Evolving your style…starting with your “wardrobe sort out” (part 1)

With an autumnal feel in the air, now is the perfect time to decide on “your look” for the season and go through your wardrobe. Shop early to have the best choices available and the full range of sizes. Don’t expect your size to still be there in the sales! Keep adding interesting pieces and push your normal boundaries a bit. Don’t make the mistake of looking the same year after year and becoming predictable.

This season I have been a bit more ruthless than usual and moved a few more things along. Otherwise one’s wardrobe can look pretty cluttered. It is also easy for your wardrobe to look ‘bitzy’ and nothing pulls it together. How are your basics? Or do you have too much black?  Maybe it’s time to introduce a bit of colour.

I do like to have some black, charcoal or donkey for a blank canvas. Other neutrals that are useful are greys, khakis, chocolate brown and navy. They are easy to accessorise and then add a dash of colour in a top or a scarf. If you have too much of one colour in your wardrobe, chances are you’ll look the same each time you go out. There will be just a slightly different cut in your outfits.

If you have an expensive outfit that looks a little dated then it could be your accessories or shoes need updating. Don’t forget to update your hair style and makeup. Wear things differently for the next season. Or you can chop a garment up and make it into something else. I have done this with leather jackets that don’t fit any more. I have had the sleeves cut out and the leather used as side panels, then voila…..a vest that fits, and it gives me another look. Also tunics made into skirts have been easy to change.

So don’t move everything on. I have also taken a beautiful fabric in a coat and used it to have a dress made. I do have the ideas not the expertise! You may need help here. A sewer with a good eye for style is a must. Fabric is always the key. Others sell their clothes they are sick of on Trade Me and then use money to buy something new. Buy the best quality you can afford and follow the care instructions. Your garments will last longer.

Where to start?

Look through some magazines and see what takes your eye. Are you tending towards more of a classic look or classic with a twist? Funky? Sporty casual? Romantic/feminine? Creative? Dramatic or tribal? Follow the designers for the look you like.

All of these styles are available. We have a lot more choice than we used to, so it’s important to finish the whole look off. Match your personality too. If you are more of an extrovert you will probably like stronger, more ‘out there’ clothes. A more introverted woman will want to look more subtle and blend in. Look at how it is all put together with shoes, length and style of pants, jewellery and haircuts.

Check out these edgy sites – www.nomdstore.com

www.nicolawaite.com

www.mild-red.com

www.ricochet.co.nz

I like to support New Zealand designers as much as possible. I think we have quite a different approach to fashion. There are an awful lot of chain stores. Who wants to be the same as everyone else? So mix things up, buy cheaper items with a better quality piece. Put interesting combinations together. Don’t forget it’s all about balance, proportion and illusion.

Before you shop go through your wardrobe and put everything into 3 piles.

1: The clothes you wear the most

2: The clothes you haven’t worn in the last year or so

3: The moving on pile

Pile 1 is what you are building on when you go shopping. So don’t be distracted by bargains and sales. Think cost per wear. The more you wear it the cheaper it gets.

Pile 2 can be either kept for sentimental reasons or reconfigured into something else. Put away in a suitcase under a bed.

Check all you clothes for loose threads and missing buttons, wear and tear, hemlines that need adjusting. All are clean and ready to be added to.

Ps. Don’t keep too many from pile 3 for gardening. We don’t need a lot.