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Wardrobe Essentials

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The Summer dress edit

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It’s been a while since my last blog post. I have been desperate to write one these past few weeks, but work has been super busy that it hasn’t given me alot of time for anything else.

As the temperatures are finally increasing it feels right to talk about Summer dresses. Dresses to wear now, through the Summer and in Autumn with some stylish layering ideas. Dresses are a go-to for me in the Summer months because they are comfortable, easy to wear, no brain power required, they can be dressed up or down, styled your way, cool and breezy and what I love most – they are flattering. And they can be your uniform too.

Dresses are a no brainer one-stop style solution, but they can also be a blank canvas to style your way. And I have found five styles to inspire you and your shopping…


DRESSES FOR SUMMER

THE SHIRT DRESS

Shirt dresses are so effortless and versatile. They can be worn loose and oversized for that relaxed vibe, whatever your shape, but are particularly favourable for skimming ‘mummy tagged’ middles. The shirt dress doesn’t grip, has a flattering v-style neck and depending on how much you like your legs, can be mini, midi or maxi. If you want to show off your curves or create/define your waist for a more sculpted silhouette, simply cinch the waist of the dress with a belt.


THE SPOTTY DRESS

Aside from the Zara dress (see above photos), polka dots are having a bit of a moment. Although to be fair they have never really gone out of fashion and are always a great print option.


THE MIDI DRESS

No longer old fashioned and twee and just worn by your Granny, midi dresses or tea dresses, the sort with a midi hemline, sleeves and in light, floral or print fabrics, are so easy to wear and so flattering. Just make sure the tailored point (seam/waistline) is at your slimmest part (under boobs or nipped at the waist), choose a hem that cuts you off at a good part of your leg below the knee, go button down for elongating shorter or wider torsos and keep prints smaller the more petite you are and vice versa and for the most flattering silhouette.


THE WHITE DRESS

A white dress is a timeless classic but can be completely impractical too. But the Little White Dress (LWD), is the only way you can ditch your black dress in the Summer time. There’s just something unapologetically summery and optimistic about this shade, be it lacy and whimsical, or linen and minimalist. Throwing one on signals that yes, the sun is going to shine.


THE WRAP DRESS

This shape has had an update, as it no longer exclusively ties at the side, but can be tied at the back or the middle. With its super slimming tie or knot waist, v-neckline and non-gripping A-line skirt it is universally flattering. It defines the waist and can add curves for more straight up and down figures, skims and slims over hips and bottoms for those conscious of this area. If you feel short in the torso, choose a deeper, plunging neckline to lengthen, and those with a bigger bust, the v-neckline and fit and flare style waist, will balance your top and bottom halves.

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How to shop your own wardrobe

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I’ve been deliberately shopping my own wardrobe for a number of months now, mainly because my wardrobe for both Autumn/Winter and Spring/Summer is pretty good in terms of ticking all the boxes for what I need in my lifestyle. Some bits have cropped up like a new blazer for work appointments, a new coat for walking our new puppy and a new dress for Winter events. With all of these purchases I got them either in the sale or with discount codes and I thought about the purchases versatility many times over, and about how to wear them again and again. During this time I have learnt alot about reworking pieces that I own into new outfits and learnt that it is more of an attitude that leads to a naturally more sustainable way of life when it comes to shopping and spending money.

Don’t get me wrong, what I do for a living sees me advising men and women on what to buy for their wardrobes to make them feel good and more stylish. But I am always giving clients brands I know are great for quality, longevity and versatility so that you will keep these items for as long as possible in your life. That is what I have done with my wardrobe over the past 5 years, jumpers I am still wearing now are old Zara, Topshop and &other stories buys but paired over dresses, with skirts or tucked into trousers they look new again. I still have small holes in my wardrobe and there are going to always be things that I lust after because I love fashion and style, but I think personally I want to be more conscious about my spending, where I am spending and really thinking about whether I NEED it in my wardrobe.

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During the past few months, I’ve learned a lot about the ins and outs and ups and downs of shopping your wardrobe so I have pulled together some tips for you to think about this January.


Here are 6 simple truths about shopping your wardrobe

  1. Shopping your wardrobe is an attitude

    Shopping your wardrobe is a way of thinking and feeling about your wardrobe that has you appreciating and using what’s there, not wishing for things that you don’t have. You can cultivate a ‘shop your wardrobe’ attitude overnight – there’s no special skills or steps required.  The main ingredient you need is a new lens or a fresh set of eyes to look at, and experience, your existing wardrobe through.

  2. Shopping your wardrobe is about cultivating a working wardrobe

    This type of wardrobe is one filled exclusively with items that make you look good (if not great) and feel even better. This kind of wardrobe is created by being conscious about every purchase you make, so any new item coordinates with many existing items, and pays their rent in your wardrobe.

    A working wardrobe that you can shop in is full of items that suit your body, support your lifestyle, and express your mood and personality.

    A working wardrobe that you can shop in usually takes a while to develop and get right, years sometimes. This is where I can help you on your journey and believe me it will be worth it.

  3. Shopping your wardrobe gives you a chance to find your personal style

    By bringing your focus solely onto the items that you already have, you have a chance to define for yourself what you truly love when it comes to clothing and style.

    When you shop your wardrobe, you have the opportunity to explore and liberate your own sense of personal style.

    You can’t tap into your true style when you’re always shopping in the stores as there is too much noise going on you can’t possible hear what your inner style voice is telling you!

  4. When you shop your wardrobe, you make less shopping mistakes

    When you shop your wardrobe, especially if you do it for a while, you truly do liberate your sense of personal style.  You come to know – deeply and truly – what you love to wear, and what makes you look and feel great.

    So when you do choose to shop in the stores, you’re clearer.  You’re less susceptible to passing trends or compelling marketing and merchandising.  You’re more centred in your own style.

    So you make less purchasing mistakes.  Because you are so attuned to your personal sense of style, you have discovered, through a deep connection with your existing items, and trial and error, what you love – and what you don’t.

  5. When you shop your wardrobe, you find out what you really love

    When you shop your wardrobe, you have a great opportunity to explore and discover what about your existing items really works.  What items make your heart sing and makes you truly happy.  What items make you feel most YOU.  And of course, what items don’t pass muster.

    You can’t do this if you’re constantly shopping and bringing new items into your wardrobe.  There’s simply too much noise.

    When you shop your wardrobe, you have the opportunity to evaluate items in your wardrobe by detoxing; reusing and recycling.

  6. When you shop your wardrobe you will never say “I’ve got nothing to wear”

    When you shop your wardrobe and explore your sense of personal style, where you often wash up is with a cultivated and curated “working wardrobe”.  And this kind of wardrobe truly works for you.  You use it.  It isn’t a museum but a working and workable space, where every item in it ‘earns its rent’.

    Your wonderful working wardrobe may have 26 items in it or 66 or 1066 – it’s not the size that counts, it’s whether every single piece is working for you.


Consider this….

All of the above is achievable but if the idea of it scares you, you don’t know where to start or you want to the help of a professional then I can get the results you are after by booking a consultation with me.

I encourage you to consider a period where you only shop your wardrobe – whether it’s a week, a month, or longer.  You may be surprised and delighted at what you discover.

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Best Autumn pieces on the high street right now

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These past few years since I have been working as a personal stylist I have tended to shop smart rather than buy throw away fashion like I did in my younger years when working in fashion buying. It is a mantra that I talk about when speaking to new clients, re-connecting with old ones and one of my tips I try and impart to them. I know if you shop smart and, for the most part, buy the very best quality you can afford, you’ll hit repeat on those pieces for years (and years and years). That’s certainly how I dress. I wear a handful of the same things over and over, updating when I need to.

In this blog I wanted to bring the pieces to you that I have been seeing alot of whilst shopping over these past few weeks that will ensure your wardrobe has staying power. The trick is knowing what you’re looking for: timeless silhouettes, high-quality fabric and flattering cuts. When these three come together, you’ve found a keeper. I like focusing on pieces that have longevity in your wardrobe and mixing them in with the very best seasonal staples and instant transformers.

So here is my top stylish Autumn pieces on the high street right now that you’ll love wearing this winter – then next winter and the one after that too.


1. The smart coat

I love the fabric of this Herringbone tweed coat from Jigsaw. It’s such a great fit and a great silhouette that it flatters your figure even if you are wearing a chunky knit underneath it.

Single breasted herringbone coat, Jigsaw, £280

Single breasted herringbone coat, Jigsaw, £280

2. The perfect parka

I am always on the look out for the perfect parka for clients that are casual in style but not too sporty or not too ‘Mumsy’ looking! This Whistles parka is the perfect khaki colour, the fake fur goes really well and the fully borg lining will keep you warm.

Megan casual Parka, Whistles, John Lewis £189.00

Megan casual Parka, Whistles, John Lewis £189.00

3. Jeans

As many of my clients know I am massive advocate for Levi jeans, they are my go to and have been a winner for all clients I have worked with for 5 years. But I have started to explore some other brands, and the American brands are the better ones for fabric, cut and fit. I especially like at the moment these Madewell high waisted jeans from John Lewis.

High waisted jeans, Madewell, John Lewis £128.00

High waisted jeans, Madewell, John Lewis £128.00

4. Trousers

For months now trousers are top of the list when it comes to shopping for myself and for clients. Everyone is steering away from everyday jeans and wanting to wear smarter, more comfortable trousers with trainers. I have found the best pairs to be from Me & Em, whether its smart joggers, wide leg trousers or some everyday trousers you can’t go wrong with the fit and quality of this brand.

Grosgrain stripe trousers, ME & EM, £129.00

Grosgrain stripe trousers, ME & EM, £129.00

5. The cable knit

I love it when it gets really cold and you need to wear your chunkiest piece of knitwear to stay warm. But you shouldn’t have to compromise on style when in knitwear and choosing something with a cable running through it ensures it looks more stylish and gives your knitwear personality. &other stories have a great selection of cable knits right now, my favourite has to be this polo neck one.

Oversized cable knit polo, &other stories, £79

Oversized cable knit polo, &other stories, £79

6. The cashmere jumper

More and more we are looking for quality over quanity when we are buying items, yes we might need to spend slightly more money on something with better quality but it will last us longer. I am currently loving Boden’s cashmere jumper offering, this stripe one has got some great colours in it for brightening up your wardrobe.

Cashmere stripe crewneck, Boden, £130.00

Cashmere stripe crewneck, Boden, £130.00

7. The maxi dress

The maxi and midi dress were a favourite of mine this Summer and I have continued to wear some so far this Autumn, layered with blazers, my leather jacket and tights. But I have found the perfect dress from Baukjen which is currently on my wishlist!

Luna star print maxi dress, Baukjen, £189.00

Luna star print maxi dress, Baukjen, £189.00

8. The knitted dress

This piece is always very hard to find every season, so comfortable but can end up being very unflattering if not the right shape and style for your figure so tread carefully. I think this grey midi dress from Kin at John Lewis will never go out of style, but ensure you size right.

Contrast colour knitted dress, Kin, John Lewis, £79.00

Contrast colour knitted dress, Kin, John Lewis, £79.00

9. Boots

I featured these boots on my Autumn ‘lust-after’ blog post back in September and they are still my favourite boots I have seen out there at the moment. I love the casual but formal feel of them, biker boots but can be worn dressed up too. These Kurt Geiger boots come in 3 colourways too.

Snail leather biker boots, Kurt Geiger, £169.00

Snail leather biker boots, Kurt Geiger, £169.00

10. The ultimate bag

You can never have too many bags in your life, as we navigate our daily lives we need large shoppers, cross body bags for hands free life, bags big enough for laptops, evening clutches…the list goes on. BUT there is an ultimate large shopper out there in Leopard print from Day Birger et Mikkelsen that is irresistible and needs to be added to your wardrobe pronto!

Leopard print shopper, Day Birger et Mikkelsen, £190.00

Leopard print shopper, Day Birger et Mikkelsen, £190.00

If you need help with your Autumn wardrobe, please contact me on email nina@edits-styling.com and we can discuss your needs, wants and how we can ensure your style has longevity.

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A wardrobe saviour: The Jumpsuit

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I had sort of assumed that everyone loves jumpsuits as much as I do. Practical, easy and often chicer than some of their dress/trouser counterparts, an all-in-one has long been the thing I rely on for those moments when you need to look more dressed up than usual, but have absolutely no idea what to wear. But during many client consultations I am amazed at how women don't think about jumpsuits as their go-to outfit for an evening out, a wedding, an alternative to office wear or a summer garden party. They are so versatile and flattering, it works like a dress but removes all the worry about what goes with what.

I now feel it is my job on this earth to persuade any remaining resisters as to the power of the jumpsuit. I have clients in their thirties ranging to clients in their sixties who are addicted to the power of the jumpsuit. Why? Because it is the most youth-endowing item of clothing you can wear as you get older. 

The jumpsuit is a true wardrobe saviour, when wearing one you’ll fit into any sort of situation and/or dress code. Casual yet sophisticated it can be effortlessly dressed up for weddings and last minute parties or thrown on with trainers and a denim jacket for a chic, nonchalant look. During winter, layers are the way to justify braving an all-in-one, whether it be with an oversized jacket or fitted polo neck to add edge (and warmth!). The trick is to keep styling simple and let the jumpsuit itself make the statement

Most clients, after seeing that jumpsuits are not, in fact, the work of the devil but a cool, very flattering alternative to dresses and separates, concede that I am right. I’m not smug at all; in fact, I’m just so happy that another person has joined my jumpsuit fan club. So if you want to look both stylish and cool, be it for day or night, I hereby pledge that a jumpsuit will deliver!


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