The mum entrepreneurs ultimate guide to finding your unique personal style

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This is the most comprehensive personal style guide on earth. And Mars. {I think.}

And it’s FREE!

It’s a marvellous learning experience featuring 13 chapters, over 21,000 words, 3 case studies, illustrations, photos, worksheets and more – created especially for you because I believe that style should be fun! That getting dressed doesn’t have to piss you off! That putting on clothes can be a daily act of self-love and a ridiculously smart move for your business!

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Have you lost your sense of style in the whirlwind of motherhood, sleep deprivation, stretch marks and a softer-than-you-ever-imagined tummy?

Are you in a yoga-pant and t-shirt rut because you work from home, and you want to be comfortable, but nothing looks even remotely like it used to.

Do you want to be the face {and body} of your brand, but right now you’re the mum who hides in photos by strategically placing her hands, her handbag {or the head of her closest child}, over the body parts she hates.

Then darling – you’re in the right place.

So… just stop for a moment and imagine with me.

Imagine being able to make a difference to hundreds, thousands, millions, because you look {and feel} like the expert you’ve worked so hard to become. Imagine being able to sell more in your business because of your spectacular confidence and glow. Imagine feeling sexy when it really counts. {And sexy winking at you-know-who.} Imagine embracing the shape of your body right now, regardless of where you’re at on your health journey. Imagine shopping without a wasted moment because you think it’s FUN and you know exactly what to look for. Imagine being able to dress in minutes every morning and swan elegantly out the door. {With your quadruplets in tow.}

Ladybug, this Ultimate Guide is for you if you want to feel fabulous, beautiful, powerful, inspired, and completely yourself again… NOW.

It’s not for you if you are wanting all these great things at some imaginary point in the future – like when your hair's been cut, or you’re 10kg lighter, or your tummy's been tucked, or when your kids have grown up, or when you have a few extra billion dollars in your bank account and you’re finally ready to give this gift to yourself.

It’s probably also not for you if you’d prefer to pay a traditional personal stylist to choose your wardrobe for you.

Here, I’ll be teaching you how to take control and be your OWN personal stylist, in a way that will Wonder Woman you, give you magical powers and a wonderful new skill set.

For. Ever.

Because I believe that YOU are the best person for this job! No-one is more qualified. No-one knows you as intimately as you do. No-one is as committed to your success as you are. And no-one can translate the heart of you or your business and align that with your clothes as seamlessly as you can.

But, you might be wondering…

Who is this woman? And who the heck even made this guide?

Hello M’dear! My name is Clarissa Grace & I adore you already! {That's me down there trying to look pretty with a mouthful of hair.}

 
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I’m a personal style and brand coach, as well as the founder of Waking up in Paris, where I help female entrepreneurs find their dazzling core of confidence, shine bright like a damn diamond & magnetise dream clients.

And look. You and I both know that when we become mums – everything changes. Our lives. Our careers. Our bodies. Our priorities. And if you’re reading {or writing} this Ultimate Guide, there are times when it’s hard to feel human/decent/alive amongst all the things that need to get done each day. And having to get dressed on top of it all can be a big fat P in the A.

I’d loooove to help you fix that. {And my mama says I’m good at it so I must be.}

I've been professionally trained in fashion design, costume design and haute couture through The Paris American Academy, and created hundreds of couture wedding gowns for brides under my own label, Clarissa Grace Couture. My gowns have been splashed on the pages of Vogue, Cosmopolitan, New Idea and Woman's Day, I’ve chatted on Channel 7 and Nine, and designed dresses for some of Australia's most shiny stars such as Isabel Lucas, Kate Ritchie, Jodi Gordon and Ricki-Lee Coulter.

 {Image credit: Gowns designed by Clarissa Grace Couture.}

{Image credit: Gowns designed by Clarissa Grace Couture.}

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I share these things with you not so I can toot my own horn, but because I’ve had enough experience in this industry to believe wholeheartedly that there is nothing so powerful as a woman who feels beautiful. {And because I’ve decided that I needed to get better at tooting my own horn.} {You should try it.}

 {Image credit: Gowns designed by Clarissa Grace Couture.}

{Image credit: Gowns designed by Clarissa Grace Couture.}

I live on the beaches of Sydney, Australia {while pining for Paris}, with my hunk of a husband & three practically perfect children. {Wink!} I love my showgirl classes on Monday’s, my chocolate, and my inner bowerbird. A bird that is drawn to beautiful things and lovely colours, and the reason I accidentally buy sparkly, dangly earrings, shimmery-pink nail polish, vintage beaded purses and Japanese silk kimonos.

Even after a ton of personal tragedy {you can read the detailed version of my story HERE if you want}, people have made the incorrect assumption that my shattered heart would have convinced me that style doesn’t matter.

That style is for the frivolous, the superficial, the self-involved…

I get it.

But they’re wrong.

I’ve experienced intimately the way grief can create a wardrobe of its own. After the suicide of my dad and the death of my third son, two weeks later, I went from wearing clothes that were beautiful, expressive, and feminine… to clothes that were bland, baggy and black.

But after a long season of sadness and a need for more, I made the decision to stop dressing the way I felt, and start dressing the way I wanted to feel. I started dressing like the woman I wanted to become even though I hadn't become her yet.  

And by bringing beauty back into my wardrobe, I was delightfully surprised that it not only transformed my style… but my mind, my heart & my life.

And I know it can change yours too! 

Am I’m being dramatic?

Possibly.

I mean, maybe it won’t completely change your life, but it will most definitely change your wardrobe. And a wardrobe that reflects who you are can change the way you see yourself.

And when you see yourself differently, you feel differently. And when you feel differently you think differently. And when you think differently you believe differently…

And believing differently is when the fairies throw their magical gold dust all over you.

See how it works peanut? 

It’s as a wise man {T. Harv Eker} once said: ‘How you do anything is how you do everything.’ 

Which means that if you can change what you believe about yourself in one area of your life, you get pretty good at changing what you believe about yourself in all areas of your life.  

I know style isn’t the only way to do this. It’s probably not the most important way either. But girl, it’s by far the funnest. It works. And it’s the one I know about. 

A lot about…

 {Image credit: Designed, styled and directed by Clarissa Grace Couture.}

{Image credit: Designed, styled and directed by Clarissa Grace Couture.}

So maybe I’m not being dramatic after all?

You decide.

But like anything that’s worth it {like floating around in a swan boat in Japan, or buying your first Chanel handbag, or becoming Queen of Australia, for example}, it will take a little work on your part. {And mine too. Gosh. A whole lotta work on mine.}

But I swear on my mama’s pearls, if you want it to – style can have a bigger impact on you than you ever imagined.

Soooooo, let me be your style coach?

Let’s end this often frustrating, embarrassing, maddening style path so that I can usher you towards the happy, confident, self-adoring path where you’ll be able to walk on starshine and diamonds.

Or. We can at least aim at getting you out of your dang yoga pants. {Your choice.}

But if you’d prefer to work through this process with me one-on-one, we can totally hang out. Like, just me and you. Together. On Zoom. For real. {Click HERE to apply.}

Unfortunately, I can only work this way with a few hand-picked favourites. Which is why I wrote this guide – to help tons and tons of you!

But let me give you a quick heads up before we begin –

This Ultimate Guide comes in two equally essential parts. In the first part, I’ll share a bit about my story, and then it’ll be all about the inside stuff. {Which is really, really important for giving you a solid foundation for your personal style – so stay with me.} The second part will be all about the outside stuff. {Which is all really practical and really fun.}

Also. If you don’t have time to read this entire Ultimate Guide right this very second, then click the button below to receive the PDF and WORKBOOK for FREE. Then you can pop it onto your kindle and come back to it whenever you have time.

DOWNLOAD!

Chapter 1: All of the sobbing

There is a quote from the book Wild by Cheryl Strayed {the one that’s splashed all over Instagram}, that says:

There’s always a sunrise and always a sunset and it’s up to you to choose to be there for it… Put yourself in the way of beauty. 

After the death of my dad and my baby boy, life became pretty dark. I became the type of person that wanted to cry/scream/smash things on a regular basis.

But still, I craved beauty.

I remember being in my back garden one morning, the sky like fairy-floss, dripping down into the branches of the big tree that reigned like a Queen over our entire yard.

I remember wondering – how could such stunning beauty and such crushing darkness be holding hands at this exact same moment? You ever wondered that?

It’s a question I never stopped asking.

A few months after my life fell apart, I went back to work – hiding in the fairy-tale of my beloved label – Clarissa Grace Couture. I threw myself into designing the most beautiful collection possible.

I called it Waking up in Paris. {Spot the Marie Antoinette obsession/inspiration?}

I didn’t know then that it would be my last collection.

 {Image credit: Designed, styled and directed by Clarissa Grace Couture.}

{Image credit: Designed, styled and directed by Clarissa Grace Couture.}

It was a huge success.

After receiving orders for my gowns from Los Angeles, New York, London and Tokyo, as well as all across Australia, I was at home in my PJ’s one night, crying so hard that snot’s coming out all over my hubby’s t-shirt because I was so overwhelmed, and because – how the hell was I going to do this? {!!!}

How was I going to have all these gowns made when my baby was gone, and my dad was dead, and everything sucks, and holy crap, how could everything have happened like this, it’s all just one big monstrous mistake, and ohhh God… and then shit, shit, shit, HOW COULD THIS HAVE HAPPENED WHEN I WAS ONCE SO HAPPY AND EVERYTHING WAS SO PEACHY-PERFECT AND NOW IT’S JUST AN UPSIDE DOWN PIECE OF FRIGGEN SHIT –

Sobbing.

More sobbing.

Okay.

Calm down.

Breathe.

Everything’s going to be okay.

And then I was breathing in and out and in and out and then my hubby whispers in my ear, “You don’t have to do this, you know,” and then I realised that I didn’t know that, and I was like, “Really?"

And then a moment later, I made the sudden decision to close the doors of Clarissa Grace Couture for good.

Because I couldn’t do it anymore and I knew it.

Fifteen years of my identity, my dream-job-come-true, my world…

Done. {Now please send me over a pack of pink doughnuts. A dozen or so should do the trick.}

It was time to stop. Time to focus for a bit and… grieve. Give myself time to take regular showers and feed the children something other than toast and figure out who the hell I was, now that half my heart had been thrown in the blender.

Yes.

I could do this.

It would be okay.

And I closed Clarissa Grace Couture as quietly, calmly, and professionally as I could. {While hiding the fact that all I really wanted was to run over every single gown with a monster truck.}

Chapter 2: I was dressing myself all wrong for a bit. maybe you are too?

Although it was dark for a reeeeally long time, step by step, I started to feel it – this need for something lighter.

Something like beauty.

Below is a picture of me on the 6th of October 2010 – the 1 year anniversary of my sons death.

I'm smiling here because that's what you do when your hubby points a camera in your face…

But honestly – I’m an emotional pigsty inside.

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I'll never forget our drive home from the hospital the morning after he died and my arms were empty and the blossoms were betraying us with their beauty.

I kept wondering – How could they do that? Didn't they know what had happened to us?

In the photo above we’re at a blossom farm, picking a cherry tree to take home and plant in our garden as a memory of him.

I'm wearing black.

A lot. Of black.

Because black had become my new normal. {Either head-to-toe black, or wearing PJ’s for day’s/week’s/month’s at a time.}

I'd never been a black wearer before my dad and Loxley died. I loved light, pretty, pastel-y, heavenly colours. And although black can be extremely sophisticated when done well, it can often be associated with mourning, hiding, negativity, and death.

That’s what it was for me.

Black reflected how I was feeling and who I’d become. It was the tool I {unintentionally} used to become as invisible as humanly possible.

The dark inside of me had changed the outside of me. {Such a sad little peanut I was.}

And my self-worth plummeted in the process.

I remember looking at this picture after it was taken and being incredibly shocked by it. I barely recognised myself. And it made me realise how much I’d neglected beauty. {And just to clarify – by ‘beauty,’ I don’t mean the perfect body, or clothes out of Vogue, or the type of hair that only Disney princesses are capable of.}

I craved real beauty.

The kind of beauty that the ever divine Stasi Eldredge talks about in her book Captivating:

Beauty is powerful… Beauty may be the most powerful thing on earth. Beauty speaks. Beauty invites. Beauty nourishes. Beauty comforts. Beauty inspires. Beauty is transcendent. Beauty draws us to God.

Black wasn’t beauty to me – black was tears and funerals and babies in boxes. It wasn’t who I wanted to be and it wasn’t how I wanted to feel.

So from that point on, I became more intentional about putting myself in beauty’s way. {Thanks Cheryl – you’re a doll.}

At first it was in the small things – like burning a candle, or filling the fridge with delights, or buying flowers, or curling up under a cashmere throw. {And watching Dr Phil and Oprah and The Bold and the Beautiful on repeat.} {Just me?}

But then, as slow as a baby sloth, I got to a place where I was ready to bring beauty back into my wardrobe too.

To give a little self-love to myself.

Because I knew that the clothes I was choosing to wear were impacting the way I felt about who I was.

I also knew that clothes had the potential to be one of the most intimate ways to experience beauty – the way we can see them up-close, have them touch our skin, frame who we are, tell the story we want them to tell…

They did all those things.

It’s like my sweet-as-pie, intimidatingly intelligent friend Dr Gladys Ato talks about in her best-selling book The Good Goodbye, which is all about finding our way through change and loss in life, love, and work.

  {Image credit from left to right:  Image 1 ,  Image 2 ,  Image 3 .}

{Image credit from left to right: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3.}

She writes tenderly about losing her mum and about how she learned to hold grief and joy in the same hand. About how holding these black and white feelings encouraged her to feel the loss of her mum wholeheartedly, but also experience the healing power of a good goodbye.

Here’s a quote from her book that basically says exactly what I’m trying to say, but far more eloquently and without all the swearing and stuff:

The space between where you are and where you want to be is where the magic happens. This is where you create the story of your life. You get to select what beliefs, thoughts, and actions you want to take with you to keep moving forward, and decide what you’re ready to leave behind. In order to make this leap, you need to know what you desire as an outcome from the change or loss you’re facing, and feel secure enough to tolerate a new experience.

I wanted the photo of me in head-to-toe black to disappear, or burst into flames. {Holey-moley, I looked like I was dressed in a giant sized crow costume.}

I wanted beauty. Everywhere. In everything. I wanted to see it, touch it, feel it’s essence inside of me, outside of me, I wanted it to help me heal.

And I wanted to recreate the magnificently beautiful, rich, joy-filled wardrobe I’d once adored.

A wardrobe that would be a reflection of the woman I wanted to become even though I hadn’t become her yet.

Don’t you want the same?

Don’t you want to say a Good Goodbye to whatever it is you’ve lost? {Your baby, your marriage, your job, your joy, your freedom, your body, your confidence, your keys, your left sock…}

Don’t you want to say goodbye to whatever it is that’s keeping your greatest beauty trapped inside of you?

I’ll say it a million times throughout this Ultimate Guide {and I should probably text it to you too, so pop me through your number}:

There’s nothing so powerful as a woman who feels beautiful.

So, c’mon caterpillar!

Stop being all squished up and uncomfortable in that cocoon of yours. I know you think you’re doing okay, that you’re successful in SO many areas of your life. But when it comes to your beauty, there’s waaaaay more fun to be had! So let me help you wriggle yourself out of there. Because as you're loving and devoted style coach {too much?}, I want to see you in the sky, flying around triumphantly, being the most beautiful insect around.

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So, get really, really excited. Your days of adorable bedroom selfies are about to begin.

Cos it’s BUTTERFLY time, baby!

Chapter 3: Style – the misunderstood queen of communication

Look. I cannot imagine why women {especially mums}, feel like they are never enough or always too much at exactly the same time. {Just kidding! Ha, ha, ha! I can totally imagine – cos that’s what we’ve been told through every message we’ve ever received since the day we were born. Thanks to all of human society!}

Yes. We’ve ALL felt it at some point!

Not pretty enough, not skinny enough, not tall enough, not smart enough, not disciplined enough, not patient enough, not sweet enough, not christian enough, not WHATEVER enough…

But at the same time we’re too emotional, too messy, too sexy, too strong, too loud, too independent, too passionate, too opinionated…

We are constantly confronted with the voice of a world telling us that not only are we failing at what we do. We are failing at who we are.

The dirtbag voice yells at us: “Try harder!” But we push it aside as we create the lives and businesses we love.

But when it comes to our beauty – it’s different. It gets to us. Haunts us even.

And if beauty was dangerous to us in the past – if it was abused in dark and sinister ways {which for many of us, it was}, we might resent it. We might even be afraid of it.

Because beauty has to feel safe to be real. Right?

So we respond {knowingly or unknowingly} by hiding ourselves behind the extra weight, or the big, baggy clothes, or the black, or the thick makeup, or our attempt at contouring our faces like the ladies do on YouTube. {Even though we completely suck at it.}

 {Image credit: Pinterest.}

{Image credit: Pinterest.}

We dim the lights. There might even be times where we shut the door on beauty altogether. Throwing our hands up in the air and giving up… robbing the earth of everything good and glorious inside of us that is SERIOUSLY busting to get out and shine bright like a damn diamond.

And as lovely as our messy bun, yoga pants, and 375 year old t-shirt really is… Despite all the pain beauty has caused us – deep down inside – we still want it!

We want it to touch us – our insides, our outsides {our greasy hair, our unshaved legs, that huge pimple in the middle of our forehead…}, we want it to touch everything around us.

Because beauty is one of the most healing, most powerful, most misunderstood aspects of our femininity. It matters. A lot. And style {in my highly intelligent and expertly opinion}, may not be the only way of expressing beauty, but it’s a bloody wonderful one.

And it’s fun.

So let’s put some time and care into creating a style you love and a wardrobe that reflects it. Prioritise yourself, fall hard in love with yourself, and make a start at healing your stuff/wounds/issues around your beauty. {Not being all judgy, judgy here – we’ve all got ‘em.}

And look. From one mama to another, let me remind you – there’s nothing vain, silly or selfish about making yourself a priority in the whirlwind of motherhood.

I hear mums say over and over that when they prioritise themselves they feel more beautiful, more aglow, more powerful, and more of a wonder wizard in their homes, businesses, and worlds.

True.

Style makes a HUMONGOUS difference.

When you feel fabulous – every single person in your life benefits. When you feel meh, no one does. {And you know what? It’ll do those kids of yours a world of good to see you demonstrating some serious self-love and self-respect.}

So no guilt. Not anymore. K? {Stop it!}

And while you’re working on that, have a quick read of a quote taken out of Marianne Williamson’s wildly popular book, A Return to Love, because honestly, these are some of the most marvellous words I've ever read:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others

Ladybug – it's time for you put a little love and shine back into your style, and I’m the perfect person/fairy-godmother for the job. {There I go tooting my own horn again.} {Getting good at this, don’t you think?}

clarissa grace waking up in paris personal style online fairy godmother mum entrepreneur business

Yes! Let’s get you looking like the expert you’ve worked your butt off to become. Cross-my-heart I’ll give you all the kindness/guidance/tough-love you’ll need to transform yourself into the most spectacular YOU there ever was.

 Let’s do it!

Let’s find a way to reflect all your beautiful insides over all of your beautiful outsides. {And feel free to invite your three best friends Rachel, Monica and Phoebe.} {They need help too.} {Jokes! I just want them here for the entertainment.}

Style is an instant language.

Style is a MAGNIFICENT way for you to tell the world a little of your story without saying a word. It’s a way for you to communicate your message.

And for those unfortunate folks {not YOU of course}, who are still stuck in the mentality that style doesn’t matter – well, they might as well say their message doesn’t matter and their story isn’t important enough to be heard. {Such a shame.}

Now, I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that I love quoting lots of really smart people {because I read lots of books written by lots of really smart people}, so here’s one more I want you to read before I zip into the kitchen to whip us up a bowl of spaghetti. {I’m starved.}

 It’s by Bobbie Thomas from her book ‘The Power of Style.’

Women are often referred to as communicators… we use language as a way to build relationships, convey our wants and needs, and express ourselves. However, language is a very small part of how we communicate to the world around us, the non-verbal ways in which we express ourselves are equally, if not more, important. So why should we ever allow ourselves to be shamed for liking to shop, for caring enough to take 2 hours to get ready to go out, for painstakingly decorating our homes, or any of the other countless expression sprinkled through our lives? These actions are all forms of communication.

Style is an opportunity that gets WAY too little credit!

It’s the FIRST thing people notice about you and the FIRST thing people remember when you are gone, which makes it VERY important and HUGELY influential when it comes to the SUCCESS OF YOUR BUSINESS. {Copy tip: It’s a good idea to use lots of CAPS when wanting to emphasise the bits that are very true.} 

Style is not superfluous. Or scary. Or unnecessary. {Not the way I teach it anyways.}

It’s smart. Very smart.

 But, because you’re such a nice person, you might be thinking: ‘But Clarissa, what about not judging a book by it’s cover?’ I know – it's flapping around in your sweet head like a trapped bird, and I want to assure you that I think it’s a really, really great ideal that we should all be teaching our children.

But is it reality?

NOPE! {Sorry love.}

We are hardwired to judge others on the way they look. It sucks.

But it’s true.

Particularly when it comes to business!

Your clothes give others the impression that you are confident, classy, successful, smart, edgy, warm, fun, professional or playful. They draw people in and magnetise your dream clients. But your clothes can also give people the impression that you’re lazy, boring, sad, disorganised, careless, shy, untrustworthy or insecure. {Tough-love.} {Sorry.}

There are some women who find this so sickeningly superficial that they opt-out completely. {I get it. I’ve been there.} But I know that if you’re reading this, and you’re serious about the success of your business, then you’re way too smart to do that. {Which is why I’m spending all my time writing this stuff for your cute head rather than practicing my roller-skating, scrapbooking, or taking pudding to old people like I would usually be.} 

Karl Lagerfeld {the kooky white-haired genius behind Chanel}, once said:

Fashion is ephemeral, dangerous and unfair.
Karl Lagerfeld clarissa grace waking up in paris personal style online mum entrepreneur

Eeek! Horrible, but so, so true.

I’m telling you this because I must be sure you understand that when I talk about “style,” I’m NOT talking about “fashion.” People get these muddled up, but they are VERY different things…

Fashion is a mad, money making machine that many are scrambling {but can never quite}, keep up with. It’s an industry that whirls women around a rollercoaster of dreams, desires and disappointments, portraying unhealthy and unrealistic beauty ideals which keep big corporations thriving on their crumbling self-worth.

But STYLE is different.

Style {unlike fashion}, is personal. Positive. Beautiful. And heart-centred.

It’s about expressing yourself in a way that feels deeply real to you, while speaking authentically to others. It’s about creating a sense of balance and harmony which flows from your heart, to your body, and into your clothes.

When there is alignment between your insides and your outsides, then the power of your message will be strengthened because people will perceive you as being honest, genuine, warm and likeable.

And they will be drawn to those things without even realising it.

Now, don’t start thinking to yourself that I’m some fashion warden, bullying you into wearing some out-of-this-world, outrageously gorgeous, completely WOW! outfit every time you pop up to the corner shop to grab yourself some Nutella. {Just me?}

Not at all. Not so.

But if your clothes aren’t aligned with what’s inside of you, if you have beautiful insides and scrappy-dog outsides, or beautiful outsides but not a whole lot going on within, then there is a misrepresentation, and people can perceive you as being cold, clouded, and confusing.

Style is not about being someone you’re not {it’s not about mimicking Cindy, Claudia or Kate}… it’s about showing the world who you REALLY are. And you can use it to create possibility and opportunity for yourself by taking strategic creative control over the way you want others to perceive you.

If you can create alignment through the way you dress {which I know you can}, you will have dream clients throwing themselves at your feet before you can say, “Three macarons, please,” and you’ll feel delightfully happy with yourself.

Which makes me happy.

Which is good.

Chapter 4: Redefining beauty. For real this time

Bumped into the most splendid little sausage at a conference recently who was gushing over how much she was loving the tippery and trickery I’d been providing my VIP subscribers. {Click HERE if you want to be one of those precious peeps.} But I barely noticed what she was saying because I was far too busy gushing back about how much I adored her perfectly glossed lips, her wonderfully winged eyeliner, and of course – her style, which in all honesty, was an absolute triumph. {Clearly she’d been learning a lot from me.} {Part genius/all bias.}

But then, before we knew it, we were talking all touchy-feely and then she started sharing the really sad and sucky parts of her story with me…

Said she was called “fatty” for the first time {which she SO wasn’t}, by some stink-faced, mean-girl who wanted her off the school swings. She was just an eight-year-old at the time and it struck her hard. That it was the moment she could pinpoint as being the start of her lifelong struggle with her body.

Then she talked about how later that year she was asked to model in a local fashion show, but was a touch mortified when she realised that it was for the “Pretty-Plus” clothes. But then how her mum was even MORE mortified – not at the shop for incorrectly insinuating that her beautiful daughter was a “plus” size… but at her.

She told me how she cried through the whole horrible lecture her mum gave her once the parade had finished. And then once home, her mum took away her favourite dress as ‘motivation’ for her to get skinny. After that she called the family doctor for an emergency appointment, and put on her first diet by dinner time.

By the age of eleven she was drowning in her first eating disorder, and she told me that it took her everything to keep fighting them, on and off, for years to come.

Said how sometimes she still struggles to accept and show love toward her body – especially since having kids. But how she tries her best to model a positive body-image to her daughter, and how she prays to the heavens that her little girl will never spend a single second feeling worthless, unlovable and ugly like she did.

 { Frances Cannon  is an illustrator/artist whose work I love for her focus on the body and the psyche through her own unique lens. Her pieces reflect what it’s like to be a woman in today's culture, proudly tackling ideas around body-love, body-shame, anxiety, relationships, sexuality and gender. She’s made of stars and magic. For real. Click  HERE  to follow her on Instagram for some everyday kindness.}

{Frances Cannon is an illustrator/artist whose work I love for her focus on the body and the psyche through her own unique lens. Her pieces reflect what it’s like to be a woman in today's culture, proudly tackling ideas around body-love, body-shame, anxiety, relationships, sexuality and gender. She’s made of stars and magic. For real. Click HERE to follow her on Instagram for some everyday kindness.}

Beauty = Love.

That’s the collective belief of our culture today.

That’s where we’ve gone soooo wrong.

Where we’ve allowed beauty to be defined for us, and where we’ve tried to alter ourselves to become something that is ridiculously unrealistic. {I mean, it’s like trying to turn yourself into a woodland fairy, a glitter-pooping troll, or a fire-breathing dragon.} {It’s creepy, but it happens. You know it does.}

We’ve been taught to desire the picture-perfect, skinny-pretty ideal that has been created by corporations banking BIG on our self-dissatisfaction. Manipulating us into spending more money, more resources, more time, more effort trying to “fix” everything we’ve been told needs to be fixed, like perfectly obedient little lambs.

It’s this definition of beauty that excludes more than 99% of us – meaning, mere mortals like you and me will probably never make it into the highly coveted, Victoria’s Secret Angels look-alike club. {No laser lights, mirror balls, miraculous abundance of cleavage, or wonderful wingy contraptions for little ol’ us.}

 {Image credit from top to bottom:  Image 1 ,  Image 2 .}

{Image credit from top to bottom: Image 1, Image 2.}

It’s such a stupid, shallow, narrow definition of what beauty should look like, but so terribly powerful that it has robbed many of us of our self-worth, our health, our happiness, our purpose, our passion, our success, and our REAL beauty.

For some of us – just a little. For others – far too much.

The whole thing is bat-crap.

And we should never, ever, ever, ever-ever-ever, EVER trust a company, a corporation, or a culture, to define beauty for us.

If we can’t redefine beauty, then we can’t define our unique personal style.

Which is where the absolutely beautiful Miss Katie H. Wilcox comes in with all her love and sparkle and glow. With 15 years experience as a plus size model {meaning she’s much more Dove than she is Victoria’s Secret}, she battled for years to understand her own wounds over being labeled the ‘big girl’ – being the exact opposite of her industry's ideal.

Today, she’s the CEO of Natural Model Management {a modelling agency which embraces a natural, healthy weight}, a wife, and a mama to ‘True,’ the cutest little girl/unicorn/flamingo/superhero {depending on the day}, you’ve seriously ever seen.

Katie is also the author of the out-of-this-world, ah-mazing book: Healthy is the New Skinny: Your Guide to Self-Love in a Picture Perfect-World, where she educates and empowers girls and women to rise up against media manipulation by teaching them how to protect themselves against it.

Here’s a little ugly-truth that I’ve snatched from her pages:

In our culture, beauty equals value, and that message is received loud and clear. This belief is so powerful for girls that it has convinced them to starve and alter their bodies; and for far too many, it has restricted their aspirations to a very narrow goal. We have raised generations of girls to spend their lives working to please others to gain acceptance, hoping to one day be “enough”. We have taught them to focus on perfecting their bodies – which they have learnt is the only thing that counts – in hopes of earning love and being granted permission to be someone great. We have rendered them powerless, worthless, and unlovable as they are so that they can spend their lives purchasing products and diet plans to “fix” themselves and become worthy of being known. We have made them believe they have no value unless they alter who they are to fit the images corporations have created as the female ideal.
 {Image credit from left to right:  Image 1 ,  Image 2 ,  Image 3 .}

{Image credit from left to right: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3.}

We don’t even know what beauty is anymore and most of us haven’t stopped to consider whether our culture's definition of beauty is even true or not.

Our brain is wildly confused over it.

On one hand – it has accepted that the images we have been bombarded with are honest reflections of how miserably we are failing in this area.

On the other hand – it knows we need beauty. The kind of beauty that inspires us, encourages us, excites us, uplifts us, propels us, heals us, comforts us, delights us, fascinates us, enchants us, and Cinder-freakin-rella’s us.

It’s time to redefine beauty outside of what we have been taught to believe. To redefine beauty in a way that feels true and authentic, not only to our eyes, but also to our hearts.

I want you to ask yourself the one question: “What do I find beautiful?”

Snatch a few more diamonds below from Katie’s book, Healthy is the New Skinny:

Beauty is always positive. If you come across something or someone who embodies and causes negativity, yet whom the world perceived as beautiful, take note. This is a false representation of beauty. Authentic beauty cannot cultivate and embody the negative. We must choose for ourselves which kind of beauty we would like to represent and embody – the kind that causes self-harm and negativity and leads us feeling unfulfilled, or the kind that fills our souls and inspires goodness, kindness, hope, love, and all things positive.

We have many negative thoughts and emotions around the idea of beauty, but beauty isn’t the enemy. You gotta take back control. You gotta be the boss! You gotta wipe the slate clean and figure out what YOU want beauty to look like.

Cos, it’s all about you now petal. You, you, and ONLY you! So don’t waste the opportunity kay? {Or you might find me pouring my cuppa tea all over your laptop.}

I’m here to do it with you. Holding hands.

So, stop now.

Be still.

And quiet.

Breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth… start thinking of things you find deeply and dazzlingly beautiful. Imagine being in the presence of beauty, when your heart is quiet and your soul expands… and peace washes over you.

Think of a gorgeous garden, a quiet beach, a captivating piece of music, or the new pink Lamborghini sitting in my driveway.

Think of the fairytale.

For a touch of inspiration, these are some of the images that come to my mind when I think about what is blissfully beautiful to me…

 {Image credit from left to right, top to bottom:  Image 1 ,  Image 2 ,  Image 3 ,  Image 4 ,  Image 5 ,  Image 6 ,  Image 7 ,  Image 8 ,  Image 9 .}

{Image credit from left to right, top to bottom: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4, Image 5, Image 6, Image 7, Image 8, Image 9.}

The beauty that comes to your mind will be different to these. That’s good. They’re supposed to be different. {And you probably won’t have nearly as much pink which is a pity.}

Exercise #1: A simple and enjoyable way to discover what is truly beautiful to you

Soon, you’re going to get off your screen {cos screens get us perfecting and editing our ideas before we’ve even had any ideas}, and find yourself a lovely quiet place away from where you usually work {like a beach, a forest, a mountain, or up a tree…}, so that you can start thinking really deeply about all the things that are uniquely beautiful to you.

Click the button below to get the mind-map template {along with the entire workbook} that goes along with this exercise.

DOWNLOAD!

Print the thing off, OR you can just use a lovely piece of fresh white paper. {At least A4.} Get out whatever it is that you love to draw with too – pencils, texas, glitter pens, or if you’re boring {like me}, a plain ol’ pen will be fine too.

Then, I want you to give yourself some time to create your very own: ‘What Do I Find Beautiful’ mind-map.

This is one I whipped up for myself to give you the general gist…

clarissa grace waking up in paris personal style online mum entrepreneur business

It’s so Instagramable, don’t you think?

If you want a little extra help on the magic of mind-mapping, then click HERE for a fabulous little 5 minute video with mind-mapping extraordinaire Tony Buzan, where he teaches the basics of his wizardry.

But if you’re seriously lacking time, or you’re cool enough to admit that you might be too lazy for video watching, then here’s a snappy little explanation…

Mind-mapping is a magnificent way to brainstorm thoughts and ideas organically while unlocking creativity. Here’s how to do it…

  1. Start in the middle of a sideways turned page.

  2. Use an image as your central idea.

  3. Use colour. {If you can be bothered.}

  4. Connect your main branches to your central idea, and your second branches to the first idea, etc.

  5. Use curved branches rather than straight.

  6. Use one word per branch. {Whenever you can.}

  7. Use images. {If you’re an overachiever.}

  8. But don’t start nibbling the paper when you’re hungry. Eat a banana instead, you rascal.

And now it’s craft time!

So get your stuff, sit yourself down, and with as much dramatic flair as possible, I want you to make the most beautiful mind-map you have ever seen. {No pressure sugar-plum.}

My mind-map will get you started on ideas such as: Nature. Art. Literature. Film. Fashion. Travel. Music. Childhood.

But you can add more of your own ideas too. Yay! Things like: Design. Architecture. Interior. Food. History. Memories. Performing Arts. Etcetera. Etcetera. Whatever you are visually drawn to and inspired by the most – that is what I want you to focus on exploring.

But first. Let me introduce you to 3 utterly gorgeous ladies who will be freckled throughout the rest of this guide as examples and inspiration…

 
kylie wolfig clarissa grace waking up in paris personal style online mum entrepreneur business
 

Above is the incredibly delightful Kylie Wolfig, creator of Thyroid School, supporter and inspiration to countless women who suffer from the horrible shit-pie of thyroid disease. She radiates compassion like no other.

Click HERE to take a look at her What do I find beautiful mind-map. {She used a pink glitter pen and all.}

 
diana tower clarissa grace waking up in paris personal style online mum entrepreneur business
 

This is Diana Tower. She helps entrepreneurs nail community like a boss, while avoiding the mistakes, time sucks and all negative stuff that keeps you stuck when it comes to community. She has a kick-ass podcast too!

Click HERE to check out her mind-map.

 
katie kozwolski clarissa grace waking up in paris personal style online mum entrepreneur business
 

And then up there is Katie Kozlowski. She started her career as an actress, was hit by a taxi {yes, you read that bit right}, and then fell in love with life like never before. She’s all about helping you with your healing, creativity and glow.

To have a look at Katie’s What Do I Find Beautiful mind-map click HERE.

If you haven’t been able to get your hands on my mind-map template yet – you really, really should. It’s been created especially for you by a little old man in France, scented with an exotic medley of white florals and spicy notes, and printed on cold-pressed paper for your enjoyment. {JK, JK!}

But still. If you want it {along with the PDF and the entire workbook that goes along with this guide}, then click the button below…

DOWNLOAD!

In Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic {The one that has me wanting to plagiarise her every word}, she writes:

The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stand back to see if we can find them.
The hunt to uncover those jewels – that's creative living.  
The courage to go on that hunt in the first place –  that's what separates a mundane existence from a more enchanted one.
The often surprising results of that hunt –  that's what I call Big Magic.

Well, that’s exactly what we’re doing! We’re hunting for treasure and creating Big Magic.

We’re writing words {the more words the better}, that express what you truly love and what is deeply beautiful to you.

The stuff that makes you swoon.

Don’t worry. They won’t stay words for long – we'll translate them into visuals later on. But for now I just want you to focus on capturing the things that make you feel all sunshine-and-rainbows-on-your-face happy. K?

Give it a whirl, Shirl!   

And I’ll fluff around on Facebook and pretend to work while I’m waiting.

Chapter 5: Why aren't you matching your ambition to your style?

A veeeery long time ago, a friend of a friend of mine explained personal style to me in a way that stuck:

We are all like presents, s We walk around with our one-of-a-kind wrappings, either enticing others to know more about the gift inside of us… or not.
waking up in paris clarissa grace personal style online mum entrepreneur

If the two presents above were in front of you right now – one was wrapped in beautiful paper with gorgeous silk ribbons and pretty fresh flowers, and the other was wrapped in plain brown paper and tape…

Which one would you most want to unwrap? {I know you feel bad for admitting it. It’s like that time I took my middle boy to choose his first kitten, and all I could think about was how much I wanted the prettiest kitten that would match our interior and complement our cushions. Months later my sister goes and gets a ugly, unloved, one-eyed dog from the pound.} {Seriously, she’s soooo much nicer than I am.}

Clothes are your wrapping.

And your wrapping is your personal brand.

Now it’s true that either one of those pressies up there could be filled with air. {Or poop.}

There are some women who spend way too much time obsessing over their outside wrapping, but neglecting what’s inside. People are drawn to their outer beauty, but when given the chance to go deeper, there’s not much going on, the poor dears.

But I know that’s not you!

YOU, darling-heart, are focussed on your treasure – on polishing your inner jewels and then pouring them out all over your kids, your family, your clients, your tribe, the world – but if we compared that to what you're pouring onto yourself… well, it’s very disproportionate and unfortunate. {I’m a poet.} {Wink!}

You're glistening like Aladdin’s cave on the inside, but there are far too many people {really fabulous people}, that are missing out on your treasure because your clothes are telling a different tale. {Yet still, your kids are all wrapped up like the present on the left, with a big fancy-ass bow slapped on their heads.} {I know. I’m watching.}

Do you see the disconnect? The misrepresentation?

You have to stop trying to trick yourself into thinking that your sweats are clever enough to make you invisible. They’re not. {Unless they’re magic like mine.}

Quote of the day: If a brand looks like a duck but swims like a dog, people will distrust it.

So, c’mon tiger {duck, doggie, gah!}… it’s time to get smart about this.

Time to take strategic control over the way you dress.

You’ve heard about all those sophisticated studies. The ones that tell us how it takes just 3 seconds for a person to form an opinion of you based on what you look like. {That’s the length of a sneeze, you know. Or a cartwheel. Or the time it takes for you to pop some of your Wild Flamingo lippie on.}

Impressions matter. A lot.

So from this point onwards, I want you to start thinking of yourself as a brand. Kay?

In the book The Brand Gap, extraordinaire brandsman, Marty Neumeier defines a brand as being:

A person's gut feeling about a product, service, or company.

In other words, branding is a person's emotional, intuitive response to the way you look and behave, before they’ve had a chance to think about it.

Your brand isn’t what you say it is, your brand is what your audience says it is.

It’s there to help them make a lightning-fast decision about whether you are worthy of their time and attention. {Which you are BTW. I mean, look at that smile.}

Your mission should be to make this process as EASY as POSSIBLE for them…

In the last chapter we explored the question: “What do I find beautiful?”

In this chapter we’ll be exploring the question: “What do I want to say?”

Your unique personal style will be a visual mash-up of these two questions.

waking up in paris clarissa grace personal style online

There are some women in the world who are completely clueless about the fact that there is a second question they should be asking.

They're all about the first – feeling beautiful and making themselves happy and not giving a flying-frog's-foot about what anyone thinks of them and I love that. I respect that.

I really do.

I mean, look at those ladies below – posing for the cameras like they’re the most glamorous creatures on God’s earth.

They have no idea how scary they look.

 {Image credit:  TLC’s Love, Lust or Run .}

{Image credit: TLC’s Love, Lust or Run.}

All they care about is feeling beautiful {adorable/cute/hot/sexy/mad}, and I agree that feeling beautiful is one of the most important things of all. It’s just not the only important thing. {Not when you're an entrepreneur anyways.}

And look. Between you and me, if the only thing I cared about was feeling beautiful, I’d probably be draped in head-to-toe haute couture eight days of the week. {I’d have my own lady’s maid like the girls on Downton Abbey do too.}

I’d be a blissfully happy mess of silk and lace, feathers and flowers, diamond shaped bows and pastel coloured hair… and if you saw me swanning down the street, you’d have to try really hard not to laugh at me. {And you’d probably, most definitely make the decision NOT to read this guide.}

And if we accidentally bumped into each other, you might politely tell me I looked strange, and I might politely tell you you’re a stinkface. {And then I’d cry.}

 {Image credit from left to right:  Image 1 ,  Image 2 ,  Image 3 .}

{Image credit from left to right: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3.}

The ever divine Dr. Carol Parker Walsh says what I’m trying to say pretty perfectly in this little quote from her book Your Clothes Speak:

Take the time, the energy and the investment to make sure that you are surrounding yourself with pieces that reflect who you are, what you want, and where you are going in life and business. Your clothes speak and you want to make sure their words are embracing you with love, inspiring you into action, and supporting your success.

Good on you, Carol. You totally get it.

So you see? Your answer to the question: ‘What do I find beautiful?’ is important, but the way your audience perceives that answer is equally important.

Now, I’m not saying that you can completely control the way your audience perceives you. I’d be a doofus if I told you that.

But, what I am saying is that you should be carefully crafting the messages you are sending them, and be open to receiving their feedback when a little tweaking is needed.

You’re using your clothes to communicate. And communication goes two ways.

So you need to figure out what it is you want to say so that you can strategically move yourself towards the visions, goals, and dreams you have for your business and your life.

My surrogate Asian father, Ramit Sethi uses the saying, “in the clouds,” whenever a person is speaking about something in a way that is too fluffy, too fairytale, or too high-level.

He tells them to bring their idea “from the clouds to the street,” which forces them to get right up close to the nitty-gritty, dirt on their knees stuff so that they can become more specific, more detailed, and more goal oriented.

That’s exactly what you’re going to do, as you create your second mind-map around this question.

Exercise #2: A real quick way to find out exactly who you are, and what you want to say

So. Let me ask you again my special snowflake: “What do you want to say?”

What does the most beautiful, wildly successful, sunny, self-loving story-book business and life look like for you?

Have a lookie-look at the questions I want you to explore…

  • What is my personality?

  • What are my strengths and skills?

  • What do I do and how do I add value?

  • What are my passions and interests?

  • What are people's perception of me?

  • What is my lifestyle?

  • Who do I identify with?

That’s my messy little work of art down there with the pretty peach pen I stole.

clarissa grace waking up in paris personal style online mum entrepreneur business branding

If you want this exceptionally helpful and FREE mind-map template for yourself – click the button below and print it out quick sticks.

DOWNLOAD!

Then take your time. Dive deep. Dream big.

But be sure to keep the thing safe – cos we’ll be needing it later.

And have a look at some more mind-maps from Kylie Wolfig, Diana Tower, and Katie Kozlowski. Let them inspire you, while I play how many marshmallows can I fit in my mouth.…

And if you’d like to look at some adorable baby bunnies for a bit, click HERE.

Chapter 6: You can start being nice to your body now, please?

Let’s talk about your body now, kay?

If you already have that whole body-acceptance, body-love, body-positive thing sorted out – then TERRIFIC! Yay you! {Now jump up onto your unicorn and I’ll meet you over in Chapter 8.}

BUT, if you don’t {which is likely 99% of you}, then let’s try to get you some that’ll last more than 5 minutes shall we?  

Because there’s nothing beautiful about the negative/ugly/horrible/gross thoughts that pop into your head about your body. You try to give yourself grace by remembering all those cliche affirmative things like: you grew two dozen {or so} humans in there… but it never goes far and you have no idea what else to do about it.

So FIRST, let me begin by listing some of the many things that go through the head of a mum entrepreneur who is self-conscious about her body and scared of being seen:

You’re scared you’re too fat.
You’re scared that you’ve neglected yourself for so long that now it’s too late and you’ll never be beautiful/sexy/gorgeous again.
You’re scared you might be criticised, misunderstood, rejected, or even worse – gah…ignored!
You’re scared that Beryl and Balanchie are prettier than you are.
You’re scared that the whole-wide-world is prettier than you are.
You’re scared of being caught in your ugliest sweats with a huge pimple on your chin when Leonardo DiCaprio arrives at your door.
You’re scared you’re new branding photos are going to be a TOTAL disaster.
You’re scared of being all dolled up and looking like a replica of your mum. {Well, shit. That one even scares ME.} {Love ya, ma.}
You’re scared of the unwanted attention you might get from creepy guys, which is enough to make you vomit/mad.
You’re scared of shopping.
You’re scared of fitting-room mirrors.  
You’re scared of man-eating crocodiles.
You’re scared that nothing will ever look good on you, so why bother trying?
You’re scared of being exposed as vain, frivolous, arrogant, AND narcissistic.
You’re scared that that lady behind you will see the fat hanging over your bra.
You’re scared of being in a stinkin’ t-shirt and yoga pant rut forever.
You’re scared of everyone knowing that you’re boobs are too saggy, you’re bum’s too big, your back’s too hunched, you’re teeth are too crooked, you’re nose is too large, your skin’s too scarred, your arms are too hairy, and your pinky-toe is too tiny to put nail polish on.
AND THE WORST ONE OF ALL – you’re scared of looking pregnant when you’re absolutely NOT pregnant, like that one time I was in a milk bar and some stupid-head man asked me when I was ‘due’ while I was literally standing there with my newborn in one arm, and a tub of ice-cream in the other {which was for my husband BTW}, and how dare he say such a mean and insensitive thing to me, ohhhhh… stay calm Clarissa, seriously, stay cool, and then – STOP LOOKING AT ME I’M HIDEOUS AND YOU’VE RUINED MY FIRST MONTH OF MOTHERHOOD AND THANKS FOR NOTHING YOU HORRIBLE IGNORANT D-BAG. {Runs off crying.} {Without ice-cream.}

Okidoki… I'm going to stop the fear listing thing now because it’s endless and it’s depressing and it’s probably the most boring thing about you {and me}, and I don’t have all day and neither do you.

waking-up-in-paris-clarissa-grace-personal-style-coach-online-mum-entrepreneur-ultimate-guide-2.jpg

Listen. The point I’m trying to make is that you're a jittery, hyper-inflated balloon of scary thoughts when it comes to your body and being seen. It doesn’t matter if you're a size 6 or a size 16, you're a mum and you're an entrepreneur and everything about that combination is bloody scary.

Oh, gumdrops, I get it!

It must be why Roald Dahl left that note at my house in 1989 which he asked me to give you. It said:

If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.

Sweet of him, um, don’t you think?

But the BIG thing I want you to remember right now is this: What you fear is what others hear.

Yessirree.

The negative thoughts that are spinning inside your cute head have PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWER and everything about you will show it. They’ll seep into other areas of your life, and seriously buttercup? That’s even scarier than all the scaries I’ve listed above, don’t you think?

Pearl of wisdom #374: You can’t improve a thing by focusing on your fears and flaws.

Oh, stop it with all the judgy-judgy thoughts, already! I mean, if I’m being honest, you’re being a bit bitchy and it’s making me sad/mad.

It’s what business mentor, personal stylist and Instagramming goddess, Hilary Rushford knew when she invented a little concept called: The 150% Mirror. It’s such a brilliant concept that I secretly turned a rather icky shade of green for not thinking of it myself.

Ohhhh… not really. I’m not the jealous type. Not at all! Hilary darling, you’re a doll and you’re a wonder and I adore you!

Anyways. Here’s what it looks like: Most of us have at least one {or one hundred}, ‘problem’ areas that we fixate on. And when we look at ourselves in the mirror, we see that area of our body blown up to 150%, when the rest of the world sees it at 100%.

Or. To put it more bluntly – what you see in the mirror isn’t reality. #sorrynotsorry

Once you become aware of your 150%, you can notice it, challenge it, and change it. And then you can start treating your body in a positive and healthy fashion, so that you can find yourself in the land of outrageous confidence and business bliss. {Too much?}

Buuuut… before I get too carried away, I feel like I should be honest with you about the fact that I’m not at all the gorgeous glammed-up, body-loving, beauty I know you're expecting me to be. I mean, I’m actually very average and pretty ordinary and rather normal.

Because I have my 150% too – my mummy-tummy. {Phew. SO glad that’s off my chest.}

It’s the one part of my body where I think it should be perfectly reasonable for me to blame my four babies who made it grow rounder and softer each and every time they wondrously entered the world.

It’s also the part of my body that makes me think I must’ve completely forgotten how I slipped straight out of a cloud from Care-a-lot with my big round tummy covered in fluff and rainbows.

 {Image credit:  Image 1 .}

{Image credit: Image 1.}

Truth is, I know I don’t have a perfectly flat tummy. I’m not crazy, or delusional, or mad as a March hare. {Swear.}

But I also know that my tummy is way more exaggerated in my eyes, than it is in the eyes of everybody else. And that’s because when I see myself in the mirror, all I see is my stomach, but when others see me, they see the big, scrumptious, happy WHOLE of me.

So, now it’s truth time pretty lady.

What’s your 150%, huh?

What part of your body are you fixated on when you look in the mirror? Is it your stomach? Your stretch-marks? Your not-so-muscular arms? Your butt?

Or, is it that you’re 6ft and lanky with big feet, and a beard? {Just me?} {JK, JK!}

One of the biggest mistakes women make when it comes to their 150%, is that they’re either standing in the mirror throwing imaginary daggers at that one area, or they’re ignoring the area completely and dressing themselves in denial.

But if you keep rejecting reality, you’ll never be able to dress yourself well, even the parts that you love.

So, confront it already! K? It sure can’t hurt.

Chapter 7: Here’s a great way to change your mind about your body. And it works. It does. It really does.

Before you work through this next exercise, I want you to know that I’ll be here to make sure you are warm, and calm, and gorgeous, and well fed, so I’m just going to go heat you up some soup, and do a wee {I know, my bladder is pathetic}, and you need to watch this adorable YouTube video while you're waiting…

It’s so lovely to think about how we loved ourselves as kids isn’t it? We didn’t give two-hoots about what anyone thought of us because we were far too busy being free, and excited, and happy, and alive!

You can’t not be tickled-pink watching that little girl. Don’t you wish you could feel that fabulous about your body when you looked in the mirror?

Wish you could accept her, like her, and god forbid – even love her? {Sarah Jenks calls her body ‘her,’ and I love that so much, so now I do too.}

Don’t you wish you could see your body as the most miraculous gift you’ve ever been given, so that you can live the most glorious life possible?

Wish you could appreciate her for allowing you to go running, and racing, and rollerblading, and dancing, and chasing, and kissing, and hugging, and baby-making, and… all of those other things you do every day even though you’re being a big jerk to her?

Read about the ‘imperfect icons’ Nina Garcia talks about in her little book: The Little Black Book of Style

I am fascinated by the imperfect icons, the girls who are by far not the most beautiful girls in the room, but they are confident and think they're beautiful, so others think they are. I'm attracted to six foot tall woman in stilettos, a big bottoms woman in a curve hugging skirt, a flat chested woman in a tight, low cut t-shirt. When a woman embraces her imperfections they can become her greatest strength, definers of her character and spirit. When she plays up her weaknesses and draws you to her flaws, she makes them special, attractive, and even enviable.

Look at some of the women below who have flaunted what society would label ‘imperfections,’ ‘weaknesses,’ or ‘flaws’…

 {Image credit from left to right, top to bottom:  Image 1 : Iris Apfel,  Image 2 : Winnie Harlow,  Image 3 : Barbra Streisand,  Image 4 : Frida Kahlo,  Image 5 : Vanessa Paradis,  Image 6 : Rebel Wilson,  Image 7 : Tyra Banks,  Image 8 : Sarah Jessica Parker,  Image 9 : Rochelle Johnson.}

{Image credit from left to right, top to bottom: Image 1: Iris Apfel, Image 2: Winnie Harlow, Image 3: Barbra Streisand, Image 4: Frida Kahlo, Image 5: Vanessa Paradis, Image 6: Rebel Wilson, Image 7: Tyra Banks, Image 8: Sarah Jessica Parker, Image 9: Rochelle Johnson.}

Wouldn't you love to be able to embrace your imperfections/weaknesses/flaws and turn them into your greatest strength like this?

Well, um, now’s your chance!

Exercise #3: Learn to accept yourself when you look in the mirror

Today, you’re going to spend some time looking at yourself in a full-length mirror…

Naked.

STOP STRESSING OUT! {And grab yourself a G&T if it helps.}

The best way for you to find your personal style begins in the nude. Begins with looking and seeing and getting to know your body so that you can accept her as your canvas and start working with her instead of against her.

 
diana tower clarissa grace waking up in paris personal style online mum entrepreneur business branding
 

Click HERE to watch this adorable little video about this exercise by my beautiful friend Diana Tower. She’s one of the funnest, weirdest, genuine and most GENEROUS people I know, and you will see it all as she shares openly about how it made her feel doing this exercise, and how it turned from major resistance, to a really good time of nude selfies in the mirror. {Not joking!}

I want you to get into the habit of paying attention to your body, rather than ignoring her, or rejecting her, or hiding her in your oversized chicken suit.

You can’t improve what you don’t allow yourself see. Or there’ll always be Hilary’s 150% mirror, getting in the way. There’ll be a disconnect between what you think your body looks like and what she looks like in reality.

I understand that seeing yourself naked in a mirror might be a little uncomfortable, and the exercise might make you hate me a bit. You might hear a voice in your head expressing some pretty icky emotions – like sadness, embarrassment, fear, shock, disappointment, disgust… and all those feelings suck. They cold, hard suck.

I mean, let’s face it – there aren't many women who stare at their reflection and make a list in their heads of the things they love about themselves. {Except perhaps for the lovely unicorn lady waiting for us in Chapter 8.}

But regardless. I want you to keep staring at your body in the mirror, nitpick her every perceivable floor if you must, but keep staring!

Evaluate your body for what she is. {Not for how she compares to a Victoria’s Secret Angel.}

And stay with her until you can look at her without bias. Without judgement. Without prejudice. Just exactly as she is right now.  

Stay with her until the volume of that negative voice has been turned down. Do it for an hour. Do it every day this week before you jump in the shower. Keep going. Whatever it takes.

Find the peace.

Oh, you can do it. I know you can!

 {Lithuanian photographer  Neringa Rekašiūtė  has created a super powerful series which she named:  We. Women.  She wanted to strip down body-image issues by asking women to come face-to-face with their fears and insecurities by standing in their knickers in the mirror and having their photograph taken. “These are women who had struggled with bulimia, anorexia, fat-shaming, skinny-shaming, violence from men,” Rekasiute said. “This project showed us lots of deep scars in our society.”}

{Lithuanian photographer Neringa Rekašiūtė has created a super powerful series which she named: We. Women. She wanted to strip down body-image issues by asking women to come face-to-face with their fears and insecurities by standing in their knickers in the mirror and having their photograph taken. “These are women who had struggled with bulimia, anorexia, fat-shaming, skinny-shaming, violence from men,” Rekasiute said. “This project showed us lots of deep scars in our society.”}

Here’s how Tracy London explains a similar exercise in her book The Truth About Style:

Nobody {and no body} is perfect. Don't approach the mirror and hope, each time, that you'll look like somebody else. You're going to be disappointed if you do. As a body-image strategy, it's a sure loser. So is ignoring the areas you dislike to make them disappear. As an alternative to delusion and self torture, how about simple honesty? Take a realistic appraisal. Go ahead and feel disgusted, embarrassed, cranky and bitter about the parts you hate. Keep it up for as long as you need to, until you're able to look dispassionately at your body. When you can view yourself objectively, you can begin to strategise towards the way you wish to look with the raw material that has been given to you. Notice, don't judge. Noticing is just seeing what's there. A judgement of it is what blinds us. Thick waist, big hips, small shoulders, anything, is not a flaw. It just is.

She’s a smart woman.

Every woman I’ve ever worked with has had some kind of issue with her body or the way she looks. And being a fashion designer has given me a unique fly-on-the-wall perspective when it comes to the way women see themselves when they look in the mirror. {Pirate? Leprechaun? Armadillo? Ogre?}

I’ve dressed actresses and models who are considered to be some of the most beautiful women in the world {ones you’d think would be lucky enough not to have these dang issues}, but still, I’m left dumbstruck at the way they tear themselves apart.

We all struggle.

And that’s okay.

We’re allowed to struggle.

It’s why I want to be gentle in the beginning and focus on self-acceptance rather than straight up self-love. Because I think the whole “love-your-body” thing might be asking a bit too much of you right now. {Although I do want the lovey-dovey, body-bliss stuff to be something you’re always working towards.}

And besides that, I thinks it’s unrealistic for us to love our body 100% of the time. There’ll always be moments in our lives where we look in the mirror and we don’t like what we see. Our body changes. Our metabolism changes. We get pregnant, then oops… we get pregnant again, we get softer and droopier, we get wrinkles and we lose our hair, and teeth, and…

GAH! I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I’m stopping now!

My one wish for you is that acceptance will be the foundation of your relationship with your body, so that if/when your body changes, it won't have the power to determine the level of your happiness. {So don’t be a goose and think you can get away with skipping this exercise, kay?} {I’m watching.}

Accepting the way your body is right now is important buttercup. Without it – finding your unique personal style is going to be really difficult for you.

 { Jade Beall  is a precious mama, and a world-renown photographer specialising in honest and raw images of women to inspire feeling irreplaceably beautiful as the flip-side to the airbrushed photoshopped images that dominate our mainstream media. We need to be seeing more images like these. A LOT more! I love her and I think you should love her too.}

{Jade Beall is a precious mama, and a world-renown photographer specialising in honest and raw images of women to inspire feeling irreplaceably beautiful as the flip-side to the airbrushed photoshopped images that dominate our mainstream media. We need to be seeing more images like these. A LOT more! I love her and I think you should love her too.}

Once you’ve been able to accept the parts of your body that you’re not so fond of, next, I want you to praise the pants off the parts that you are.

Start small if you need to. {I started with loving my feet and the insides of my wrists.}

Then you’ll have an idea about where to use clothes to “consciously camouflage” the bits you don’t like, and “happily highlight” the bits you do.

Just quickly tho – you might hear a voice in your head telling you to stop giving compliments because you’re being an egotistical, conceited, pompous poop. {Don’t worry, you’re not going cray-cray.}

Well – stop it! Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!

Appreciating the way you look is the second fastest way to becoming your most radiant, most majestic, most confident self. The first fastest way is to write love notes to yourself on the bedroom mirror with hot-pink lipstick. Something along the lines of: “Holy cow, you look ravishing!”

One more thing. You might hear a voice in your head that is a nice voice, a positive voice, a ray-of-friggin-sunshine voice, and that’s great! In fact, it’s double great! Lots of gold stars to you because that’s your blazing confidence breaking through.

That’s the bit where I want you to smile wide like a cheshire cat because you’re nailing it! You really are.

 
kylie wolfig clarissa grace waking up in paris personal style online mum entrepreneur business branding
 

Here’s what Kylie Wolfig shared after doing this exercise:

When I first stood in front of the mirror, I scanned my body, looking for something good. My eyes were darting all over the place, looking for something small that is ok – my eyes maybe? But then I slowed down, and zoom out. And I realised that the longer I looked at my body as a whole, the less I saw all the little flaws and imperfections. Yes there was excess weight, stretch-marks and bulges, BUT my body still seemed to be marginally in proportion. And as I kept looking, I realised that my body was doing ok – it had carried a child and 25 years of chronic disease. There were tears and smiles of varying degrees, but in the end, I realised that I wasn't in such a terrible hurry to get dressed again.
 
katie kozwolski clarissa grace waking up in paris personal style online mum entrepreneur business branding
 

And here’s what Katie Kozlowski had to say:

It has taken me nearly 20 years to get to the point where I can look at myself naked and not want to start grabbing and pulling at my body. I was 16 when I first realised I needed to lose weight. I would stand in the mirror, grabbing at my stomach, trying to flatten it out. Today, I as I looked in the mirror, knowing all I’ve been through, I honestly felt grateful. I’m grateful my body healed and grateful it’s even here at all. I still wish I had smaller breasts, and there are places I could slim down, but I accept my body and I felt peaceful letting it be what it wants to be. God made me this way and it feels like it’s time to thank Him for what I’ve got!

See how beautiful that is? This exercise works.

Now. Are you ready for me to send in my maids to undress you now?

Chapter 8: I want you to forget about “dressing your shape” now

You may have read in some fashion magazine or a book somewhere {definitely not here}, that comparing yourself to fruit, is the best way to understand your body and develop your personal style. Well, I am here to say that this is complete rubbish, because how can comparing our bodies to a piece of fruit ever be a clever idea? It can't be. It's a ridiculous way to describe our bodies and we must all do our best to stop these dreadfully degrading typologies once and for all.

Rant not over…

What woman in her right mind wants to be defined as a pear, a cherry, a strawberry, or a stick of rhubarb? And how can anyone accept and love their bodies if they resemble a piece of produce?

Actually… I probably wouldn’t mind so much if I was a strawberry. {Strawbs are my fav.} But I’m an apple. And fashion industry experts agree that out of all the fruits, apple’s are the most challenging shapes to dress. #blessed

 {Image credit left to right:  Image 1 ,  Image 2 ,  Image 3 ,  Image 4 .}

{Image credit left to right: Image 1, Image 2, Image 3, Image 4.}

I just can’t stop myself from believing that there has to be a better solution to teaching women how to dress, which is accepting and honouring of their shape, but is a little less, uh, fruity. {Heads up: There is a better way.}

Especially when the whole concept of “dressing your shape” feeds into the idea that we need to fix or manipulate ourselves to fit into a beauty ideal which is not even our own. It’s not what we’re going for at all, is it sweet-pea?

Because it’s brainwashing and it’s bonkers.

And because we are world changing women, goddamnit! We are redefining beauty and crafting our message in a way that feels real, and creative, and self-expressive, and smart, and FUN. {Which is way better that obeying the rules of whatever fruit you are, wouldn’t you agree?}

Personal style should begin with YOU. It should begin with answering the questions: What do I find beautiful? What do I want to say? How do I want to feel?

But absolutely NOT: What fruit am I so that I can look 5kg lighter and 2,163 inches taller?

No wonder women are so perplexed when it comes to their personal style! The whole bloody industry is upside-down.

But what would I know? {Apart from everything.}

I created Waking Up In Paris, specifically because I see how confusing, frustrating, and disheartening style can be for you. I know how much money you’re wasting on “flattering” clothes that end up with the other 80% of your wardrobe that you never wear, never loved, and never felt good in.

It’s EXACTLY why you have nothing to wear even though your wardrobe is overflowing!

waking-up-in-paris-clarissa-grace-personal-style-coach-online-mum-entrepreneur-ultimate-guide-Recovered.jpg

You’re focussing on dressing your shape {because you’ve been told that that’s the most important thing}, while forgetting about what is beautiful to you.

Don’t get me wrong bumble-bee. I’ve been a fashion designer for over 20 years, and I don’t deny that there are specific silhouettes, styles, and styling tricks that can be used to alter, manipulate, and “flatter” your darling figure. And I think it's a fabulous tool to use at will, once you have a solid foundation for your personal style.

But that comes later. Way later.

Because now is a time where you need to feel free experimenting. To play with a whole bunch of different styles, cuts, colours, fabrics, and prints, so that you can express your definition of beauty and the power of your one-in-a-million message.

And how the heck can you do that if all you’re focussed on is the fashion rules of your particular species of fruit?

It’s just not fun. At all.

Or smart.

And it completely ruins the creative process because you’re too busy trying to find clothes you “should” be wearing, while altogether missing the pieces that could have become the most splendid elements of your new style. Such a shame.

In other words: It’s a dumb system.

K? Now let’s move on.

Chapter 9: Why getting on Pinterest is going to be the cleverest thing you can do to find your style

If Pinterest were a person, I would kiss her right on the lips.

Really.

Because Pinterest is all about collecting inspiration, and the experience of being truly inspired is one the most magnificent sensations imaginable. Sometimes the little hairs stand up on the back of your neck, or you get dizzy, or butterfly-y, or dreamy, and sometimes it can even feel like you’re falling in love – and I can’t imagine there being a more perfectly magical happiness than that.

There is this quote in Liz Gilbert’s book Big Magic which I put on Instagram all the time cause I love it so much and I’m very unoriginal:

Do whatever brings you to life, then. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart. The rest will take care of itself.

That’s inspiration!  

And getting you to collect inspiration, beautiful pictures, and stuff you love, is one of my favourite parts of helping you discover your unique personal style.

But, don’t let the idea of inspiration intimidate you. As if it’s only accessible to the artists, the actresses, the poets, or the people who’ve been touched by God.

Because… it’s not true.

Inspiration is available to all of us.

All. The. Time.

It doesn’t need to be the transcendent, supernatural, otherworldly, woo-woo kind you read about in biographies. {Although yay for you if it is!}

It simply starts with curiosity.

Curiosity is much softer, gentler. It’s welcoming and inclusive. {And it would never dream of asking you to dye your hair pink, sell your business, give away your possessions, or start a church in Thailand/Africa/Croatia.}

So, we’re going to start with asking one question: What do you find beautiful? Anything? Even something small? No matter how tiny.

Because the answer to that, my little pretty, will put you on the path to inspiration.

Now, there are many ways of collecting visual inspiration, but Pinterest is by far my favourite. It lets you immerse yourself quickly, efficiently and systematically, and THAT is my love language. {And yours too, I presume.}

Pinterest is also incredibly amazeballs at helping you deepen your search, because it’s basically just one huge collection of interconnected images. If you can find one image you love, then you’ll be able to throw yourself down that big beautiful bunny hole filled with hundreds of images you love.

clarissa grace waking up in paris personal style online mum entrepreneur business branding

Which is good. Because that bunny hole is exactly where I want you to be hanging out and hoppin’ around.

So are you ready?

Exercise #4: My most spectacularly helpful tips for finding your inspiration on Pinterest

Soooooo… this exercise requires a night alone with some wine and Twisties, some pretty music, a candle, and your laptop. {Grab a novelty tiara from your daughters dress up box if you really want to get into it.}

I’ll also need you to dig out those mind-maps you created in Chapter 4 and 5.

IMPORTANT: This must be done in a room without your adorable children!

So. Get your lover home early, get Grandma to babysit for a bit, or give them a hundred bucks and drop them off at the local lollie shop. {I jest.} Or. Let them to have a My Little Pony/Modern Family binge before bed like all the other mums do. {Never us of course.}

Because it’s really important that this is a time where you can feel completely feminine and carefree and curious and creative and adventurous. {And not at all mumsy-mumsy.}

Just wait and see. It’s going to be FREAKING FUN! {Oh, I know, I know – having fun is a little bit of a lost art to us. I mean, it’s so unproductive. Ew. Especially when we could be answering emails, or writing blog posts, or baking macarons, or doing the washing and ironing and cleaning while spinning half-a-dozen China tea-cups on our head while standing on a monkey, on a ostrich, on a zebra with ten flamingos flying around our heads.} {Take a breath.}

Let me remind you {and me} about what Eleanor Brown said that time: “Self-care is not selfish. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”

So let’s fill up your cup buttercup. Let’s get you inspired, and have a ball on Pinterest. K?

For those of you who are newbies to Pinterest, or are yet to open an account for their business, then sweet friend and Pinterest wizard, Clare Drake has made a magical little video to help you get started. {Just watch she doesn’t lull you to sleep with her velvety, soft accent.}

Here, she’ll show you how to setup your account and create your profile, as well as how to make your first boards and pins. So watch it. If you need to. {Otherwise don’t worry.}

pinterest clarissa grace waking up in paris personal style online mum entrepreneur business branding

Other than that, I have five golden ‘tips’ for you…

Tip #1: Give each board a crystal-clear purpose

Each one of your boards must have an ultra clear purpose. I'll be giving you some name suggestions for your first few boards, but if you want to continue creating new boards that are more specifically yours, then be sure you name them in a way that helps you recognise their purpose.

Tip #2: Keep your boards secret-squirrel please

I want each board you create to be a “secret board,” which means that whatever you pin won’t be seen publicly on Pinterest. To do this, all you have to do is flip the “Secret” toggle when you go to create a new board. For now, it’s important for you work through the creative process without that creepy feeling of “being watched.” You are doing this for you and no one else. If you want to switch it to public later, that’s totally your call.

Tip #3: Write pin descriptions if you can be bothered

This isn’t essential if your time is limited. But using the description boxes underneath each pin to make a note of exactly what inspires you about that particular image, is a good idea. It doesn’t need to be in enormous detail, just a few descriptive words to quickly and simply put the image into context for you later when you're wondering what the heck it was that you loved about it. Is it the colour, the pattern, the texture, the shape, the mood, the feeling it gives you?

I like to use this format: Colours | Pastel | Pink | Soft | Sparkle | Feathers | Fur | Fresh | Freedom | Light

pinterest clarissa grace waking up in paris mum entrepreneur business branding

This will teach you to study and dissect your inspiration, and it will help you to continue defining what is beautiful to you. If you can’t figure out what it is that you love about a particular image. Bin it.

But again, if time is not on your side – don’t bother.

Tip #4: Don't be afraid to delete pins

As your continue adding pretties to your boards, your pins will start becoming more specific. And some of the images you pinned in the beginning might start feeling a bit meh, as you go along. That’s good! It means you are defining and refining your style! Yay you!

So go back through your boards every now and then, and ditch any images that don’t inspire you as much as they did when you first started. Delete ‘em. Delete ‘em. Delete ‘em. They’ll only distract from the images you love, and weaken your board as a whole.

Tip #5: Pin no more than 50 pins per board

The more stuff you collect, the more stuff you can be inspired by. Which. Is. The. Best.

BUT. When it comes to Pinterest, there’s a downside – it can turn you into a hoarder, and hoarders are kooky because they collect indiscriminately, and you m’dear, are not going to turn yourself into one of those. You are going to be a caring and selective collector.

You are going to curate.

In other words: Be picky, picky, picky. Please.

And pin no more than 50 pins per board {but no less than 20}. Once you hit 50, then STOP. Or start deleting.

And just think – down the track, you’re going to use all these gorgeous images and incorporate them into your wardrobe. In other words – they’re not going to be sitting pretty doing nothing for long.

Chapter 10: Juice up your inspiration search on Pinterest

Let’s get started on designing your dream girlie-girl!

Pinterest Board #1: Personal style playground

The name of your first Pinterest board will be: Personal Style Playground.

I like calling this board you’re playground, because that’s exactly what I want you to do possum – I want you to play. So, pull out your “What do I find beautiful?” mind-map, and start scanning over all the words you scrawled down back in Chapter 4.

Then, start bringing your mind-map to life. Create your own gorgeous world. Go treasure hunting on Pinterest for images that are a visual reflection of the words you wrote. {Pop you’re pirate patch on too, if it helps ya. Yarr!}

The images you pin don’t need to relate to fashion in any way. {But they might.}

Your pins can be anything at all – so long as they are a real reflection of you and the big beautiful heart you have for your business.

Your unique personal style is never just expressed through your clothes, you know? Style is expressed holistically. In everything.

The Pinterest images you are drawn to will inspire the interiors you love, the art, the architecture, the graphics, the gardens, the packaging, the pictures…

Don’t worry yourself yet if you have no clue how a particular image will tie into your unique personal style, we’ll get to that bit later as we start fine-tuning. Just continue collecting images you love, deleting images you don’t, and little-by-little your treasure will come to life.

Look at my holistic style below… see how my definition of beauty seeps into every area of my personal little wonderland? {Oh, and btw… thank you for not being all judgy about my love for flowery, peachy-pink shit. You’re lovely.}

 {Image credit from left to right, top to bottom:  Image 1 : Interior,  Image 2 : Graphic Design,  Image 3 : Flowers,  Image 4 : Fashion,  Image 5 : Animals,  Image 6 : Art,  Image 7 : Architecture,  Image 8 : Packaging,  Image 9 : Editorial.}

{Image credit from left to right, top to bottom: Image 1: Interior, Image 2: Graphic Design, Image 3: Flowers, Image 4: Fashion, Image 5: Animals, Image 6: Art, Image 7: Architecture, Image 8: Packaging, Image 9: Editorial.}

This first {not so fashion-y} board you are going to create is a superb way to get you thinking beyond just clothes, shoes and to-die-for designer bags. It’ll get you focussing more specifically on the visual design elements you love, like colour, shape, line, texture, pattern, mood, and all that arty-farty stuff.

But before you get too carried away with your pinning – for every few pins, I want you to quickly scan back over your second mind-map from Chapter 5: “What do I want to say?”

I want you to check for inconsistencies. Misalignments. I want you to know for sure that every pin on your Personal Style Playground board is a lovely visual mash-up of BOTH mind-maps.

Remember this little illustration?

clarissa grace waking up in paris personal style online mum entrepreneur business branding

If you’re wanting to be taken seriously as a sophisticated business woman who sashays through life like a damn goddess  – then don’t risk being taken ‘not seriously’ by pinning your favourite Guns N’ Roses poster from 1991.

Reminder: Be sure you’re hitting your purple sweet spot.

Collect images you love, delete images you don’t, and bit by bit your treasure will come to life.

Click HERE to have a look at my own Personal Style Playground board on Pinterest. {Follow me too if you fancy.}

Or check out the screenshot below.

pinterest clarissa grace waking up in paris personal style online mum entrepreneur business branding

As you see, it’s a big blend of lots of different images. And although the images are a perfect reflection of what is beautiful to me, they are also in alignment with the message and heart-beat of my brand.

Words that come to mind when I look at these pictures are feminine, soft, warm, kind, sparkly, dreamy, fresh, free, romantic, light, messy, natural, creative, caring, sweet, gentle, embracing, empowering, nurturing, loving, imperfect, unique…

All the things I want to be known for.

Click HERE to see what Kylie Wolfig's Personal style playground board looks like. And for Diana Tower's click HERE.

Once this first board is complete, you will need to deepen your search even more for the next few boards. Refer back to the pins from this board, and use them as clues about the elements that could become a part of the boards you create from here on in.  

When you find a pin you love – dig deeper. Scroll down to look for similar images in the related pins section. Look for different versions, different pairings, different patterns. Stay curious. Click on the image to find out more. Follow the trail.

Search for your treasure, pirate-girl.

Because that’s what’s going to bring you closer to finding your unique personal style.

Pinterest Board #2: Personal style colour palette

One of the most important aspects of your unique personal style is your colour palette. Colour in clothes have the power to trigger an emotion instantaneously and wondrously, both in you and in the people your surrounded by.

Don’t underestimate it.

Right now, your favourite colour palette might be crystal clear to you.


It might even be exactly the same palette you’ve been obsessing over since you were a teeny-tiny girl who who used to collect anything and everything that was Little Twin Stars. {I know. Weird. Just, check out the similarity between the picture below and my Personal Style Playground board! I’m certain they were birthed out of the same belly.}

 {Image credit:  Image 1 ,  Image 2 .}

{Image credit: Image 1, Image 2.}

If you do have a favourite colour palette {like your pastel-obsessed style coach here}, it might have been watered down over the years because of fashion rules, trends, availability, profession, lifestyle, or because of whatevers hanging in your mums wardrobe.

Or you may not have a favourite at all, which is totally fine.

Either way – let’s start from scratch, shall we?

Go back to your Personal Style Playground board, and pay close attention to the kinds of colours you were drawn to when you weren't all focussed on being drawn to the colours. There’s probably a very large number of them. So I want you to focus on the 5 to 10 colours {including tones and shades}, that you are most in love with.

Then start creating your Personal Style Colour Palette board. Dig deeper into these 5 to 10 colours. Look for different inspirations, different combinations, different representations.

Again, the images you choose don’t need to be fashion related. They could be anything at all. Experiment. But remember: You want them to sit in your purple sweet spot, which is the mash-up of your two mind maps.  

What do you find beautiful? What do you want to say?

Continue searching for your colour palette, look at how different colours work together, look at your board from a distance, and continue deleting any irritators that distract from that palette.

Below is a screenshot of my Personal Style Colour Palette. If you’re an overachiever, and you want to have a real-live look at it in Pinterest, then click HERE. {What was that? Did I just hear you say you wanted to be Pinterest friends? OMG I was thinking exactly the same thing!}

pinterest clarissa grace waking up in paris finding personal style online mum entrepreneur business branding

You’ll notice how my Pinterest board above ties in really beautifully with the branding graphics of my Waking Up In Paris site below. See?

That’s what I want you to work towards.

waking up in paris clarissa grace finding personal style online mum entrepreneur business branding

Let me just show you too in the picture below, how my Personal Style Colour Palette board ties straight into a chunk of my existing wardrobe. Seamless, right?

clarissa grace wardrobe waking up in paris finding personal style online mum entrepreneur business branding

But it’s not perfect. These pictures actually show me where a little tweaking would be good.  {I could definitely do with some more pink too, don’t you think?} {Never enough pink.}

But before you freak out on me, I need to remind you – this is a process. {And this has been my job for like a gazillion-and-one years!}

Your Pinterest boards, your website graphics, and your wardrobe, aren't going to harmonise with each other like mine do. But they can! It’s why I’m here to help you!

Use my pictures as a way to see what’s possible for you.

Click HERE to see what Kylie Wolfig's Personal style colour palette board looks like. And for Diana Tower's click HERE.

Look at a couple more colour palette examples below. This one’s a cooler palette.

pinterest clarissa grace waking up in paris finding personal style online mum entrepreneur business branding

And this one’s a bit earthier.

pinterest waking up in paris clarissa grace finding personal style mum entrepreneur business branding

Now, I love these colour palettes too, and to be honest, you’ll see them scattered throughout my wardrobe.

But when you’re a mum in business and you’re trying to find your unique personal style, you need to focus first on the pallet that will be the best visual representation of you and your brand. You can pepper other palettes through your wardrobe later, once you’ve built a foundation.

So for now, just focus on collecting images that are beautiful to you and that communicate the message of your brand. {And if you’d like to see another Pinterest board with bucket loads of colour palette examples, click HERE to get your creative juices flowing.}

Pinterest Board #3: Personal style inspiration

Next, we’re going to create a board called Personal Style Inspiration. This one is all about the clothes! So take all the beauty and yumminess you’ve been marinating yourself in for the last little bit, and apply it now to your search for actual outfits.

Here’s what I want you to look out for in the images you pin…

  • The Overall Feel. {Because sometimes the reason you love a particular image has nothing to do with the individual pieces of an outfit, but the overall vibe instead.}

  • The Individual Pieces. {Try dissecting the outfit into individual pieces that could potentially be incorporated into your wardrobe.}

  • The Silhouettes. {Look for silhouettes, shapes, and cuts that catch your eye.}

  • The Colours. {You’ll be very tuned into the colours you love now, so look for outfits that are filled with all your favorites.}

  • The Fabrics and Prints. {The fabrics might be tricky to spot in some images, so just pin-point the basics like soft, sheer, structured, denim, leather, knit, etc. And finding prints you love is easy. If you’re into that sort of thing.}

  • The Styling Techniques. {Look at how a particular piece is worn. Zoom in on the little details like sleeves rolled up, shirts half tucked, pieces layered, accessories, hair, handlebar moustaches, etc.}

And then, if you have a little extra time, write exactly what you love about each element of that outfit in the description box.

Check out my descriptions on the pair of pins below to give you the idea.

pinterest clarissa grace waking up in paris finding personal style online mum entrepreneur business branding

Click HERE to have a look at my Personal Style Inspiration board on Pinterest. Or, if you’re slightly lazy {like me}, have a squiz at the screenshot below which’ll give you the general gist anyways.

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Well. Good job. You deserve some encouragement after doing something so time consumey and now you’ve got some. Are you smiling? {Smiles are my jam.}

Click HERE to see what Kylie Wolfig's Personal style inspiration board looks like. And for Diana Tower's click HERE.

Now, do you happen to have any Vegemite? I need some toast.

Chapter 11: Action required: Start looking a little closer

Just a few quick questions I want to answer about your Personal Style Inspiration board, now that it’s time to take a closer look…

Ladies often ask me: Do I need a 'style type?' And Clarissa, what does that even mean?

As you keep pinning your little heart out, you might start to recognise a particular style ‘type’ emerging. {You might not too, which is a-okay, peanut.}

Style types are simply different looks that express common themes and personalities. If you’re interested in exploring style types, here are some more of my Pinterest boards which you can click on and have a swan around in: Mum Style, Curvy Style, Pregnancy Style, Romantic Style, Bohemian Style, Whimsical Style, Vintage Style, French Girl Style, Preppy Style, Business Style, Classic Style, Tomboy Style, Edgy Style, Trendy Style.

You might find yourself drawn to one particular style type. Or ten. {Or none.} That’s great! There are no rules. My personal style doesn’t really fit into any particular type. {40% romantic + 30% bohemian + 10% French girl + 10% vintage + 5% trendy + 3% edgy + 2% classic = moi.} {Do all those percentages make me seem smart?} My style is basically just a mammoth mess of gorgeousness, which is entirely and unashamedly unique to me.

 
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People love it. People don’t. That’s okay. I don’t need to make everyone happy, I’m not Nutella.

What if I'm pinning a heap of pretty outfits that don't flatter my body shape?

Look, I know I’ve rarely mentioned this {maybe once or eighty times}, but for years, people like me have been telling people like you to dress like a pear if you’re a pear, and to dress like an apple if you’re an apple, and to dress like a banana, if you’re a… well, you get the picture.  

I call bullshit on those dang rules! So, for the love of all things scrumptious – when you’re pinning onto your Personal Style Inspiration board, pretty-PLEASE can you just forget about the fashion rules? {Throwing around lots of theatrical hand gestures atm.}

For now, at least. For me?

Because the fashion rules are sad, and they’re boring. They’re a creativity killer, and a personal style dungeon. {With rats.} {And fleas on rats.} {And amoebas on fleas on rats.}

If you find something you love, then pin it with pride whether you think it will suit your body shape or not. {Often there’ll be a way to make it work. But if not, I’ll help you with finding a compromise a bit later.}

Trying to look taller and skinnier should never be your number one objective when it comes to getting dressed.

The end.

Now on to the next question.

But what about reality? I hear you ask

Before adding anything to your Personal Style Inspiration board, it’s a good idea to ask yourself whether you would actually wear the outfit in real life, or if you just love it on more of a la-la-land, chasing unicorns with rainbow horns level. {I’m definitely prone to this.}

Ask yourself: How do I spend my time? How many days do I do this, that, and all that other stuff? And does this outfit compliment all that?

Watch you don’t go overboard with the high-fashion, Vogue-ey type editorial pictures. I made a career creating images like that, and as much as I LOVE them and wish I could DROWN in them every single day of the week, I want you to stay focussed on the types of clothes that will tie in with your lifestyle and business TODAY.

Keep it real, rascal!

And if you realise that you wouldn’t wear a certain outfit, but you still really love it – move it over to your Personal Style Playground board instead.

Or bin it, baby.

But how do I deal with that blah feeling when I compare myself to those pretty pictures?

There is very little body diversity on Pinterest. And if you want my advice {which I’m presuming you do because otherwise you’d be reading National Geographic}, then youneed to accept that that’s the way it is for now, get yourself into a good, healthy mindset, and appreciate Pinterest for the gifts it’ll give you instead.

Comparing leads to despairing. So don’t do it.

Simply make the choice to appreciate the ladies who you might think are skinnier, prettier, taller, younger, and richer… but do NOT let yourself start wishing to be anything other than exactly who you are right now. It’s unrealistic, and it’ll turn you into a miserable a-hole. {Been there.}

Oh gosh, no!

Just be happy being you. Sure, set goals, work hard for your health, and be the best you can be, but don’t let yourself go all coo-coo over the things you have no control over.

Remember: Fashion CEO’s create these images to inspire your insecurity. {And so they can earn a shittonne of money and afford to buy their children pure-bread ponies at Christmas time.}

So be stronger than that.

Besides. I think you’re scrumptious, so you must be.

Now darling, if you need a little break and you feel like you’re ready for your nightly orchard bath, off you go. You’ve certainly earned it.

waking up in paris clarissa grace finding personal style online mum entrepreneur business branding

Great! Now that you’re all freshened up, go back to your Personal Style Inspiration board and give it another quick cull. Ditch anything that doesn’t work on the board like you first thought.

Clever you!

Exercise #5: The best shopping list you've never created

The next step is where the sweet, shiny magic starts happening.

Look at all the images on your Personal Style Inspiration board as a big beautiful whole, and start trying to spot patterns.

Are you seeing lots of black and white stripes, pops of red, denim skinnies, neck scarves and straw bags? Or maybe you're seeing floral dresses, tan belts, vintage t-shirts, granny knits and knee high boots?

Whatever you see. Out of the patterns you’re finding, I want you to create a shopping list which is broken up into the 6 concrete elements I told you to look out for in Chapter 10…

  • The Overall Feel

  • The Individual Pieces

  • The Silhouettes

  • The Colours

  • The Fabrics and Prints

  • The Styling Techniques

Under each element, make a note of the patterns you’ve found and loved over and over again. Starting with the overall feel, what is it about the vibe of these images that keeps jumping out for your attention? Next, look at the individual pieces, then the silhouettes, the colours, the fabrics and prints, and finally the styling techniques.

You don’t need to be too detailed at this point. Look for patterns that catch your eye and for elements you’ve pinned repeatedly, because these are the ingredients that’ll be mixed together to create your unique personal style.

I’ve created a handy shopping list for you, which I think you’ll agree is nice of me. Click on the button below. Download it. Print it out. Make your list.

DOWNLOAD!

And below is a little piccy of what my list might look like if I was in your shoes.

shopping list clarissa grace waking up in paris finding personal style online mum entrepreneur business branding

This is just your first draft. In the next step, you’ll be able to keep tweaking and fine-tuning it.

You’re walloping it now sunshine. Well done!

Chapter 12: Holy crap! Must I really shop without my credit card?

By now you should feel like you’re getting closer to finding your unique personal style! {Which is better than strawberries and whipped cream from a can, don’t you think?}

WOO! I’m so proud of you. But wait! You’re not allowed to get out your credit card just yet, because there’s still a little more experimenting, editing, and fine-tuning that needs to be done first!

Exercise #6: The best ideas for exceptionally successful shopping

I want you to think of the shopping list you did in Chapter 11 as a rough draft. Because right now you’re list is filled with silhouettes, colours, fabrics, prints and styles that you’re head-over-heels in love with – on somebody else.

But there’s a whopping big difference between loving a certain style on someone else, and loving it on yourself.

I remember trying on a princess powder-puff wedding dress for the first time – convinced it was going to be the cherry to my sundae. But I put the thing on, stared at my reflection, and… oooh, my holy realisation.

Dreams were shattered all at once and very suddenly. And I laughed so much because I looked riDICulous.

Same goes with button-down shirts. Pin them all the time. Love them on more fancy folk. Not so much on me. {It’s not to say I won’t keep trying though.}

What I’m saying is – out of everything you wrote down on your shopping list, there may be a few things that you’ll move from the ‘what-I-want-to-wear’ category, and over to the ‘admire-from-afar’ category, instead.

But the only way to figure out which things fall into which category, is to try a version of everything you wrote on your list. Put it to the test. Experiment. But do not buy a single thing. {You can go buy it some other time if you want to, but not today. We need to keep the risk low.}

If one of the things on your list is ‘leopard print,’ then be a wild-cat. Try on every leopard print thing you can get your hands on like jackets, skirts, scarves, shoes, belts, and bags. Proportionally, how much of it do you like? A lot of it? {As in a jacket.} Meow. Or a little bit of it. {As in a skinny belt.} Purr.

If you pinned lace like a crazy-lady {who me?}, then get romantic. Ask yourself questions like: Do you like heavy lace? Or light lace? Black lace, cream lace, or white lace? Lace up top, or lace down below. Lots of lace, or a little?

If you love wrap dresses, then find stores that have them and try on as many versions as possible. Try different sleeve lengths, skirt lengths, colours, fabrics, prints, and styles. No strings attached.

Pretend you’re a researcher who is refining. Fine-tuning and improving.

Pay attention to the details. Take pictures on your phone. Add notes to your shopping list. Scribble out the things that aren’t working for you.

waking up in paris clarissa grace finding personal style online shopping mum entrepreneur business branding

But before hitting the shops, have a read of these  very important tips to help you…

Tip #1: Start your day well & rested

If it’s the first day of your period, or you’ve been up with a vomiting kid all night, or you’re having a few hundred people over for supper and you’re exhausted at the thought of it, then please put the shopping on hold. Save it for a day filled with health and space and positivity.

Tip #2: Self-love yourself first

Before you leave the house, do whatever you can do to feel your best. Brush your hair, shave your legs, put some ruby-red lippy on or whatever it is that helps you feel beautiful. Feeling lovely, refreshed and relaxed will make all the difference in the world.

Tip #3: Go nude 

Well… not completely nude. {Gasp!} Just wear a pair of undies and a bra that are in the colour nude.

Tip #4: Leave the children at home

Get the chipmunks looked after. {Along with your BFF.} Please. This is your time to shine. You can’t do it with anyone, except for yourself.

Tip #5: When it comes to experimenting, start big

The best place to go shopping is a big department store that carries lots of different styles and brands. A city centre is great. Or anywhere that has a variety of stores in close proximity to each other so that you don’t exhaust yourself too quickly, and so that you’re feet don’t demand a divorce by the end of the day.

Now, I don’t want to go all dumpy-diapers on you or anything, but it’s time we got real about one thing…

Shopping is hard.

There. I said it.

Finding the close-to-perfect piece that fits your style, your size, and your heart, is HARD. So just accept that you’re probably not going to walk into a store and find your dream piece serenading you like Mozart, moments later. Doesn’t often work that way. {Although, high-five yourself if it does.} {Make-believe, or in the mirror, your call.}

But if you’re willing to put the time and energy into experimenting with your clothes now, it’ll become a well-honed technique, and I guarantee that the benefits you’ll receive will worth it!

You’ll find styles that you love, and next time you won’t have to work so hard because you’ll be able to fall back on what you already know. {Or you’ll be able to ditch the shops altogether, stay in your bunny slippers, and stick with online shopping instead.}

shopping clarissa grace waking up in paris finding personal style online mum entrepreneur business branding

You’ve front-loaded the work. It’s what we like to do in business, but it’s also what we need to do for our personal style.

So once you’re in the store, give overwhelm the bird and start trying on clothes. Lots and LOTS of clothes! {And BTW. Taking five pieces into the fitting room and then giving up because you hate them all, and the lighting sux, and the sales lady is pissing you off, doesn’t count.}

If you’re not a standard size, then you might have to work a little harder, but don’t give up. Keep your mindset in check.

Stacy London says it magnificently in her book, The Truth About Style:

You can be tall, short, thin, curvy, in any combination, and still find flattering clothes…. I'm not saying it's easy. But it's always possible. A defeatist attitude will not do anyone any favours, though. Assuming you’ll fail will only make it harder to deal with your style challenges… Instead of saying it's “impossible” to find pants, you can refrain your attitude by saying it's “difficult” to find them. That's a big difference in mindset – “impossible” forces you to give up “difficult” means you're in for a challenge.

Next.

When you start trying things on, don’t be bitchy. K? If you let yourself get all preoccupied with your faults and flaws {like you usually do}, then you’re working against yourself, you’re micro-focussing, and you’re taking yourself all the way back to nowhere town FAST.

And the perception you have of anything you try on will be all squiffy {yes, that’s a word}, and distorted.

Remember the work we did in Chapter 7 on accepting your body, and seeing yourself holistically?

Well. Now’s your time to shine!

This is a research experiment where you’ll find clothes you love, clothes you hate, and clothes you won’t be sure about either way. But however you feel, I want you to assess every garment you try before you even think about whipping it off again.

How to assess the clothes you try…

The first, most important thing you need to do when you put on a piece of clothing is to stop and figure out how it makes you feel, before you even consider making a decision about how it makes you look. You need to do this just after you put the garment on, but before you turn around and look at it in the mirror.

It drives me nutty that no one teaches this, because it’s SO important!

Just because a piece of clothing looks good, doesn’t mean it feels good, which is exactly why women have their closets filled with clothes they never wear.

Grrr…

So, stop. Think about how the fabric, the cut, the colour, and the design are making you feel physically, but also think about whether it’s a piece that aligns with the heart you have for your life and business.

Let the feeling of the clothes speak to you before the mirror does.

Listen to them.

Then look at yourself in the mirror.

If you love the look of a piece you have on, then WOOHOO! Write a quick note on the back of your shopping list about what you love about it, and why it works for you. But before you take it off, snap a selfie in the mirror so you can use it as reference later.

If you hate the look of the piece you’re trying on, then take a breath. It’s okay. Embrace the process. And instead of taking it off faster than I can say, “Three pink cupcakes, please,” I want you to try pinpointing the problem first.

Try to figure out exactly what it is that you don’t like. Is it the fit? The feel? The cut? The colour? The print? The proportion? Be specific.

Once you’ve done that, you have a few options… {Sadly, none of them involve snuggling siamese kittens. Shame. Such adorable kittens.}

  1. You could try the same {or similar} piece on in a different colour or print.

  2. You could tone down the intensity and look for a similar piece that incorporates the overall feel of the garment you’re trying on, but in a more subtle, toned-down version of it.

  3. You could think about getting the garment tailored. {Because tailoring is a gift from the angels, I swear!} If you’re pants are too tight in the bum, go up a size and nip in the waist. If you’re skirt is too long, have the thing taken up. Don’t just accept your clothes as they are. Manipulate them. Tame them. Take control.

  4. Or you could ditch the garment completely and accept the fact that some pieces on your list aren’t going to work. That’s ok! Scribble it off your list, pop it into your mental admire-from-afar category, and move on to the next piece.

If you try on a piece you like, but don’t love, then go through the same steps as above. Pinpoint the problem and try your best to find a solution. Chances are that with a little tweaking and manipulation you could take this garment from a 7/10 to a 9 or even a 10.

And if you’d like a checklist of all these things to take into the fitting room with you {which I highly recommend}, then click the button below.

DOWNLOAD!

And, just one more thing.

Don’t let your comfort zone keep you from fully exploring your personal style.

When you are trying to discover your unique personal style, feeling out of your comfort zone is actually a really good thing. But sometimes your comfort zone might feel wildly similar to feeling uncomfortable.

comfort zone clarissa grace waking up in paris finding personal style online mum entrepreneur business branding

A part of this journey is learning the difference between being out of your comfort zone, and feeling uncomfortable because a particular piece of clothing is physically uncomfortable, or isn’t aligned with your personal style.

Nothing you try on should go into the “no” pile, until you’ve been able to figure out which one it is.

Because the only way to truly find your personal style is to open yourself up to a whole heap of different outfits, and experiment! Look for new styles, silhouettes, colours, fabrics, prints, and push yourself hard out of your comfort zone, and into the realm of sweet shiny magic!

The bar is low today, sweet-pea. You have the freedom to go into as many stores as possible, try on a bunch of stuff, figure out what works, what doesn’t, take notes and grow your confidence, all without spending a cent!

Make the most of it.

Think about who you are, and who you want to be, and chose your clothes as a way to bridge that gap. Think about the dreams you have for your business. Your goals. Bring them into the fitting room with you. Choose a handful of pieces that scare you. Choose pieces that 60-year-old you will look back on and smile… rather than cringe at the thought that you always really wanted to have a beautiful, unique style, but you never quite figured it out.

So do it.

This is about you, you, and ONLY you. You you you you you!

Chapter 13: The wizardry of a style profile

You are effing fantastic. Gold stars!

You put the hard work in up-front which’ll give your personal style a far better chance of becoming the glorious, magnetising, confidence-boosting thing you’ve always dreamed it would be. {By about 500% according to the very in depth, made-up study I did in my head.}

Get really, really excited. Cos it’s all about to materialise.

So let’s gather everything you learnt through your Pinterest search, and on your shopping trip, and weave it into your visual story – your unique personal style.

During your experiment, you were hopefully able to get a really good idea of what cuts, colours, fabrics, prints, and patterns you love most and feel comfortable in. Now we need to bring all those ideas together and turn them into a detailed profile of your unique personal style.

This will give you a clear path that’ll move you from where you are now {with the current state of your wardrobe}, to where you want to go. After that, you’ll be able to edit, organise, tweak, and upgrade your wardrobe, baby step by baby step.

There are 2 parts needed in the process of creating a complete style profile.

In Part 1, we’ll create a final mood-board in Pinterest that’ll express the overall feeling of your personal style.

In Part 2, we’ll create a written summary which will describe the key qualities of your personal style.

Part 1 is inspirational.

Part 2 is implementational.

But before we get started, I want you to get out your shopping list {the one you’ve scribbled notes all over}, along with your selfies, and the three Pinterest boards you’ve already created. Go back and forth between them all, making sure you have a really good grasp of the overall feeling of your personal style along with the main patterns and themes.

Then go back through your boards quickly, and delete anything that doesn’t resonate with you in the way it did when you first started.

Style Profile Part 1: Finalising your Pinterest mood-board.

Creating a mood board is an incredibly powerful technique used by artists, illustrators, fashion designers, graphic designers, and interior designers. It’s basically just a collection of images stuck onto a blank canvas {or in our case, Pinterest}, which conveys a mood, or tells a story about a particular, often abstract, idea.

Stylist Anuschka Rees is a mood-board lover too, and in her book The Curated Closet, she writes:

Building a mood-board is just as much about the process as the outcome. You’re goal is to end up with something that you can use as a complete visual reference to you’re style, but the act of choosing images… will also help you get a feeling for how all the different elements work with each other and ensure that you really love the overall picture you have created.

I need you to create one final board in Pinterest called: Personal Style Mood-board.

With your shopping list and selfies in front of you to help, start collecting and curating your favourite images {which can be taken from your 3 existing boards, but don’t have to be}, for your Personal Style Mood-board.

Be sure to use images that also represent each individual element of your personal style, so that the overall feeling of the look you are going for is captured as meticulously as possible.

Here’s the list of elements to jog your memory…

  • The Overall Feel

  • The Individual Pieces

  • The Silhouettes

  • The Colours

  • The Fabrics and Prints

  • The Styling Techniques

It’s a good idea to focus on each element one-by-one, picking 3 to 5 images to encapsulate each element best. Choose between 30 - 50 images in total.

Edit. Edit. Delete. Tweak.

Keep fine-tuning you’re mood-board until it reflects the Wonder Woman that you are, and the style you imagine for yourself.

HERE’S mine, if you fancy a squiz.

pinterest clarissa grace waking up in paris finding personal style online mum entrepreneur business branding

Now onto the second part of creating our style profile.

Style Profile Part 2: Never, ever forget who you are, and what you want to say

Once your mood-board is finished, it’s time to bring all these ideas from the clouds to the street. That’s what Part 2 of your Style Profile is all about – creating a written summary of your style which’ll turn you inspiration from fluff and rainbows, to something tangible and concrete.

Click the button below for a worksheet to help you with your written summary, as well as an extraordinarily inspiring list of adjectives.

DOWNLOAD!

Now. Using your shopping list, your selfies, and now your four Pinterest boards, answer these questions…

  1. What’s the overall feeling of your personal style?

  2. What are the key pieces?

  3. What silhouettes and cuts do you love?

  4. What colours pop out at you most?

  5. What fabrics do you see?

  6. What are your favourite prints and patterns?

  7. What styling techniques do you want to use?

  8. What about accessories? {Like jewels, shoes, bags, hats, hair and makeup.}

  9. What do you want this style to say about you and your business? {Click the button below for a list of 100 adjectives to help you with this bit.}

DOWNLOAD!

Now let’s puzzle all these pieces together, and come up with a name for your personal style.

Basically, I want you to turn all the words you used to answer the questions above into a simple phrase that sums up your unique personal style.

This one carefully-crafted phrase will be the thing that you can go back to over and over again. It’ll give you direction and clarity around making decisions so that you can confidently say, “Yep, that’s my style,” or “Hmmm… not so much.”

So feel free to be as creative as you want to be. It doesn’t have to make sense to anyone but you.

And remember – you can rewrite this statement anytime you like, because your unique personal style is fluid, never stagnant. {Although the really deep foundational love you have now discovered for a particular kind of beauty will most likely stay the same.}

Still… It will evolve as you do.

If you’re a bit stuck on what to name your personal style, here are some ideas to get you started…

  • Simple yet elegant with whispers of wealth

  • Audrey Hepburn with a touch of tomboy

  • Whimsical and witty with a splash of granny chic

  • Victorian romantic with a little edge and casual flair

  • Creative bohemian New York street style

  • Great Gatsby glam with a feeling of flirtiness and fun

That’s it! You’ve finished your style profile, which means you’re on your way to an exceptionally gorgeous personal style with the most glorious wardrobe ever. {You should make a life-sized cardboard cut-out of yourself and kiss it with the your hot pink lippie.}  

You should be soooo proud of yourself! Not every mum entrepreneur is as proactive about finding her unique personal style and pizzazz as you are.

clarissa grace waking up in paris finding personal style mum entrepreneur business branding

All you need to do now is look at how your current wardrobe differs from your ideal style, and find where the gaps are. By doing that, you’ll be able to set priorities for when you are ready to start buying a few fancy new pieces.

Or maybe at this point your thinking you might need a style coach to help you with all this. You know – like you do when you’re trying to win a gold medal, or perform the flying trapeze, or learn Japanese.

If you think that might be a ridiculously good idea, and you’d like my one-on-one help, you might be interested in my programme: Brand Yourself Beautiful.

And if you feel any {or all} of these things, I swear on my mothers pearls, it'll be fabulous for you…

  • If you feel shy or self-conscious about being seen as the face and body of your business. {And you know it’s holding you back from your greatest impact.}

  • If you’ve struggled to care for yourself, your style, and your beauty, in the whirlwind of motherhood. {And you know it drags you down as you move throughout your day.}

  • If you’re sick to death of having an overflowing wardrobe, with nothing to wear and nothing that fits. {And nothing to help you feel like the beautiful, confident, sexy-as-heck expert you’ve worked so hard to become.}

  • If you’re in a yoga pant and t-shirt rut because you need clothes that are practical for working from home and juggling kids and running around, and you rarely feel good. {And all you want is clothes that are comfortable and stylish and YOU, but it feels so dang impossible.}

  • If you have no idea what your personal style is, but you know that right now, it doesn’t align with your business, your message, or your heart. {And you worry that it’s damaging your credibility and holding people back from hiring you.}

  • If you have no idea how to dress your shape, especially since having kids, and since everything got a little softer. {And you try to show yourself compassion and say all the affirmative things like: you grew two babies in there, but it doesn’t get very far.}

C’mon! Let me go all Fairy-Godmother on you. {I’m so good at that.}

If you’re curious {yippee}, then click HERE to answer a few quick questions that’ll help me get to know you better, and then I’ll be in touch.

And if you know of someone who could use some kindness/guidance/help with their personal style, then please feel free to screenshot every page and send it to them. That’s exactly what a good friend would do. And you are DEFINITELY a good friend… right?

Ohhhh… I’m kidding!

All you need to do is copy and paste this –

Hey scrumptious!
Just read this incredible ultimate guide by Clarissa Grace from Waking up in Paris called ‘The Mum Entrepreneurs Ultimate Guide to Finding Your Unique Personal Style.’
It’s FREE, and you’re going to love the friggin heck out of it! Click HERE to have a read.
Mwah!

Easy-peasy. {And they’ll fall at your feet in gratitude for it.} {As will I.} {Wink.}

But if you’d prefer to splash it all over your social media instead, that’s perfectly acceptable too. {And, good on you BTW.}

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN!

If you loved reading this Ultimate Guide as much as I loved writing it, then leave me one of your magical little message in the comments below, telling me you’re favourite bits/you’re questions/how awesome/cute I am. Ha!

See ya! Luv ya!

DOWNLOAD!
 
 Waking Up In Paris | Clarissa Grace | Personal Style Online | Online Fashion Stylist | Confidence Coach | Mom Boss | Fashion For Working Moms & Mompreneurs

Author: Clarissa Grace

As fashion designer, style coach, and founder of Waking Up In Paris, Clarissa Grace teaches female entrepreneurs to embrace their body, redefine beauty and transform themselves through the power of personal style. She is professionally trained in fashion design, costume design, and haute couture through The Paris American Academy, and has created hundreds of couture wedding gowns for brides under her self named label. Clarissa has been splashed on the pages of Vogue, Cosmopolitan and Woman's Day, chatted on Channel 7 and Nine, and dressed some of Australia's most dazzling stars such as Isabel Lucas, Kate Ritchie, Jodi Gordon and Ricki-Lee Coulter.

 
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Do you quickly press delete because you’re embarrassed by the way your tummy looks in pictures? Cheeky thing… Ruining a lady’s day! Learn the Frenchwoman’s trick that will transform you from feeling meh to magnifique whenever someone whips out a camera! {And you'll LOVE seeing yourself in pictures afterwards!}

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This is the most comprehensive personal style guide on earth. And Mars. {I think.} And it’s FREE! It was made with love because I believe that style should be fun! That getting dressed doesn’t have to piss you off! That putting on clothes can be a daily act of self-love and a ridiculously smart move for your business!

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What if you could take your personal style… From meh to magnifique? From amateur to expert? From so-so to SOLD? What if you could actually LOOK like the Wonder-Woman you’ve worked so hard to become? This is a one-on-one program that'll help you find your personal style branding, shine blindingly bright, and sell your anything.

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 Waking Up In Paris | Clarissa Grace | Personal Style Online | Online Fashion Stylist | Confidence Coach | Mom Boss | Fashion For Working Moms & Mompreneurs

Hello, M'dear!

I'm Clarissa Grace and I adore you already! I’m a personal style and branding coach, and I love helping female entrepreneurs find their dazzling core of confidence, shine bright like a damn diamond and magnetise dream clients.  

waking up in paris clarissa grace personal style online coach mum entrepreneur

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