I’m a Melburnian through and through (and I’m also a qualified stylist and colour analyst, confidence coach, wife, and mama to three little boys!).
I was born here and practically grew up in the back room of my father’s shop in the heart of the city, which also happens to be where I met my first true love – fashion. I loved watching my father style the business men and seeing how it transformed their energy, and this brought on the realisation that more people, women especially, needed to feel this too!
I knew from a very young age that I wanted to get into this industry to make a difference. This led me to going into all girls’ colleges some ten years ago to talk about body image, confidence and self-esteem. My message was simple and is something I preach and practice even today. I wanted these girls to know that their sunshine was theirs alone to own and to create, and no one could steal it from them. (And if you’re reading this, I want you to know that too!) I truly believed that getting to girls at such a vulnerable, impressionable age was crucial, and would help shape them into strong, confident women later in life.
“Your sunshine is yours alone to own and to create, and no one can steal that from you.”
Following this, I tried to go down a number of fashion-avenues, including styling for fashion parades and photoshoots. Nothing really felt right or clicked – till I tried personal styling.
I pretty much had my dream job. I mean, what woman wouldn’t want to go shopping with other women, giving them style and wardrobe makeovers as a job?!
I quickly realised that I could transform someone’s self-confidence with the clothes I put them in and help them hold on to this confidence by simply teaching them about their body shape and which colours suit them best. The change was so instantaneous it was jaw dropping. I thrived off the rush I got from seeing these women transform in front of my eyes, in style and confidence.
Today my mission is simple – to help women understand, accept and love the body they are in now, not the body they once had or hope to one day attain! I understand the importance of feeling radiant, fabulous and confident as you step out of the house each day, and I’m passionate about helping women experience that same euphoria with their own personal style.
What truly sets me apart, however, is my strong belief in the power of women supporting one another and building each other up. In fact, my commitment to this message has been the driving factor behind a number of workshops and events held in and around Melbourne, focusing on confidence and style.
“I want every woman to feel beautiful and confident within themselves and express it through their style”
Where to next, you ask? My goal from here, my big ‘WHY’ in life really, is to change the way young girls and women perceive themselves and their bodies. Research has shown that self-image is formed at an extremely young age, and a majority of young girls in high school are already engaging in negative self-talk, manifesting self-esteem and confidence issues that go on to last a lifetime. My goal is to shatter these perceptions and encourage young girls to love and more importantly, accept themselves for who they are. I’m on a mission to establish a government-funded high-school program on resilience, positive self-talk and confidence by the year 2027. This may sound overly-ambitious, but then again, all big things start small!
Aim for the stars, and you’ll land on the moon.
Here are my top five tips to feel radiant, fabulous and confident:
1. HOW TO CREATE YOUR STYLE
Choose 3 words you want to feel when you leave the house and dress to how you want to feel – not the way you want to look.
Mine are: Confident, Effortless and Comfortable, so there for I go for colour, fit and easy combinations.
Only mix colours that truly suit your complexion, hair and eyes – you want to wear colours that make you feel good not colours that wear you and you don’t feel your true self. Don’t be scared of colour! Colour will lift your mood and worn correctly can help you glow.
Choose your favourite shade of colour and #popyourlips to lift your mood and to take a moment for your self-care and self-love. I’m all about the feels here at Style Me Over. The #popyourlips hashtag perfectly encapsulates my motto on how to instantly feel brighter on those not-so-fab days we all have every now and then. Taking a quick moment to do something small for yourself like popping on a bright shade of lippy can really do wonders! Such is my commitment to the message that I’ve even created some fabulously hot tees with POPPIN’ lips to get it out there.
4. CREATE A GOOD BASE
Like the foundation of a house is crucial, so are the essentials in your wardrobe. Choose good well-fitting jeans, quality underwear that makes you feel confident and supports your shape, quality shoes, a blazer or an outer jacket and a few tops that again make you feel good! Everything else you can mix in and out.
5. IGNORE SIZING
Sizing means nothing – forget about the number or letter on your size tag – it’s all about how it fits each body shape and what’s comfortable to you. All styles and fabrics fall and fit differently – it’s best to try things on or if buying online be clear on how the garment is meant to fit with the description provided.
By Melina Bagnato – Style Me Over Oakleigh. Style Me Over is a fashion boutique and an online store that focuses on empowering women to look and feel their best through bespoke collections featuring high-quality, affordable styles. www.stylemeover.com