Are you tired of the red beret yet, glamistas? While we roam the beautiful countries of South East Asia, I have replaced my beloved beret with multiple bandanas and silk scarves that do help in keeping an unruly voluminous mane somewhat under control –see exhibit A here– yet I kind of miss my French hat and how easily an ordinary look could be bumped up to the category of chic the minute you added a beret to it. Magic!
As I found a bit of time to sit down and edit these pics (while crossing Cambodia in a comfy air-conditioned mini-van), I thought I would share with you a few tips and tricks that I have learned since I started writing this blog and becoming a regular consumer of fashion material, mainly via specialised magazines and above all via other kick-ass bloggers that inspire me day in and day out.
A disclaimer that these are not undeniable facts nor one-size-fits-all kind of tips, but I do hope you will find (some of) them useful as they have most definitely helped me hone in my fashion style thus making me more confident and most importantly, without breaking the bank! 🙂
1. Think in outfits, not single pieces: when we get carried away by the latest trends, we are normally blinded by the standout elements of these pieces: bold colours, ruffles, pearls, floral prints, etc. Then, once the garment is in our hands, we realise it doesn’t really go with what we already own so we style that amazing embroidered shirt once and then forget it at the back of our wardrobe. Now what a waste of money and space, don’t you think? The key to wardrobe balance is thinking in a more global way about your clothes. If I add that piece to my wardrobe, how many possible outfits can I create with it? Will I wear it to work, to run errands or only on special occasions? Is it something I have been wanting for a while or rather a whim I want to treat myself to? Answering these questions honestly can help you decide whether to add a particular piece to your collection or whether to wait until a more suitable fit comes along (and it will, believe me!)
2. Keep a list of your most wanted/needed items: in relation to point above, I find that making a list of the things that I need to add to my wardrobe in order to fill in the sartorial gaps really helps me stay on top of my budget and reduce the amount of impulsive purchases. I even assign a priority to those items (for example, depending on the season or if a big sale is coming up soon). If an item has been on my list for a while, I know it’s something I really need/want and will probably get it at some point. On the other hand, I have found myself deleting things from the list whenever I got over the generalised hype, which proves that particular item was only a fling and I managed to stay away from temptation, yay!
3. Rewear, repurpose, rediscover: it’s not the first time I mention the best remedy to a style rut is getting creative with your wardrobe and with other’s wardrobe as well! Try styling your pieces in a different way: layering, combining your tee with different bottoms, even wearing tees as skirts, coats as dresses and button downs as off-the-shoulder tops. Your imagination is the limit in the realms of fashion! Raiding your boyfriend’s or mum’s closet is also a fun way of getting out of a styling slump, as I clearly love doing over and over again *oouups*
4. Accessories are a girl’s best friend: details make the difference, they say, and they say so for a reason. I can’t tell you how many times I felt grateful for having a cool pair of retro sunnies, a gorgeous crochet bag or a new pair of earrings that would instantly insufflate a fresh touch to my staple looks without me spending a fortune. Accessories are literally the easiest way to update an outfit and bring it from boring to badass.
5. If it ain’t broken, you don’t have to fix it: if there is something I have learned from the gorgeous bloggers I follow – Alice Catherine, Santina Harris, Andreea Birsan, Siffat Haider, Sophia Rosemary, Lizzy Hadfield (half of them happen to be from Manchester, coincidence?) – is that winning styling combinations can be re-worn over and over again without feeling frumpy or repetitive. They have their “uniforms” or “signature looks” which work perfectly for their style/body type and they have learned to maximise their assets, while relying on the familiarity of their style, so easily recognisable in their social media channels. I am still far from reaching this styling equilibrium myself, but in the last year I can see a shift towards rather minimal and coordinated looks that place more importance on the balance between accessories, jewellery and makeup rather than on the clothes themselves. My photos are more about the vibe or mood that I want to transmit with every look than the clothes I am actually wearing… Do you agree with this, glamistas?
6. Invest in staples, cheap stuff is seldom long-lasting: I am not going to lie, as a hardcore bargain-lover, this tip has not been the easiest one to follow, peeps. It took me two years of buying Primark sweaters that would lose its shape and get wholes after a couple of washes to realise that sometimes investing a bit more on pieces that will stand the test of time is the way to go. As ridiculous as it may sound, it also made me feel more grown-up to use my hard-earned money wisely, investing it in quality over quantity. The three investment pieces I bought last year were a gold pleated coin necklace (featured on this and so many other looks because I luuuuv it!), my first pair of Levi’s 501 and a camel trench coat that I hope will last me for a few good years.
7. Don’t be afraid of change: now, I thought it was important to mention this because so many times since I started blogging I have been reflecting on my personal style (I wrote about it here and here), obsessing about having or finding THE personal style that would define me, sometimes even limiting myself to certain pieces that I thought fitted the particular aesthetic I was going for. I still find myself doing this, with the difference that I now do it consciously so that I can pair down my consumption habits and feel confident wearing fewer things, but I would like to tell you that no-one should feel restricted by fashion. Our clothes don’t define us, so we shouldn’t have to limit our style so as to fit in some sort of sartorial box if that’s not what we want. Our style is like our thoughts and our personality, it’s in constant evolution and change, so the things we love now may make us cringe in the future, but the important thing to remember is that we loved them while we wore them, and that they made us feel good about ourselves and ready to take on the world. Bottom line is the proverbial “you do you”, peeps, and you do it in the best way you can, to be the happiest you can be, fashion-wise and life-wise 😉
Wow, that bus ride was longer than expected, and so was this blog post, but I hope some of these resonate with you or help you feel more confident in your second skin.
Have you mastered any of these points, glamistas? What styling tip would you share with your fellow fashionistas?
Let us know in the comments down below and have a fantastic week ahead, beautiful creatures!