Microfibre no VPL High Rise Full Brief which helps to cover unslightly dimpled skin too.

2. Wear a correct fitting Bra

So many ladies are still wearing the wrong size bra it is frightening and dangerous. Dresses and tops are designed for the bust to sit up and out and half way between the shoulder and elbow. The right fitting bra will ensure that is where you sit and create an excellent waistline you had forgotten you possessed. If you hold most of your fullness to the side, then a half cup is perfect. If you are fuller to the front then a full cup is a must. Remember, it's the band that supports your bust not the straps, so if your band is too loose, your bust will point towards the floor. With over 15 years measuring bras we found most ladies are at least one band size to large and one to two band sizes too small. Consider the average bra size is 34D (journal of female health sciences) and you are nearly guaranteed to be one of the 90% plus ladies in the wrong size.

3. Bare Legs Versus Tights

Well this is a question of confidence really. I personally don't love my legs and opt for a natural toned 10 denier Marie Claire style with control top to give my legs an airbrushed appearance, hiding any unslightly blemishes and bumps. If you are self concious of promonent veins then Falke 30 denier energizer black tights worn with black heels will give you coverage and support.

4. Bring the Right Underwear Shopping

Finally, and most importantly don't forget to bring the right underwear with you when shopping for your perfect party look and make sure you avoid "what if everyone can see my undewear lines?"

Even the most expensive clothes won't hide the wrong underwear !
Even the most expensive clothes won't hide the wrong underwear !
No VPL Micorfibre High Rise Full Brief, Marks and Spencer (pack of 5) €16
No VPL Micorfibre High Rise Full Brief, Marks and Spencer (pack of 5) €16
Falke Energizer Tights availlable at Clinton's Of Clonmel
Falke Energizer Tights availlable at Clinton's Of Clonmel

By margaretdoyle, Oct 22 2017 06:30PM

I came across a very thought provoking article in a Pyschology magazine this week, which shook my style bones to the core! The author of the article discussed the daily mental trauma she goes through each morning when she opens her wardrobe and finds nothing to wear. Inspired by an article she read, she made the radical decision to reduce her wardrobe to not just a capsule wardrobe, but to create her own uniform of a white shirt and black trousers for every day! This, she told us, saved her 20 mintues of torture each morning and now that she had time to actually prepare and eat a healthy breakfast, enabled her power to work with new found confidence.

As a lover of style, the idea of wearing essentially the same thing every day filled me with horror. Even with my own individual pieces, I try not to wear them exactly the same way each time I wear them, so that way I never get bored! Interestingly, as the experiment continued, the author did find she bored of her ultra minimalistic uniform and soon longed to wear other colours. This did not suprise me as the colours we choose to wear reflect not only our personality but also how we are feeling on a particular day. Days that I am really busy, I love to wear red as this helps give me more energy, but on my down time, I love to wear green which helps me relax.

There are lessons to learn from her experiment:

1. Too little in your wardrobe, or too much of the same thing, while time saving, will quickly lead to boredom and leave you feeling in a style rut and just not yourself.

2. Too much in your wardrobe will hinder your ability to even know what is in your wardrobe and certainly does not lend itself to quick style choices each day. I saw this with one lovely client who had a wardrobe overflowing across two different floors, but everything else in her house and life was minimalistic. Once we identified this was why she was overwhelmed by too much choice and made a capsule wardobe with enough variety and colour she found herself feeling at ease with her style again.

Style Icon Tip: The key to success is "balance". Create a capsule wardrobe with at least 5 different colours that will mix and match. With the Style Icon Wardrobe Workout we can show you how to use my 1:5 rule and make at least 5 different outfits from every item in your wardrobe. Rise to this challenge and you will never have an overflowing wardrobe and still have nothing to wear again!

By margaretdoyle, Oct 8 2017 04:23PM

ZARA : Frock Coat €59.99
ZARA : Frock Coat €59.99
Bourbon Ball of Fire - Blood by Amy Huberman €119
Bourbon Ball of Fire - Blood by Amy Huberman €119

October 8th 2017

Red, one of the hotest trends this AW2017 season is great news for my Spring client's who shine in the tomato shades gracing our high street. Wearing this shade close to your face will ensure that your complexion looks clearer, brighter and younger so investing in tops, jackets and dresses in this shade is an absolute must for you. I love this Frock Coat from Zara with it's belted detail (another big trend this season) which will liven up duller darker shades of black, purple or grey you may already have in your wardrobe and give you an inexpensive stylish look for the school runs this winter.

For the other seasons who don't look good with tomato red worn close to their face, don't despair, you can still embrace this trend, once you do so away from your face. I love these chic Ankle Boots by Amy Huberman which allow you to be on trend, without compromising on what looks good to your face. Team with 7/8 trousers for maximum effect or your best skinny black jeans.

Style Icon Tip: Wearing Red when you have a busy day ahead is great to boost your energy levels.