If you're anything like me, you check in with your favourite style and beauty blog a few times a week. We like their dreamy images on instagram, we swoon over yet another Celine handbag and occasionally we think, 'I wish I looked like that. I wish I got to travel there. I wish Jimmy Choo sent me shoes to pose in'. This constant stream of beautiful people and beautiful things can, I think, make us all feel a little inadequate at times.
I posted recently about my style rut and I'm so pleased to report that my ASOS order was pretty successful. Of the seven things I ordered, I kept four, all of which have me totally committed to overhauling what has become a pretty drab, predominantly black wardrobe. I took a completely different approach to choosing pieces so I thought I'd share my tips in the hope that it helps you to style yourself up in a way that has you excited to get dressed in the morning.
1. Start with some inspiration
It's not hard to think of somebody whose wardrobe you'd happily raid. For me, having fifteen minutes to rifle through Olivia Palermo and Miranda Kerr's walk-ins would have me pretty much set for life (although I may need to shed a pound or six). My Pinterest boards are brimming with images of both of them in skinny jeans and oversized tops, teetering in perfect cigarette heel stilettos or padding around in chic flats, toting enormous handbags and wearing just the right amount of leather. With all these images in front of me, it's not hard for me to conjure ideas for my perfect off-duty outfit.
Alongside this, ask me which item of clothing I would most like to own and I would tell you, without missing a beat, that it would be a Roland Mouret dress. A Galaxy, a Watson: I'm not fussy. Figure hugging, hourglass silhouettes are my choice for the working week every time. So, those are my basics, and they're what I hunt for every time I go shopping. And yet still I look at pictures of Chiara Ferragni and think 'why don't I dress like that?!' So, we need to make a leap of faith and...
2. Shop for yourself as though you were shopping for someone else
This is the single most important piece of advice I can give you. We all have a perception of how we look and many of us stick to the same safe pieces we feel comfortable in. Before I started my four hour ASOS scan, I wrote a shopping brief so that I didn't think of shopping for me and what I normally wear, but for a woman with the same stats as me who wanted a new look. I tried to take myself out of the exercise as much as possible, so I wrote down the following:
- Red hair
- Age 30
- Size 8/10
- No black!
It was initially quite tricky to steer myself away from the many black dresses, but that's where the next step comes in...
3. Save everything you like
Yes. Everything. Don't think about it: just save it. Don't tell yourself you'd never wear it, that it doesn't go with anything, that you'd look ridiculous in it. Just save it. I really only wear dresses to work, so I made sure to start with skirts and tops. This exercise should feel challenging, but that's how we get to the good stuff. I'd recommend starting your search with a site like ASOS, purely because they have so much, that their site is so user friendly, and because you can save the things you like for 60 days. This makes step four much easier.
4. Edit and be brave!
Now comes the fun part. You'll hopefully be greeted by lots of images that look something close to your dream wardrobe, unrestricted by thoughts of whether you can wear disco pants if you're a size 16 (who says you can't?) If you're lucky, you will have picked lots of things that look vaguely wearable together - this selection was random but there's a clear theme running through. Now comes the challenge.
I haven't worn printed trousers since I was eight, but the pair on the top right were one of seven pairs I originally saved. My subconscious is speaking to me and it's saying 'I WANT SOME LOUD TROUSERS!' Speak and ye shall be heard. So, cast your judgements aside and behold:
These are the things you truly love. Preconceptions and prejudices aside, this is how you'd like to dress yourself. Now, checkout and prepare yourself for a revelatory trying-on session.
I hope this inspires your style endeavours!