The Style Counsel

I remember a (male) friend coming up to me at a party once when I lived in Hong Kong and said: "Ooh, that's a nice dress. Is it new?"

I was just about to reply when I realised that he was being sarcastic - the dress was a favourite of mine and it had probably had one (or 300) outings too many.

But I'm sure we're all a bit like that with our wardrobe, which is why it's good to have a shake-up every now and then. As I did last week, courtesy of The Style Counsel.

The Style Counsel provides a personal styling and wardrobe management service, designed to explore what clothes work for you and why.

First step is to discuss your lifestyle – how and where you spend your day, what you dress for, what you want your clothes to say about you etc.

Second is to map your body, which essentially consists of drawing an outline of your body so you can see what shape you actually are, not what you think you are. Two very different things, as I found out.

And third is go through your wardrobe with you, to try things on and explain the reasons why you keep coming back to certain items and why other items never seem to see the light of day.

The service ordinarily* costs £250 for a three-hour consultation (or £45 for an online consultation), but owner Maggie Macmillan reckons it'll save you money (and time) in the long run by cutting out those expensive mistakes..

I'm sure that's true, although my first reaction was a desire to go shopping. Mind you, I think even Maggie was a bit shocked by my depleted wardrobe...