Last month I was invited to take part in a Style Confidence Workshop that was being held as part of the Festival Place Fashion Festival. As I pointed out in my original post, fashion isn’t really my thing and the thought of clothes shopping is enough to make me scream. This is the reason I decided to go – boy, did I need a confidence boost.

I took my sister along with me and we were welcomed to the venue with gorgeous chocolate from Hotel Chocolat (and were plied with them throughout the event!). First up was a belly dancing demo by a lovely lady from a local group. She was one brave lady! Next TV Stylist Wendy Elsmore and celebrity hairdresser Jason Smith introduced themselves and gave us an outline of what we would be learning about during the event.

I have to say Wendy and Jason were incredibly warm and friendly, and immediately put you at ease. I was expecting that, as someone who is overweight, I’d get pushed to the back of the pile and told that nothing would suit me until I’ve lost 5 stones, but this wasn’t the case at all. We had an individual consultation with each of them, focusing on our body and face shapes. I was (very politely) described as having a fuller figure and a round face shape and was given handy style cards with tips on how to dress for my shapes. Then Wendy gave us ideas of which clothes and colours would suit our shapes and Jason gave tips on how to choose a hair style to suit your face shape.

I was really surprised to learn quite a lot during these sessions and I did actually feel that there might be some hope for me yet! Maybe I won’t have to hide in huge black cardigans for the rest of my life!

After this we had sessions in small groups with professional hairdressers and make up artists where we could ask for tips and practice them under a watchful eye. Again, I learnt a huge amount and can now style my bob successfully every time thanks to the art of using a paddle brush and the shape of my head to dry my hair into shape instead of jabbing around with various round brushes, avoiding the potential risk of wearing them permanently (yes, I am one of those people who have had to cut a brush out of my hair after a styling disaster!).

The 2 hour event finished with a fashion show with clothes from many of the shops in Festival Place, introduced by fashion blogger Poppy Dinsey and we were sent home with a goody bag and lots of money off vouchers for many of the retailers in Festival Place, including a free one day parking pass. If they run the event next year, I would highly recommend going along – for £10 a ticket, it was well worth the money.

I shall leave you with a few things I learned during the workshop (based on my body and face shape):

  • Choose the right size clothes. You may want to be a size 8 but if you’re a size 18 then accept it! Wearing clothes a size too small may actually make you look bigger than you are
  • It’s not just black that is slimming – any block colour from head to toe is flattering
  • The right underwear is very important in helping to show off your curves and make the most of your body shape.
  • Don’t shy away from colour! There’s so much to choose from – you don’t need to blend into the background
  • Embrace your curves – choose fabrics that glide over them and show off your figure
  • Back-combing is a great way to add some volume to your hair but buy a proper brush that won’t damage your hair – don’t use a comb
  • Choose eye shadow colours that enhance your eye colour (browns for me) – use proper brushes to apply the colour and blend it together, gradually building up the colour
I was given two free passes to the Style Confidence Workshop.