Stylist has joined forces with H&M to create Style DNA – a series that explores what individual style really means, and how our fashion choices express who we are as people. We’ll be shining the light on women for whom their style is a true extension of their creativity. What’s your Style DNA…?
Fashion blogger, former midwife and founder of the Warrior Woman Project, Natalie Lee certainly knows a thing or two about how to dress.
Natalie spoke to Stylist and H&M about the importance of loving yourself, finding your own style and what makes up her Style DNA.
Why did you set up your Style Me Sunday blog ?
I started writing it when I was pregnant with my second daughter, nearly six years ago. It was a creative outlet for me to express myself and do something fun that I loved, so I wasn’t just consumed with nappies all day.
Style Me Sunday is more than just a fashion blog, though – it’s also about how we feel about ourselves. What message do you want to get out there?
I talk a lot about body image and self-confidence. I’ve learnt that people can really relate to my story.
After I had my children, I noticed that my body wasn’t the same and I really didn’t like looking at myself in the mirror.
Then I thought, how would I feel if my daughters felt the same way I did and what would I say to them? So, I started to try and change my mentality.
For me, it’s really important to show my daughters that I love myself, that I’m confident and feel worthy, because I want my girls to grow up feeling like that, too.
I can’t expect them to do it if I don’t!
Have you always loved fashion?
I’ve been into clothes from an early age and my style has evolved over the years. I’ve learnt to just wear clothes that suit me and that I love.
Over time, I’ve realised that I love print and colour, and I love experimenting. I like to try new stuff all the time.
Who or what has inspired your style?
My Style DNA comes from my mum – she used to come pick me up from school wearing gorgeous dresses and big sunglasses, and I used to look at her and think, ‘Wow, she looks so cool’.
I’m half-Caribbean and I think that the colour and drama of the festivals there probably influenced me, too.
My look is very colourful and loud – I’m definitely not a wallflower!
I get a lot of inspiration from looking on Instagram at other bloggers. And I love living in East London because there’s style inspiration all around me.
Does your job affect how you dress day-to-day?
As a blogger, I make more of an effort as I’m often taking pictures of myself. I hardly ever leave the house in jogging bottoms!
Sometimes I change my outfit three times a day. Occasionally, I’ll drop the kids off in one outfit and be wearing something completely different the next time I see them.
My style has definitely changed since I’ve had kids, too.
If you make a little bit of an effort, you feel better about yourself.
So, can you use clothes to improve your mood?
Definitely! If I wake up and I’m not feeling so good, I’ll put on something really colourful and bright, and I’ll notice a difference in how I feel.
If you wear bright colours, people look at you and smile, which also lifts your mood.
I’m one of these people who believes you shouldn’t just save clothes for best. I wear all of my wardrobe, all of the time.
What’s your favourite thing about shopping at H&M?
I know that when I walk in to H&M, I’m always going to find something I love.
I love bold prints, I love lots of colour and H&M always deliver. I’m known for wearing big, bold jewellery and they do that really well, too.
Have you got any advice for people who don’t feel confident about what they wear?
It’s difficult to start loving yourself, but there are a lot of little things you can do.
Learn to take a compliment: say thank you, really take it in and listen to it.
Also, don’t talk about yourself in a derogatory way. That really helps to start changing your mentality about how others see you.
I love it when I get feedback from my followers and they tell me that seeing me wear something has enabled them to wear clothes they never thought they would.
Finally, what’s your one piece of fail-safe fashion advice?
Be really brave in what you wear. Don’t worry about what other people think – if you like it, wear it.
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Win a £250 H&M giftcard and one hour styling session with Style Me Sunday
To celebrate our Style DNA series, Stylist and H&M are giving one reader the chance to win a £250 H&M giftcard and a one hour styling session in any H&M store with Style Me Sunday. Plus, two lucky runners-up will each win a £50 H&M gift card.
Style DNA is an exploration of what individual style really means, and how our personal style is an expression of who we are as people.
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