This is my first and I guarantee not my last blog post on clothing, styling and fashion in general. It’s a huge part of my personality/life and I am going to start sharing this aspect of myself with you.
This post as a many of my previous posts starts with a little praise for my Mum. My Mum has given me many life skills, she has a natural talent for many, many things, I’m sure over time I will cover ALL of them. But the skill that is in the forefront of my mind at the moment, is the ability to shop and coordinate clothes and accessories. Ok, I’m sure there were a few eye rolls from some of you after reading that. At first glance it doesn’t sound important, but hear me out it is very important……
Being able to put together an outfit is a skill. Putting together numerous outfits or an entire wardrobe together is a skill. But doing all of it on a ridiculously tight budget is a talent. My Mum always looks a million dollars and I guarantee if she told you what she paid for what she was wearing, you would be shocked!
So I am a bargain shopper. I despise paying full price for anything. The rush of getting something for a fraction of the original price is what I enjoy most about shopping. I love when someone complements me on my outfit and I say thanks the whole thing cost $25! Shoes and earrings included! My girlfriend recently pulled me up and said“stop telling me how much your outfit costs, if you don’t say anything, people would never know”. My response was, NO WAY, I’m proud of what it cost, it’s not a negative that it cost $25, to me it’s a positive!
Yes I’m a bargain shopper, but I am also very conscious shopper. I try not to buy something just for the sake of it. I have a set of guidelines that I work within that ensure I purchase items that work with the rest of my wardrobe. These are now second nature and I am able to walk into any shop at any time and feel confident if I buy something it will work for me.
Know what’s in your wardrobe! I clean out my wardrobe at the end of every season. I only keep clothes that fit (very important). If it doesn’t fit get rid of it! If you haven’t worn it for 12 months, get rid of it! I give clothing that is in good condition to charity. Anything that is stained, has holes or shouldn’t been worn in public goes in the bin. This goes for the clothes I only wear around the house, even these need to be changed.
If you buy something new get rid of something old. You wardrobe shouldn’t be overwhelming. If you have too much, it makes it difficult to put things together. A clean organised wardrobe will do more for your style than 10 new items.
Know your style. What style are you? Do you have a style? If you’re not sure what style you are, think about what you wear that makes you feel confident, comfortable and at your best. This outfit will more than likely be your style.
Usually we can resonate with a particular celebrity or even a royal (Princess Mary is someone I think of when I think of my girlfriend Prue). Someone we admire for the way they dress. When shopping I ALWAYS think would this work within my style? Would my celebrity be seen wearing this? (I know that my celebrity wouldn’t be shopping in target, but you get what I mean!)
But having a visual image of the style you want to achieve can really help.
Know your body shape. We all have a body shape that we would like to be. But it’s often very different to what we are. Be honest with yourself. I’m an hour glass shape. I know that I cannot wear tops, dresses and jackets with straight lines, I need items that synch in at my waist to make me look slimmer. Do some research, find out what body type you are and google what types of clothes work best for your shape. Below is a fun link if you want to have a go, there are many sites you can go to, this one is just some fun if you have a couple of minutes to spare. Further in my post is a grownup site that is more useful, keep reading to see the link.
When buying something new the rule of thumb from my Mum is to only buy it if it works with 4 other things in your wardrobe i.e. does it work with the following items you already own – pants, skirt, jeans, belt or a jacket? Confession, I work with the rule of 2. If it works with 2 other items in my wardrobe I’ll buy it. Usually when I get it home it works with allot more than 2, but if I can quickly think of 2 things, I’m confident I will wear it.
I rang my Mum to pick her brain as I was writing this, I’m so used to shopping this way, its second nature, she reminded me that we also shop by colour. Knowing what colours work with your hair colour, skin tone and eye colour is so important. This is hard, a website that I find very useful is also further down in this post.
Following trends is fun, however as we get older we shouldn’t be shopping the trends, we need to shop of our body type, our colours and something I am trying to come to terms with, shopping for my age! That concept is still a little hard for me to comprehend, but I am conscious that I need to come to terms with it soon. So if you want to update your wardrobe with the latest trend, you can do it by adding it in with an accessory, a jacket, handbag or shoe.
Shop at places you haven’t before. You’ll be surprised at what different shops offer. I love shopping at Kmart, I find amazing items. People don’t believe me when I say “oh I got this at Kmart”, it’s not where you shop, its how you wear it! Often the items in the high end stores are made in the same factories as items in stores like Kmart. I often shop around in high end stores looking at what they are selling and their prices. I then go looking for the same items for allot less. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve found the exact same item for ALLOT less! Don’t be afraid of discount stores.
One of the things I dislike is going shopping when I need something. I find this very frustrating. It’s allot of pressure. I always try and have a nice outfit ready to go in my wardrobe for an event, something I have bought on SALE that fits. If you hit the shops for an outfit for an upcoming event, it can be very stressful, odds are you will have to compromise and take what you can find and it can be a very expensive exercise! It’s a good idea to pop your head into stores that stock items you would more than likely go to looking for that event outfit. Go through the sales racks, try things on. Trust me I have seen many $400 dresses down to $60 because it’s the last size or the end of season stock. Buy it. Then do the same with the shoes and bag. Buying this way can save a ridiculous amount of time and money.
At the moment I have a very full wardrobe. It’s so full I have made a vow that I am not going to buy a single item for 5 months!! As an avid shopper, this is a dramatic move. I want to prove to myself that I can mix and match what I have. I believe I have enough to get me through the rest of summer and autumn, this includes p.j’s, socks, gym gear, underwear, everything! I told my husband about my quest, his short burst of laughter wasn’t filling me with any confidence. However when I set my mind to something I stick with it……………..Wish me luck, I’ll keep you updated with my progress.