personal stylist bristol

Celebrating in style (and why photographs are so important)

In September, my lovely mum reached 70 years young. She didn’t want a party and really didn’t want to be the centre of attention, but I somehow wanted all her family and friends to be a part of her special day. I therefore asked everyone who loves her to send me their photos of them with mum and any stories or anecdotes they had. I could then compile them into a big book of love to give to mum on her birthday so that she was surrounded by messages and images of all the people who were close to her.

And here was the problem. Although I had numerous phone photos of mum and I together, there was actually no ‘proper’ photos of us to speak of. I even dug out our wedding album out from years ago only to discover there weren’t any of us together in there either. I just found it so sad that the woman who has been my rock my entire life wasn’t captured on film. We simply had no quality mother & daughter shots so the simple solution was to arrange a birthday photoshoot to put this right!

I happen to know many many really talented photographers in Bristol but for this shoot, it had to be Viktoria Kuti. Why? Well apart from being one of the nicest people on the planet and a flipping brilliant photographer, the whole reason Vik set up her business was because she had no photos of her mum. I just knew, therefore, that she’d get where I was coming from and would understand the significance of the session.

So, the session was booked, we discussed what on earth to wear (yes, we did have outfit changes ready planned but that’s a whole other blog post!) and the big day finally arrived. Shari Knowles was our expert make up artist and really helped us feel amazing. Then Vik worked her magic with her camera and the time just flew by. The results….well see for yourself. We have an entire album of gorgeousness to treasure and here are just some of my favourites.

So if you’re thinking about having some professional shots taken, just do it! I’m both thrilled and thankful that we were able to celebrate 3 generations of women and now have beautiful images that will last a lifetime. The special bond that we share has been captured forever and I will never ever tire of looking at the images x

A re-boot isn't just for computers

The family and I recently went to Vancouver to visit one of our sons who works there and I admit, I went a bit feral.

The reason? I put thought into my outfits every single day. I see myself as my own walking CV and my professional integrity means I present myself in a way I see as appropriate for my job. Day in, day out.

So on holiday, I can let all of that go and just focus on the moment, not what I’m wearing. It was like pushing the reboot button.

It was also an action packed holiday (including camping on a really basic site) and that meant functionality won over anything else time and time again. At one point I even had tie dye socks on with my Skechers and didn’t give a flying f**k about it.

Make up was also on hold and my hair had a break from being either straightened or curled. I also stepped away from social media.

It was a case of stripping everything right back and having a proper break from my daily routine. A spot of true downtime and the chance to just ‘be’.

I know this isn’t for everyone. I work with women who relish their holiday wardrobe - perhaps because at work they are forced to wear things they wouldn’t normally choose or similar. But this holiday I needed a break from absolutely everything, to completely power down and it felt good to get back to the very basics.

You can tell it worked though because as soon as we got home, I was dying to step back into my old self. I’d enjoyed the simple life but not enough to want to continue in my day to day routine. So today a bit of light make up was back, a few accessories were donned and a ‘proper’ outfit was worn with relish.

Will you be re-booting this summer? x
 

It's all kicking off!

Goodness me!

If you had told me this time last year that I would be running shopping tours of the charity shops I wouldn't have believed you. But it's very real and the word is getting out there fast. Even the BBC recently filmed a short piece on it as they were intrigued by the concept! So I just wanted to share some of the feedback from recent shoppers as it's such a good feeling to know that other women are now finding joy in pre-loved clothes.

Becky Barnes leading a charity shopping tour on the Gloucester Road

And here's what some of my most recent shoppers had to say about the whole experience:

“I keep meaning to write and say what a BRILLIANT time I had on the last charity shopping tour with Becky. It was so helpful to have your wisdom and eagle eyes Becky and I absolutely love everything I bought, including that amazing 1950s vintage dress for £20. One very happy woman! Thanks so much xxx”
“7 tops, 4 dresses and 4 necklaces...epic shopping session today with the amazing Becky Barnes. Becky you are a total legend and thank you for a fab morning”

So if you fancy seeing what little gems might be out there for you, please have a look at my latest dates and book yourself on before I hang up my shopping shoes for the summer! You can find all the details and book here:

Charity Shopping Tour Tickets

Go on, with summer just around the corner let's bring in some new pieces to help your wardrobe and your style feel refreshed x

Some of my favourite boutiques in Bristol

The party season is almost here! From office parties, family gatherings to New Year’s festivities, there are plenty of opportunities to look glamorous. That’s why I love the season so much! Next time you’re in Bristol, you don’t necessarily need to rely on the High Street when looking for that special outfit - if you want something a bit different and extra special to wear, give one of Bristol’s numerous boutiques a go. I know we’re all busy in the lead up to Christmas, so to save you time I’ve put together a list of some of my favourite hidden gems in Bristol to help you begin exploring...

Rhubarb Jumble

I love Rhubarb Jumble and they specialise in 1950s to 1970s fashion as well as homeware. Their collection is just amazing which is why they were recently featured as one of Bristol and Bath’s 'hot spots' in none other than Vogue magazine. They take a lot of care in choosing fabulous pieces so you’re bound to discover something unique. As a bonus you’ll might find a perfect gift for someone too, such as Lea Stein jewellery.

Location: 52 North Street, Bedminster, BS3 1HJ and their website is here

Amulet Boutique

You’ll find an exciting range of brands at Amulet and there’s something to suit so many styles and occasions. From dresses to outerwear, skirts to accessories, they have something for everyone in their extensive range. They also stock  Fair-trade and ethical products as well as British made and organic items too. If you try to source your clothes ethically and sustainably then you will love what’s on offer.

Location: 39A Cotham Hill, BS6 6JY and their website is here

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Motiq

No outfit is complete without stunning jewellery – and Motiq has just that! They carefully select the most beautiful pieces of jewellery as well as other accessories such as sumptuous shawls and silk scarves. You’ll find a range of showstopper party pieces too available during the lead up to Christmas. We all deserve to treat ourselves to something special during the festive period so go and see if you can find yourself something amazing.

Location: 8 Boyce's Avenue, Clifton, BS8 4AA and their website is here

Vintage Boutique Personal Stylist Bristol

Heartfelt Vintage

As the name suggests, Heartfelt Vintage specialise in all things vintage and their shop is absolutely beautiful to look at. You’ll find a carefully selected range of designer vintage pieces that combines style and quality. If you haven’t given pre-loved fashion a go yet, I promise you’ll only find very high quality, faultless pieces here. Once you’ve finished shopping, you can give yourself a break and enjoy a scrumptious afternoon tea in their beautiful tearoom – just be sure to book in advance. 

Location: 32 Alma Vale Road, Bristol, BS8 2HY and their website is here

Movement Boutique

Movement Boutique is relatively new on the scene after launching in March 2016 and they’ve already blown me away with their great taste. You’ll find brands and items here from across the world, many of which are completely new to Bristol. They currently have some beautiful dresses by Rixo which I urge you to go take a look at. They’ll definitely give you a warm welcome and help you find something special,whatever the occasion.

Location: 66 Alma Rd, BS8 2DJ and their website is here

ethical sustainable fashion bristol

And if it's still too hard, I can take you shopping and provide invaluable support and guidance to help you find the perfect look. Happy exploring! x

 

How would you like to get body confident with your clothes?

All too often I work with women who have a downer on themselves. They feel they should be taller, slimmer, have a more defined waist, have perkier boobs.... I can say this with confidence as I was like that too. For years and years I felt I wasn't good enough, until I hit my 40s and figured I could go on being unkind to myself for the rest of my life, OR, I could accept who I am and work with what I have.

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And that's where a science called anthropometry comes in. Anthropometry is the measure of human form and it's something I've studied closely. Both in terms of theory, but also in reality, having had the opportunity to work with over 200 incredible women of ALL shapes and sizes.

 

I truly believe that all women can look fabulous regardless of age, size or budget. You just need to get to grips with what works on your body. And I mean the body you have right now, not the one you had when you were in your 20's....!

So if you'd like to understand what is going to work for you once and for all, please do come along to an hour long workshop I'm running as part of Bristol Fashion Week. It's just £20 and during our time together I will show you the key to dressing with confidence.

You can get your hands on a ticket here but be quick as places are limited for each workshop (you can choose from 1 of 3 dates).

Would love to see you there and help you achieve the look you've always wanted x