Tu’s Style Refresh: Carolynne
The second of our life-changing makeovers with Lisa Snowdon
Put Carolynne Selway in charge of a busy casualty department and she’ll run it like clockwork, but put her in the changing room of a busy clothes shop and she feels less in control.
That’s because after spending almost 40 years in a uniform at work she felt she had lost her confidence when it came to fashion.
But now that Carolynne’ s finally retired, and hung up her uniform for good, she wants to regain her sense of style, and work out what on earth suits her.
“I’ve lost my confidence with fashion: she admits. ‘I’m stuck in a rut and don’t know what to wear or how to dress. I need someone to tell me ‘this is what looks good on you’.”
Two years ago, Carolynne’s weight had slowly crept up to 11st 7Ibs, but she managed to shed this with exercise and healthy eating.
But despite her new svelte frame, she’s still wearing the baggy hoodies and trousers she wore when she was bigger.
“There’s so much I want to do,” she says. “I want to be a lady who lunches, join the Women’s Institute and meet friends for cinema trips but I just don’ t have the wardrobe.”
“I’m drab, I’m lost, I’m a nobody in these clothes and I want to feel like a somebody. I feel there’ s someone fashionable inside me screaming to get out but doesn’t know how.”
Mum-of-three Carolynne says she’s never had anything tailored or fitted, doesn’t own a skirt and only has one dress, and that’s for funerals.
She’s looking for something stylish and tailored that doesn’t break the bank.
“I don’ t want to look like mutton dressed as lamb; says the former Nurse of the Year.”
“I want some casual, classic designs I can put on and do anything in. And I’d love a dress or skirt – something more feminine than I currently wear. I’d love to show my husband David that I’ve got legs.”
So what have our star stylists got planned?
Toni decided to stick with trousers – in this case a pair of jeggings – teamed with an ochre tie top and checked trophy jacket.
“I went for this because I thought she’d look great in colour but that print might overwhelm her and make her appear older than she actually is,” explains Toni.
“The jeggings are a ‘skinny’ fit which is more contemporary than the ‘straight’ fit and will make the best of her fabulous legs.”
“The solid ochre of the top is more up-t o-date too and I’ve teamed it with a trophy jacket because she said she wanted something tailored and I think this looks more modern, especially with the pop of colour that goes through it.”
“And while we teamed it with a slipper loafer for a day look, you could wear it equally well with a heel.
“This is a smarter, casual look she can dress up or down.”
After rifling through of dozens of the latest Tu designs, Lisa decides on a pretty pale grey dress, darker grey leather jacket and black shoe-boots.
“I wanted to re-introduce Carolynne to her gorgeous legs,” says the former radio breakfast show host. “So I put her in a floral dress. It’s soft, floaty and feminine and will take her out of her comfort zone.”
“Then I toughened it up with a gorgeous, buttery-soft leather jacket to give it some edge and some structure – it’s a great combination and the co lours will work brilliantly on her.’
“Finally I chose a pair of shoe-boots with a heel that have a lot of support so she doesn’t have to worry too much about teetering around in them.”
“It will be a bit of a shock for her but I hope it’s a happy shock”.
So who won?
“I love them both”; said Carolynne after trying on both outfits. “Toni’s choice was fantastic – it was like a different woman staring back at me – I never thought I’d ever see myself in something like that.”
“But I have to choose Lisa’s outfit – and not just because I love Lisa and voted for her every week on Strictly! It feels silky and sexy and sassy and the jacket is so comfortable. She’s brought out the new woman in me.”
“I can’ t wait for my husband to see me – he’ll be beside himself. Tu – here I come!”
“I’m on top of the world right now. It’s been absolutely eye-opening. I feel like I could do anything and that a whole new path of my life is opening up before me. Retirement is going to be good.”