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Not too long ago, I picked up the book "What your clothes say about you" by styling duo Trinny and Susannah in a second hand shop in Auckland. And although they are from England, their advice is universal so I thought I'd share some of the best here. In addition, I have put in a few of my own as well. Enjoy!

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  • Dress to feel attractive to yourself. Others will notice and feel attracted to you too.
  • Chuck out those clothes that looked great when you were younger but you no longer wear. They're taking up valuable cupboard space and are only making you depressed every time you look at them.
  • Just because your clothes have quality labels, doesn't mean they look good on you, and it's no excuse for hanging on to them. Get rid of the ones that don't fit you anymore, and replace the items you really need with new of good quality that you can wear for a long time to come.
  • Do a big wardrobe clean. Seriously, it is probably high time. Get some friends around to help and make a party of it! They can also help telling you (in the nicest possible way) what fits you and what does not. Get rid of everything that you don't absolutely love or need. Sell, donate or give away it all. You will feel freer and lighter afterwards. Less is more. Promise.

 

Put together a capsule wardrobe of your eight perfect items. These will be the building blocks of your new outfits (and are the perfect ones to bring on a short holiday to mix and match!)

 

  • Rid yourself of everything that has an unhappy memory or unhappy associations for you. Gifts from old lovers, underwear, jewellery, etc etc. They may have cost tons, but these items are only taking up space in your head (and in your closet), brining you down every time you see them. Even better, sell them and make some money at the same time! Or give them away to someone who needs them.
  • Spend some time finding out which colours suit you. Do so by putting all your clothes into colour piles: reds, blues, pinks, greens - even blacks and whites (and any shade thereof). In good daylight, hold each item up to your face and see how it actually looks. Does it make you seem alive and sparkling, or does it bring out your inner corpse?
  • You will now know which are your basic good blues, reds, greens, whites etc. Next, learn how to combine these with complimentary colours. Shortcut: Look at the combinations in garments by designers who really understand colour, such as Missoni (!!) or take a class.
  • Polish and repair your shoes and boots and use shoetrees to keep their shape. Shoes take a lot of wear and tear and can start to look tired very quickly. On that note, it is better to have 10 pairs of good looking shoes than double the amount of tired, and half broken ones..
  • Wearing sexy underwear makes you feel, and act, sexy. Nobody can see it but they can sure tell!

 

Details make the difference. A chic outfit will be completely degraded by chipped nail polish.

  • Choose different handbags for different occasions. Changing the contents regularly from one bag to the other will make you realise just how much unnecessary junk you are carrying around. Only carry what you absolutely need.
  • Put together a quick change-kit to keep at work in case of last-minute social invitations. You will never again feel underdressed or unprepared!
  • Go hunting for the fitted T-shirt that is right for your body shape and stock up on those in different colours. They are great both for a relaxed weekend look, and to wear under a suit jacket for smart casual.
  • On that note, clothes that are fitted and well cut are every bit as practical as shapeless, baggy ones, and it will look better. It's just a question of learning what's right for your body shape (maybe take a class or see a stylist for help?)
  • Wear the smallest patterns and the sheerest fabrics on the largest parts of your body. Big prints and chunkier fabric will look great where you are slimmest.
  • Choose colours that clash well together. Rich turquoise sits fabulously with a bright lime green, but mixing it with black just kills it. A painting or design class will help you develop your eye. Or again, look at Missoni for inspiration!
  • Learn which pieces of jewellery flatter and draw attention to the best parts of your body and then wear that.
  • Layer your jewellery. Mix old with new for a fresh look.
  • Find out which second hand and vintage shops are closest to you. Visit them frequently for inspiration, and for the odd addition to your wardrobe when you need to spice up an outfit or have an event. You will not only wear pieces that no one else has, also because they have already stood the test of time, it means they will probably never date. A third benefit is that second hand and vintage often costs much less than buying new. And you will not be contributing to the fast fashion society of buy and trow away we live in, but give older garments a second life. Win, win, win, win!

 

Real style is the ability to reflect all the positive aspects of who you truly are inside through how you dress and present yourself.

 

  • Real style is the ability to reflect all the positive aspects of who you truly are inside through how you dress and present yourself. You are what you wear. Watch this video about that, and about sustainable fashion.
  • Inexpensive earrings are a great way to update your look instantly. Head to a vintage shop and pick some "new" ones out!
  • The most important attribute of a jacket is that it is cut to give you a waist. Emphasising the waist make us all look younger, no matter our age!
  • Buying innovative handbags and jewellery from local, emerging young designers not only shows that you have a great eye for fashion and are not afraid to demonstrate the courage of your convictions. You will also help someone in the upstart of their career, and you are also less likely to be carrying the same items as others to events. 

 

Need to learn how to fold your clothes the best way to save space? Have a look at the video here.

 

Which tip is your favourite, and has reading this blog post made you decide to change anything about yourself, your style and the way you dress? Please comment below!

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