Do Spend Time Figuring Out What Suits You
I can’t tell you how long it’s taken me to work out exactly what does and doesn’t suit me. Don’t beat yourself up if you’re not there yet – it’s a real process. The best advice I can give is to think about those pieces that make you feel really good – what is it about them? Is it because they make you feel polished? Or powerful? Or simply ’cos they hide those hips you hate? Whatever it is – shop more for that.
Do Make A List Of What You Actually Want And Need
It’s really easy to get distracted by shiny new high-street products, but those rash purchases are what ends up giving you a wardrobe full of clothes and nothing to wear. At the beginning of each season, write a list on your phone of the pieces you know your wardrobe would really benefit from. These don’t have to be boring, capsule pieces – fluffy Fur Deluxe slippers are currently on mine. But it does have to be items you know will make you feel good, will stand the test of time, and you’ll come back to again and again. This will keep you on track when those frivolous new-ins come knocking.
Don’t Hold Onto Things ‘In Case’ You Wear Them
From the three-sizes-too-small leather jacket I inherited to the Outnet sale purchase whose discount price I was seduced by, I’ve often been guilty of using up valuable wardrobe space with pieces I know I’ll never wear. Cull frequently and ruthlessly, and make use of resale sites and charity shops to get rid of pieces sustainably.
Do Live By The 5 Ways Rule
Can’t wear it five different ways? It’s a bad purchase. From dresses to jackets, you have to be able to visualise multiple different styling options for any single piece – if you can imagine it with half your wardrobe, then you know it’s an investment worth making.
Don’t Buy Synthetics
If you’re going to buy basics on the high street, make sure they’re natural fabrics. From Zara to H&M, our affordable labels do great cotton, linen, cashmere – just avoid those synthetics to make sure your pieces look good and aren’t doing extra damage to the environment.
Do Size Up On Everything
Nothing, and I mean nothing, looks better sized down. Trends these days dictate – thank goodness – that everything from blazers to shirts should be oversized. If in doubt, go up – just balance out with something slimmer, like straight-leg jeans or tailored trousers.
Don’t Pay Attention To Size Labels
I can’t tell you how irrelevant brands’ sizing is. This week alone I have bought an XS in one piece and a size 16 in another – all labels have different guidelines by which they measure their styles, so do not get hung up on what size you ‘really’ are. It means nothing – who cares? No one sees that label anyway. Buy what looks good.
Don’t Scrimp On Accessories
This doesn’t mean you have to be dripping in expensive designer pieces – rather, that good-quality shoes and bags will elevate even the simplest of outfits. Look to more affordable high-end names, from APC to By Far, for quality styles that don’t cost the earth.
Don’t Forget About Self-Maintenance
I could be wearing the best outfit in the world, but if I feel tired and bloated and pale and spotty, I feel rubbish. It could be a slap of fake tan and an at-home mani – just don’t ignore the extras you need to feel polished.
Do Get Yourself An Anti-Style Icon
This is a controversial one. Keep in mind someone whose style you really don’t like and, when you’re shopping, ask yourself, would they wear it? If the answer is yes – ditch.
Don’t Shop With Friends
It’s slow, unproductive and distracting. Stick in those headphones and go it alone – there’s no benefit to those extra opinions. If you need someone to talk you into it, it’s not right.
Don’t Shop Hungry
Or tired, or hot, or angry. If you’re going to hit the shops, make sure you’re in the mood to do it – you’ll only get more flustered and irritated if you’re not in the right head space. My advice? A glass of wine and an online scroll is much better for the soul.
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