A lot of my clients get in touch because they have found themselves in something of a style ‘rut’. They feel like they wear the same uniform day-in-day-out and want to shake things up a bit. It’s a challenge I love to take on and for me the most satisfying part of the process is seeing the ‘light bulb’ moment when the information I pass on about dressing in the right colours, selecting clothes that fit and flatter and portraying an image that is reflective of who that person is, all clicks into place. Then follows the excitement about all the new clothes that person usually feels they ‘must’ go out and buy.
However, this is the bit where I might surprise you… you don’t necessarily need a whole new wardrobe of clothes to change up your style.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m a personal stylist, I LIVE for shopping, it’s my life blood and I couldn’t do without my regular fix of retail therapy. However, I’m also a huge advocate of the ‘less is more’ approach and I certainly don’t buy clothes for the sake of it. I buy items that fill a gap in my wardrobe,
all most of my purchases are considered and fit within my current collection so they can be worn immediately, without having to make further purchases of things to ‘go’ with them.
This month I’ve challenged myself to really switch up my style ‘uniform’ which of late has basically been a variation of the outfit you see here – biker boots, jeans, chunky knit, parka… and repeat. This outfit is easy, comfy, warm, I feel good in it. However, its become all I’ve worn over the festive period (its also great for hiding the holiday podge!) and its time to get a bit of variety going. At the same time though, I’ve also pledged not to buy anything for the month of January. In fact, I don’t intend to make any Autumn/Winter purchases now, instead I’m going to wear what I already have in as many ways as I possibly can.
This means digging out the skirts and dresses that I’ve been shunning in favour of jeans, layering up cardigans and blouses rather than just throwing on a chunky knit and getting back into wearing my scarves and necklaces. Initially it’ll feel like a bit of an effort, but I know that once I start to make more of an effort I will soon get back into my groove and it’ll become second nature once more.
Here are some steps you can take if you fancy taking on this challenge too…
1. Organise your wardrobe
If you receive my monthly newsletter (which you can sign up to on my homepage here) you’ll have seen my top tips on decluttering your wardrobe. It’s such a cleansing process and I guarantee that once you’ve done it you will feel like a new woman! You can take a look at the results of a recent wardrobe detox session I performed for one of my clients on my Facebook page here.
2. Put your accessories where you can see them
If possible have your scarves on a hat stand or hooks wherever you get dressed and pop one on before you leave the house. A scarf is a great way to inject some colour into your look and can make your outfit look instantly more glamorous and pulled together (they also offer a little extra warmth which I’m always grateful for as I’m ALWAYS cold!)
3. Get a style mantra
What do you want to say with your clothes? What image do you wish to portray to the rest of the world? ‘Just rolled out of bed‘ is unlikely to be top of mind. I always encourage my clients to develop their own style mantra, which can then act as a mental ‘check’ before they leave the house. For example, you may want to look colourful, bold and fun or, stylish, elegant and effortless. Say whatever your chosen mantra is in your head as you asses your outfit in a full length mirror, are you hitting the mark?
4. Plan ahead
I have two children under the age of 5 so the time I have each morning to consider what I’m going to wear is approximately 3.5 seconds. Generally speaking I decide what I’m going to wear the night before, particularly if I’m working the next day. I want to look my best and I’m not ashamed to say, it takes time! So give yourself that time, it’ll probably only take a few minutes, decide what you’re wearing the next day, make sure it’s clean/ironed and the next morning will be that little less chaotic as a result. Winner!
Last but not least experiment with your wardrobe. Approach it like you would clothes in a shop. Select an item that you’d like to wear and then look at all the possible items that might work with it. Try things on, layer, accessorise, even if you don’t think it’ll look right, try it anyway – you might be surprised or it might spark another idea. Look at your clothes as if you’ve just seen them for the first time and get creative! I promise, you’ll have so many more outfits in there than you’d ever have thought!
Photography by Emily Bailey.