Many of my clients are already sorted (phew!), a number of girlfriends (who have been listening to me chat about my daytime activities) have got themselves sorted but there are a whole raft of people who will miss out on their summer wardrobe! To say I have been in a state of mild panic for a few weeks is a bit strong but summer styles are selling out fast! The time to get ready is NOW...
What can you do if you are still celebrating the cold weather for covering up purposes??? Here is my action list;
This is also time to update your accessories and make up bag. Nothing like a new lipstick and a GREAT pair of sunnies to say "Summer I'm ready for you" xA
A girlfriend recently said “how on earth do you update your wardrobe on a budget??!!” Although I immediately blurted out “ACCESSORIES” like I was some extra on the Lego movie, a light bulb moment ensued. How many people are waiting for more money or a better body to update their wardrobe??
Another friend completely refuses to let me dress her because she doesn’t like her current body shape and keeps saying she needs to save up so she can spend a lot on the update. Being "unhappy" with your shape, in particular, is exactly this time to update… And lets face it, you will never have a "spare" $2000 for wardrobe maintenance. By changing a little, you will look better, act more confident and best of all feel better. We all know how good it is to receive compliments from our peers. As for the budget; know the dollar figure you are comfortable spending and stick to it. The priorities will naturally rise to the top – which is not a bad thing at all.
So how do you update your wardrobe when you are feeling less than fabulous with your body… Start by my reading body issues blog. It is all about dressing to your shape.
Now... how do you update your wardrobe on a budget? Whilst it is easier to shop with bigger budgets no one has endless funds or endless room in their wardrobe. It is great to delve into the “designer” shops without worrying about your food bill, however this usually results in 3 pieces coming home rather than one piece. It is more of a challenge to sift through the racks in Farmers, Supre, Max and Glassons to find great pieces at a fraction of the price. This is called shopping High and Low by some stylists and it works!
Here are 3 simple rules I follow in the budget shopping challenges:
I'm doing a spot of homework in the sun and in my latest Porters Magazine there is a 4 page photo shoot of the Pre-Baftas party in London. I was struck by the fact that almost everyone was wearing black (not a strange phenomenon in NZ I know, but, everyone was a tad more dressed than any NZ gathering and this is London...). The striking part was just how stunning some people looked in black and just how much better some could have looked in other colours! this of course started a whole morning of searching through pictures of certain starlets to see what colours looked better on them... I love this sort of research, much better than tidying up my GST. However I digress... I am as much a black addict as the next person, but I do try to balance that theme and occasionally if I think everyone will be wearing black - I go for a colour to stand apart from the crowd. I would also say be mindful of your make up as black head to toe creates a very open canvas so use it wisely xA NET-A-PORTER Anne Benshaw Stylist
I'm not talking about getting your 5 + a day or making sure you have regular beauty therapy appointments, its more about keeping your key, basic pieces looking sharp.
Are your white T-shirts still white and holding their shape. Are you blacks really black? Does your "go-to" black jacket have shiny lapels or missing buttons on the arms. And Oh I hate to sound like my dear old Mum but are your shoes polished and scuff free??
Each season I get out my basics and review them. Often I spend one months budget on a VERY unsatisfactory shopping trip to replace my basics; white T-shirt, black singlet, black pants, slip grips for my shoes that have worn away, nude bra… It is no where near the excitement as coming home and hanging up a new coat or spraying gorgeous new red suede heals BUT when you are racing out the door with your basics looking FABULOUS it all pays off.
A client recently said to me “so if I haven’t worn something in a year do I throw it out?”. The look of shock on my face gave her my answer – NO – but I was a little surprised about the question. Does everyone follow such rigid rules in their wardrobes??
I love a good wardrobe cleanse and I’m extremely tough on my own wardrobe but for me it is not about rules of “time” it is all about style personality. If the item is consistent with your style personality then keep it. Of course if you have filled every cupboard in the house and you are buying new clothing every week there may be a little more going on. But as a rule I “cleanse” wardrobes of items that are:
As far as colours go, wearing colours from YOUR perfect colour palette is literally like walking around with flattering lighting or a gorgeous Instagram filter on yourself ALL-THE-TIME! Wow how good would that be!! But that is another whole subject...
If you know your style personality and shop within it, you won’t have those moments of putting something on, then thinking “it doesn’t look quite right” or “I have nothing else to put with it”. Imagine a wardrobe of clothes that suit you, fit and you feel fabulous in. It can be done!
Oh and what would I do with unworn items that ARE in your style personality and still look great? Dry-clean them, pack them away and bring them out next season. xA
At the airport recently I noticed there were two groups of people; t-shirt, comfy pants and track-shoe wearers were group one and the business suit attired made up group two. Now you can change comfy pants for jeans and t-shirts for casual polo style tops but that summed up a plane load of people!
The sad part of it all was the business suited lot looked like a really boring group of people with a strong ability to make you fall fast asleep if you were in a presentation with them. As for the other lot... Shabby, mumsy, unloved. I understand some people where there for work and felt they needed to be "suited" (more on that one later) but surely for the others this was a great chance to see some smart casual dressing... Nope!
The term Smart Casual - is mostly reserved for celebrities like Sienna Miller, Jessica Alba, "IT" model Carla Delevigne (who is in her 20's so she doesn't really count) and ONE in the "36 + GST" years old category Elle Macpherson. I find this "style" very hard to get right. I understand suit/business dress dressing and I get exercise gear but there is a grand canyon in between those two! I would love to say I've mastered shabby chic but in reality I find it very hard to look cool without loosing my personality or looking a bit more hobo than bo-ho! So for me I stay away from shabby chic.
For me that look is reserved for those individuals who are naturally shabby chic! You know who you are.
Thus I find myself stuck in a no mans land of "smart casual". Who knows what they really mean by smart casual when it's on an invitation? At one recent event smart casual was jeans and a jacket. At another it was business suit minus the tie. I do LOVE the fact that we are not samey samey clones but our preference NOT to stand out in a crowd and our nations culture of black is best has many in style limbo.
Given my own style personality and LOVE of dressing up, I'm still defining my personal views on this "smart casual" ethic but here 3 main pointers that I've learnt about smart casual so far:
Just think if you turn up in distressed jeans and a great tailored jacket with your favourite shoes and everyone else is wearing black pants, black top and black jacket - they might just be thinking how cool, comfortable and stylish you look!
NO one really has the perfect body. Some get close but not as close as I think, apparently…
Husband and I were looking at a magazine article on a favorite model citizen of mine and I casually mentioned that she had an amazing body. Husband at that point grabbed the magazine and looked at her, hard, a lot, from all angles, then flicked some pages and after quite an inappropriately long period of time (in my opinion!) he said, its ok but its not very real. A BIG discussion was then entered into about what is a great body, how men view women’s bodies and so forth.
Later that week I took the mag to a girls catch up and casually mentioned the same thing. Totally different result – “ooh yes her thighs are amazing”, “she has such a flat stomach”… “I wish I had her figure” was really the general consensus. Summing up several hours of discussion with both groups – it seems men just think differently and women are way too hard on own body image.
So yes I still would love thinner thighs, a flatter stomach and no double chin but without a lot of surgery I don’t think I’m going to get there. Thus I have decided we need to take a concrete pill, put on our big girl pants, harden up (which ever statement suits you best) and learn to dress so our positives are accentuated.
Now the first think I hear you all say is “positives”??? YES we all have great areas. You might need to ask your friends (your really good friends) what they are, but find them and LOVE them.
Whether you subscribe to the theory of dressing for your body shape (pears, apples, rectangles and hourglasses unite!), or whether you like to follow the theory of dressing your body shape so it looks more like the ultimate hour glass figure, choose a theory and stick to it.