**The Unlock Your Style e-book is no longer available. It’s been re-written and fully expanded into a 176-page colour book to be published by Hachette, August 2014.
Personal style is a funny thing, isn’t it? For starters, it’s well … personal.
Which means what YOU like to wear may not be the same as what I like to wear. But do you know what?
That is a very good thing.
Imagine if we were all walking around dressed EXACTLY the same. Cookie cutter versions of ourselves greeting us at our local cafe, at work or on the school run.
Celebrate our differences, I say. Show them off. Wear them on our sleeve … or dress, coat, pants or statement necklaces.
When I left my previous life as a fashion journalist and magazine editor for a regional Australian newspaper, I could not have envisioned just what would unfold.
My former personal styling business grew from nothing. Actually, that’s not true. It grew from a handful of beautiful business women, friends who knew me and knew that I wasn’t going to make them wear anything that would leave them anything short of confident.
They let me into their wardrobes (this is such a personal thing) and they let me guide them to make new clothes shopping choices. I’m incredibly grateful they did because what started with a handful of people grew into a client list that reached more than 150 before I stopped offering one-on-one sessions at the beginning of 2012 to concentrate on helping women on a wider scale through this blog.
Those 150-plus women proved to be the best kind of market research that anyone could hope to have access to.
Because I’m here to tell you nothing you don’t already know already … no two women are the same.
The common denominator among these women – and many more through this blog – is that they were all looking to re-discover their style. They knew it was in there, they just didn’t know how to unlock it.
The other huge thing I’ve discovered is that it’s really difficult to fathom how to unlock your style when you reach a new stage or age when the only fashion cues around you are magazines aimed at (much) younger women on (much) higher budgets.
I am in my mid-40s and I refuse to wear denim cut-off shorts on the grounds that my legs are so not made for them but I also refuse to be pigeonholed into a style of clothing that others suggest women of a certain age should be pigeonholed into.
Style does not come with a use-by-date. (Don’t just take my word for it, check out this New York blog.)
Style is dressing to suit your shape, your personality and your lifestyle.
It’s about owning your style. And not giving two hoots if someone else doesn’t like it. They don’t have to like it because it’s YOUR style.
Style is about getting up each morning and putting on an outfit that makes YOU smile. Even if it’s just one piece in that outfit that causes even the smallest upturn in the corner of your mouth … because God knows we all have THOSE days.
The feedback I’ve received over the past five years is that geting to that end point – that point where you exude confidence from knowing you’ve created a wardrobe and beauty routine that works – can seem like a difficult place to reach.
And that is why I put together the Styling You manifesto (pictured above) late last year and followed this up in January on the blog with a style boot camp in the Unlock Your Style in 14 Days series.
The reaction and embracing of the Unlock Your Style series blew me away and by the end of it readers were asking if it would be available in a downloadable e-book format.
… drum roll please …
Because here it is.
The content has been added to and includes some updates, tips and feedback from readers who took part in the series.
I will not be taking the original content down from my blog. You are more than welcome to access those posts at your leisure.
What buyers of this 52-page e-book will have as a bonus is access to the Unlock Your Style Facebook group for ongoing support and style advice.
Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned on my style journey is that unlocking your style has no end point.
It is and always will be a work in progress.
If you completed the 14-day style boot camp in January (or even part of it), I’d love you to leave a comment below letting others know what you got out of it.
I was a reasonably new Styling You devotee just before the style boot camp began. Those 14 days have literally changed my world. I had already decided that 2013 was going to be the year of me, making decisions that would make this year all about me, and then bang – there it was. An online bootcamp that didn’t involve a single burpee or ab crunch, that promised to help me find my own personal style from the comfort of my chair. The tips and tricks that I learned in that bootcamp now help me every single day. I have removed items from my wardrobe, and my life, that have held me down, made me sad, or simply never been a fit with me as a person. I have embraced colour, jewellery, shoes and accessories. I feel confident and secure in how the world sees me nearly every day now, simply by following the simple steps that you laid out Nikki. I have learned about what I like and what I don’t like, what works for me, and hat doesn’t. Most importantly though, I have learned that I deserve to look and feel amazing every day – whether I am at work, on holiday or buying groceries. Thank you Nikki. Marianne
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Special thanks: I want to thank Kelly Exeter from Swish Design for working down to the wire (she’s giving birth tomorrow!) on creating the design for the e-book and for my old friend and former workmate Sharon Luck for reading through and proofing my copy. Finally, thanks to Darren Rowse, the blogger behind Problogger and Problogger Events. At last year’s Problogger conference in Melbourne, he challenged the 300 in the room to find 15 minutes a day to work on something on – or for their – blog. It was the kick up the bum I needed.