In a sea of “capsule” wardrobes, instagram “influencers” and what seems like an almost constant sale season, I officially fell out of love with fashion.
Well, at least for a while anyway. I was bored of seeing the same pieces everywhere, outfits that almost seemed to be put together for “likes” rather than real life, and nearly every store seemingly looking like a jumble sale at closing time.
Like with most features I write for the Rock My brand, I seem to come to the same conclusion, you’ve got to stick to what you like and what suits you – figure out your own personal style. There is nothing wrong with trying alternatives (the world would be boring if we didn’t ever experiment) and of course our tastes and requirements change as we age/change lifestyles/change jobs etc etc. But I know just from talking to friends and the ladies in the team, sometimes there is simply too much choice, being faced with so much shiny newness on a constant basis can make you feel as though perhaps you are stuck in a wardrobe rut (myself included). And yes, I completely see the irony in the fact that we often tempt you with lovely garments on these very pages.
After I had got over myself, realised I like what I like, and that no matter how much I want to, I am never going to feel comfortable in anything midi-length, I had a good look inside my own closet to figure out what was working and what wasn’t.
As a result I’m going to share my shopping habits with you and hope that you will share you own savvy secrets in the comments section below.
For your information: My wardrobe is about 70% high street, 15% more “luxe” brands (Sandro, Maje, The Kooples etc) and 15% designer (Mostly bargains but some core investment pieces).
The Outnet Is Life
For those of you unfamiliar with The Outnet, it is the online outlet of the designer mecca that is Net A Porter. New products become available every few days but rather than checking back repeatedly (who has time for that?) I sign up for email notifications and can manipulate my preferences. I choose to be notified on brands that I love and tend to come up “true to size” as well as those that with between 50 -70% off I can actually afford.
I favour Rag and Bone, Helmut Lang, Alexander Wang, Isabel Marant (and the diffusion line Isabel Marant Etoile), Sandro, Maje and See By Chloe. I then also select my size preferences, so I am not disappointed to be notified of pieces that are simply not available to fit me personally.
For extra money saving sales (sometimes The Outnet have up to 80% off) I would advise to always sort by size, nothing worse than swiping through 56 beautiful dresses only to find out not a single one will fit.
I also add “sold out” items to my wish list – you are notified if they ever come back into stock.
Some of my all time favourite items I have bagged are a lush Alexander Wang cardigan that I have worn to death (reduced from £300 to £80) and an Alexander Wang LBD (reduced from £650 to £300 then down to £200) as well as an Isabel Marant white long-sleeved top (reduced from £200 to £60).
I bought the Sandro Macrame detail blouse that you can see in header image above, for less than half price a few weeks ago from The Outnet, I couldn’t justify the original RRP even though I really liked it. Of course not every piece you desire is going to end up on the sale pages but you’ve got nothing to lose by checking.
Find Some Fabulous Jeans And Buy Multiple Pairs
Admittedly it’s easier to buy multiples if they are cheap in the first place. But still, a flattering pair of denim is well worth the splurge, and I would always always recommend back ups. Not all styles stay around forever.
My current favourites are from Zara, they have a zip in the ankle which means they are are uber skinny and thus elongate my legs. I bought two pairs of blue and two pairs of black. Unfortunately they no longer sell this design – my only regret is that I didn’t buy more.
Find a Dress/Skirt Style That Suits And Experiment With Colour And Fabrics
Apologies in advance if this sounds really bloody obvious. The most flattering skirt shape on me is a fit and flare in a mini (but not knicker flashing) length – they emphasise my small waist but give me some kind of hip (of which I have none) as well as making me look less stumpy. In the header image above you will see two, a Needle and Thread number than was 50% off at the Outnet (£100) and a Sandro star print from the Selfridges Sale. As I know I will feel comfortable in the style, I’m more confident to experiment with some fancy embroidery/different textures and hues.
In the same vain I am a lover of the tea dress. I favour Topshop – infact I haven’t found a more luxe label that rivals their fit on me. I recently purchased this ditsy print frock with lace. The cut looks far more expensive than the £34 price tag would suggest.
Sometimes An Investment Is Exactly That
I know I have a tendency to joke about “price per wear” but it really is about value for me. I’ve wasted far more of my hard earned cash on frivolous high street trend pieces that I’ve worn a couple of times than I would have on some classic pricier items that I know I would have worn for years – had I just gone with my gut and ignored the initial ouch factor of the price tag.
My Stuart Weitzman Highland boots have been worn to multiple weddings, various date nights, birthday parties, BBQs and even a presentation at The Ritz in collaboration with Moet & Chandon (uber posh, thought I better put my best footwear on) as well as being involved in various questionable dance moves after one too many glasses of Prosecco. Obviously I won’t be wearing thigh boots when I’m 60 but they are definitely something I’ll pass onto my daughter Mabel in the future*
Same goes for my Chloe Marcie mini textured leather shoulder bag. SO versatile. I literally use it for any every special occasion.
How do you shop? What’s been your best designer investment? Ever not bought something and hugely regretted it? What was your most recent impulse buy that turned out to be a complete waste of time? Go on, spill the beans.
*F*ck it. I hope to still be dancing on a table in my thigh boots when I’m 80. Mabel can borrow them if she wants.