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Makeover revisited: Wroxham man divides nation with his Life Matters makeover

PUBLISHED: 11:12 21 December 2010

Richard Voisey having a facial at Sisley in John Lewis on his Life Matters makeover.

Richard Voisey having a facial at Sisley in John Lewis on his Life Matters makeover.

Archant © 2010

He aspired to steal the style of James Bond and ended up dividing the city over his contemporary new look. Emma Harrowing catches up with Richard Voisey to find out how his Life Matters makeover earlier this year changed his style.

Richard Voisey sporting his new smart/casual look after his Life Matters makeover back in May.

To wear a scarf or not to wear a scarf, that is the question. It was a question that divided Life Matters readers when 48-year-old Richard Voisey from Wroxham had a Life Matters makeover back in May.

As a business advisor for enterprise agency NWES on Guildhall Hill, Richard wanted a smart/casual look that he could wear to informal meetings instead of always wearing a formal suit and tie.

“When I am at work I wear a suit and when I am at home I wear combats and t-shirts,” said Richard earlier this year.

“I’m either very smart or very casual and I haven’t a clue how to achieve the smart/casual look. This was a problem when I go to informal business meetings and the invite states smart/casual, I never know what to wear and I always end up looking out of place.”

The smart/casual dilemma is a challenge men and women face from time to time. For men, wearing a suit without a tie or with a t-shirt under the jacket instead of a shirt is the closest many would go to achieve this look.

On his makeover I wanted to show Richard that by experimenting with clothes he can create a look at is not only suitable for his informal meetings it is also a look that reflects his personality.

And so we went to see Julia Kaluska, the fashion advisor at John Lewis, and there wasn’t a suit or tie in sight.

Says Julia: “There were many smart/casual looks for men around so it was easy to show Richard how he can create the look to suit him.

“In order to look stylish it’s important to wear the right colours and shapes for you. Richard’s skin tone and hair colour dictates that he will suit blue-based, cool colours.

“Taking into consideration your body shape is also an important factor in style. Richard is conscience that his body is longer than his legs, so wearing jeans or trousers that are slightly longer and keeping jackets and tops shorter he will create the illusion of having longer legs.”

There are many looks you can go for if you want to create a smart/casual look. The trend for double denim can look smart if you wear dark denim jeans and a dark denim shirt tucked in with a belt and leather brogues, a checked shirt can also look smart if teamed with a pair of chinos, and the Mod look with Harrington style jackets and straight leg dark denim jeans is symbolic of the smart/casual style.

Julia swapped Richard’s suit for a pair of smart grey jeans and a floral shirt. His smart/casual outfit was completed with a pair of tan shoes, a tan bag and as it turned out a very controversial teal scarf.

“The scarf got the most feedback,” says Richard. “It appears that the majority of Norfolk folk cannot cope with this style! The scarf is great if I want to make a statement and really stand out.

“I certainly looked very different after my makeover. I was put in clothes that I would never have even considered before, especially the floral shirt and scarf, but the outfit really worked and I would definitely feel comfortable wearing this to one of my business meetings.

“Since my makeover I have been working towards changing my wardrobe. I went on a cricket tour of Nottingham in the summer and two of the lads I went with are designer clothing buyers. They dragged me to a Nottingham designer and made me buy a shirt which I would not have picked myself. It’s now the best item I have and I love wearing it so it shows how important it is to gauge people’s opinion.

“I have since bought some chino trousers as an alternative to my trusty jeans and cargos. I have also bought some striking tan brogues. They make a statement and get positive attention from colleagues, which is great!”

Before his makeover last spring, Richard had lost two stone in weight as he was training for a cycling challenge which would take him from Land’s End to John O’Groats. The arduous task saw him cover 955 miles in 13 days.

Says Richard: “The trip was brilliant! We climbed over 52,000 feet and we were in the saddle for 68 hours. The best bit for me was being able to eat and drink as much as I liked on the tour whilst still losing six pounds! My weight has now levelled out at 16 stone as my diet is not as strict as it was in training and the miles I am cycling have reduced now that it is winter.

“I loved the challenge and look back at six months of training with pride.

“I am now a converted cyclist and get withdrawal symptoms if I miss a day. In fact I am about to buy a cycle-training device that attaches to the back wheel and allows you to cycle indoors during the bad weather!

“We are now looking at Norwich to Paris in 2011, which will take about a week.”

Richard’s makeover also included a Sisley facial in the beauty room at John Lewis. Here Richard’s skin was pampered and preened for an hour.

An increasing number of men use moisturiser to soothe their skin, especially after shaving when layers of the skin are removed causing inflammation, redness and dryness. To show Richard that having an expert facial is not just for the ladies I took him to the beauty room in John Lewis where a Sisley beautician treated him to a skincare treatment.

Richard normally uses soap and water to wash his face, so what did he think of having a cleanser, toner, face mask and moisturiser applied to his skin?

“The facial was amazing and my skin felt and looked so much better,” says Richard.

“I am now more aware about protecting my face and taking care of my skin. I use a moisturising lotion to protect my skin, especially before I get on my bike. The biting wind and low temperatures can quickly dry out my skin.”

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