Posts by Sharon Billingham

Why I am a personal stylist

I just had a magical and humbling experience with a new client. We spent almost three hours taking every single thing out of her wardrobe and throwing out items that were not right for her.  The most amazing moment came when we played around with what was left. I love my job.  I especially love it when I make my clients cry. When she saw herself in the mirror in a blue fitted tunic, a belt, brown leggings and matching
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It’s OK to look after yourself first.

When people find out what I do for a living, it’s not unusual for them to say, “Oh I so need your help. This and that has happened, my wardrobe’s a mess  and I want to look better.”  Then further into the conversation I detect something along the lines of, ” I’ll get in touch with you later.  When I’ve lost the weight, when I’ve paid the school fees,  when I get that new job.” We’re  all busy women who
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How to do smart casual on weekends – a man’s dilemma

This is one of the most common questions I get with my male clients.  It seems that Monday to Friday dressing is a no brainer for many.  Everyone seems to be comfortable with their quasi-uniform – suit minus tie.  But what happens on the weekend when they go to a nice restaurant for dinner , catch a show, go out for drinks or get invited to the corporate sporting box?  What’s the fine line between overdressed and smart casual? Here
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How well do you speak fashion?

Colourways.  Skant.   Paillettes .*   Fashion has lots of jargon (meant I guess to separate the girls from the women).  Allow me to translate.  Every season, designers and magazines use (or make up) terms to describe what’s currently hip and happening.  If you strip away all the hype, you’ll recognise the following building blocks of a trend.  Think of these as the cake ingredients and the fashion trend as the cake. Colour – neutrals (black, white, grey, navy, and every shade
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Simplify your wardrobe. Simplify your life.

I stared at the Starbucks coffee menu for a full three minutes. I’d been determined to try something new, to prove to myself that I’m open and adventurous.  After letting four people jump ahead to order, I was still overwhelmed.  So I revert to my standard – regular skim flat white to go. Too many choices is NOT good.  Not when it comes to coffee, jean cuts,  lipstick colors and  LBDs.  You might lament that you have nothing to wear
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Where to find style inspiration.

It’s great to relax and savour a brand new glossy magazine, but the majority of the flagship magazines contain ads and editorial which are pure fantasy, escapism and imagination.  The outfits are not always practical to wear or realistic on the wallet for us real women.  I’d love to splurge on a brand name bag for work.  But I may as well flush that money down the proverbial with the amount of electronic gadgets and gym paraphernalia that I carry
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What’s the most versatile accessory in your wardrobe?

It’s the scarf.   Not only is it practical (keeps you warm, hides stains, frames your face, conceals a double chin), it can add a degree of sophistication, style and colour to something as mundane as a t-shirt.  Imagine the options with just one scarf –  a headscarf, as a replacement for a pony-tail scrunchy, as a belt on jeans, to decorate your handbag, on your wrist as a colourful cuff.  Even with the obvious – around your neck – you
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How far can you stretch a black suit?

  Rebecca is a thirty something recruiter who works in the city.  Like many professional women, she has a uniform for work –  a trusty black suit,  muted shirts, flat shoes for comfort and conservative accessories.  She wanted to dress younger and let her outgoing, bubbly personality come through with what she already had.  Our blank canvas included: A black suit A pale blue button-down shirt Two work bags – in black and beige Pearl earrings and her favorite watch
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