Style Doctor - Update your Winter Wardrobe
The change in seasons is a perfect time to update your look if you have been feeling like a change. But before you race out to the shops to stock up your new winter wardrobe, FashioNZ Style Doctor Jackie O’Fee gives us some tips on how to refresh your wardrobe and find your personal style for winter.
There’s no denying it; winter is here and we need a whole new set of clothing. With colder weather making indoor pursuits preferable, it is also a great chance to take the time to create a “look” for your wardrobe rather than simply dragging the woollies out of the spare room wardrobe.
The first step in this process is research: Grab yourself a selection of new season fashion magazines – New Zealand and Australian titles will be the most useful. If the price of the fashion glossies really puts you off, check through Fashionz for great tips or borrow from friends or your local library.
You won’t be reading these just for fun: this is about creating a plan for your wardrobe. As you flick through the pages mark the garments or outfits that you really like. Don’t worry about prices or who designed them, it’s the overall look you are going for.
Don’t forget to check the details and finishing touches: mark the shoes, the accessories, the belts that you like and take note of the way the models are wearing them.
Then, looking back at what you’ve marked: can you spot any trends? Are you attracted to feminine pieces or more edgy street wear? Are you a buttoned-down corporate kind of girl or do you love the vintage inspired pieces? Or do you like an eclectic mix of all of it?
Just a note: when you have identified your new season’s “look” be sure it’s not a repeat of your last seasons “look”. The path to paralysis in the wardrobe comes from doing the same stuff over and over.
The next step is the biggest: it’s where you check out what you already have in your wardrobe. The reason it is such a big task is because before you can really see what you have, you need to do a bit of a ‘spring clean’.
Begin by getting rid of anything that’s worn out or no longer fits. Be ruthless – yes, people will really notice the shiny bum on your pants or the stain that you can’t shift on that shirt. Be realistic when it comes to clothing sizes, too – if you are on a major “this year I will lose weight” mission, will you want to wear that old skirt you’ve had at the back of your wardrobe for the past six years?
Separate items that you’ve traditionally worn as outfits. Remember, this process is about renewal so you need to let go of some of your old habits. Organise your wardrobe a little as you do this - hang your jackets together, all the skirts and all pants separately.
Put aside items that need mending and make time to get this done. Put the items you haven’t worn for the past year in a separate pile also.
What is left are the real gems: the clothes you actually wear rather than the clutter that just takes up space. Using your research look to see if there are any key pieces that will go on to create your new season’s look? Can an existing skirt be worn with a different top this year to create the feminine look you’ve identified? Can your suit be updated with a new shirt or shoes? What about your shoes, handbags & accessories? Do you need to buy new or can you re-work existing pieces to fit the looks you’ve identified as your own for this season.
From here, use the clothing you already own and the magazine pictures to create a shopping list. Take the list with you when shopping, and it doesn’t hurt to take pictures with you or write simple descriptions like ‘soft, floaty, pretty’ rather than ‘Marcs pink short sleeved shirt’. By doing this, you’ll find it easier to keep to your budget, and you’ll also find it far less frustrating.
When you arrive home with the new pieces it’s a good idea to ‘check off” the garments as you hang them in your wardrobe. The sense of satisfaction will only come second to the excitement of “what am I going to wear tomorrow?”