I will often get emails saying things like “I have short arms and long legs with sloping shoulders and I am also a pear shape with olive skin. I find buying clothes a nightmare! Can you please recommend some shapes and colours that would suit me?”
And I have to go “…..” because although it kills me – KILLS ME – not to be able to have an answer to something because I am such a terrible awful smartarse, the fact is that I don’t know.
I know what suits me and I am good at finding outfit solutions to various event/lifestyle problems, but I’m not a stylist and anything I suggested would be a massive, terrified, guess.
So I am always on the lookout for brilliant personal shoppers or stylists services to write about, as I really do believe a trip out with a good one can be life-changing. It’s my way of answering the question without having to answer the question.
I was delighted, then, to read in The Times about a service called Body Mapping, where a woman called Anna Berkeley literally maps your body by drawing your outline on a piece of paper and tells you exactly what shapes, sizes and lengths you ought to go for.
It’s £250 for 2 hours – I would go if I didn’t already spend my entire waking life thinking about what suits me and what doesn’t and trying on clothes and going “hmmmmm”.
God, ALL of her styling services sound brilliant … outfit building where she takes pictures of each outfit? Genius. I spent a morning a few weeks ago just mucking about with my wardrobe and had a few relevatory moments but it didn’t OCCUR to me to take pics and now I have quite forgotten most of it – meant to write it down but didn’t *crawls back to Dark Ages*.
I just did this with my 9 year old daughter as she has too many clothes and always looks like a Romanian gypsy on Oxford Street. We went through a did some ‘outifts’ for her and she wrote them down on a bit of paper and stuck it up inside her wardrobe door – its the best thing!
Angela O'Donovan says
Sound like something I did in the late 80’s. A franchise. One session about colours, another on style. I still have the books I was given with swatches and pages of various items of clothing with ‘m’y styles ringed. It was brilliant. They changed to Colour Me Beautiful. Not sure of the name now as the two sessions merged into something new. Would even go to your house and help with your wardrobe, shopping, etc..
This sounds great!
Just to say: sorry about the Sam Cam debacle (just saw your stories).
I honestly can’t understand the impulse so many people seem to have to abuse other people on social media. I literally can’t begin to fathom the mindset.
I fairly recently starting following a few people I admire on Twitter, but fairly quickly have become pretty disappointed with it as as a platform. Just one example (but there are many) is the absolute unbelievable sh*t that David Baddiel has to put up with. Jaw droppingly appalling abuse. I don’t follow many people, but every single person that I do follow seems to receive some sort of nasty attention on a daily basis. Perhaps I am an extremely naive person, but what is all this about?
Is IG as bad?
Anyway, just wanted to say sorry that you’ve also been on the receiving end of this sort of petty nastiness.
For what it’s worth, I think your content is funny, refreshing, honest, useful (very important this one!) and FUN. After all, I thought that was kind of the point 😊❤️
Thanks Louise! It’s particularly a problem on Twitter, which is why I’m not on there terribly much. IG is far, far better for that kind of thing, which is one of the reasons why I was quite surprised and not a little pissed off to get that utter nonsense about Samantha Cameron, I thought it was kind of the deal that nobody acts like a twit on IG…
Agreed. As you said on stories, probably p*ssed anyhow. Not that that’s an excuse mind you……🤨
Hi! Anna here. iG is pretty good and kind and supportive generally. Totally with you on Twitter – it’s abominable what people say from the safety of their smart phone..
But this 👉 https://www.the-pool.com/news-views/fashion-news/2018/27/Laura-Craik-on-made-to-measure-fast-fashion?utm_source=today&utm_campaign=84854f41d9-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_07_04_02_42&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0522b4f78a-84854f41d9-68961037&mc_cid=84854f41d9&mc_eid=a0b905d398
I saw this in The Times too and think the idea is OK. But my thoughts were as follows:
1: I am such a child that if someone tells me to do something (or not) I immediately want to do the opposite. I am also VERY bad with authority and I feel I may see this lady as an authority figure. And then (for example) I would reject all the outfits she had helped me build, just for the sake of it. I’m not proud of this character trait.
2: I don’t think I would enjoy going shopping with all the instructions – I mean: this works, but not this, maybe that but only if it’s like that, etc. I am sure it’s all made very clear but still. I know it’s meant to reduce the stress of shopping but for me it feels as though it would take out some of the fun. And I’m not always very good at following instructions (see point number one).
3. I sort of feel that at my age with more or less the same body I have had for the last fifteen years or more, I kind of know what suits me. I don’t think I could handle being told that the things I thought suited me didn’t. There is that danger. And sometimes I just want to wear the thing I like and bugger whether it suits me or not.
4. Finally, I worked many years ago in a corporate job where I got a mini version of this from a lady who gave me advice on what to wear to be taken seriously by the lawyers for whom I worked. Think sort of nineties corporate power suit with added advice to show my legs. The thing is, I couldn’t have cared less about being taken seriously by these lawyers (no offence to lawyers) and this put me off this kind of thing forever. And my job, which I left shortly after.
I recognize these are completely and entirely my issues not the Body Mapper’s and that this is probably a really great idea.
LEA you are hardcore
Hahahaha. Lea, I could have written that first bit about myself. HATE being told what to do.
I keep seeing a service called Lookiero advertised online. You give them info about your body type and style, and they send you a box with clothes they think you’d like but may not pick out for yourself. You have a few days to think about it and then send back what you don’t want/buy what you want to keep. Have you heard of this, Esther?
No I never have! one to have a look at
Ooh I have just ordered this because of you! I used to follow an American blogger who used this kind of service, and I always wished they did it here. Will report back!
yes! report back!
*emits low, mournful sound at the idea of someone drawing the outline of my body on a piece of paper*
I’ve used Anna a couple of times including for body mapping and she was fab – worth every penny. shopping with her is also great as she isn’t a dictator
Thanks, Esther for the lovely write up! The mapping service is supposed to be body postitive and explodes the myths we all have about our shape ( most people have at least one thing they were told by a great aunt when they were five that is patently untrue). So many of my clients feel overwhelmed by shopping. This is a simple way of knowing which brands to shop and what to look for. Meaning you can shop happily and efficiently and have more time for a cuppa xx
HELLO ANNA! Your service sounds great. That thing about being told something about our shape when five is very true. I hope some Spikers find their way to you. xxxx
You can do this for free with a friend and a large piece of paper and a measuring tape and about six books from the library on pattern fitting for sewists, all of which have be carefully reviewed to translate extremely grandmotherish/1980s suggestions into modern styles, so what I am saying is that if you do not have limitless time it is probably better to pay money as suggested. I did learn a few reasons why off the rack clothes fit me all wrong by doing it the free way, but then I had no idea of the next thing to do and it’s only taken five more years and probably several thousand dollars of bad purchases cumulatively to work it out…
Purps you are an inspiration to us all