Who wouldn’t want a wardrobe like this? But, according to fashion maths, most of us wear just 20% of our clothes 80% of the time. It’s just so much easier of a morning reach for the safe (aka black) option and be honest, how many of the clothes you bought for the party season are still hanging in your wardrobe unworn? Personal stylist Chantelle Znideric, to the rescue! She’s an award-winning fashion blogger-turned-stylist since 2007 across London, Devon and Surrey, and just one morning spent in her impeccably turned-out company had me looking at my wardrobe in a whole new way.
Over to you Chantelle…
1 DECODE YOUR STYLE
Before you do anything else, put a name on your personal vibe. Everyone has a look even if you don’t think you do (er, how about ‘got dressed in the dark again’). Think about what fabrics and details you like, what patterns or colours do you go for – do they tend to be bold and vibrant, subtle or more muted? Are you a mum on the run, feminine or does dramatic suit your look best? For the rest of us do you steer towards a classic timeless style, a natural sporty look or an eclectic creative ensemble? Look at your wardrobe objectively to decode the theme.
2 START AT THE BOTTOM
How often do you go out to buy jeans and come home up with tops instead? Trying on trews is a total fag – all the faffing about getting undressed and the disappointments – but your bottom half needs you, ladies! It’s your foundation. If you’re stuck in a trouser rut and want to break out, try starting with longer skirts or culottes which will feel less of a jolt and ease your way to different styles. For those that can’t bear anything floaty consider loose tailored trousers in interesting fabrics – velvet or corduroy, and venture into cropped territories, which can look super flattering – yup, even if you’re petite!
3 MAKE FASHION WORK FOR YOU
Written off 2020 because you don’t like the colours/patterns/lengths? Tweak it to suit. Animal print too shouty for you? Look for leopard in more muted patterns or subtler colours. Too petite for long pants? Find a pair cut slightly short so they don’t swamp you. Hate pink? Try on lots of shades until you find the one that suits your skin tone, and there will be at least one, really. Avoid wearing a new trend, head to toe, instead introduce it in small doses to achieve an effortless look.
4 GO IT ALONE
Clothes shopping with your gals is fine if you can trust them to be brutally honest when you come out of the changing room. But if not, it’s time to go it alone. Think of the time you’ll save looking at stuff you don’t like too because they’re forever dragging you off to the stuff, they fancy but isn’t for you. Your mission is to be focused to save you time, identify the gaps in your wardrobe and only buy what you need, not want and simply because you like it. And the money you save on stuff you shouldn’t have bought can go on nights out together instead. Win win!
5 BEWARE THE SALES
Loooook, it’s 75% off! We’ve all been there – and it’s so hard to resist the urge to snap up a bargain BUT but? before you leap in. Count to ten and ask yourself three questions: Does it fit (honestly)? When will you wear it? What will it go with? If you can’t give yourself some good answers, it’s not a bargain if it just ends up in the charity shop, or worse, landfill. Do the ‘cost per wear’ maths daaarling – one item is hugely expensive if you wear it just once, however if you wear the same item many times over, the cost per wear decreases considerably, making it a great investment.
6 TA-DAH! TO XMAS POUNDAGE…
The easy way. It may sound too good to be true, but you can look and feel slimmer instantly by showing off your skinny bits, a bit of wrist or ankles, or a slightly deeper neckline, revealing your waistline can also do the trick – ultimately, high waists and side zips are a must-have! Don’t believe me? Try it and see. Be kind to yourself, see your good bits (we all have them!) and embrace what you have. Less is more = feel amazing = new year confidence achieved!
7 STITCH IN TIME
There’s no better time to declutter your wardrobe. A liberating experience whilst rediscovering old or unworn treasures will also help create space and open up new outfit opportunities – what’s not to love? Look up a talented seamstress locally who can tailor clothes to fit you perfectly and help redesign long lost favourite pieces. Items once bought may just need a simple fix to make them more flattering or modern. Consider shortening hems on trousers or taking hems down on skirts as well as shortening sleeves or changing buttons or adding a stylish trim here and there. Et voila! The result – new and exciting items to accommodate our ever-changing shapes and tastes is one stitch away!
8 YOU’RE NEVER TOO OLD
Scared it’s too young for you? Stick to timeless and beautiful tailoring. It’s about time you go for quality over quantity and feel empowered with style not fashion. Invest in a well-tailored, non-stuffy trouser suit for complete versatility. This key staple will tick a lot of boxes in the wardrobe department! Trade t-shirts for silk blouses, a slinky cami for colourful cashmere, and killer heels for boyish sneakers to create your desired look.
9 SAY BYE-BYE TO BLACK
Or at least, au revoir for now! Yes, it’s easy, chic and sophisticated. And we love it, and it’s great in winter but whoa there, colour will also give some amazing affects. It’s true, determine your natural colouring, and you can look younger, slimmer, and healthier, with next to zero effort. Especially in winter when you need a lift. Next time you pick up an item in black to try on, try taking a few other colours to the changing room with you and see where that gets you. You might just like it and your wardrobe will LOVE you for it!
WANT MORE, MORE, MORE?
With more than 10 year’s experience in the biz, Chantelle can help decode your look, or assist in rediscovering your style, prep you for going back to work after having time off having kids or help bag that next work promotion you’ve got your eye on. She will rework, reshape and refresh your existing wardrobe or guide you to finding a brand new one that works for your lifestyle (and within budget!). Don’t be shy, give her a call!