You stand in front of your wardrobe, wondering which outfit should be graced with your presence. You’ve worn that stripy knit a thousand times, your chinos feel last season and god forbid you try to fit into those jeans that the sales lady SWORE would stretch out. (Damn you, Alyssa.)
If you’ve spent hours staring into the abyss of a tired and uninspiring wardrobe, you’re not alone. It’s a little condition called WE NEED NEW STUFF. When your heart’s whispering “Give me a new outfit” and your wallet’s saying “Don’t you effing dare”, it’s hard to know what’s right.
Herein lies the beauty of a wardrobe audit. No rushing out to buy expensive items you feel like you’re missing; this is all about reinventing the pieces of you already own with just a few extras. A FEW.
Sarah Merrett (better known by her followers as Mumma Ain’t Mumsy) is an accredited personal fashion stylist and a go-to for #fashioninspo. Besides causing some serious outfit envy, Sarah empowers women to find their vibe amongst the chaos of everyday life.
She’s shared with us her exclusive tips to inject some confidence back into our outfits AND keep our wallets smiling. If you’re looking to revamp that wardrobe of yours, this is all you need to know.
WARDROBE STAPLES ARE YOUR BEST FRIEND
Wardrobe staples are all about great basics and classics that can be worn regularly in multiple ways. You should be able to easily dress these pieces up or down with the right accessories and shoes.
Sarah’s own personal staples include a LOT of denim – jeans, shorts, skirts, jackets, shirts that can be paired regularly with tees – as well as silk or cotton button-up shirts, heels, sandals or sneakers depending on the day.
VERSATILITY, VERSATILITY, VERSATILITY!
Sarah loves denim and so does Style! Quality denim pieces can be worn in a multitude of ways, lending themselves to classic, dressy or tailored looks when paired with a blazer, heels and beautiful jewels. Every woman needs a couple of pairs of well-fitting jeans and at least one denim jacket. These will become your most versatile staples when changing between seasons. A denim jacket can be layered over so many looks, matches all fabric colours and skin tones and gives off an effortless vibe.
Black, navy and white well-cut dresses, pants, shirts and jackets are also wonderfully versatile items in the wardrobe – they won’t date, WILL flatter the body and can also be dressed up and down for a range of occasions. Stick to classic cuts for timeless style; you can always add in the latest trend with shoes and layered accessories.
FOLLOW A CHECKLIST, AND STICK TO IT
“Buy less, choose well,” they say. “Shop smart,” they tell us. But what does that MEAN?!
Apart from being an excellent film, The Blind Side had one of the best pieces of shopping advice we’ve ever come across: “If you don’t absolutely love it in the store, you won’t wear it.”
So if you’re on the fence about an item of clothing or an accessory, ditch it. If you can’t get it out of your head, you know it’s worth adding to the wardrobe. Make sure it’s something you’ll wear regularly; are you really going to wear those gorgeous heels out of the house if you can’t even walk in them without breaking an ankle?
Keep an eye out for pieces that can be worn in a variety of ways, fit your body well and express your personality, whether it be at work or at play. Coming home with pieces that you are head-over-heels in love with is so much more satisfying than coming home with “maybe” or “it COULD work” pieces.
BEST PLACES TO GRAB A BARGAIN BUY
Stores such as Target and Cotton On are providing some quality key wardrobe pieces this season. Best of all, they’re affordable trend “copies” that you can enjoy without feeling you’ve been punched in the face by a price tag. With thoughtful purchase and careful styling, you can achieve the high-end look at a bargain price.
Glassons is also another chain store kicking goals in the bargain buyers market. They focus on fresh styles and pops of fun that have more versatility than a brief fashion fad.
If you’re an online shopper at heart and hate the big crowds, it’s hard to go past ASOS and Missguided when looking for a cheeky, unique bargain buy. They also have great inexpensive shoes (just double-check the size before placing your order!).
SARAH’S TOP 10 TIPS
- Audit your wardrobe before doing any shopping. Get rid of what doesn’t fit, isn’t your style anymore or is old and tattered.
- Organise your wardrobe so you can see what you have – it’ll make getting dressed easier each day that little bit easier.
- Write a list of the key wardrobe pieces that are missing and which will inject versatility and depth into the wardrobe.
- Set your budget clearly and do your research online before hitting the shops.
- Only shop for those things on the list! No impulse buying when on a budget.
- Shop smart and avoid spending too much money on one-off trends.
- Don’t buy things you already own. If you have three white T-shirts, you don’t need another one. Seriously.
- Buy the best quality you can within your budget so that your pieces have longevity. If something’s cheap but will need replacing in a month, you could be spending more in the long run.
- Don’t spend up big on seasonal accessories – places such as Lovisa and Colette will give you the same look for less if it’s just a seasonal trend.
- Buy the classics and you’ll always have something to wear.
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