There are a few moments during my life that I can think back to when I really felt good about the clothes I was wearing. I have two that are special because I was very young – Do you have a similar memory; Think about it now for a moment…..
My first school social dance, my Mum bought me a cream jersey leg of mutton sleeved dress with lace panels, I had brown block heels and when I was getting dressed she presented me with my very first pair of panty hose (in Australia no tights there!) I actually cried it was so special because I had to wait for that moment I was about 11 or 12 years old. I clearly remember feeling SO grown up and I was also allowed to put on some Avon blue green eye shadow and a lick of mascara. The intense anticipation had been worth it and because having to wait has made that moment stay with me always. I developed fast and my fashion choices were a bit odd for a couple of years after that. I had been given an old horse (Rafferty, the then love of my life) so I lived in King G overalls a checked shirt and riding or UGG boots, although my always stylish Mum guided me gently towards proper fashion choices! Age 14 I had been bought a beautifully cut pair of Flared Staggers Jeans, they were dark heavy denim with a high waist with 2 rows of buckled tabs each side. This was probably the first time I felt womanly, I wore them with neutral tan leather platform wedges. I wore those jeans with everything from summer shirts to winter jumpers. They sadly caught on fire whilst drying on the fire guard (because I needed to wear them that night) when a pine cone rolled out of the hearth……I was lucky I didn’t burn the house down! Those jeans were a defining fashion moment for me because I learnt the power of my shape. They were the perfect shape jean for me. They nipped my waist and came up to my ribcage and under my boobs and fell away from my curvy thighs at the perfect point. My platform shoes which were under the flares lifted me to new heights and made my legs look long and me (a bit of a curvy shorty with womanly thighs) positively model willowy. The truth was; it was a trick of the eye! Not only did sort of fool other people it fooled me too and I felt bloody gorgeous!
So early on I learnt one of the most important things to know in order to understand what clothes suit you is know is your body shape. I haven’t always got it bang on and over the years and I have worn some shockers, but over time and with practice I have found my uniform. Our adult uniform is just like when you were at school; remember you didn’t have to think too hard about it. The most we had to decide was how many turn ups of your skirt waist band you could make or how short you could fix your tie without the teacher noticing! Getting dressed every day as an adult should also be that easy, you should know what you are going to wear because you shouldn’t have to overthink it. If you have to overthink what to wear everyday that’s stressful. The women in Paris, you might admire their effortless chic…. if you really think about what they are wearing, they actually look very similar, they have their uniform, they know what suits them and that’s what they wear; this is what makes them appear effortless, because they don’t have to overthink, simple so they look great and they feel great.
Think back to a wedding or a special night out, remember the photos on social media? How many times have you or your friends clapped your hand over your mouths and shrieked “that’s the worst photo of meeeee ever, I look terrible!” Next thing you know the poor boyfriend or husband gets it in the ear when you drag him over the coals; “do I really look like that” “OMG I look SO fat!” “Why didn’t you say something” Our poor partners! But, there will be that girl, she will look relaxed and calm, that girl will exude a certain confidence, she won’t necessarily be the skinny girl and she may not have this seasons ‘it frock’. But THAT GIRL; she will be the girl who knows what suits her, she won’t have over thought her choice of outfit and her ‘uniform’ will fit her perfectly. I actually really love seeing people in the public eye wearing beautiful vintage garments, this proves it’s about the shape and cut of the garment and if it suits the wearer, not just about what is in current fashion. So don’t be a sheep.
When you begin the process of finding your shape taking a photo is a really great way to catalogue and record what suits you best and to capture the outfit that looks the best for you. Even if you dismiss the actual garment because it is past its best, the fact that the fit is flattering on you is worth saving the photo. Look at the silhouette and learn the shape, and think about the way it makes you feel; great, rubbish or so so….. We are aiming for ‘feeling great’ and nothing less is good enough for you! Also the photos to save will show you what not to buy in the future.
Make an album, create your own look book save this in your phone -Then you can revisit the album to remind yourself what suits you best. Hire the services of a Professional Wardrobe Organiser, it will be money well spent and it will also focus you back on you. The Wardrobe Organiser / Stylist will understand cut, colour and fit, this lesson will really benefit you, so you will know what works for you the best. Believe me once you know what your uniform is, you no longer have to overthink getting dressed. If you have a special event to go to you will instantly know what works for you.
Of course sometimes we see things that appeal they stick in our minds, but they are not on the uniform list. Maybe this garment is a colour that you just love; it doesn’t mean you can’t have it you may just need to introduce it in a different way. You can have fun with your uniform and as your confidence grows you will begin to find ways to introduce new and quirky items that will quench your new found fashion passion.
Instagram versus glossy magazines – Mmmm I like looking through lots of style images, having a quick peek and finding inspiration for reworking looks for clothes I already own. These are the clothes I call my classics, my staples or my really can’t let go of items. I also find lots of inspiration for restyling key items I see, I take these to my dress maker and have them altered to fit me; the garment that springs to mind is my lovely Chloe wool coat which I have owned for about 12 years, I still wear it every season because it looks great and fits me well.
I enjoy Apps like Pintrest and Instagram they are super interesting look books, most of the big glossies images end up there quite quickly. I also follow certain designers on Instagram because they will post sneak peeks to their collections, not just photos but videos that show you how the garment moves when worn. But still, there is something special about sitting down with a great, heavy shiny glossy magazine, boasting a gorgeously laid out fashion spread. Sometimes I see an item of clothing there which is similar or the same as something I own and I have to confess I love that and I feel like one of the cool girls!
Although I really, really enjoy looking at high end fashion articles (I’m currently am drooling over Alexander McQueens embroidered sweaters….) I also realise for most of us it is a ‘Fashion Fiction’ and may never be our reality. Have you noticed in the glossies what some of those outfits cost, hundreds even thousands, and they still look like fancy dress or plain wrong! Always remember that model maybe ‘photo gorgeous’ but if she moves a millimetre she too will look Crapola. So, we have to either get really creative …… not always easy for everyone. But, but, but, if we have a uniform we can identify superfast what works for us because we didn’t have to over think it. Relax Lady ………
*See Blog shopping for our shape