Post Lockdown Shopping and how I can help

This isn’t a post that anyone thought would be written but 2020 hasn’t really shaped up to conform with the 21st Century has it? As clothes shops are reopening after lockdown, there’ll be a new normal – at least for a while.

Leisurely browsing with the occasional coffee stop is something that we can but dream of. Instead, we will be faced with the prospect of queuing as shops limit the number of customers at any one time, one-way systems, sanitiser stations, the loss of changing rooms and sometimes toilets and, of course, maintaining a strict social distance.

We’ve already seen an increased limit of €50 for contactless payments from our banks so we can avoid using cash.

And then there is the question of returns; queues are likely to be much longer than we’ve ever experienced, which all makes for a very painful experience.

On the plus side, this may encourage people to buy less but better quality items. Sustainability could be a positive by-product of the pandemic. Anywhere other than France where they’re not allowed, you’re likely to see huge, impromptu sales as retailers try to offload their disastrous spring/summer season.

And so you have a choice; do you adopt the smash and grab approach in your local budget store: a pair of shorts for a fiver, a swimsuit reduced by 80% and those faux-leather sandals that you’ll ‘bed in’ on a buy one pair, get one free offer.

Or do you use this opportunity to invest in better quality items that will last for years to come? I’ll always point you to the latter approach.

Use this opportunity to look at retailers that have always been slightly out of your reach, because the discounts on offer may well mean that you can afford to treat yourself now. 

Before you part with your hard earned cash, however, check that the intended purchase will go with at least three other things in your wardrobe. If you have to buy ‘around’ the item to make an outfit, chances are it isn’t a bargain.

It’s going to be a lot more difficult to leisurely mooch around the aisles especially if you can’t use the changing room facilities. So, do a little bit of homework before you set off. Take note of the style of clothes already in your wardrobe that you love and feel good in. So for example, if you are a curvy hourglass, this could be a fluid wrap dress in stretchy fabric, a deep v-neck top or soft jackets with waist definition. Make a note or take photos on your mobile phone to remind you to shop for similar styles. They’re bound to be winners. 

Another important point to consider is colour. It may seem obvious but before you make an unnecessary purchase, check in the mirror that it looks good on you. Hold the garment under your chin and have a look at what it does to your face. Your complexion should look clear and vibrant. OK, you’ll likely be wearing a mask…. but this IS the new post-lockdown normal!

And if you really don’t know where to begin, start with me. I can help you to build a lifestyle and age appropriate wardrobe that provides you with endless outfit opportunities.

Discover more Here.

Of course it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to test make-up at the cosmetics counter or indeed experience a makeover for the forseeable future. Don’t leave your purchases to chance. I can still suggest the best shades of make-up to complement your look.

Wishing everyone safe and happy shopping trips (as we try to get back to a little bit of normality)

If you want a little more information you can read a handy guide I created about working out your own best colours and styles so you can start your own transformation.

Do leave me a comment as I would love to hear from you.


Rosemary in pink
Rosemary in pink

Confused about which colours and styles suit you?

I’ve been there too

I was totally confused in my early 30’s about what colours suited me.

A Cruella De Vil white streak had appeared in my hair when I was quite young and nothing seemed to suit me anymore.  

Going grey early is a family trait so I wasn’t very worried about that per se but eventually I realised that no matter what I was wearing, whilst I wanted to look tanned and healthy instead I just looked pale and tired all the time!

If asked I also used to say that the colour of my eyes were anything from light grey to dark blue ‘depending on the light’. How wrong was I to think the light had anything to do with it!

Lots of people I knew had been for a Colour Analysis in the 80’s, they came back saying ‘I’m a Winter’ swapped all their outfits that weren’t now ‘their colours’ with other family or friends and seemed happy with the result. I thought the answer was to do the same.

It was not a success!

I spent the entire time sitting in a dark room in front of a mirror and I couldn’t see the changes in my skin tone as this lady draped various colours in front of me. I complained. She said “don’t worry I know what is happening and I will show you what your colours are at the end!”

I was livid, I had no insights, no idea what looked great and a palette of swatches I didn’t know how to use, plus I was still confused and still going grey. So I vowed that when I got time I would learn all about how to wear colour so I could finally know what was best for me.

Fast forward a couple of years and two things happened :

I re-started highlighting my hair which meant going to London regularly, from Paris, to find a hairdresser – trust me finding a colourist in Paris is a problem! She put ash highlights in my hair and said “I never want to see you wearing that chocolate brown polo neck jumper again!”. OK, another style failure.

I also had a 1 month gap in my diary in November 2009 so I checked the internet and came across a training opportunity with ColourMeBeautiful, the leading Image Consultants in Europe.

Rosemary going grey and wearing a grey jumper

I booked because I still wanted to know for my own benefit. Living in Paris, I was surrounded by French men and women who I believed dressed stylishly, effortlessly, following rules I couldn’t because I wasn’t the same colouring as them…. Obviously no-one in Paris was confused!

After the first of many training opportunities I came back to Paris, went into a business meeting wearing my new GREY jumper (this one in the photo) and someone said “Rosemary, you’re looking well. Have you been on holiday?” A WIN.

A few years later I decided to leave corporate life, having worked in London, Hong Kong and Paris for over 25 years, in order to turn my home in central Paris into a BnB. I also started offering colour and style consultations to my guests and the local expat community.

It’s worked so well that whereas before I used to call myself a Top 10 ranked BnB owner who offers style and colour consultations, now I call myself an International, award-winning Personal Stylist who happens to own a BnB!

A précis of that information is in a first try I have made of doing a video, it was a one-shot video and I will learn how to edit soon! Hope you like it 🙂 So if you are also confused by going grey or for any other reason, CONTACT ME  and let’s have a chat.

If you want more information you can also read a handy guide I created about working out your own best colours and styles so you can start your own transformation.

Do leave me a comment as I would love to hear what you have to say.