Former Waitrose buyer, Tracey Marshall, 46, from Bracknell lost an incredible 36 kgs and has transformed her life and is now empowering others in the region through colour and style as a leading personal stylist.
Tracey had struggled with weight loss since her teens and her confidence was low. Clothes shopping was a dreaded chore. She worked as a Local & Regional Buyer for Waitrose for 17 years which she enjoyed but she lacked confidence in her appearance and wore black to blend in.
Tracey attended a colour and style demonstration by House of Colour at a work event and was so inspired she organised a group of colleagues to have a colour class together. “I used to wear a lot of brown, beige and khaki out of work which I soon learnt really drained me, but after learning I was a winter palette, I have discovered I look great in bright fuchsia pinks, emerald greens, sapphire and icy blues.” The compliments came flooding in and Tracey’s confidence soared. After this initial transformation, Tracey had the confidence to start losing weight.
“It was my style class that really changed my life though. I had always been overweight and so hid in baggy clothes not realising that they were making me look bigger than I was. Now I know as a Classic Gamine shape, my clothes need to be structured and fitted, so the relaxed clothing that looks so great on others, actually just makes me look frumpy. I know now that there’s not a maxi dress in the world that’s going to suit me, so I can stop looking. It’s quite liberating really.
“My real WOW moment was when I picked up a dress in the shops that I would never have chosen previously. I knew that the cut, the length, the neckline and the sleeve length were right. It also had the perfect waist band to give me some shape and was in all of my best colours. I tried it on and it took my breath away! When I wore it to work the next week, I could not believe the reaction. People were actually emailing me to tell me how great I looked. I found it a bit hard to take and nearly went home to change. I wasn’t used to the attention. The dress has been worn and washed so many times that it has faded now but it is still in my wardrobe as I can’t bear to part with it.”
Tracey had looked in to joining House of Colour after her own consultation, but the timing was wrong. She later found out the franchise for her region was up for sale, so she jumped at the opportunity. ‘The timing was right, my confidence had rocketed, and I had the support from my boyfriend to give me the self-belief to go for it.” She now gives other people that lightbulb moment, relishing in how amazing someone can look with a change of colour and tweak to the style of their clothes. ‘I help my clients become the best version of themselves and to feel fantastic and look radiant, which is so rewarding for me.” says Tracey.
“I’m very chatty, but I find talking to strangers really hard, so I love that my clothes have become non-verbal conversation starters. Whether it’s my bright blue coat, my pink checked trousers or my quirky brooches, people often stop me to talk.”
Tracey’s client Amy Blunden is a busy mum to two children and for years wore comfy black leggings to blend into the background but following Tracey’s classes has transformed her wardrobe and is now regularly flooded with compliments, even from strangers stopping her in the street. “I have been introduced to new colours that I previously wouldn’t have considered, such as emerald and pine greens. I’ve also up-cycled some old wardrobe favourites into colours that really suit me like true red. It’s a revelation!”
Top style tips from Tracey are:-
- Change your buttons – good buttons can add a splash of colour or a touch of your personality and make a ‘good’ garment ‘fabulous’.
- Find a good seamstress – a few pounds on a couple of quick alterations can make an outfit feel like it was made for you and it is better for the environment than you throwing it away.
- Know what words describe your colours and style. For example mine are “Clear, bright, vivid, icy and high contrast” and having these in my mind stops me from accidentally straying in to summer colours, which are also cool but more muted.