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“Thank you so much for the session yesterday – it was absolutely brilliant! I feel like a big weight has been taken off my shoulders.”  


“It was so exciting! I can’t wait to go shopping now and know that what I bring home will go with what’s in my wardrobe and make me look great!  I’m sure I will still make a few mistakes but at least I will know how to put it right! I shall definitely be booking up another session in the spring. “ (Jane, Wiltshire, 2010)

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“Also, I have had several comments from colleagues at work over the last couple of days who have said I look fabulous and what have I done? And I look glamorous etc… so that has really given me a boost and much more confidence!  I thought you might like to know!

Many thanks for all your help.” (Jane, Wiltshire 2010)

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“Last Friday seems a long time ago now... I did need to throw a lot of clothes away so thanks for that initial "kick".  I can see why you have put the clothes together and it has given me more confidence to walk into a shop and dismiss half the stock because the clothes are the wrong colour.  The little tips you gave me have been very useful and I have remembered them whilst out browsing.”  (Jennifer, Gloucestershire)

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“I would like to thank you so much for all of your guidance and advice on my image. I had such a lovely time yesterday which was down to you. You were very professional but at the same time were friendly and fun; I thoroughly enjoyed shopping with you. I have learnt many useful tips and hopefully will be able to apply them whilst shopping on my own in the future.” (Jennifer, Gloucestershire)

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“After I left you yesterday I returned to Jigsaw and tried on the skirt and jacket you suggested, they both fitted perfectly,...

I am delighted with my purchases and ‘J’ thoroughly approves, just as well really! We went out to The Story Teller last night and I wore the black beaded dress, my friend loved it and wanted to know where it came from!”  (Jennifer, Gloucestershire)

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“My son’s girlfriends were around today and they also approved of all my new clothes.... I now feel much more confident about shopping for clothes which is down to you, so many, many thanks. I look forward to working with you again in the spring.” (Jennifer, Gloucestershire)

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“Thank you SO much for last Saturday. We had a brilliant time and have spoken almost every day this week to discuss some other aspect or other!  I have just place my first Arbonne order - managed to get the night cream (the most expensive product) for free which was great. I'll let you know how I get on.” (Sarah G., Gloucestershire)

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“We're both saving our pennies for the next B installment - now we know our colours, we're interested in finding out about the types of clothes that suit our figures!  Anyway, it's all been lots of fun and we've both felt great in our new mascara and colours that suit us this week, so thank you a million times over.
We'll definitely keep in touch and look forward to seeing you before too long.” (Sarah G., Gloucestershire)

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“A belated thank you for all your help and advice a few weeks ago. It was such a useful and enjoyable morning. I love the fact I now have a wardrobe full of clothes I actually wear. I feel so much more confident having injected some colour into my outfits and have received loads of compliments.

I’m recommending you to all my friends!” (Rachel, Cheltenham)

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“Next on the agenda, a new wardrobe of clothes!
Image consultant Berith Sandgren-Clarke from 2B-inspired in Stroud has offered to sort out my clothes to reflect the new me.  She promises I can create a capsule wardrobe with only 35 items. If this is a mid-life crisis, bring it on.” (Sue Smith, Stroud News and Journal, 2009)

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“Thank you so much for the make-up lesson.  Having never really concentrated on make-up, only using lipstick and mascara, I felt now was the time to change slightly as I hit my 50's.  I wanted a very natural look and you have allowed me to achieve that beautifully.  Quite a number of people have commented on how 'well' I'm looking, not realising that there's a subtle make-up job going on!  Many thanks for your efforts, excellent products too! (Nicola, Wiltshire)

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“Just to let you know how much I look forward to the seasonal updates - they really are a breath of fresh air and a great deal of fun.   It gives you so much more confidence to go and shop for the clothes that you know will be the right style and colour for you as you update your wardrobe each season.  Can't wait for the next one! “(Carole, Gloucestershire)

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“PS. you might like to know I have purchased a rather nice green bag and some grey linen trousers and a green top which I am wearing with my fitted black jacket. I wore to make a presentation in last week. A woman in the room said she was very jealous of people like me who were colour co-ordinated !  The Bi effect is really working.....”(Pam, Wiltshire)

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“I wanted to write and thank you for another fabulous day when we met in September. I've waited until now as I wanted to tell you that I felt so inspired after our meeting I decided to go vintage shopping - in Paris! I was there over the weekend and had such an amazing time but most importantly (for me), I was complimented on my outfits ...which I credit you with for giving me the tools to construct.” (Gillian, Dundee)

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“... It was such a confidence boost, I can't tell you but I'm sure you understand. I also managed to buy a beautiful gold necklace, which you recommended to balance the blue from the uniform shirts I have to wear. …  I want you to know how superior your presentation and clients handling are in comparison, hence the reason I came to the other end of the UK to see you again. Thank you once again, Berith, you were truly inspiring.” (Gillian, Dundee)

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"...Whenever I go shopping now I firstly see the colour, then the style, then if it will fit me. I used to assume I would look fat in everything, so wouldn't even bother most of the time." (Wendy,Gloucestershire)

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"...My husband and son were very impressed with it. You have given me so many more outfits to wear, and its fun to look up what you suggest to wear with what." (Sue GL8)
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" ...You helped me choose the perfect colour for my wedding dress as well as changed my life for the better." (Wendy, Gloucestershire)

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“ I feel great since you sorted my wardrobe. So much less clothes but feel liberated by the fact that I can wear everything and feel generally good.” (Allison, Wiltshire)


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Q   "I have sloping shoulders, as well as a 'Dowagers Hump'! Mmm! Very attractive! What style of neck line would suit me best?" (Rebecca, Wiltshire)


A   It’s not really the neckline that will do the transformation here it’s the shoulder line, however, the best neck line for sloping shoulders and ‘curved’ upper back is broad neck lines such as a wide V-neck or a Bardot styles. Making sure that your hair is complimentary and doesn’t sit heavily on the ’D.H.’ is also important. So, for your shoulders; your best friend will be a shaped shoulder pad that hugs your natural frame and attach under your bra strap. This will gently widen and lift your shoulders and give a clean armhole which will lift the bust area too. Avoid clingy fabrics though, they tend to migrate into creases and lumps and would very likely point out the line of the pad. Pads can be purchased from good haberdashers. A Retail Therapy trip would guide you in the right direction.

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Q   “Why is it that I have so much costume jewellery that I love but as soon as I put it on I don't like it and take it straight off preferring to see myself without and yet I always admire it on other people?” (Ruth, Gloucestershire) - Published in ‘In the Limelight, October 2010


A  Perhaps you buy what you see on others because visual aids are important to your creativity rather than questioning if it suits you? Or, you might be frustrated when shopping for other items, such as shoes that you end up buying costume jewelry instead to fill that void, or perhaps you find it difficult to get rid of something that you haven’t worn. Whatever the reason I think a Style Profiling session followed by a Wardrobe Wisdom session would be a good investment. Because if your wardrobe personality and life style is Natural or Sporty then accessories need to be minimal to avoid getting caught or damaged in your daily routines. I think it’s time for some focused you time; to find who you are, what you want and where you are going – Be your Best!

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Q   “I’ve inherited a wonderful check blanket in light blue/brown and cream, from my Great Aunt, and it would make a wonderful coat. I’ve made a blanket coat before and seen a style in the McCall’s Pattern Book recently which I love, a cape with a belt around it, as capes are in this season.

I am a pear shape, but I see your Newsletter says:

‘Curvier shapes should look for straighter versions with less flare.’

Do you think this style will be ok, a bit longer or should I choose something else? “ (Karen, Gloucestershire) - Published in ‘In The Limelight’, January 2011


A  I am assuming that you are aiming to stay looking tall and slim? And, as you are a slight pear shape/ triangle you need to make sure that you follow your curves in what you wear. Most of us should avoid anything too wide since all things wide will make us look shorter. Unless a shortening effect is preferred. Your picture (supplied with question) shows a style that is very much in fashion this season. Be careful not to use a fabric that is too stiff or you will look wider than you are tall. As capes tend to add rather than subtract surplus you need to make sure that you emphasize your slim waist with a belt.  Perhaps match belt with boots? And to maintain a good body balance I suggest that you wear this ‘over garment’ together with a hat or an up do as well as straight trousers and high heels, otherwise you might look out of balance and plump. Another point to notice is the position of the hem; it should finish at an area where you are happy for the onlooker to focus their attention. If you don’t want your fullest part to be on show then don’t display it. A three hour Style Profiling session or a one hours Trend Watch session might be useful to get a second opinion before you decide.


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Q   “When I look in my wardrobe it consists mainly of plain colours, but, how do I introduce some patterned items and sticking to the ‘rules’ of choosing deep colours, no small flowery patterns and no ‘maternity’ tops (the shops are full of them and I am 57 and so past all that!)”.  (Jane, Wiltshire)


A  Well done for building the foundations! Now is the time to ‘Express Yourself’, and be creative. Your choice of pattern should be in scale and balance with your facial pattern and body scale, and positioned in an area where you are happy for the ‘on looker’ to look. I suggest drawing attention to your face by allowing patterns and detailing at the neck and shoulder area. If you are happy with your legs then find a skirt with detailing round the hem. Vertical and diagonal lines are slimming whilst horizontal lines are ‘fattening’.  Also, being that you are dominantly ‘Deep’ in your colour personality you should keep all base colours deep too. E.g. A pattern will look best if placed on a deep background. A Colour Consultation is a must and a Retail Therapy trip would guide you in the right direction.


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Q  “I'm short (5'3") but love wearing long sweaters, jumpers, cardigans, jackets etc over trousers as I think they make me look taller. Am I right? What style of jacket will suit me best and make me look taller?” (Sarah, Gloucestershire)


A   To achieve a taller look, apart from choosing the best colour, you need to prioritize on cut, pattern and weight of fabric. Normally vertical lines are more elongating though long line coats will make legs look shorter, so if you are blessed with long legs then this will not be an issue as such. Wear a top that tone with your face and legs under your open long line jacket and you will look slimmer and taller too. Footwear in a colour that relate to your legs will also add height. Regarding style of jacket, this has more to do with cut. Anything that is either too small or too big will make us look wider, and therefore shorter. A single breasted, notched lapel, straight shoulder, slightly fitted at the waist type jacket that finish somewhere between upper and lower hip is a good safe style to invest in. Remember a good cut is everything! A Wardrobe Wisdom session would help you see for yourself how to put outfits together by dressing to suit you.


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Q  I have put on a few pounds (and they have landed round my middle) I love wearing shorts in the summer (legs not too bad) please can you advise what type of shorts, shape, length would suit someone of mid 40’s ?” (Fiona, Gloucestershire)


A  This question is not just about hemlines it’s more about age. I don’t want to assume but I am guessing that you want to look as young and vibrant as possible, yet not as ‘Mutton dressed as Lamb’?  I was taught that if someone looks 20 from one direction but 40 from the other then the shock to the ‘on looker’ will register someone looking more like 60. It’s called the 20/40 formula (the difference between 20 and 40 is 20. Add 20 to the ‘actual’ age and you get the visual age). So, regarding shorts and hemlines, the best length is on the knee, or just below where the knee is the slimmest. This length is safe though not frumpy and leaves something for the imagination too. A slight mid crease will elongate the upper leg and a flat front will keep everything nice and tidy. Avoid gathered waists at all account if you want to stay looking young and slim for longer. A Style Profiling session followed by a Retail Therapy trip would guide you in the right direction.


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Q    “I've had very short hair for years; it’s fine but thick and I always have it cut and styled regularly. As I get older my jaw line is losing its tautness. Should I be thinking of a longer cut? If so, what would you suggest?” (Sarah, Gloucestershire)


A   Ah, gravity! This happens to us all. As we mature our once prominent lines will start to go south. It important not to give up or get stuck in a rut, however, when it comes to hair very few women over the age of 40 will look good in long hair though most will look fabulous in a well styled short cut. The evidence of jaw and chin gravity will be most noticeable in profile so it’s important that you like your side view. There are ways to draw attention away from areas that you don’t want others to notice. This can be achieved with colour and cut. I suggest you ask you stylist. A good stylist will not force their opinion on you unless they think you are ready. A Style Profiling or Makeover session would help you see where your assets are and encourage you to ‘Be your best’.


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Q   “I have an ample chest and wondered how I can dress apart from wearing wrap around tops.” (Tricia, Gloucestershire)

  

A  Wrap around dresses and tops work wonders on an ample chest. Perhaps we need to ask why this is and then find alternatives. Look at the neck line, does it form a V? V-necks are always the best option for an ample bust. Check the weight of the fabric. A good quality viscose will give a good drape and create weight that will skim over your curves. (Look for garments that include viscose in the fabric composition.) Check the hem line! Where is your comfort zone? Does the garment finish at an area where you are happy for the ‘onlooker’ to look? Check the colours. Is your favourite garment made using your best colours and patterns? The right colour will make you look healthy whilst the wrong one will encourage others to feel sorry for you and send you home to bed. My question to you is what would you like to achieve? A Retail Therapy trip or a Style Profiling consultation will guide you in the right direction.


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Q   “How can I best disguise my tummy?! I have a flat bottom, fairly slim hips - but a tummy. Help!” (Sarah, Gloucestershire)

 

A   Confidence and clever disguise is my suggestion. Walk tall, invest in ‘shape wear’, scarves, make up and a good beauty products to draw attention to your pretty face. The idea is to intice the ‘on looker’ in trying to find something nice to look at. Trying to cover up by decorating tummy with a big top will make it look bigger and tucking tops in to your waist bands will make it look as if it’s trying to escape – a great way to draw attention to it! You can also try ‘shape wear’ such as Spanx to mould tummy in to place, one clothes size is easily lost by wearing this. However, your best friend is your face, so make sure to invest in good beauty and makeup products that suits your colouring, personality and budget. Borrow a Golden Arbonne beauty bag from us for three days to establish if this is for you and it might be the beginning of a new confident you.


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Q  “I'm 5' 2" and a size 12 on the bottom half and 14 on the top. What style of clothing will help me look taller? Any ideas for a flattering Christening outfit for my nieces christening in a weekend's time?” (Tricia, Gloucestershire)


A   Make sure that you colour block in a vertical fashion rather than horizontal. The wider we look the shorter we are perceived to be. Tone feet, with legs and carry this effect upwards to tone with your hair by creating the tallest silhouette. Fabrics, colours and shades will work in your favour or against. Being that your ‘assets’ are ‘on top’ you need to think about balance too. Use lighter coloured fabrics below your waist and stick to darker shades on top. And add heals. A Retail Therapy trip would guide you in the right direction.


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Q  “What trousers or ‘bottom-half’ wear, would suit a pot-belly curve at the front (ie. a larger tummy) - jeans seem to be cut way too low these days to support me.” (Narjas, Gloucestershire)

A   This is one of the most ‘popular’ concerns for women of a certain age. There come a time where our middle seem to go north and our bust travel south and therefore creating a rounder middle. My suggestion is to draw attention to an area that you don’t mind showing. Disguise by clever colour blocking, put details such as accessories and stitching where you want the onlooker to look and wear ‘Shapewear’. Try Spanx - Hollywood’s favourite control brand that has brought this important item back into the modern lingerie wardrobe. Regarding jeans, try NYDJ also called The Tummy Tuck Jean, which will help you hold your tummy in and be confidently comfortable at the same time. And walk tall! Good posture is one of the best slimming pills around. A Retail Therapy trip would guide you in the right direction.


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QI am a Classic style.  I am most comfortable with this style as I have spent most of my life in suits, which I love.  But I have always admired the Euro Chic look, it's so fun and fashionable.  I would love to change my style, is that possible?  Or, perhaps I can just have a few key items that I could add to my Classic style, what would they be? (Linda, Cornelius, U.S.) – Published in ‘In The limelight December 2010


A  Anything is possible! And since you ask you must be ready… The difference between a Classic and a Chic is very slim. What you have to do is know what really suits your body shape and colouring, invest in a small, high quality capsule wardrobe and update this with new ‘trendy’ accessories every season - Just like they do on the continent. A Chic knows exactly what suits her and will visit her image consultant, hair stylist and nail technician regularly as well as update her makeup; she will also buy new shades, specs, handbags, shoes and boots every season, that follow a strong trend – this is how you can make your Classic style become more Chic in a most cost effective way. A Wardrobe Wisdom or a Retail Therapy session will get you on the right track.


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Q
  
      “I’m struggling with belts! I have one or two trusty leather belts that are starting to look a bit tired – I’d like to buy some new belts to suit my shape but I find that they are expensive items – and plastic ones just don’t do it for me! Where would you suggest buying some versatile, figure enhancing belts? “ (Miranda, Gloucestershire) - Published in ‘In the Limelight, November 2010
 

A  Belts are such an important accessory and need to be in balance with your height and in line with your body pattern. I recommend that you calculate cost per wear. Though plastic is cheaper than leather, I'm yet to find a good belt made out of this man made substance. And I think the reason why leather belts are quite expensive is because you need a large piece of leather, that hasn't got too many faults, before you start cutting the length, and the buckles need to be of a good quality too. One of my favourite shops in Gloucestershire is Lola in Cirencester. Their belts are around £50. If you are unsure of the size and style I think a Retail Therapy session would get you on the right track.


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Q “Lipstick - I have a cool colouring and I am forever in search of the perfect lipstick that suits my colouring, I am very fair.  I would like to find something that isn't too light, that makes my lips disappear, or is too dark, that makes me feel like a Halloween character, or too bright, which I am a bit uncomfortable with.   Is there a rule of thumb? Should I just force myself to wear colours that are supposed to suit me that I don't feel great wearing, and get used to it?” (Linda, North Carolina, U.S.)



A No don’t force yourself!! However, as we mellow with age our lips tend to recede as well as everything else and therefore it’s a matter of choosing a colour wisely and not to wear one that is too deep or draws attention to ageing teeth. This is best explained in a Makeup lesson. Also, you mentioned in a previous correspondence that you wish for a more ‘Chic’ wardrobe style. That means that you should apply makeup in an understated manner. Apply tone-on-tone shades that match your colouring and make you look vibrant. My favourite cosmetic range is off course Arbonne. Try their Lip Liner with a ‘touch of’  Lip Polish. Make sure to outline and fill lips with Pink Mauve lip liner and then ‘kiss’ some Nude lip polish at the centre of your lips to create ‘just enough’ gloss to reflect a good pout - without creating an oil slick.

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