Thursday, 11 September 2014

Step Two ~ The Wardrobe

Restyling is difficult. I used to be the best shopper, always finding bargains and knowing how to fit my body. Then all things changed. Maybe it was the change in country, the gaining of weight, or the reduction in funds. Everything is a contributor.

When you know you are in a mess the best thing is to go shopping with someone who knows you really well. Someone who knows you inside out. For me it is the Sister. 

You need to stick to shops that work for you. For styles that cater not only to your size and fit but also to your personality. I really believed that I was a preppy girl. I would grab onto new trends and shop at the popular stores. That was where my problems started. I fell into a hole and lost inspiration because I tried to fit myself into a specific genre that wasn't mine. 

Before I hit the stores I asked myself WHO I really admired, (regarding style) who I really wanted to dress like. Everyone I picked was classic with classic lines, classic colours, classic styles. It was a realization that might seem simple but it was vital. When you go shopping you need to know what you are embodying, what you are, or you are easily distracted into something else. 
It is like going to the grocery store when you are hungry. What you need is cast aside by what you want right now. 

When shopping it is really important to make outfits not just pick up individual items that you love. That's why I adore stores like Banana Republic everything it makes is of a high quality, and they have bits of everything. Unlike Gap where the tops and cardigans are great but the pants are usually of poor quality. Banana Republic always has great basics that you can then play around with and match up with pretty much everything under the sun. Today is a perfect example, I am writing this blog in the chemo ward of Ottawa hospital while my mum is being treated. I am wearing a Banana Republic box pleat skirt paired with a Zoe Karssen long-sleeve tee and LK Bennett floral flats. 

The best place to pick up the one of a kind items are boutiques, (although there are not that many in the Oxford). In these you can discover the unique blouses, the funky dresses, and the interesting shaped tops. Once you have the basics then you hit the boutiques and find the one of a kinds that will make your basics pop. The same can be said for the 'labels'. I am a total label whore. I love my labels but being strapped for cash stops me enjoying the luxury. BUT, when you pick up one or two designers they really become appreciated when partnered with a basic. They get the attention they deserve. When you are head to toe in Chanel or Gucci then its just an outfit nothing grabs you, but pairing a Joe dress with a Marc Jacobs cardigan creates something and makes the designer that much more noticeable. 

Let's face it though, the wardrobe is not all about the clothes. At the bottom of the wardrobe, stacked high are my personal favourite thing... the SHOES! Over the summer I accumulated a large amount of LK Bennett pointy flats. They are great for summer (especially when you hate your feet). However, there is one thing that is really clear to me after restyling my wardrobe and that is Flats are NOT my Friends. I am far too short to be carrying on everywhere in flats especially when heels can be comfortable and look great. 

At home I have my two favourite LK Bennett pumps, and my gorgeous suede wedged boots. My funky purple Roberto Cavalli cowboy boots and now I have two more to add to the collection. A gorgeous pair of small purple swede ankle boots by Geox and my 'rediscovered' Seychelle lace up boots. Plus a gorgeous pair of brown pumps from a small boutique which have a gorgeous gold toe and heel. I am so excited to step into fall and winter with these gems adorning my feet and with multiple styles there is something for every outfit and every weather condition.

For me shoes are the be all and end all to every outfit. I perhaps do it wrong by styling the shoes around the outfit and not the other way around! But I love shoes. Shoes give me confidence and make me feel good! They are what I sit and ogle at on my bus ride home and prance around the office in. A pair of good shoes will make (or break) my day. 

Basics are vital to a solid and complete wardrobe
(Personal recommendations are Joe Fresh and Banana Republic)

Designers and boutique buys are the icing on top, the place you can show of your ability to style, (Personal recommendations are Marc by Marc Jacobs, Glamourous, Zoe Karssen and Louche)

Finally Shoes... quality is the most important thing. Going cheap will ruin your feet and bank balance as they will need constant replacement, 
(Personal recommendations are LK Bennett, Geox, Tory Burch and Kate Spade

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