ASPIRE TO BE EFFORTLESSLY ETHICAL? HERE’S HOW

April 22nd-28th 2019 has been Fashion Revolution Week so on my insta @style.sense I’ve been touching on more sustainable approaches to your wardrobes, Sydney!!! However, this subject, which is VERY close to my heart, also needs a broader platform for further discussion, so here goes….

The Fashion Revolution believes ‘in a fashion industry that values people, the environment, creativity and profit in equal measure.’

They are people from all around the world who make the fashion industry work, the people who wear clothes and the people who make them and I include myself in that group. Having designed women’s clothes for international brands for 15 years means that I’ve helped shape the global fashion industry.

Personal Stylist In Sydney

Today as a personal stylist, I work closely with clients on how to dress well, coaching them on better buying habits, wardrobe makeovers and the clothes styles that represent value. This means I have a duty to them, but also to the environment.

@anuschkarees

Sustainable Fashion Triangle

Many moons ago I came across this simple triangle which outlined 5 ways to create a more ethical wardrobe by @anuschkarees the fantastic author of The Curated Closet which is the perfect way to illustrate my points.

So the obvious way to become more environmentally sustainable is to start shopping from sustainable brands as outlined at the top of this triangle, point 5, but there’s loads of other ways to start your own little fashion revolution, have you considered these fashion tips…?

1. Value and take care of the clothes you already own

This area offers the most diverse opportunities to prolong the life of your clothes.

/. Repairing = Makeover

@tickover_

It’s all too easy to consider throwing things away when they start to become a bit worn out, but a lot of times we can repair and re-wear!

Repairing means you give a style make over to your clothes and accessories, extending their life and avoids buying a new version, which in my personal shopper experience, can often mean 2 or 3 purchases until you eventually find the ideal replacement!!

It also means the memories the piece has collected remain as well as keeping handcraft skills alive which is another vital component of the fashion revolution. I know my local cobbler is a frickin magician and let’s face it, shoes are THE most difficult – and irritating – item to replace, I’m still trying to update a Wittner sandal from 2006!!!????!!!

I also get a real kick when my daughter makes a whole in her pants and doesn’t want to throw them away, but instead asks “mummy, can you sew them up?”

#raisingthefuture

//. Changing Body Types

As we grow older, our body types change which means we can’t always continue to wear our clothes as we would like, so I offer fashion tips on how to make your clothes fit you through making small adjustments, some of which don’t even need sewing! This can help you extend the life cycle of your clothes, particularly helpful for those who’s weight fluctuates as it eliminates the need for 2 different sized wardrobes!!

Here’s one mini-vid but check out my instastories for more plus new ones coming over the next few months as I focus on different female body types.

///. Be Your Own Fashion Stylist

Rather than habitually buying a new outfit for an occasion, shop in your own wardrobe and create a new outfit from your current belongings. Trust me, there’s at least 50 outfits you’ve never worn before (based on my personal stylist experience) in the average wardrobe, so experiment! If this is what you struggle with then book in for a WARDROBE MAKEOVER today!

////. Style Makeover

Customising or altering clothes is an approach I also champion! Small changes can reinvigorate even your most tired of clothes, see how I give my own second hand skirt a style makeover below or on my instagram @style.sense and instastories

Make more, from less!

/////. Swap, Rent, Sell or Borrow

personal stylist sydney
Her Wardrobe Outfit Hire

Another way to be your own fashion stylist is to borrow or swap an item with a friend, you know… that friend who’s been eyeing up that fancy frock of yours?? Lend it to her and borrow something in return? If you’re different sizes then try accessories? Voilà, instant newness at no cost to you or the environment!

During my personal styling sessions, I always advise my clients to sell unwanted pieces that are in good condition and recycle the money. Alternatively, your clothes can create revenue through renting them out? I wrote a blog about 18 months ago suggesting people rent outfits for upcoming occasions which details companies to use, read it here

//////. Decrease Dry Cleaning

I posted a mini-vid on my instastories about dry cleaning and how bad it is for our clothing AND our pocket! It also touches on the best hangers to use, see below:

///////. Stains Ain’t Stylish

The quicker you treat a stain, the quicker it will disappear.

In short, if you look after your clothes, your clothes will look after you!

2. Shop Less, Choose Better, Only Buy Pieces You Love

Changing buying habits makes the biggest environmental impact as we try to slow down the fashion industry.

We all have the power to make a positive change through reducing how much we consume but humans are creatures of habit, so frivolous consumption is a bad habit we need to kick!

Be Your Own Personal Shopper

Sustainable fashion

So when you’re at the purchasing decision stage, please ask yourself if you’re buying that $20 skirt because it’s a ‘bargain’ when you know you won’t really wear it, or do you really need that top in 3 colors or would just 2 colours satisfy you better? Yes it’s a lovely top, but in my personal shopper experience, the third colour will be the one that still has tags on when I come round. ;-0

I have many clients who buy, buy buy, hoping that one of the items will be the one that brings them joy, where as if they evaluated their wardrobe first understood their needs and created a list, shopping would be much more satisfying. I create a personalised shopping list for each client during my personal styling services so if this would be a game changer for you, call me to book in for a PERSONAL SHOP so we can create yours.

I find it interesting that we wouldn’t pay iTunes for mediocre music to add to our playlist, but yet for some reason we pay to add mediocre things to our wardrobe?

3. Go For Clothes That Are High Quality

As a wardrobe planner I always advise clients to plan their wardrobe beyond one, two, or even three seasons. Honestly identify what you wear on repeat and buy a couple of different versions for various occasions & seasons. Easy!

Clothes style

Approximately half of all my clients say they’re at a point where they want to ‘buy less and choose well’, but not all of them have the finances to buy from designer or the haute-street (high end high street) which is where we think we need to purchase investment pieces from.

Wrong!!

Some of my hardest working clothes over the last 15 years have been purchased from ‘fast fashion’ brands! You just have to know what you’re looking for.

Not All ‘Fast Fashion’ Is Bad Fashion

In my experience, my expensive items can have just as many faults as my cheaper pieces. My Catherine Malendrino coat constantly had buttons falling off, the metal strap of my Jimmy Choo bag broke after 2 months and the lining of my Camilla & Marc jacket split at the seams.

The problem is, you part with so much more money for designer so your expectation is so much higher!

Fashion Designer Tips

PERSONAL STYLIST SYDNEY

When I designed in the UK, many of my overseas factories I used at a ‘fast fashion’ level were highly skilled and my fabric quality was surprisingly good, purely due to economies of scale – fashion brands were buying so many pieces, sometimes 50,000 items, that they could afford a beautiful wool melton that actually contained…lots of wool!

Compare that to Australia and a healthy order for a lot of brands is around 5-10,000, hence why the fabric quality – which is the main cost of any garment – had to contain less wool. So for me there’s a difference between UK ‘fast fashion’ brands and countries with smaller populations.

Fast Fashion

The main point for me is that if you purchase fast fashion, treat it with care still. Unfortunately the expectation is that you will discard of it after a year which is outdated and often unnecessary. If you value the item and take good care of it as if it was an investment purchase, it might last longer?

Blood Mountain Art Instillation By Suzie Blake

If you saw your wardrobe through the eyes of a child who has no concept of cost, then you would value most those pieces that simply made you happy!

We also need to be aware when buying fast fashion that it’s from sources that pay their factory workers a fair wage in a safe environment, so do your research. This is the other vital part of The Fashion Revolution.

Considered Consumption

So I’m not saying that buying cheaper clothes is good or bad, price is actually irrelevant as long as you wear them and enjoy them through their full life cycle and if a button does fall off, then recognize that sometimes that happens, regardless of the where or how it’s been made.

What I AM saying is that any frivolous consumption of clothes bought from any market level is something we need to reduce

So I agree that we should ‘Go For Clothes That Are High Quality’ but that we need to add ‘the highest quality you can afford’ and understand that just because it’s less expensive, does not mean it’s any less valuable to our wardrobe. Some of my clients swear by Target jeans which have been washed and worn weekly for half a decade and they’re still fitting well!! They are valuable to that client.

I have to add a disclaimer here that generally designer pieces ARE made better from higher quality materials with superior garment construction, the debate often happens more between high-street and haute-street.

personal shopper

What To look For When Buying Investment Pieces (from any market level):

  • Fabric – does it crush or pill easily? Is it an open weave, ie. will it catch and pull easily making it look tatty after just a few wears? It needs to be robust to withstand daily/weekly life
  • Seams – pull the garment at the seams to check firm construction, same with buttons, zips, metal details etc
  • Fashion Style – is it a trend led piece that will date or will you love the design details way beyond next season?
  • Does It Fit Your Body Type – if it’s a snug fit then chances are it won’t be flexible enough to see you through the next decade
  • Does It Fit Your Lifestyle – it’s all too easy to wish we had chauffeur driven lifestyle but be brutally honest about YOUR lifestyle needs and plan your wardrobe accordingly
  • Laundering – if it’s a piece you plan to wear weekly, can you wash it in the machine?
  • Colour – does the colour flatter your features or is it a classic shade that will still look modern in years to come? Is the colour versatile enough to work with the rest of your wardrobe?
  • Versatility – talking of versatile, can it be worn with different shoes, jackets AND cardigans, skirts AND pants etc? Experiment whilst you’re IN the shop
Finery Campaign

Forever Pieces

For a few years now, certain brands have been marketing certain pieces from their collection as ‘forever pieces’ and I LOVE this. Not only does it make you think differently about the item but we can expect the design to be superior as it’s more considered, made from a fabric that is easy care, easy wear.

Knowing Your Fabrics

Textile advances made from cellulose found in wood pulp harvested from tree farms, create more environmentally sustainable fabrics such as rayon, modal and lyocell. This results in super soft, breathable fabrics that need less dye than cotton…. and they’re increasingly taking over my wardrobe!! If you haven’t seen them, check out garment care labels when you’re next at the shops

4. Buy Vintage When Possible

And I think we need to add ‘secondhand’ here too as not everything pre-owned will technically be ‘vintage’.

Purchasing from opshops not only gives a new lease of life to a piece that might otherwise end up in landfill, but simultaneously giving to charity. Win-win guilt free kinda shopping.

My stylist tips – head for the leather, denim and belts !!

Stylist Finds

Above are my secondhand items which make up about 1/4 of my entire wardrobe. Granted I have been collecting these since I was a teenager which was when I started my opshop ‘addiction’.

The fact that I could pick up a completely unique new frock, or leather skirt that would generally retail for 8 times the price of my local charity shop gave me such a thrill…a thrill that continues to this day! It gives me a real kick when I receive compliments on an item I thrifted for $10!!

What’s the saying, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure?”

Op-shops are perfect for people on a tighter budget or who want something unique.

#chooseused @thevintagemerchant

We should also mention giving your unwanted items to charity, a textile bin – found in H&M and Zara – or give to a friend who you think would enjoy wearing it?!

This stat below from Timeout for Fast Fashion Greenpeace shocked me by how easily we could reduce emissions, just by doubling the life cycle of a garment from one year to two!

Maybe we should start to think of our clothes as having 2 lives, how are you going to reincarnate yours? Remember, it could even be a patchwork quilt or cushion cover?

@citizennestyle

Who Made My Clothes?

Another aspect of Fashion Revolution Week is asking ‘who made my clothes’.

Life Changing Fashion

When I lived in the UK and designed clothes for Marks & Spencer, we were such a hugely successful international brand that we used to generate enough sewing for factories to be expanded which created a need for fresh running water and a newly built school and hospital. It was incredible, to think that my designs were supporting small villages!?!

This was the opposite to some of the fast fashion networks I had previously worked in.

This was life changing fashion.

Accountability

So in summary, we need to be accountable for how many textiles we consume (regardless of how much cash we pay for them) in exactly the same way we’re accountable for the amount of food we consume. We only need a certain amount and it’s nice to indulge occasionally but fundamentally we don’t need cupboards full of clothes we don’t enjoy.

That is NOT a functional wardrobe.

If you would like a wardrobe makeover or need a personal shop with a sustainable approach then contact me to book in and lets each make a mini fashion revolution starting NOW!!

THE DRESS I GET COMPLIMENTS ON WEEKLY, 52 WEEKS OF THE YEAR TO BE PRECISE

‘Versatility’ – A Personal Stylist’s Middle Name

Well, not literally, but I have considered it (granted, it was after a few wines).

When you buy a patterned dress, you might be mistaken for thinking it hasn’t many styling options, which might be the very reason you decide to buy it – because it doesn’t need anything to look impactful!

But that doesn’t mean it’s not versatile…

A Summer Fashion Style We Can Wear All Year Round

As a personal stylist, I know that a patterned dresses can be just as versatile as a plain dress, see case-in-point, my Cleopatra dress $99 from Zara. I’ve created 18 different ways to wear it that see me through all 4 seasons. Just because I bought it in summer and it’s lightweight, doesn’t mean I can’t wear it through autumn, winter and back in to spring, I just need to learn how to play with it.

Personal Shopper Mindset

This is always the approach I have working as a personal shopper, “how can I play with garment to add value to it?” And this is exactly what my personal styling services are about, experimenting to reflect different clients personality styles!!

Fashion Stylist Secret

I’ll let you in to a little secret…I LOVE leopard print ( I think you might have gathered that by now if you follow me regularly. For me it’s not about a fashion trends, but the perfect pattern that straddles ‘classic, edgy, rebellious and safe’,

You could say its the perfect paradox print!!

What ever my mood, like chocolate, leopard will always feel right! But that doesn’t mean I’m going to buy a different leopard print frock for winter, or a leopard skirt because I have all those things in my wardrobe already…

See what I mean?

9 Practical Reasons Why This Dress Is SO Versatile

I understand that you might not want to style your version of this frock in all 18 different ways, but my point is exaggerated to inspire you so you’ll be encouraged to try maybe 4 or 5 of them? It enables you to experiment with your personal style.

So let’s down to the 8 nitty gritty details that mean the difference between a good purchase and a GREAT purchase so you know what to look out for when shopping:

Personal Stylist Tip 1: THROW ON

BONUS: You can literally ‘throw on’ this dress – perfect for busy mums!

REASON: Yes it has a zip but no I don’t use it, I can throw it on over my head for school pick-up in under 1.5 seconds.

My Mummy Makeover Service

Read more about my practical yet stylish service for mums trying to spin more plates than they have hands! Read my MUMMY MAKEOVER SERVICE

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Personal Stylist Tip 2: FITS DIFFERENT FEMALE BODY TYPES

BONUS: This clothes style flatters many different body types. I’ve had many clients who have purchased this dress who have very different female body types (some of them pregnant) and live all over the world.

REASON: It’s an easy-fit dress shape for most types of body shapes that can use the zip function if necessarily. The dress silhouette has a feminine shape without being too form fitting. Most clients prefer a little arm coverage and the length also works for petites or tall body types, as well as for lots of different occasions!

SIDE NOTE: Look, the armhole is a little low, as is the neckline so I’m not claiming it’s a ‘perfect’ fitting garment.

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Personal Stylist Tip 3: WEAR FOR ‘WORK, REST or PLAY’

(…remember that old tv advert for Mars bars?)

BONUS: You can see how versatile it’s end use is, from the 18/19 ways I’ve styled this little frock!! It can be re-styled for:

  • play-date
  • date-night
  • girls-night-out
  • out-and-about
  • out-of-the-office
  • in-the-office
  • office-occasion
  • special-occasion

And this is EXACTLY the kind of flexibility we should have from our wardrobes Sydney! It fits all dimensions of our personality styles.

Perfect business attire for women who are working in a semi-corporate workplace who don’t require corporate clothing, this dress is perfect!

REASON: It’s a sophisticated, classic print in a versatile fabric, in an easy-fit dress shape as well as the fact it can be dressed up and down because….

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Personal Stylist Tip 4: ACCESSORIZES EFFORTLESSLY

BONUS: This leopard works with black AND brown accessories. Therefore, it’s double as versatile!! Tan accessories tend to look more casual compared to the formality of black accessories so it’s awesome that both shades work – in fact neutral, brown and tan all blend well.

REASON: The leopard print has 3 shades in the print giving it more versatility than 2

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Personal Stylist Tip 5: SHAPE SHIFTER

BONUS: You can change the silhouette of the dress


REASON: The lightweight cloth means this fashion style can be easily manipulated with a nip, tuck, knot or belt. If the sun makes an appearance, you can transform this maxi in to a midi (or a midaxi) without the simple shuffle of a hemline.

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Personal Stylist Tip 6: SKIRTING THE ISSUE

BONUS: This clothes style can be worn as a skirt

REASON: The low neckline and short sleeve means a t-shirt can be effortlessly layered over with a little knot at the hem to create some waist definition, as if it was a skirt. Alternatively, throw on a knit and let it all hang lose? It’s double agent identity is literally saving you money!

SIDE NOTE: Your T-shirt can’t be white as the print will show through

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Personal Stylist Tip 7: LAYERS UP

BONUS: This dress can also have layers worn underneath

REASON: Because it’s there’s a lot of fabric & because it’s got black in the print, it balances a black fitted under layer for a winter outfit. Black opaques tights work equally as well to add warmth to the legs.

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Personal Stylist Tip 8: CAMOUFLAGES STAINS

BONUS: Hides stains – perfect for busy mums!

REASON: It’s printed using a smaller scale print, with no white or large plain patches for stains to be seen. Guaranteed you’ll actually forget how long ago you washed it!?! It’s like city camo, or should that read ‘jungle camo’ as technically it’s inspired by a leopard?

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Personal Stylist Tip 9: AN IRON FREE ZONE

personal stylist sydney

BONUS: A dress that doesn’t need ironing

REASON: The drapey fabric is soft enough that creases fall out when hung after laundering, plus the camouflage effect of the pattern as mentioned above helps too! RESULT!!

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Personal Stylist Tip 10: DOUBLES AS A HAMMOCK

Ok, so now i’m pushing it….

Fashion Stylist Philosophy

So I hope I’ve illustrated how a well chosen print dress can give you an incredible range of looks, what ever the season. It’s all about understanding the features you’re looking for. The more of these features from my list above, the more reason to buy it!

Why buy 5 dresses when you can buy just 1 and restyle it 5 ways?

Save your money for something completely different to add to your wardrobe or put towards saving for a ‘big’ purchase you’ve had your eye on?

Prefer to shop with me? Then contact me today to book in!

Adding Value To Your Wardrobes Sydney!

This mighty leopard number is still sold in Zara, last seen prowling the isles at Bondi Junction a few weeks ago, click here for other similar Zara versions as well as from other brands below (click on brand name to shop):

SHOP SMART & WEAR MORE OF YOUR CLOTHES, MORE OFTEN.


HOW TO DRESS FOR WORK : PERSONAL BRANDING CASE STUDY

Cassie, the winner!

Despite being a (very) small business I try to do my bit for charity and you might remember me mentioning at the end of last year how I had offered a FULL MAKEOVER to one lucky winner at the gala dinner raising money for Habitat For Humanity?

The gorgeous well deserving winner was Cassie, 33 who works full-time as a consultant and needed help developing her corporate clothing.

Business Attire For Women

Like most clients who work in a male dominated conservative business, office wear for women is predominately black, so Cassie wanted help with things like:

  • What clothes suited her features & body type?
  • How to introduce other colours in to her corporate clothing?
  • How to dress her favorite black pencil skirts to freshen them up?
  • What else qualifies as ‘corporate dress’?
  • Help to generate more outfits from her current purchases
  • To sharpen her personal branding

So for all of you who have ever asked yourself ‘WHAT SHOULD I WEAR TO WORK?’ and feel you need a little business wear inspiration, read on…

Fashion Tip 1 – COLOUR CONSULTANT

Understanding what types of color suits you is THE most transformative thing you can learn about yourself!!!

Flattering colour is the foundation of dressing well.

colour consultant

As Cassie’s personal colour consultant in Sydney, it’s not about telling her that pink or green ‘is her colour’ but more about teaching Cassie the TYPE of pinks and greens that flatter her so she can shop smarter using her fantastic little color wallet containing the only colours she’ll ever need …including for hair & make-up!

Once you understand what types of colours suit you, you can feel confident in your choices and never have to make a fashion faux-pas again!

Colour Consultant Sydney

Because I’m a colour consultant in Sydney local to Cassie, I could conduct an in depth colour analysis, rather than offering her general online advice.

Cassie is a SOFT AUTUMN = medium level shades with soft muted finish, subtle warm golden undertones

Cassie has very soft, delicate features, therefore black really overwhelms her. In the workplace we don’t want to look overpowered, it’s the one environment we need to look on our game, fresh faced and ready for action!

You’ve probably heard me speak before on how black & white are actually quite harsh for most people from a colour analysis perspective (Not read my article for Mama Tribe? Click here to learn about ‘The Most Flattering Colours In The World), so it was vital I showed Cassie other hues that will compliment her AND her office wear.

DARKER COLOURS : UNFLATTERING – brings out a pink, almost blotchy skin tone

DARKER COLOURS : FLATTERING – richness evens out Cassie’s skin tone and stops her looking overwhelmed

COOL V WARM : UNFLATTERING – too much blue in the colour is too cool and dulls Cassie’s complexion, and hair

COOL V WARM : FLATTERING – the golden undertones enrich her skin and hair, and look at the sparkle in her eye!

And this one is really subtle…

GREENS : UNFLATTERING – although Cassie has a soft look, shades that are too soft and pale actually wash her out, you look straight at the green drape, not at her eyes

GREENS : FLATTERING – just a tone darker and her eyes are brighter and her skin tone is richer, although it’s subtle, she is much better balanced here

Patterns

Some of Cassie’s patterns were too bold and also need softness to them so I showed her what this looked like so she could make better buying decisions that would mix & match better together, therefore extending her outfit choices.

Body Types

Now, as you can see, Cassie has a FANTASTIC figure so we didn’t need to spend much time discussing body types because most clothes styles will flatter her, instead we spent the time talking through her personal style and what she felt most comfortable wearing.

I did however, share lots of style tips that I’ve learnt over my 18 years in the fashion industry on how to flatter different female body types.

Fashion Tip 2 – PERSONAL STYLE

Cassie enjoys wearing black pencils skirts to work,

  • She looks amazing in them
  • They outfit easily
  • They’re an important part of her personal brand

However, she had her favorite 2 versions but as these started to wear out she started to shop for their replacements but couldn’t quite find the perfect fit…

How To Get The Perfect Fit

As a Sydney personal stylist I hate to break it to my clients but it’s unrealistic to expect everything on the high street to fit us perfectly, it’s just never going to happen (well, hopefully in the future it will but not inside the next 10 years) so for now we might need to occasionally use the services of a tailor.

FASHION TIPS: because each different high street brand uses a different fit model (the women they fit all their clothes to before they get put in to production) with a slightly different physique, certain brands will fit your body type better than other

Changing Buying Habits

On the quest for the perfect fit

When we had a look through Cassie’s wardrobe and delved right to the back of it, (you know, those hard to reach places you only visit when you’ve lost something), we realized she had actually purchased several of the same pencil shape style in her quest for the perfect fit.

If we don’t look in side our wardrobes, we forget what’s there. We all do it, even me!

As a fashion stylist, I have a saying:

‘shop inside your own wardrobe’

What happens when we don’t is that we tend to duplicate similar product because we’re creates of habit, we’re serial repeat purchasers and we like what we know!!

Fashion Tip 3 – WARDROBE MAKEOVER

I bang on a bit about how white clothes (or cream for most people) transform outfits – it gives you an instant wardrobe makeover!!

Cassie had this cream jacket in her closet that she had worn once for a wedding, and like most clients, hadn’t given it much thought since, until I showed up that is…

ALL these tops work layered under Cassie’s jacket

This humble cream jacket – which is a wardrobe stylist’s dream find btw = a flattering cut, versatile shape and fantastic purchase – gives Cassie’s work wear a complete make over!

It brightens her winter wardrobe for spring & summer whilst retaining a sharp, professional image. It works with ALL these tops AND her favorite pencil skirts AND dresses!

As Cassie’s wardrobe planner I would have requested she purchase a similar garment yet she already had it hanging in her closet! Have you got similar hanging in your wardrobes Sydney?!?

Jacket Style & Shape

Just because my client bought this jacket for a wedding, doesn’t mean she can’t cross-pollinate it to another lifestyle area.

Look, if this jacket has a shine to the fabric or a frill on it, it wouldn’t be appropriate for Cassie’s office, but because its sharp and slick, it’s amazing how ‘non-wedding-y’ (a word yet to be found in the English dictionary) it looks when you take it out of context and pair it back with corporate clothing!

It’s doubled her office Outfit Choices without spending a single dollar!!

Cassie’s cream jacket even works over her dresses!

Now, we have TRIPLED her outfit choices without spending a single dollar!!

Fashion Tip 4 – NON-SUIT-SUITS

I know that might sound a bit bazaar but trust me, it’s a thing.

I’ve designed non-suit-suits for years, ever since the demise of the corporate suit which loosened what qualified as ‘office appropriate attire’.

They’re stand alone jackets and skirt/pants that can be worn separately and together, but don’t match exactly like a conventional ‘suit’ does. They’re bloody brilliant! They’re less stuffy and corporate than traditional suiting and creates a much more flexible wardrobe.

Enter My Personal Styling Services!

Even if the pieces are not designed to be worn like this, my personal styling services means I can create them for you!

Cassie’s non-suit-suit version was from 2 different brands bought months apart but I outfitted them to look impactful when worn together and still feel corporate enough for her conservative environment. She had never considered pairing them together before but loves the look!

This has created a new ‘suit’ for Cassie she can effortlessly pair with different coloured tops underneath to wear through Autumn, Winter & Spring without spending a cent on more clothes!

See another example of a ‘non-suit-suit’ later in this article…

Fashion Tip 5 – PERSONAL SHOPPING MEANS SHOPPING WITH A FOCUS

Cassie hates shopping so my main objective during our personal shopper session was to make this experience positive and effortless to demonstrate how having a focus changes everything. I wanted to show Cassie:

  • How to combine colour
  • How to create outfits without any black
  • What products would be versatile assets in her wardrobe
  • How to avoid style duplication

How To Wear Colour

As a personal stylist, I totally understand most clients reliance on black for their office wardrobe but I wanted to show Cassie how to pair other shades together to create an equally professional image.

The majority of my image consultant clients want to wear different colours, but they don’t know what that looks like, until they’re shown. It’s very easy to imagine that wearing more colour will end up looking like a box of crayola!!!

Personal Branding

By constantly wearing black, aside from the detrimental effects to our skin as discussed earlier, we tend to fade in to the background not getting noticed. Black can fade easily, be tricky to pair dresses/bottoms + jackets if the shade doesn’t match exactly and contrary to popular belief, black does show stains.

Business attire for women can be so much more exciting!!!! And in turn, you can elevate your personal branding, getting you noticed for the right reasons.

This is a smart, chic corporate clothing in two of Cassie’s very best shades, navy + raspberry.

These hues flatter her skin tone, don’t overpower her like black does and adds something completely new that can mix & match back with Cassie’s current wardrobe.

Pair with a navy or nude shoe and wear with and without the jacket.

This outfit is from Saba which is where Cassie shopped, but like so many of us, she would habitually head for the black corporate dress.

Cassie was shopping from the right brands but buying product that didn’t flatter her as much as they could


Fashion Tip 6 – OFFICE WEAR FOR WOMEN

Us females are fortunate we can wear such a range of clothing for the office so have you considered semi-tailored business wear?

This is a different type of ‘non-suit-suit’. It’s a fantastic semi-tailored outfit in a heavy knit that can be worn together to look like a dress, and split up and worn separately so you get triple the outfits….

or, 3 outfits for the price of one!!

And here’s a few ways I would outfit these separates to create 7 outfits in total from the above 2 ‘suits’ without any black, only using shades from Cassie’s most flattering palette!

Bags : Coach Shoes : Wittner

Cassie’s Testimonial

Kim is extremely knowledgeable with an enthusiastic high energy approach. She provided great outfit co-ordination and accessorizing options from my existing wardrobe.

Despite my strong dislike of shopping, Kim made it a fun and productive experience that was individually tailored.

I would DEFINITELY recommend Kim!!

THANK YOU!!


Read other client testimonials here or contact me here to book in your makeover and let’s improve your personal branding today!

10X10 STYLING CHALLENGE ROUND#2 !!

I thoroughly enjoyed completing my first 10x10challenge back in January more than I expected, so I’ve decided to do another…

So welcome to my February 10×10! (in March). February always gets me like that, ending so abruptly!

Anyhoo, for this wardrobe outfitting challenge I chose a feminine palette of apricot and blue – who knew they worked together? I threw in a couple of patterns and a couple of items with a back story (you know how I love a back story) and voilà, my second capsule wardrobe was born! Happy birthday!!! Ha.

Wardrobe Planner Ratio

Ratio is key!! My ratio of tops to bottoms was 5:3 respectively and because I had planned my outfits, I knew I could wear ALL 5 tops with ALL 3 bottoms creating 15 outfits no problem. This was largely because I had stuck to a colour palette, although the palette was a little more unexpected than your typical capsule wardrobe which kept it exciting and a little more experimental.

However, not everything has to work together so don’t let this hold you back, you only need to generate 10 outfits, or even 9 is still great!

Clothes Style for The Real World


But then the Sydney weather kicked in…

It rained. The sun came out.

It rained. The sun came out.

It dropped 5 degrees and got windy and continued in this manner for days which meant I didn’t wear my silk camisole so my capsule reduced from 10 to 9.

This forced me to layer up my remaining tops, suddenly I had to wear a shirt as a jacket!


Why Outfit My Wardrobe?

And this is the whole point of the 10×10 outfit challenge. It doesn’t really matter – well not to me – if you don’t quite create 10 outfits, the whole concept is to stop thinking ‘items’ and start thinking outfits’ so you :

  • Encourage you to mix and match items you’ve never paired together
  • Experiment with mixing color, patterns or textures
  • Increase your outfit choices
  • Make your wardrobe work harder, reducing your cost-per-wear
  • Expand how many ways you wear an item
  • Breath new life in to a piece because of the way you’ve paired it
  • Bring you more satisfaction and enjoyment
  • Gives you a greater understanding of WHY you wear what you wear

And that’s exactly what fashion should be all about, satisfaction & enjoyment!!

Find Your Style

The other vital factor to this concept is how it makes you accountable for the AMOUNT OF TIMES YOU WEAR EACH ITEM OF CLOTHING.

This also helps you realise what you’re NOT wearing and why which is so helpful when making purchasing decisions – helping you find your fashion style.

Fashion Stylist Shock

I work as a fashion stylist and I was even surprised I created so many outfits from my remaining 9 pieces! I managed 18 different looks!! YES! 18!! It was like buying an album and discovering 8 bonus tracks!! ha.

BUT WHAT SHOCKED ME MOST..

What actually shocked me was that my 2 favorite outfits created were BRAND NEW TO ME!!

I’d never thought of putting these tops & bottoms together and that’s because they had been bought over a period of 20 years! I hadn’t joined the dots!

It was only due to the 10×10 challenge that made me try them as an outfit and they are 2 of my all time favorite outfits I can’t wait to wear!!

Staying True To My Personal Style

A key factor for converting so many ITEMS-TO-OUTFITS was due to staying try to my personal style. Because they have a similar look and feel to them, they’re easier to combine!

And just a side note – have you noticed that neither of my 10×10 capsule collections contain a black piece of clothing or accessory!?!

Teaching clients how to combine colours other than black is a vital part of my personal styling service

Wardrobe Makeover DIY Style

Now, as I’ve mentioned, colour is a key factor when curating a mini-wardrobe but this is something you can influence. My pale denim skirt didn’t start out life as a pale denim skirt, I gave it a bit of a 2-stage wardrobe makeover:

  1. Bleaching it
  2. Transforming jeans into a skirt

Have you ever thought about giving your denim a makeover? Here’s a few fashion tips on how:

TRANSFORMING CLOTHES IN TO AN ACCESSORY

I work as a personal stylist so it’s my job to think outside the box so I decided to see what happens when I gave my top a fashion makeover and turned it in to a scarf…and I loved the result!

My scarf-slash-top worn with jeans-slash-skirt

It’s silk so it’s comfortable for wearing around the neck and when I decide I don’t want ‘Metallica’ scrolled across my boobs, I can cover the graphic with a more feminine floral scarf-slash-top. Brilliant.

Now, I’m not suggesting that you have to magically turn clothes in to accessories but the point I want to illustrate is:

HOW LITTLE YOU ACTUALLY NEED IN YOUR WARDROBE TO CREATE INTERESTING NEW OUTFITS

As long as you have chosen flattering, versatile items!

Hair Scarf Styled 3 Ways – & NONE Of Them Are In My Hair!

Talking of accessories, hair scarves are a key fashion trend but don’t restrict their use to just the hair. Ultimately it’s just a long piece of fabric so be playful with it’s uses.

Here’s my leopard print scarf worn 3 different ways…and none of them in my hair!

Just because you bought it as a hair scarf, doesn’t mean it can’t be a belt scarf, or a hat scarf?

If you have a similar scarf, then why not try and use it as a belt (I’m not too proud to admit I only managed to tie this round the smallest part of my waist on a ‘good’ day), tie to your bag to strengthen your outfit or update your hat with a new pattern?

Travel Capsule Conundrum?

This process is THE perfect way to create your own capsule next time you travel. You’ll feel more organised and less stressed as you’ll only be taking pieces you’re actually going to wear, knowing they mix & match.

It only takes a little bit of wardrobe planning!null

Fashion Tips On Planning Your Capsule Wardrobe

So for all of you out there wearing just 20% of your wardrobe 80% of the time (I’m assuming you’ve read my home page?) I encourage you to take part in this 10×10 outfit challenge, or YOUR version of it which might mean 10×9 or 12×10 – some people have been working to a 15×15 clothing capsule and that’s cool too! (It looks great btw).

First time round, select your most versatile pieces within a similar color palette and if you create 10 outfits from them easily, then swap one out to something more unusual and see how this changes your outfit?

If you’re sick of getting stressed every morning before you’ve even left the house, planning a capsule wardrobe is something you should consider!

Give it a whirl!

Also read my article on my first 10×10 challenge which offers more practical fashion tips on how to curate your perfect capsule

EVEN IF YOU ONLY CREATE 2 NEW OUTFITS, WEAR THEM MONTHLY AND YOU’VE WORN THEM 24 TIMES MORE THAN YOU WOULD HAVE. THIS MEANS YOU DON’T NEED TO CONSUME 24 NEW OUTFITS TO FILL THE GAP!!


If you’d still like some help on putting together YOUR capsule wardrobe then contact me for a chat about how I can help make your purchases work harder for you.

It’s All On My Instastories, So Why Aren’t You?

See all my videos over on my instastories by clicking through to Instagram here. There’s loads of fashion tips including how to help clothes fit to YOUR body shape and fashion trend insight!

Drum Roll Please!!

So here’s the first viewing of all 18 outfits I created during my challenge and close-ups of the bonus 5 that aren’t on my insta grid (there’s 12 on my grid and the other extra 1 is using my top as a scarf shown above) ….

THE VERY BEST PART..

You know the very best part of this process is that i’m SO excited to re-discover the rest of my wardrobe that I haven’t looked at for the best part of a fortnight…… [this next part is to be said in the accent of Carrie Bradshaw from SITC when she opens her wardrobe and squeels ‘hello lover!’]



HOW TO DRESS YOUR ESSENTIAL ACCESSORIES : HATS & SUNGLASSES – part 1

Image from Pinterest

Here’s the first part of everything you need to know about wearing hats & sunglasses!!

Personal Styling Essentials

Working as a personal stylist in Sydney, I know how ESSENTIAL these 2 little accessories are. I’ll let you in to a secret, I only owned 2 pairs of sunnglasses and 1 baseball hat before moving to Sydney…yet I now own about 7 of each (read : 10)!!

I did start by writing ‘summer’ essentials but then I then I realized we wear our hats & sunnies all year round here in Australia so lets not box them in to one season.

Below shows how a baker boy hat works for summer AND winter:


Personal Style – Hats

The UV is so strong here all year round that I rarely go out without a hat, they really have become a part of my personal style but at first, I was a little unsure of how to wear hats as they felt like quite a statement and because they were an after thought – I was making a pretty rubbish statement!!

This was because I didn’t have the right headwear in my wardrobe and needed to invest a little time purchasing a few different styles to work with my different looks, fast forward almost a decade and I now consider a hat as an integral part of my clothes style.

Your Fashion Style

My personal styling services are about exploring YOUR fashion style. Some people are ‘hat people’ [enter Boy George, Beyonce & Samuel L. Jackson] and find it easy to experiment because this accessory is part of their iconic personal style, yet others (like moi) struggled initially and felt like fashion trends we ‘wearing me’, so here’s my fashion tips outlining how to buy hats:

Personal Shopper Tips

how to wear hats
Image from Pinterest

Wide Brims

As a Sydney stylist, I say the wider the better!! Hats need to offer a practical defense against harsh Australian UV. I know there are LOTS of other hat styles but being a practical stylist, my professional wardrobe advice is generally one with a wider brim.

Dense Material

No, not a fabric with a low IQ, I mean choosing a denser material so it’s an actual barrier not just diffusing sun rays, particularly important for summer hats made of straw or similar. Hat Guide UK, have a fantastic website that tells you, among other interesting information, all about the different types of materials hats are made from, some of them might surprise you!?!

More tightly woven fabric also helps retain the shape better and look for stiffened fabrics so the brim doesn’t sag after a few months, unless this is the look you want?

Talking of saggy brims…

Fashion Trends

Jennifer Lopez at the Grammy Awards 2019

Wider brimmed hats look more contemporary and because they’re on-trend, there’s more choice of style, color and fabric, hurrah! Don’t think you have to go as far as J.Lo at the Grammy’s this year (see right), but in my opinion a Panama looks more modern than a fedora these days. Not sure what I’m talking about? Then have a look at this fantastic headwear directory from @akaitsume that breaks down the lingo:

Colour

Being a colour consultant, I know how incredible clients look when wearing shades that flatter their features and this is especially true when wearing hats as they sit right on top of our eyes, skin & hair! It’s also a giveaway when wearing a hat to realize that the ends of your hair have got so light, they no longer connect with your roots!! No? Maybe that’s just me.

Size

The most flattering size of hat is dependent upon your body type as you want to echo the scale of your physique, so:

  • If you’re petite then stick with a petite hat such as a bucket, beret or visor
  • If you have a fuller figure or taller then you suit something larger scale, more of a statement like a boater, cowboy or large panama style

Fit

Most specialised hat brands will tell you to fit larger and pad it out, but I prefer mine to fit snug – not tight – as I want to be able to wear it in windy weather without the need for an embarrassing tie underneath!

Seasonality

In an ideal world, as a personal stylist I’d plan your wardrobe so you have:

Summer : straw hat x 2 – 1 x dark colour and 1 x lighter coloured

Winter : felt hat x 2 – 1 x dark colour and 1 x lighter coloured

This means that what ever your outfit, you’ll have a hat that works WITH your fashion style, which means you’ll be more confident about popping it on, reducing your cost-per-wear!

Below shows how a floppy hat style works for summer AND winter:

Traveling With Hats

For formal occasions you would be given a hat box with your purchase, but traveling with casual hats I ALWAYS wear mine, then pop it in the overhead locker after everyone else has sat down!! Wooo betide anyone who attempts to open the locker and dent my hat!

Three Bird Nest & Inspire Uplift offer genius baseball caps with higher holes!

What’s The Best Hat For My Face Shape?

Ok, so there’s SO many guides about what head wear suits your particular face shape, but this also means that firstly you need to KNOW your face shape!

Goorin Bros has a fantastic face & hat guide, one of which is below, click here for more of their shape guides also note the advantages of ‘the tilt’.

Hat Help!! My Personal Shopping Advice

So I’m here to break it down for you.

My personal shopper advice is to initially try a hat style that’s medium width and height and that’s a classic rather than a fashion trend, something like a Panama or cloche hat, see above directory (although the latter can look a little dated if it looks to ‘costume’).

It’s also got a good mix of roundness across the crown and angles to suit most face shapes.

Bingo! Your new hat! It looks good right?

No? Then contact me and let’s chat about taking you on a shopping session to find your style!

STYLE TIP – If you’re new to hat wearing and you don’t want it to stand out much, choose a hat that’s tonal to your hair colour to build your confidence.

Fashion Trends in Headwear

Nowadays there are SO many more fashion trends for head wear it’s not funny, the use of skinny scarves, turbans, head wraps, hair jewellery etc. all encourage us to experiment with our personal style by adding another element to our look we might not have considered a few seasons ago?

Have fun with it!

STYLE TIP – The only thing to avoid is it looking too ‘costume’ or ‘dress up’, try and stay authentic to your personality style.

Brands to try:

Cheap Thrill

Wallet Friendly

  • Lack Of Color –fantastic mid priced brand with a great range and edge
  • Johnny Was – local brand who you might stumble across at Sydney markets
  • Perez – specialised supplier of genuine Panama hats and handmade products from Ecuador, again found at Sydney markets

Savvy Splurge

  • Akubra – an iconic Aussie brand made right here in Oz for the serious hat wearers among us
  • Strand Hatters Sydney –stock hand-crafted head wear from around the world



Found this helpful? Then let me know! x

HOW TO DRESS YOUR ESSENTIAL ACCESSORIES : HATS & SUNGLASSES – part 2

Come with me as we delve deeper in to the world of sunnies…

Image from Shevoke

How To Wear Sunglasses

Don’t you love sunglasses, or more accurately, don’t you love how effortlessly sunglasses cover a multitude of sins. Big night out last night? Grab a pair of sunnies. Child kept you up all night? Grab a pair of sunnies. Want to add edge to a rubbish outfit, grab a pair of sunnies!!!

Sunglasses are like the superhero of accessories!!

My prerequisite to purchasing is that spectacles pass the ‘hair test’, if they don’t double as a head band, then they’re not coming home with me!

Personal Stylist Advice

Don’t you find that one of the most difficult aspects of buying sunglasses is that the tinted lens means you can’t see what you actually look like!

My personal stylist advice? Take photos of you wearing them for a few different angles and send them to a couple of friends to help decide.

Ultimately they have to feel comfortable on your face. I’m a professional personal shopper and even I struggle!!

Personal Shopper Tips

Here’s my run down on how to buy your perfect sunglasses:

Colour

The shade of your sunnies are KEY!!!!

As a colour consultant, we chat about sunglasses and reading glasses during our session which is REALLY helpful as we all wear some kind of glasses on our face. Do you struggle with why heavy black sunglasses don’t suit you? It’s probably because, like many of us, you don’t suit black so it’s important to find out what shades DO suit you, particularly as buying glasses can be quite an expensive investment for some people.

I love seeing those glasses wearers that rock a pop coloured frame and it’s generally because they’ve undergone a color consult and have the confidence to know what tones flatter. I can do this for you!

Size

As with hats, you want to keep the scale of this accessory in keeping with your body type, unless you go for a statement pair which I categorise as a ‘fashion look’ rater than a ‘flattering look’, read below:

  • Petite, slim body shape or delicate facial features = finer frames such as metal in small sizes with lighter lenses
  • Fuller, taller physique = heavier, wider or darker frames with deeper lens shades even some decorative feature on the side to make more of a statement
Kate Moss looks stunning from a FASHION STATEMENT point of view but the large black sunnies overwhelm her fine features from a FLATTERING point of view

Width-wise, reading spectacles ideally would be the same width as your face, the narrower set they are, the nerdier you’ll look, but with sunglasses they can be a little wider set and the bigger they are, the more Hollywood film star you’ll look!

Fashion Trends

For about a decade or two thanks to fashion stylist Rachel Zoe, the fashion trend has been towards oversize sunnies as the thinking was, they made your face look smaller and slimmer – remember Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie pre her style makeover? This is still a key look and statement sunnies do offer instant glamour, great for new mums who have approximately 1.5 minutes to get changed and out the door!

However nowadays there is a newer trend towards a smaller, more retro French girl style, and who doesn’t want to look like a trés chic French girl?

Fashion Style

In the same way that you want to choose a hat that represents your personal fashion style, glasses should too. If your style is:

  • CLASSIC = opt for a timeless style such as aviator or rectangular
  • EDGY = try the straight-top statement style or retro cat eye?

What Sunglasses Suit My Face Shape?

As with hat guides, there’s several, ok hundreds of different guides to help you choose a style of glasses based on your face shape and a lot of them say slightly different things or can get a bit scientific, so let me break it down for you, if you have a:

  • ROUND face shape = you suit glasses that are squarer
  • SQUARE face shape = you suit glasses that are rounder

This is because you want your sunglasses to create the opposite effect of your face shape

  • OVAL face shape = lucky you! Pretty much all shapes will flatter
  • HEART / OBLONG / DIAMOND = styles that echo your natural face shape suit you best

This guide from TravelModa.com I found on Pinterest is pretty good:


Or this one from GlassesUSA who offer further explanation by clicking on this link

how to wear sunglasses accessories

Cat eye sunglasses that emphasise the angle of our cheek bones whilst offering a combination of round AND straight lines, generally suit most face shapes so this is a safe style to choose if you’re unsure. Just play with the scale and shade to best suit your features and personal style

Unflattering Fashion Style

Unflattering Fashion Style

Ok, so this combination of hat & sunnies is an example of wearing unflattering styles for her face shape which is square.

GLASSES = too wide and rectangular, they should have some roundness to them.

HAT = too small and triangular for her square face

How To Match Hats WITH Sunglasses

Mis-matched accessories

Now, we’ve nailed the perfect hat styles from part 1 and now you know your ideal sunglasses, what about wearing them together?

Try to echo the essence of the hat in the sunglasses, so if you’re rocking a baseball hat, avoid 70’s Woodstock sunnies !

Take Bella Hadid here, for a supermodel she isn’t selling this ‘off duty model’ look to me as it’s too much of a mish mash of fashion styles. [ps: isn’t it reassuring that even a super model can look pretty ‘average’ sometimes?]

Remember, in practical terms, the bigger and wider the sunglasses, the harder it is to actually wear a hat with them!

Here’s an example where the glasses are SO BIG that they can’t wear the hat properly on their head, it tilts right back and could easily fall off if she look up, so if this isn’t the look your after, consider this. I have a similar pair and get very annoyed they don’t pair with any of my hats!

Sunnies are so big, the hat can’t sit on her head properly

Never get it wrong again!

How To Accessorize Outfits WITH Hats & Sunglasses

Now let’s consider your clothes style, how do we combine these accessories WITH your clothes?

Good Fashion Style

Below are some examples from Pinterest of when all elements are working together, good combinations of hat, sunnies AND clothing. These people have committed to the ‘look’, even the example without sunglasses shows how her jewellery compliments the feel of the hat, creating a strong look with a strong sense of identity.

Personal Shopper Secrets

I’ll let you in to a personal shopper secret I tell clients when I plan their wardrobes, I suggest buying 2 (or even 3 depending on your needs) of the above types of ‘sunglasses & hat sets’ that work together and more importantly, represent your personal style so you always have a ‘set’ on hand for wherever you’re going.

Which personality style/s are you?

Need help with discovering the answer? Then contact me today

Wardrobe Planner

The sunglasses you purchase may be the same style you wear all year round, but you wear them with your straw hat for summer, then swap the hat for a felt or leather version for winter and voilà, you’ve updated your look with only 1 purchase, not 2.

Not everything needs to be new just because we enter a new season.

Instagram

Now, I’ve found this rather fabulous instastar Rita Tesla I want to introduce you to…

I’m not saying I LOVE her personal fashion style, but what I do love is how she has hat & sunglass ‘sets’ that compliment each other in terms of style and colour – AND compliment her outfit!!

I’m not suggesting you need this many, she clearly gets product ‘donated’ to her (lucky girl) but take a few cues from how she combines her accessories WITH her clothes. It’s pretty good without being too ‘matchy-matchy’ (and I can’t say that phrase without having James Corden in my ear from Peter Rabbit – have you seen it? ….sorry, I’m digressing).

Rita is Russian, hence the cold weather styling, but she really nails different combos and is awesome inspiration for accessories, some of which is actually quite trans-seasonal!

Image Consultant Theory

However, as an image consultant I know that you can have all the style theory in the world, buy YOU have to LIKE what YOU look and feel like in these accessories, so my professional stylist advice is:

GO TO A SPECIALIST SHOP AND TRY SOME ON !

Get a feel for them, explore, take some photos. Hats and glasses are like personal shopping with a capital P & S!

STYLE TIP – experiment with lower priced pieces and the items you wear on rotation, buy better quality versions when needed.

Brands To Try:

Cheap Thrill

Witchery Q Le Specs Portmans ASOS

Wallet Friendly

Rayban Illesteva Pared Eyewear

Savvy Splurge

Gucci MiuMiu Chloe Tom Ford

If you have a few more minutes, have a look through my Pinterest ACCESSORIES board for lots of style inspiration as well as practical guides to help you find the perfect hat and sunglasses.

….let’s just hope the sun comes back out!

Get in touch today if you want to improve your personal style and learn how to look better, effortlessly x

*All images from Pinterest unless otherwise stated

WARNING!! KONMARI DECLUTTER SYSTEM

So in principal I love and agree with KonMari declutter system devised by Marie Kondo, you might have heard about it since her netflix series ‘Tidying Up’ has launched and become a cultural phenomenon?

In very basic terms, Marie encourages you to remove anything from your home that doesn’t ‘spark joy’.

I think that cleansing your surroundings periodically sheds a skin and is a vital part of evolving.

However, I do have concern about those people that might take it too literally, particularly when it comes to a wardrobe makeover.

Wardrobe Makeover

I firmly believe that most things in your closet should make you happy, but I also believe that there needs to be a second phase to the questioning, something like:

DO I NEED THIS PIECE TO BUILD OUTFITS?

The problem with only keeping items that ‘spark joy’ is that the plainer, often more ‘boring’ articles of clothing can get removed in the process and with it, the building blocks of your closet.

Photo from KonMari website

Personal Stylist

As a personal stylist, I frequently visit wardrobe’s that lack these more simple pieces because we tend to look past them when shopping in favor of more interesting, colourful, detailed clothing and accessories.

We don’t always understand the value they add to our wardrobe because we might not have been show HOW to wear it.

Read more about my MAKEOVER PROCESS and WARDROBE MAKEOVER here.

Personal Shopper

These ‘building blocks’ are often the main focus of the list we need to look for during our personal shopper session in order to complete a fully functional wardrobe.

Imagine if you used to own these pieces but removed them because they didn’t ‘spark joy’ and now you have to spend your months budget replacing them all!?!

And then consider effect on the planet??

So please, before you throw out that less interesting item that doesn’t evoke fantastic memories, consider it’s versatility in creating fantastic outfits.

Ask yourself:

wardrobe makeover sydney
Photo from KonMari website
  • is it flattering?
  • can it be layered?
  • does it work with pants AND skirts?
  • would it be wearable through most seasons etc?

If the answer is ‘yes’ to one or more of these, then DO NOT DISCARD IT!!

Give it the opportunity to ‘spark joy’.

If you need help to declutter and give your wardrobe a makeover, then call me for a chat.

1 Shockingly Simple Fashion Tip

Oh, and if like lots of my clients, you don’t like the thought of discarding so many of your clothing & accessories, then have a read of my 1 shockingly simple fashion tip to help you mini-cleanse quicker than you can say ‘Kon Marie declutter system’.

#10x10challenge – WHAT’S IN YOUR WARDROBE’S SYDNEY?

You know me, I love a challenge, and when that challenge involves a styling a capsule wardrobe, i’m even more excited!

Have you heard about this 10×10 DAY CHALLENGE on instagram? It’s where you:

> select a 10 piece capsule

> create 10 outfits

> post it to your grid

Simple!

Thousands of people around the world are trying it so you can get some real life outfit inspiration, and to me that’s the very best kind – EVERYDAY OUTFIT INSPIRATION. 

#summer10x10

Mine is an everyday summer capsule wardrobe for Australian weather (although this sporadic Sydney rain has been throwing a spanner in the works!)

If you need some more casual summer outfit inspiration then click on my pinterest board.

So, I took to my closet with my little helper (my 5 year old daughter)
and put my wardrobe stylist skills to the test!

Here’s some of my 10 outfits (well, 11 actually) complete with style hacks to offer simple fashion tips when building your looks, as well as my final 11 outfits I created. And now i’m FINALLY on insta-stories, you can get loads more behind-the-scenes video action!!


13 Things I Learnt From My 10×10

I can honestly say I’ve thoroughly enjoyed planning my outfits for a 10 day period and here’s why:

1. Great to have a choice every morning, but a limited choice

2. Reduces decision making, feeling overwhelmed or stressed

3. Saves time

4. Encourages me to create new outfit combinations I might not have thought of

5. Encourages more ways to style a garment ie. knotting my t-shirt rather than tucking it in

6. Forces me to try accessorising & layering to add outfit interest

7. Makes me accountable for the versatility & comfort of my purchases as these are the attributes of frequently worn product

8. Makes me value my second hand pieces even more because they’re more unusual and it sparks joy when putting them on

9. Surprised that such an inexpensive capsule created 10 (actually 11) outfits, therefore I value them more

10. As a professional wardrobe consultant, I know I don’t need rails and rails of clothes, yet this process still made re-evaluate the quantity & quality of what I have in my closet

11. Helps define your personal style – more on that below

12. I’m actually excited about wearing some other items from my wardrobe now I’ve given them a ‘rest’ and not looked at them for 10 days.

Do Your Clothes Need A Rest?

Resting your clothes relates back to my previous blog where I was chatting about how to organize your wardrobe. Often there are pieces we can remove immediately from our closet to ‘rest’ but then there’s others, those that you wear occasionally and think you should keep in your wardrobe but don’t bring you joy so you’re not sure why to keep them?

That’s what this 10×10 challenge forces you to do, to look at the rest of your closet and ask

‘do I like you enough to be part of my next 10×10 challenge?’

If the answer is ‘no’ then maybe you’ve identified these other items you need  ‘rest’ and pack away for a few months?

This is exactly the process I workshop with clients. I create a capsule of their favorite pieces, generally around 25/30 pieces, show them how to wear them in loads of different ways, breath new life in to them and then ask my client how they then feel about their less favored pieces.

This is generally the response I get:

Thank you so much for all your tips and follow up resources – they are truly wonderful! I even did a further wardrobe edit after you left – I noticed there were still a number of items I was holding onto that just weren’t right (style/colour etc.) 

Zoe McLaughlin, 24


Clients are happier to let go of pieces once they’ve been shown that they have enough choice, versatility and fun from their 30 piece capsule I’ve created!

Personal Style

So let’s discuss personality styles because, for a lot of clients, it’s an area they want to focus on during our session. 

For this 10×10 challenge, you have to select just 10 key pieces from your belongings, but by further selecting what pieces to wear most often during those 10 days, you really get to understand your unique personal style, ie, do you:

> do you gravitate towards ‘basics’ or trend led pieces

> do you embrace colour or neutrals

> do you feel most comfortable when covering or accentuating a particular body part?

Be honest with yourself, learn what you naturally gravitate towards and let that guide you when making future purchases.

It’s easy to dress the version of us we imagine in a parallel life – a ‘celebrity version’ if you like – one that could wear higher heels, swan about on a yacht dressed in colourful silk resort wear, dress head-to-toe in white all day everyday….or is that just me..?

This links back to the reason I touched on earlier about why this 10x10challenge is so useful, because when you search the hashtag is offers REAL OUTFIT IDEAS! Not the ‘celebrity version’ like a lot of what’s on the gram.

What Shocked Me Most

So I said I’d learnt 13 lessons, yet I haven’t shared number 13 with you. You know the best part of this process that was an unexpected bi-product? The fact that it’s made my daughter think about the number of shoes she has and the number of times she wears them as well as engaging her in conversations about excess and sustainability.

Usually her shoes are half hidden at the bottom of her wardrobe and it’s only when getting them all out lined up next to each other, that we can fully appreciate how many there are!

Sustainable Fashion

Thinking more about the amount of clothes we have versus the amount we actually wear is quite shocking. This process proves you don’t need many items to create exciting outfits and that we can push the combinations we co-ordinate a lot more when we have to. It forces you to give yourself a StyleSense WARDROBE MAKEOVER!

Ethical Fashion

I’m a mindful stylist who supports the slow fashion movement in trying to reduce mindless consumerism which my generation are particularly guilty of, so reeducating the next generation is what it’s all about.

We need our purchases to be more considered, think about how we will wear it, have we already got similar in our wardrobe and to encourage people to ‘shop in their own wardrobe’ before heading out to the shops as there’s always something we’ve forgotten about hiding at the back to rediscover!!

Challenge Your Fashion Style

After work-shopping with clients, I LOVE to challenge some of them by requesting they:

  • buy nothing new for 1 year
  • buy no floral prints or black clothes for 1 year
  • wear a certain skirt or jacket fortnightly for 3 months


SO MY CHALLENGE TO YOU IS TO TRY THIS 10×10 CHALLENGE 

What’s the worst than could happen if you plan your outfits, you only create 9 outfits? You need to swap a piece? Who cares? It’s not just about the goal but the process and how that changes your habits and outlook.

Wardrobe Planner Advice

So, I can’t let you go without offering some fashion tips before joining the 10×10 fashion movement in curating a capsule closet:

> STICK TO A COLOUR PALETTE – this doesn’t mean it has to be just black, white & grey but more that it needs a simple colour palette ie. navy blue, white, bright blue & orange. All these shades work together as well as in 2’s and 3’s

> RATIO OF TOPS TO BOTTOMS – you need more tops than bottoms, considering we generally launder tops more frequently

> CONSIDER VERSATILITY – this doesn’t mean items have to be boring, but just consider how easily they will outfit with other pieces in terms of colour, shape & pattern, particularly because the 10×10 challenge capsule closet is about mixing separates, not dresses

> ACCESSORIZE SMARTLY – choose a versatile shoe & bag as there’s really only room for 1 each of these and this might highlight an a gap in your wardrobe …all part of the learning curve!

> CHECK THE WEATHER REPORT – first and foremost our clothes must protect us! Therefore, my last point is to make sure you pick climate appropriate pieces!!

Learn more about WARDROBE PLANNING here

So here’s my #summer10x10 capsule. Jump across to my instagram for a closer look and I look forward to seeing your capsule soon!

MY FASHION TIPS BLOG HAS BEEN VOTED ONE TO FOLLOW IN 2019!!!!

…and did I mention, also voted one of the best 15 style advice blogs… on the planet!?!! Read about it here


Thank you Feedspot Blog Reader for featuring my fashion tips blog !! I am one of only 2 Australian stylists voted for and the only personal stylist from Sydney!

Personal Stylist in Sydney

I now work as a stylist based in Sydney, but I’ve accrued over 18 years global fashion experience dressing women (and men), so I love being able to pass on my personal styling advice to help make dressing more satisfying for others.

I genuinely believe that no one should feel crappy or overwhelmed about the way they dress.

Fashion Tips Blog

To be honest, when I started as an image consultant, I didn’t quite realise just how much fashion insight I had, well, I did, I knew I had a tonne of international experience, but I didn’t realise how much of it other people didn’t know – but why would they if they haven’t worked in the fashion industry???

Because I have been designing clothes most of my career (read my bio here) it means I understand them intimately, including:

  • garment construction
  • the cost of producing clothes
  • what to spend out for and when to save your pennies
  • why certain clothes look/are more expensive than others
  • print & pattern knowledge
  • fabric expert able to advise the most versatile to the most breathable cloths
  • design details & clothes style
  • how clothes should fit
  • why some clothes don’t fit (DON’T blame your body type)
  • how to tailor clothes for minimum cost
  • fashion trends, fashion cycles and understanding what constitutes an investment
  • how design teams work and how that effects what you buy
  • sizing advice


In fact, as a professional stylist, I can help you with pretty much ANY ASPECT OF FASHION, STYLE & CLOTHING you need to compliment your personal style

So, if you or a friend needs fashion tips on how to dress, style advice on fashion trends that actually work for real people, or a personal shopper service in Sydney, then contact me for help, or click ‘follow’ on facebook page and my instagram style.sense as my insta stories are proving popular too!

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? LET’S START IMPROVING THE WAY YOU LOOK & FEEL NOW!!

Oh, and congratulations to all the other global winners of this fashion blog vote too 😉

HOW TO ORGANISE YOUR LIFE

OK, maybe that’s a slightly broader topic than I can cover in one blog, so I guess what I want to talk about is how to organize your wardrobe…

 

how to organise your wardrobe

 

How To Organise Your Wardrobe

This time last year I wrote a detailed step-by-step guide on how to conduct a WARDROBE DETOX (click & scroll to the bottom) containing practical fashion tips resulting in a full wardrobe makeover, including helpful storage solutions.

So this year, I’m hoping you’ve done the big overhaul (??) and don’t need a huge cleanse, or maybe you don’t have the time or head space to commit to re-organise your entire belongings, so for you, I’m offering shockingly simple style advice.

STEP 1: WARDROBE MAKEOVER

The first and most crucial step when giving your wardrobe a makeover is to EDIT.

I can pretty much guarantee that you probably don’t need all that ‘stuff’ that is currently in your closet.

From my first hand experience as a personal stylist, clients retain lots of clothes & accessories that no longer suit their fashion style, some of which they no longer even like but keep because they feel guilty throwing them out, particularly when some items are still relatively new. I get it, I HATE waste, so here’s my professional wardrobe stylist advice:

Sustainable Fashion – Recycle Materials

  1. Give unwanted pieces to a friend or family member
  2. Swap at a clothes party – you could even host one? Works particularly well for accessories as they tend to fit a broader spectrum of body types
  3. Sell and recycle the money (I do this frequently via Ebay or High End Facebook group for more expensive purchases – click for links)
  4. Sell better quality/unworn/designer items to a to a dress agency who sells it for you for a percentage, Di Nuovo is a personal local favorite
  5. Alter or make the item in to something new, so for example if you love the colour and pattern on a top but hate the sleeves, remove them! Voilà! A brand new top you will wear for $20 tailoring cost!
  6. Give to a second hand shop to support local charity’s, Vinnies, Red Cross, or The Salvos

Any of these ways to recycle your textiles would not only eliminate guilt, but actually make you feel pretty good about supporting sustainable fashion in Australia and becoming more environmentally friendly. There’s an increasing number of sustainable fashion brands throughout Australia & New Zealand..but more on that in a different post!

 

how to organise your wardrobe

Simplify Your Wardrobe

Another reason why editing is so crucial is because it’s counter-intuitive to try and find space for clothes and accessories you’re not actually enjoying? They just take up valuable space – and for Sydney wardrobes that means prime real estate!!

YOUR BELONGINGS HAVE TO EARN THEIR PLACE IN YOUR WARDROBE

If you approach your wardrobe/draws with this in mind, it drastically changes what your space needs to contain.

Keeping your closet jammed packed:

> Creates more creases and if clothes are creased, your less likely to wear them

> Means you can’t see the fantastic pieces you own as they’re covered by your fashion mistakes – if you can’t see it you won’t wear it!

> Overwhelms you, leaving you more likely to pick out the same thing you always resort to wearing 

> Stresses you out when you can’t find the what you want!

Does this sound familiar?

 

how to organise your wardrobe

 

Minimalist Wardrobe

The Minimalists are American authors, podcasters, filmmakers, and public speakers Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus. The duo began pursuing the minimalist lifestyle in 2010 and have influenced thousands of people to do the same, to read more about them click here.

However, don’t think you have to go all ‘minimalist’ and throw out most of your closet when performing a wardrobe makeover – although I am able to perform the following styling service if this is what you need? :

 

HALVE YOUR WARDROBE

&

DOUBLE YOUR OUTFITS

 

However, cleansing your closet can be as simple as eliminating just a 3 pieces. Simply starting to remove just a few things no longer serve you is freeing, cathartic even. Getting rid of emotional baggage!

Don’t think it has to be a huge clear out where you try on every piece you own and decide its future, to be honest, you can probably identify certain clothing you’re not enjoying, instantly?

Am I right?

 

Personal Style

Be honest with yourself and where you’re at, if an item doesn’t represent YOU and your personal style meaning you’re always going to choose something else instead, then maybe it’s time to discard? We evolve as people therefore our fashion style needs to evolve accordingly.

 

Mini Wardrobe Makeover

Some of our belongings make us feel uncomfortable at certain times – if we’ve put on weight for example which most of us are guilty of during Christmas and New Year – but it might make us feel more uncomfortable thinking about throwing it out. Therefore a ‘mini-wardrobe-makeover’ might suit you better?

Below is actually my mini wardrobe detox I’ve just conducted consisting of 20 pieces that I’ve removed, not because I hate them, but because I don’t fancy wearing them right now so i’m giving them a ‘rest’.

 

how to organise your wardrobe

 

Do Your Clothes Need A Rest?

Working as a personal stylist in Sydney, this is the fashion advice I give – ” sometimes, some clothes just need to be given a rest “. Don’t we all need a rest sometimes?

Obviously there are seasonal changes to our wardrobe to ensure it’s always weather-appropriate, which i’m sure you do every 6 months as you follow me regularly and know I endorse this 😉 so what i’m talking about is resting ‘other’ items you’ve fallen out of love with – pieces you’ve worn on heavy rotation, an item you just can’t quite outfit how you hoped or something you’ve simply ‘gone off’. Don’t just assume you have to throw these out.

Ask yourself the following:

DOES IT FIT MY BODY TYPE?

DOES IT FIT MY LIFESTYLE?

DOES IT MAKE ME FEEL GOOD?

IS IT READY TO WEAR? (IE. DOES NEED ALTERING?)

HAVE YOU WORN IT IN THE LAST YEAR?

 

If the answer is ‘NO’ to most questions, then try the sustainable fashion suggestions 1-6 above.

If the answer is ‘YES’ to most questions but you still don’t feel like wearing it, then perhaps give it a rest? Carefully store it somewhere outside of your functional wardrobe (although it can be shelved at the very top of your closet), then re-visit it in 3 or 6 months time depending on your comfort level and you might just find you now have the top to wear with that ‘rested’ skirt, or you forgot you had that lightweight knit and can’t wait to wear it again?

 

IT’S LIKE SHOPPING IN YOUR OWN WARDROBE

Which is free of charge. And that’s the best bit!

 

So why not start with just 3 pieces? You might find that over time, you feel more comfortable to remove a few more items because your not throwing them away, never to be seen again, but instead transferring them to a ‘rest pile’  therefore you can be pretty ruthless as it will remain in your home.

 

how to organise your wardrobe

 

OK, So What Shouldn’t I Throw Away?

> Timeless women’s clothing in quality fabrics such as leather, sequins, velvet or denim as these rarely date

> Black doesn’t tend to date as quickly so I suggest to keep

> Vintage styles …as they always look cool and could double as fancy dress!

> Items with sentimental value and those pieces you want to hand down to your children

 

Shockingly Simple Fashion Tips

So you can see how easy organising your wardrobe can actually be.

JUST START TO EDIT A FEW PIECES…AND GO FROM THERE!

You don’t need to necessarily approach it as a 2-day-job, but instead just start to be honest about what you haven’t worn and ‘rest’ them to give your wardrobe a mini-makeover. Trust me, you’ll start to enjoy your edited wardrobe so much more when all you can see is great purchases, that fit you and are ready to throw on!

 

how to organise your wardrobe

Contact me to make a booking here. See you soon!