Wardrobe DeTox Tips

How To Save Money On Clothes

You can save money on clothes and still have lots to wear.  How?  Well, you can spend hours browsing charity shops, dress agencies or browsing on eBay. Or if that sounds like your idea of hell why not use accessories to maximize your outfit potential?

There are so many advantages to wearing accessories and my favourites are:

Create More Outfits From Less ClothesAccessories save money on clothes

You do not need a wardrobe full of clothes to create more outfits!  I know it sounds like an oxymoron but it’s true.

Save Money On Clothes

Wearing costume jewellery and scarves is a lot cheaper than buying a new outfit because you’re bored with your wardrobe.

Avoid Packing Nightmares

Heading off for a short break and don’t want to check in luggage.  Use accessories to maximize your wardrobe choices.   They take up less space and give flexibility.   Another bonus:  your clothes are less crumpled when you arrive at your destination.

Rescue Outfits In The Wrong Colours

You can ‘rescue’ outfits in the wrong colours by wearing scarves and necklaces in your colour palette.

If you’ve recently had a colour analysis done, a few scarves and necklaces is a lot cheaper than getting rid of clothes you love.

Repurpose An OutfitAccessories Save Money On Clothes

Transform an outfit from day to night.  With Christmas party time approaching and after work drinks invitations this is invaluable.  So much easier than having to carry a change of clothes!

Dress Down An Outfit

Use accessories to dress down a smart look into something more casual.  Wear an ethnic style necklace with a smart dress for example.

Create A Signature Look

If you are running your own business and are attending a lot of networking events accessories can help to identify you. They can also become a talking point.

Do You Really Save Money On Clothes?

You may argue that by buying a few scarves and necklaces your clothing budget has not reduced that much.  Well that does depend where you shop.  If you buy designer labels.  I’d agree you might struggle to save money on clothes!

But I’d recommend popping into the various charity shops – you’ll find scarves and necklaces at ridiculously cheap prices.  Okay so they may not be designer labels but it will help you build a wide selection at great prices.  Most charity shops organize accessories in colours.  This makes it so easy to check if they have anything in your palette.

Just A Word About Belts

I’ve mentioned scarves and necklaces at length, but belts are another way to transform an outfit.

Many women worry that belts will draw attention to the wrong part of your body.  But in fact belts can be a great way to create definition and draw attention to the bits of your body you love.

Wear a top with a belt and then again without and you’ve already got two different looks for the same top.   If you have narrow hips then wear a belt slung low across your hips to add definition to this area.  A great bust and defined waist, wear a belt higher to show off your upper torso.

Just To Show You What I Mean

Here’s a case study of how I used accessories and a jacket to create a series of different looks from a couple of dresses.

If You’re Still Not Sure…

If you love accessories but are not sure how to use them to best effect?  I’m about to launch an online course to help you to accessorize with style and confidence.

 

 

 

 

 

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new pair of jeans skinny jeans

You Are Passionate About A New Pair Of Jeans?

When you find a new pair of jeans that work for you it feels like a dream come true? While we might find it a nightmare to shop for a new pair of jeans we love denim.  Let’s face jeans are versatile and convenient.  They can be dressed up or down and are staple items of clothing in many wardrobes.  But when we buy a new pair of jeans we need to think not just about the style, but the environmental cost too.

environmental impact of a new pair of jeans

Facts about denim

  • 8000 litres of water to make one new pair of jeans!
  • Harmful chemicals that are used in the dyeing process of denim
  • Distressed jeans – are sometimes sandblasted to create the worn look

But it isn’t all bad news and many brands are doing a lot to work on their eco-credentials. So when you buy a new pair of jeans consider some of the following brands.

Brands With Good Eco Credentials

M&S

Supports the Better Cotton Initiative and works with Jeanologia, which specializes in sustainable and efficient technologies to reduce chemicals, water and energy in production.

MUD

Have very high eco-credentials and are the only brand that works with a truly circular economy.  Using recycled fibres, recycled water in production and a carbon offsetting program. They also offer a ‘lease a jean’ program where you can lease a pair of jeans for a year and then effectively swap them out for a new pair.

Re/done

This innovative brand re-purposes Levis vintage denim.  Taking the pre-loved jeans apart at the seams and making into new jeans.  The jeans are manufactured in LA using water conserving techniques and no harsh chemicals. Because the jeans are made from repurposed denim every pair is unique.  They offer free global shipping.

People Tree

People Tree were pioneers of ethical fashion before most of us had started to consider it!

They source from Fair Trade suppliers who produce ethical and eco fashion clothing.   People Tree developed the first integrated supply chain for organic cotton from farm to final product.

Asos Recycled Denim

In 2017 Asos partnered with REMO (the Recycle Movement) to use a mixture of recycled cotton and cotton made in Africa for their Recycled range.

 

A New Pair Of Jeans By Body Shapenew pair of jeans finishing process uses chemicals

It can sometimes help to have a quick guide on what to look for according to your shape. So I’ve put together a brief summary on what styles to look for:

Pear Shaped Body

If you have large hips and thighs with a small-defined waist jeans are probably a nightmare!   You need to buy for your hips and thighs but this means a new pair of jeans rarely fits on your hips?

If you’re tall you can get away with wider legged trousers.  With jeans be careful about looking at flares unless you are very tall as the weight of the denim may mean you have too boxy a shape.   If you are petite definitely stay away from flared styles as they will not work for you, making you look ‘bottom heavy’.

Regular or straight jeans are going to look good.  If you like wearing longer tops or tunics you can also get away with skinny. More than most body shapes you will want jeans that really do cater to the feminine figure and have a more curvy style.

Hourglass Shape Body

You have a gorgeous silhouette with bust and hips pretty much equal and a well-defined waist.  But like pear shaped bodies you sometimes struggle to find a new pair of jeans that fit on your waist.  Again look for jeans for curvy women and styles with an element of elastane.

Skinny will look great on you and show off your hourglass curves providing you are not petite.  If you’re petite you should choose regular or straight styles.

A tall hourglass figure will look great in flares or wide legged jeans.  A petite hourglass will not be able to carry off these styles, as they will make you look shorter.

Apple Shaped Body

If you have no defined waist, a tummy and fabulous arms and legs you are very likely an apple shaped body.

You are looking to create some definition and shape.  But don’t be misled into thinking that you should hide yourself behind the widest flares you can find.

An apple has great legs and so a bootcut style will look good.  Following the line of your legs and then flaring out slightly. This flare at the bottom will create balance and take attention away from your midsection.

Athletic Body Shapenew pair of jeans skinny jeans

Your bust and hips are pretty much in alignment and you don’t really have a defined waist.   While you may wish you had more curves, when it comes to a new pair of jeans you are the lucky one!

You have a wide choice in terms of styles.  Go for whatever style you like from skinny to wide legged jeans.

If you are a petite athletic body shape beware of jeans that are too flared as they will make you look shorter with too much width at the bottom.

Love skinny jeans – add some volume to your top half with a top or blouse to create some shape and make your legs look even better!

Inverted Triangle Shape

Your shoulders are broad and your hips are slim.  You have a bit of a waist, but it’s not really that well defined.

You want to add balance to your bottom half and so wider legs will look great. Bootcut jeans will also look fabulous and add some width at your feet to balance your shape.

If you want to wear skinny jeans then you really need to do this with a top that you can belt and add definition to your waist area.  Alternatively a long tunic with an asymmetric hemline would be an option, but you need some shape and definition around your waist.

But don’t forget that charity shops and dress agencies can be a fantastic source of pre-loved jeans.   They will be a new pair of jeans for your wardrobe even if they’re not brand new.  You will often find designer labels and expensive brands at unbeatable prices.  Okay so you’re a chance on styles and sizes but it’s always worth a look!

If you are not sure what body shape you are or would simply like more information about clothes for your body shape, then why not take a look a my body shape guide.

 

 

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cashmere and its eco credentials

Let’s Talk About Cashmere And Its Eco Credentials

As the weather starts to feel a bit colder (well at least in the mornings!) we begin to think about warmer clothing.   Cashmere is one of the most luxurious fabrics to wear.  But what about cashmere and its eco credentials?  Once the prerogative of those with deep pockets, cashmere is available in budget conscious brands.

Should we take advantage of these cheaper options?  Personally I think we should think twice before buying cheaper cashmere. We need to first understand what it means to cashmere and its eco credentials.

cashmere and its eco credentials

What Is Cashmere?

Cashmere has an incredibly soft feeling.  It comes from the neck and underbelly of the Kashmir Goats.  Kashmir Goats are indigenous to remote regions of Mongolia.  They are exposed to an extremely harsh climate and develop an undercoat of fine hair that they shed in the spring.

 

Why Is Cashmere So Expensive?

The hair is combed from the goats.  We’ll get on to shearing later.  It takes the hair collected from 4 goats to make one sweater.     There is then a lengthy and complex process to manufacture.  You may already be starting to question cashmere and its eco credentials.

 

So What About Cheap Cashmere?cashmere and its eco credentials

Demand started to grow dramatically from 1990s.  This is when cashmere and its eco credentials started to fall apart.

  • Farmers increased the size of herds. More animals needed more grazing.  Over grazing led to destruction of the landscape.  Goats eat the roots as well as the grass and vegetation.   The hard ground of the mountainous deserts meant they were destroying their own food resources.
  • The demand for more cashmere led to dubious practices of shearing goats, rather than combing them. If this wasn’t bad enough goats were being shorn in the wrong weather and consequently many died.

Brands like Asos are now putting a stake in the ground and refusing to stock cashmere from 2019.

 

Is The Eco Price Is Too High?cashmere and its eco credentials

So should we simply say that cashmere and its eco credentials mean we should stop buying cashmere?

We could, but that approach means we destroy the livelihoods of those depend on goat herding and collecting the fibers.  The landscape and climate where the goat herders live is remote and not suitable for other ways to earn a living.

Companies like Naadam are focused on a truly sustainable approach.   The founders also helped to found an NGO in Mongolia called the Gobi Revival Fund. This NGO helps the people of the region to sustain and promote their unique identity.

British Brands like N.Peal take a responsible approach and can trace their cashmere back to the individual herders.

Bigger brands like John Lewis ask their suppliers to sign a code of practice.  But do admit that this relies on suppliers being responsible and self-regulating.

 

How Do Tell If Your Cashmere And Its Eco Credentials Are High?

  • Price is a guide.  It’s not going to be the only way to tell if your cashmere is responsibly sourced.
  • The percentage of cashmere in a garment is another indicator.   More cashmere and less other fibres is a positive indicator.
  • Tighter knits.  A tighter knit is indicative of 2-ply yarn and a better quality.
  • Look at the brand.  Do they state how they source and verify their suppliers?  Many brands claim to be transparent and source ethically.  In our fast paced hectic lifestyles we may be too ready to take this at face value.  But maybe dig a little deeper?

Buy from responsible brands and consider that buying something made in cashmere is a real investment piece.  Buy something you will love and treasure for years to come.  Ensure that you care for it in the best way possible.  Even pure cashmere may suffer from pilling if it’s subject to friction (seat belt, rough clothing etc).  But with pure cashmere pilling only occurs once.   Avoid washing in a washing machine.  I have my husband’s socks that now just about fit me to prove this doesn’t work!  Instead hand wash in baby shampoo.

Environmentally Conscious Buying

If you want to shop more ethically, why not download a copy of my free guide to Environmentally Friendly Brands?

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How To Layer And Look Stunningly Stylish

How To Layer And Look Stunningly Stylish

It’s that time of year again!   I call September the How To Layer Month!  When it’s starting to feel a bit chillier in the mornings and evenings but the middle of the day can still feel really warm.

You can pull on a jacket over your summer wardrobe, which will work.  But there’s a sense many of us feel, that September marks a new beginning.  It’s the start of the academic year and that means a new term.  We want to mark that in our wardrobe as much as we loved new pencil cases as a child!

For me I’ve got to the point where I want to ring the changes with my style. Equally I don’t want to feel too hot in heavier clothes.  Transitional dressing has become a recognized ‘season’ in the fashion industry as the traditional seasons have become less distinct.

Layering is one of the easiest options.  This enables you to extend the life of your summer wardrobe and still be a bit warmer at the chiller ends of the day.  The question I’m asked most about transitional dressing is how to layer.

Chunky jumpers slung over cute summer dresses look fabulous on tall slender women. But the art of how to layer for most of us is about not adding bulk to our body shape.  It’s also about creating a coordinated stylish look that doesn’t look as though you’re simply recycling your summer wardrobe!

Here are my top tips for how to layer

 

Colour PaletteHow To Layer With Colour

Keep it simple.  Stick to either a monochromatic look (same colour in different tones).  If this feels too restrictive then stick to 2-3 colours at the most.

If you want to wear prints and patterns keep this to one layer only and make it a feature of your outfit.

Why? With the column of colour principle you will look taller and more slender.  This will help to detract from extra layers you may be adding.

Pop On A Waistcoat

Gareth Southgate did a fantastic job of making the waistcoat popular again this summer.  But for autumn a slightly different take on the waistcoat may be a good plan.

Sleeveless jackets and gilets are a great example of how to layer. Add a stylish touch and a bit of extra warmth.

With the faux fur trend being so huge why not add a faux fur gilet to get that extra warmth.  This will look fantastic over a dress or jeans and top combination?

Why?  A gilet will add warmth without helping you to overheat!

Add A Camisole

Remember when your mum nagged you to wear a vest?  How uncool was that!  But in fact Mum was not so far wrong!  The most obvious way of how to layer your clothing is to add a discreet base layer.

You can add a camisole under a favourite lightweight summer dress.   Just be mindful of textures and weight of fabric.  I’d recommend silk or viscose.  Worried about getting too hot? Look for a lightweight bamboo top.  Bamboo has natural wicking properties so that any moisture is dispersed and you’ll feel less hot.

Why?  Adding a camisole will extend the season of a summer dress.

Change Sandals For Boots

A pair of boots can look amazing with a flimsy dress or skirt. Add a leather or denim jacket and if boho is your thing, you’re there!

If Boho isn’t your style consider swapping sandals for ankle boots with trousers or jeans.  I appreciate this is not strictly how to layer but it’s another great way of adding a touch of warmth.

Just be mindful of wearing natural breathable fabrics.  If it does get hot in the middle of the day, full on winter boots are going to be much too hot.

Alternative footwear options at this time of year are shoe boots. Think ankle boots with cut out toes and sometimes ankles.  If you’re not sure what style of boots then check out my post.

Why? If your feet are warm enough then you’ll be able to wear lighter weight clothes for longer.

AccessoriseHow To Layer With Accessories

My favourite way of how to layer is to use accessories.  Seriously adding a scarf to an outfit can definitely turn a summer outfit into a transitional one.

You may want to throw on a pashmina or oversized scarf as an alternative to a jacket or coat.  These can be quickly removed and don’t add bulk.   Especially useful if you’re commuting and get overheated (as I do) on public transport!

If like me you’re likely to want to tear the scarf off halfway through the day, then wear a necklace underneath.

Why? You will still feel your outfit’s complete and accessorized if you remove your scarf.

So Now You Know How To Layer

Hopefully this post has given you a few ideas of how to:

  • Extend your summer wardrobe when it’s too warm for autumn clothes
  • Avoid overheating in September
  • Create some fresh looks for September

 

Online Accessories Course

I’m considering setting up an Online Accessories Course.   In the first instance I’m asking for feedback so I can plan the content.  A minute of your time to complete a quick survey would be amazing.  There’s no obligation beyond that.   The survey’s anonymous.  But if you add your name in the comments to say you’ve done it then I’ll be saying thank you with a gift!

 

 

 

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Healthy Spending Habits

Healthy Spending Habits Or Emotional Spender?

Do you have healthy spending habits or are you an emotional spender who shops impulsively?healthy spending habits or emotional spender

Are you consciously spending when you need something?

You have the money or at least know that you can cover the bill when your card payment is due.   You have identified a gap in your wardrobe and are consciously looking to fill it.

Or are you simply doing it to make yourself feel good?  When we see and buy something that we like, there’s a release of Dopamine – the feel good hormone.

Shopping can be harmless fun and an enjoyable hobby, providing you have healthy spending habits but it can also become a serious problem.  We crave more of that ‘feel good’ feeling and are using shopping to cover emotional pain or anxiety.

Sometimes we use shopping to paper over other cracks in our lives:

  • Relationship problems
  • Unhappy at work
  • Money worries – yes seriously!
  • Lack of confidence

A hobby can turn into a habit and an addiction if not checked and controlled.  Leading to financial chaos and potential conflict with partners as spending habits get out of control.

Sadly the idea of a shopaholic is still a bit of a joke and indulgently joked about rather than seen as the serious problem that it can become.

The Sun recently ran a story about Carla Sosenko who spent £84,000 in six months. Carla’s spending got so out of control that she started to use her pension fund to feed her spending habits.


Healthy Wardrobe Habits

Healthy Spending Habits

  • Regularly review and detox your wardrobe. Think about items you intended to wear and haven’t.  Are you able to work out why: it might be the colour, shape or you simply don’t have the occasion.
  • Give yourself time to ‘play’ – try on and create new outfits – take photos of your new outfits, so that you remember what to put together. Don’t forget to include scarves and jewellery when you’re experimenting.
  • Keep a journal – note when you received complements what were you wearing? Think about outfits that make you feel good – what is it about them that you like
  • If you have something that’s really not in your colour can you dye it to transform it to a colour that’s right for you?
  • Can you alter something to either get more life out of it or to transform it into another garment. If you’re not good with a needle and thread look for a local dressmaker or alteration shop to help you.   If you have some nice quality pieces then it can be much

Healthy Spending Habits Online

  • Don’t save your credit card details online – it’s too easy to hit the buy button this way!
  • Unsubscribe to newsletters – constant reminders and discount codes from your favourite stores are simply a temptation to buy
  • Don’t go online shopping when you have a glass of wine in your hand! – I speak from personal experience on this one!
  • Put items you like in a basket or make a wish list. Don’t hit the buy now button immediately.  I’m often amazed to find that I’ve saved something that I’d forgotten about. Clearly I was not that keen to own it if I forgot about it that easily!  It’s one of the best healthy spending habits online that I’ve found!

Healthy Spending Habits However You Shophealthy spending habits

  • Know your colours –you know those clothes you try on from your wardrobe and something’s not right? They’re often the ones in the wrong colours for you!   If you’ve not had your colours analysed it’s a really worthwhile investment.
  • Ask yourself if your intended purchase will go with anything in your wardrobe (ideally you can make 3 outfits). This takes some discipline, but really is one of the best healthy spending habits as it makes you stop and think before you buy.
  • Do you need to buy anything to make your planned purchase work if so how will that fit into your wardrobe
  • Ask yourself what else in my wardrobe might be a great substitute for whatever I’m intending to buy
  • Buy clothes that fit you now. Some people buy clothes that they intend to slim down to fit into.  My hairdresser proudly told me that he’d invested in a complete holiday wardrobe two sizes too small as an incentive to get ‘beach ready’ – I can only hope it worked!
  • Spend on quality clothes that will last. You will get a much better return on your investment.   I was stunned to learn last week that some people buy a holiday wardrobe from Primark and abandon it when they leave their holiday destination.
  • Looking for an outfit for a special occasion? Consider renting rather than buying.  The suggestions below are very much designer dress options.  Also look for local dress hire companies.

Healthy Spending Habits

As per last week’s blog we need to think far more about the environment.   No one person can save the planet, that’s just stuff of Marvel comics.   We all need to help save our amazing planet and looking at our own consumerism is a great place to start.  Adopting healthy spending habits with regard to our wardrobes is a step in the right direction.

If you would like to take the first step and detox your wardrobe why not check out my top tips for doing it yourself here?

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keeping cool in style

Keeping Cool In Style: How Are You Doing?

While the hot summer is amazing and I’m not complaining, keeping cool in style is a challenge! In this post I’m going to give you some quick and easy tips to help you enjoy the sun in style.

keeping cool in style this summer1. Keep It Natural

It goes without saying that natural fabrics will keep you cooler than synthetics.  So I recommend natural cottons, linen (with caution – my issue with linen is that it can end up looking like you’ve slept in it!).  Look for bamboo clothing, which also has the added advantage of being eco friendly.   Bamboo has incredible wicking properties (pulls moisture away from the body) and is a natural UV Protectant.  Bamboo cuts out 98% of harmful UV rays!

2. Structure is Good

Fabrics that are too flimsy while they may appear light will end up sticking to you and I can assure you it’s not a good look!  Silk although a natural fibre is not the best as it retains heat and moisture.  You can end up feeling very damp if you’re wearing silk clothing in a hot environment.

3. Worried about wet patches?

The last thing you need when you are keeping cool in style is to be worrying about wet patches under your arms or under your bust.   Either wear patterned fabrics on top or white to reflect the heat away.  Colours to avoid are greys and pastels as these will really show any damp patches.

4. Maxi Dress – A Girl’s Best Friendkeeping cool in style maxi shift dress

One of best ways of keeping cool in style is to wear a maxi dress which allows the air to circulate and will keep your legs cooler than shorts. Direct sunlight on your skin raises your body temperature.  The best styles to look for are either A line or a shift dress style.   Floryday have some great cotton dresses in different styles at the moment.

5. Swap Pads For Underwire

Wearing a bra that’s underwired is a lot cooler than a padded bra in the heat.

Look for styles with mesh panels and open backs, for extra airflow. Look for natural fabrics such as cotton jersey or bamboo.  Again synthetic fabrics will just retain heat and may even cause chafing.

6. Ditch The Jewellery

As someone who loves statement jewellery even I’ve given up and swapped to beads from metal and lighter styles of necklaces.

I’ve also changed my choice of bracelets and am only wearing the lightest loosest bangles to ensure I’m keeping cool in style.

7. Avoid The Narrow Strapskeeping cool in style Marista Lara Suede Sandals

Strappy sandals can be a nightmare in summer when your feet swell and bulge out between the straps.  Not a good look and guaranteed to feel uncomfortable!

I’d recommend either toe peepers or mules as the best styles. Unless your dress code at work even prevents even this look.

8. Loose Fitting Clothing

It may sound obvious but loose fitting clothes and even tops or dresses with sleeves will be a lot cooler than anything fitted.

A dress will also be your best friend compared with separates that will make your waist area warm.  But if you’re not sure what style of dress to choose for your body shape then take a look at my body shape guide to help you.  If you’re still not sure then please feel free to contact me about my Creating Wardrobe Magic Program, part of which will help you with your body shape.

9. Time To De-clutter Your Handbag?

Do you really need to carry that tote or oversized handbag?  How much of what is in your bag do you actually need?

Why not take a look at your bag and see if you can trim it back for the summer?  Exchange it for a smaller or at least lighter bag until the weather cools down.

Keeping Cool In Style

I hope some of these tips have been useful,  but I would love to hear from you if you have any others.  Please share them in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

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My Mission In Life Referral Program

How To Stop Wasting Money On Clothes

Perhaps I’m becoming more environmentally conscious or am keen to rid myself of clutter? Whatever it is  I hate wasting money on clothes.

Whether it’s buying items on a whim, which rarely look the same in the fitting room and in the cold light of day!  Alternatively buying clothes without a purpose.

Before I take something to the cash desk or hit checkout online I go through a mental checklist.   How can I style this, what have I got that works with this?

Wasting money on clothes is something that doesn’t sit comfortably with me.   I get much more satisfaction from thinking through my wardrobe and putting a ‘new outfit’ together from my existing clothes.

wasting money on clothes

How do you stop wasting money on clothes?

Ensure that everything in your wardrobe is within your style personality

Your style personality is how you express your personality through your clothes.   If you reflect your style personality every time you get dressed you will:

  • Feel More Confident
  • Look fabulous
  • Be empowered – you’re expressing your true selfUnderstanding Your Style

Do not buy on price alone (even if it’s a bargain!)

You will simply be wasting money on clothes. It’s not so much a bargain if you then have to go and buy more pieces to complete an outfit!  I know how easy it is to be seduced by price tags, but before you buy, ask yourself

  • What will this go with in my wardrobe?
  • Do I need it and what would happen if I didn’t buy it?
  • What could I use in my wardrobe to create a similar look?

De-Tox Your wardrobe

I guarantee that an afternoon spent clearing your wardrobe will help you to:

  • Discover hidden gems you’d forgotten about
  • Eradicate the sense of overwhelm you feel when you open your wardrobe and see ‘so much stuff’
  • Help you create some more outfits with those hidden gems

Know Your Colours And Wear Them!

For anyone that’s not had her colours analyzed I strongly recommend that you get this done.    Why?

  • You stop wasting money on clothes in the wrong colours and wonder why you put them on and they don’t ‘look right’
  • You need fewer clothes to create more outfits, as your wardrobe is coordinated and you can mix and match more easily.
  • If you do have clothes in the wrong colours you can get better use from them by wearing accessories in the right colours. This ‘corrects’ or ‘dilutes’ the impact of the wrong colour.

Dress To Flatter Your Shape

If you show off the best bits and down play the bits you don’t love, you will feel more confident.   By ignoring your body shape you are not playing to your strengths.

  • Like colours, clothes in the wrong shape, may look okay in the fitting room but get them home and they ‘don’t look right’
  • Clothes in the wrong shape will spend most of their days hidden in your wardrobe
  • Don’t simply discard them if they can be altered. Find a good local alteration shop or dressmaker to give their opinion.

Shop In Charity Shops

Be careful with this one, as it’s easy to get carried away and find yourself wasting money on clothes because you are getting a bargain.

You have to know what’s going to work for you and what won’t when shopping in these types of stores, as seduction by price tag is even more likely. Plus that charity shops mean you’re supporting a good cause.

I use charity shops to search for costume jewellery.  You can pick up great necklaces between £1.50 and £2.50 and totally transform an existing outfit.

Discover A Dress Agency

Dress agencies can be a great way of making some money from your wardrobe as well as finding some interesting pieces at good prices.

Pre-loved boutiques or Dress Agencies work by taking your clothes renting you hangar space.  Taking a commission on the sale of your clothes.  The good ones only take what they’re reasonably sure will sell.

They are often a good source of designer labels as well as High Street brands.  Again though if you’re buying in dress agencies you need to be very self-disciplined.

 

Has That Given You Some Ideas?

I hope that’s given you a few ideas on how to stop wasting money on clothes.

I’d love to hear more about how you shop.  Please share your tips in the comments below to stop wasting money on clothes.

If you’re struggling to discover your style personality, know the right colours for you or dress to flatter your shape then check out the posts below.

Perhaps this all feels a bit overwhelming and you’d like some guidance, if so then why not sign up to my ‘Creating Wardrobe Magic Program’ [link]

 

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playing with colour

How To Have Fun Playing With Colour

Last week I walked into a networking meeting and realised once again the power of playing with colour!

Wow you look well! Have you been away on holiday was the greeting I received.

The truth was I hadn’t slept well.

I’d battled wind and rain to take the dogs for a decent walk before leaving the house and had rushed around to get ready.

Then I’d had one of those ‘what am I going to wear moments’ – yep even stylists have these occasionally! Before deciding the KISS approach was best – (Keep It Stylishly Simple).

 

A pair of black jeans, black long sleeved top, grey jacket and burgundy boots. As black is not in my colour palette this was potentially a disaster. The black was overpowering my tired face etching even deeper lines into my cheeks! The pewter grey was simply not enough to lift the black.

But accessories to the rescue! An orchid pink scarf, a bold necklace and by playing with colour I let my accessories lift me and help me to look radiant!

Hot Tip: even if I’m using a scarf as a feature accessory, I’ll usually add a necklace too. Why? If I get too hot I can take the scarf off but won’t loose the impact that the accessories are having on my outfit!

Such is the power of colour! It really can make you look healthy even when you’re struggling to feel at your most radiant.

I often talk about the power of colour to help you when you want to get and maintain someone’s attention.

While most people aren’t consciously aware of this, if you are wearing the right colours, people will automatically be drawn to making eye contact with you. How powerful is that when you are giving a presentation or a talk to know that you have people’s attention.

Equally if you get it wrong, then you’ll find that you have to work much harder to get people’s attention as they may be distracted by what you’re wearing. It may be that the colour you’re wearing ‘clashes’ rather than reflects your own personal colour and can overwhelm you or you overwhelm the colour.

Once we understand our colours the whole process gets a lot easier or does it?

Playing With Colour And Using the Colour Wheel

‘I’d never have thought of putting those colours together’ exclaimed Janet as we worked through her wardrobe, creating new outfits. This is a phrase I hear quite a lot from my clients.

If you’re a regular reader of my blog you will have heard me talk about style ruts.

It’s easy to get into ruts with the clothes we wear, which includes the colours not just that we wear but that we mix and match.

So today I’m going to challenge you to regain your sense of adventure with colour.  I will show you how playing with colour using the colour wheel can be fun!   You don’t need one of these wheels there are apps to use as well. I’m pretty tactile and get more from the wheel.  But why not play with the apps and see what works for you.

Colour Wheel Apps For iOS Playing With Colour Color Wheel App

Color Wheel For iOS

This is not particularly instinctive.   I struggled to see how you could learn about the differences between  tone, tint and shade (ie the inner sectors of the wheel).    However by clicking on the information symbol it does give a clear description of the types of scheme.

Playing With Colour - Pocket Colour Wheel

Pocket Color Wheel for iOS

This makes more sense and goes into more detail with a top bar of options showing how by adding different colours you can understand the tint, tone and shade.  Then on the bottom selection you can check the different colour schemes, although there is no detailed description of this.

Haute On iOS and AndroidPlaying With Colour - Haute

Apologies for not being able to test out this e Android App on an Android device, as I’m an Apple Girl.  But looking at this App it’s much simpler in the sense that the app gives you different ways to play with colour based on a photo you take of a colour.  So it helps to give you outfit inspiration without the theory.

 

 

 

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Earrings to Suit Your Style

What You Need To Know About Earrings

Last Friday I met one of my gorgeous friends on our way to a picnic.   With a big grin on her face she presented me with two odd earrings.odd earrings

I’ve been doing some de-cluttering, she announced. I was about to throw these out as I’ve lost the other one to each pair. But then I asked myself who do I know who wears odd earrings?

Yep that’s me! I’ve been wearing odd earrings for about 10 years. Partly because I’m so good at losing earrings but more to the point it suits my quirky style!

Over the years I’ve found that my taste in earrings has really changed.     It used to be bigger and more dangly the better.   Studs? Why would I wear those, who will notice them? Small hoops what’s the point? Delicate styles – nah!

My gorgeous husband would regularly buy me some really dainty earrings. I would coo over them, silently cursing that they weren’t more blingy! But they were gifts of love, and not cheap. So I consigned them to the back of the drawer. Guess what I’m wearing now….

Today’s post will hopefully enlighten you!

In A Nutshell

  1. Colour
  2. Face Shape
  3. Scale And Proportion
  4. Your Style Personality
  5. Occasion

Now let’s look at each of those in more detail

 

Colour Of Your Earrings

drop earrings

Drop Earrings – Etsy

Stating the downright obvious, you wear earrings close to your face! Therefore it makes sense that you chose styles in your colour palette, but this does to some extent depend on the size of the earrings.

I am a cool colour palette. This means I should wear silver, but this doesn’t stop me wearing gold studs from time to time. Yes the ones retrieved from the back of the drawer!

What about the colour of your outfit? Does this matter? Well as you might expect from me, I’m not exactly in favour of the fact that your earrings should match the colours you’re wearing!

Particularly if you’re wearing mainly neutrals a pop of colour in your ears will look amazing and help to draw attention to your face.

That said I advocate some synergy in the jewellery I’m wearing. For example yesterday I was wearing pale grey, pastel pink and white. I livened it all up with bright blue jewellery in different shades of blue.

Earring Choices And Your Face Shape

This is probably the most important factor and one, which many of us find a challenge – what is my face shape?

lucite flower earrings

Flower Earrings – great for a diamond or heart face shape to offset cheeks or forehead

I’m going to give you some very general guidelines here:

Long Face Shapes

Beware earrings that are too long – they will simply accentuate the length of your features.

Round Face Shapes

Yep you guessed it – don’t go too round, but instead opt for longer shapes.

Heavy Jawline

Earrings that are chunky or wide across the bottom will simply make your jaw look broader.

Angular Chin

You want to consider shapes that are wider on the bottom to balance your face

 

Scale and Proportion

Ebbinghaus IllusionEbbinghaus Optical Illusion Circles or which circle is bigger.

The optical illusion of which inner circle is bigger – neither as they are both the same.

But we look for context when we see the circles. We want something to judge them by which is why we believe the inner circle surrounded by the smaller circles is bigger.  Okay so that’s good to know, but what does that have to do with earrings? So if a petite woman wears really big earrings she will look smaller. While a larger woman wearing small earrings will look larger.   So the message is to keep your earrings in proportion to your frame.   Of course there is a ‘but’ to this which I’ll explain in the next section.

So I like to think of it as the potential rule breaker! Your style personality should be the number one factor when you choose your earrings.  Remember what I said earlier about wearing odd earrings because it suited my personality?

What earrings help to express the real you? This is less complicated than it might sound. You can also ask yourself what styles, when you wear them, help you to feel fabulous?

If you’re not sure, why not take a look at your jewellery box and pick out a few earrings that you’re attracted to? Ask yourself why – is it the look and feel of the earrings: colour, material, shape, texture? Or maybe they remind you of a happy occasion?

You can juggle the physical characteristics once you know which of your earrings are ‘you’.

moonstone stud earrings

Perfect to dress up jeans and a T-shirt

Occasion

I’m sometimes asked if you should have specific styles to suit an occasion and my answer is no. But it is about feeling comfortable for whatever occasion you are dressing for.

For example I wouldn’t wear expensive earrings on the beach or for doing any physical activitiies. I would also be highly unlikely to wear reindeer or flashing Santa earrings in the summer ever!

Seriously I know I sound like a worn record on this but really it’s down to you.   You can use earrings to dress up or dress down an outfit.

For example: T-shirt, jeans and blazer will look really dressy with some classic earrings. Just add heels to finish the look. Or you can dress down a plain dress with some fun and quirky earrings.

Just To Round It Up!

Hopefully that’s given you a few tips about choosing and wearing earrings?  Whether you like to wear odd earrings or you feel they can only be worn in pairs!  If you’d like to know more then please feel free to pop a comment below the post.

Would you like to know more about how to make accessories work for you?

If so you might be interested an event I’m running in October. In collaboration with Karen Kennaby and her business Unique and Exquisite Events.

I will be delivering 2-hour Masterclass, which will be followed by a delicious 2-course lunch in London.  Also a great opportunity to meet and network with likeminded women.

If you would like more information, please click here.

 

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repurposing jewellery

When Was The Last Time You Just Played Creatively?

A Pile Of Clutter Gave Me The Inspiration For Repurposing Jewellery

When the pile of ‘stuff’’ piled on the blanket box finally tumbled off burying the lurcher crashed out on the floor, it was a guilty Mum moment!  decluttering procrastination

The de-cluttering session I’d been procrastinating about for months couldn’t wait any longer.

Once I get my teeth into de-cluttering I actually really enjoy it. Don’t get me wrong I always love helping clients de-clutter their own wardrobes, but my own toot? That’s a different story and BTW this was not my wardrobe.

However, I do keep my costume jewellery in the spare room. I’d let my jewellery stand get to tottering stage and if said Lurcher had been lying underneath…

Evidently I needed a good sort through and found an embarrassing number of pieces I’d been meaning to get round to fixing but had never quite got there!   No wonder I rotate the same three or four necklaces so often!

So I decided to search online for some inspiration by typing in repurposing jewellery.   Wow! I’m now planning to have so much fun! …

Earrings To Necklaces

How many earrings have you thrown out when you’ve lost one of a pair?   Or more likely how many odd earrings do you have that you haven’t quite got round to throwing out?

A few years ago, I started to wear odd earrings. It was more about my quirky style personality than consciously thinking that it was a good use for odd earrings, but it serves a dual purpose for me!

But if odd earrings are not your style, then perhaps turning a single earring into a necklace would be an option?

Check out this video for a step-by-step guide

 

 

How To Up-cycle A Leather Belt

Repurposing Jewellery Leather Belt To Cuff

Image Courtesy of The Sits Girls

What a brilliant idea for a tired leather belt. I’m going to be scouring the charity shops for belts now!

This post gives you a step-by-step guide to turning the end of a leather belt into a cuff in a few easy steps.

BTW I just love the idea of reupholstering an old footstool with leather belts as shown in this post

But if you have a tooled and punched leather belt why not go one step further and turn this into a beaded beauty?

Or add a brooch or decorative buttons. Use the punched holes as a tapestry board and sew with coloured threads.

Repurposing Jewellery Denim Cuff

Courtesy Of Denim ReDooz Etsy

Denim Up-cycling

This has got to be my favourite though. When your jeans or denim jacket are past their sell-by date … upcycle!

You can use a number of parts and find lots of repurposing jewellery ideas

  • Cuff of a denim jacket or shirt
  • Bottom of the legs of skinny jeans
  • Section of waistline

Simply sew on some beads from a broken necklace, some scraps of lace an old brooch or pendant.

But I’m wishing I hadn’t searched for repurposing old jeans… I’ve now set up a Pinterest board for the great ideas and been shopping on eBay for Denim Jackets!.

 

Don’t Chuck Out Your Zips

So you’re about to chuck out that piece of clothing, which is ruined and not fit for recycling? Don’t! Well at least not before removing the zip.

Don’t tell me you’ve never heard of zip jewellery? Well I’ll let you into a secret – neither had I until I was researching for this blog.

There are some fabulously creative people out there who have turned simple zips into awesome and unique pieces of jewellery.

While this tutorial doesn’t use recycled materials it’s a great way to see how to make a simple zip bracelet

repurposing jewellery zipper necklace

Image Courtesy Of Bling Beaded Baubles

I’ve also got to try this idea of sewing beads on to a zipper tape to create an amazing necklace. You can use up old necklaces to do this

Kitchen Utensils To Jewellery

Why stop at up-cycling broken jewellery or re-purposing jeans belts or zips when you’ve got cutlery!

This involves a bit more equipment and you may need a few items to practice on but why not give it a go? I’ve posted a link to a series of videos here that run on from each other.

But if you are inspired then I’d suggest taking a look at the comments below the videos as they give advice on what materials work most effectively.

I first saw spoon and fork jewellery a couple of years ago and thought that it was a great idea.

The Downright Bizarre! Bra Wires Into Necklaces!!

Repurposing Jewellery Bra Wires Into Necklaces

Image Courtesy Of Little Treasures Blogspot

This has got to be the most inventive idea I’ve come across to date!

Using bra wires, crochet wool and whatever else takes your imagination!

As you’ve heard me say before it is essential not only to wear the correct fitting bra but also to replace regularly.   If you wear bras with wires then this project might be one you want to try.

This website has some good ideas as well as easy to follow instructions.

 

What About Those Inherited Pieces?

You may have inherited costume jewellery from older relatives, which you like but is either not really your style or looks too dated.   Or perhaps you simply don’t want to throw away as they have sentimental value?

If you don’t want to tackle these yourself I would look round for someone who has the skills to do this.

Particularly if there is any value in your inherited pieces, languishing in a drawer is one thing but how upsetting would it be to make a mess of doing this and ruining the jewellery?

An amazing jewellery maker that I know, Sarah Dorans, offers this service.

 

So I hope you’re inspired? I know that I am! I also appreciate that the only limitation now is my imagination!

Pinterest and YouTube would have me believe that I’m late to the party on this one! Maybe you’ve done some up cycling, or are an expert at repurposing jewellery?

If you have done any fabulous projects I’d love to hear about your creations and if you’d like to share some photos on Facebook? If you haven’t given this a go why not have a fun afternoon just playing?

Please share in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

 

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