Wardrobe Guilt

7 Reasons Why You Suffer From Wardrobe Guilt

We all suffer from Wardrobe Guilt from time to time… You know those items in your wardrobe that you really should let go but somehow you can’t?

But wardrobe guilt serves no purpose other than to make us miserable. Even if we pretend to ignore it, when we open our wardrobe it’s there hanging right in front of us!

If you’re wondering what I’m talking about the chances are you don’t suffer from wardrobe guilt –  which is brilliant.  You’re in a minority but be proud of that!  Wardrobe guilt is when you look at certain items in your wardrobe and you know that you should let them go but you can’t.  Something is holding you back.

Chances are you know what the issue is but if you’re struggling to identify it, then here are  the reasons why.  Once you understand it’s a whole lot easier to put it in perspective (maybe even laugh about it) and then let go.

Here are seven reasons you may be suffering from wardrobe guilt:

Wardrobe Guilt Too Many Clothes

Hardly Worn It

The items of clothing that you bought on a whim but every time you go to wear it, you look in the mirror and something’s not right.  You feel guilty about letting it go because it’s hardly been worn.

It’s understandable why you are feeling guilty. But the chances are that ‘the not right’ means it’s either not in your colours or it’s the wrong style for you.

Be honest what are the chances that you will ever wear it?  The money’s been spent.  If it was expensive/a designer label you may be able to resell it but otherwise just accept that it was an error of judgment.  We all make them – to err is human (Alexander Pope).

Your Weight Has gone up Since You Bought It

This one is a challenge.   When I put weight on as I recovered from an eating disorder I had items that unless I hit rock bottom again would never fit me.  I don’t mind admitting that I hung on to them for far too long – hiding them in the back of my wardrobe.   It was in a sense a grieving process.  That may sound mad but I’m sure anyone who’s struggled with an eating disorder can relate.

So what did I do?  I had to change my mindset.   It was tough but as I came to terms with the fact that my body was healthier and that women were not supposed to have  a concave belly and no boobs,  I could (over time) let go.

If you are struggling with this kind of wardrobe guilt  but are keeping clothes because ‘you only need to lose a few pounds’ be honest.   Both in terms of if you do lose the weight will you wear them again.   Or are you being realistic about the weight you will lose.  I’m not being defeatist here but encouraging you to be realistic.

It Was More Than You’d Normally Pay

You are suffering from Wardrobe Guilt because you spent a lot on an item and you don’t feel you’ve got value for money.  Particularly because you’ve hardly ever worn it or worse still it’s sitting in your wardrobe with the price tags in tact.

Stylists like to talk about the return on investment of your clothes in terms of cost per wear.  The idea being that the more times you wear an item the lower the cost per wear.  So that means a better return on your investment.  If you’re not going to wear the item or only wear it once the cost per wear will be the cost of the item.    Seriously what’s the point?  The only thing  you’re going to get from that is the constant reminder when you look in your wardrobe!  As I said above forget the money – it’s already been spent.  Just keeping it in your wardrobe is pointless.

wardrobe guilt because it was expensive

You’re Saving It For Best

I often talk about the irony of saving something for best.  For my generation, bought up by parents who had been through the Second World War, thriftiness was second nature.  Not only that but you made an effort to dress up to go out and made an occasion of something.

Clothes were also more expensive relative to household income.   Fast fashion was a concept that hadn’t hit the High Street.   So it made sense that we saved clothes for best.

But while I do not condone cheap poor quality clothes I also struggle with holding on to things for best.  Admittedly there are probably items in your wardrobe only suitable for certain occasions.  But don’t just save something for best if you love it and it makes you feel good when you wear it.

It Was A Gift From Your Partner/Parent/Best Friend

Tricksywoo – particularly if it was from someone you live with or see on a regular basis.  You’re anticipating that they will notice you no longer have it and be upset.

But be realistic if you’re not wearing it – which you won’t be otherwise you wouldn’t be feeling wardrobe guilt about it!  Do they even know you have still got it?

Would it be possible to discreetly donate it to charity or recycle it? If you’re worried you might hurt their feelings then why not take a deep breath and have the conversation.  Explain that while you really appreciate the sentiment behind the gift it’s not really your style/colour.   That it would be much more responsible to donate it to charity or to sell it on to someone who could benefit.

Strong sentimental attachment

Perhaps it reminds you of a special occasion or a person?  A time when you were really happy or maybe someone who is no longer in your life.   You feel a sense of wardrobe guilt because getting rid of the item is cutting the tie to that event or person.

But if you’re not wearing the item what is the point of keeping it?  Perhaps one way to retain the memory would be to take a photo of it and then to let it go?

If it’s an item with buttons or a form of decoration perhaps you could remove these.  Put them on something in your wardrobe that you now treasure.   Or retain as a keepsake – it will take up less room than unworn garments in your wardrobe!

It’s An Item You’re Supposed To Have

I’m not talking about an item of formal wear in dark colours.  It’s not unusual to have a dress or suit that you keep for attending funerals.

But the Little Black Dress you feel you should have or the ball gown you’re hanging on to because you might need it.  Be realistic here.

Are you likely to wear a ball gown again – great if you are – but many women feel they need to buy something new.  It might be much better to let go of the ‘supposed to have’ outfit and rent a dress or suitable outfit for the next event.  This is a much more sustainable approach.

So do you identify with any of the reasons why we suffer from wardrobe guilt?  If you don’t then congratulations!

SUFFERING FROM WARDROBE GUILT?Minimum Wardrobe Maximum Style

If you do then maybe it’s time to have a declutter and change of perspective on your wardrobe.

My program Minimal Wardrobe Maximum Style will teach you how to avoid Wardrobe Guilt and how to enjoy the freedom of a much more streamlined wardrobe.   Check out the link to find out more!

Minimal Wardrobe Maximum Style

Have You Booked Your Place?

 

Carol Hanson is a Conscious Wardrobe Stylist who has empowered hundreds of women to look and feel fabulous whenever they get dressed.

Carol lived with an eating disorder for over 20 years and uses her experience to help anyone struggling with body confidence issues.

Determined to bust the myth we will be happier by continually adding to our wardrobes. Carol passionately advocates a Minimal Wardrobe Maximum Style approach avoiding overwhelm associated with having too many clothes.  Carol’s determined to change our approach to shopping: both for our own sanity and to reduce the negative impact of fashion on the planet.

 

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Minimal Wardrobe Maximum Style

A Minimal Wardrobe Really Is The Best Way

When I mentioned a minimal wardrobe at an event last week, the woman I was talking to visibly paled!  A horrified look spread across her face. When she’d regained her composure she explained she had 4-double wardrobes full of clothes.

She openly admitted to having a lot of unworn clothes and an insatiable appetite for shopping.  I hasten to add that she always looks amazing and has an incredible unique style.   But conversely the response from others in the room was ‘tell me more’.

minimal wardrobe marmite effect

It’s funny isn’t it how some things have a Marmite Effect?   (If you live outside the UK then to explain it’s a term coined from a savoury spread available in the UK that people either love or loath!)

Now back to the Minimal Wardrobe.  Let me be honest and say that it does make me feel a bit uncomfortable. I love freedom and experimentation – minimal suggest restriction. It also hints at working within rules and boundaries – a total no for me!

Who Invented The MInimal Wardrobe?

The term Capsule Wardrobe (ie Minimal Wardrobe) was first attributed to Susie Faux who owned a boutique called The Wardrobe in London in 1970s.   Susie‘s principle was that a woman would find it easier to dress with a small collection of timeless pieces, supplemented by seasonal garments.  Donna Karan popularized this in 1985 with her 7-piece collection.

But frankly while that may have worked in 1970s/1980s fashion and style have evolved. Our wardrobes have changed. The way we shop has changed and of course the Digital Revolution has happened.

Marketing messages bombard us every day tempting us to buy.    Our inbox, social media and content feeds are full of links to items we can just buy at the click of a button.  Perfect for the cash rich time poor Society we’ve become.

Woman Shopping Online

 

One definition of success seems to be that ‘we need more stuff’.

How does stuff make us happy?

It doesn’t most of the time.  Albeit we get a quick dopamine hit when we buy something.  The effect of which wears off by the time we get home!

 

A Holistic Approach

The good news is that we’re seeing a change.

  1. A realization that happiness and success are achieved not by quantity of possessions but instead by owning only stuff we really love and has a purpose in our lives. The Mari Kondo effect has been a big influence here.
  2. The awakening that happiness is a much more balanced approach to our physical health, mental wellbeing and a connection to ourselves, nature and each other
  3. Equally so has the dawning that we’re living on a planet with finite resources and we seem hell bent on driving a bulldozer through the natural world.That what the green campaigners have been telling us for years isn’t scaremongering but fact that we need to act on.

 

How Does Your Wardrobe Make You Feel

Think about your wardrobe for a moment and ask yourself does it make you happy? Or does it make you feel:

How Does Your Wardrobe Make You Feel?

 

  • Overwhelmed – you simply have too much choice
  • Guilty – you have so much stuff you’ve spent money on so feel you have to keep
  • Concerned –you read headlines about how bad fashion is for the planet and realise how much is in your wardrobe!
  • Unhappy – with clothes you love that no longer fit that just sit in your wardrobe
  • Frustrated – at never having anything to wear for an occasion!

So turn that concept on its head how would it feel if you had a wardrobe that just contained clothes you loved and worked together?

 

minimal Wardrobe The New Paradigm

Imagine a wardrobe where you can see everything you own, your attitude towards shopping shifted so that you became much more conscious about buying.

de-cluttering your wardrobe

 

Does that feel like freedom?   It sounds much more like freedom than a restricted collection that doesn’t allow for experimentation.

Now I’m sure you’re keen to jump in and create a minimal wardrobe?  But take a breath.  There are a few steps you need to take with your existing wardrobe before you do get creative!

In my next post I’m going to be talking about some of the stories we tell ourselves that stop us from taking action. So for the moment just hold that picture in your mind of the minimal wardrobe and the freedom it will give you.

Before you go….

I’m going to make a really exciting announcement next week.  If you’d like to be the first to know about it, join me in my group Awesome Women With Style on Facebook to find out more.  Or if you can’t wait then just click on the link for a sneak preview…

 

About Meconscious wardrobe stylist

My name is Carol Hanson.  I’m a Conscious Wardrobe Stylist who has empowered hundreds of women to look and feel fabulous whenever they get dressed.

I lived with an eating disorder for over 20 years and use my experience to help anyone struggling with body confidence issues.

Determined to bust the myth we will be happier by continually adding to our wardrobes. I passionately advocate a Minimal Wardrobe Maximum Style approach avoiding overwhelm associated with having too many clothes.

I’m determined to change our approach to shopping: both for our own sanity and to reduce the negative impact of fashion on the planet.

 

 

 

 

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packing for a city break

Be Amazed At How To Pack For A City Break

A conversation at the gym last weekend sparked this post about how you pack for a city break.  My BoxFit partner was telling me about her forthcoming trip to Italy for 6 nights.

She hadn’t booked luggage and was unwilling to spend £60 with the airline (can’t blame her!).  But she was equally panicking that she wouldn’t be able to fit everything in a carry-on.  So she was plotting how she’d sneak some bits into her boyfriend’s luggage!

packing for a city break

Packing for a short city break is the easiest type of trip to pack for. There’s no need to pay for hold luggage. It’s an unnecessary expense, costs time at the airport and adds a level of anxiety.  If we do have to book hold luggage it’s always the most stressful part of a trip for me – the wait by the carousel!

So make it easy on yourself and with a bit of simple preparation you’ll find packing for a short city break is easy.

Where Do You Start Packing For A City Break?

This might sound blindingly obvious but consider the following:

  1. What are you going to be doing? Eg sightseeing, eating and drinking
  2. What’s the weather forecast?
  3. How long are you going for?

choose a colour palette when packing for a city break

Choose A Colour Palette

Pick a basic colour and ensure that everything you take will go with that.  I recommend no more than 3 colours maximum.

I’d recommend steering clear of black and white in hot weather.  Black because it will reflect the heat and white?  Well I just know how I can get in a mess wearing white. A white top simply tells you to throw chocolate ice cream over it!

How Many Nights Are You Going For?

Quick rule of thumb pack enough tops for each night you will be away.

You’ll see with my suggested packing list that I recommend wearing a top for slightly cooler evenings and then wear again the following day.

You don’t need as many bottoms as tops.

Shoes Take Up Space

I can guarantee that you will need half as many pairs of shoes as you think you do! The temptation is to take loads – I know I’ve been there!

you need less shoes than you think for a city break

You will need one pair of flats for walking and you can wear these for travelling to save space in your luggage.  Pick the pair that you know you can walk in for hours.  I really do recommend trainers for this as with the best will in the world you’ll get footsore in sandals or flip flops.

You will also need a pair of shoes for the evening.  At the risk of sounding like your grandmother think about what you take. Your feet will be hot and swollen after a day’s sightseeing.  Wearing tight strappy sandals that are really made for bar posing might not be your best option.

We went to Lisbon for our Wedding Anniversary several years ago.  The one abiding memory I have of the trip is the night I spent with my ankle wrapped in ice bags.  Why?  I’d worn daft shoes and taken a tumble on smooth cobbles as I’d got out of the tram.

Accessories Transform An Outfit

You probably get bored of me say this but accessories are perfect for creating different looks.

A scarf or two (I’m feeling extravagant!)  and/or a couple of necklaces will help create different looks. This works really well if you’re not sure about my idea to wear a top one evening and then again the next day.

If you’re planning to wear jewellery during the day just be careful – statement necklaces particularly metal can get really hot.  You’re better off not bothering or choosing something dainty or at least non-metal.

Don’t Forget ….

The Sunnies! If you do forget and need to buy a pair when you’re away, be sure not to just pick up a cheap pair from a street vendor.  You want the best possible UV protection for your eyes.

The same applies to sunscreen.  Always go to a pharmacy or buy a recommended brand from a supermarket chain you recognize.

Oh and while we’re on the ‘don’t forget’ list if you think the weather may break while you’re away a compact umbrella won’t take up much space.  If you need a jacket then wear this when you travel.

Recommended my List to pack For A 3-Night City Break

  • Tops x 3
  • Trousers x 1
  • Shorts x 1
  • Dress x 1
  • Scarves x 2
  • Necklace x 2
  • Flat Shoes x 1
  • Shoes for Evening x 1

Outfit suggestions packing for a short break

If you prefer, substitute top 3 for a second dress and wear this on the second evening and the following day.   Remember to pick dresses that you are happy to wear with flat shoes.

 

Scale It Up For A Longer City Break

If you’re going for a longer than 3 nights add a further top and pair of shorts or an extra dress.   You don’t need to add a complete new outfit for every extra night you’re away.  But the 3 night break is the basic capsule.

A LESS CLUTTERED LIFE…

Would you love to live a less cluttered life?  How would it be if you were excited about choosing your outfit every day?  What would it be like if your wardrobe only contained items that made you look good and feel fabulous?

In September I’m launching Become Consciously Stylish.  It’s a program to help you if you want to:

  • Look good every time you get dressed
  • Feel good every time you put on your clothes
  • Reduce the impact your wardrobe has on the planet
  • Learn how to adopt a more minimalistic approach to your wardrobe
  • Have more time and energy in your life

In September I’m launching the Conscious Style Challenge to help you create a wardrobe that works for you, expresses your style, saves you time and money in a sustainable way

BUT before I launch I want to test this program and that’s where I’d like your help If you’re interested please sign up and I’ll send you more information by 1st August.

Conscious Style Challenge

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how beachwear ready are you?

How To Navigate The Beachwear Jungle Sustainably

How beach ready are you?  I’m not talking about bikini bodies (everyone who wears a bikini has one of those!) but your beachwear look.

what is your beachwear styleHow do you like to dress to go to the beach?  Are you a shorts and T-shirt style – minimum fuss and maximum sun worship? Or do you prefer a more elegant style? Perhaps you’d love to wear a sarong but you’re not sure if they flatter your body shape.

Much as I have aspirations of being a style icon when we get to the beach, my beachwear is more practical.  We’ve often been out walking before we get to the beach.  So I’m often in denim shorts and a vest top.  As both are likely to be hot and sweaty (sorry too much info!) they’re purely for getting to the beach!  In the beach bag I pack a long cotton over-shirt.   Essential beachwear for the post swim bar visit!

In this post I’m going to give you some tips on choosing beachwear for your body shape and some ideas on where to buy sustainable beachwear.

BEACHWEAR FOR YOUR BODY SHAPE

Apple Body Shape

If you have a full tummy but great arms and legs then look for beachwear that will skim your figure and avoid voluminous styles.  I’d also recommend that you avoid skirts and sarongs that will draw attention to your tummy area.

Instead look for maxi dresses with an empire line.  An empire line has a fitted bodice ending just below the bust.  This will define your bust and skim your curves (providing the fabric is not too floaty).

Recommended brands: Aspiga and Thought

Pear Shaped Body

You have a small bust and defined waist, with larger hips and thighs.  So look for styles that show off your top half and don’t draw attention to your lower half.   Avoid sarongs, harem pants and wide legged trousers.   Instead look for kaftans or dresses with detail on the top half or around the neckline and sleeves.

Recommended  brands: Aspiga,  Chandni Chowk, La Mandarine

 

Hourglass Body Shape

You can choose what beachwear you like to show off your lovely curves!  But if you’re a petite hourglass shape then beware any styles with copious amounts of fabric as this will just overwhelm you.

Recommended brands: Aspiga, La Mandarine

Athletic Body Shape

Add volume and roundness to your shoulders and hips with your beachwear to create the illusion of curves.   A belt may be too much in the heat, but it will give you a defined waist.  Alternatively look for a pair of loose fitting shorts or trousers and a top. Another option is a playsuit which will be naturally waisted.

Recommended brands: Mamoq, Thought 

 

Inverted Triangle Body Shape

You want to balance your broad shoulders with beachwear that adds detail to the bottom half.  So sarongs, wide legged trousers or cut offs will look amazing on you.  Patterns on your bottom half, keeping things plainer on top.

Recommended brands: Ethical Superstore, Aspiga, La Mandarine

How beachwear ready are you?

Other Beachwear Items To Consider

If you’re looking to replenish your beachwear collection why not select more sustainable and ethical brands to do this?  But remember it’s not obligatory to simply buy new every year!  This is just a quick check list to help if you do need to replace or replenish your beach kit!

Beach Towels

Look for Organic Cotton such as the new beach towels by Rapanui.

Beach Bags

Check out the fabulous selection of bags woven from palm leaf and sisel at Edinburgh based brand Bohemia.

Footwear

Recycled tyres  from brands such as Gumbies, or beautiful sandals (while crafted from leather) that support local artisans from Aspiga. These are just a couple of the choices for summer footwear.

JUST IN CASE

You missed my last post about how to chose the most flattering swimwear for you, please  check this out here.

A Little Favour To Ask

If you’re enjoying my blogs can I ask a massive favour?  Would you please share the word on Social Media (scroll down for links below).

 

 

 

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How to choose the best swimsuit for you

How To Choose The Best Swimsuit For You

My own experience buying the best swimsuit has changed over the years.Best swimsuit is the one that looks great on you

I’ve certainly been down the ‘buy it at the supermarket in the resort’ routine.  I’d say that 90% of the time I’ve regretted this approach.  My latest best swimsuit has managed to last the duration of the holiday and if I’m lucky the duration of the summer back home.

A fortnight in the sun, in and out of the sea, covered in sun cream and my best swimsuit is starting to look a bit jaded!  It’s not fitting quite as well, the colours are fading and let’s not mention the padding!

One such swimsuit I had to wash completely separately, as the magenta dye was not fixed. This wasn’t just the first wash but every wash!  I was worried that I was leaving a pink trail whenever I went swimming!  This disastrous purchase even turned a pair of shorts pink and all I’d done was wear them over the top of my bikini.

how to choose the best swimsuitThe best swimsuit is the one that looks good on you! Sounds obvious but not always so easy to put into practice.    Let’s start off by saying that choosing a swimsuit follows the general rules of any other item of clothing.  You want to create balance in terms of your body shape.   So  if you have larger hips smaller bust (pear shaped body) give the impression your bust is bigger and hips smaller.  This will create balance.

My best swimsuit for you guide below shows what to look for.

I will then round off this post by giving you an overview of brands to consider in the swimwear market.  Not only in terms of design, those that really think about women’s bodies but also those with high sustainability credentials.

So how do you choose your best swimsuit?

Let’s look at the key areas of body shape and your figure to give you some guidelines:

Small Bust

While you might not think it (I know I don’t) a small bust means you have a great choice of swimsuits, but if you’re looking to make your bust appear bigger look for:

  • Push up/padded styles
  • Horizontal patterns
  • Ruffles on the top half

Avoid skimpy triangle shaped bikinis with no support and solid colours on the top.

Full Bust

You want a swimsuit that will give you some support and be comfortable, so look for:

  • Thick straps
  • Underwired
  • V Neck or halter neck – both styles will flatter your bust

You will find push-ups and skinny straps uncomfortable.

 

Apple Body ShapeDorina House Of Fraser Swimsuit With Side Panels

You have a fuller tummy than bust.  While you may be conscious of your tummy you have fantastic legs.  Show off your legs and take attention away from your tummy area by looking for swimsuit styles:

  • One piece
  • Panel designs on the sides – as this will help define your waist
  • Printed centre panel – will create a vertical line and make you look taller

Avoid low-rise bottoms if you do prefer a bikini.

Pear Shape Body

Draw attention to your smaller bust and defined waist.  You may be conscious of your hips and thighs so play these down.   You can do this with:

  • Ruffles on your top half
  • Brighter colours on your top half
  • Consider Tankini or Skirtini styles

Avoid a bright coloured sarong or bottom half so you do not draw attention to your hips

Hour Glass Body Shape

Swimsuit with bold print

Monki Cares Swimsuit

Your curves look fabulous in a swimsuit.  Most styles will look great but remember to keep your look balanced

  • Bold prints will flatter your curves
  • If you are a curvy hourglass look for a swimsuit with some support – underwire or bandeau styles
  • A one piece with a v neck and or mesh tummy panel will look fabulous

If you want to go for ruffles and details – this will look best on top and bottom rather than either on the top or the bottom.

Athletic Body Shape

You have a straight and generally very lean body shape.  To create some curves you want to look for swimsuits that:

  • Have ruffles or horizontal lines to add some width to your bust and hips
  • Push up or padded tops
  • One piece with cut outs on the side will also create shape and definition

Similar to a small bust avoid skimpy triangle bikinis with little or no shape and shapeless one piece swimsuits

Inverted Triangle

Your shoulders are wider than your hips.  You may have a full bust.   To create some balance you should consider:

  • High waisted two piece swimsuits
  • A one piece with side cut outs will create an hourglass shape
  • Pattern or detail on the bottom half to create balance

Avoid tiny bottoms, a high neck and embellishment on your top half

Best Swimsuit Brands

Putting together this blog took more time than usual.  Why? I was determined to recommend some sustainable swimwear brands.  Almost everywhere I looked there was a compromise to be made either in terms of:

  • The range – in terms of being able to recommend to you a range of styles to reflect the ones I’d recommended
  • Quality – without paying the earth.
  • Sustainability rating

 

It was a tall order, but having narrowed it down below are some I’d suggest you check out.

 

Deakin And BlueDeakin And Blue

Rosie Cook founded Deakin and Blue when she couldn’t find a swimsuit for her twice-weekly swims in her local lido.  She found that most swimwear did not cater for women’s body shapes.

All Deakin and Blue products are made from recycled nylon fishing nets and are manufactured in London.

Empowering women to feel great in swimwear in a sustainable way is at the heart of Rosie’s brand values.  I was lucky enough to interview Rosie recently, click here to  watch.

 

Woodlike Ocean

Husband and wife team Mauricio and Sonja was started when Sonja was looking for a bikini that would suit her athletic lifestyle.

Woodlike Ocean offer customized sizing if a customer wants a bespoke fit.

All products are made from recycled plastic.

For every purchase you make a 1% donation to the Healthy Seas initiative.  This goes towards helping to fund the work to recover the plastic in our seas.

Monki

Part of the H&M Group Monki offers a swimwear in a range of different styles at High Street prices.  They do use sustainable fabrics in some of their products – look for their Monki Cares when looking at garments.

H&M are one of the biggest names on the High Street working towards improving their sustainability rankings.

Zoggs

If you swim as a sport or competitively Zoggs is a familiar brand.  Made for swimming rather than lounging.  Available online.  They are essentially a High Street name, sizing is standard fit rather than customized.  Look for their EcoLast range for sustainable fabrics.

Kiniki

Based in Shropshire supplying direct to consumers.  Kiniki offer locally produced products finished to a high standard. Every stage process is done in-house. They have also patented a ‘Tan Through’ fabric, but given it’s patented, understandably there’s not much information about how it’s made.

Kiniki have a detailed sizing guide on their website.

 

Finally….

Not sure about your body shape?  Check out my Body Shape Guide for reference.

If you are struggling to find a swimsuit that fits properly, is affordable and you would like an expert to help then look at local lingerie shops.   I have a very good one close to me.  A trained lingerie fitter will be able to give you great advice about fit and brands.

 

One Last Favour

Would you like to learn more about sustainable style?  Why not join my tribe where I share tips and information about how to make sustainable choices when it comes to our clothes.

 

 

 

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de-cluttering your wardrobe

How To Enjoy Life After De-cluttering Your Wardrobe

If you’ve been de-cluttering your wardrobe recently then you’ve probably been thinking what’s next?  Maybe you have been wondering how you stop yourself needing to do another major de-cluttering session?

a de-cluttered wardrobe

Well there are several steps you should take after de-cluttering your wardrobe which I’d like to share with you here:

1. CELEBRATE!

Acknowledge your achievement – how does it make you feel? Proud? Happy? Fulfilled? More relaxed?

2. GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK

If you’ve spent some time de-cluttering your wardrobe it can be tiring physically and emotionally.  So do something to fill your self up whatever that looks like.

life after de-cluttering your wardrobe

3. DECLUTTER OTHER AREAS

Recognise that by regaining control over your wardrobe may encourage you to de-clutter other areas of your life.   Not just your living space, but perhaps your digital space as well.

4. FREETIME

We lose up to 2.5 days per year looking for stuff that we have lost. That’s a whole weekend away and you’ve earned it!  So remember to book that weekend away it’s time to reclaim those 2.5 days now!

5. ENCOURAGE OTHERS

Share your experience of  with friends and family.  Help them see that de-cluttering is much more than simply getting rid of bags of unwanted clothes.

6. DONATION BOX/BAG

Have a box or bag in the bottom of your wardrobe for any items that no longer feel part of your much loved wardrobe collection.

7. SET REGULAR DATES for DE-CLUTTERing your wardrobe

Put them in your diary and stick to them.  Even if you find that reviewing your wardrobe means there’s nothing to clear out – just setting yourself regular reminders is a great way to stay on top of your wardrobe.

set dates for de-cluttering your wardrobe

8. SHOPPING

Now hopefully your approach to shopping will change as a result of de-cluttering your wardrobe!  You will know what is in your wardrobe and what might be missing. So when you go shopping there are three things you should remember:

  • Spend money only on items that you really love. If you’re seeking a second opinion in the changing room, the chances are it won’t make it to the tag removal stage in your wardrobe!
  • You know what’s in your wardrobe now so when you do see something think about how it will go with other items in your wardrobe – my rule of thumb is you should be able to style something 3 ways!
  • Be honest with yourself when you are shopping – why are you shopping?Are you unhappy about something and buying something to simply cheer yourself up – again unless the item passes the other tests then chances are it will languish unworn

more mindful about shopping

9. MONEY

Many of us are sick of Fast Fashion – cheap products, poor quality that don’t last.  Not only are they bad for the environment and are made by people who are barely paid a living wage.  BUT overcoming our attraction to buying from stores offering ‘bargains’ is sometimes more difficult.  Why?

Well it has a lot to do with how we value ourselves.

We know deep down that it’s better to buy quality pieces that will last.  They look better, are more durable and frankly with more care taken in manufacture will look better on us.

Those of us who shop in pre-loved boutiques know how fabulous it feels to find a unique piece with a designer label at an incredibly good PRICE – that’s very much the nub of it.

Buying quality means getting out of our own way on price. Many of us have hang ups about spending a lot on ourselves – often coming from a place where we’ve been conditioned to think ‘we’re not worth it’.

I work on a practical way of reframing the gut churning feelings we get sometimes when we look at the price tag.  We love it, it looks gorgeous and it will go with so much in our wardrobes but how do we justify it?

  • Consider the number of times you might wear the garment, envisage the ways you can make it work in your wardrobe (which is now a neatly curated closet where you know every piece in it)
  • Can you make it into a signature look piece – so you become known as the woman in the gorgeous blah label jacket for example?
  • Then take the cost of the item and divide it by the potential number of times you can see yourself wearing it. This is called the cost per wear.  All of a sudden it doesn’t seem so expensive does it?
  • Reflect on how long you might keep an item you really love and is a quality garment – 5 years, 10 years perhaps? Divide the cost by the number of years – again it doesn’t seem so expensive does it?

FINALLY REFLECT

What was difficult about de-cluttering your wardrobe?  It may make it easier to work out why you hang on to stuff.  What are the emotional ties – are they related to the money you’ve invested, a sense of guilt about cost v wear?

Perhaps there’s some anxiety that you have put on weight and can’t fit into some of your clothes? Maybe you have simply been hanging on to clothes because you don’t like shopping and hoping that you can put off the inevitable moment of having to buy more.

How do you stop those feelings recurring?  Well there are the steps to follow about shopping (as discussed) but do you need some practical help to understand what works for you in terms of colours and styles?

If you’re struggling with de-cluttering your wardrobe you might like to download my handy guide.

 

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keep moth infestation at bay with lavender

Moth Infestation? How To Win The War

You know that beautiful cashmere jumper you put back in the wardrobe after Christmas?

You’ve been looking forward to wearing it to a family lunch. You take it out of the wardrobe and pull it on to admire yourself in the mirror.  Imagine your horror when you find the moths have been making short work of your precious jumper.

So what can you do about it? Sadly not a lot about the cashmere jumper but the good news is that you can eliminate a moth infestation from your wardrobe and home with a few simple steps that I’ll take you through in today’s blog.

Rapid Rise Of Moth Infestations

Last summer there were several reports that suggested that moth infestations were on the rise.  The weather was blamed but in fact the Butterfly Conservation charity suggests that moth infestations have been on the rise over the last 20-30 years.

Rentokil and English Heritage both report an huge increase in moth infestations too.

They are more likely to occur in houses built before 1950s.  These properties have more access to the outside (fireplaces, attics larders etc).

Alarming Rise Of Moth Infestations – Why?

There are a couple of reasons cited why there are more clothing moth infestations:

  1. Centrally Heated Houses – our homes are always warm, providing an attractive breeding environment for moths.
  2. Natural Fibres – ironically our move towards more natural fibres and away from nylon and polyester in clothing is more attractive to moths.
  3. Laundering At Lower Temperatures – moth larvae is killed off at 55oC – how often do you wash your clothes at this temperature?

dealing with a moth infestation

How Do You Deal With A Moth Epidemic?

The simple answer is that you need to eliminate the infestation and then take steps to prevent the moths coming back.  This is how:

Deep Clean Your Wardrobe

You need to deep clean your wardrobe and the only way to do this is remove everything.

Once you’ve removed everything you need to vacuum your your wardrobe – remember to do all the corners and drawers.

Wipe down the inside of your wardrobe with vinegar and water solution or soap and water.

Launder Everything

Wash or dry-clean all of your clothes.  Alternatively if you have the space you can put your clothes in plastic bags and freeze them for 48-hours.   You need to do this to kill off all the larvae.

Spring Clean Your Bedroom

Hoover and clean carpets and floors thoroughly.  Although moth infestations breed in your wardrobe larvae can get into carpets and surrounding areas.

Use Garment Bags For Out Of Season Clothes

When you no longer need your jumpers and warmer clothes store these in garment bags with cedar wood sticks.  Use cotton garment bags to avoid the risk of mould and discolouration.  Cotton garment bags allow your clothes to breathe.

Keep Moths At Bay The Natural Way

Moths hate thyme, lavender, cloves, mint and bay leaves.

Why not make your own natural repellent?  The added bonus is that it will also smell lovely in your wardrobe.

Place dried rosemary, thyme, cloves, lavender or bay leaves into a small cloth bag and hang them in your wardrobe and place them in your drawers.

You can also use an essential oil diffuser with a blend of these oils in your room.

keep moth infestation at bay with lavender

Another Great Trick to avoid a moth infestation

Use cedar wood products in your drawers and wardrobes.  Clothes hangers, wooden balls for your drawers or discs to hang on clothes hangers are all great ways to prevent moths returning.

If you’re unlucky enough to have suffered a moth infestation then hopefully this blog will help you to get rid of the moths and stop them returning.

Beware Vintage

Vintage clothes, particularly this in the natural fibres that moths love may be a source of moth larvae.   If in doubt then it’s best to launder or dry clean your vintage purchases before you add to your wardrobe collection.

While You’re Here!

One way to ensure you reduce the risk of moths is to give them less opportunity to breed and feed on your clothes.  If you have less clothes in your wardrobe then the larvae has less to get its teeth into!  Why not take the opportunity to declutter your wardrobe either as a prevention against moths or simply as part of your wardrobe de-infestation.    Not sure where to start?  Why not join my FREE Wardrobe Challenge starting on 13th March – Clutter to Wardrobe Harmony in 7-days?  All you need to do is sign up here.

 

Join The Challenge!

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look and feel fabulous

What Has Love Got To Do With It?

To really look and feel fabulous you have got to love what you are wearing.  It increases our confidence tenfold (at least). If what you’re wearing doesn’t make you look and feel fabulous you’re missing out on an opportunity.look and feel fabulous

One of the first questions I ask my clients is what is your favourite outfit, piece of jewellery or item of clothing.

When they tell me, I ask them more about it.  Initially without them showing me because I want them to help me understand why it’s special.

  1. Is it the colour?
  2. Or the shape?
  3. Do you look and feel fabulous when you wear it?
  4. Does it evoke happy memories?
  5. Did you buy it for a special occasion?
  6. Was it an investment piece?
  7. Do you receive lots of compliments whenever you wear it?

Finally – how often do you wear it? Very often this will reveal that the item is hardly ever worn because it’s special.   While I’m an advocate of not keeping things for best I accept that not everything is suitable for everyday.

But the reason we do the exercise is to draw out the answers. When you know what it is that makes you look and feel fabulous beyond ‘this dress’ it’s so much easier to replicate.

So let me show you an example of my own go to piece that makes me look and feel fabulous every time I wear it.

The Necklace That Makes Me Look And Feel Fabulousthe necklace that makes me feel amazing

The Colour

I love the colour because it goes with anything.  When it catches the light it changes colour.   Because it’s a cool colour this helps my features stand out. So the colour really does make me look and feel fabulous.

The Shape

The shape certainly is an influencer because it hits most of my style keywords: dramatic, quirky, fun and passionate.  You can’t fail to notice it and it represents who I am and what my brand is about.

Does It Make Me Look And Feel Fabulous?

Oh hell yes!  Every time I wear it I feel a million dollars and for that reason it was worth every darn penny I spent on it.

I also bought a bracelet and earrings with the necklace.  I love the bracelet too and have worn it so often that I had to have it restrung.

Does It Evoke Happy Memories?do I receive lots of compliments when I wear my favourite piece

Not that I specifically attach to the necklace.

Did I Buy It For A Special Occasion?

No it was an impulse purchase at an exhibition of a jewellery designer I’d been introduced to. She had an open house.  I went along with the approach that I’d feel morally obliged to spend money.

Was It An Investment Piece?

At the time it was an investment. I’d recently finished my corporate career, had no money coming in.  I felt quite guilty about spending the money.  I even agonized over whether I should ask the designer for a refund!

Do I Receive Lots Of Compliments When I Wear It?

Yes I do and I take from this that it’s not simply the necklace, but it’s the way it makes me look and feel fabulous.   It ensures I feel more confident and that’s going to impact the way I walk in a room and present myself.

 

But What If You Don’t Wear Your Favourite Piece Very Often

The aim of this exercise is to see what it is about the item or outfit that makes it special.    With clothing in particular break it down further to include:

  1. Fabric – texture, print
  2. Details about the shape – hemline, sleeve length, neckline, the cut
  3. Details of the garment – trims, quality of manufacture

Then take a look in your wardrobe and see if there is anything else that is similar. Perhaps with a bit of help from a seamstress you could make it more like your favourite piece?   Or if it’s the colour and you don’t have anything else the same colour would you be able to use accessories to replicate the colour with other clothes?

But even if the answer is still I haven’t got anything else, what you have now got is a blueprint and a very clear idea of what makes you look and feel fabulous.  This is so important when you are shopping and helps you to avoid mistakes.  It doesn’t mean you have to clone your favourite outfit when you shop! But it does mean you have a better understand of what really works for you.

So that’s what love has got to do with it!  Happy Valentines!

 

If You Want To Look & Feel Fabulous Try This Exercise Yourself

Download my checklist to help you determine what is your favourite piece in your wardrobe.

Download My Free Guide Look & Feel Fabulous

Download My Free Guide

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add colour to your winter wardrobe with your footwear

How To Re-Boost Your Winter Wardrobe In February

| HitchinAre you sick of your winter wardrobe?  It’s about this time of year when the first shoots of spring appear, which is when I start thinking about changing my look.  I don’t have a huge collection of clothes, preferring instead to play around with different combinations.  So this makes me more aware of the value of accessories to help create different looks.  It’s key to think outside the box and experiment especially when you’re starting to get fed up with your winter wardrobe.

Spring Summer clothes are starting to make an appearance online and offline but the weather’s not right to wear them yet.  Of course the next round of fashion weeks is about to start and showcase what we’ll be wearing in SS20!

So what can you do to give your winter wardrobe a boost of sunshine?  In this week’s blog we look at some quick tips to help you feel that spring really is just round the corner.

Swap Your Handbagwinter wardrobe add a colourful handbag

Around 34% of women have lots of handbags, but tend to stick to the same one all the time. Why? They’re afraid of forgetting something if they keep changing handbags.

The best way to avoid this is to get yourself a bag liner that is big enough for all your essentials and fits in your bags.  Then make sure all the less valuable but nonetheless essential items are in each of your bags (tissues, pen, lipstick, business cards etc).

But I digress it’s my guess that you may have opted for a dark colour handbag for winter to blend in to your outfits.  Why not swap to a lovely bright colour bag or a beautiful pastel shade.  Don’t worry if it doesn’t match/blend in with your outfit.  So long as you’re not self-conscious about it, just make a statement instead!

Add A Belt To Your Look

Hands up if you don’t wear a belt because you think it will draw attention to the wrong part of your body?  28% of women don’t wear belts for exactly that reason!   But the irony is that a belt can help you create curves and definition to enhance your figure.

A belt is also a great way to change the look of a dress or top.  By wearing something with a belt that you don’t normally it will create a different look.   A sweater dress with a belt, tights and ankle boots is a great way to create a new look for example.  This helps you to extend your winter wardrobe.

Give Your Winter Wardrobe A Boost With A Brooch

How many of us wear brooches these days?  Not many I’ll guess.  We tend to think of brooches as a bit old-fashioned.  We associate them as accessories our grandmothers or aging aunts used to wear.

But if you are getting fed up with wearing your winter coat, adding a brooch is a great way to give it a new lease of life.  Add a pop of colour and statement sparkle to your look.   Check out your local charity shops or vintage stores.   Etsy also has a great collection of brooches.

Add Some Colour To Your Footwearadd colour to your winter wardrobe with your footwear

Most of us gravitate to dark footwear in the winter.   Lots of black, browns and dark greys.  It doesn’t show the mud or matter if it gets splashed so much as brighter colours.

But how about adding a pair of coloured ankle boots to jeans? Make them a feature of your outfit. I have a gorgeous pair of pink satin ankle boots that admittedly I wouldn’t wear outside this time of year. But I love wearing them so much that I’ll happily put them in a bag and take them with me to change into for events.

Bright colours are a great way to cheer yourself up.

Change Your Jewellery With Your Winter Outfits

I bet that you’ve got lots of necklaces you don’t wear in winter?

Either because you think the colours ‘aren’t right’ or you associate them with summer.  Well try a bit of mix and matching.    Add a more summery style of necklace to a winter outfit and see how it looks.

Add pastel colours to black brown or grey.  Just see how different they make your outfit look.use accessories to add colour to your winter outfit

Or taking from one of my tips last week.  If the weather does turn cold again, ditch the metal jewellery in favour of acrylic or plastic jewellery.  The metal will conduct the cold outside temperatures.  I found this out when we used to ski and I’d insist on wearing metal earrings and wonder why my ears were cold!

Accessories Are The Key

Hopefully these ideas are useful and may even inspire you to create some new looks and breath some fresh styles into your winter outfits?

The ideas I’ve suggested all involve accessories but if you’re not confident about choosing and wearing accessories you may be interested in my online course Accessorise with Style & Confidence.  Where you will learn how to choose and use accessories to suit you personally.  Learn how to create more outfits without buying more clothes.

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Keep Warm In Style With A Pashmina

How To Keep Warm In Style

Hands up I’ve been the idiot who has tried to made the effort to Keep Warm in Style and got it all wrong.  Keep Warm In Style

Like the time we went to Norfolk in December when I insisted on wearing a furry jacket for a beach walk.  It looked glam but was no match for the horizontal wind coming off the North Sea!  Or the ski pants from the designer Italian boutique which looked fabulous but had zero wind protection especially on the chairlifts!

But I’m no good at the Teletubby look, buried beneath tons of layers.  It might be practical but it makes me feel rubbish and that’s never going to work!   So that’s why I love to use accessories and base layers to Keep Warm in Style without sacrificing either comfort or my look. Here are my top tips, hope you find them useful.

Keep Warm In Style With Inside and Outside Scarves!

Why wear one scarf when you can wear at least two?

I like to wear a scarf to complete my outfit and then add another heavy outdoor scarf when I’m heading outside.   This works really well when I’m out at meetings and not sure about the venue.

Top tip to keep warm in style: I also add a necklace.  If I get overheated I can take the inside scarf off and still feel accessorized. , so that if I do get overheated then I can remove the ‘inside scarf’ and still feel accessorized!

 

Think Thermal!Keep Warm In Style Bella di Notte Thermal Vest

Gone are the days when thermal meant looking old and frumpy!  I firmly believe that the rise in popularity of skiing holidays helped to take thermal fashion to another level.

Merino wool or pure silk thermals were perfect when Mark and I skied every winter.  But in the UK I’m going to overheat wearing those base layers.   But if you do feel the chill there are some fabulous styles available.  I particularly love this one from Bella di Notte. I find that simply wearing a light camisole as an extra base layer works for me on the top.

Top Tip To Keep Warm in Style: To keep my legs warm and toasty invest in a pair of fleece-lined leggings.  You only need to pay around £10 to get a really warm pair.

Gloves + Hand Warmers = Toast!

Seriously I’m the worst about wearing gloves.  I have really dry skin and am outside a lot with the dogs, but wearing normal gloves doesn’t work for me.   I also have very small hands and fingers so find that gloves always feel too cumbersome.

Flexibility is key with the dogs, clipping and unclipping leads, getting treats out (essential for dog walking!).  Gloves don’t do this and mittens are a disaster, so I wear fingerless gloves.   However, this doesn’t solve the problem of cold fingers!

Top Tip To Keep Warm In Style: By a pair of reusable hand warmers to put in your coat or jacket pockets.

I have a set that you activate by clicking the metal disc inside the hand warmer. The gel in the pack starts to crystallise and heat up.

They stay warm for up to around 30 minutes. This is enough time for me to get my body temperature up.   When you get home simply immerse in boiling water for 15 minutes and the crystals will become liquid again. Wait for the hand warmer to cool and it is ready to reuse!  The fact that they’re reusable, non-toxic makes them a winner in terms of their eco-credentials.

Who Else Hates Wearing Tights Under Trousers?

Wearing tights with trousers is a no-no for me. I hate the feeling of being warm and sweaty around my belly – sorry if too much information!

If you’re out and about in Winter particularly if you’re waiting for public transport trousers aren’t always warm enough.

Top tip to Keep Warm In Style: wear hold ups not tights under trousers. This will keep you warm in style and you won’t end up with a hot belly or worse still another layer to manage in the bathroom!

You can also try wearing hold ups under leggings for an extra base layer.

Keep Warm In Style But Don’t Overheat!

If you suffer from irregular body temperature such as menopausal hot flushes this one is for you.

You’re better to keep your base layer the smartest sassiest layer.  What do I mean by that?  Simply wear additional layers that you can take off and still look and feel fabulous.

You want to avoid ending up a hot and sticky mess!  Then you have the dilemma of do I go to the toilet to take everything off and re-dress without the base layer? Or do you brave it out and end up feeling really self-conscious?

Top tip to Keep Warm In Style:  Shawl scarves and/or pashminas are perfect for this.  Wear over your winter coat to finish off your look.  Then you have an extra layer should you need it indoors.   If you tend to wear a lot of dark colours in the winter then a brightly coloured pashmina there’s an amazing range at Absolute Exclusive very reasonably priced.

What are your top tips for keeping warm in style?

I’d love to hear them! Please pop them in the comments below.

 

Accessorise With Style & Confidence

Would you love to create more outfits from your wardrobe without buying more clothes?  Feel more confident about choosing and using accessories?

Acccessorise With Style & Confidence is a head to toe course, giving you the tools you need to transform your look from the ordinary to the extraordinary with accessories to suit your personal shape and style.

Built in bite-sized modules to help you look and feel fabulous every time you get dressed.

 

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