Do you really need a new dress?!

Buy less, shop wisely and love the clothes you have!

Party Season is officially upon us and the joy of dressing up! Dresses, skirts, trouser suits, jumpsuits, sparkles and heels! Black or brightly colored, shiny, silver, sequined, velvet, animal print. Add make-up, hair, jewellery and a glass of bubbles …and you are transformed into that kick-ass princess who could floor Prince Charming with a glance from twenty paces…

But before you hit the shops, whether in a last minute panic for an event that night or with a more leisurely approach (list and budget pre-agreed) – take a good, hard look in your wardrobe.

What clothes do you already have? Which pieces already in your wardrobe make you feel a million dollars? What do you rarely get the chance to wear but absolutely love?

For a basic Party Edit take out all your ‘best’ clothes. I generally advice clients not to keep clothes for best – everything should be worn and loved – but you know those things that are ‘proper’ Party?!

Now, sort through them. Take out anything you don’t particularly like. This is party dressing, after all, and you want to go out looking and feeling great! Try things on if you have time – vague memories of how you think you look just don’t cut it. Put away anything that doesn’t make you look at your reflection and think ‘yes – I am going out!’

Anything that needs cleaning can be put into a separate pile – (you know, the dress you slipped back into the wardrobe that night when you staggered home from a particularly good event, but can’t really remember hanging up?!). These clothes are still there for you – just not yet.

Also, put to one side clothes that no longer fit. I have on occasion followed the mantra ”Pride must Abide’ – but it’s going to be a long, fabulous night and you have to breathe, eat and dance (at the very least?!). If you still love these clothes and can have them altered to wear now, get to the tailor’s. If it’s you that needs a little alteration rather than the clothes, just put them away for the time being and don’t worry about it.

Then take a really good look at what you have. You may take hold of that perfect sparkly dress and know instinctively that’s what you will wear. Otherwise, think about mixing it up a little.

Try putting a favourite top that you usually only wear with black trousers, with something completely different? Mix together as many different colours as you can? If you have an amazing skirt or beautifully cut evening trousers – try wearing them with a simple, fresh white t-shirt. Add jewellery – silver cuffs on bare arms look beautiful, or buy a totally over the top necklace, or fabulous earrings to lift the outfit to ‘party status’. If, for example, you have a dress you love but that feels a little too short ( I alternate these days between thinking ‘what the hell, I like my legs’ to ‘are you sure Andy, you’re not 25 any more’?!) – try wearing it with skinny black trousers. Coated, black, skinny jeans look great.

It sometimes helps to start with one thing that you really want to wear and build the outfit from there. Enlisting the help of friends or a stylist (that’s what we’re here for) can also help you to see your clothes in a completely new light.

You may need to buy one or two things, (depending on the relative abundance of your social agenda) – but remember, where possible, ‘Buy Less, Shop Wisely and Love the Clothes You Have’.

I can resist everything, except temptation?…

Pre-Christmas discounts and private sales are very hard to resist..!

Has anyone else noticed the number of Sales that are taking place this weekend? Or the amount of attractive discount emails that drop incessantly into your Inbox at this time of year? Zadig and Voltaire; Bimba y Lola; Katherine Hamnett; Finery London to name but a few.

It used to be that the ‘Christmas Sales’ happened in January. Then you could take your Christmas money, and the vouchers that Great Aunt Maud had given to you, jump on the 312 bus into town – and go and buy anything that Santa had ‘forgotten’ to put in your Stocking.

In later years, January was a time to buy that winter coat or longed-for boots, ready for next year.

November, on the other hand, was a time for saving money, making a comprehensive gift list, and deciding which shop you would go into according to what you wanted to buy?!

Fast forward to now, and the Xmas shopping urge, which seems to be encouraged by the retail sector from the minute the Halloween pumpkin candles burn out.

Like many people (I’m sure?!) I now find myself magnetically drawn towards the ‘Private Sales 40% Off’ (or similar) signs, hanging alluringly underneath twinkly lights and festive window decorations, up and down the high street. Continue reading “I can resist everything, except temptation?…”

Kicking the Shopping Habit – Wk 4 (and counting!)

One month, so far, without buying any clothes – it’s a hard habit to kick!

So far, I have managed to survive a month without buying any new clothes.  I admit, I have been tempted.  I fell in love with a pair of boots in Other Stories last week (black Leather Snow Boots with a heavenly, faux fur lining), and suggested to my youngest son that he went into town with my credit card and pin number, and bought mum ‘a little treat’?!

I also went as far as putting a black Uniqlo down jacket into my basket, online.  It sat there for a while, calling to me in all its lightweight, simple, puffy glory – until I regained control and closed the page and logged out of my PC.

How does it feel?  Continue reading “Kicking the Shopping Habit – Wk 4 (and counting!)”