German-Ghanaian expat Juliana Mamoni wears many hats. A former menswear designer (she studied in Milan under a former assistant to the acclaimed Gianni Versace), she hones her craft as a lifestyle consultant offering services including styling and nutritional advice. Here, she advises on some of the most commonly asked questions that have come up in her consultations.
I´m overweight and find it hard to find clothing in my size, which really knocks my confidence. What styles could I opt for to make the most out of my frame?
Chantal, housewife, 35 and mother of two kids
There are a lot of linear fashion cuts or sleeveless shift and sheath dresses on the market that can look fantastic regardless of size – I’d opt for trying them. Ultimately, what matters is wearing clothes that are both comfortable and make you feel good. Instead of focusing on your weight, choose clothing that emphasise the parts of your body you love, such as your shoulders or arms. I believe that, as a rule of thumb, you’ll always be well dressed as long as you feel good in your clothes – remember, what ultimately makes you beautiful is your soul and personality, and your actions show the world your potential and what you’re capable of.
I’m really struggling with my wardrobe. How can I find my own sense of style?
Lisa, 45, entrepreneur, mother of two teenagers
Usually, we get to know what styles suit us best by the time we’re in our forties, but that certainly isn’t the case for everyone. The important thing is not to be led by trends. Instead, try to make purchasing decisions based on what looks best for your body shape, face shape etc. The key is also investing in well-cut higher quality items, instead of cheaper trend-led or seasonal pieces, which can quickly fall off the fashion radar. Also, when it comes to your wardrobe, it’s important to be honest with yourself – don’t feel the pressure to look like a superwoman in 12cm heels if you’re lifestyle requires flats!
What is the best way to present myself at the office without attracting negative attention from my peers?
Lingling, 35, scientist
Unfortunately quite a few women in high positions – especially in male-dominated industries such as science and tech – fear looking “too attractive” for fear of not being taken seriously professionally. Style and image continue to play a crucial role in career strategies. Let’s face it – how you look says a lot about you, and in the workplace, you need to make sure how you present yourself reflects what you want others to think about you. When you dress well, you command the respect of your peers and communicate the kinds of business opportunities you’d like to have. Focusing on appearances as part of career strategy may sound superficial – we should be judged for our intelligence and experience, not our style – however, when you look good you feel great and you’ll feel far more authoritative. Some tips to help you enhance your overall professional image include investing in good suits (don’t be afraid to use a tailor), buy quality not quantity, carry good accessories and don’t wear scruffy shoes!
I seem to be tired all the time – how can I feel more energetic and less lethargic?
Tina, 42, mum of three
First of all – give yourself a pat on the back, it’s no easy feat raising three kids! But you should definitely find ways to feel more energetic. Personally, I feel exercising regularly and in the morning does wonders for energy levels throughout the day. Watch out though – early signs of vitamin or mineral deficiencies may include unusual fatigue, loss of hair, skin rashes, sores and a pale tongue – if you have any of these symptoms, I’d check with your GP to have blood tests done to check your iron and vitamin D levels.
Although my food intake has not increased and I eat very healthily, I’ve gained one to two kilograms. What’s going on?
Eating the right amount of food at a certain age is very important. Our dietary needs change as we age, and our need for calories actually decreases. At the same time, we need to include more key nutrients in our diets including calcium, vitamin B12 and D, especially the combination of Ca-D3 for women, as we lose bone density much earlier than men. Between the ages of 35-50, our levels of oestrogen and progesterone start to change too, and in order to control it; we need to be more conscious of our diets. Plate up with antioxidant rich foods – think colourful veggies and fruits such as berries, beetroots and tomatoes. That, combined with a bit of regular exercise, should get your weight back down.
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