She’s styled Jamie Oliver events, worked on advertising and editorial styling projects for clients like Peter Alexander, Qantas and Toyota and brought the pages of a hefty spread of fashion titles to life.
A stylist since 2002, Lydia-Jane Saunders cut her teeth in magazines before jetting off to freelance in London, and it was there, at a Breast Cancer Care fashion show bolstering women who had undertaken a mastectomy or double mastectomy, that her calling was cemented.
“Ever since then I’ve strived to help women who’ve undergone surgery and need a little advice on how to dress their new body shape,” she says. “It’s an amazing thing to witness someone who has spent the last 12 months in hell, bursting into happy tears in the changing room and telling you she feels like a woman again.”
Lydia has made it her business to seek out and suit up our personal styles. Still searching for yours? Listen up.
LOOK AT YOUR CLOTHES AS CONFIDENCE BOOSTERS
Confidence does have to start from within, but, clothing is one of the few instant and accessible ways of creating confidence. Like Miuccia Prada said, “fashion is instant language” – and this is more relevant than ever today in a world where human contact is so often fleeting. Dress for yourself, to project your personal style and express yourself. If unsure, wear your favourite outfit to feel like you can take whatever the world throws at you; you’ll look great and feel like the best version [of yourself] while wearing it.
START A SCRAPBOOK TO DEFINE YOUR OWN STYLE
Source inspirational images of celebrities, art, design, etc, then review your choices and start to build a profile of your style from the content of your scrapbook. Get rid of the pieces that don’t flatter you and learn new ways to style your remaining pieces together.
WORK OUT WHO YOUR STYLE ICON IS AND WATCH THEM
It doesn’t have to be a famous face; it could be a member of your family, a colleague or a friend. Watch how they put outfits together, spot their signature pieces and how they wear their clothing. Have a good think about yourself – who are you? What are your personality traits? Can you find a style that will suit your lifestyle? And is it a timeless look that you can emulate and adapt throughout your life?
KNOW YOUR BODY SHAPE AND KNOW HOW TO DRESS FOR IT
You may not be completely happy with your body shape, but you need to own it and use it as the baseline for your personal looks. Once you’ve cracked your body shape, dressing will be so much easier and fashion will sit correctly on your frame. The body shape formula will ensure you look your best in outfits and save you money in the long run as you will only purchase pieces that are wearable. I also strongly advise having your colours read to ensure you choose the right shades of clothing for your skin tone.
BE RUTHLESS WHEN SHOPPING
If you don’t fall in love with it in front of that changing room mirror, put it back on the rail. Avoid anything uncomfortable or too revealing – and never buy things in a smaller size if you’re trying to lose weight – that’s a complete waste of money! There is nothing worse than seeing a person constantly tugging at a skirt that is too short or heels that they can’t walk in.
INVEST IN WARDROBE STAPLES
All fabulous wardrobes should contain a great-quality coat, a pair of tailored pants, a statement handbag, casual and elegant ballet flats, classic pointed-toe heels, a little black dress, an amazing pair of sunglasses… and something sparkly.
FOR A SPLURGE…
Invest in a really great classic watch – I adore my Chanel J12 – and if you’re really feeling flush, a pair of diamond studs will work with every outfit.