Posts tagged ‘creating outfits’

8 Lessons from My Wardrobe Part 3


8 Lessons from My Wardrobe Part 3



This is the last post from the series  – 8 Lessons From my Wardrobe. If you missed Part 1 or Part 2 you can read them here and here.


My wardrobe didn’t always have a cohesive colour palette. It was a mismatch of whatever took my fancy. The turning point for this was when I had my colours done. My colour swatch became my best friend. It provided me with:-

  • the direction to create a colour palette that made me look and feel great.
  • guidance when shopping. It was and still is my colour road map for shopping.
  • a coordinated wardrobe of clothes that easily mix and match. This gives me more choices in outfits to wear. I now have less clothing (not minimal clothing) and more outfits to wear.


The clothes in my wardrobe are now an asset because I wear them. Lessons 1 – 6 gave me the direction to create a wardrobe of clothes that supported me. I use too see the clothes in my wardrobe as individual items until I realised they were a collection of outfits.

Taking some time to explore how my clothing could mix and match opened my eyes to many more outfit possibilities than I thought were possible. I call this playing dress ups and shopping in my wardrobe. This is the approach I take when working with my clients – Find Your Style in Your Wardrobe & Make a Style Statement

My shop in your wardrobe approach involves selecting one item and then finding other pieces to work with it to create a new combination. I am looking at creating a total outfit. This includes tops, pants, dresses, shorts, jackets, scarves, accessories and shoes. I ensure I create at least one new outfit combination a week. Quite often i will say to myself – “Why haven’t I worn this with that before.” It never ceases to amaze me the endless outfit possibilities that I find.

Playing and shopping in my wardrobe has definitely taken the frustration out of getting dressed.


Wardrobe organisation plays an important part in having a wardrobe that allows you to see and reach what you have. I discovered that I needed to create a habit of ongoing maintenance. My ongoing maintenance involves steps that allow me to easily track and monitor what I am wearing. It helps me identify the clothes that I may be neglecting. These steps stop me from reaching for the same outfits and give me variety:-

  • I have a rubber band tied on the coat hanger hook that is first in each of the clothing categories- skirts, shirts, dresses, cardigans, tops etc. When I have worn and washed my clothing I replace it in front of the rubber band hanger. This clearly shows the clothes that I am wearing and those that I am not. It stops me from taking the easy approach and reaching the same clothes all the time.
  • When I buy a new item of clothing I plan what I can wear it with and try to wear it within a week. This ensures that it does not sit in my wardrobe and is not forgotten.


It is great to have a wardrobe that has become my daily shopping boutique and works for me.



How Can a Personal Stylist Help You?

How Can A Personal Stylist Help You?



I often get asked ‘What does a Personal Stylist do’? Many people are unaware of what a Personal Stylist actually does. They think a Personal Stylist is only for celebrities and just takes you shopping. This is definitely not the case.

A Personal Stylist can add much value and contribute positively to how you feel everyday. The reasons women seek out the assistance of a Personal Stylist include:-

  •  tired of spending money on clothing they do not wear,
  •  hate clothes shopping,
  • unsure what clothing suits them,
  • wear the same clothes on rotation and feel bored and frustrated,
  • have many clothes in the wardrobe but still can’t find anything to wear,
  • struggle to make outfits with the clothing in their wardrobe,
  • don’t know what is appropriate dress for certain situations,
  • have a wardrobe that is dated and not current,
  • not happy with the way they look,
  • tired of wasting money on clothes they don’t wear,
  • want assistance to declutter their wardrobe and discover what they have,
  • discover the colours that work best for them and always makes them look healthy and radiant,
  • have many clothes in their wardrobe that fit but when they put them on take them off again and don’t wear them,
  • feel the need to make a positive change with their visual image.

Working with a Personal Stylist  is not about:-

  • fashion and trends,
  • spending lots of money 
  • having a quick make over following rules and looking like everyone else or your favourite celebrity.
How Can a Personal Stylist help You?

Working with A Personal Stylist is about:-

  • understanding your uniqueness – the person behind the clothes
  • discovering how the clothes you wear can tell your individual story of who you are,
  • knowing how to dress your physical assets in an enhancing way to highlight your best features,
  • understanding the colours that harmonise with your complexion and how to use colour for dressing to create a focus and impact,
  • maximising the clothes you wear by being able to dress your outfits  up and down for the occasion,
  • creating a wardrobe of clothing that can easily be coordinated in a variety of ways to meet the needs of your lifestyle,
  • gaining greater body confidence and self acceptance,
  • having the knowledge and confidence to style an outfit in many ways for different purposes,
  • shopping with purpose because you know what’s in your wardrobe and know what you need to fill the gaps,
  • being able to get dressed each day with less frustration and wardrobe melt downs,
  • self care.                                                             
A Personal Stylist can give you

Steps to Create More Outfits

Steps to Create More Outfits

How is your wardrobe contributing to your life?

Is your wardrobe:-

  • a place that you can go to each day and easily create an outfit that makes you look and feel great?
  • bringing you joy?
  • the right mix of clothes for who you are and your lifestyle requirements?
  • current and not outdated?
  • full of clothes that easily mix and match to create a variety of outfits?
  • an inspiring place to visit?

Many wardrobes that I go into have lost their purpose and direction. They have become storage spaces for unworn, unloved and forgotten clothing. Having a lot of clothes and going shopping does not ensure that you have a wardrobe that works for you.

A wardrobe that works for you will give you the gift of:-

  • confidence,
  • inspiration,
  • energy,
  • versatility and value every day.

Let’s look at ways to make your wardrobe your favourite place to shop.

These steps outline the process that I adopted over the last year to create more outfits to wear.

1. Review how you feel about your wardrobe

Ask yourself these two questions:-

  • What do I want from the clothes in  my wardrobe?
  • What don’t I want from the clothes in my wardrobe?

When I asked myself these questions this what I came up with:-

  • I want my clothes to:-
    – easily mix and match,
    – have the versatility to be dressed up and down
    – be comfortable and give me freedom to move easily
    – make me smile every day
    – give me energy
    – be different
    – last for more than one season
    – bring colour to each day
  • I don’t want my clothes to:-
    – be the same old same old
    – hang in the wardrobe and not be worn
    – be a waste of money
    – not have the ‘Goldilock’s Principle’ – read more here

2. Look at Your Colour Palette

Open your wardrobe doors or step into your walk in, stand back and take note of the colours you see.
Are they a mismatch of colours or do they coordinate?

A colour palette is needed if you want to be able to mix and match your clothing items.

Your colour palette needs to have:-

  • neutrals – colours not on the colour wheel such as black, grey, camel, brown, beige, navy
  • colours that cordinate  to add interest, variety and accents. This gives you the opportunity to create more outfits from your wardrobe pieces.

Having a Colour Consultation with a professional stylist ensures you wear colours that make you shine and are able to build a cohesive wardrobe.

Be Colour Confident  outlines the benefits of a Colour Consult.

When I looked in my wardrobe I noticed that black was my neutral and teal was my main colour. I have added three new neutrals – navy, grey and white plus berry colours as well as  patterned tops and pants.

Steps to Create Outfits

This white Cotton Village tunic upstyles these eight year old Cordelia Collection shorts. Shoes and necklaces used to upstyle. It can be worn with jeans, slimmer line pants and with a slip dress under it.


How to Create More Outfits

This grey Cotton On dress is teamed with navy accessories to create a professional work outfit. Just by changing the accessories I can change the look and feel of the outfit.


What a difference it has  made to the number of new outfits I can wear. By adding only one new piece of clothing to your wardrobe that coordinates with four other pieces you now have four new outfits. Now that is an investment.

2. What is Missing?

What is in your wardrobe needs to compliment your lifestyle? Think about the types of activities you need clothing for to determine what you need to shop for. This gives direction when shopping and lessens impulse buying.

My wardrobe was very lacking in summer play or casual clothes. This year I added two pairs of shorts as well as a couple of summer dresses. This summer I showed my legs (yes I had to shave them more regularly).  I have kept my legs covered by wearing pants for most of my life.

After years I threw my irrational thoughts about my legs out the window and exposed them by wearing shorts or knee length dresses. This was very liberating. We have to work at feeling good about our body and being realistic as to whether our thoughts are founded in reality or not.  

Steps to Create More Outfits

Wearing this berry  Cotton On top with Big W navy with white spot shorts. The shorts are actually men’s – I find them very comfortable on my straight up and down H shape body. The top has had the straight hemline cut  into an asymmetrical line. This is actually a cold shoulder top with the sleeves tucked in.


Steps to Create More Outfits

Many clothing items can be worn as casual or smart casual. Teaming these Target blue & white sorts with my favourite top and adding accessories I was ready for a lunch date.


3Set Yourself Style Challenges

Opening the wardrobe door and reaching for the same old outfit combinations is going to lead to feelings of boredom and the ‘I’ve got nothing to wear’ syndrome. To maximise  the clothing in your wardrobe you need to take some time to play and experiment to discover the potential outfits that you actually have in your wardrobe. There are a lot more than you think.

This year I set myself two style challenges to take me out of my comfort zone and maintain interest and variety in what I wear. 

  1. Mix and match patterns and prints. (see images below)
  2. Wear more than one necklace at a time.

I also set aside time (20 minutes to an hour) every four to six weeks to go shopping in my wardrobe. My aim is to create new outfit combinations I haven’t worn before. This makes me really look in my wardrobe and I discover forgotten clothing that is given a new life. Sometimes it results in items added to my shopping list. It also can be time for some quick culling when I discover something that doesn’t fit or I don’t like any more – wardrobe maintenance on the go. 

Here are some ideas for shopping in your wardrobe to create new outfit combinations:-

  • An organised wardrobe makes it easy to SEE, FIND and REACH your clothing when getting dressed. It also saves you time. If you need some pointers on wardrobe organisation read What Your Wardrobe Doesn’t Need
  • TRACK and MONITOR what you are wearing. Hang all your clothes on the rail backwards with the hook facing frontwards. Yes it does feel very strange and awkward but it d0es serve a great purpose. When you wear an item of clothing rehang it with the  hook facing in toward the wardrobe. (Hope this makes sense) This means that you can clearly see what clothes you are not wearing and make choices to wear something different. The more of your clothes you are wearing on a regular basis the more value you are getting from the money you have spent.
  • SET YOURSELF A GOAL to wear at least one different outfit combination a week. Reach for an item of clothing that is hanging backwards. Sometimes it is easy to reach for the same reliable combination because it is easy. This results in wardrobe boredom and wasting money on clothes that are just taking up valuable wardrobe space.
  • RESTYLE a favourite outfit
  • – change the shoes you wear,
    – add an accessory ( necklace, earrings, brooch, belt, scarf, different handbag.
    Read How to Upstyle an Outfit from Day to Night for more restyling tips.
  • MIXING PRINTS & PATTERNS can be a great way to increase the number of outfit choices in your wardrobe. Read more here.How to Create More Outfits

Wearing two patterns – my long lasting Andiamo pants with a home made newsprint top jazzed up with red accessories. When I add a colour to an outfit I like to repeat it once or three times.


  • STYLE WORD for the day – Think about what you are doing for the day and choose a couple of words to help guide your outfit selection.How to Create More Outfits
    Inspiration for this outfit combination came from the words playful and fun. The spots, colour and big earrings create that feel. A young girl in a shop actually said to me, ‘your outfit is great, it is so much fun.’
  •  TAKE PHOTOS of the outfits you create and love to wear. Use the photos for inspiration when getting dressed. It is very easy to forget some of the great outfits you create. Keep a record on your phone or print out the photos, laminate them and attach them to a curtain ring hanging on the back of your wardrobe door for easy access. There are also style apps you can use but I haven’t used them.
  • PLAN your outfit the night before or select a few on the weekend. When you are in a hurry you will always reach for what you know and walk out the day not feeling confident and happy.

Hope these tips inspire you to SHOP and PLAY in your wardrobe so that you can get dressed with






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.


  • 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?


  • 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.


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?





Style Rescue – How to Find Ways to Rework Clothing You are Not Wearing

Style Rescue how to Find Ways to Rework Clothing You are Not Wearing


This post is about how I found a way to rework clothing (three tops) that I was not wearing.

The clothing in your wardrobe only contributes positively to your life if you wear it. I really liked these three tops. They were the right colour, felt good on but when I always ended up putting them on, taking them off and not wearing them because they didn’t look right.

If I am not wearing an item I can usually cull it but I wasn’t prepared to do get rid of these tops because I wanted to make them work. I just had to determine what was the problem then I could see if I could change the tops in some way.

These troublesome tops were taken out of the wardrobe and put into my STYLE RESCUE basket that lives on the top shelf of my wardrobe.

Recently I found a way to rework this clothing that I was not wearing. Inspiration can come from anywhere. While participating a GREAT Workshop with Anne Whalley The Pattern Whisperer I realised why these tops weren’t working and what I needed to do.

The two reasons these tops were not working for me were related to Proportion & Line.

  • These tops were longer and didn’t seem to look balanced and work in the 1:3 ratio for dressing to create a flattering look.
  • Also they had a straight hemline and I don’t usually wear straight hems. If I wear a top with a straight hemline I like to use a belt or half tuck to create a different shape. These tops didn’t work with a belt or the half tuck method.

The tops didn’t work for me because they conflicted with elements of my Personality Style.


Now these three tops have been altered and reintroduced into my wardrobe and I am having fun creating and wearing new outfits.

Here are some outfits after the STYLE RESCUE.

Style Rescue How to find ways to rework clothing you are not wearing

These tops can be mixed and matched with the three bottoms creating nine new outfits to my wardrobe just by finding a way to rework clothing I was not wearing.

Follow these steps to find ways to rework clothing you are not wearing:-

  1. STYLE RESCUE: If you love most things about the item and it fits put it into the STYLE RESCUE BASKET so you can come back to it. This means that you don’t just put it back into your wardrobe and forget about it.
  2. FIND A SOLOUTION –  IDENTIFY why it may not be working for you. Think about your Personality Style and consider what you might be able to alter.
  3. TAKE THE NECESSARY ACTION to make these changes and restyle it into your wardrobe.






What is Your Day Off Style?

Day off style (1)

What is Your Day Off  Style?

What we wear speaks about who we are. Over the years the standard of dressing on the most part seems to have become more casual to suit our lifestyles.

When I was growing up my nanna instilled in me that you had at home clothes and going out clothes as well special occasion clothes and never the styles shall meet. My nanna would never leave the house in the clothes she had been wearing at home even if it was just to go to the corner shop or walk the 3 blocks to visit us. She would always change out of her house clothes, change her shoes, put on a necklace and add a splash of lipstick. I always admired how smart she looked especially when she didn’t have much money. What she did have was pride and respect for herself and others.

I love to dress down and thought I would share with you what this Personal Stylist is likely to be dressed in on her days off at home in winter.

At Home Style


This is my most favourite comfortable outfit but I would never wear it to the shops – sometimes I go to the letterbox in it. The other day my 3 year old friend looked at these pants and said “I don’t like these.” Obviously my grey striped men’s pj pants did not appeal to her sense of style which is pink and pretty. I am wearing it with my home made polar fleece oversized top (my version of a sweatshirt) and my biker boots.

If I need to venture out to I would make a few changes to this outfit. I have a few minimal style requirements if I am leaving the house. I do not even think about them now as they are just habit and don’t take any time. It makes a difference for and to me.


  • wear a splash of lipstick
  • add earrings and necklace or scarf
  • no runners or slippers
  • change pants if wearing pj’s or old daggy sweatpants

If I happen to leave the house on a quick errand and haven’t attended to the items on this list I feel very uncomfortable and not right and pray that I don’t run into anyone who knows me.

This is how I would change this outfit  if I needed to go to the local shops for something – (perhaps chocolate).


Casual Jeans Styling


I need to look and feel presentable and appropriate and this it what works for me

Being casual doesn’t mean you can’t look and be stylish.

I read this statement today Dress how you want to addressed. (Source Instagram If the way you are dressing is not giving you JOY then it might be time to make some small changes and experiment to style up your look.

Do you have a minimal style look checklist for leaving the house? Would love to know.

How to Style a New Purchase – Part 4





When you buy a new item of clothing the most important step you can take before you put it in your wardrobe is to make the time to create outfits. This process means you can see if the new purchase is going to be a valuable and versatile item in your wardrobe by mixing and matching. If you can not mix and match your new purchase with other clothing in your wardrobe it is going to be an orphan and maybe needs to be returned. The other benefit is the time you can save getting dressed because you already know what goes with what, especially if you take photos.

So far in this series How to Style a New Purchase Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3 I have created 15 new outfit combinations. This post looks at styling the top to create some dressed down and dressed up outfits to suit my personality, social & work needs.

When creating outfits you need to look at colour, shape and lines, proportions and where your  focus is going to be.


Styling a top - jeansThe coloured scarf creates an upward focus as well as warmth on this -3 degree morning. An uneven hemline is formed by using the half tuck (part of my signature style) and creates an outfit proportion of 1:3 which is balanced and flattering.

styling a top - furry vestColour combination for this outfit is neutral + 1 colour (dark green). The area where you choose to put colour will become a focus area so always ensure you place colour in an area that you want to be noticed.  Layering with a third piece such as a vest can upstyle an outfit. The texture of this vest also creates interest. I have repeated the grey from the vest in the rivets on my shoes, necklace and earrings.

styling a top - Japanese panel skirtThe pink necklace and earrings repeat a colour in the panel of my skirt and draw the eye focus upwards.  Wear a column of colour create an illusion of looking taller and slimmer. Another tip for looking taller is to wear 3/4 sleeves or push your sleeves up. This something I have always done due to the fact I do not feel comfortable in  long sleeves.

styling a top - teal pants & skirtTake the time to think about ways to dress up some of your favourite pieces so you can wear them more often. I love my new bamboo patterned tights so have teamed them with a skirt and dressier boots for a smarter casual look. Necklaces and earrings pick up on the teal colour and create a balanced look and upward focus. My earrings are quite bold so have worn 2 plain necklaces.

styling a top - long vestThese highly patterned pants are the hero of this outfit so I have kept everything else neutral. Once again adding a third piece in the form of this long vest takes this outfit from being very casual to smarter casual. Shoes can make a big difference to the level of refinement of your outfit.

I now have created 20 new outfits for various activities from the new top and skirt I purchased. Remember if you buy a top and bottom together make sure you think of them as separate items as this will extend the number of outfits you can make and wear.

Get to know your wardrobe and make every purchase count and contribute to making you look and feel YOU.


Shop in Your Wardrobe- Wardrobe Tip 5

Untitled design


Your wardrobe is not just a storage place for your clothing. It is the place you go each day to get dressed so it needs to become your favourite place to shop. When your wardrobe is organised and you can SEE & REACH your clothing easily you need to get to know your wardrobe.

Getting dressed each day can be frustrating, time consuming and energy draining if you do not know how your clothes go together to create a look that works for you. What you need to do is take some time to PLAY in your wardrobe. I can hear you saying but I don’t have the time. By investing in some wardrobe play time then you will actually be saving time and frustrations every day.

Wardrobe play time involves trying on different combinations of your clothing, including shoes and accessories to create as many different outfits as you can. You are exploring the potential of your wardrobe and making it more versatile. You are looking at how different items in your wardrobe can go together as well as experimenting by dressing up and dressing down your outfits with different jewellery, scarves, shoes and even jackets, cardigans, shrugs.

From my experiences when working with clients many tend to not experiment and play dress ups. They tend to stick to the same combinations. There are probably many outfits in your wardrobe just waiting to be discovered.

You might like to read:-            How to Connect the Dots in Your Wardrode
                                                                    How to Find Versatility in Your Wardrobe


Wardrobe Secret to Creating Outfits

Wardrobe Tip 3


Wardrobe Tip 3 by misskimpurple on Polyvore  

Your wardrobe is your personal day to day shopping boutique so let’s look at how you can organise it to have the potential to create many outfits. To create outfits you need to be able to easily see and locate the different clothing items such as shirt, pants/skirt, jacket you need. If your clothing is organised randomly in your wardrobe then you will always find it difficult and frustrating when getting dressed.

Follow these steps to organise your clothing and take the stress out of getting dressed.

  1. The most efficient way to order your clothes is to hang like items together, skirts with skirts, dresses with dresses, tops with tops etc. Yes this does mean separating suit items. Many people who wear suits don’t think to wear their jackets, pants, skirts with other clothing. Your jackets can become  very versatile  when it comes to mixing and matching.
  2. Now organise the clothing groups by colour. Sort them into similar colours so that you can easily choose items to create different combinations. This is a great way to take note of whether you have a wardrobe that can easily be colour coordinated or a mismatch of colours that don’t relate.
  3. Stand back and admire your organisation and start to see how your skirts, pants relate to your tops, jackets by trying on different combinations.

This really works and makes mixing and matching so much easier. I have found that I am really good at putting my clothing back in like with like but not always in colour groupings so every 4-6 weeks I need to reorganise into colour groupings.

Hope you have fun creating your own shopping boutique in your wardrobe.


Shop to Create a Wardrobe that Works for You


I was talking shopping with a friend the other day and she told me that she had been shopping for a dress to wear to a wedding. She found a dress that she liked but it just wasn’t quite right but felt some pressure to buy it anyway because the wedding was on the following weekend. When you feel under pressure to buy something you can very easily buy on impulse and make a poor purchase – one that costs money and lives it’s life as an orphan in your wardrobe because it doesn’t have any clothing friends. My friend decided not to buy the dress then and there but to think about the purchase – a very wise choice. When she went home she went shopping in her wardrobe and do you know what she found – yes a beautiful dress that she had forgotten was there and was just right for the occasion.

If it doesn’t it can be a waste of time, money and energy. I don’t know many people who can afford to waste time, money or energy.

Take a minute to think about how you approach shopping for groceries, new car & furniture. Most people have some sort of plan for what they are looking for when they shop for groceries, a car or furniture. You need to apply this same approach to shopping for clothing items. To ensure that your clothing purchases contribute positively to your wardrobe you need to know what you already have and what you need to go with it. 

This approach requires you to know what you already have in your wardrobe that currently fits you and your lifestyle. The items in your wardrobe need to coordinate with other items to create outfits. Take some time to play in your wardrobe.

Many people think in terms of items of clothing such as tops, skirts, jackets, pants etc instead of whole outfits. The single items in your wardrobe are like the puzzle pieces of a jigsaw – if they don’t fit together you do not get complete outfits.  At the beginning of each season it can be helpful to take the time to sort and organise your wardrobe so you can CREATE OUTFITS. This then enables you to become aware of the gaps in your clothing and accessories and make a preshopping list.

Changing the way you approach shopping for clothing items means you can create a WARDROBE THAT WORKS FOR YOU.

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