06 August 2008

The Pragmatic Girl's Fashion Tips

By Galia BarHava-Monteith

I've been thinking for a little while now that we needed something a bit 'lighter' on Professionelle. What with all the weighty topics we've been convering, like Positive Psychology, the Impostor Syndrome and a raft of advice pieces, we thought it was time we injected a little light entertainment!

Fashion, for example...

Let's face it, I DO like my fashion, as those of you who read my Red Boots, No Suits will know. I spend a not inconsequential amount of time debating the merits of various outfits and places to shop with the girlfriends. So all I needed was for Sarah also to voice it was time for something a bit frothier to prompt me into action!

A Little Frugality

So what's brought these recent fashion thoughts on, you ask? Well, the family is about to leave on a huge family holiday to an exotic location that has many fabulous shopping opportunities. In the run-up of getting organised and panicking about funds, I decided that we should put a moratorium on shopping from January (barring necessities and underwear…) to help build the momentum and excitement and of course to save so that we can spend with impunity) when we finally get there…

For me that meant wearing everything I had in my wardrobe and making the most of it by using many different combination, including ones I would not have ordinarily have thought of - anything to break the boredom. What it also meant was that, given I was wearing the same things over and over again, I could see what people commented on the most! Lo and behold, I discovered a new secret to working out what works best when it comes to fashion and how to developing the best personal style with minimum spend and maximum insight!

A Little Insight

After about two months of not buying a thing and wearing my same old wardrobe in different combinations, I started noticing a trend (yes, once a strategic consultant, always one, forever looking for trends in everything). I noticed that the same type of items generated the most comments. It wasn't necessarily my most expensive or most 'designed' outfits, but outfits that had the same things in common. Basically it was my structured, pinafore type dresses made of firmer materials and anything with an interesting collar! Without fail, every time I wore something that had a dollop of the above, at least one person would comment!

The other thing that I discovered was accessories. I used to thumb my nose at the various style gurus who advocated accessories as a way to lift outfits. I guess I was just really being lazy as the easiest way to lift an outfit is to buy a new one! Well, with my self-imposed shopping moratorium, I did make an exception for belts (which I had hardly any of). And yep, you guessed it, accessories DO lift outfits. Remarkably so.

A Little Game

I must say I actually ended up really enjoying this little exercise and almost turned it into a game of trying to see what unique combination I could create with my existing wardrobe every day. (Could this be my using my signature strength of creativity, ingenuity and originality???). Given that I've always considered myself a confident dresser, I was surprised to find that after the first four months I have become that much more confident in mixing and matching things I would never have considered before. It's all down to knowing my wardrobe so much better and, more importantly, knowing what really works!

So now I know not to get sucked into buying things that might initially appeal to me through their designer lines and price tags, but whicg experience has taught me don't necessarily work for me. If you are thinking about your style, let me recommend this to you - stop shopping! Take a couple of months out to really thrash your wardrobe and see what works for you - what people respond to the most and what you just really love wearing. You can even keep a diary - what you were wearing and how many comments you got and for what. Your confidence in trying new combinations will increase, you'll save money and when it eventually come to shopping you'll have a much better clue about what to go for!

Do let me know how it works for you!

© Professionelle Ltd 2008

Comments (1)

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  • Monday, 09 May 2011, 06:04p.m. by Skip

    “That's really thinking out of the box. Thkans!”

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