Updated: Jan 31, 2018

I used to have dressing anxiety. I no longer do, thanks to a wardrobe intervention I gave myself, tossing 90%. Here's how I re-freshed my closet and my confidence


Style stalwart Olivia Palermo once told me she only buys things that compliment what she’s already got. If it doesn’t fill a gap, have a purpose - say, a tuxedo blazer to elevate your basics - or genuinely makes your heart flutter, then don’t buy it. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀


This helps me think twice. If I know I have to forsake something I already own, for the new thing I ‘really really’ want, then it has to be worth the fashion calories, so to speak - an easy quality control hack.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀


Kate Nightingale @stylepsychology says when you wear things that don’t reflect who you are - or what you want to represent - then you don’t feel authentic. I know this; I used to hunt endlessly for the ‘perfect blazer’ and accrued so many that a dear colleague held a blazer intervention to save my bank balance. Truth is, I’m not a blazer kind of girl. Once I got rid of them, I felt free.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ INVEST IN ACCESSORIES

A FEW investment pieces are where you get most bang for your buck. Why? Here’s where you can be bold, step outside the rules; texture, print and colour are your way to add your own flourish, put your stamp on a t-shirt and jeans ensemble. When I wear a beautifully crafted bag or a bright heel, I feel empowered, less conformist...more fun.⠀⠀


⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ NAIL YOUR BASICS

Spend a bit of time to find a denim style you feel amazing in. Life is too short to walk around not feeling body confident. I own two pairs of designer denim, in black and dark blue (Frame skinny is my favourite) then 2 or 3 high street jeans. I like Topshop Jamie as they’re high waisted and show a little ankle which works with heels and trainers. #capsulewardrobe

  • Annabel Jones

Updated: Jan 28, 2018

'You don't have to get it perfect, you just have to get it going.' Marie Forleo


When I've falling off the training wagon, I re-start outside. I'm no runner, but the humble act of of putting one foot in front of the other grounds me; there's something about the simplicity of just moving my body from A to B. Plus, there's no better mental therapy than getting outside with nature and feeling the earth beneath your feet. For me it's a form of meditation often the moment my best ideas come to me. It doesn't have to be running, but whatever exercise floats your boat, if you can't find the motivation, connect with nature and the motivation will come.


The endless cycle of starting, then restarting a fitness plan can be soul crushing. Especially if you've made the same resolution year in year out; your mind will try to sabotage your progress by telling itself you're a quitter. Here's the thing, everybody fails. Truly, they do. Some of the fittest people I know fall out of shape sometimes, even those with glowing instagram accounts that say otherwise. Getting back up time and again is a sign of grit; so tap into that.


Forget the fan fair; you don't need a new fitness gadget or a fancy new outfit to motivate you, in fact such things can be a distraction from the task at hand. When you've got a mission, the less things to think about the better. Take a note from Obama, who when president, took all trivial decisions out off the table so he could concentrate solely on the mammoth job at hand. Working out at the same time each morning, wearing the same colour suit and eating the same lunch helped him stay laser focussed. I have a couple of styles of gym tops and bottoms that suit my frame and I buy doubles of each, so I don't have to think about what to wear. Equipment wise, I have a skipping rope, my phone for music and earphones. The less equipment I have, the more connected to my body I feel.


Speak to boxers, dancers and professional athletes and they'll tell you how core exercises are the cornerstone of all real fitness. One former trainer would tell me, 'you can never do enough core,' and that mantra plays in my head whenever I need a boost. Yet, training your core is nothing to do with getting great abs. If you want a six pack, you'll need to reduce your body fat to a point where your muscles are visible. What I love about core work is the internal strength that it brings, both emotionally and physically. By strenghtening the muscles that protect my organs and strengthen my back, the more invincible I feel. I like to focus less on crunches and more on natural ways to improve stomach muscles like russian twists, ball work, planks and compound movements that require your stomach muscles to fire natually for balance and stability.


When you're at a certain point in your fitness journey, you may wish to get deep into the nitty gritty of each workout, but if you're new to fitness, or you haven't worked out in a while, keep it simple so that you don't give up before you see results. I speak from experience when I say, consistency is more important than how many calories burned or minutes spent; It's so easy to give up if you tell yourself you haven't got enough time to get in a 'proper workout'. Perfectionism is the easiest route to sabotaging your success. I keep this quote from life coach Marie Forleo on my phone: You don't have to get it perfect, you just have to get it going. It's helped me remember that showing up is all that matters. The rest just figures itself out.


At the end of each session, try to incorporate 5-7 minutes of something high intensity. For two reasons: HIIT will blast calories and leave you with a natural endorphin high. I like to do five to ten 30-second sprints on the treadmill, or lamp post to lamp post when running outside. But, if you want to get back up and go again tomorrow, always leave a little something in the tank to keep you wanting more. Working out to failure may make you feel like a warrior, but if you can't move your muscles for the next three days, it can derail your flow.

  • Annabel Jones

Updated: Feb 7, 2018

The most ethnically and culturally diverse generation yet, these tech-savvy straight-to-the-heart influencers can teach us all a thing or two about life.



Unlike Millennials, Gen Z don't need a lot of hand holding; If they want to do something, they figure out how to do it pretty much on the spot. I was recently delivered a bag of beauty products from a brand I knew little about. A couple of days later, I caught sight of my daughter's glowing complexion as she left the house to meet her friends. 'You're wearing makeup?! And it looks good?!' Assuming, that when the time came, I'd be teaching her a thing or two, she'd googled her way through it in a matter of hours - without asking a single question. In fact, when I quizzed her on what product was responsible for her other-wordly glow, she nonchalantly answered: 'Oh, yeah, that's Fenty Beauty Primer - it gets a lot of cred on beauty tutorials; it's very important to hydrate and prime your skin before make-up.' Needless to say, it's now in my kit.


Gen Z like one-offs, which is why brands like Supreme, who make a limited number of items that sell out on the day, popular with this tribe. I've dropped my son at the Soho store to queue in line for hours for a seemingly simple t-shirt that 'no one else has got.' Gen Z are also active on Depop, an online market site where they can find something that means something. Whilst the one-off t-shirt they're queuing up to buy may not be anything to shout about, putting in that much effort does have its merits; There's something to be said for the tangibility and thoughtfulness of a real life shopping experience that isn't present in the the maze of instant online clicks. Plus, there's a real sense of entrepreneurship amongst these folks; they buy and sell for profit. Which is both smart and sustainable.


Take a look at a Gen Z Instagram account and it more than likely won't have a big archive of posts. Nostalgia is not on their radar, it's all about living in the moment and that means displaying images that represent who they are - and what they're doing - right now.


Whilst my instagram feed is full of pouty selfies of my contemporaries, tweaked and filtered just-so, Gen Z prefer the art of reportage; taking shots from far away, often without a their face on full show, just...hanging. 'It's not all about looking pretty, it's about 'a feeling,' I'm told.


Upon endless frustration that my kids won't pick up the phone to me when I call, I held a communication interevention only to discover that if I'm not down with messaging through Snapchat, they will Facetime. 'You won't talk on the phone, but you'll facetime me?!' The answer I got was this: 'Er, yeah, it's more real. Speaking on the phone is weird,' And so, maybe it is; Weird.


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