LIKE so many women battling a serious illness, Monet Paris has found herself gaining weight from steroids.
Monet, 24, has suffered Berger’s disease — which attacks her kidneys and immune system — since she was 19.
Fluid weight gained from being on a kidney dialysis machine has also contributed to her problem, as she piled on four stone.
Changing from size ten to 18 and falling out of love with her wardrobe, Monet began living in baggy T-shirts, leggings and Ugg boots — a far cry from her previous stylish outfits.
Monet, who studied social work but is unable to work, had lost her mojo.
She says: “I am constantly in hospital, which means I live in pyjamas. When I do get dressed, things often don’t fit because I get so swollen all over because of the drugs.
“I also have scars on my chest, wrist and either side of my hips, which goes right under my stomach, because I had a kidney transplant on each side.
“It is hard for me mentally, especially at my age. I struggle a lot.”
She adds: “I used to enjoy shopping, as things fitted. But now I don’t shop on the high street.”
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Instagram only makes things worse as she says: “I see friends on social media going out and getting dressed up.”
But thanks to a makeover by Fabulous Fashion Director Tracey Lea Sayer as part of our Challenge The Stylist series, Monet has now turned a corner — as you will see from the outfits.
They are perfect for hitting the town, hanging with mates or going for walks.
She says: “When I first saw myself after my makeover, I felt very self-conscious. It was hard because I’ve spent a long time not venturing out.
“I always feel insecure because my weight fluctuates and often stay at. But after a while on the photoshoot following the makeover, I started to enjoy myself and realised clothes can still look nice on me.”
Her favourite outfit was the sequined trousers with blazer.
'I'LL BE KINDER TO MYSELF'
She says: “I would never have picked those trousers but I loved them. The boots with the pink jacket also felt cute. It gave me a nice waist.
“I’d never have tried the jacket because I usually stick to black, khaki green, black and a bit more black! Now I will get more colour into my wardrobe.”
At home in Leicester afterwards, Monet had a wardrobe clearout.
She says: “I was hanging on to clothes that didn’t fit and would never fit. I got rid. That felt good.
“This year I’ll be kinder to myself. I’ve been through a lot and need to be proud of who I am.
“I live with something incurable but that’s life. I used to feel like walking around with a top on telling everyone what I live with. But not any more.”
Living with a serious illness, Monet lost her fashion mojo. Here’s how we got it back . . .
Out on the town
TRACEY SAYS: “This was Monet’s favourite outfit and mine too. She looks stunning in this oversized tweed blazer, sequined pants and platform sandals.
“She said she would never have tried on these pieces in-store because she didn’t think they would suit her. But she lit up when she saw how she looked.
“It was so good to see her confidence grow on the shoot as she tried new things on. This is her next date-night look.”
TRACEY SAYS: “It was so rewarding helping Monet find her fashion feet again. Her face lit up when she tried on this beautiful faux sheepskin coat from Asos.
"Teamed with an oversized Nordic jumper and shiny leggings, I dressed this look up with heels and a squishy bag – perfect for a winter stroll followed by a nice pub lunch.”
TRACEY SAYS: “Since having numerous operations, Monet is quite self-conscious of her tummy area, so I went for a cute empire-line dress. This cut pulls Monet in just under her bust then flares out over her tummy.
“The funky, optical-print over-the-knee boots and pleather jacket are perfect for Monet for meeting up with friends to have a giggle.”
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