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Styling secrets with Emily Chadbourne

Styling secrets with Emily Chadbourne

I know as well as anyone that cancer can do a reallll number on your confidence. While undergoing some of the greatest mental challenges of your life, you might be also be dealing with hair loss, fluctuating body weight, changing body parts and scars. This can make dressing up in the morning feel like another challenge to add to the list. 

When we started dreaming up our Styled by Bravery event, having stylist extraordinaire Emily Chadbourne there was a no brainer. Em is a mindset coach who works with women on their self worth and style, to build up their confidence and bring back any glow that might have been taken by the shitstorm that life can be. She is the best dopamine dresser I know and a huge advocate for women. She's witty, intelligent, buckets of fun and also, someone I am lucky enough to call my fabulous friend.

For those of you who weren't at our styling event, we asked her for five top tips to feeling good in the clothes you're in. Here they are:

1. Continuous colour or pattern elongates the body
Wherever we create a horizontal line, the eye will stop. We create horizontal lines with waistbands, hems and colour changes. To keep the eye travelling down the body (and so elongating it with a streamlined effect) you can stick to one colour or pattern. This might look like red trousers and a red shirt or your favorite leopard print dress. Remember, the aim isn't to hide yourself but to use optical illusions to showcase yourself.
2. Joy is created, not gifted
For years I wore clothes for the sole reason that I'd be arrested if I didn't. I worried so much about not fitting in, getting it wrong or looking like I was trying too hard that I just resorted to leggings and a jumper every day. I didn't understand how much power I had over my mindset and how that could be affected by the way I chose to decorate my body. These days, I dress for joy. Not trends, not approval, not for anyone else but me. If it brings me joy then I wear it. How amazing to know I can create my own joy by simply selecting a fun jumper!
3. A bit of bling for an easy win
My number 1 style hack is foolproof, always on budget and extremely sustainable (and it works every time). And it's... jewellery. Jewellery is the quickest and easiest way to polish an outfit. A simple jeans and t-shirt combo can be immediately elevated with some hoop earrings and a pendant necklace. With the exception of a few sentimental pieces or items that have been gifted to me, all my bling comes from Op shops for less than a tenner!
4. Remember: No one sees what you see
When you look in the mirror your eye will immediately go to the part of your body that you struggle to love the most. But no one else knows how much you hate your arms (for example) so they're not looking there. Other people are looking at you as a whole. This is why dressing for your body type is more important than dressing to hide parts of your body you don't love (for more on this check out my free Body Types resource which includes How To Find Out Your Body Type; Style Guides for each Body Type and a BONUS Body Types Masterclass ). It's also worth remembering that no one else is thinking about how you look as much as you're thinking about how you look. Everyone else is too busy worrying about how they look to you!
5. Keep calm and compliment
It's easy (and normal) to resent your body, especially if you feel like it's changing on you. Societal conditioning is rife with unrealistic beauty standards and when we feel we don't live up to those, we can get stuck in a spiral of shame. But your body is on your side and just because you don't fit into patriarchy's definition of a supermodel, doesn't mean you're less valuable, loved or worthy. So before you leave the house, stand in front of the mirror and run through some of the things you're grateful to your body for. Be kind about yourself. It'll change how you see yourself.
To shop some seriously colourful accessories, browse our range of designer scarves here.
To explore the brilliant blogs, courses and other resources full of more golden tips that Em has to offer, head to her website here. And be sure to follow her instagram to watch her styling mind in action! 

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