Give your wardrobe an update and learn how to declutter

The best fashion fix and make-up makeover

Even thinking about how to declutter makes my heart all a-flutter! I love reorganising my wardrobe, making room in my makeup case and don’t feel the need for to wait for the New Year. In fact I think December or even a little earlier is the best time to attack. The weather has changed and you need to know what gems have been hiding in the back of your closet. More importantly, when you declutter you can make room for gorgeous new threads and shiny new cosmetics to take the place of old and tired items that have seen better days. For these reasons I consider a good decluutter a key  purse friendly fashion tip!

Having a post on how to declutter may seem like stating the bleeding obvious but I’m a passionate list maker and diary organiser and find that ordering my thoughts when it’s time to do anything makes it much more likely I’ll do it right. Besides which I have plenty of girlfriends who I adore my than anything who are hopeless hoarders and therefore this list breaking down how to declutter goes out to them and all the other ladies (and gents) who need an understanding fashion blogger to break it down for them!

So before 2013 swings around do your wardrobe, make-up bag and headspace a massive favour and declutter with determination!

And once you’ve made room in your closet for some fabulous new fashion finds, you can enjoy shopping the stress free way with these simple tips.

How to declutter

 

  1. Be systematic. Go draw by draw and coat hanger by coat hanger until all your clothing storage has been sorted.
  2. Create at least two purpose piles: throw out and donate. You could also create another for giving away particular items to friends or family, or better items such as designer pieces you can sell to a specialist boutique or on e-bay.
  3. Throw out anything that is too tatty, has stains that won’t be removed, underarm smells that can’t be expunged, rips or tears that can’t be mended and shoes that are no longer comfortable to wear and aren’t working gifting to your local op-shop.
  4. Donate any clothes that are in good condition that you can no longer wear. If they are too small, too big, require alterations that you haven’t gotten around to in six months or just don’t go with anything else you own, do yourself and others a good deed and get rid of them!
  5. Tackle your make-up bag and beauty cabinet next and start by throwing out anything that is past the use by date. All cosmetics will have a use by date and this is often shown by putting the month first, followed by M – which stands for month. For example 6M means use in the next 6 months. This particular tip isn’t just about how to declutter your beauty bag, it’s a health risk to keep slathering on creams and potions that are years old and you risk getting a rash or worse!
  6. Throw out anything you never wear and will never, ever wear. This means crazy glitter shadow, green eyeliner, too sticky lip glass, clumpy mascara, liquid eyeliner you simply cannot apply even after studiously watching Youtube instructional videos.
  7. Chuck useless multiples. Do you really need those four palettes of identical brown shadow? I think not. Keep the best quality one and turf the rest.

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Contemporary dance and fashion design

Recently I’ve been watching old MGM musicals with beautiful dancers like Cyd Charrise and Leslie Caron and have been enchanted anew by the marriage between fashion and dance. When you think about how clothes moves on the body, that we watch them during fashion week up on a stage to see how they hang and flow, it makes sense that dance is the perfect medium to showcase much fashion design.

With this in mind, I’ve been spending my chill time perusing videos on You Tube and looking at various collaborations between fashion designers and contemporary dance choreographers. There’s been quite a lot of collaboration it seems, although I would encourage even more! How wonderful would it be if more collections were shown via beautiful contemporary dance pieces rather than just a parade of models slinking down the runway? I’d love it!

Here’s one gem I found called Move. The clothes are from American fashion designer Rachel Roy’s 2011 collection.

Does it move you too? Let me know your thoughts and any other fashion and dance collaborations I should know about!

If you’re interested in fashion and film in general, check out my previous post on my favourite fashion films.

 

Rachel Roy ‘Move’ contemporary dance video

 

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Reading list: books about fashion

Time to hit the books!

In past posts I’ve waxed lyrical about my favourite fashion movies and my favourite fashion-centric television series and the time has come to talk about books!

Most of my reading about fashion happens online or on my bed with magazines but I have decided to rectify this and start a little home library of books about fashion. After quite a bit of researching and yakking to friends, I’ve narrowed my reading wish list of books about fashion to a manageable Top 10.

This list includes autobiographies, biographies, how-to fashion books, fashion history and coffee table style books and a novel.

I can’t wait to get reading and would love to know your favourite fashion books. Let me know!

Must read: Top 10 books about fashion

  1. Shocking Life by Elsa Schiaparelli – a leading fashion designer of the 1920s and 1930s with a gift for the bizarre and fabulous. She collaborated with artists such as Jean Cocteau, Alberto Giacometti and Salvador Dali and was famous for her use of shoulder pads, animal print and inventing shocking pink along with creating iconic garments such as the Dali Lobster Dress.
  2. Dior by Dior – an autobiography by this seminal fashion designer, it provides a unique glimpse into this incredible fashion house and Paris haute couture of the 1950s.
  3. Irreverent by Carrine Roitfeld – so much more fascinating to me when it comes to fashion than Anna Wintour, is this ex-French Vogue editor’s daring and style. The book features magazine tear sheets, shoots and advertising campaigns and explores Roitfeld’s creative process and outlook.
  4. Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty by Andrew Bolton – an incredibly beautiful book about the late designer. From McQueen’s collections, technical virtuosity and inspirations, this book goes deep into what made this troubled genius tick.
  5. Chanel: Her Life, Her World, and the Woman Behind the Legend She Herself Created by Edmonde Charles-Roux – the book behind the film starring Audrey Tatou. I have a feeling it’s going to be even better!
  6. How To Dress For Success by Edith Head – the late American costume designer and winner for 8 Academy Awards brings her sartorial know how and witty one-liners to this hilarious fashion How To book.
  7. Nostalgia in Vogue – I think I’ll put this month’s magazine budget into buying this bible instead. A collection of columns from Vogue’s famous “Nostalgia” section, this stunning book has gorgeous photos galore and coming –of-age stories from writers, designers, models, and celebrities.
  8. Hussein Chalayan edited by Robert Violette – along with Alexander McQueen, his designer is another all time favourite of mine and this book promises to go deep into his practice, philosophy and oeuvre.
  9. Diana Vreeland – the eye has to travel by Lisa Immordino Vreeland – I love, love, LOVE Vreeland, the late, fabulously eccentric Harper’s Bizaare editor and mega modern style icon. We need more Vreeland’s in the fashion industry today I say!
  10. A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolf – the only novel in my list, this is going to come on my next holiday. All about a woman who leaves her job to open a vintage shop in London and the stories these clothes from the past tell. Love, mystery and drama all wrapped up amid many a fashion-centric musing. Yay!

 

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Christmas fashion trend: Bows

Take A Bow

Bows are one of those fashion trends that appear on the catwalk and subsequently in clothing stores every few years. Although they might initially bring images of little girls running around with ribbons in their hair, the humble, and sometimes haughty bow has been known to capture the hearts of fashion focussed females of a more mature age. Shows like Gossip Girl brought the bow to light when the central character Blair wore one attached to a headband in many episodes, as well as a series of lavish designer gowns. The issue for those of us other the age of 21 is that this fashion trend can look overly girly and a little ridiculous quite quickly. At the same time, there are few style details so perfectly suited to the festive season as the beloved bow! So with this in mind I have compiled the top 5 ways for women of a certain age to wear bows with aplomb.

Top 5 ways to rock this festive fashion trend

  1. Sleeveless pussycat bow blouse – an easy way for grown up ladies to incorporate a bow into their look is with a tie at the neck, pussycat bow blouse. There are some fab sleeveless ones out there in chiffon like fabrics that are perfect for hot days when you need to dress up a bit but want to wear something comfortable. Team this fashion trend item with capri pants and flats for parties or pencil skirt and heels for office wear or upmarket events.
  2. Cocktail dress with bow details – In season 4 of Mad Men Joan wears a memorable red dress to the office Christmas party that has a bow on the back. The reaction from Roger Stirling? You look like a present. Not a bad association during the festive season and cocktail dresses are a great canvas for bows, whether they be at the back, on the hip or even neckline. Check out vintage dresses for style tips if you want to channel this fashion trend.
  3. Bow tie – this might be my favourite way to wear a bow during the festive season, especially to costume parties! A classic bow tie can be incorporated into lots of looks when you’re dressing up. With strapless dresses for a kooky look, with a ribbed singlet and braces for an androgynous vibe, or backless tux shirt a la Jennifer Beals in Flashdance! Check out your local department store or vintage shop and be amazed by the array of colours and patterns available.
  4. As a print – when wearing this particular fashion trend there is no need to be literal about it! There’s a ton of cotton tops and frocks donning small prints of bows at the moment…it seems they have taken over where polka dots, anchors and kitty cats left off in the cute vintage-esque print trend.
  5. On shoes – for ladies who’ve out-grown the headband bow but still can’t resist an well done accessory donning them, ballerina flats, cute court shoes and party heels with a bow on them is the way this fashion trend be adopted by you! There are loads of affordable options out there for lovers of bow topped shoes but if you’ve got cash to splash my designer of choice would be Charlotte Olympia for shoes of this sort – so adorable and luxurious at once!

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Purse friendly fashion and beauty tips

Style it out while you save

Watching out re-runs of Sex and the City the other day I was appalled a new at how much money Carrie spends on clothes and shoes. Not in a judgemental way, I love to shop as much as the next girl, but in a ‘how can she afford it?’ way. The answer is, she couldn’t. But when you have Patricia Fields as your costume designer and Vogue featuring on the show, the truth can be toyed with for creative purposes. For the rest of us however, money isn’t limitless and sometimes you’ve got to spend savvy and give your bank balance a break. There’s no need to fret though, there are quite a slew of things you can do to keep looking and feeling fabulous without getting your credit card chopped in half. Below are my top 10 fashion and beauty tips that will stretch that dollar further and save you a few too!

Budget boosting top 10 fashion and beauty tips

  1. Do your own nails – although a trip to your local nail salon won’t break the bank, when it comes to simple beauty tips that will save money this one is a no brainer. Plus, if you’re a Sydney gal like me who likes to hit the beach in the summer time, there really is no point getting a professional manicure or pedicure since it won’t last more than a day or two with swimming anyway! The good news is, you can change your nail colour as often as you please!
  2. Ditch the dry-cleaning – not for items that require it of course, but for all those delicate silk and fine wool garments you can hand wash safely yourself. Put aside half an hour on the weekend and you’ll save yourself a pretty penny.
  3. Home facial – with so many gorgeous and affordable products out there, there’s no need to spend money on an over-priced facial. In fact, unless I know the spa uses high quality, organic beauty products, I much prefer to chill out at home and do it myself anyway. It’s an easy beauty tip that will save you time, money and leave your skin looking fab.
  4. Organise your wardrobe – grab a glass of wine and a girlfriend if that helps and attack! You’re far more likely to make good use of all those clothes if you get rid of the things you never wear and discover those items you’d completely forgotten about.
  5. Mend things – the skirt you tore out dancing, the buttons that popped off at work and hem that needs altering won’t mend themselves! As soon as you do it, you can start wearing those lovely threads again and this is a tip that won’t cost you a dime!
  6. Wait for sales – it takes some restraint but your bank balance and wardrobe will reap the rewards if you wait to hit the shops until the post-Christmas sales strike. Whether you want a new cocktail dress or some fresh make-up colours, sales guarantee your budget will go oh so further.
  7. To market, to market – even though they have become a popular destination for fashionistas of all stripes, second hand markets are still treasure trove for the savvy shopper. Not only can you find a bargain but those beauties you discover will be unique items you won’t ever see on someone else! And after you’ve saved money at the market, you can treat yourself to a lovely high tea in Sydney or pre-dinner cocktails if that’s more your ‘cup of tea’!
  8. Clothing exchange events – also known as ‘clothing swaps’, these have become increasingly popular in Sydney and Melbourne and are a super fun social thing to do with friends. Bring items in good nick that no longer get you excited and see if you can swap these with similar minded ladies also in need of a budget friendly fashion injection.
  9. Spend wisely on beauty products – one of the best beauty tips I ever read was to buy budget beauty products from the big names such as Olay, Nivea and L’Oréal rather than fancy designer brands. This is because they spend way more on scientists and research, so their hydrating moisturisers, anti-wrinkle serums and such are usually the best on the market even though they are a fraction of the price.
  10. Buy quality less often and get your shoes fixed! Here’s a double budget friendly tip to finish off with. Try to buy the best quality clothes you can and you’ll find they last and save you money in the long run. A well-made suit, cashmere jumper and quality leather shoes can last years and look so much chicer than cheaper versions. As for shoes, just because you’ve worn down the heel – don’t throw them out! A quick trip to a cobbler might cost ten percent of the original shoe price tag – thus a helluva lot less than replacing them with new ones!

Like these fashion and beauty tips? Check out my post on how to shop like a pro and banish that feeling of dread when it comes time to hit the stores.

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