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Guidelines for Shopping with Friends

Guidelines for Shopping with Friends

GUIDELINES FOR SHOPPING WITH FRIENDS

Who do you shop with? Do you prefer to shop alone or with a friend? There are advantages and disadvantages for shopping alone or with a friend. This guideline for shopping with friends outlines my thoughts and observations from my own and observing others shopping experiences. There can be advantages and disadvatages when you shop with someone else.

Guideline 1 – TRUST YOUSELF

Most people have the tendency to step out of the change room and ask their shopping partner this question:-

What do you think?

 When asked this question people usually respond in two ways:-

  • from what they see and how it looks or
  • from their own personal preference base of colour, style, pattern, texture and shapes.

Clothes can fit and look good on you and other people’s opinion can influence your decision or thoughts which can result in purchases that you regret and hang unworn in your wardrobe. When you only consider the fit and how it looks you are overlooking a very important element and that is how the clothing feels on you.

Before you step foot out of the changeroom look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself this all important question:-

How do I feel in this?

There is only one person who can answer this question and that is yourself. No matter how well clothing fits you and looks good on you if it doesn’t feel right then you will not feel comfortable and will not wear it. If you buy the item influenced by your friend or sales assistant’s opinions then it probably will become a put on and take off outfit and never make it out of the bedroom.

No matter how great something fits you do not buy it if it does not feel right.

Guideline 2 – KNOW YOUR PERSONALITY STYLE

How clothing feels on you strongly relates to understanding your Style Personality. Your Style Personalityy identifies the colour, shape, styles, comfort level, fabrics, scale, patterns and prints that relate to who you are. These elements combine to create your visual image that reflects who you are. This is very unique and individual.

This information about your Style Personality gives you the knowledge to understand why something that looks good and fits okay  just doesn’t seem right. With this knowledge you can be empowered by identifying what it is that doesn’t feel right.

This results in you making more informed choices about what you purchase and not be influenced by others or what’s in fashion. You know yourself and undestand what works for you. You can then make statements like :-

  • “This looks good but I don’t like the feel of the material. I know I wouldn’t wear this.”
  •   “I am not going to try this on because I don’t like wearing floral prints.”

Let me share a shopping story with you. I was shopping with a client who had brought her friend along for support. My client had great difficulty finding clothes that fitted and appealed to her. When she walked out of the change room with a smile on her face I knew she felt good in this. She also looked good in the dress.

Friend: “No, I don’t like that.”  – Clients smile disappeared.
Me: “What don’t you like?”

Friend: “The colour, I hate that colour.”
Me: “You might not like or wear that colour but how do you like it on Mary.”
Friend: “Oh, it does look good on her.” (Smile reappeared on my client’s face)

Me to Client: “How do you feel?”
Client: “I really like how it feels and looks.” (Client purchased the dress and has loved wearing it.)

If I had not questioned my client’s friend we would not have realised her response was coming from her own preferences and not really related to her friend.

Guideline 3 – Questions to Ask

The following questions are important questions and ones I ask my clients when shopping or working in their wardrobes. This helps them make informed decisions when thinking about what to buy. An individual item in the shops is only worth buying if you are going to enjoy wearing it.

Guidlines to take shopping with friends

 

These questions give you and your friends a guideline for thinking about purchases and not resonding to outside influences such as someone elses opinion or the latest trends.

When you go shopping with friends you need to support each other to buy wisely and not on impulse. You want to:-

  • Love the feel.
  • Love the look.
  • Love wearing it.

 

 

 

No Clothes Shopping for a Year Challenge

No Clothes Shoping For a Year Challenge

NO CLOTHES SHOPPING FOR A YEAR CHALLENGE 

Have you ever thought about under taking a no clothes shopping for a year challenge? This is exactly what one of my lovely clients ‘Michelle Jones’ decided to do. Michelle is seven months into her challenge and here is her story.

1.What prompted this year without clothes shopping challenge?

  • Throughout 2017 I listened to several TEDx talks about the ‘minimalistic’ approach to belongings and also decluttering one’s wardrobe and building up a ‘core’ collection of items for each season and from there how many outfits could be made up from the ‘core’ collection. By core items the speakers referred to the absolute minimum to build an essential wardrobe for each season so that all the clothes for that season were visible in the wardrobe. Items not relevant to the season were moved to another wardrobe or packed away in boxes. The reason for this was to make it easy to decide what to wear. Once the ‘core’items had been selected then there were some additional items that you wore infrequently, for example rain jacket and evening wear. Then there were ‘complementary core items’ which included scarves, t-shirts, jumpers, bags, jewellery and accessories. The combination of these items with the ‘core’ collection increased the number of outfits.
  • Another reason for the ‘No Clothes Shopping for a Year Challenge‘ was because I already had some outfits that I had bought but never worn because the hem needed to be shortened. Additionally some other clothes needed to be altered and I didn’t want to buy any more new clohtes until I had altered these.
  • I had a wardrobe full of clothes and wanted to work out different combinations to get more outfits.
  • It was a challenge to me to see if I could last the year.
  • Philosophically I believe that our society is becoming very materialistic and that advertising influences us to keep buying even though we can do without the new item. In 2012 and 2017 I visited Myanmar (Burma) and I was influenced by the gentleness of the people I met and their happiness despite their lack of items which in Western Society we consider essential.

2.What guidleines did you set yourself?

I could buy accessories, for example handbags, shoes, and scarves to complement my wardrobe and in this way get more outfits. As I can sew very well if I wanted new clothes then I would use my resourcefulness and buy the fabric and sew the item. However so far I have not had the time to sew anything.

3. Describe your shopping habits prior to this challenge.

Usually I waited until the Christmas and the mid-year sales to buy clothes and then would buy items that I already had the right colour accessories for or would complement other items in my wardrobe. Every now and then I would buy some items not on sale that I ‘loved’ and always gave me a special feeling whenever I wore them. I also bought clothes that I didn’t particulary like which were bought in a hurry because I thought I did not have enough clothes to wear to work. This was because I had not taken the time the previous evening to work out an outfit to wear the following day. When I woke up in the morning I would just stare at my clothes and think “What will I wear today?” and be in a hurry to select an outfit.

4. What concerns did you have in regard to not shopping for a year?

I was concerned that I would not last the year. In fact, in March I couldn’t resist buying two beautiful outfits at full price. This was an impulse buy because as yet I have not worn either outfit. As I bought these on 12/03/2018 I now need to wait the full year until 12/03/2019 before I can buy new clothes. If I ended this challenge on the original date 31/12/18 then I would not have finished the one year challenge.

5. What are you finding challenging?

  • My biggest challenge is not to buy any clothes. I love fabrics and new styles and I have to avoid going into dress shops in case I am tempted to buy something.
  • I also watch several current affairs programs on television and am constantly reminded what the latest fashions are because the current female presenters wear them. It is a challenge to override the urge to buy similar styled outfits or prints.
  • It’s been difficult and yet at the same time rewarding that I have stuck it ou so far. After I did the ‘Work Your Wardrobe’ workshop with Individually You I was very aware that I needed more neutrals, brown and cream in my wardrobe to maximise my numbers of outfits. However because of the challenge I have to wait until the end of it to buy them.
  • At present I need a pair of dark blue jeans because my other pairs have faded and the challenge is not to buy a new pair. A new pair would enable me to have more outfits for a Friday work day because my work has a policy of ‘Friday Jeans Day.’ The next challenge is to find the time to sew the jeans. I would selct a simple skinny leg style without pockets and then wear tops that end under my hip line as that length is most flattering for me.

6. What has changed for you?

  • I’m giving more thought on how to combine clothes to get different outfits and how to change one outfit with different accessories.
  • When I recently bought a scarf I gave great thought to the colour and selected the scarf so the colours would complement several outfits in my wardrobe to give them a different look.
  • I’m more comfortable wearing styles in public that I only wore at home, for example wearing very fitted clothes and shorter hemlines which flatter my figure. Wearing the fitted style in public increased the number of  outfits for work.
  • I now take time the night before to select the outfit that I will wear to work the next day and also iron it and clean the shoes that go with the outfit so it will be ready for the next day.
  • I’m more aware of what looks great on someone. I ask myself why and then see if I might get the similar outfit with what I have in my wardrobe.
  • I’ve changed hair dressers and now have a modern hairstyle that suits me better.

7. What are you learning about yourself?

  • I have perserverance to stick things out. Even though I bought the 2 impulse items two and half months into the challenge(mid-March) I have shown resilience by not buying anything since then which is now 7 months later (mid October).
  • I understand my wardrobe better and so far have been pleasantly surprised that I am getting a larger number of different outfits even though I haven’t bought any new clothes.
  • Just because I am not buying clothes I can still learn more about my wardrobe hence I enrolled in Individually You’s ‘Work Your Wardrobe’ workshop.
  • I’ve learnt that ‘less is more’  and it’s taking me less time to manage my wardrobe.
  • I’ve learnt to manage my time better and the value of setting time aside to continue the work of decluttering my wardrobe to have my ‘core’ items for each season.
  • This one year challenge has reminded me of the role of clothes in one’s life and how we can use them to ‘ power dress’ and the big part they play in non-verbal communication when people first meet and form an opinion about someone.

Thank you ‘Michelle’ for sharing your ‘No Clothes Shopping for a Year Challenge’ story.  You are an inspiration. Your persistence and resilence is to be admired. You have really got me thinking but I know I wouldn’t set myself a year long challenge but possibly one or 2 months. The question would be which months would I choose. Look forward to hearing from you after your ‘No Clothes Shopping for Year Challenge’ ends.

 

What Do You Do With New Purchases?

What Do You Do With New Purchases?

 

The question ‘What do you do with new purchases?’ has been on my mind for quite a while.

When I go into my clients’ wardrobes I often find many unworn clothing items. Some are still in plastic bags or hanging with tags still attached. Many of these purchases have been forgotten once they were put in the wardrobe.

Take a minute to think about what you do with new purchases. Let’s look at ways we can ensure that new purchases are not left unworn and unloved in the wardrobe. It is what you do in the shops, change room and when you get home that determines whether your new purchases make a valuable contribution to your wardrobe or not.

WHAT TO DO IN THE SHOPS?

  • Before you purchase an item try it on and make sure it fits and feels right. Ask the important question ‘How does it feel?’ Sometimes clothes can fit you and look good but may not feel right. If it doesn’t feel right in the shop it won’t feel right at home.
  • Think about whether the item has a place in your wardrobe.
    – Do you have something similar to this in your wardrobe? Many people forget that they have multiple items of some clothing.
    – What can you wear with it to make an outfit? (I like to think of at least 3 outfits that I can make with the new purchase.)
    – When can you wear it? You will only wear something if it fits with your lifestyle.
  • Can I dress this up and down to suit different activities?

WHAT TO DO AT HOME?

  • Introduce the new clothing item to it’s wardrobe friends. Take the time to create at least one new outfit combination. Having a planned outfit means you are less likely to have a wardrobe meltdown in the morning when getting dressed. Mornings are usually chaotic and hurried so you are less likely to create a new outfit on the spot when time is precious.
  • Cut tags off.
  • Place the new purchase in a spot where you can see it so that you remember to wear it. Once you have enjoyed wearing  an item of clothing it will not be forgotten. (I hang the new purchase on the back of my wardrobe door and put it into the wardrobe after I have worn it.)
  • Plan to wear the new purchase within the next two weeks.

You only get value out of what you buy if you wear it. Make sure what you put into your wardrobe adds value, versatility and variety to what you already have.

WHAT DO YOU DO WITH NEW PURCHASES?

Here is an outfit I wore today combining two new purchases – black and blue tunic style top and a long line black cardigan. Today I had the opportunity to wear both of these purchases together and I know I will be reaching for them again.

What Do You Do With New Purchases?

 

 

 

 

Five Questions to Take Shopping with You

Five Qiestions to Take Shopping with You

 

Shopping plays an important role in creating a wardrobe that becomes your own daily shopping boutique.  What you put in your wardrobe has the potential to contribute positively to your life everyday. What you buy will only add value and versatility to your wardrobe if you wear it.

These Five Questions to Take Shopping with You are Important

The next time you are thinking about buying clothing or accessories resist impulse buying by asking these these five questions:-

  1. WHERE DOES IT FIT?
    Think how an item fits into your lifestyle. You are not going to wear a dress that is quite formal if you don’t attend formal activities.

    The ‘just in case item’ will be a waste of money and take up valuable space in your wardrobe.
  2. HOW DOES IT FIT?
    This relates to your Personality Style and what colours, fabrics, textures, level of details and scale you like to wear. When you buy items outside of your personality preferences you may not feel comfortable and these become your ‘put on, take off’ items.

    Make sure you try the clothing on so that you can determine the LOOK & FEEL of the clothing.
    This is so important. Just liking or loving a piece of clothing does not mean you will enjoy wearing it.
  3. WHAT DOES IT GO WITH?
    This is an important question if you want to create mix and match outfits from your wardrobe. Having orphans in your wardrobe will be a waste of money and overcrowd the space.

    Before you walk out the shop with something think of at least three different outfits you could create with the intended purchase.
  4. WHERE CAN I WEAR IT?
    When you ask this you consider the clothing’s place in your life and relates to question 1. I always plan to wear a new purchase within two weeks of buying it and this means it doesn’t become the forgotten piece.

    Once you have enjoyed wearing something you increase your chances of wearing it again.
  5. DO I HAVE ANYTHING LIKE THIS ALREADY?
    Avoid ending up with multiple items of the one thing. Many years ago I discovered that I had about 30 pairs of black tights. For some unknown reason I kept buying them when they were on sale.

These five questions provide you with a shopping guideline for making purchases that will:-

  • add value to your wardrobe and not just take up space,
  • save you money because you will wear the clothes you buy,
  • potentially stop overcrowding in your wardrobe. If your wardrobe is overcrowded this makes it difficult to find things and you wont wear them.

REMEMBER THESE FIVE QUESTIONS TO TAKE SHOPPING WITH YOU

 

 

Create Great Shopping Habits

Create Great Shopping Habits

 

Create Great Shopping Habits

Many women face their wardrobe with a feeling of unease or even dread every day. Is that you? Do you feel that you have nothing to wear or that nothing fits or suit you? These feelings of unease, dread, frustration and confusions can result in you starting each day with less confidence and with much self criticism. Not a great way to begin a day. Create great shopping habits and you will face your wardrobe every morning with ease and walk out the door looking and feeling great.

Sometimes we need to think about things differently so that we can adapt new ways of thinking or doing. Your wardrobe is a result of your shopping experiences and it may be time to step out of your comfort zone and think about how you approach the task of shopping so that you can make shopping choices that contribute positively to your style and life.

Your wardrobe need not be a disaster zone. This post How Do You Shop has some great guidelines on how to approach shopping so that you can create a wardrobe that is your daily shopping boutique.

 

 

The Most Important Question to Ask When Shopping

Sacha Drake Dress

There is one all important question to ask yourself when you are standing in front of the mirror looking at a possible new purchase. My latest shopping experience reinforced how important this question is. This is my shopping story.

At the weekend  I went to look for an outfit for an upcoming formal event. I do not attend many events that require formal attire so a shopping trip was needed. I saw this beautiful Sacha Drake dress pictured above and admired it greatly but placed it back on the rack because it wasn’t a style I normally wear. After trying on a number of outfits the shop assistant brought me the Sacha Drake dress. I decided to try it on because I had been attracted to it and was curious as to how it would look.

I put it on and when I walked out of the dressing room the shop assistant and three customers all made this comment “WOW, that looks great on you.”

I looked in the mirror and was pleasantly surprised because it did look really good on me BUT I wasn’t thinking WOW and something wasn’t right. The sales assistant asked “What do you think?” and was somewhat taken aback when I said, “Yes it does look good but doesn’t feel right.” Her response was “What do you mean, it looks great and fits well.” I tried to explain to her that I felt constricted and uncomfortable around my middle. No it wasn’t too tight but because the material was woven it didn’t have any give and it  felt like I was in a corset. She clearly was not liking what I was saying and told me that after having the dress on for 10 minutes I would be fine because it looked so good. I knew I wouldn’t ever feel comfortable in this beautiful dress because it did not feel right. There was so much chatter from those people around me reinforcing what the sales assistant was saying that I actually felt like screaming out’- “You are not listening to me, this is about me, not just how the dress looks.

Good fit  is not the only element that contributes to making an outfit JUST RIGHT.

The all important question that you need to ask yourself is:- HOW DOES THIS MAKE ME FEEL?

This dress, no matter how beautiful it was, wouldn’t ever make me feel good because I love and need to wear fabrics that move with me and do not constrain me in anyway. Most of my clothing especially the more fitted styles are all in stretch fabrics.  When something doesn’t feel right it means that it isn’t meeting one of the elements that contribute to your Personal Style. Your Personality Style is uniquely yours and needs to be considered when shopping.

I did not buy anything but this was a successful shopping trip because I did not make a purchase that would become a revolving wardrobe outfit – I would take it out, put it on, take it off and hang it back up unworn. I did not waste my money. 

 My decision was based on my confidence in knowing what works for me and not a decision based on other people’s opinions.  I also  knowing the different elements of my Personality Style enabled me to have the thinking that this dress is not right for me rather than blaming my body for it not being right.

REMEMBER MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION to ASK WHEN SHOPPING IS:-
 HOW DOES THIS MAKE ME FEEL?

How to Style a New Purchase – Part 1

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What do you do when you buy a new item of clothing or accessory?

We all have at some time or another purchased clothing / accessory items that have taken up space in our wardrobes and never been worn. If you have unworn shopping purchases in your wardrobe or are planning to make new purchases then this post is for you. Let’s look at what you can do with a new purchase to ensure that it is worn and not just a waste of money and a forgotten piece that clutters up your wardrobe space. An item of clothing does not become a valuable part of your wardrobe until it is transformed into a styled outfit that suits your personality style and lifestyle needs and is worn.

When I make a new purchase I take some time within the first week of bringing it home to play dress ups in my wardrobe to find outfit combinations with what is already in my wardrobe.  This process gives me the opportunity to rethink my purchase and ensure the purchase is going to positively contribute to my wardrobe and style and not be a waste of money. It also means I can return the purchase if I find it does not mix and match with what I already have. This is also a great way to determine the gaps in your wardrobe and give you direction for what you need in your wardrobe.

Last week I purchased a ‘Motto’ skirt and top for the upcoming autumn / winter season. This post outlines the first of 4 different approaches for styling this new purchase.

  1. STYLING PROCESS – USING ACCESSORIES TO DRESS UP AND DOWN

When I am styling for myself or a client I am always thinking of creating a cohesive look from head to toe not just putting on a top and skirt. The following images show how I have used necklaces, earrings, scarves and shoes to create a number of outfits for different aspects of my life from casual to semi formal.

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The shoes in these outfits create an out and about casual look suitable for my general day to day activities such as coffee dates, personal appointments and family activities.

smarter casual outfits (1)

Just by changing the style of shoe and jewellery I have created smart casual  looking outfits suited to my professional activities and going out to dinner.

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Now what about semi formal outfits. I don’t have many occasions for formal wear but by lifting the level of refinement of my jewellery and shawls I believe I could wear these outfits to a semi formal event and feel comfortable.

So far playing in  my wardrobe has resulted in 9 new outfits ranging from casual to formal and a photographic record in case I forget some of my combinations. This skirt and top is not going to be returned because these pieces are going to become very versatile and valuable items in my autumn / winter wardrobe.

The styling of this skirt and top is by no means finished so be on the lookout for Parts 2, 3 & 4 as I further explore ways of styling this new purchase.

Hope this encourages you to look, find and create from your wardrobe.

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