I didn't find my style (or this passion) until i hit thirty. Since then i've learnt what suits me and what doesn't but just like everyone else there are still days when I get it wrong.
Most of my friends comment on my ability to layer clothes and to turn something that's ok into something special or unique (whilst doubting their own ability). Having been asked how I put my outfits together several times I thought it was high time I shared some of my tricks to show it's easy once you give yourself permission to experiment.
Find a bargain dress - I found this white dress in the French Connection sale (£35). It originally had black plastic embellishments (think oversized tear drop shaped sequins and dalmations) which several years ago would have put me off buying it. However, I can now see beyond embellishments to the garment underneath and after 20 minutes with a seam picker to remove all of the offending sequins, I have a great dress that i know will work for me.
This is the foundation piece - cute right...
From the existing clothes I have in my wardrobe I can create at least seven outfits from this one dress.
Function and Practicality - both important as anyone who has ever stood in a damp field with nothing but a pair of kitten heels between them and imminent trench foot will know.
I like cardigans because they give such great versatility so assuming it's a cold day I would add a warm knit and, assuming a more conservative function, it would typically be in a complimentary tone. If you don't want to be spending out every year on essentials take the time to pick garments with a high wool content and follow the care instructions. Believe me, this saves a lot of money over the long term.
Step Three: Give it the form you want. I'm really small and an hourglass so a lot of clothes can look shapeless on me. Sometimes that's fine but I've found emphasising my waist can really bring outfits up a notch or two.
I must have a zillion belts which regularly get used to hold up trousers, cinch in waists, add colour etc. They're normally within budget and of course they will always fit. This is one of my current favourites. If you don't like belts too much you can always use lengths of material of scarves.
Step Four: Add footwear, making it appropriate of course. Because of the assumption that its going to be quite cold I would add boots (short of long).
Step Five: Add your accessories. I can't show it here but I would put some long cream socks under these boots to tie in with the cardigan. I'm a big fan of jewellery so I would add a necklace (chunky - in keeping with the boots and belt), some gold bangles and if I was feeling really adventurous a feather hairband.
So there you go, a complete outfit in five easy steps.
Here are the other variations
Outfit Two - Casual/ Formal
Outfit Three - Casual (for cooler weather)
Outfit Four - Informal/ Smart
Outfit Five - Casual/ Smart (with high heeled sandals for warmer weather)
- Casual/ Smart (with boots for cooler weather)
Outfit Six - Smart/ Casual (with Jewel tones)
Outfit Seven - Smart/ Creative (for those who want to be a bit more adventurous - one of my favourites)
Enjoy - maybe this will help you look at your wardrobe in a new light?
If you want to see where I get some of my great accessories visit http://dychedesigns.blogspot.com