January. It's the start of a new year and you'd be forgiven for wanting to run out and stuff your wardrobe with bags and bags of discounts and bargains.
As with anything on sale: you win some you lose some; you wear some you throw some away.
But here's a thought … instead of wandering store to store and ending up with sore feet and riding a massive (pay-)wave of debt for the weeks to come, why not invest in some key wardrobe staples and updates which will see you through this season and beyond.
Now, there is nothing wrong with a bargain. We have all felt the euphoric fabulousness of a key piece netted at a fraction of the RRP. But it pays (literally!) to be strategic and a little clever planning and sharp-eyed shopping can go a very long way…
So, what to do? Read on…
1. Audit. Know what you've got, what you need and what needs to go (see step two). Strategically match separates into ensembles and outfits. Try things on. Have a bit of fun with it. Accessorise, add hats, scarves, bags, necklaces, brooches and hair adornments. Start to get a sense of your style.
2. Clear the Decks. If you didn't go through your wardrobe at the end of the old year and throw to charity what you didn't like, then there is no time like the present! It's hot outside anyway, so crank up the aircon and settle in for an afternoon (or day, depending on how great a closet calamity you're dealing with) to clean, clear and get rid of what no longer rates. Keep at the front of mind what your style is – and build your wardrobe to match. Eclectic is wonderful, so long as it isn't just being trotted out as an endearing badge for something that is, actually, a higglety-pigglety mess!
3. Make a list! Look at where you can inject some colour, texture, interesting cuts or bold designs into the mix to liven things up a tad. If you're a little timid, then stick to the classics, but look for a stylish edge. Look through magazines, follow fashion blogs. What will you wear – really wear! There is no point splashing out on something simply splendiferous if it's going to sit at the back of your closet where no one will see it! That's just a travesty!! If you're having some trouble on your own, rope in a friend for some help and inspiration – and whatever you do, go where those adorning the shelves and operating the registers know what their talking about. Places like the bustling HB Boutique are busy and have been around for years – and it's for good reason. They choose their stock carefully, they are honest with their clients and they know what works (or, more importantly, what absolutely doesn't so you don't walk out with an empty wallet and a bag full of stuff that just won't work for you). Like anything – if it's worth doing, it's worth doing well.
4. Shop it! Don the comfy shoes and some easy-on-easy-off shopping garb and off you trot. Think first and foremost: What's your budget? Then, second: Always, always, ALWAYS look for quality. This season we are blessed with a stunning immersion of colour and interest set against a backdrop of neutrality and classic style. Super relaxing slides (such as the blue stunners pictured) are well made, well priced and will be well used in a functional yet fabulous wardrobe. Look for flattering styles. That will move wedges and espadrilles (check out the cute pair pictured) to the top of the list… although they tie at the ankle (and sure, that's not for everyone) the straps make for a relaxed and flattering line – especially if you can carry it off a little further up the calf.
5. Wear it. It might sound a little odd. But think about it! How often have you bought something on sale only for it to be buried deep in the depths of the back of your wardrobe, only to be pulled out in puzzlement one day in the near or far future. Beautiful clothes should be bought well and worn well. Mix it up, have fun and be a little daring. But don't overlook the classics. Stunning contrast in black and white (check out the cute summer-perfect ensemble pictured) is as tried and true a fashion element as the LBD or a pair of pearl earrings. Make the investment. Choose quality over quantity. Love what you wear.