Personal stylists are all the fashion but Lisburn woman Samara Prentice has made getting dressed a science.
The 36-year-old gave my wardrobe a makeover recently and I was literally in the dark over which colours to wear.
And, since the coronavirus crisis, Samara is now giving free style advice online to subscribers, with hundreds of women regularly tuning in. The mum-of-four — who began her career in TV before moving to event management and public relations — stresses the impact a sense of style has on your mental health: “Good style can have an incredible effect on your life.”
She adds: “A common misconception is that image consultancy is superficial, but, in fact, it is subjective. Not everyone who works with me wants to buy power suits or is interested in luxury brands.”
Samara lives with husband Paul (39) - a watch commander in the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service and owner of sports injury clinic Prentice Therapy and Wellbeing Centre, Lisburn - and their children Jude (7), Ollie (5) and two-year-old twins Jesse and Cole.
Having trained in 2016 with international image business Aston Hayes in London, she set up her Evolve By Samara business which specialises in colour analysis, body confidence and personal branding.
Since then she's worked with hundreds of women both here and in the Republic of Ireland - from high-flying professionals to busy mums - and the most common wardrobe dilemma it seems is choosing the right pair of jeans. In fact, we worry about it so much some of us avoid denim altogether.
She's also on a mission to see more women embracing colour over black. "Women have been told black is chic, slimming and goes with everything - and that's true, if it suits you," she says.
"For most women black is very harsh and cold. It's become a colour of safety because often we don't know how to escape it - that's where I come in."
When the highly-trained stylist called with me, she based her analysis on my body shape, lifestyle and colouring. Having cast a critical eye over every item in my wardrobe she put black jackets, baggy jumpers and over-sized shirts into the relegation zone of what I should be wearing.
With fair hair, blue eyes and pale skin I'm a Summer who should avoid black and warm shades of any colour on the spectrum, opting instead for cool colours from water melon red to sky blue.
"Wearing colours and clothes which enhance your look and shape makes you more visible as a woman both personally and professionally," she says.
"We have just seven seconds to make a good and strong first impression," she points out. "Our image impacts how we are perceived, firstly by ourselves and secondly, by others.
"Uncovering your unique signature style with the help of a professional stylist can have a life-changing impact upon confidence levels and self-esteem."
As a home-based freelance journalist, my work uniform consists almost entirely of black leggings, a jumper and trainers. Even when I have to venture out for interviews, my trusty black trousers and white shirt which I rely upon ended up pushed to one end of the review rail.
But rather than chucking out unflattering clothes, Samara recommends tailoring your existing pieces to the correct fit, and being mindful not to buy colours again which don't suit.
"I don't ask women what their budget is - that's their business," she explains. "You don't need to spend a lot of money on clothes to have a fantastic wardrobe. In fact, working with me will actually save you a huge amount of money."
She adds: "There's no point spending £500 on a pair of shoes and only wearing them once. That money can be better spent on other items."
And there's no need to get embarrassed by your rails of high street budget buys because she doesn't judge.
My mish-mash of Debenhams to Dorothy Perkins, Tesco, Primark and New Look left her unfazed. And, surprisingly, it was the high street buys which survived the cull - simply because I had chosen the right colour and shape.
"I promote body confidence - I don't even talk about body shapes - that's a really outdated concept. Instead I teach clients how to dress cleverly to showcase their good bits and cleverly conceal areas that they are conscious of."
Making the cut from my wardrobe were a dove grey polo neck from M&S, a New Look sweater and a mandarin-collar purple leather jacket bought in Kookai in the 90s. A pink vest top and fine knit sweater - both from F&F at Tesco - also turned out to be keepers, while a pricey Cos shirt ended up in the alterations pile.
My biggest fashion faux pas was buying items to fit my body shape before I lost over two stone five years ago.
"Women who lose weight tend to buy the clothes they wore before," she reveals. And we're also notoriously bad at judging our style type.
"Clients often feel they are power dressers and when I look in their wardrobe, it's full of florals."
Samara says my love of pinks, reds, pleats and prints shows a romantic style whereas I believed myself to be a classic dresser.
My go-to colours now are navy, cadet blue, sky blue, aqua, off white, lemon, mint, cool pink, cool red, silver, maroon with no cream, coral, camel, cherry or brick red, beige or gold.
Staples, meanwhile, should include fitted, short-line, double or single-breasted blazers with structured shoulders, thigh-skimming coatigans, tapered trousers, skirts with nipped in waists, fine knit jumpers, shirts with feature sleeves, crew neck tops, fine or box pleated skirts. Meanwhile, my beloved wrap dresses could be reversed so the deep V goes to the back with long shirt sleeves rolled up for a figure-flattering look.
She also recommended shoe boots, a caged shoe and metallic trainers to be matched with my outfits. "You don't need thousands in the bank to have a great wardrobe, but it does take a bit of time to find out what suits you," she says.
And when it comes to seasonal upgrades, Samara believes a summer dress can be teamed with a cardigan, jumper and long boots to beat the winter chill.
When it comes to wardrobe must-haves such as a blazer, her advice is this: "Blazers are for layering, they're not supposed to button up so don't worry if it doesn't."
Draped tops, grey jeans and silver metallic trainers are now on my clothes shopping list - and Samara has even convinced me to get out of my comfort zone and team a pair of pink jeans with my many matching tops.
"You can wear all one colour, but avoid turn up trousers, keep prints and textures to the top with smooth, good quality fabric separates to the bottom."
She admits to never buying new jeans, choosing instead to dying the ones she already has.
And while all of us have a pair of jeans in our wardrobe, Samara says it's a basic item most struggle with.
"The most common thing I get asked about is denim. For many, choosing a pair of jeans is a real labour of love. In fact, some women who hate it so much they avoid denim altogether," she tells me.
Thankfully Samara's understanding of style psychology means tackling the issues behind all fashion phobias: "If someone is averse to a garment, we will look at the reason behind that."
Evolve by Samara is on Facebook where she will hold regular free style tutorials