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.
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.
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.
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.
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’.
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
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!!
…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:
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)
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 😉
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
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
Give unwanted pieces to a friend or family member
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
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!
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?
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?
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’.
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.
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!
Here’s my second little personal styling feature I wrote for the incredible Mama Tribe.
It’s a bit about providing some everyday outfit inspiration, but mostly about trying to incorporate some of your ‘nicer’ belongings in to your day-to-day looks.
As a personal stylist, my entire business ethos is built around you wearing more of your clothes more often, so I often tell my personal styling clients:
‘IT’S TOO LOVELY TO SAVE FOR ‘BEST’
I want you to shop in your own wardrobe before going out and spending more money on more ‘stuff”. It creates a more sustainable fashion environment which you can read more about here.
PERSONAL STYLIST in SYDNEY
Working as an image consultant in Sydney, I know that SO many of us are guilty of opening our wardrobes and thinking
‘I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR!’
when the more accurate statement should be..
‘I DON’T KNOW HOW TO CREATE THE OUTFIT I WANT TO WEAR’
Cue my image consultant skills!
GIVE YOUR WARDROBE A MAKEOVER, SYDNEY!
So when you find 5 minutes maybe escape to the toilet for some peace and quiet, click here to read my Mama Tribe feature, and once the kids are in bed, open your cupboards, delve deep, you know, right to the back of your wardrobe or to the bottom of that draw and pull out something you haven’t worn in a while because your saving it for when you go somewhere ‘nice’.
When you find that item, give it a style makeover = a casual makeover.
Take advantage of my image consultant services and try out one (or two) of the practical fashion tips I suggest to see if you can make that item more casual and therefore get more wear – and more importantly – more enjoyment from it!!
Working as a wardrobe planner, I believe every woman should have at least 1 white skirt in her wardrobe doing either of the following jobs:
> 1. white casual skirt
> 2. white formal/occasion skirt
A WHITE SKIRT IS LIKE THE SUPERHERO OF CLOTHES
They give your closet a summer makeover, instantly transforming your tops…. in to summer outfits!
It’s not a fashion trend, but a wardrobe essential!
Casual White Skirt
1. For a casual fashion style, you can’t beat white denim or cotton and they come in a variety of shades/shapes depending on your personal style and body type, here’s 5 of my high street fav’s:
Formal/Occasion White Skirt
2. Ideally, you would also have a more formal version for ss19 too, this could be for work or play (or ideally 1 that would work across both), depending on your lifestyle. I’ve picked my fav 5 of these too, some from the haute-street:
HAUTE-STREET (higher end high-street)
Fashion Tips – Keeping Whites, white
Some say that white is difficult to wear with kids because it shows stains, but so does black skirts when it’s covered in toothpaste, food or fluff!
My tip for keeping your whites, white, is bicarb of soda, it’s a wardrobe wizard as listed in my blog I wrote ‘8 Fashion Must Have’s’ which you can read by clicking on the link.
Summer 19 Makeover
So, simply swap your darker bottom-of-body for one of these white or cream versions and you’ve got summer dressing all wrapped up!
With spring racing, Christmas party’s and new year all within a hop-skip-and-a-jump from each other here in Australia, finding the most flattering lipstick shade is an important part of your fashion style.
As a PERSONAL COLOUR CONSULTANT, I identify the most flattering colours to suit your individual features but this doesn’t start and stop with clothes, it extends to beauty and make-up too.
YOUR PERSONALISED COLOURS ARE THE ONLY SHADES YOU’LL EVER NEED!
The whole point of wearing lipstick is to enhance your features, so by wearing the incorrect shade, it actually can have a detrimental effect!
My ONLINE CLIENT needed help identifying her ideal lipstick shades so she sent me through a few to look at…
My client is an AUTUMN so she has some natural warmth.
You can see that 1 & 2 flatter this client in different ways as they too have warmth to them, but colour 3 is too cool blue for her and dulls her complexion…and hair!!
If you saw shade 3 in isolation, you’d probably think it was ok but once you try a few shades on and compare, you can clearly see the difference.
I suggest that when (and if) you have a few spare minutes, pop in to a make-up brand and ask them to try a few lipsticks on you including different finishes – but take photos in the same light so you can compare one against another as this is when the winner is obvious!
You could even book in for a make-up makeover which may cost, but you’ll receive style tips and will be introduced to new beauty products as they’re improving all the time which in turn, improves the way we look for less effort. And we all know that’s a good thing.
Which means that I want to make all your purchases work harder for you
We’re all guilty of wearing something once and then feeling like you want to move on to the next thing – which is often in the shape of a brand new outfit. However, as a stylist, I look at at potential purchases questioning how many ways I can wear it. Could I wear it to work? Could I make it work casually?
It’s ok that not all your belongings can be styled up and down, but we want MOST of them to be to versatile enough to cross your different lifestyle areas, even a show stopper of a dress!
By giving a little thought to this and planning how you’ll wear your wardrobe, makes your money and time go much further…
So, I wanted to share with you the perfect little dress I found that’s just hit the shop floor at @cueclothingco for spring/summer19. With silly season just around the corner, you don’t want to be buying multiple outfits when 1 well-thought-out dress can cover everything! Save yourself money by buying this standout patterned dress that you could to wear to all of these events:
Spring carnival ✔️
Christmas party ✔️
Christmas day ✔️
New Year’s Eve ✔️
> throw on a black jacket and heel and wear to the office ✔️ or
> a slouchy black knitted cardigan and sneaker to wear for day ✔️
I call it ‘THE WARDROBE HIERARCHY’
Clothes we buy for ‘best’ enters at the top of the hierarchy and once we’ve worn them for a few events, start then wearing to work …and then for the day!
So before you make another purchase, question how to dress it ‘up’ & ‘down’. Does it offer versatility? This forces you to be more accountable for how you spend your money and by giving your clothes a makeover, it breaths new life in to them and keeps them out of landfill, one outfit at a time.
If you’d like some more styling inspiration, take a look at my portfolio, particularly the different ways I have styled ‘1 dress 12 ways’ and see if you can use some of the theory on a dress you own?
Now, as it’s a new season (cue happy dance) we need to talk about getting your wardrobe essentials in order.
One of the main reasons clients find dressing challenging is when they haven’t got their versatile ‘must have’s’ in their closet that effortlessly build outfits time after time, season after season.
They’re not called ‘WARDROBE ESSENTIALS’ for nothing.
So do you know what to look for when buying the PERFECT WHITE SHIRT? Let my experience as a PERSONAL SHOPPER guide you to shop smarter…
We might all share a similar shopping list when searching out our wardrobe essentials, such as a denim jacket, a black jean, white t-shirt etc. but depending on the the following factors, depends upon the particular style each of us choose to purchase:
FIT & BODY TYPE
When you know what you need in your wardrobe, shopping becomes less stressful so as your WARDROBE PLANNER I create a shopping list bespoke for YOU and your fashion style.
Every client has their own style idiosyncrasy’s hence why they call it PERSONAL STYLING.
I offer you ideas on how to dress and YOU choose what you like best, we workshop it together. As your stylist, the most important thing I can do is to listen to your feedback which is key to us finding your style.
However there will always be certain features that everyone can benefit from and this is why a quick video to share my style tips is a couple of minutes well spent.
So, working as a COLOUR CONSULTANT in Sydney has taught me a hugeamount and interestingly it’s where the ‘science’ part comes in to my personal styling service.
A few decades ago, the 4 seasons color system was introduced which is the basis for my personal colour analysis but I modernise it by dividing it in to a 12 colour system which better represents today’s diverse skin tones. This means I create totally bespoke colour palettes for each of my clients.
Colour Consultant Secrets
I wrote a little article for Mama Tribe you might be interested in….
Have you heard of them? Mama Tribe are a brilliant organisation with a simple goal – ‘no mum left behind’. It’s an inclusive place to connect with like-minded mums to share their up’s & down’s of motherhood so no mother ever has to feel isolated. Ever.
Mums, and particularly new mum’s, are exactly the demographic who would benefit from understanding what their most flattering colors are but ironically they’re the group of people that have the least amount of time to undergo a personal colour analysis!
Hence why I offered my fashion advice to show them within a couple of minutes THE most flattering 4 colours they could wear, regardless of where they sit on the colour wheel, to make them feel like they’d had a good nights sleep, despite probably being up all night.
Your Personal Shopper
In addition to sharing my colour consultant secrets, I have also put together the above high street edit of these 4 most flattering hues so you can shop with speed whilst achieving a fantastic capsule closet. Purchasing a few pieces from here will give you a mini WARDROBE MAKEOVER !