Originally from Poland Kate is a London based Style Psychologist. So as well as being an experienced Fashion Stylist, she is also a qualified Psychologist, passionate about non-verbal communication, body language and the way we present our personality in the different areas of our lives. I felt Kate’s specialist knowledge would be perfect to bring to my blog this month! So here she tells us about her experience of cancer within her own family and she answers my questions…just for you.
I will not pretend that I know from my own experience how it is to live with cancer but I remember my grandma living with cancer very well. In fact, she taught me everything about class, style and sophistication.
She had breast cancer as a fairly young woman. At the time there were limited treatments available and the breast mastectomy was the best choice. She had one breast and a lot of muscles around it removed. The cancer never returned.
It all happened before I was born so I didn’t know her any other way. However, until my mum told me the story when I was about 10-11 years old, I was not able to notice it in my grandma’s behaviour. She was the strongest person I knew and the wisest too. Really, it was her who taught me about the impact your outfit has on your Self and others. Her dress was always perfect. She never left a house unless she was well dressed and groomed and definitely not without a hat. All that made her feel even stronger and more sure of her Self. She knew exactly who she was, cancer or not, and what she wanted. Everyone else knew that too. As every person she had faults but overall she was the most amazing woman I’ve met!
What impact does our clothing choices and colour have on our mood?
Impact is a strong word but it’s meaning in principle goes down to a relationship; our relationship to our clothes and our relationship with colours. A certain garment can only have impact on our mood if we attach specific emotions or memories to it. A colour can influence our mood depending on our associations to that colour we’ve build though our life time.
When you get up in the morning and you don’t feel anything except depression and lack of willingness to continue on this hard path to recovery, what would be the piece of clothing that can definitely lift you up if you wear it? Would it be that Little Black Dress you feel sexy in? Would it be that sharp pinstripe suit that makes you feel like you rule the world? Would that be the flowery dress and flip-flops that reminds you about your last holidays in Asia?
This is what I mean when I say that we attach certain emotions and memories to garments. When we buy something in a shop, it usually doesn’t have any impact yet unless it reminds us of an experience which is dear to us. When you start to wear it, you take that piece of clothing on a journey with you. It becomes almost a video tape where you record moments lived in that garment. It’s hard to explain so I’ll ask you to go to your wardrobe and pull out your wedding dress (those of you who haven’t been married choose your special dress). Have a look at it, hear the sound it makes when you move it, even try it on. Can you see it already? Can you see a video of your weeding (or special occasion) playing in your head? If you do, then you understand what I meant by attaching emotions and memories to garments.
Colours are slightly different. As well as the specific meanings to a person, they also posses widely accepted associations. We only need to look at the meaning a certain colour has to you. Remember that depressed morning we talked about earlier? What colour would you wear to cheer you up? Most people would choose yellow, orange or red as these are warm and energetic colours. They remind us of summer and sunny days. When we are not feeling well, we need warmth and sun. As we hardly can get it in UK, we need to use other means of gaining energy and colours are one of them.
If a woman has lost her hair due to treatment how can she dress to feel feminine?
Hats and scarves are the easiest solution. Depending on the style a woman has, she’d be more willing to wear one or the other.
If she dresses very classy, then nice, big hats with interesting embroidery would be the best solution. We live in the country of hat heritage but I hardly see anyone wearing hats except the Queen. Hats are an amazing accessory that gives a woman wearing them extra style and sophistication.
If you however prefer more relaxed style, then scarves and simple, man type of hats would be better. Wear a flowery maxi dress, bright scarves nicely wrapped on your head and great flat sandals and you’re good to go!
It’s all about making you feel better so choose the colours and the garments that do just that. If you don’t know what hats would suit you or how to wrap scarves over your head, ask someone for help. You need to feel great about yourself to have even more strength to fight the illness. Do whatever you can to keep yourself positive and keep fighting!
Thank you Kate! I know that I’ve used style and colour personally and with my clients. It is amazing how you can improve your outlook with a simple splash of colour or by maintaining or changing a part of your style routine. Many women have told me how much their lippy has meant to them when they face treatment, or a colourful dress, or scarf. Make up Artist Victoria Baker will be adding her make up tips to complement Kate’s piece very soon!
What do you do to improve your mood?
Until next time…