RAISING TRIPLETS is no mean feat. But Yvonne Hirst from Crosland Moor tackled the challenge single handed and, according to her son Damien, couldn’t have been a better mum.
“She always puts us first,” he said. “That’s why I nominated her for the make-over – she deserves it because of all she’s done.”
But Yvonne, 52, considers herself fortunate to have become a mother at all. An ectopic pregnancy and subsequent surgery destroyed her chances of having a family naturally and she had to undergo IVF treatment.
Twenty years ago she gave birth prematurely to quadruplets. Tragically, one of them died shortly after birth. The tiny boy, named Frederick, was Damien’s identical twin.
There was even a question mark over the survival of one of Yvonne’s two daughters, Emma-Louise. “I carried them to 26 weeks but had to have an emergency section. Emma was critical when she was born but survived,” said Yvonne.
Both Emma and her sister Sammy-Jo are now mums themselves and Yvonne has three grandchildren – Oscar, 3, Olivia, 15 months, and Cody, 14 months.
A former mender in the textile industry and school dinner supervisor, Yvonne has ambitions to start her own cleaning business now that her family is grown up.
Fashion-wise, she sees herself as a casual dresser and says she rarely has reason to wear smart outfits. “I never know what colours to wear,” she added.
Damien, who works as a retail assistant but is planning to open his own pet shop, said he wanted to see his mum looking glamorous.
“She wears jeans a lot,” he explained. “It would be nice to see her in something else.”
Part of Yvonne’s prize package was a £250 image consultation with Jacqui Cooper, who is a Colour Me Beautiful consultant.
Jacqui explained that all of us have a basic palette of colours that suit us and with Yvonne’s natural light auburn hair and pale skin she should be wearing light but warm colours.
Yvonne is a petite and curvaceous size 10/12 and also needs to think about what styles are flattering. “She needs to be showing off that hourglass figure and not hiding her waist with baggy tops,” said Jacqui.
“Spring and summer are the seasons for people like Yvonne,” she added, “so finding the right garments in the autumn winter collections is a challenge. For example, she shouldn’t be wearing black at all – in fact 50% of us shouldn’t wear black.” Yvonne confessed that on the rare occasions when she dresses up to go out she often wears a black dress.
As well as finding the right colours for Yvonne to wear, Jacqui worked with hairstylist Paul Plant at the Three Degrees salon in Huddersfield, to give our model-for-the-day a new look.
Colour specialist Eloise Fleetwood applied four warm shades into Yvonne’s hair and Paul cut it into a jaw-length layered bob.
Jacqui also gave Yvonne a new make-up look - using a less-is-more approach. She said: “Yvonne is very fair and needs something quite natural. Make-up is important because it can date you. A lot of women wear the same make-up for years but changing it can takes years off.”
Yvonne’s prize included clothes worth £250 from the new collection at M&Co in the Kingsgate House of Fraser store.
Following the Colour Me Beautiful rules, Jacqui found a cocktail dress with a peach-coloured top and navy jeans with a light silky blouse – both of which are modelled on this page.
Yvonne plans to wear the dress at a family party in December, which she will be attending with her partner Mark Midwood.
How did she feel at the end of her special day. “I feel wonderful,” she said.
And now, armed with a collection of personalised colour swatches she will be a more confident shopper.
“She looks fantastic,” said Damien. “Really glamorous.”
WITH her fair hair and skin, Yvonne Hirst needs to dress in complementary light colours.
But, says image consultant Jacqui Cooper, “she also has some warmth in her hair, which is naturally auburn but has been dyed blonde, so she is what we call a ‘soft, warm, light’.”
Although Yvonne avoids fitted clothing because she thinks it makes her look larger than she actually is, Jacqui says she needs to dress to accentuate her hourglass figure.
Her top tips for someone with Yvonne’s colouring and shape are:
Wear heels. Yvonne is only 5ft 2ins so heels give her a longer, leaner silhouette
Avoid skinny jeans. Anyone with curvy hips needs to balance their outline with bootleg jeans or wide trousers that don’t taper at the ankles. Trousers that get narrower towards the bottom make hips look correspondingly larger.
Choose V-neck or scooped-neck tops. A larger bustline will look even bigger if you wear a high-necked top or a blouse with masses of fussy details on the neckline. Avoid jackets with breast pockets for the same reason.
Choose gold jewellery for warmth. Silver is too cool.
Take scale into consideration. Short people need to avoid garments such as trousers cropped to mid-calf length or mid-calf skirts as these make them look even shorter. Skirts should ideally end just below the kneecap.
Soft grey is a perfect colour for winter if you are struggling to find something from collections full of black, burgundy and other dark colours.
Only wear black if it is well away from the face.
Jacqui is holding a series of colour workshops at House of Fraser. For more details check out www.jacquicooper.co.uk