Our Willowberry Age Without Apology Insta Live Series is held on our Instagram page. These live chats with expert guests are designed to help you navigate age with confidence and style. Here are the highlights of our recent chat with Janine Coney, Personal Brand, Business & International Style Coach - you can watch our chat in full here.
As part of Willowberry’s National Age Without Apology Month, Janine Coney @ownyourstyleuk talked to Willowberry’s Founder, Jenni Retourné, about how to develop a personal brand and use style and self-image as confidence tools. Janine chatted to Jenni about her work in helping people to become confident, visible and successful and how style is all about living life as your most authentic self.
There’s more to style than clothes
If somebody was to walk in here, I could pick out something and say to them ‘wear this’ and I might think they look amazing in it. But they might put it on and actually they don’t feel amazing in it. The personal development side is all about digging deep and finding out who you truly are, so you’re representing the person you want to be rather than maybe a carbon copy of somebody else.
Fast track out of that style rut
As people evolve through the years, sometimes they get a little bit lost in themselves and don’t feel like they’re projecting themselves in the right way or that they’re not making the progress that they want to in their career or their life. It’s not just about going, ‘right, go and buy a power suit’, for instance, and dress in that, it’s about developing who you are from the inside and feeling that confidence of who you are.
Being a style coach with substance
When I started my business, it was definitely much more about the style side of things and then I realised through my training as a life coach, bringing all those confidence tips together, all those skills with people and then my marketing side, I realised that there’s a real need for people to mould all that together into their personal brand. You’re not just developing your style; you’re developing who you are as a person.
Where to find your authentic self
The approach I have in taking people through that transformation is all about how they feel about themselves. Who are you? What are your values? What’s really important to you? Is your style reflecting your personality? Is your brand reflecting your personality? I don’t think anybody means to but we take for granted who we are. Stop and draw a line in the sand. How do you want to be seen? How do you want to be heard? How do you want to be remembered?
Nailing networking (or how to walk into a room when you know you are being judged)
You want to make sure you’re making the right impression. It takes less than 7 seconds. This isn’t a figure that’s plucked from the sky, research has shown it’s something we do subconsciously, we all know we’ve done it. Women tell me about walking into a room or a meeting room of people and feeling like they want to fade into the background, but they don’t really because they’re amazing at what they do. As we get older sometimes the confidence wanes.
How to not become an invisible woman
It’s checking in with yourself and making sure that you’re true to yourself and the lifestyle that you have now: who you are and how you want to be seen. Don’t try and be somebody else, don’t compare yourself to other people. To be the most authentic version of yourself you’ve got to know yourself. Where am I in my life? Am I being true to my values? What’s my personality? What sort of child were you? Let’s have a look at the pathway of life and how it’s taken you. How do you want to be seen by other people?
Realise that as we get older our style and ourselves evolve. Some people feel stuck 10 years ago or they’re still aspiring to be something or they’re buying into a lifestyle that they had, not a lifestyle that they have now and they’re not being kind to themselves. That’s another big thing: kindness to ourselves.
Three magic words
Ask three friends for three words that sum you up. We’re all really hard on ourselves, let’s be honest, so if you were to write down three things you like about yourself, it’s the hardest thing. But other people can tell you three things really easily that they like about you. Do those words then align with who you are and how you feel about yourself?
Then, from a style point of view, start your own mood board or your own Pinterest board. Start looking at styles and images of people and things that you like. Don’t just look at images of clothes, look at images in life that inspire you as well. Take that time, slow down, check back in with yourself to make sure you’re being totally authentic.
Work that wardrobe
There’s no point in having a wardrobe full of going-out clothes for a Friday night if actually 90% of the time you’re working from home and you have casual weekends and maybe go to the pub for dinner once in a while. So that’s one of the easiest things: just check in, open your wardrobe, have a look and think: Is this matching my lifestyle? Then look at the pieces: Do you love them? Do they fit you? What you want is your wardrobe to open up and feel like your favourite boutique filled with clothes that you love to wear and match your lifestyle now.
Stop buying start wearing
Go through your wardrobe and work out: What do I love? What looks amazing on me? How many outfits can I piece together? How many things have I been buying but I haven’t worn?
If you want to get your wardrobe working for you, to have the longevity, to have outfits you can easily put together, then you need to give it that thought up-front before you just go out shopping and fill it with more stuff and more stuff and more stuff.
How to work out what colours suit you
If you want to get it absolutely spot on, then book a colour analysis online or book to see someone. At home, one of the easiest ways of doing it is to get a gold piece of fabric and a silver piece of fabric and hold them up under your chin to see whether you’re a warm or a cool. If you’re a warm, gold looks better on you and anything with a yellow undertone is going to look better on you. If you’re a silver then anything with a cool, blue undertone will look better on you. The simple way to do it is to put the fabric against your face and if it lights you up and it harmonises you then it’s a good colour for you.
What top tip would you give to age without apology?
Stop comparing yourself to other people, stop worrying about getting older, and stop the ‘I can’t buy that’ or ‘I can’t wear that because I’m too old’ thing. ‘I can’t wear shorts because I’m over 40’, ‘I can’t wear shorts because I’m over 50’, ‘I can’t shop in River Island because my daughter shops in there’. Stop with all that negative self-talk!
Be kind to yourself. Realise that we all have wobbly bits on our body that we don’t like (no matter how old or young we are), just think how amazing our bodies are and what amazing things they’ve taken us through in our lives. Just be the most authentic, brilliant version of you and don’t worry about what other people think.
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