1) Don’t generalise.
I meet so many women who generalise too much when it comes to their wardrobe. For example, “I can’t wear skirts” “I’ll never be able to fit in anything from that shop”.
It’s because we form ‘beliefs’ about what will and won’t work based on past experiences, but it means we miss out on so many amazing style possibilities. For example a recent client said ‘I’ll never fit in that dress from Ted Baker’ because she was a size 16/18. She absolutely loved it, it fit like a glove and she wore it for her 30th birthday party, however she would have never even ventured in to the shop without me as she thought it was for ‘skinny people’.
2) It’s not you, it’s me.
If clothes don’t fit or look right, don’t automatically blame yourself. Women tend to say things like “I’m too fat” and tend to internalise the negative aspects of the clothes. Most of the time, things don’t look good because of the fabric, length or shape of the garment. You’d be surprised at how many women have tried that same garment on (no matter what size or shape they are) and thought it was ‘just them’ too! Perhaps it’s just bad design!
3) De Ja Vu
When you go shopping do you always park in the same place, visit the same shops in the same order? If you’re not currently happy with your wardrobe, but you continue to shop in the same way you always have, you won’t ever get different results. You need to get out of your old shopping habits and learn some new positive ones.
4) Shopping List
When I take my clients shopping, I always have a wish-list for them which consists of:
Need to have – essentials that will fill any wardrobe gaps and will create lots of outfits e.g. well fitting jeans, comfortable but fashionable footwear, blazer, basic tops.
Nice to have – pieces that reflect this season’s trends that will easily update capsule pieces in her existing wardrobe
Bonus pieces – things that will look absolutely stunning but aren’t necessary purchases e.g. LBD, pussy-bow blouse, pencil skirt etc.
It’s like food shopping without a list – you end up with loads of food but nothing to make a meal out of. Planning helps you to get the best bang for your buck.
5) Cheap clothes can cause expensive mistakes
With so much competition in the fashion retail industry, prices are often driven right down. This tends to bring out the Bargainista in a lot of women! When they find anything that they feel is ‘cheap’ or ‘only a tenner’ they buy it, regardless of whether they actually need or want it, because ‘for that price, it will do’. Cheap fashion for many women has now removed the need to make any real decisions. When fashion wasn’t so cheap, they had to choose ‘which one’ wereas now they’ll have both (even if they won’t wear either!) and over months and years, this tots up to a very expensive, unworn, unloved wardrobe.
6) If the shoe fits
You would never buy a pair of shoes that you couldn’t fit in to, because it would be a complete waste of money. The same should apply to clothes! Even if you lose weight, you have no idea where you will lose it from, and how much, so there is never a guarantee it will ever fit.
Plus buying clothes in a size too small is bad for your self-esteem. It constantly reinforces that you feel you are ‘too big’ and not your ‘perfect size’. Instead, just live for today and make the best of yourself now. Don’t put your life on hold waiting to achieve the perfect figure, as it really doesn’t exist! I know this having worked with women from sizes 6 – 26 with all of them wishing they could change something about themselves! It’s time we just accept who we are and make the best of it!
7) Receipts are there for a reason.
If you buy day-to-day clothes, leave the tags on until you are certain you will be wearing them out of the house. If within 2 – 3 weeks (depending on the refund policy) you haven’t worn something, take it back and get a refund. If you haven’t worn it within such a timescale you either don’t have the use for it practically or don’t have the right items to mix and match with it. Very often these are the items that months down the line, you still haven’t found a use for.
8) Stay focussed
9 times out of 10, most of my clients are crying out for capsule pieces such as well fitting black trousers or jeans, comfortable fashionable shoes, a nice jacket or coat, a cardigan for layering and some basic tops; all of which can be mixed and matched to create stylish outfits. The problem is that capsule pieces are very often the hardest and most time-consuming pieces to find, and women tend to get distracted by more fun things with a bit of colour or sparkle to them. It’s their inner-magpie coming out! However it is essential to get these basic pieces right otherwise no outfit will ever look its’ best, therefore dedicate specific shopping trips to trying on lots of variations of basic pieces to find the right ones for you.
9) Don’t be a Copy Cat
There’s nothing wrong with being inspired by another woman’s outfit choice or look, whether it’s your sister, friend, colleague or sales assistant. However try to stay true to your own individual sense of style and taste in order to strengthen your own brand or image. Women always feel and look less confident when they are wearing something that they saw on someone else, and tried to imitate; because it looks like they are trying to be someone they’re not. A great look and strong sense of style comes from being true to who you are, so if you see someone wearing a animal print top who looks fantastic, you can be inspired to find one that suits your personality, but don’t run out and buy the same one!
10) Key Criteria
If I’m looking for the best price per wear and effortless style, I’ll ask the following questions:
a) Where will this be worn?
b) Do I have the right pieces to make it in to an outfit?
c) Can I dress it down for the day, and up in the evening?
d) Will it date quickly, or can I see this still being current in the next 2 – 3 years?
e) Does it fit and is it comfortable?
f) Can I wash it in the machine?
g) Will it crease easily?
h) How do I feel in it?
If any of the answers aren’t quite what I’m after, I may continue my search for something else. If it ticks all the boxes, I know exactly when, where and how much I’m going to be able to wear it and be sure I’m making a great investment!! Good Luck and Happy Shopping!
If you enjoyed these tips, I go in to my top tips in far more detail in my book Nothing to Wear available on Amazon for only £4.99. For less than a fiver you could stop wasting thousands of pounds of clothes you never wear, so it’s a worth a look-see.