Monday, 9 February 2015

Streamlining your wardrobe.

You can't see the wood for the trees

I remember my mum muttering those very words as I grumbled frustrated at an overflowing wardrobe and I was never happy with the final outfit I managed to pull from the chaos, and the it dawned on me... Less really is more.

I'd spent 9 years working as a style advisor for a well known retail store, a store that epitomised floral chintz and femininity and was forced every 3 months to choose pieces from this store to purchase on uniform. When I say forced it was hardly a hardship but looking back I really do believe that those 9 years of choosing clothes that were the 'best of a bad bunch' really did mask my natural style and of course my wardrobe then became completely overflowing with items that neither went with each other nor looked very good. After leaving the company and choosing a temporary career change out of fashion it became apparent to me, you don't need to spend hundreds of pounds on clothes and accessories (although it would be lovely) you just need a clear vision of your own personal style and a staple wardrobe base of pieces that will work in harmony with each other to create a signatory look that's all your own.

I am a firm believer in monochrome, if your wardrobe staples are principally black, white, grey with a hint of navy, everything will work together and you will have endless outfit options. The second revelation that came to me is that fit is crucial, I have always been the kind of person that will buy a garment in the size that it looks best in and used to endlessly try and persuade women at work to try on a different size as they desperately tried to squeeze themselves into that size 8 top because they were absolutely adamant that they weren't a size 10, God forbid... If you were to measure my body I am quite slender, Im lucky to have the ideal base for close, slim with no chest and long legs and would probably measure to about a size 8/10 however if you took a look through my wardrobe, apart from jeans (which are crucial you get the correct size but I'll get onto that in another post) there is only a handful of items in my size. Why? Because it's fun to experiment with oversized items, it's my trademark. Don't be afraid to take a larger size jumper (for example) into the fitting room because its 3 sizes bigger than your "actual" size just because you prefer the look of it in a larger size it doesn't automatically mean you've gained 6 stone, it just means that the jumper will look a darn sight better than it wouldve skin tight and in actual fact will probably make you look slimmer as you're not bulging out of every seam.

So there are my first two bits of advice, choose your colour palette carefully, keep your wardrobe a no go pattern zone (for now) and remember to always be mindful of fit.

Secondly I have pulled together a collage of some pieces that I think every girl should have in her wardrobe, obviously my wardrobe consists of a lot more than this as I am a self confessed shopaholic and can't resist a good online browse but if you are looking to streamline your wardrobe these are the basic staple items that every wardrobe should have in them... In my opinion. This is also a really great thing to do if you are spending a lot of money on clothes that you're just not getting the wear out of, streamlining your wardrobe will help you make considered wardrobe choices as only the very best, most versatile pieces will even make it in.

As you can see I have split your wardrobe up into 5 sections, each section in my opinion is essential in everyone's wardrobe.

1. Outerwear. A good coat is everything. I am a complete coat obsessive. What is the point of creating an amazing outfit in January only to throw a tatty old coat over the top? A coat is a first impression but they are pricey so instead of wasting money on unnecessary purchases stick to three main focal points, a good leather jacket, an oversized long coat ( I have chosen black on this collage as i think black coats are beautifully timeless however their are some gorgeous grey/navy ones on the market too, just remember to stick to the colour palette, although that bright lilac coat is gorgeous it won't go with everything in your wardrobe) and a waistcoat, my saviour, amazing to layer under a coat in winter and looks fab as a stand alone piece in the warmer months, instantly makes it look like you've made a huge style effort.

2. Footwear. This might be the most ungirly thing to say but if you can't walk in them don't buy them, biggest waste of money ever. Psychologically when we're making our choices on a morning the first thing we think of is comfort factor, save your money on versitile, comfortable yet stylish options that will take you from day to night. A good trainer is key, I keep my trainers black, grey and white (surprise surprise) as I think luminous pink is hideous and looks like you've forgotten to pack normal shoes after going to the gym... A trainer is a fail safe fall back when you know you're going to be hiking round for 6 hours and need comfort and they're also massively on trend for this season and have been seen all over fashion blogs. A smart flat shoe will take you from the office to a night out s d look super chic, get the right fit and they'll also be super comfy, win win. I don't think I need to do much justification over a pair of black ankle boots. Warm, comfortable and stylish, can't go far wrong.

3. Bottoms. I'm a trouser gal as you can probably tell from the collage, if you are a fan of the skirt then it's easy to slip a black midi into my selection quite seamlessly. I think trousers are all about texture and fit. These are the things that need to fit properly, a good pair of leather trousers will be your best friend and make any throw on outfit look considered and stylish but it is essential you get the fit right, you may have to hunt for weeks maybe even months to find the perfect pair, it's a bit like a boyfriend you might have to trawl through the junk but you will find them! I just love the texture of them against a wooly jumper or even a crisp cotton shirt. I don't think I really need to say much about black skinny jeans, I think everyone owns a pair and if not why?! And a pair of high waist cigarette pants really open the door to an array of crop tops, letting you brave the crop without showing half your tummy off, the correct length, fit and colour and you'll be away, start off with a black pair if this is a new style to you, and slowly add navy, grey and lastly cream to your collection.

4. Dresses. I'm not a big dress wearer but I have a couple of styles that I always go to and its for that reason they are my wardrobe staple and hence why I have included them. An oversized black dress, an lbd if you like, is your go to been invited to a party last minute fall back. Bare legs, great necklace, pair of heeled shoe boots and you're good to go, but this camileon of the dress world can also be paired with tights or leather trousers for a more paid back look in the day. Dont forget it can be belted too to give more shape.

5. Tops. I think this is where people lose their way a little. Granted there are so many nice little floral tops etc sitting on the rails of Topshop at £35 upwards, if you think of how many times you can wear them it's pretty much one way and then you're bored. Waste. Of. Money. Invest in simple items that can be worn several different ways. The basic tee, a throw on staple, invest in several different colours of this, also try experimenting with be neckline, round, v neck, turtle neck, the worlds your oyster! A turtle neck jumper is probably one of the comfiest things you'll own, super practical but with the turtle neck it makes it bang on trend. The oversize white shirt is my go to item when I can't think of what to wear. That teamed with a pair of leather trousers looks like such a considered outfit with zero effort. And finally, the striped tee... The only bit of pattern that you've seen so far. Stripes are allowed, pinstripe or bold stripe, they are easily integrated into your wardrobe and break up a plain outfit.

I hope that this has given you some helpful hints about how to streamline your wardrobe.

Remember:'ll find lots more outfits if you had just a handful of clothes that all went together than 5 wardrobes full of conflicting patterns.

2. These staple wardrobe items can obviously be added to but when shopping ask yourself what the item your considering would go with in your wardrobe, if you can't think of at least 5 things put it back.

K x

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