Creating a Wardrobe that Works for You – Part 2
Now we get to Part 2 and I hope you found your clear out very cathartic. You probably still have a pile of “I’m not sures” but never mind, store them away in a box and leave them until next time – if you haven’t looked at them, then they need to go!
In part 1 we looked at how to get to grips with what’s in your wardrobe. We looked at how to pare it down, clear out what you “absolutely” know you won’t wear again and make firm decisions about those items you like but haven’t worn. We also had a think about colour. If you really are not sure about certain items, then try them on again with different things and if they’re classics have a strong think before they go on the discarded pile. Do get rid of anything that your gut really says “NO” to – we all have them, the dress that’s been hanging in your wardrobe for years because you love it, but when you put it on it never quite seems to work.
So, hopefully, you now have a wardrobe of things you like and that suit you. You’ve got rid of what’s been hanging around for ever, got rid of those colours that look lovely on that skinny, 20-year-old dark skinned, brunette (and you’re a pale skinned, apple, blonde 40-year-old). Great stuff, you now have SPACE for all those things you really love, and you feel confident in.
What next? What to wear and how to wear it.
Take a good honest look at your body shape.
- Pear shaped? Focus attention upward, embellish around the neck, layer your look, go for A-line dresses and tops which emphasise the upper body while slimming wider hips. Again, think bust – skimming rather than hiding.
- Apple shaped: Elongate your torso, draw attention to your legs and create the illusion of a waist. Opt for structured pieces as they will add definition and hide the extra weight. Keep all details above bust line and at or below hem-line. All in between should be kept plain and simple. Invest in statement necklaces and shoes and avoid shoulder bags. Be careful with belts, they can end up looking as though your waist is directly under your bust.
- Do you have long legs? Flat shoes and shorter length tops with trousers or jeans will look great on you. If you have a bit of a tummy, well, go for something with a bit of swing in a slightly longer length. A small heel with skirts or dresses will work well too. Long legs - draw attention to them!
- Shorter legs and a longer body? Adding a slight heel/s and wearing tunics which stop mid- thigh or above will elongate you beautifully. Fitted tops, tees, shirts and jackets will work well for you. If you do go for floaty, make sure you have a good fit at the shoulders – you want to accentuate proportion. Something sheer will subtly show off your figure beneath.
- Steer clear of anything too loose and floaty if you have a very large bust.
- If you feel more comfortable and look better with tummy and hip-skimming tops and tunics keep your trouser style narrow or wear flared trousers (not wide trousers), to ensure this look works.
- Arms - with sleeves, or bare-armed? A flattering cap sleeve can sometimes work even if you’re not overly happy with your arms and if in doubt, cover up – wear a three-quarter length sleeve which is very flattering.
- Don’t forget the back view What about your derriere? Are you happy to flaunt it, or happier with it covered? If you’re not happy then look for trousers that lift and wear something that gives a hint. A tunic or dress worn over straight leg trousers looks great.
- Necklines – if you have a larger bust then avoid high necklines, crew and polo necks. Go for a v-neck, a boat neck or a scoop. Instead of a polo neck wear a cowl neckline and don’t button shirts up to the chin.
- Shoulders also present a problem and neck come into play too. Get it wrong and you get that “padded baseball” player look. A boat neck tends to suit those with narrow shoulders and a halter-neck, those with wider shoulders. If you want to play it safe - a v-neck works for everyone.
Do you like a particular style? Can you identify with a look? Which ones do you feel are you and actually suit your “real” lifestyle? So many of us leave the city and move to the country and find our heads still living in another world. We, for some reason, dream high heels, smart skirts and city dresses with a bit of glitz when in fact we walk the dog, take the children to school, lunch at the pub – a far cry from that urban lifestyle. We get carried away sometimes - I mean Sex In the City – you just had to have Carrie’s blue satin Manolo’s – ah well, they make a lovely ornament – you can’t walk in them but oh they were soooo pretty! (And don’t throw those out by the way! They might be an investment piece!)
So, have a think about some of the clothing brands you know, which ones do you gravitate to? Do you prefer the Masai, floaty look, are you lagen look or would you be happier in Oui, Vilagallo or Sandwich? Do you like Mint Velvet or the White Company?
We can give you a great choice of all at Lavender Blue. Food for thought and we’d love to help. Visit us at Lavender Blue at our shop in Winchcombe or go online and visit www.lavenderblue.org.uk
Next time……. a fresh look at basics!