I’ve always loved fashion and style. I get huge satisfaction from playing around with clothes and creating different looks. Anyone who shares my appreciation for styling will appreciate that the way you dress is probably one of the most powerful ways of expressing yourself.
In my case, sometimes the weirder the better. I used to parade around in a leather boiler suit and yellow hard hat as a toddler, lived in poppers and a matching tracksuit top in pre-adolescence, went through a phase of digging out my mum’s old ’60s kaftans in my early teenage years, and yup, I was the gal who wore a spiked dog collar during my goth phase (let’s all take a little minute to appreciate this image.)
This was all before I graduated, by the way, to bleach blonde streaks, cropped parka jackets, studded hip belts and blindingly white Stan Smiths. Eventually – I’m sure to my family’s intense relief – I achieved a style that, though subject to the odd deviation, is slightly less erratic. Though I do still like to throw in the odd surprise here and there.
To reiterate: I’m a bit of a fash experimenter.
While I jump at an opportunity to dress up, in my day to day life I tend to champion the casual look – with as much of a side of chic as I can muster. Even if I wear heels I’ll often pair them with a baggy jumper or my boyfriend’s shirt. I suppose it’s an overhang from my childhood, when trying to get me into a dress resulted in fits of ugly crying.
I think in our world of digital noise, though, there can be a pressure on fashion bloggers to be constantly adorned in new clothes. Putting up an outfit repeat post can be seen as a big no-no, and keeping variety on our feeds risks an insatiable desire to fill our ASOS baskets to the brim with stuff we didn’t know we needed.
So, as a new co-homeowner, now jointly responsible for an actual mortgage to pay off (argh) not to mention furniture and overall decorating (double argh), there’s not much spare cash for me to throw into my wardrobe and shoe rack anymore. Which means it’s time to pull out that old adage, and put it into extreme action when walking down Princes Street from now on.
Money. Can’t. Buy. Style.
Money can’t buy style. Money can’t buy style.
SO, in the spirit of recycling (not replacing), let me share with you 5 simple yet effective tricks I like to use when my wardrobe’s feeling tired.
I use this a lotttt. My go-to is a roll-neck bodysuit. I have a black one that I wear under a skirt, under high waisted tailored trousers, under a shift dress. It can be worn totally casually or on a night out under a dress (I wore mine recently under a strappy black dress with a full skirt).
It always looks really sleek and chic and is the perfect piece to wear under sleeveless dresses or other garments that the UK weather doesn’t currently cater for.
Another thing I layer is shirts – a white shirt is always going to look good under a jumper or – if you’re brave enough – a tank top. Also works worn open over a t-shirt. If worn alone, you can achieve loads of different looks by tying it at the front, wearing it loose over skinny trousers/jeans or tucked into the front of your waistband. ENDLESS possibilities.
Another unsung versatile hero of our wardrobes – or at least mine – is jumpsuits/playsuits/dungarees/any kind of all-in-one. That sleeveless, strapless jumpsuit you keep for nights out but never wear? Throw a cropped t-shirt/denim shirt/jumper over it and hurrah – new outfit.
Never underestimate the power of a statement accessory. Be it belt, headband, hat, sunglasses, bag, or jewellery, accessories can transform an outfit completely.
Recently I was wearing a boring jumper and jeans combo, but when paired with a big pair of chunky gold hoops from Zara, a slash of red lipstick, my hair tied up and a blazer thrown over my shoulders I was a different wumman.
The same transformative effect has been achieved in the past with sunglasses, a bright bag or a hair accessory. Got an old baggy cardigan? Belt it up at the waist shove a pair of heeled boots on (which are, of course, the answer to most wardrobe woes.)
I think sometimes make-up and hair is really overlooked in the world of fash. The power of a bold lip or eye, or even a bit of fake tan can totally change the way clothes look on you – and you have the double privilege of feeling pretty hawt yourself.
If I think my outfit looks a bit ‘meh’, I’ll shove some red lipstick on, layer up the mascara and chuck a red across-body bag on.
No, please don’t pull a Winona. Fine so maybe this technique is marginally less moral than the others but these are desp times, am I right? I’m forever stealing – nay borrowing – stuff from my nearest and dearest to add a bit of outfit variation. I’m not talking an entire outfit, but a key piece can change a whole look.
My boyfriend’s checked/denim/corduroy shirts are a particular fave of mine to fling over a dress or leather trousers, and every time I’m home I take my mum’s big fluffy mohair jumpers, roll necks or oversized cardigans to pair with my trusty skinny jeans or trousers. If to be honest I’m around KK I normally steal something of hers too.
I mean… you can always return them.
5. TEXTURE DAHLING
Sometimes all it takes to change an outfit from boring to bitching is a little shake-up of textures. Planning on pulling an all-black ensemble? Pair some leather look jeans with a fluffy knit, or black trousers with a sheer top. The variety keeps it from looking too flat on the eye and makes it a bold statement – rather than an accidental one.
I find that as long as you have a few ‘oooh’ things in your wardrobe – jumpers with massive bell sleeves, jeans with frayed hems, pom-poms, sequins, whatever – they go a long way. Dig them out and as long as you’re wearing one of them, everything else can pretty much be as pared-down (or boring, whatever) as you like.
All v.v.v. simple things to do, yet they work wonders when you’re bored of your clothes but too skint to replace them (ah, story of my life).