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Addressing fashion, style and make-up with vision loss

in Be Empowered, Latest News, Our Team's Vision

Do you have your own personal style? It was a question asked to our vision impaired clients who attended our ‘Look Good, Feel Confident’ series of workshops.

The group program consisted of three sessions, developed and facilitated by one of our qualified occupational therapists, Rebecca Comber-Short. Aspects covered included wardrobe management, make-up and grooming, and styling and shopping for people who are blind or have limited sight.

Images shows
Some course participants on our ‘Look Good, Feel Confident’ course stand next to style consultant Janine Davison from Shopnfriends.

VisAbility offers these workshops as an addition to individual services which we already provide to clients. They attracted a lot of interest and not just from women!

The program of three sessions was developed by VisAbility. Incorporating adaptive strategies, techniques, assistive technology and low vision aids, the aim is to empower someone to ‘Look Good, Feel Confident ’.

We were fortunate to welcome, as a guest presenter, Janine Davison from Shopnfriends. Janine is a personal styling consultant with nearly twelve years of experience. She wanted to share her inside tips and tricks to ensure our clients felt confident in the clothes they wore.

Selecting the right style

If you’re blind or vision impaired, choosing the right clothes can be tricky and that’s where Janine was able to help. She was keen to share some style guidelines for essential wardrobe items.

“The most important thing for any individual is that they feel comfortable, so they need to feel good with an item that they’ve selected. Some people will prefer a more formal outfit every time they go out, while others prefer casual,” she explains

Along with whether you’re a formal or casual dresser, Janine says there were five style personalities which reflected an individual’s choice for clothes. These are:

  • Classic – You prefer smart, stylish clothes.
  • Dramatic – You dress to express your own unique, individual style.
  • Natural – You choose clothes which are comfortable.
  • Creative – You dress to stand out and make your mark. Your aim is to look different from anyone else.
  • Feminine – You like floral prints, pretty clothes and pastels to mark your femininity.

Most people fit in to one of these types, but that shouldn’t stop you from stepping outside your comfort zone now and again.

“It’s good to be creative and embrace a different style from time to time, as change can help to build confidence.”

Janine Davison
Shopnfriends Consultant

One of our clients explained that she’d been brave enough to transform her look.

“I dyed my hair pink because I wanted to. It’s as simple as that, it reflected me at that time. It was an expression of wanting to be different and making my mark. ”

It’s difficult for people with limited sight to know the colours which work best for them. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and access resources available for assistance.

“This session has given me the confidence to feel empowered when shopping for clothes. I am also more aware of styling resources available,” one participant explained.

Choosing suitable make-up

In another session, the focus was on learning to apply make-up successfully. On this occasion, beautician Helen from Priceline St James, assisted with the practical component of the group session.

Image shows client applying make-up utilising a bright light.
One of our clients uses a bright light to help her with her make-up

“At first you may not be very confident so you may want to practise with neutral shades. Use your fingertips to feel around your face, identify your cheekbones and your eyes and lips. This will allow you to become more familiar with where each product needs to go,” Helen advises.

“For those who still have some vision, the key is to maximise your light. A magnifying mirror may also be beneficial so you can see in greater detail what you are doing,” Rebecca Comber-Short, Occupational therapist explains.

During the session, we took before and after shots of our clients. Everyone looked very different with the make-up they applied.

Deborah, who has a prosthetic eye and minimal sight in the other eye, said the course had been empowering.

“I saw myself in the mirror and thought ‘she looks great’ – and did a double take as it was me. This course has helped to boost my confidence. I feel ready to take on the world.”

If you’d like more information on our courses, go to our VisAbility Services link or contact us on 9311 8202.