It seems so simple doesn’t it? But in a full or overflowing wardrobe, eight times out of ten this is the key to the problem of ‘I have nothing to wear’. I often have nothing to wear which is absurd because as I have told you my wardrobes are all well and truly overflowing, unfortunately after several years as a fashion obsessed naive girl where I just bought bought bought without much thought about the garments and their place in my life. There was a period of Alannah Hill obsession in there which spanned from about 18-22. That was an expensive and impractical (for me) obsession, the thing is with a style like that, one piece isn’t really enough, you need to commit to the whole look top to toe, and when you nail it, it is soo cute, but its also super delicate and high maintenance – stockings, lace, silk, beading, so many elements that can be destroyed by one wrong move in the proximity of a zipper or a chipped nail. I will always have a soft spot for that look as its just so girly and pretty but for my lifestyle, at work, at home, out & about and traveling it just doesn’t suit me. Which brings me to my first point.
Does it suit your lifestyle? It may be magnificent, it may even fit you perfectly and it may be totally on trend right now. But if you literally will never wear it because your lifestyle doesn’t have moments that call for that item then it is a waste of your money and a waste of highly valuable wardrobe realestate which could be given to something better suited to you. If you are in the shop trying it on and loving how it looks and all the rest and you are weighing it up, ask yourself, ‘Can I think of three places or occasions this year that I could wear this?’ If the answer is yes, then by all means go ahead! But if the answer is no, then you might want to consider putting it back. Of course there are exceptional circumstances where you might have found a piece of wearable art that simply cannot be ignored, but here you still need to be semi sensible – wearable art isn’t something you would usually be able to reel off a list of places to be able to wear it and I am sensitive to that however, ask yourself here, ‘Do I have or can I create an opportunity to wear this item and will I do this??
Does it fit you properly? We have all done it, thankfully I feel I have pretty much stopped doing this now, but I have a whole tea chest sized box of clothes to remind me why I shouldn’t do it ever again. It is a bummer when you search through racks and racks of clothes looking for your size and only find one up and one down while yours is sold out. with some clothes you can get away with a size up, or a size down but do be honest with yourself, are you now about to pay $110 for a top that isn’t quite right and you probably won’t reach for in your wardrobe? I spend a lot on clothes and I know I do but $100 is $100 and when you sit and think about how many hours you had to work to buy that top or those shoes – now ask how happy you are about the size not being quite right. When its wrong it can really affect you, I have clothes and shoes that are too small and I bought them because they were on sale or they were super pretty or both. Shoes well it almost goes without saying, you NEED to buy the right size of shoe. Buying a size down will have you in pain in about three minutes and you will never use them no matter how cute they are, buy too big and you will be so unstable in them and while you might wear them you will be walking like the drunk girl that can’t walk in her shoes – nobody wants to look like her.
I have this amazing pair of Christian Louboutin heels that I thought were just incredible (because they are) and talked myself into buying them, at $1200, I am not quite sure why I would be silly enough to overlook something so obvious as them being too small, but it was only half a size so I did. I bought them, I wore them once out for dinner with my mother and never wore them again because they hurrrt! So now I am selling them on eBay for like a third of what I payed because as beautiful as they are I find them a touch depressing to look at – what a waste!
**Side note: Something to consider when shopping for shoes is what you will be wearing with them, are you buying Winter boots that you need room for big thick socks in?? I now actually like to shop for shoes at the end of the day because as icky as this sounds, my feet are a little more swollen than the morning and more like how they will be during a night out wearing heels or pottering around the city in boots..
Does it flatter you? This one, I think is one of the more obvious ones which is why I feel like a royal idiot every time I come across a garment in my wardrobe where this is the problem, I mean why would you buy it if it doesn’t flatter you right??? Wrong, we have all done it at least once if not an embarrassing number of times. I think womens bodies are beautiful, but we all have our hangups and we are our own worst critics, so we need to start being mindful of this when shopping, if you shop with friends tell your friends what you are not happy about and ask them to (politely) keep you on track when in the fitting room. If you like to shop alone, great, ask the shop assistant to help you, tell them what it is you are self conscious about and ask what styles they have that cover or distract from that body part, they know their stock and often know about secret hidden gems that you might have missed.
I have a girlfriend that is seriously the most beautiful woman inside and out, I swear to you she looks like a very unfair combination of Lady Godiva, Venus & Ariel – the girl is a Sex-Bomb but she hates her shoulders and is really self conscious of them. During a recent stay with her I noticed that almost every outfit she had to throw on had either spaghetti straps or tank top straps, and every time she got ready her confidence was getting lower and lower. It was heartbreaking because mostly I just wanted to show her what I saw when I looked at her, but thats not how life works, so in the nicest way possible (granted I am pretty direct even when being nice) I told her, ‘hun, you need to stop buying garments that show off the features you love least’ and I am so proud and happy for her because she did, like immediately, and has been on a shopping streak since, picking up awesome pieces like long line cardigans, long sleeve wrap dresses, great casual jackets and every time I see her she is looking more and more confident and I just love that!
The thing is, when your clothes flatter you, you look your best and then you feel great and thats when you shine at life. But when you get about in clothing that doesn’t flatter you, it has the exact opposite effect. If you come across a garment in your wardrobe that doesn’t flatter you get rid of it, that thing is not your friend!
Is it comfortable? This sort of follows on from does it fit? But its also its own issue too. Fabric is a big one here. It is Winter and as soon as that cold snap comes, all I want is to be rugged up in big cosy knits and there are a lot around. The problem with a lot of them is they itch! I can’t be the only one that finds this. It is important to check the comfort levels of garments before you buy them. Jeans for instance – can you sit or squat down in them, if not, how are you meant to comfortably sit down to lunch or dinner wearing them? Shoes – do they hurt after five minutes in the store – in the store they shouldn’t hurt at all as that is the least amount of time you will ever wear them for so if they hurt at all they are a bad idea! Actually that goes for everything. If it hurts in any way at all in the store DO NOT BUY IT!!!! and if it hurts now at home when you try it on or while you are out wearing it – get rid of it.
I dream of a wardrobe which I open and everything in it works for me and my life. I will get there step by step.
Joie Silk Shirt – $297.00 shop similar on Polyvore
Vintage Fur Vest – shop similar faux styles from Zara
Bardot High Waisted Skinny Jeans – $139.95 shop current styles at Bardot
Chloe Susanna Boots in Cream + Gold – $1300.00 from Farfetch
Chanel Sunglasses from 2011 – $530.00 shop similar this season at Chanel
Michael Kors Oversized Watch – $449.00 shop similar on Shopstyle