Rise from the ashes: How a personal stylist can help women get their femininity back

Big changes to the body like having breast cancer can break down a women’s femininity but personal stylist at John Lewis, Margot McChlery, says personal styling is a great help to get it back.

Margot McChlery – personal stylist

Margot, aged 22, has been working at John Lewis & Partners in Newcastle for 5 months and has been loving every minute of it. She said: “You just really get to know people and you hear really interesting stories and people just crack on with you. Every appointment is the best appointment for me. If you have a laugh with them, it brings such a good energy and they open up more.”

The team of personal stylists have a range of people who come in, old and young. All with different styles and tastes. Some even have had big changes happen to their body. These types of changes can not only take a toll on the body but also on their mind. However, creating a new sense of self can help, and a big step forward is getting a professional to style you.

Margot said: “It can be difficult for them [women] to find their sense of style. We are here to help them, in a way, maybe get a bit of femininity back and reinvent themselves. Maybe they have lost their identity a little bit so it’s good to give women confidence. That’s the most important thing in this job, giving people confidence.”

McChlery, originally from Glasgow, studied Fashion Communication at Northumbria University and also did a design course for two years. “I found a passion in doing fashion and doing something creative, so it has kind of followed into personal styling after university.”

When asked if the job was ever frustrating, she said: “Sometimes you’re not sure or some days you’re not feeling very inspired. You just got to keep going, keep putting yourself out there and communicating with people and also keep constantly researching.”

Margot also went on to say she uses Pinterest and Vogue a lot to try and keep up with trends to feel more inspired. “If you can keep yourself up to date with it then you’ll find it less frustrating. You can’t be perfect, so you just got to push yourself a little more and then eventually it will get easier.”

Personal styling isn’t always easy. Clients can feel uncomfortable and they put up barriers and sometimes lash out. “Most of the time, I just listen to what they are saying and pick up on their queues. There is a lot of psychology in this job. It’s all about communication at the end of the day. If you’re not communicating with someone then the appointment is just going to go array. You just got to be honest, communicate and get to know them. You can’t be a robot.”

You need to know a lot about styling an outfit if you are wanting to go into this type of career. Some key things she said was to “not be scared of colour”. If you are wanting to wear an outfit with two bold colours, then accessorise it will neutral colours. Her example was, pair a bright orange jumper with white shoes and a white coat. She said: “Keep the neutrals the same, it just ties it and pulls it all together.”

Another top tip was dress for your body type. She said: “That’s the most important thing. Everyone kind of dresses the same nowadays because I think social media has influenced that. A lot of ladies want to be an hourglass or pear shaped. But not everyone is like that and you need to dress to what fits your body type so then you’ll feel more confident and you’ll feel amazing. See what trend is fit for you and your body type is. If you have the right cut for your body shape, it will make all the difference.”

Margot doesn’t stick to one person for style inspiration and try to replicate it. She has two different styles. Her work style that is more feminine and when she is out and about, she likes to be more masculine. “But I am mostly focused on menswear, when I’m in my spare time that how I dress. Streetstyle and paired down, quite masculine in some ways.” She continued on to say: “I know my style because I’ve studied fashion for so long. So, my style is street style, menswear combined with Parisian street fashion. I very much relate to these styles. I look for inspiration everywhere and that’s a good thing because it makes you more unique rather than looking at one person and replicating the style. You have got to be true to yourself.”


Follow all the Instagrams here:

Margot’s Instagram: @jl_margot

John Lewis Instagram: @johnlewisandpartners

Fashion North Instagram: @fashion_north



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