From a very young age I loved the idea of co-ordinating outfits, dressing my dolls up and creating outfits to wear that made me happy. I learned to sew on my Gran’s old treadle machine. I studied french seams. Her dear old machine did not have a zig zag stitch. My parents gifted me an electric sewing machine for my birthday when I was 12. I enrolled in a knitwit sewing course and made some ‘interesting’ outfits. I experimented. Colour was very important to me. Still is. My mother taught me the principle of investing in classics and quality. She took me to Fletcher Jones in Melbourne’s CBD. Here I learned the the value in taking on board styling advice as I was fitted in a skirt and jacket that flattered my curves. Mum allowed them to serve me. It was gold!
In my 30’s I studied colour and styling. There were rules ….. and mercifully, I learned later to break them. I followed the styling rules and wore a lot of brown, green and orange. It worked for me. I mindlessly purchased whatever I found ‘in my colour’. I became predictable and lost my sense of style. I had forgotten how to innovate.
I recall my Father saying to Mum as I walked in the back door “Helen’s here, someone told her brown looks good. She’s wearing it again” I didn’t get it. Thought he’d lost the plot. As it turns out, it was me. I had lost the plot.
Fast forward another 10 years, I’m in my mid 40’s by this stage. I have been collaborating with Geri Leijon from Wesson on the Style by Wesson events. These events happen twice a year in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and Perth for women who know they are worth it and appreciate uniqueness and quality. There are many labels, styles, fabrics and pieces for all occasions and budgets. After a long day of serving our clients, we sat with a glass of bubbly to rest and chat about the day. Out of the blue, Geri gets up and starts pulling out garments while guiding me to the main suite. ‘Get those brown pants off and get these clothes on!’ Her tone was insistent. Gutsy little blonde decided she was going to take me on. She styled me with confidence and love. She had no time for my protest or my nonsense. I was so damned fixed on what worked, I was deaf. Nevertheless, she persisted. I had tossed away my second husband by this stage and she knew I was in a rut. It was time.
Within 30 minutes I was transformed in clothing that fitted me, it was not loose and baggy. The rest of the team were anxiously waiting to see the result. The look on their face and words of affirmation assured me I was ok. That began my new regime of shopping consciously for quality pieces that would work hard in my wardrobe. I love to share my cost per wear formula with my clients, enlightening them with how to make it work in their favour.
These days I wear black, despite being told all those years ago that I could not wear it. It’s now about HOW I do it. Interesting to note there is very little brown in my wardrobe these days. I think Dad might be happy about that!
I do remain grateful to the core for the courage, wisdom, persistence and love that Geri displayed that day. Everything changed after that.
Next week we are in Perth. If you feel inspired to join us, please connect. It will be my great privilege to serve you. Find out more HERE