I’ve really been looking forward to sharing my thoughts on Melissa Murrell’s Body Shape Masterclass and some tips on how to create a capsule wardrobe but before I get started let me tell you about the workshops at Hero Stockbridge. I have travelled all the way from London on a few occasions to attended workshops at Hero and I can honestly say – hand on heart – that they have been worth the journey.
The first workshop I attended was called Become a Confident Blogger with Amanda Start, The Online Stylist and the inspirational Laura, owner of Hero. Blogging professionally is something I had wanted to do for years but felt I never could, in my mind I thought that becoming a professional blogger was a bit like becoming a rock star (!) but the workshop completely demystified the blogging world for me and I realised that it is a job like any other – a job that I might just be able to do…
It gave me direction and something to aim for and made me think that I could make it work. Fast forward 9 months and things are beginning to happen for me. I’ve had the opportunity to work with brands, attended press days and grown a small community around my blog. It’s incredibly hard work, there is so much to learn and not nearly enough hours in the day but that workshop ignited a little spark in me and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to start a blog. Oh! and let’s not forget that the setting is divine, the team are wonderful, refreshments are included and you can indulge in a spot of shopping afterwards – what’s not to love? Click here for information on upcoming workshops and events at Hero.
BODY SHAPE MASTERCLASS
Now, for the masterclass: Melissa Murrell is a stylist and business woman with an extensive background in fashion. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the class, I had never worked with or been dressed by stylist. I always thought that A – probably couldn’t afford it and B – I’m pretty good at dressing myself so don’t need one! Sure, I’m not about to win any ‘best dressed’ prizes but I have always enjoyed fashion and been a confident dresser so the thought of hiring a stylist just hadn’t occurred to me. I can tell you that I feel differently now.
I can’t possibly do justice to the class in one single blogpost as it was so jam-packed with content but I can give you an overview. We learnt and analysed different body shapes: hourglass, apple, pear, rectangle and strawberry. Turns out I’m a rectangle with a bit of an apple thrown in for good measure… and you may think you have heard it all before but once you really understand and actively think about the shape of your body you can really begin to dress in the most flattering way.
I was amazed at how Melissa was able to transform our bodies with a few tweaks here and there. She made saddlebags and tummies disappear, elongated legs and created waistlines by simply choosing the right clothing for each body type. It made me realise that stylists are very skilled and I can see that employing the services of a good stylist could make a significant difference to you if you are not very confident or simply don’t know where to start with fashion and clothes.
TIPS FOR CREATING A CAPSULE WARDROBE
During the second part of the masterclass Melissa discussed the principles of creating a capsule wardrobe and I’m delighted to be able to share these with you. A capsule wardrobe should be full of versatile pieces that you can easily dress up or down according to your needs. These carefully considered pieces will provide endless outfit choices and allow you to get dressed quickly whilst always looking your best.
A good wardrobe detox is your first step to creating a capsule wardrobe. Be really honest with yourself and set aside the clothes that you don’t wear, don’t fit you anymore and any sentimental pieces you have lurking in there – you will never wear that prom dress again and no, you don’t need that nice jumper with the holes in it. The aim here is to curate the clothes you already have and get rid of the rest.
Next you should really think about getting the foundations right, I’m talking underwear of course! Ill fitting underwear will make even the most expensive clothes look cheap and as Melissa says ‘you should be pointing straight ahead, not pointing south or under the arms regardless of your size!’ If you haven’t been measured in a while I recommend that you do before you get started on creating your capsule wardrobe.
Then apply the 80:20 rule, in short this means that 80% of your wardrobe should be made up of classic investment pieces – think good jeans, a decent coat, blazers and so on and 20% frivolous fashion pieces. Spend good money on the building blocks of your wardrobe and update them seasonally with a small amount of trend led pieces. While we are on the subject of investment pieces let’s talk accessories: the key to a capsule wardrobe is to ensure that you can combine all of your clothes with all your accessories. Did you know that you only actually need 5 pairs of shoes? Shoeaholics relax, remember we’re creating a ‘capsule wardrobe’ here and for that you will need just 5 pairs of shoes in similar neutral shades: nude heels, taupe ankle boots, neutral wedges, neutral trainers and a pair of neutral sandals.
Now let’s discuss colour palettes. The key pieces in your wardrobe (80%) should be bought in neutral shades, choose three of these. Popular neutral shades are whites, creams, blues, greys, taupe, brown and beige. Then choose one or two accent colours, this can be the 20% of your wardrobe in burgundy, pinks, corals, reds and greens for example. Just make sure that one of your base colours is white or cream, you won’t be able to pull the capsule wardrobe together without it.
Finally your capsule wardrobe should include:
Jeans casual and going out styles in your base colours.
Neutral shoes for all occasions, buy your shoes in the same neutral tones and you will find that you always have the appropriate footwear for almost any occasion.
White and/ or neutral tops for in a variety of styles, this will allow you to transform your outfit from casual to smart with one simple change.
Blazers, long cardigans and coats should only be purchased in your base colours, this will ensure that they work perfectly with the other items in your wardrobe.
Accessories – don’t underestimate their value, you need them to pull your look together. You can afford to look for more interesting items when shopping for accessories think embellishment, texture and colour.
15 MINUTES WITH A STYLIST
I thought you might like to know how Melissa styled me and what I made of it, sadly we were so caught up in the moment that we forgot to take good photographs but I hope you can get an idea from the images below.
On the day I wore a pleated midi skirt, a denim shirt buttoned up to the top and a pair of ankle boots (see it here) – quite a fashion look I thought and then Melissa took me right of my comfort zone to demonstrate how I could improve my look.
She asked me to swap my shirt for a camisole with tiny straps which made me break out in a cold sweat because I have a thing about my upper arms and I try to keep them hidden as much as possible. Then she added a leather jacket, a fabulous belt around my waist and a few accessories and you know what? I loved it and it was a better outfit than the one I had put together! It was so simple but effective, I am now more conscious of my own shape and try dress accordingly by creating a bit more of a waist – I’m a rectangle remember? I am also accessorising more than I used to. My approach to accessories has always been minimal for fear of looking overdone but I realise that my outfits are so much more interesting when I include a few extras!
I’d love to know how many of you have used a stylist the past and what you thought of the experience and if you have attended any courses at Hero we could compare notes! Drop me a line in the box below.
I was kindly invited to attend the Body Shape Masterclass by Laura at Hero. All words and opinions are my own.
Melissa offers personal styling services and also runs a Styling Academy, please follow this link for further information.
Great post Antonia x
Great post, I have never used a stylist but after reading it his am tempted!
Me either but I was really amazed at the results and I honestly went in feeling sceptical. Makes me want to take a little course… thank you so much for taking the time to read the post!
Have always wanted to go to a stylist Antonia, but feared the looks created would take away my individuality and create a bit too much of a polished mature look (I like to think I’m in my early 30s rather than 40s lol) – great to know you had a good experience. Your recreated look is fab, sometimes we need that push out of our comfort zone. Let us know how you get on with your wardrobe reorganisation – I start with the best intentions and end up hoarding – doh!!! Marie Kondo book bought for my new year, new beginnings xx
I know exactly what you mean and the tips here are formulaic but I can’t deny how fantastic Melissa looks following her own advice. I suppose they key is to mix it up and be individual with that 20% of your wardrobe. I’m like a kid though and get completely sidetracked by new stuff in Topshop, Zara and H&M! I’ve been avoiding the wardrobe detox but I can barely close my drawers at the moment, I need to learn some vertical folding skills fast! As for the age thing, I keep forgetting that I’m headed for 40 and not 30 too, I wasn’t worried but now that it’s a mere 24 months away I’m starting to feel the panic rising…Ha ha!
Thank you for giving me your time and for always being so kind xxx
Good post!! Fascinating stuff. Can’t wait to see the new accessories and the even more stylish you! X
Looong post, top marks for stamina if you made it to the end! My progress is definitely slow on the accessories front but getting there… Thank you for reading xx
Very good read Hun, and so glad you appreciated the merits of a good stylist!! Not that I’ve ever looked at you and thought I’d like to get to work on you (as a stylist that is!!) but sometimes an outsiders eye sees a lot more than we see ourselves and what you do with it yourself afterwards is totally up to you, it’s just advice from a different angle really. We should probably all do it!! Xx
I take my hat off to you clever people and I think you are absolutely right, we could all do with a fresh pair of eyes from time to time, it’s good to try something new.Thank you for popping in!
Great read and I loved that pleated skirt with the denim shirt look you looked amazing Sounds like you had fun too. Have a good night Jx
Oh lovely! Thanks so much for the feedback and for having the stamina to read until the end, it was a big one today!
Great post as always Antonia! I should be asleep but I knew I had to read this before I sleep and it is definitely worth it!
I fondly admire your writing style and the way you describe things – it really is a pleasure to read!
Yes I have been to a stylist before I was told I am a Rhubarb shape which means that I can pretty much get away with most clothing items!! It was quite a fun experience and I would definitely do it again! Thanks for the links. X
OMG I have never thought of applying the 80:20 rule to my wardrobe before. Genius!!! Amazing style confident tips Antonia. Thanks so much for bringing these together in one blog post. And yes as a blogger you’re rocking it with confidence and style. Two of my favourite things xx
Love the post! Loved your original and styled outfits equally Sounds like a great workshop 🙂 xx
Thank you Claire! It was really interesting and enjoyable and well, I’ll use any excuse to hang out at Hero…. Have a good weekend!