Archive for 'styling'

Let’s face it… in 2017 everyone is visible online. With facebook/Instagram/Snapchat etc. there is not escape… well, almost not escape. If you add a job (& LinkedIn) to that, and you need to have online presence.

And there personal branding/Headshots steps in. How do you want to be visible online? Especially if you have your own company. We will talk about what are your colours. What background colour would work best? Light colour or dark? How does your website look? What mood? What combines it all?

Jorinde is a coach. She is in the early stages of making her website. We talked about how she wanted to come across. What will attract clients to book with her. We looked at some images together to determine the look she wants. We studied some websites to see what her colleagues have and what she liked and do not like.

These are some of the images of our session she chose.

Hilde van der Sterren photography

Hilde van der Sterren photography

Hair & Make-up: Hilde van der Sterren 


Let’s start here. Let’s talk. I would love to talk with you to discuss how you would like to be photographed, what styling you would like,  from hair & make-up to what outfits will enhance your features.  Contact me to schedule your complimentary consultation to discuss how you have always dreamed of being photographed. No strings attached. Because let’s be honest, it is a bit scary to be photographed. As soon as a camera gets pointed at you, something happens on the inside… I know it happens to me too. So let’s talk.

Here is an image of Isa with her beautiful girls. I love the dresses they wear, the styling etc. It suits them. We talked…

Hilde van der Sterren photography

Behind the scenes I worked hard to finish my new info magazine. It gives you information on what to expect when you book a photoshoot wth me.

Here you can get it or email me so I can send you your copy.  Can’t wait to photograph you.

info magazine Hilde van der Sterren Photography

August 13, 2016

After I sorted my tops, we dove in the world of pants/trousers. I learned it all about the base… eh curve ;-). The curve from your hip to the waist up. That curve needs to be perfect or close to perfect. Every person has another curve. I learned my pants need to be quite straight up. Oli explained that if you find out which brands have ‘your’ curve it will get easier. So again. I tried on a lot of pants. And it took a while but I found what I was looking for. And again, Oli is such a great help as I would app her my images, she could help me on the spot. I arrived to the point where I thought “ok this is good (enough)” but Oli pushed me trough to do better.

Another thing to remember is what kind of pants do you want. What are your goals? These were the pants (see image) I was looking for. It is easier to go into a shop with your goal in mind. You are not distracted with all kinds of other (sometimes lovely stuff).


(image made by Oli collage of images of different shops)

*** update I found TWO pair of trousers on the same day in the same shop. I was so happy that I took both. Such an achievement. One pair is basic and one pair is not so basic. And then Oli found another shop online which was a huge succes on many levels… among other things I found a perfect pair of jeans… stay tuned…

What  I learned from Oli about tops is beside the shape, that material/texture and the ability to drape is very, very important. Look at this t-shirt comparison. I must say it is quite some work to try on so many t-shirts and take pictures of them (thankful for my Iphone)))


But like with everything! Once you learn something it becomes easier. It is a learning curve. And I must admit I sometimes become more unsure about something. Before this styling advise, I would buy it because I liked the color and did not think too much about what to combine it with afterwards. The colour is important for combining but also the shape, ability to drape etc.

I have completed my basic t-shirt wardrobe (Banana republic and All Saints had the models I needed). So we moved on to shirts/pullovers and cardigans. And man…. that took a lot of time too. I know the best fit for me is the on the shoulder fit. And at the moment the shoulder fit is quite big and off the shoulder. I need it on the shoulder. Sometimes I would think one would be ok-ish (read: I liked the colour, but after I took the picture I could already see myself what was not good about it). Another thing with cardigans/pullovers, do they stop at your best body point (for me the hips)? A lot went over so, a no no. And for the basic wardrobe, no extra buttons/pockets etc

I learned Uniqlo is a good shop for me. These finds are golden, because in the future I can easily refer to that shop to get my basic wardrobe. So I invested in some silk touch blouses and merino wool cardigans. No cashmere as they are harder to layer.


(image from the Uniqlo website)

June 25, 2016

Last week Oli and I had another session. This time about trousers/pants. I learned it is all about the curve from your hip up. And what different shapes do for your body. Also the place where the pants stop does something for your body.

Since we are moving internationally; it is an ideal way to clean out my closet. I learned straight legs and flared legs work for me. I need to have the right curve around the hip and not too baggy or too bulky. This is a great help when I look in the shops. I know what to look for (and the best thing is: Oli is most of the time, just a what’s app away ;-))))) 


And we looked at shoes. To be honest: I have nothing with shoes. My need for shoes was, it should fit an outfit. And then mostly the color and heels or no heels. I learned a lot. I learned what a heel does for your ankle. Where an ankle boot should stop (at your thinnest part). And that an open toe shoe should reveal 2.5 to 3.5 toe.


Flats need to have a define toe and heel. These are not defined enough.

My heels need to go down 90 degrees. No slanted heels.

I also learned which shoes should exist in a basic wardrobe. Since our consultation I already added two shoes to my collection.

A sneaker. Till now I lived in warm climates therefor I had not much need for a sneaker. But now that we live in the Netherlands I do. It is very versatile and goes with a lot of outfits.


And I thought, let’s be adventures and go for a shiny silver metal shoe ;))) Let’s be bold. Oli showed me several brogues and I just…mmm don’t really like them. I think it is a generation thingy. However I like extremes, so seeing them in silver…. I do like them. And again I learned how they can add to an outfit.


June 10, 2016

Last week I spoke with Oli about my dresses. I made pictures of all my dresses and then we discussed them. We talked about what work and what doesn’t work. And I am really a dress girl. I love my dresses. Why? Because they are so easy. And that is some of the things I learned this week. I am the type of girl who goes to a shop if she ‘needs’ something new. I usually walk into the store and have a look around. I choose and that’s that. I don’t particularly like shopping.


With my dresses I don’t need to combine much. I have some cardigans and some jackets that go with some dresses. I learned from Oli that it is much easier to go for a basic wardrobe. All kinds of things that you can mix & match.

So after I learned what patterns do for you, what colours work, what lengths work. It was time to do my shopping home work. I had to look for basic tops (t-shirts, blouses, cardigans and pullovers). And they had to be in the basic colours like white, black, grey etc.  Well…. cardigans and pullovers were no where to be seen here in Dubai, but I tried a lot of t-shirts and blouses.

I was not allowed to buy anything and I had to make pictures of what I tried on. This week we will discuss the results. And I have to say; it is a totally different way of shopping. This way shopping is more fun and more convenient. You go in with a clear idea.

I think I start to see what I need from a t-shirt and a blouse. I need defined shoulders and a certain material. And I almost fell in the trap of a good sale. I saw a good deal in one of the shops for a Equipment silk blouse (50% ramadan sale). I quickly send Oli a picture. Nope, it did not full fill ALL the requirements but it was close…. Not close enough. I did not buy it.

Another cool thing was that Oli made sketches to show what works and what doesn’t work on my body.

(photo credits go to Oli Beer Styling & Photography)


June 04, 2016

Can I say I LOVE this whole styling process? I honestly think everyone should do this. And this it why. You think you know your body and you think you know what you like, but do you? I for instance ‘know’ I don’t like animal prints. So after talking to Oli about it she challenged me with a look book with animal prints. And you know what?  I love this image (below). I love the animal detail in the bag. And not to say that you need to like every trend. Like oxford shoes, are just not my thing. No look book could change that.


After looking through a few look books we found out there are 2 hearts beating in my chest for the things that I like: very sweet, feminine – almost girly and a strong, head turning and very elegant. Oli says we will do our best to bring those worlds together.

We also talked about what kind of optical illusions we would like to achieve with out clothes. This is NOT related to the style. We will put the tools that help me achieve those goals into a system. These tools can work in any style. So as far as optical illusions go, we will be working towards a slimmer impression in general and a slimmer midsection (not drawing attention to it will be one of our tools 😉 ). And I received my picture back (the one in underwear, blush, with lines where for my body the best place is to have a top end etc. Then the fun part started. We went through all my images of my tops. And Oli explained why some work and why some don’t work. She explained the importance of fabric. And that fabric that flows is much better for me than fabric that is more stiff. And that 3/4 sleeves work really well for me. After the consultation I immediately removed items from my closet. And I start to get a clue for what to look for. And more important I start to know why.


So it all starts with good underwear. What bra should be best? Oli explained in detail what kind of bra I should look for. I went to the Mall for FOUR hours and still could not come home with a decent bra. A bra that works for my breasts and keep the underarm skin (and back skin) to a minimum. I saw lot’s of cute bra’s. But they did not meet my criteria. The same for panties. I like the laser cut panties however they still do show a little under a dress. So haven’t found what I am looking for yet, but at least I start to know what to look for. Sigh, not looking forward to go back to the Mall again. Although I am a girl, I don’t like shopping. And that is another reason why I like this styling process. In a little while I know exactly what to look for when I go shopping. For now I am a bit disappointed that so many bra’s look nice but are not doing what they should do…

Can’t wait to discuss my dresses and my pants… It is Sunday already? 😉

May 19, 2016

So one of the Personal Styling home assignments is to take a picture of yourself in underwear or a bikini. And not only to take A picture but one of the front, one of the side (do you hold your belly a bit inwards or not, was the first question that came to mind?), one of the back and one with your arms wide.

I understand why these images can be extremely helpful. You can see the shape of the body, you can see if you have long legs or not, or a longer upper body etc. So of course I would agree with it….. but I was procrastinating doing them.

Thoughts that went trough my mind were, what underwear to wear? Should I go for something fancy? But then, what about the one from the back? And what would Oli think, that I wear beautiful lingerie all the time? Which I do not as it is not always so flattering under clothes due to lace etc. Should I put on my more daily underwear? Or should I go for a bikini. But if I go for a bikini, I feel I chicken out.

And then who should take the pictures? My husband is traveling this week and I am not sure if I would want him to take them anyhow. This is a project. So I causually tried my eldest daughter. Sweetie, would you mind taking some pictures of me in my underwear. Ehhh WHAT? Well you know, I told you about this styling project. Yeah, but do you need naked pictures for that? NO I was talking about images in my underwear so Oli can see the shape of my body. Are you ok with that she said?

Interesting question. I had to think about it. Why was I procrastinating? Was it because of the image I wanted to create? Was it about being perfect, or wanting to be perfect? Or was it about what would Oli think of me? I felt vulnerable in my underwear. Vulnerable: body wise and mind wise.

I made the decision to go for it. After all, I tell my children that you have to listen to your own voice in your head and that you should not give away that control to someone else. Life is not about how you think other people (might) think of you.


So I went on and took the images with a remote setting on my camera. I took the images by myself and I did it in the underwear that I put on that morning when I got dressed. And I send them off. Done. Lesson learned.


May 15, 2016

I met Oli Beer at a photography workshop in Paris, last April. We are both photographers and our goal is to make every person look good in front of the camera. So while talking about that process I came to know she is also a certified stylist. She claims style is knowledge and a skill, with other words you can learn it.

Please look up: You Are Stunning Style on Facebook

After spending almost 10+ years in the tropics. I have to find my winter me. I almost always wear dresses. And dresses are easy for me. I had such a hard time in Moscow. No idea who I was in winter clothes or not in a dress. Needless to say bought a lot and I did not like it.. So I decided to sign up. I will learn that shoes, accessories, bags, make-up, hair, nails, phone covers – it all counts, it all plays a role to define your style. I don’t like shopping, so it will a real challenge. Till now I have two favourite shops where I go to. Especially Els helps (read: dresses) me really well, so no need to spend too much time. However I would like to learn more about it.

HIlde van der SterrenOli explained to me it will be a time commitment. Prob an hour a day or a day once a week. As any new skill it doesnt stick if not practiced. So she makes her clients (me ;-)) try every single piece of clothing they have in their wardrobe, take selfies, go to the store and try certain things on, search for that ideal item. This way at the end she knows that the money is not wasted, that the clients know now how to do it and that our goals are met. Yess!!

Also, clothes are emotional (just as food), so the process is a rollercoaster where people make discoveries about themselves, are sometimes down, sometimes up, sometimes exhausted, sometimes uplifted.


The styling that she offers with lasting results is a process. Usually around 2-3 months (around 8 chats), in person or over skype with tons of homework in between.

Oli says; I don’t dress people, I teach them how to dress for their body and their lifestyle. I also don’t push my aesthetics on others – we all have different tastes. So we figure out how the person “dreams of looking” (sounds familiar?, we do the same thing with photography) and what is most flattering for them, what kind of message the person wants to send, how they want to be perceived and then develop a style based on their aesthetics. Also, of course, we solve “the wardrobe is full, but I have nothing to wear” thing and make a quick and functional wardrobe where its easy to throw together an outfit that fits in any situation without having to think too much about it.

 So…long story short. Today we had our first consultation. We spoke about how you would like to be seen? Like, if you would have a magic stick, what words would people use to describe you, based on your clothing style. I think approachable, kind, friendly, positive. And who are famous people you admire, and why? I love people with a passion and people who stand for something, like Madonna, Angelina Joli. Style icons are more Jacky Kennedy, Funny enough Oli made the first observation that I admire bold statements but in my daily clothing I might choose something more quiet.

Now I am off to do my home work:

–  go through a catalog of images and putting them in different categories, love, like but not for me, don’t like

–  searching for every day images of me in the past (Hello Facebook, you come in handy)

–  and eh…. photographing me in my undies front, sideways and back (might leave that one till tomorrow….LOL) and no I will not share these ;-).