Advent Sparkle!

….I am going to wear at least one item of ‘bling’ from my wardrobe every day until Christmas!

Not long now?! Advent starts in two days, and then it’s here – the ‘Christmas Build Up’!  From the 1st December onwards I intend to listen to all my favourite Christmas music (‘Now’ Christmas Album, of course – few things can top singing along to Maria Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas,’ whilst prepping dinner?); eat mince pies at every possible opportunity (I have already had several, but don’t tell anyone); and fill my house with as many fairy lights as is humanly possible!

In addition, this year, I intend to ‘self-sparkle’! Yes, that is a made-up term.  I don’t mean metaphorically, (although it has to be said, I can be quite good company) but I mean quite literally.  I have fished out of my wardrobe everything that is vaguely or fabulously sparkly, sequinned or has a silver sheen and I am going to wear at least one item of ‘bling’ every day until Christmas. A gold skirt, a spangly jumper, glittery socks or a completely over the top necklace.  I’m getting it on, it’s Christmas after all!

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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’.

The Wardrobe Challenge…

Out with the old, but NOT in with the new.. a journey of rediscovery through my own wardrobe….


But, I have set myself a personal challenge – not to buy any new clothes or shoes for a year!

There are three main reasons behind my decision:-

  1. My wardrobe is overflowing!  I have clothes that I have bought, that have been given to me by stylish friends, and things that I have inherited from my grandmother and my mother.  I have no doubt I have over-shopped in the past, particularly during times of stress or emotional upheaval.  But, I do love my clothes and I hate throwing things away!
  2. I am a qualified solicitor and for several years I practised Environmental Law.  I have a Masters degree in Waste Management (yes, a qualification in rubbish!), and an increasing awareness that fast, throwaway fashion is not sustainable.  I’m thinking about responsible sourcing and ultimately where my clothes are disposed of.
  3. I’m single again. Having spent many years seeing clients through emotional ups and downs, editing their wardrobes and bolstering their self-image,  its time to rediscover Me and my own personal style.


I believe that everything I need is already hanging in front of me or is tucked away in the darkest recesses of drawers and cupboards.

I’m going to take out all my favourite clothes and actually wear them,

Where necessary, I will have clothing tailored; I reserve the right to buy new underwear(!); and I have my eye on one or two items in my teenage children’s wardrobes that I will call on if and when necessary!

I might not be shopping for myself, but I will always follow fashion, and in my blog I will keep you updated on current trends and fashion news and ideas.  I also intend to compile a Wish List of things I would be buying, if I could!…

The prospect of not shopping for clothes feels surprisingly liberating and exciting.  No more financial guilt;  no more panic-buying for a last minute event.

I hope you will follow me on my journey – and I hope to inspire you to recycle, reuse and revamp the clothes you already have and in doing so, discover your own unique style.