Styling ideas, Tips and Tricks

Savvy Sale Shopping

Sale time. Music to some people’s ears who will be singing all the way to their favourite store OR are you one to avoid the shops like the plague, one of many who simply can’t stand the scrummage and the mess at some retailers during sale season?

And not to mention that as consumers we’ve become very attuned to bargain-hunting and rightly or wrongly have come to expect regular sales throughout the year and not just at traditional sale times. Many retailers have been on sale since mid December and some since Black Friday, and after Christmas shopping and the endless month of January, it’s no wonder we might be feeling a bit jaded by the big red sale signs.

However it can also be a wise move for smart, decisive and shrewd consumers, especially if you’re on the lookout for more expensive items such as coats and leather shoes/boots – now is your time.  So before you go hot-footing it to the retail giants, here are my top tips to Savvy Sale Shopping;

1. Write a list of what you need/want. This helps you remain focussed when out shopping and less likely to come home with items you don’t really need. On my list were black flats with a wide sole, black chunky boots and a striped top – I got all three and nothing else (my 11yo daughter spent more than I did!)

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2. Set yourself a budget. A budget you can manage and feel comfortable with as we all hate that feeling of buyers regret and many retailers only offer exchange on sale goods so you won’t be able to get refunds if you’ve overspent on that green faux-fur jacket you may only wear once. Try and stick within your budget and work out where you are best to allocate that budget ie it’s wise to spend more on longer lasting items like shoes or coats which are essential and hard working parts of our wardrobe.

3. Consider local boutiques. If you’re lucky enough to live in a town where there are independent boutiques I implore you to support them whenever you can. Not only are their collections more unique than the big retailers but they will know their brands and fits intimately which can save you lots of hassle whilst also providing you with a unique service. Often their prices will be extremely competitive during sale season as many boutiques don’t have the luxury of large store rooms to keep unsold stock, so they’ll need to clear the way for new season arrivals. Independent boutiques also often run events, customer loyalty schemes, offer unique fashion and accessories and will know their customers really well. Use them or lose them!

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Photo by Artem Bali on Pexels.com

4. Would pay full-price for it? When out shopping and you’ve found something you want to buy, think about if you’d be willing to pay full-price for it or if you’re only interested because of the reduced price. This will help you decide if you do really like/love it.

5. Plan an outfit. Think of three outfits you’ll wear it with using existing pieces from your wardrobe, is it going to compliment and work hard for you or is it going to be another top that sits at the bottom of your wardrobe gathering dust! Your list from point 1 should also help with this as hopefully you know what you want so you can be really focussed.

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6. Do you love it? If it’s just blah then save your money and the planet for another day. There is no point buying something simply because of the price. Be prepared to walk away.

7. Feel the magic! Sometimes, just sometimes you come across something wonderful that you fall in love with and just know is going to be a Wardrobe Hero for years to come and will give you that special smile every time you wear it. That smug, knowing smile that tells everyone how gorgeous you look and feel. And that is special and should not be ignored. I’m not saying hang all of the above advice, but I am saying allow yourself to have the freedom to fall in love…it might not happen this time and if not no worries there’ll be another day. I bought one of my most treasured items, a checked Joseph swing coat, on sale about eight years ago and it was a stretch for me even on sale but I simply adored it and it’s a classic, beautifully crafted item which I will love forever. Sometimes, just sometimes it’s worth pushing the boat out to feel the magic.

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Hope this has given you some food for thought and helped you to be more focused and buy items you’re going to love and get lots of wear out of, the next time you’re going sale shopping or in fact any shopping trip it will be useful for.  I would love to hear from you if you’ve found any fantastic beauties in the sales recently…

Until next time,

Abbey.

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Tips and Tricks

Planning a great outfit everyday

Most nights you will find me browsing through my wardrobe to create and plan my outfit for the following day. I usually select two to three outfits perhaps using the same base colours (normally black & white as this is my favourite combination!) which could be mixed and matched depending on how I feel and what I’m doing the following day.

I find doing this eliminates decision making in the mornings when time is at a premium and I have two small people and various furry pets to feed and get ready for the day as well as getting myself ready for work – all the usual myriad essentials that most households go through everyday!

Having a few outfits laid out and pre-planned right down to shoes, accessories and coat/jacket really helps as I’m able to get dressed, feel great and get on with my day . Another advantage to what has become an evening ritual is that I have more time, so when I look through my wardrobe I often find things I haven’t worn for ages and can add them to the mix to create a whole new look. It’s like getting new clothes without going shopping. Bonus!

When you plan ahead you also have the opportunity to eliminate potential problems in the morning…ie no clean tights when you wanted to wear that fantastic leather skirt, as the saying goes ‘Plan to succeed’. I tend to pick out pieces from my wardrobe, lay them on the bed in an artful mess then hang them on the back of my door so I can see it at eye level. You may have seen some of these images on my Instagram stories. It’s up to you how you create the looks and you may need to play around with how you prefer to do this…but persevere as it’s really worth it. Here’s a few looks I created a few weeks ago using the same pair of trousers as a base, let me know which is your favourite look?

I plan looks depending on how I feel, what the weather is doing as I hate being cold, where I’m going, who I’m seeing and importantly how far I have to walk (how on earth did I walk so far and so fast in huge heels in my 20’s??!) and of course what story I’m creating. Every outfits tells a story whether we like it or not and if you want to be in control of the narrative, then get planning.

Another advantage to pre-planning and getting to really know what’s in your wardrobe is learning where your style weaknesses are…ie if every time you put together an outfit you’re saying to yourself ‘This would look great if I had a biker jacket’ then add a biker jacket to your shopping list. Actually a great biker jacket is a #wardrobehero and every girl should own at least one…but that’s another blog entirely

See this as an investment in you – we all lead busy lives and often put ourselves at the bottom of a long ‘to do’ list and just shove on what’s close to hand or stick to our ‘safe’ outfits. Sometimes having a sort through our wardrobes is a great way to start this process and evaluate truly what works and what doesn’t and just getting rid of things you no longer wear or that don’t fit can be really liberating and also makes space for new items.

I’m not saying wearing stylish clothes/outfits will make you invincible or cure world poverty (if only) but a great outfit really helps to lift our mood, create a sense of empowerment and ownership of our own success and that can only be a good thing. So tell your style story and be the best and most beautiful version of you – you are totally worth it after all.

My top tips for planning outfits;

1) Think about what story you want to tell and what you will be doing the following day ie. Are you going to an interview, taking the kids out for the day, meeting friends for lunch – will you be sitting/standing/doing lots of walking etc? A bit of pre-planning can eliminate a lot of stress in the mornings.

2) Select two or three outfits to give you a choice according to the above – it helps to use similar colours as a base. Owning a few great quality basics will help – these will depend on your lifestyle/career and if you need help with working our what your key basics are drop me a line storieswithclothes@gmail.com or check out my services page…

3) Select accessories and shoes for both outfits inc jewellery, bag, jacket, hat, shoes and scarf (all are obviously not essential – just don’t forget them as accessories can elevate a simple outfit really easily) Make sure these also work in relation to point 1.

4) Enjoy the process and have fun with it – you will most likely find clothes you didn’t realise you had which you can incorporate into new outfits without spending any money. Win win!

Good luck and let me know how you get on with planning your outfits and what gems you unearth when you really look through your wardrobe.

Until next time,

Abbey xx

Get in touch with me if you’d like a hand sorting out your wardrobe – a Wardrobe Revitalisation is one of the favourite services I offer as a personal stylist – not only will I help cleanse your wardrobe, I will also create outfit ideas and highlight what new pieces would be a good addition to style up your look to help you look and feel the best version of you – storieswithclothes@gmail.com