Adopting a few good wardrobe habits will make getting dressed every day a whole lot easier
Every woman wants to look polished and put together however let’s be honest, this takes work. I know everyone has such busy schedules so sometimes trying to style the ideal outfit first thing in the morning can be the last thing you want to think about. The ideal outfit won’t just magically put itself together so if you want to save yourself a bit of time and effort there are a few habits you can adopt to make it a whole lot easier to look great each time you walk out the door.
Keep your wardrobe tidy
Having to dig through a disorganised mess to locate just the right t-shirt or the skirt you want to wear makes for a stressful time. So, start tidying up. It sounds simple but making sure to fold and hang clothes in an orderly manner so you know where absolutely everything is will make it much, much easier to pull an outfit together. If you want some hints on how to get started I’ve rounded up a few of my favourite organisation tips here.
Choose a focal point
Centre your outfit around one particular piece. By deciding to choose a central piece then you give yourself a starting point from which to build from. Whether it’s a pair of showstopper shoes or a statement jacket or a particularly gorgeous necklace, each outfit should have a point of difference that makes it stand out.
Choosing one aspect of your look to focus on will help you build a cohesive outfit
Do a final mirror check
It may sound obvious but before you walk out the door quickly check that everything works. That means making sure that your shoes, bag, accessories and outfit are all playing nicely together. For example sometimes you may think a certain pair of earrings will look great with an outfit but taking one last look when you’re dressed may make you think otherwise.
Repair or get rid of damaged clothing
As soon as something needs repairing do it straight away. Procrastinating may mean that you might find yourself in a rush with a particular blouse in mind only to find it’s missing a button which means double the stress! If something can’t be repaired bin it straight away. It’s important that your clothes are in great shape if you want to look polished.
Follow laundry instructions
Yes, it can be tempting to ignore the tags on your clothes but following laundry instructions are going to ensure your clothes look great but also for longer.
Hang up your clothes at the end of the day
Getting home after a long day it can be easy to just dump your clothes on the nearest chair and forget about them till later in the week. However this will only lead to a rumpled mess that will require more effort to fix later on. Hang up garments such as jackets and blouses straight away to ensure they’re ready for use the next time you want to wear them.
Have you ever bought something only to find that you wear it once and it ends up collecting dust in your wardrobe? It’s easy to fall into this trap when we’re flooded with options and an impulse purchase is so easy to make. If you’re in the situation of having an overflowing wardrobe with absolutely nothing to wear then it might be time to rethink your shopping strategy. I’ve managed to hone mine down over the years to pinpoint the purchases that I know will have multiple outings. If you want to avoid buying something that’s a one hit wonder it pays to keep a few things in mind—it’s what I use when I’m considering buying something and I guarantee it works…
Stick to neutral tones
I always try to keep items like dresses and staples like coats in neutral tones. With dresses I’ll always opt for a little black dress, a white dress, denim or khaki. And with a staple like a blazer or coat I always opt for black because it’s a colour that’s really versatile. When it comes to basics (my everyday wear such as t-shirts and jumpers) I always stick to neutrals. Whilst a pink t-shirt is fun I’m guarantee to get more than a few wears out of a plain white tee. Also if you want to add a bit of colour to your wardrobe it’s easier to work back with a simple muted colour palette than try to work with multiple bold hues.
I think separates are always a really good option because you can mix and match them. It’s much easier to wear something like a quality silk blouse or a great skirt in various ways as you can just switch out the top or bottom when you want to change up your look. One thing I’m loving is that more and more labels are releasing matching separates which not only look chic when paired together but are great when worn with other pieces too.
Keep statement pieces on top
If you find something that’s a bit of a showstopper, find something that sits on top such as a jacket or coat, which you can throw on over an outfit. Everyone remembers if you wear a really bold dress but if you wear a striking jacket you could mix and match it and nobody would really even notice if you wear it multiple times. I’m a fan of pieces that have a bit of personality and are a standout piece but if I want to guarantee maximum wear out of it then outerwear is the best way to incorporate it into my look.
Don’t be a slave to trends
There are multiple trends each season and while it’s fun to try them you don’t always have to wear a trend from head to toe. You can incorporate a trend into your look with a really great jacket or small accessories. For example if you want to get into the 70s, buy one trend piece such as a pair of flared jeans. It doesn’t mean that you have to look like you stepped off the set of Saturday Night Fever. Exercise a bit of restraint when it comes to trends as invariably they will come and go.
Avoid too much embellishment
If you want certain pieces to last season after season avoid having too much embellishment on it. Having a lot of detail on a particular garment makes it more difficult to work back with other items in your wardrobe. Not only that, it also it makes it easily identifiable so it’s harder to have it be a chameleon piece that can be worn for multiple occasions. If you look at the celebs who tend to outfit repeat, they’re always wearing a classic piece that’s simple and streamlined.
What are some ways you get more wear out of pieces in your wardrobe?
There are some principles that I maintain when it comes to fashion. I always invest in quality pieces, everything has to be versatile and work back with what I already own and the end result always has to be polished. However by far the one thing that I can’t get dressed without is an arsenal of good basics. These are the building blocks of most of my looks. I can add accessories to liven things up or pair them with great jacket but ultimately they form the basis of almost everything I wear.
Over the years I’ve found that there are key basics that my wardrobe just wouldn’t function without. Essentially most of my outfits are aided by any one of the below items on a day to day basis and having them on hand means less outfit dilemmas for me. It’s been a process of trial and error, but this is what I’ve found are the building blocks of a great wardrobe. Feel free to add to the list!
A white t-shirt
The perfect white tee is a necessity. It’s something that you’ll reach for in your wardrobe time and time again. It pays to go in search of one that’s the right fit, length and cut to ensure that it suits you perfectly.
Singlets in staple colours
Grab one singlet in white and one in black and I guarantee that you’ll end up wearing both repeatedly. Much like the white tee it’s the perfect item for layering and will become a welcome addition to your closet.
A cosy cardi in a neutral tone (I particularly love grey but white, navy and black are also good options) is guaranteed to see you through winter and the tricky trans-seasonal period when the weather can be a little unpredictable. Invest in one made from quality wool or cashmere and I guarantee you’ll have it for seasons to come.
I’ve found that out of all the different jumper styles out there the v-neck is the most flattering. When it comes to jumpers the same principle for the cardi applies—choose one in a neutral tone and made from wool or cashmere. Personally I always buy jumpers a size or two bigger because I don’t like anything too tight.
It’s time to elevate your lounge wear. When I’m at home I live in either cotton, cashmere or wool lounge pants and I’ve found that they can easily go from being in the house to out without having to do much. This is great for those times when I just need to quickly duck to the shops and don’t really feel like changing.
Whatever your denim style, a pair of lived in jeans that you can turn to constantly will give you plenty of outfit options when it comes to dressing for your down time. There are plenty of options available out there (I’m definitely a skinny jeans girl) so make sure you try on as many pairs as possible until you find the perfect fit. If you need a little help denim shopping check out my guide here.
While they may not be for everyone, I wanted to add them to the list as these are definitely one of my staples because they’re just so comfortable. I’ve found that a pair in a leggings style are the most versatile but there are so many different variations that it pays to hunt around for one that will work with your wardrobe the best.
I recently posted about how important underwear is to an outfit so make sure that you stock up on comfy, flattering underwear. Look at your lingerie drawer and be honest with yourself —is it filled with quality pieces or are you still clinging to your old faithfuls that are hanging on by a thread? If it’s the latter it might be time to consider an upgrade. You don’t necessarily need anything fancy but it definitely has to be able to work with multiple garments and provide support in all the right places.
What are some of the wardrobe basics you can’t live without?
I am a sunglasses girl through and through and have managed to build up quite the collection simply because of the fact I’ve found that sunnies are a simple and easy way to update a look. Simply changing up the frames you’re wearing can instantly give an outfit an entirely different vibe. Now that it’s definitely sunglasses weather there are so many great styles available that I’ve definitely started to compile a wishlist of a few pairs that I’d really like this summer. If you’re in the market for a new pair of sunnies, here are some of my tips for buying a pair you’ll love…
Try them on in person
I’ll buy almost everything online but will refrain from making a sunglasses purchase unless I’ve tried them on in real life. Even with the measurements listed you won’t really know if a pair will suit your face unless you’ve roadtested them first.
Make sure they’re the right fit
It sounds obvious but sometimes some people may not realise they’re wearing the wrong fit for their face. Ensure that they’re not too big – so they shouldn’t sit past your cheekbones, along with not being too wide. If you find you’re constantly having to push them up they’re likely not snug enough to comfortably fit.
Choose a lens to suit your wardrobe
If you wear lots of black go for a black lens as you’ll fine you’ll be able to work it back with your wardrobe a little easier. If you wear lots of brown tones then go for a bronze lens. That said if you want to make a statement you could opt for mirrored lenses which have made a comeback.
Try different brands
You don’t have to spend a fortune on sunglasses to have them look great. Sure, there are some amazing designer frames around but they also come with a hefty price tag so you may want to save those brands for when you’re really trying to spoil yourself and buying a classic pair that will last a few seasons. There are some great frames from brands such as Le Specs and Local Supply and even your local chain stores have some fun options available and they’re great for when you want a pair of sunglasses that are up-to-the-minute and very much on trend. Plus at a more reasonable price point you can consider buying more than one style.
Experiment with shapes
I love everything from a cat’s eye to round John Lennon style sunglasses and classic Ray Ban Wayfarers so you definitely don’t have to restrict yourself to just one shape. Have fun trying a few pairs on so you can see what complements your face shape and also your style.
When I’m off duty I’m all about comfort. I have to spend a lot of my working life getting dressed up so when it’s time to unwind, I like to ensure that whatever I’m wearing is easy and relaxed. Leisure wear is all about an unfussy silhouette which I love, but my style still maintains a polished feel no matter whether it’s for work or play so I always keep that in mind for any off duty looks. I like to know I can easily go from a day spent lounging at home to a quick trip to the shops without too much fuss. Want to know how to style lounge wear in a no-fuss way? When it comes to dressing for comfort here are the rules I stick to….
Go for quality fabrics
I make sure I buy basics in good quality fabrics. For example I love to wear beautiful cashmere knits or a great linen shirt just to make sure everything looks polished. If you are planning to wear these pieces regularly, investing in quality fabrics will make sure that they last longer. My favourite brands for leisure wear include Bassike and C&M as I find they make great relaxed pieces that are quite fashion forward at the same time.
Stick to a specific colour palette
I refine my colours down to neutrals such as black, white and grey when it comes to leisure wear. It’s easy to mix and match pieces with that colour scheme and straightforward is what you want when it comes to off duty style. That said, I’ll often add a pop of colour with a scarf or another accessory just to give the outfit a little injection of personality.
Sneakers are a key part of leisurewear (it also makes running after kids easier!)
Opt for dressier shoes
Your choice of footwear can often help dress up an otherwise casual look. For example I love slouchy, baggy pants with a drop crotch and when teamed with a pair of slides or loafers or a dressy pair of runners it looks considered and put together—but still super comfy.
Mix with quality accessories
If I’m wearing a really simple outfit such as slouchy pants with a tee, often the addition of certain accessories can help pull it together and dress it up a bit. A leather jacket or a handbag are easy additions that give it a touch more polish. By doing this I’m still comfortable but maintain a stylish vibe at the same time.
What are some of your fave ways to style lounge wear?
Feeling relaxed after my recent wardrobe spring clean
I’ve always found spring cleaning my wardrobe to be quite a cathartic experience. Being able to go through everything, purging things that are no longer used, and implementing organisational systems leaves me with that warm and fuzzy feeling that comes from seeing my wardrobe neat as a pin. I know that not everyone feels the same way about this task as I do, but I’ve always found that going through the pain of doing a BIG clear out (I’m talking going through everything you own) is always worthwhile in the long run. I’ve minimised so many wardrobe dilemmas because I’ve set aside a bit of time to organise! So, if you’re about to embark on this mammoth of tasks yourself, here are a few mistakes to avoid.
Cleaning without a plan
Pulling everything out of your closet and dumping it in a ginormous pile will make you want to cry with how big a task it seems you have ahead of you. I’ve found it’s worth just stopping for a bit to plan what you need to do and how you’re going to do it to make it less daunting. Organise things like how you’re going to categorise what you’re going to keep and get rid of, have the right equipment on hand such as ample hangers to put everything away and garbage bags to get rid of any rubbish and have a general idea of how you want to organise your closet and where you’re going to put everything away.
Accept the fact that doing a thorough spring clean takes time if you genuinely want to do it properly. You’ll have to try on items, inspect garments for wear and tear, sort them into the appropriate categories and properly deliberate each piece. So set aside the appropriate amount of time to do it so you don’t feel rushed and anxious, and also so you don’t have to do it again for awhile.
An organised closet is worth the time and effort- but there are some mistakes to avoid!
Being too sentimental
I’m not suggesting you go and throw out your wedding dress but sometimes we hang onto things unnecessarily because we associate it with a certain time. Of course there are certain items I’ve hung onto because they mean a lot to me but I’ve also learned to let go of things that may bring back a good memory but deep down I also know I’ll never use again and could probably be put to better use by someone else. I’ll always have the memory to hang onto but I don’t necessarily need to keep the outfit that I was wearing at the time!
Not going through everything
I’m a firm believer that when you do a clear out you have to take your entire closet out and go through it all. There’s no point doing some parts and not others because often you’ll end up hanging onto pieces that are just taking up space but not being worn at all. The feeling of an organised closet where you’re not constantly dealing with having to cram everything back in or consistently unable to find anything every time you get dressed is worth it.
Are you a fan of a regular wardrobe spring clean? What are some of your tips?
I love a trend-driven piece as much as the next girl but I also believe that there are some key pieces that are the building blocks of a great functional wardrobe. I think these 10 key items help make pulling a great outfit together all the more easier. You don’t have to spend a lot but do try and get the best quality that fits into your budget.
1. A leather jacket
I’ve had my leather jacket for many years and I think it’s the kind of wardrobe staple that you’ll have for a lifetime. It can be dressed up or dressed down and the older and more worn it gets the better it looks. You can get all different styles but I’d go for a simple biker jacket, something that’s really clean and classic – you don’t want to get too tricky with too many studs or buckles as it will date very quickly. Once you’ve found the perfect jacket you’ll wonder how you lived without it as it’s the kind of piece that can be worn with a cocktail dress just as easily with jeans.
2. A black tailored blazer
For me it’s a must-have item. I wear mine all the time either as a suit jacket, draped over my shoulders, over a dress at the races or with a great pair of jeans. It’s a multipurpose staple. When it comes to blazers, tailoring is key. It really has to suit your frame. I like a bold shoulder and a nipped in waist, I don’t like it too boxy. I think a tailored blazer can really accentuate your figure. If you find a blazer that isn’t quite right but you love you can always get it tailored to fit you perfectly.
3. A great statement bag
I don’t think a bag needs to be designer to be great. Just look for good quality leather – something that’s durable. I also like to have the option of having two strap lengths so if I’ve got my hands full with the girls I can just swing it over my shoulder, but if I want it to look a little more elegant with a dress it’s got handles so I can wear it on my arm. I love embracing pops of colour like pink and orange at times but I think you can also have a standout piece in colours like black, tan, grey and white. The key is considering how it works with the rest of your wardrobe.
4. A clutch
You can’t use your day bag for all attire as a big bag doesn’t generally work for cocktail events so a great clutch is important. It doesn’t have to be expensive but just a smaller bag that you can put your wallet and keys into and can be worn back with different items and looks a little more elegant than your usual day bag. When it comes to colours stick to neutrals as it’s more versatile and keep it simple – you don’t want something that’s got too much detailing or it will date easily.
5. A great pair of jeans
A great pair of jeans doesn’t have to be expensive but you really need to take the time to make sure they fit right. I have trouble finding jeans because they’re always tight around my hips but loose around my ankles so when I do find a great pair I make sure to snap them up. You don’t need to invest a lot of money but you do need to invest the time to find them. If you’re like me and are in jeans all the time, try and get good quality denim because you don’t want them to be too baggy once you’ve worn them a couple of times. Jeans obviously come in different washes so choose the most flattering for you. I can’t go past faded denim or a white pair of jeans.
I think that white sneakers have really earned themselves a place on my wardrobe staples list. I honestly spend most of my life in white sneakers and they can work back with everything from jeans to a pleated skirt without missing a beat. Invest in a pair that are quite simple in design and you’ll find it gets plenty of outings.
7. Ankle boots
Ankle boots are a must for winter. Once you find a great pair you’ll have them for years to come. I still have a pair of YSL boots that I’ve had for many years and I bring them out every winter. If you want your boots to be an everyday shoe it’s important to make sure they’re comfortable. For me, I like a bit of height so I opt for a platform heel which always helps with comfort. Walking around all day long in really high boots is not the best!
8. Leather pants
You don’t have to spend a fortune on leather pants but you do have to find a leather that won’t give. It’s about investing the time to finding one that won’t stretch after the first time you wear it. A skinny leg leather pant is my go-to item in winter and I think they’re great for travelling as they’re so comfortable. I find Helmut Lang does some great leather pants, so does Scanlan Theodore and ASOS. You can find a pair that fits into your budget but the most important thing is finding the right shape and a great fit.
9. White t-shirts
Granted they don’t last forever but it is important to find a great white tee. I wear white t-shirts with everything whether it’s to the office or just to the beach or with a skirt.
10. A great coat
Make it your mission to find one really great winter coat that you can throw on over everything. I like my coats in neutral colours but a statement coat in a pop colour is also fun. Just choose something that works back with your wardrobe. I’m a big fan of a tailored coat but a big oversized coat can look fantastic as well. If you are going to go oversized keep everything else you’re wearing slimline.
Do you have any other wardrobe staples that you think should be added to the list?
It all hits us at some point—that feeling when you look into your wardrobe and think you have absolutely nothing to wear. It’s easy to hit a wardrobe rut when you’re constantly wearing the same things on rotation but the solution isn’t necessarily hitting the shops with credit card in hand, it’s actually finding new reasons to fall in love with things you already own. Here’s how…
Challenge yourself to rework an old favourite
If there’s a blouse you absolutely adore but it has become a little lacklustre of late because of the sheer frequency in which you wear it why not challenge yourself to style it in a new way? If you would usually wear it with jeans why not try pairing it with a high-waisted skirt or a pair of wide leg pants instead? Don’t just rely on your usual outfit combinations, learn to experiment by trying on unlikely pairings and push yourself out of your fashion comfort zone. You never know what great look you may unearth in the process.
Just add accessories
It’s true, the right accessories can really transform a tired wardrobe. Pair a scarf with a dress or top a shirt with a statement necklace to give each look a new spin. Alternatively if you wear the same bag everyday why not mix things up and try pairing your outfit with a different bag each day. A simple bag change can really alter the overall effect of an outfit. The same goes for shoes. If you usually wear a particular look with heels try pairing it with flats. If you usually wear it with dressy shoes try teaming it with sneakers instead.
Use visual inspiration
I am guilty of falling into a wardrobe rut where I’ll just repeat the same outfits over and over again. To help shake myself out of this I’ll do a quick scroll through Instagram, flip through a fashion magazine or visit some of my favourite style websites just to get the creative juices flowing. Sometimes all it takes is one image to spark a new idea for an outfit I can pull together using what I already own.
Get something altered
Survey your wardrobe and see if there’s anything that can be repurposed into something new with a few alterations. An old look can be completely transformed with a new hemline or having something taken in in order to change the silhouette. You could find yourself with a brand new wardrobe favourite for just the cost of visiting a tailor.
Take my outfit challenge
If you’re bored of your wardrobe after an easy to follow plan on how to tackle it, try my 7-day outfit challenge. I’ve outlined a different thing to try each day and it will force you to have to look at what you already own and steer you into new territory.
What are some of your favourite ways to refresh your wardrobe?
Flipping through high fashion magazine shoots and scrolling through their websites and respective social media accounts, I am often in awe of what I see. It’s hard not to be. The styling is immaculate, the pieces used are all ultra fashion forward and everything is just so aspirational. It’s definitely one of the key ways I am inspired in what I wear, and what underpins my influencer style—the aesthetic you see on everything from this very blog to my social channels.
When it comes to fashion influencers however, I find the approach is a little different. The styling is definitely more accessible and translates common trends in a way that’s practical and easy to wear in everyday life. As a fashion blogger and influencer I love being able to showcase looks that are easy and wearable and the type of look most women would be able to use to inspire an outfit that they can wear to work or out with friends. Here are a few things many influencers consider when styling their looks.
Showcase your style
I follow many influencers because their style fits into my aesthetic and how I like to dress, and I think that’s important. It’s about dressing for yourself and what makes you feel confident and happy as opposed to trying to showcase all the latest trends. I think the more authentic an influencer or blogger is to their signature look the more appealing their content. Influencer style is about being genuine.
Versatility is key
For me the wearability factor is also important as I’m often shooting my looks using the back of my car as a portable change room and running between fittings and picking up the kids so there’s definitely a more relaxed approach to how I style everything.
I’m friends with a few style bloggers and influencers and everyone has an everyday approach to fashion. We use the same bags and shoes multiple times to showcase how important it is to ensure everything you own is versatile and can work back with most of your wardrobe.
I try to embrace my style and celebrate it in all my content
Mix and match
Also it’s about mixing older pieces with on trend items and giving a look a signature touch. I know I like being able to use a piece I already own and give it a new lease on life by pairing it with a few key accessories of the season such as a particular shoe style or a certain silhouette. The approach is about styling and making a look our own and something we’re comfortable in as opposed to letting a look wear us.
We’re also all about versatility. I know when I’m styling my ‘What I Wore’ shoots I like to find outfits that I can take from day to night just by switching my footwear or handbag and I like to ensure I mix designer and high street pieces. And if there’s one things most bloggers like to do it’s experiment. I know I’ll often try on some unexpected pairings to unearth a new outfit combination I hadn’t considered but that makes me feel great when I walk out the door. And ultimately that’s how I hope all my readers feel whenever they come to my blog or my social channels.
As most mums can probably attest pulling together an outfit is low on the priority list when you’ve got a busy day ahead of you. The aim is just to get out the door fast! I know for myself that when I’m in mum mode with Sophia and Grace I need to be comfortable first and foremost and my outfit needs to be able to withstand whatever the girls may throw my way. This is why I’ve managed to refine my mum style staples down to a few key pieces so I can just go into auto pilot mode on any given day. Here’s what I can’t live without…
A roomy tote
For me a big bag is essential and I always like to carry a tote as it gives me plenty of room to carry my essentials and the girls’ too. I have lots of different types – from super casual to slightly more dressy – depending on where I’m going.
I love workout gear when I’m with the girls. If I’m going to a class with one of the girls or doing the school run then I can’t go past my Nike sneakers and Lululemon leggings. I live in both! It’s really easy to pull together and you can’t beat it for comfort level.
I always carry a pair of sunglasses with me but I make sure that I leave any delicate, flimsy pairs at home. My sunnies are guaranteed to be thrown around in my bag or the girls will want to play with them so I prefer to wear the style that’s made of a thicker acetate so they’re not easily breakable.
If I’m running around then I’ll always opt for sportswear otherwise you’ll usually find me in lots of t-shirts and singlets paired with a good pair of jeans. They’re both definite mum style staples. I highly recommend splurging on a pair of jeans that can withstand lots of wear and tear because if you’re like me you’ll wear them to death. I also have lots of great knits throughout winter and will wear a big anorak/parka style jacket which I can easily throw on and can be popped into the boot of my car without too much fuss.
Heels are strictly reserved for nights out or for work events. I wear flats whenever I’m with the girls. I’ll usually wear white sneakers, which have become a core part of my mum shoe wardrobe or if I need to be a little more dressed up then I’ll wear my slides or loafers which are comfy yet still look polished.