Saturday, 18 February 2012

Fashion Crunch

Is it just me or do you feel guilty for spending money on clothes during
this time of economic downfall? If I’m completely honest I still don’t fully
understand the ‘credit crunch’ and I don’t think I’m alone! I know, however
that at present we need to start being thriftier and stop being so spontaneous
with our pennies.

The pull of the bargain, especially at this time of year, can lead us
into buying clothing that we honestly do not need. How many wears do you think
you will really get out of those leather leggings? And really, how long do you
think this trend will last?

There was a time not so long ago women would only buy what they really needed.
My grandmother would buy one coat and make it last for a good few years. She
would also spend a good amount of money on it to ensure it would last and look
good through many wears. However, with the present trend of fast-fashion on our
high-streets you can spend a tenner and come away with a fabulous new coat or
dress. Why not?

Look in your wardrobe – how many items in there could you honestly say
that you have worn for many years? Are there clothes in there with price-tags
on? Is there a Primark swing jacket that looked good on the hanger but when put
on made you look double your actual width?

Recent scientific research has proven that women actually only wear 30%
of their wardrobe. This is true in my own case – I have lots and lots of
dresses in my wardrobe that only come out on the odd night out. But even then I
go through fazes of having a ‘favourite’ and will only wear that dress on a
night out because I know it makes me feel good. Why would I want to risk
wearing that old little black dress and feeling rubbish all night when I know I
have my ‘favourite’ dress that I can always rely on to have a good time?

So I think it’s time to start being smarter with fashion. Believe me; I
am guilty of having the odd bargain-binge on the high street. However, I have also
started buying pieces that cost me that bit more but I know these are the
pieces that I will wear the most.

So what are these ‘pieces’ that you need in your wardrobe? Well to help
you here is my ‘capsule must-have wardrobe’:

If like me you are working girl you will know you have two separate wardrobes
in your life - one for work, one for play. When I come home from work I always
take off my work-wear straight away, it’s like I’m taking off my school
uniform. I want to be comfortable and relaxed after a hard days work but then I
also want to feel glamorous when I go out and have fun after a hard week. Here is my must-have capsule wardrobe with the
pieces that you will wear again and again:

ü Black
trousers – wide-leg fit
are a particular favourite. They are on trend, look elegant and will go with
blouses or sweaters. Be careful not to team black trousers with pale wish-washy
colours – it just looks tired. Instead go for vibrant prints or colours. Of
course, you can never go wrong with the classic monochrome which I don’t think
will ever date. Choose a material that will wear well and don’t feel bad for
spending that bit extra – these trousers will never date!

ü White
Blouse – A white blouse
will never date. It’s officially a classic. Go for a style that flatters you –
do not be trend led. The white blouse can be worn on its own, under a suit,
with a skirt or could be your backdrop for your new statement necklace. The blouse can also be layered in the winter
with jumpers or even underneath dresses. Make sure you buy a blouse in 100%
cotton or any other good quality material that will wear well.

ü Smart
dress – This is a dress
you wouldn’t wear to go clubbing. This is the dress that will instantly make
you feel elegant and smart – the shift. The shift can be layered in the winter
or they can go solo in the summer. A grey or black shift dress would be the
most wearable but if you’re brave go for a bold primary colour. If you want to
feel comfortable and less ‘pulled in’ a dress made of jersey is what you need.
A jersey wrap dress is another classic thanks to its creator Diane Von
Furstenberg and it has long been a staple in New York women’s wardrobes. The wrap looks
fabulous teamed with knee high boots in the winter.

ü Pencil
skirt – The pencil skirt
has made a big comeback – not that it really went away. This is the style I
would advise to invest in as yet again it is another classic. The pencil skirt
is very versatile and can be easily glammed up if you want to go straight from
the office to the bar! The skirt looks great teamed with that white blouse, in
the evening unbutton a few of those buttons, add a dazzling necklace and a
slick of red lipstick and voila you are ready for a glamorous night.


ü Little
Black Dress – We have Coco Chanel to thank for the creation that is a constant life
saver among women. That feeling that you have nothing to wear is diminished when
you catch sight of this gem in your wardrobe. The LBD is like a loyal old
friend – it’s always there for you when you need it most. So when buying a LBD
invest in one with a style that you know suits you – again do not be trend led.
Go for a material that will be wearable all year round. When you try it on, if
your face is smiling and you suddenly feel glamorous this is the one for you.

ü Statement
necklace – Accessorising
an outfit can instantly turn it into a more glamorous outfit. That black vest
top hidden in your wardrobe would look sensational against a sparkling pearl
necklace. Invest in a necklace that will have impact on an outfit. If you’re
brave go for a really bold coloured beaded necklace or for a more elegant touch
a few strings of pearls will add a splash of instant chic to an outfit.

ü Red
shoes- Yes - red! I believe every woman should own a pair of red shoes. Red is
surprisingly very versatile and they are very sexy. If you’re not in the mood
for your party dress adding a pair of red heels to your jeans and top combo
will instantly make you feel glamorous and sexy without feeling like you’ve
tried to hard. Also if you are scared of colour this is a great way to start
bring more colour into your wardrobe.


ü Cotton
loungewear: At home you
want to feel comfy but still feel good. Instead of your old tracksuit invest in
some loose cotton yoga pants and a cotton hooded top that can be layered with
vest and t – shirts. Velour is also a luxurious fabric to wear at home and is
very comfortable.

ü Cashmere slipper socks: I believe every woman should own some cashmere
and cashmere socks are definitely a must have. Your feet will feel like they
are wrapped in cotton wool. They are so
incredibly warm and cosy especially when you’re feet are feeling tired from
work or after a night dancing in your red heels!

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