Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Everyday Inspiration

The other day I was doing my 'once a year job' and there I met a lady who immediately struck me as a very stylish person. She was not, of course, a famous film star or well-known personality but she looked put-together and had thought about what she was wearing. During the day we got talking about clothes (one of my favourite subjects!) and I asked her where, as a lady of a certain age, she bought her clothes from. Her answer surprised me - firstly, charity shops. It turns out that she is one of those people who always finds a bargain (or two) at a charity shop and the clothes are often good quality brands such as East, Karen Millen and Laura Ashley. Secondly, she often buys her clothes from vintage shops, where you can pick up unusual designs but you have to search for them. In fact, the owner of such a shop knows her so well that she looks out for items for her. Oh, and this lady I was working with never pays full price for anything.....

This particular lady, who is a dramatic/romantic style personality, got me thinking about where I buy my clothes and maybe taking time to search out unusual places to buy them, rather than just defaulting to the usual high street shops. If charity shops in your area frequently have more upmarket clothes in them, then there is nothing wrong with shopping there. The same with vintage shops - gems are often hiding there! Using accessories to style your bargains is key and one way to make a cheaper item of clothing look less so is to wear a more expensive piece of jewellery with it. 

There are on-line shops to consider too such as Hush, Boden and Poetry. Also dress agencies if you have a good one in your area. Some little towns also have individual, non-chain, boutiques where you can find interesting clothes. 

So thank you inspirational lady I met the other day - I will certainly be thinking more outside of the high street box now.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Between season dressing

At this time of year (Spring), the weather can be warm one day and freezing the next - so what to wear? We need clothes that will transition between winter one day and summer the next! Here are some of my tips:

1. Don't pack away all of your winter jumpers or cardigans. For the days when the temperature drops, like it has today as I write this, you need to layer up to stay warm, so you could wear a top and cardigan or a not-too-bulky jumper with a layer underneath.

2. A trench coat, raincoat or medium weight coat/jacket under which you could wear the above layers is ideal.

3. If it starts out cold in the morning and ends up warm in the afternoon, then again, layers are good so that you can peel off the top layers as you heat up. Make sure the underneath layers are good enough to 'stand alone' and are not old, faded or shapeless tee shirts.

4. Fabrics such as lightweight wool, denim (a year round fabric anyway), jersey and heavier cotton are fine for transitional dressing. Avoid fabrics that are too light and floaty at this time of year.

5. Heavy wool scarves are best stored away now but you can wear lighter weight scarves, which look good with a trench coat or jacket.

6. Consider your footwear. Furry and fleecy lined boots will be too wintery and heavy so wear ankle boots, brogues or another closed in shoe of your choice such as ballet flats,loafers or court shoes.

7. You can continue to wear opaque tights of 60 denier or under if the weather is on the cool side, but avoid really thick, heavy tights. However, if you are wearing for example a polyester or light jersey dress, then tights less than 40 denier would look better.

Between season dressing can be difficult, especially in this country, as the weather is often neither one thing nor another but hopefully we will have many warm days to look forward to as summer approaches.