Style Melbourne

A ‘How To’ of Fashion Shopping

I’m not one to wait until Spring to do my annual closet re-organisation. Right now is a good time the prepare and build upon the perfect wardrobe. There’s likely to be fewer events to rush around to find the perfect outfit for and the seasonal fashions are more practical and less overwhelming. That it’s also stocktake sale time is a bonus!

I recently caught up with Danielle Schofield (and her cohort Bree) at fashion agency One of Two for a ‘Style Me’ masterclass. In the past, Danielle has worked as a designer and stylist and with names like Joe Saba, Body, Charlie Brown and the founder of Country Road. She is now the sales agent for labels such as Leonard St, Six Dresses, Jolet and Alexi Freeman so has plenty to share about smarter shopping and maximising our existing wardrobes. Here’s a few of Danielle’s personal style mantras to get us all on way to owning masses of clothes but having ‘nothing to wear’ again…

Boots by Leonard St. Do I need them? Probably.

DO THE MATH

First take a look at your life over an average week. What percentage is spent; at work, at home, at the gym, out to dinner, at special events, coffee dates, travelling etc? Do the math and you’ll be able to see if the outfits you have in your wardrobe are in proportion to what you actually need to wear for your real life.

EDIT YOUR WARDROBE

Next, get every single item of clothing you own in front of you. Throw out – or donate – anything that is not repairable or just too worn/old, doesn’t fit or doesn’t suit (my guide for this is if I don’t smile when I put the item on). Or if you haven’t worn the item in a year or two. Personally, I like to keep track of this by hanging all my pieces with the hangers facing to the back of the wardrobe. Then whenever you wear or wash something from then on you can place them back in with the hanger facing out. At the end of the year, or whenever you go to reorganise again, you’ll easily see what you really wear. Don’t be tempted to keep pieces in case you’ll wear them in your “fantasy” life eg. “Oh, I’ll just keep this sparkly kaftan for my next yacht trip.” I like to have a ruthless friend with me for this part.

– Repair anything that needs it immediately, or throw it away.

– Based on your life (remember your proportions from before) where are the gaps in your wardrobe? Take notes and shop to this.

– Do separate your wardrobe by seasons putting your heaviest pieces away during summer and your flimsiest pieces away during winter. That way you will have ‘fresh’ things to wear when new seasons arrive.

THE “FUN” PART: SHOPPING

– Take photos of the outfits you like to wear. Keep them in a flip book or on your phone. Then refer to this ‘lookbook’ when shopping so you remember what you already have and what exact colour things are. Also handy for when you need to dress quickly.

– For basics go to major retailers like Country Road or Witchery. For other pieces visit smaller boutiques for service and a more unique offering. Look for boutiques in areas where a lot of people like you live; often they are tailored to the demographics of the location.

– Take a day to go shopping without pressure. Try everything on that takes your fancy in a store; you’ll find shapes or colours you thought didn’t suit you.

– The key to choosing a print is to look for a main colour in it that suits you.

-If you love a colour but it doesn’t suit you try a different shade or simply make sure not to wear it near your face.

– Don’t buy something unless you’d be happy to answer the door in it.

THE STARTER SHOPPING LIST

Here’s some pieces Danielle thinks everyone should have, but remember shop to the gaps you’ve already found in your wardrobe.

- Black, white and nude basics; tees, singlets, stockings, underwear.

-  Find a great piece of fabric to accessorise your outfits with, it could be black or a pattern. It can transform a look by being a scarf, over-skirt, bib, cape or wrap.

- jeans

- gold or silver accessories

- black jacket or blazer

- a summer kaftan

-yes, a little black dress (or whatever your version of this is).

- lounge wear

- long sleeve tees

- a great knit

- thongs and sandals

I guess my next few weekends will be booked sorting and shopping (I have the added task of only buying Australian fashion).

One of Two have just started hosting these ‘Style Me’ sessions and they share a whole lot more on how to develop your personal style plus bonus secret tips. They also provide tailored shopping suggestions and advice to each attendee. Style Me seminars can be tailored to suit different demographics and you can even book a private session held at home or in-store if you invite four or more friends. They can also come to your home to help with re-organisation and then take you shopping. Get in touch to arrange a styling session here.

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