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How to appear more put together

 

Hi guys! Hope you’ve all been having a fabulous time in this beautiful sunshine! It’s been pretty full-on in my life recently, what with a house move, a wedding and a funeral. Despite this, I’ve still managed to receive compliments on my appearance, which makes me more than a little happy, since clearly I look more put together than I thought. It got me thinking – what do I do to look more put together? (Even on days when I have no time to think about how I look). So I decided to write them down, and then I figured I’d share my tips with my readers, as it’s always great to share this stuff.

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Now, before we begin, I must stress that if you are comfortable in your skin, and don’t give a damn what people think, then that’s fine. Neither do I. I just like to look presentable because then I feel like less of a hot mess (and more of an organised mess). I don’t “glam” myself up for compliments, but when I receive them it always makes my day a little bit brighter.

Wear a bold lip colour

It’s a simple way to make it look like you tried harder than you did. And with so many colours to choose from at some great prices, it’s definitely easier to do than ever. Just find a colour you love and pop it on to brighten up your look.

Add something fancy to your messy hair

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Messy bun? Scraped back ponytail? Just add a gem or a flower. It instantly takes any hairstyle from drab to fab, in the blink of an eye. Dry shampoo also works wonders, but you probably already knew that!

 

Perfume!

I never leave the house without a big helping of perfume. It’s the best thing to make you feel fabulous, and when you feel fabulous, you look it too.

Wear Big, Dark Sunglasses

They make you look like an A-Lister. They can also hide the fact you’re not wearing much makeup and cover dark circles. Win!

Throw on a Statement Coat

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A statement coat can hide a multitude of sins. If the coat does the talking, the rest of your outfit doesn’t need to, and you’ll look like you’ve made some effort when all you’ve done is thrown on an extra layer.

Add Heels

You’ll look taller, more poised, and ready for business. Heels lift your head and your spirits. They don’t have to be skyscrapers either, just a simple wedge or kitten heel will add inches to your legs and miles to your overall look.

Choose an awesome accessory

Whether it’s a simple pendant, a big bold necklace, a chunky bangle, some drop earrings or a sparkly pashmina – choose something that you love, and chuck it on. My personal favourites are big bold scarves and chunky, statement necklaces. They make me feel like I put way more effort in than I actually did.

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Rock it!

Confidence can take you from stressed out to dressed up in an instant. Hold your head high and strut your stuff. At the end of the day, nobody will remember what you wore if you didn’t wear it with confidence.

So, those are my tips for looking a little more put together. Anybody got any others? Please share!

My Wedding Dress

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I’m an avid crafter, and I’ve been wanting to share a DIY Blog post for a loooong time. I’ve made so many things over the years, but the thing I am most proud of has to be my wedding dress. I got married in May, and while I was making the dress, I was keeping a diary so I could share with everyone. In total it took about two and a half years to make and is the biggest project I’ve ever undertaken. I couldn’t turn the diary into a blog post without losing a lot of the data, so may I present to you, my dress diary – in a Word Document.

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Would you make your own wedding dress after reading this?

Would you spend the time rather than the money?

Have you made your own wedding dress? Show me some pics!

Shopping your Closet with the “Stylicious” app.

A few days ago, I posted about creating a capsule wardrobe. I had my doubts, but managed to convince myself it was a good thing. So, after a massive wardrobe clear out, I can happily tell you I have created my very own capsule. Sort of. It’s by no means minimalist, but every item in that wardrobe gets worn regularly, and goes with at least 80% of the other pieces of clothing in there.

So what I’m writing about today is a great little app called “Stylicious“. It’s available on both Android and iTunes, and is free. It’s definitely taken some time to catalogue my whole wardrobe. I tried to do this a few weeks ago and it was just too much of a task, but since I’ve trimmed down my wardrobe to almost half the size, I thought I’d try again. My plan is to log my outfits every day for a year, and at the end of the year, if I have not worn it, I will take it out of my wardrobe for good. I have decided to share with you the basic workings of this app and how I use it to keep track of all my clothes, so here goes:

Step 1: Cleanse

First off, pull everything out of your wardrobe. Slim down your wardrobe immediately by asking yourself this simple question:

“If I were shopping right now, would I buy this?” If the answer is no, then get rid of it right away.

Then, filter through the end result, and pick out any items that you find uncomfortable (either physically or mentally) to wear, or that you can’t create a full outfit with because it simply doesn’t go with anything else in your wardrobe. Get rid of those items too.

Lastly, think about the last time you wore the items that are left. If they haven’t been worn in a long time; ask yourself why. If it was due to circumstance (e.g. you haven’t worn a pair of shorts because it rained all summer) then keep it; but think about ways you could change that to wear the item more often (e.g. wear tights with the shorts when it’s raining). If it is because it’s a sentimental item, then store it away. If it has simply been forgotten about, then give it a new lease of life if you can, or get rid of it if you can’t.

Step 2: cataloging

First off, write down everything in your wardrobe that you want to include. As I said in my capsule wardrobe blog post, I would not be including “Job Specific” items or things like activewear, tights, shapewear, thermals and under-layers.

Then you will need to collect photographs of each item of clothing. Don’t panic! It’s not as bad as it sounds, I swear. The thing with clothes is that there are a lot of duplicates. Something you bought from New Look could appear indifferent to something from Gucci in a photograph. So I decided to simply google each item I had written down, and find images that looked similar to the pieces I already own – for example “Black Skinny Jeans” or “White Stripy T-Shirt”. Then, once I had found each and every item I could, I was left with the more unique items, such as my vintage items and souvenir pieces from abroad, as well as my hand-made or custom pieces. I photographed these on a hanger  and tweaked the images slightly to make sure it all looked visually pleasing. I then saved all the photos in a separate folder called “inventory”.

Step 3: Log each item.

Now it’s time to open the “Stylicious” app. The Home Screen is what you’ll see first:

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If you click on the “My Closet” icon at the top, you’ll get this screen (but obviously with your own clothes and not these ones – which are mine):

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Here you can see everything and sort it into categories using the drop down menus at the top. This means if you’re out shopping, you might be able to visualise outfits more easily as you have all your clothes literally at your fingertips.

To add an item, tap the little Polaroid icon (or you can tap the camera icon but I didn’t really need this as I had already catalogued my clothes in image form); and you’ll be able to choose the file where your images are and open the image you want. Then you’ll get this screen:

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I didn’t pigeon-hole the season or style, or add any notes. I just selected the “Kind” and the “Category” so I could sort the items in the main screen or lookbook. More of that shortly.

Step 4: Creating outfits and using the “Lookbook”

This is a really useful tool in the app. You can create outfits, either with your own clothes, or with something from a wishlist, which is perfect if you want to see if an item will work with what you have already. You can also use this to create outfits you have already worn, and log them on the calendar. More on that shortly.

To create outfits, simply tap the “+” sign at the bottom of the “Lookbook” Section, and scroll through your clothes, tapping each item you want to add to the outfit.

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When you’re done, click the “>” Symbol, and it will put the items on a blank screen for you to move around and resize using dragging and pinching on the screen. When you’re happy, save it to your lookbook to either log, or keep in mind for the future.

Step 5: Logging the outfits on the calendar

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So this is my favourite part. It will help me determine what I will be throwing out this time next year if I do not see it in this section. It’s really quick to add clothes to the calendar. You can either log one item, or a whole outfit, via the “+ My Closet” and “+ Lookbook” buttons at the bottom. When you open an outfit from the “Lookbook”, tap the calendar icon to select a date to add to the calendar. I think this is also a really great way to plan outfits, as it can remind you to wear certain items too.

Step 6: Shopping your closet.

So this is where the fun begins, if you’re like me and love putting together outfits. Say you’ve got a date night planned. You think “I must go shopping and buy a new outfit for the date.” Nope. Just scroll through what you have already using this app. Have a play around with items and put together some outfits in the lookbook. I swear it will feel almost as fun as shopping, but less messy than trying everything in your wardrobe on (and then leaving everything on the floor); and far less expensive!

I will be posting some more ideas on shopping my closet soon, with ideas on how to get more wear out of what I (and probably you) already own.

So what are you waiting for? Seriously? Download the app, it’s amazing!!

To Capsule, or Not to Capsule?

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Hello lovely readers. As you can probably tell from my last post, I have had flu recently, which has left me with nothing better to do than scroll endlessly through insta, pinterest, facebook and the like. Pinterest is, and probably always will be, my ultimate favourite app as I’m the sort of person who literally tries EVERYTHING on there. I’ve been noticing, and then looking for, capsule wardrobe ideas while I was off sick. It occurred to me that this might actually be a good idea, as this month we have been redecorating and moving some rooms around; and in order to gain some space, my beloved dressing room has to go (*Sobs*). My Fiancé has kindly agreed to help me design & build a bespoke fitted wardrobe system for all my stuff, but I fear I have too much and it will not fit. The last time I counted, I had 54 pairs of shoes. 54! And I dread to think about how many T-Shirts I have. So my question is, do I need all of these clothes I have? Or should I slim down? And where the HELL do I start?

So first off, what is a capsule wardrobe?

From my research I can gather that it is a minimalist collection of key pieces, that all go with each other perfectly and can create a huge variety of outfits which cater to your every need; but can also be paired with seasonal trendy pieces to make up to date new outfits. You set yourself your colour palette and your essentials as a base for the rest of the wardrobe.

So that takes me to my next question, what is considered “minimalist”?

In some cases, I’ve read or seen women with as little as 10 key pieces, but then they don’t count things like shoes, bags, scarves or even coats. In other cases, women slim their entire wardrobe down to around the 40-50 items mark and include everything. This has led me to some serious confusion over what rules to follow.

So If I were to do this, which I most certainly have not decided upon yet, I think my approach would be this:

Follow a strict colour scheme and style.

I know my colours and my style pretty well. For work I dress in dark, smart clothes such as suits and shift dresses. For the weekend, I tend to be more rock-chick in the winter and more Boho in the summer. And for going out, I tend to rock the über glam & sparkly frocks with plenty of pink.

Don’t scrimp on the accessories.

My accessories are the items that make my outfits usually. Any Jeans & Tee combo can look totally different if you add a statement necklace as opposed to a fluffy scarf. I think If I limited my clothes, my accessories should be limitless.

Don’t count the “Job Specific” Items.

Everyone has some “Job Specific” Clothes in their wardrobe. I’m talking Gym stuff, Old Grubby Decorating clothes, Pyjamas, Wellies, Waterproofs, Thermals, a Work Uniform (not in my case, but some of you do). I’m pretty sure you can’t count these in the capsule, as they are for specific things, and not for wearing as part of your “normal” wardrobe.

Have several of each “Basic” or “Essential” item.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who has looked at this idea and gone “But what if one item is in the wash?” I’m also pretty sure I can’t be the only one who has double (triple? quadruple?) of their favourite items in their wardrobe for this instance. I have an abundance of white chiffon shirts and black skinny trousers for work, because I wear these items almost every day. I also have a pretty huge collection of black skinny jeans… I read in a magazine once, a tip that has stuck with me for life. “If you love it, buy it twice” Which basically means you’ll always have a spare should one item be in the wash, or worse, if something were to happen to it… So I would absolutely have more than one of my favourite essentials.

Have a good ratio of casual / smart / formal items.

My job is a 9-5 Monday to Friday office job. So I’m pretty sure I’d need more smart work clothes than anything else. Then I need enough casual items to get me through weekends and the occasional holiday. Then I would need a sparse amount of going out clothes for the few hours each month I spend on date nights or out with friends. If everything has a good ratio then it’s easy to choose what to wear.

Slim down the shoes.

I love my shoes, but I’ve got to admit I really don’t need all of them. I have learned while we’ve been redecorating that there’s really only a few pairs that I go back to time and time again, and I can live without the others while they are in storage. And if I can live without them, do I really need them taking up space? There. I said it!

Regular Detoxes!

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE detoxing my wardrobe. I donate anything I no longer wear. I alter or dye it if I think it can be rectified or salvaged, and it gives me an opportunity to dig through my beautiful collection of clothes. But I would need to be on top form with this so nothing gets hoarded. Which brings me to my next step:

Catalogue everything!

I downloaded an app called Stylicious, which is literally a phone version of Cher from Clueless’ virtual closet. And once I have it all on an app, I can seamlessly add new stuff or delete items when I remove them in a detox. It would take ages with my current wardrobe, and I tried it once (Failing miserably); but with a capsule, it should (could? would?) be easy.

Shop Savvy.

I LOVE Shopping. And I’ve gotten quite good at it over the years, but I do sometimes buy something, wear it once and then forget about it until years later and then wear it once, decide I hate it and throw it out. So If I do this, I’ll be needing to make sure I shop savvy. Try every item on before I buy it. Make sure it goes with everything – which will be easy as I’ll have my clothes catalogues in an app. A pair of silver jeans for £4 in a sale at Primark? Yeah, great, but WHERE on earth are you going to wear them?! Answer: Nowhere, they are designed for outer space – somewhere I never actually plan on going. Impulse buying could be a thing of the past.

So, after going through this post and re-reading my own words, I think I may have convinced myself. Possibly. Maybe. Indecision has always been one of my weak points as I’m usually afraid to embrace change with open arms; but I think this change might be good for me, especially since I’m running out of space, and time. It should save me time in the mornings, and also cut back my spending on clothes I’ll only wear once and throw out come the next detox.

What do you think? Have you ever created a capsule wardrobe? How did it go?

Comment me as usual.

Blush.

This week, I’ve been seriously drooling over a certain colour. Blush. It appears (from my instagram feeds and fashion email updates, at least) that this is the new nude. It’s a little bit more pink than nude. but not a sickly pink. It looks antique, it looks vintage, and the colour looks good with every skin tone. It’s a colour that looks luxurious whether you go for PVC, Fake fur, Suede, Satin, Jersey, Chiffon, Velvet or Cotton. I tried out the colour in the form of a jersey bodycon dress, when I was shopping last weekend; and I seriously regretted not buying that damn dress. Fortunately, there are tons of online versions of dresses in that colour. As well as skirts, tops, shoes, boots and jackets. Here’s a run down of my faves:

This super cosy-looking jacket – £40 from Missguided:

This sexy slip dress – £25 from Pretty Little Thing:

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This gorgeous velvet cami – £16 from Topshop:

These super comfy-looking skinny jeans – £22.99 from New Look:

Shell Pink Ankle Grazer Skinny Jeans  | New Look

This rosy bomber – £30 from Boohoo:

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This Oh My God Dress – £45 from Pretty Little Thing:

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These babin’ boots – £50 from Missguided:

These Cute AF strappy block heels – £27.99 from New Look:

Light Pink Velvet Ankle Strap Block Heels | New Look

This adorable choker – £1.50 from Primark:

Cut Out Suedette Choker

This shiny shiny skirt – £5 from Everything 5 Pounds:

Metallic Painted Wrap Mini Skirt

And this sparkly clutch – £5 from Primark:

Pink Glitter Sparkle Small Clutch Bag

So there you have it. My favourite colour that I will most certainly be sporting over the next couple of months. I have a suspicion that come payday most of these things will end up in my shopping cart too…

What do you think of this colour? Would you wear it? Do you? Drop me a line as usual.

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Haul: Everything 5 Pounds

Hello, Hello.

I have a slightly unhealthy obsession with clothes. So much so that an entire room in our house is labelled my “dressing room”. It’s filled to bursting point with my clothes, shoes, accessories and makeup.

But it doesn’t stop me shopping.

A couple of years ago, I found an amazing website called everything5pounds.com. Now I know what you’re thinking. Too good to be true, right? Wrong. This is the most amazing website ever.

So I recently bought a few things, and I’ve decided to do a writeup on the items to give everyone an idea of the products you can get. Continue reading “Haul: Everything 5 Pounds”

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