Style Coaching with Dagmar Gabulová (EN version)


Fashion magazines, fashion shows or even television constantly show us the latest trends and give us advices on how to dress the best. Naturally, a woman wants to look fabulous not only to herself, but also to another people, so she searches for all possible sources and takes inspirations from them. Many times, she gets lost in that huge amount of different colour combinations, cuts or patterns and she can not move on. I was not exception, therefore I asked an expert - the first certificated style coach for Slovakia and Czech Republic - Dagmar Gabulová. 

One Sunday afternoon, I opened the door of my flat to a very nice young lady dressed in an elegant green wrap blouse, well fitted trousers and trendy boots. She was smiling and literally shining. We greeted each other politely and sat on my couch in a living room, where the clothes rack and accessories were waiting for us. Dagmar started to talk with me about how she found herself doing this job. "Since my childhood, I have been fascinated by everything beautiful. I liked watching the whole fashion world, miss competitions and I secretly desired to be a part of the modelling world," she said while she was looking at my clothes. "I have never exactly known how to participate in it more specifically so I started to be interested in something more practical, for example marketing. Due to very quick understanding of its right content (i.e. numbers and tables instead of beauty and creativity), I have soon lost my attraction to this sphere. After a long time, I finally found the right path - style coaching," she smiled and took a look at the shelf with my collection of fashion magazines.

Before Dagmar decided to be a professional style coach and study at Style Coaching Institute in London, she tried to work as a brand manager at Elle and Elle Decoration magazines in Prague. I definitely wanted to ask her about her experience there because I was very interested in her opinion. "I found this offer great to connect two worlds I really liked - interior design and fashion industry. I thought it was a dream job, but my excitement disappeared rapidly because I saw the backstage and real world of mentioned magazines. The reality was not the same as they presented to a public. I felt disappointed seeing that the same people who are showing to us (readers) how to be trendy and self confident were actually unhappy, bored, they did not care about their own advices and they were not self confident at all," she shaked her head. "I was surprised that everybody from this commercial world, even stylists, found their job just as a duty and nobody really enjoyed it. They lacked the true passion for their work. I have realized that I do not prefer such work environment. It did not suit me as it was not exactly what I wanted to do for women."

First and foremost, Dagmar wanted to help women, to show them a new direction instead of pointing out the importance of wearing designer clothes. She moved on and started to think about the right definition of her dream career. She wanted to be a coach and work in the fashion industry at the same time, so she logically combined these words together and she found that there is a style coach position. After long searching on the Internet she found nobody working in such a role in either Slovakia or Czech Republic; on the other hand she found a school in London thanks to which she got a valuable education. Style Coaching Institute taught her, besides other things, that there is also a different type of fashion than just the superficial one. She studied colour typologies and palettes, discovered various types of silhouettes and she learnt more about a human psychology at the same time. She was in touch with experts who really love their job.

What does the style coaching really mean and how does it differ from a stylist position? "It has a specific view of female beauty and that is the reason why it impressed me so much. It is not only about the cover - i.e. clothes and all we can see; it is also addressed to the woman's personality and her lifestyle. In this case, we can talk about the connection between a physical beauty and an inner beauty where the main character is the wearer, not the current trends. It is the whole process of discovering herself; realizing what types of clothes suits her the most, which colours go best with her skin tone, what body type does she have - which relates to the right decision of cuts. Practically speaking, the style coach is a psychologist and stylist together in one person," she laughed and we moved slowly to the clothes rack.

I am interested in how the whole process of style coaching looks in practice and for better understanding we decided to show the following steps on me as a potential client. Dagmar began by taking colour palettes out of her bag and started to explain the main point of colours. "Everybody was born with different skin tone. There are some women who have a pale skin, they are sensitive to sun and their skin gets tanned badly, i.e. they became red through exposure to the sun; on the other hand there are women who have dark skin and their skin tans easily. This is the first factor, which divides women into two groups - warm and cold colour types. Except for this, we also consider the eye colour and the natural hair colour. These two different worlds, which does not work when combined together, represent these two tools - golden and silver bracelet," she holds them next to my face and continues. "In your case we can see that, you have grey eyes, pale skin and you are from the cold colour group, so naturally the silver suits you more. Gold seems to be rough, cheap and aggressive on you," she steps away from me and takes the colour palettes into her hands. "We can see that the colour palette, which is in warm colour tones with yellow undertone, goes together with golden bracelet, therefore not with your skin. In contrast, the cold colour palette, which contains blue undertone and goes great together with silver, becomes you. Furthermore, colours divide into subgroups based on colour intensity, too. Even though you have pale skin you can wear darker tone of cold colours because of your dark hair." 
I have learnt that my colours are white, grey, black, raspberry, strawberry, bold blue and violet hues and also green. Speaking about jewellery, silver or white gold are ideal for me.

The second step is identifying the body type thanks to which we will discover the right cuts for me. "There are different body types - hourglass, pear, inverted triangle,... First of all, I need to measure you," she takes her tape measure and focuses on three main areas - shoulders, waist and hips. " Your measurements show us that your body belongs to the group of symmetrical silhouettes, so types like pear or inverted triangle can be deleted from the list immediately. Speaking about symmetrical ones, we have hourglass what is the ideal type and rectangle. When we look at your measurements we can see that your shoulders, waist and hips are around the same size with no defined waistline. Under those circumstances I think your body shape is rectangle," she takes her tap measure away and continues. "Speaking about wearing the right clothes, our goal is generally to create an effect of desired hourglass shape. In your case we need to define your waist and create curves," she takes her tablet and starts with showing the ideal cuts. "We need to maintain the symmetry of shoulders and hips and focus on the middle part of the body. The perfect cut is the one that will be tapered, shaped in a waist area. Great examples are wrap blouses, cut out bodycon dresses or A-line skirts and high-waisted skirts. Focusing on a neckline, the cowl/waterfall would be the great one. That gives you an elegant decolleté," she shows on the tablet. "Avoid shapeless clothes and if you want to wear the cut loose ones, accessorize them with a belt," she holds my checked shirt dress and indicates tapered bottom.
What NOT to wear? "Definitely sack dress and narrow skirts, military style jackets, basic loose T-shirts, shirts with pockets or double breasted coats and shapeless parkas." I laughed because the most of them I really have in my closet. "We need to avoid these mentioned cuts because they would highlight your rectangle body type."

The next step is defining my personal style. "It is a personal thing again and it depends on each human and how he expresses himself via clothing. There is a romantic type full of floral and fancy motifs, lace, bow ribbons and mostly pink colour; a classic type in neutral tones and simple cuts; a creative type which plays with fashion, combines non-matchable things and likes to stand out; a dramatic type loves femininity, high heels, animal prints and provocation ála Marilym Monroe; and finally a natural type which is practical, casual and cozy." When Dagmar asks me what is my personal style I am thinking about it for a while. I am a woman and also very curious person so it is logical that I have tried little bit from every mentioned style. However, I am a big fan of creating new outfits and generally I think that fashion is something more than only clothes, so my personal style is the creative one, for sure.

We are going closer to my clothes rack and start to analyze my closet. "Firstly, I spotted this blue stripped blouse with this great detail - a silver buckle that perfectly tapered your figure. It is a classic style, but definitely not boring. Next we have basic grey T-shirt with lace hemline. It has a touch of romantic style; the colour is good for you but you must pay attention to its cut,"  she says and notices a hanging jacket. "Chanel jacket with silver buttons and in cold colours is great choice again!" I am very curious about her opinion of the next piece - an extravagant jacket with bright tiger embroidery on the back. I can not wait, because this jacket has a very interesting cut. "Wow, this is an ideal example of creative style!" she laughs and continues. "I think that the colour and also its cut is suitable for you because it ends in the waist area," she hangs it to the "winner" side with a smile. "As we have already mentioned, you should wear these checked shirt dress with a belt, because we want to highlight your waist." Finally she takes my latest favourite piece into her hands. "This warm biker jacket in pretty pink colour and cozy material has a silver zip and its cut is also okay because we are speaking about jacket under which you can layer more clothes. Important thing here are the well-fitted shoulders," she puts it back and admires my jeans.

"Now let's discuss the pieces which you should not wear." I am most curious about this part. "Even though these black T-shirt dress with yellow stripes create pleasing figure, stripes are not good for you and also colours are from autumn colour palette. Next we have a mustard coat with peplum - a great detail for shaping your waist but the colour is entirely wrong," she says and gives it back to me. Now it is turn for my favourite military style jacket. "This jacket has rectangular shape so it shows your body type and it is also in wrong colour - olive tone with golden details. In my opinion it does not fit you. Speaking about black leather biker jacket, it seems to be in bigger size and it has golden details, again. The last thing - high heels in bright red and with pointed toes are also bad choice for you because your correct tone of red is strawberry, not this bright one."

The last step is going  to the store together. This is a great opportunity for the client as she can put her knowledge into practice. Now I know that I will look for the pieces which are in cold colour palette with silver details and in well-fitted waist cut. Let's go shopping! "It is important to sort the wrong clothes out. In your case it is, as we have already mentioned, warm colour palette, golden details and shapeless/narrow cuts. This step is imperative because the client will get the feeling that she has her shopping under control so she can really enjoy it. She will not get lost in trends." After searching for the right outfit in our favourite shop we agree that the beautiful wrap burgundy dress  will be together with slim-fit floral biker jacket in pink, grey and blue tones and silver details the right choice for me. The icing on the cake are black ruffle boots. When I leave fitting room and look to the mirror, I see a different woman. I am feeling amazing. It is strange how a choice of the right clothes can be so powerful!
After looking at before and after photos I have a proof that Dagmar is a true expert. Thanks to her I have realized what clothes are best not just for my body type but also for my character. As one man says, woman should wear the clothes, not the other way around...

Every woman can follow the trends but only a few of them can be original and think about what kind of clothes will be really good for her body type. That is a very inspirational way thanks to which you will not hate shopping anymore and you will not wake up every morning and cry in front of your crowded closet with a feeling of despair. Not to mention higher self-confidence and well-being.

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