I woke up one morning and I simply hated EVERYTHING in my wardrobe. As per usual, I sang the same old song about having absolutely NOTHING to wear, teared up a little and grabbed the first thing I could see. Then, I had a daring idea – it was makeover time!!
LET’S TALK MAKEOVERS!
I contacted the amazing Caryn Alves of Jane and John and asked if she could help. I would not be telling you this story if it wasn’t worth your time! Styling and fashion are not things that I often think about. But this is truly an experience that I would suggest everyone with the ability to do so – do it at least once in your lifetime. Jane and John specialises in Image Consulting, a full table talk piece will follow (scouts honour) and we’ll discuss exactly what the vision for the company was and continues to be.
Back to your regularly scheduled programming, when I initially sat down with Caryn, one of the things we discussed was why I wanted to embark on this process in the first place. My heart for the adventure was to promote self-love and body and image positivity. I do believe that one of the most accessible ways for humans to express themselves is through their style and fashion. Don’t get me wrong, there are no rules and you can express yourself however you want! For me, this was an opportunity to explore who I am, what I liked, and take you on the journey with me.
I chatted to Caryn about my personal anxieties and concerns. My only description of my personal style is “hide me, please” or “potato-chic”. I like to be as unnoticed as possible – the less attention I can attract to myself, the better. The transition from “hide me” to “style me, please” was definitely a step out of my comfort zone. A step I was happy to take with Caryn as I left this personal and stretching process in her capable and caring hands.
TAKE A SNEAK PEAK BEHIND THE SCENES
Caryn and I had discussed a full body and face analysis as well as a fashion personality and colour analysis. This was honestly one of the most exhilarating experiences I’ve been on in a very long time. The process really helped me get in touch with parts of my personality and self-expression that I’ve been avoiding for as long as I can remember. The entire process is handled with incredible dignity! Caryn is such an amazingly approachable and learned woman that is truly passionate about seeing people’s lives improved.
We’ll get into the details of each of the processes we went through, but I also took some amazing notes along the way and picked up a few of my favourite secrets!
- Build a Wishlist! I am the most impulsive shopper to ever walk the face of the earth – seriously, have a chat with my credit card. On your Wishlist, you can include any items that will build your wardrobe or trend pieces that you would like to find, either at specific prices or in specific cuts or fabrics. This list will help you find the right piece that you’ll get the most wear out of as well as ensure you’re not making an impulse purchase for something you’ll never really wear again. Your budget will thank you for this! Think before you sign the dotted line. After this entire stretching experience, I did add tassel earrings and a dainty necklace to my list. Both of which I picked up from Woolworths, on sale, because I had been looking for them for a few weeks before deciding.
- Fabrics matter! The cost of the item itself isn’t critical, but the fabric a piece is made with can make a super-affordable piece look chic and luxurious, all without breaking the bank!
While chatting, as ladies do while getting dressed, something important came up. The services offered by Jane and John are not exclusively for women! Take a second to process this thought. These services are accessible and available for men too! It’s just as important for men to understand their bodies as it is for women. Albeit, it may not have the same effect, but any well presented and confident individual that walks into a boardroom demands attention, all by allowing their inner strength to confidently shine through.
(Disclaimer, before we get into each of the processes we went through, remember that Jane and John are able to fit services and tailor packages to include certain aspects should you request them. For example, fashion personality and colour analysis services may be done together. )
COLOUR ME SURPRISED!
We started the day with what you would assume is the simple task of determining what colours “look good” on me. Let me preface this by saying that Caryn has the perfect definition of “look good”, these are colours that whiten the whites of your eyes and soften your natural complexion giving you an almost filtered effect.
I have spent my entire life assuming that I would be classified as warm-toned. I struggled to grasp the idea that my Indian complexion could EVER be classified as cool toned, despite knowing that warm foundations turn me frustratingly orange (talk about denial). As we flipped through drape after drape, covering warm and cool variation of colours, we discovered that I was indeed cool toned. This immediately changes my approach to the colours I choose to purchase, the colours I choose in my makeup and the way I approach patterns. It also means that I’ll soon be testing out some (hopefully) better suited foundations. Knowing which colours bring you the greatest pop definitely helps you not only while you’re shopping (avoid breaking the bank on trend pieces that you’ll hate when you get home) but also help you build a more rotational wardrobe.
Remember, this applies to men as well! The colour spectrum and drapes used for testing are much more minimal, the desired effect is the same. If there’s only one thing you decide to do from the extensive services Jane and John has available, this is the one I suggest you take. This will change your entire perception of colours, how to make yourself feel more uplifted when you just don’t know what to wear, and challenge you to think outside of the pre-requisite norms of makeup application. You’ll also get an amazing little swatch wheel to carry around with you whenever you’re shopping to use for reference should you ever have any doubts. Remember, colours have the power to evoke particular responses from the brain.
FANCY MY FASHION PERSONALITY?
Your fashion personality is the unique way in which you adapt clothes to your own tastes . It’s the way in which you choose to express yourself and your character through your style choices. The “main personalities” are romantic, classic, expressive and relaxed (adapted from Verily Mag) Now, this is around the time I started to freak out. “You mean to tell me POTATO-chic is not an actual thing?!”
So, we sat down with the simple task of getting me to make a collage. Arts and crafts, you say? HECK YEAH!! So I hopped to it, destroying every magazine Caryn placed in front of me. The aim of which is to pick absolutely anything that grabs your attention – no, not what you would pick to wear for yourself, but the things that appeal to you. Why exactly did I think this was an important step? Why did I bother to sit down with an image consultant to go through something you could probably do at home? Well, it’s always incredible to have a professional opinion to help you interpret your results as well as guide on how this can shape your shopping and dressing. This was such a fun experience for me, I love the creative aspect of this session, but more importantly, it was amazing to see how far my natural tendency to hide is from the style that I really like!
Man, did I end up with a collage that surprised us ALL!! Potato-chic aside, my fashion profile turned out to be classic/bold. Given that I had gone into this process on the basis that my personal style was to hide and be frumpy, I ended up with pieces that were classic silhouettes in bold colours/accent pieces. This is not what I would have classified myself as. You get to take this collage home and I’ve honestly gone as far as to pop this up in my wardrobe. The style in and off itself can be simply defined as pieces that lean towards a more structured look and avoid patterns, trends or attention seeking pieces (saw that one coming from a mile way). The flip side to this is the fact that I picked these styles in bold and bright colours – colours I would NEVER naturally gravitate towards draping over my own body.
This was such a learning experience for me, not only about the clothes I like but it was an immense opportunity for introspection. Why am I hiding? What am I hiding from? If these are the things that I’m truly attracted to, why do I shy away from them in fear of what other people will think? Fashion – not as frivolous as your thought, is it?
IS THIS THE REAL WORLD? IS THIS GEOMETRY?
Something that I’ve always been interested in is finding out what my shapes are. No, I do not mean the specific of triangles and 90 degree angles. I mean finding out my body and face shape. Caryn treats this part of the process with exceptional care as this is something that requires getting into your personal space.
Knowing your face shape will help you determine the types of haircuts you should be opting for. Remember, there are no rules here and if something makes you feel confident, you do you, girl! For me, this is information I’ve always wanted to have. Literally every time you pop open Pinterest, I’ve always wanted to know about haircuts and why that skirt looks so cute on her but I’d never be able to pull it off. It’s all in the geometry, dear. Naturally, this applies to your body shape as well. I’ve been conscious about my body for as long as I can remember, hence the unrelenting desire to hide beneath clothes that are honestly 2 sizes larger than they need to be. With a clearer knowledge of your body shape, you’ll be able to better understand how to draw the eye to areas you’re comfortable and draw attention away from the placed you’re not so crazy about. Hear me out, you are amazing as you are, but we all have something we want to hide every so often.
As part of the experience, I also received a little informational pack on my body and face shape. This type of content is incredible to keep on hand. Caryn even goes as far as to make a few recommendations of pieces you could try out (and add to that nifty Wishlist we learned about earlier). This is another basic process that I really believe will help you enhance your confidence, all by having knowledge of your body – knowledge is power.
Something to also consider is that this process can also include undergarments, shaping and sizing should you wish. These are all VERY personal and I can assure you that Jane and John will treat you, and your body, with the utmost respect.
STRIKE A POSE!
As part of the experience with Caryn, I carried along a few of the pieces that I have but really never knew how to style in a way that made me feel fiery (I’m looking at you leather skirt). We worked through the thought processes of styling tops and bottoms, accessorising and makeup. I’ve included a few images here, but keep an eye on my Instagram or Facebook pages for detailed breakdowns on what we were thinking with each style. Remember – chin up and stand tall.
WHO AM I, REALLY?
You don’t ever want to leave this world unfulfilled, having kept your true light form the world for fear of what others would say. I embarked on this journey with Caryn to discover why the world of makeovers and fashion was really so appealing, what’s all the fuss really about. I left with an incredible understanding of how harsh my inner critic is on myself and how much of my personality I’ve really been keeping hidden. This has truly been one of the most liberating and empowering experience of my life, and let me tell you that I was terrified to take the first step.
Letting someone into your personal space, to evaluate your body and make suggestions on what they think would look good on you can be a daunting thought. I am so elated to have gone through this journey with Jane and John. Caryn is the most sensitive and caring person to work with. I can truly say that her heart is to bring the best out in every person she comes into contact with. This is not just a business exchange, this is truly a life building experience. I’ve been guided on a journey to better understand the parts of me that I’ve kept hidden, understand the things I’ve been afraid of tapping into – whether these are colours, silhouettes or other forms of expression all through sitting down and being receptive.
Would I suggest you do this? ABSOLUTELY!! Honestly, I think you can tell that I’ve had an absolutely amazing, educational and FUN experience. This is an experience I think everyone, EVERYONE (and I don’t just mean women) should embark on at least once in their lives. This is an information and reflective journey that will help you discover who you and how you can reflect your inner character in a way that leaves you feeling emboldened, strong and confident. Knowledge truly is power.
Take a leap of faith, invest in yourself. If for nothing else that you can be treated to something empowering and special. Contact Jane and John if you would like to make a booking for any of the services we went through, or any other information you may need https://janeandjohn.co.za/
A special thank you to ER Beatus Creative Studio for the photography and for making both Caryn and I all the more comfortable.