I aim to match the inside with the outside

Image advisor Mandy Lehto talks to sophrologist Dominique Antiglio about clothes as a pleasurable second skin, without being a distraction


I aim to match the inside with the outside

'Clothes work when they’re harmonious with the person,’ says Dominique Antiglio, 37, who knows something about harmony.

A sophrology therapist and sound practitioner, Dominique teaches breathing, relaxation and visualisation techniques to harmonise the mind and body. ‘My clothes are a second skin,’ she says, nestling into one of her favourite cashmere scarves. ‘They need to be a part of me, without being a distraction. When the inside and the outside match, it’s a beautiful thing. That’s what I’m aiming for.’ 

It wasn’t always this way. Prior to becoming a sophrologist, Dominique was an osteopath. ‘I could hide behind my white lab coat, which said: “take me seriously”. I had no scope then to express my personality through clothing.’

She used to struggle with what a mind-body therapist should wear. ‘There was some self-induced pressure to dress differently,’ she admits. ‘I wasn’t sure whether I should wear sparkly rings and fashionable clothes while working with clients. I thought it might detract from my work, showing that I cared more about beautiful things and how I look.’ 

She realised that she didn’t need to conform to a therapist stereotype. ‘Spiritual and stylish can co-exist. My look clicked into place when I accepted myself; both the spiritual and the stylish parts,’ she says.

Now Dominique describes her look as sophisticated minimalism, with some softness. Heels rarely feature in her wardrobe. ‘I need to feel connected to the earth, to be grounded for my work. And I’m just over 6ft,’ she smiles. Dominique makes it a personal challenge to find shoes that put the ‘fun’ into ‘functional’ she adds.

Dressing authentically, Dominique concludes, is about intuiting what feels right when we listen to ourselves. ‘I’m interested in clothes on the surface. Ultimately, an outfit is a nice wrapping for our inner gifts. There are many other layers, so why not celebrate them all?’

How to take pleasure in clothes

  • Make shopping a pleasurable day for yourself. If you find great clothes – it’s a bonus
  • Acknowledge the gift of who you are. Your clothes are a lovely wrapping
  • Choose clothes you can move in
  • Flats can be fun and sexy
  • If you’re tempted to always dress seriously, challenge yourself to play

For more about Mandy Lehto, go to mandylehto.com

Read Mandy's piece Does my confidence look big in this? on LifeLabs

Photograph: Ki Price