Dress for your life not your fantasy life

Third weekend into 2019. If you are like me and you’ve only just finished the Christmas cake, now is the time to focus on the ‘chairdrobe’... …yes most of you will relate to that word.

A huge pile of clothes that get piled up over weeks - ‘my wear again pile’ as my best friend calls it.

Wear again? when? not until you’ve washed it, ironed it and hung it up dear! There is no way any of that ‘chairdrobe’ will be worn for that meeting, coffee with friends or at the networking lunch.

It’s got to get back on that rail to be considered any outing.

Let 2019 be about organising your ‘chairdrobe’ and creating a wardrobe of well worn clothes.

You’ll need at ‘least’ an hour, some coffee, wine (or herbal tea if you really are punishing yourself).

1. Produce a wardrobe diary.


Most of us have ‘fantasy garments’ hanging in the wardrobe. It’s time to get real and brainstorm your wardrobe diary.

Consider your life over the next 3 months. What are you doing? Where are you going? Look at your diary and write down work meetings, social occasions, parties (lucky you!) and occasions.

-So for me, I need good ‘meeting’ outfits. An outstanding presentation outfit. Comfortable clothes to work in, good casual/smart outfits to visit clients. Cosy casual outfits to rehearse in at weekends and I’ve just realised I need fabulous sparkly dress to wear to a 40th in March (yippee)

2. Clothes that make you feel fabulous.


Pull out garments that you reach for every time. The ones that make you feel good, safe, comfortable and smart to wear now.

-So for me this would be my black blazer, multi coloured dress, purple knit, silky blouse, black culottes, red blazer, pleated skirt, flared trousers, velvet tracksuit, pleather joggers. cosy pink wrap, bright blue skirt, silky roll necks, white boots oh and a bit of leopard print!

3. Clothes that make you feel rubbish.

These are the garments that you never reach for. You think you will wear but you never do..


These are the clothes that when you do put them on, you take them immediately off. They are hung, never worn and gathering dust. Or you may have worn it recently and not felt great.

-So for me it’s my black leather skirt (too narrow to walk in) tapestry waistcoat (wrong colours) dark floral suit (trousers feel too skinny)/cheap) tapestry jeans (bit dated and tight) short floral pencil skirts (prefer a midi), old jeans, blanket skirt (I’ve had for 25 years - time to turn cut it up for the dogs bed!)

4. Consider you colours.

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Look at your ‘fabulous’ garments and the colours.

Do the colours compliment together? If they do, you are on your way to create lots of different outfits. If they don’t; work out what colour palette best suits your skin tone and your personality.

Consider colour analysis or try an online quiz at Kettlewell Colours first to get you started.

I’m a cool winter so strong, vibrant, bold, rich colours work best on me and this is what at I tend to wear the most.

Contact me if you want help with your colours.

6. Get creative & break the rules.


This is the fun part. Look at your ‘Wardrobe diary’ and start creating outfits from your fabulous garments.

Mixing colours and textures together is a great way of adding interest to an outfit. Dressing down something you would consider a posh item really works. Here I’ve mixed pink cotton t-shirt under & bold green lace.

I’ve also layered lace with my dungarees to twist up my weekend style.

Break style rules.

I love mixing navy and black (so chic), Mixed metallics look fabulous stacked up together on bangles or layered in a necklace.

Mix up your prints - yes! It may take a bit of trial and error but if the colours co-ordinate, you are onto a fantastic outfit. So just be confident and go for it.

7. Record that outfit with a selfie!

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Produce a diary of your wardrobe at its best.

Don’t be shy! Every great outfit you produce, needs to be recorded. My clients always get a printed poster of all their outfits I produce, that hangs seasonally in their wardrobes. Just take a picture with your mobile and have albums of outfits that fit in with your wardrobe diary

8. Compile a list of what is missing


Jot down missing pieces you’ll need to enhance your outfits. You may require a new pair of boots to modernise your looks or a great new wool coat. Write the ‘wish list’ down and work towards sourcing only these pieces.

9. Brands and budget

Be realistic with your budget and buy what you can afford. I love Whistles and Jigsaw but often buy their classic pieces in the sale.

Expert shoppers know the brands that work for them and often buy within these brands. This helps your outfits looked pulled together. Look at your clothes you feel fabulous in and jot down the brands that work for you, both in your style and in the fit. So for me, I turn to Kettlewell Colours for fabulous colourful pieces, I love ZARA for a fashion fix , ME&EM trousers and Massimo Dutti’s blazers. I’m also a fan of M&S jeans and visit the charity shop regularly to seek out individual vintage pieces.

10. Consider your capsule pieces..

The capsule wardrobe pieces are the brilliant essentials in your wardrobe that work for you at each season. The pieces you can’t live without, the pieces that co-ordinate together. The pieces you always need.

I’ve put together my own list for guidance, but remember we are all different, so if you have done your lifestyle homework, you should be able to start putting together yours.

Read my top 10 capsule pieces here.

Good Luck !


FEEL GOOD PRICE £250 (thats the same price as 3 unworn pieces you bought last year!)