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shopping tips

Fashion

How to shop for a winter coat that’s stylish and versatile

12th July, 2021

 

Winter coats are a necessity but often one purchase that’s often left to the last minute (ie waiting till you’re absolutely freezing and realise you may finally need one!) or just relegating to the utilitarian fashion buy pile so it doesn’t require much consideration. I’m of the frame of mind that a coat is one of the key elements of any look throughout the winter months, and can in fact can be the final piece that ties it all together. I’m quite partial to a rotation of coats throughout winter so I’ve got everything from a trench to a statement print in my arsenal as different looks call for a different style of topper, however I also see the value in investing in one beautiful coat that can work with your entire wardrobe. Either way, if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s how to shop for a coat that’s not only stylish but also super versatile. Here’s how to do it:

Consider length

I prefer a longer coat, either to the knee, mid-calf or at the ankle as I find the length to be much more wearable with various outfits. I think a longline coat also works beautifully worn over something casual such as a sweater and jeans, but can also look ultra chic when paired with a dress that’s the same length. It’s also something that’s flattering to various heights so it works for most.

Maintain balance

While a longer hem is my preference, I think a shorter coat that ends at mid-thigh is also great—but it does require some balance. Consider a silhouette that’s slightly more oversized such as a cocoon coat which can look stylish with almost any kind of outfit.

Fabrication is key

One of the beautiful things about 0 is being able to play around with textures—which is where coats can really shine. There are so many different kinds of coats available these days, whether it’s a fun teddy coat, a shearling lined jacket or a faux fur number. Either way your choice of fabrication can really elevate a look and give it some depth.

Find the perfect fit

A coat which fits perfectly really is one of the best things you can have up your fashion bag of tricks. It ties a look together and gives it an element of polish. I think it’s always good to go for a coat that can comfortably fit a jumper undearneath; anything less might be too tight and anything more might be too loose. Keep searching until you find it!

Don’t forget about colours and patterns

A coat in a classic, practical colour does have its place as you know you can always rely on it. However I think the beauty about  winter coats is often in embracing those in bold hues or feature an interesting pattern. A herringbone coat or a vibrant fire engine red has the power to transform a look with its statement-making vibe.

Go for quality

If we’re talking longevity then you absolutely must invest in the best quality coat you can afford. A coat that’s slightly pricier will often have better construction, fine finishes (you’d be surprised how a cheap-ish looking button can let down the whole vibe of a coat) and fabric composition that’s top notch (such as a 100% wool).

What kind of coat have you invested in this season?

 

Fashion, Shop

How to take the stress out of shopping

4th April, 2021

Shopping is often quite a therapeutic activity for me, but I know for some, it’s downright stressful. Whether it’s being unsure what you’re looking for, feeling overwhelmed at all the choice, or not feeling entirely confident in your own tastes, being faced with store after store, or an endless scrolling session online may not be an entirely fun experience. So, is there a way to make shopping just that little bit easier and enjoyable? I firmly believe there is.

As with most things, preparation is key. Even a shopping expedition can become a lot more straightforward and stress-free by doing a few things beforehand to take the uncertainty out of it. Because I think everyone deserves to feel confident in their own style, and that includes being able to shop with the surety of what you like, what you don’t and what will make you feel a million bucks.

Here are a few places to start.

Know your style

Before you even think about going shopping take the time to identify your style. By doing this you’ll have a clear understanding of how you like to dress. And by knowing your look, it gives you a great starting point from which to launch your shopping trip, but it also offers a few guidelines for what you are looking for and what you’re not. By knowing this you can instantly turn a stressful experience into something a little more fun.

Make a shopping list

Channel Santa and make a list, and then check it twice. One thing that people often complain about is that they feel shopping can seem a little overwhelming with all the choice on offer. So one way to make it easier is to have a list of what you’re after. By giving yourself parameters to shop in, you can make the whole exercise seem more manageable.

Do your research

If you’re doing an IRL shopping trip, check out your favourite stores or brands online and see what their offering is like before you head out. This pre-screening process will allow you to know what’s out there and in turn what you could be interested in checking out. It cuts down the time you actually have to go from store to store and makes the whole process more streamlined.

Know what works for you and what doesn’t
Experiment with your wardrobe

A successful shopping trip involves knowing what works for you and what doesn’t. This means trying on what’s in your wardrobe and pinpointing exactly what suits you. If you have a clear idea of the silhouettes, cuts and colours that work for you, it can make flicking through the racks so much easier as you’ll be able to pinpoint the pieces that have potential a lot easier.

Wear something comfortable

One of the annoying things about shopping is that you may find yourself having to get undressed and dressed again multiple times to try things on. And the last thing you want to do is make it even harder by wearing something fussy or with a million buttons to do up. You want something quick and easy. Think a dress that you can simply throw on paired with slides so you don’t have to deal with fastenings of any kind.

Bring a buddy

If you don’t like shopping alone then invite someone whose opinion you trust, and is able to be brutally honest to come with you. Standing in front of a mirror and not feeling entirely sure about what you’re wearing and if it works can be made a little easier by having someone there to bounce looks off.

What are some of your tips for making shopping less stressful?

Fashion, Shop

What I will never scrimp on in my wardrobe

9th August, 2020

My wardrobe is an eclectic mix of different pieces at various price points but there are definitely special pieces that I have splurged on. I have always believed in being a discernible shopper and not just purchasing things on a whim so I’m quite strategic in my approach to shopping. I always do my research and will keep an eye out for sales both in store and online as there’s nothing quite like getting a piece you’ve been coveting at half price! That said, there are certain things that I will never scrimp on simply because these pieces are the workhorses of my wardrobe and need to be the best quality possible.

Shoes

Given how much time we spend in them I think shoes have always been a worthwhile investment. Finding good quality shoes will mean that they stand up to the daily wear and tear we put our footwear through and won’t require replacing or repairing as often. I’ve often rationalised that buying a slightly more expensive pair of shoes will often be better value for money than buying several cheaper pairs that will need to be replaced sooner.

Bags

I don’t buy them often so when I do I make sure that a bag is well made, from quality materials and of a style that will remain a classic for years to come. I’m all about quality not quantity in my wardrobe so I’d rather hang out for a slightly more expensive bag that I know will have plenty of longevity than go for an of-the-moment fix. For example I have a Chanel bag that I have had for years and that I still wear regularly and is still in great shape simply because of the craftsmanship that has gone into it. The same goes for my Givenchy bag (above) which I use all the time and I know because it’s so well made I’ll be able to wear it season after season.

Coats

I’ll happily scrimp on things like t-shirts and jeans but outerwear is something I will always willingly splurge on because of the number of times I’ll wear each item. Coats in particular are something I like to purchase each season and will wear throughout the cooler months so I always make sure it’s a classic style, made from a quality fabric such as wool as I will wear it day after day.

Jackets

I regularly wear jackets so I will make sure to buy the best quality that I can as I wear them so often. I have a Balmain blazer that I remember trawling the internet for for years before I finally snapped it up on sale but it’s the kind of strategic purchase I don’t regret one bit as I wear it to death. And yes, it’s definitely more expensive than your average blazer but I often think of things from a cost per wear basis and have definitely got value for money out of this particular buy.

What are some things in your wardrobe you’ll never scrimp on?

Fashion

5 questions I always ask myself before buying anything

26th April, 2020

When I’m shopping for anything I always make sure that what I’m buying will be a worthwhile and practical addition to my wardrobe. Sounds easy enough, right? I’m the first to admit that in the past I’ve been guilty of buying something because I just like how it looks but have found that it hasn’t really worked with what I already own. There’s really no point wasting money on something that won’t necessarily be used all that much and will just end up gathering dust in my closet. I’m all about maximising the use of everything in my wardrobe and to ensure this happens there are five questions that I always ask myself before I even consider buying anything. By going through this mental checklist I’m sure I’ve saved myself from buyer’s remorse many times!

What will this go with?

It’s important that I can immediately think of a minimum of 10 pieces that I can pair a possible purchase with. And they have to be 10 pieces that I already wear a lot so I know that it will definitely have plenty of outings.

How can I dress it up or down?

Versatility is key when it comes to anything I own so I have to make sure that I can dress something up or down quite easily. I need to guarantee that I will get multiple wears out of it so it has to be able to have many outfit incarnations.

Is it going to last the test of time?

On trend pieces are great here and there but generally I always make sure that the bulk of my wardrobe is comprised of things that I can see myself wearing years down the track. Classics will always last so I can justify spending the money on it. Also with the question I consider whether it is suitable for work and when I’m off duty so I know how much wear I’ll realistically get from it.

Fabrication is a key consideration for me when making any purchase

Is it good quality?

I take into account what materials something is made from and how well it has been made. Construction is important as I don’t want to end up buying something and only wearing it a handful of times because it’s falling apart. Also quality materials such as cashmere or silk may cost a little more initially but it wears a lot better over time so I’m not having to replace a garment soon after buying it.

How many times will I wear it?

I always visualise how many times I’ll wear an item and how often but even more so when I’m thinking of buying something that’s a bit pricey. It’s all about cost per wear so I want to ensure that I’m getting value for my fashion dollar.

What’s the best purchase you’ve ever made?
Fashion, Shop

How to make fashion purchases you’ll always love

19th January, 2020

When it comes to shopping it’s easy to get caught up in the process and end up with something that you may only be interested in for a short period of time. It’s these purchases that often end up gathering dust in your wardrobe and ultimately wind up on a ‘to throw away’ pile in the not too distant future. These purchases often add up and once you’ve done a final tally you’ll often realise (much to your dismay) that you could have bought a big ticket item that you truly love. Not to mention the fact that it’s important to try and minimise wastage and shop a little more consciously, rather than buying things all the time that inevitably get thrown away. 

So how can you go about making sure you end up buying things that you won’t fall out of love with in a week? Here are some key things to keep in mind:

Do some research

Shop around and check out what’s available out there. Whether it’s shoes or a dress you might find that you had one particular style in mind but once you’ve looked further you may find another style that you love even more.

Give yourself a cooling off period

Regretful purchases notoriously happen when you’ve seen something and immediately snap it up without giving it much further thought. Sometimes these purchases work out but more often than not you could end up something that you’ll lose interest in.

This is why it’s important to give yourself a cooling off period. If something catches your eye, sleep on it and reassess in the morning. If you’re still thinking about it then buy it. You’ll know it’s true love when you can’t get it out of your head.

Do the wardrobe test

Ask yourself if what you’re about to buy will realistically work with the rest of your wardrobe. Think about where you could wear it to, what you can wear it with and how many outfits you could pull together now if it were sitting in your wardrobe. If your answer to any of those questions is a bit sketchy then it might be worth reconsidering.

Consider cost per wear

Bear in mind that something is not cheap (even if it’s on sale and been reduced drastically) if you only end up wearing it once. That’s why I always factor in cost per wear whenever I’m buying anything.

Sometimes it can be easy to opt for something that may be slightly cheaper but not what you truly want however if you find that it hardly gets used then you’re not getting value for money. The same goes for buying something super expensive but then finding you barely wear it.

It makes much more sense to hang out for something you truly love. If something works out to be expensive but then you end up wearing it to death and the cost per wear ultimately ends up being $2 a day then you’re definitely onto a winner.

Assess the quality

The shine can quickly fade from something if it starts to look a little shabby and worse for wear after only a few uses. This is why I always recommend looking at the quality of something before purchasing it. Wherever possible, go for the best quality you can which includes materials, finishes and construction.