Monthly Archives: June 2017

Know Some Words That Will Change the Way You Shop

Ever buy something that you never wear? Or maybe you wear it once only to hate it on? Perhaps you wear it every once in a while only because you feel sorry for it? Answer yes to any of these and you’ve got yourself a bad buy.

A bad buy happens for a variety of reasons — all of which are, well, not good. So whether you’ve purchased something because it looked great on the mannequin, the sales staff talked you into it or it was on sale and too good to pass up, you still end up with an item that doesn’t benefit you in any way.

How do you keep from making these bad purchases time and time again? You shop smart. You only choose pieces that looking amazing on and that can be described by your three, very own, very specific, self chosen, style words.

 

A style word is a word you choose to describe what an item of clothing, accessory or shoe (etc.), has to be, in order for it to even be considered worthy of your attention. It’s a word that describes you, your style, or your style aspiration, to a “T”.

For example, my style words are “sexy,” “stylish” and “edgy.” If I’m considering purchasing an item, it has to either be sexy (but not slutty), have some sort of stylish quality about it (cut, detail, etc.), or it has to have an edge to it (i.e. leather, buckles, studs, black). If it doesn’t fall into one of these three categories, it doesn’t get purchased.

There is however an exception to the rule — basics. Sometimes you just need to purchase some basics, like tees or tanks, to round out your wardrobe. These don’t necessarily have to follow the three word rule, however they still need to look really great on. (No point in deviating from what works or looks good.)

So why three words? Over the years I’ve found that we’re never really just one style, but a blend of many different styles expressed in different ways at different times. One word just isn’t enough.

Could you use four words? Absolutely. Five words? Still ok. Six? If that’s what expresses who you are and it’s what you need, then do it. However, I caution you from choosing too many words. You might end up with a closet full of clothes that leaves you feeling a bit scattered or having a hard time mixing and matching when getting dressed. For myself and my clients, I find that three seems to be the perfect number — enough to include your many moods, but not enough to overwhelm or cause chaos.

You can even apply this principle when decorating your home. I often ask my interior design clients to choose three words when I start working with them. That way we stay on track and avoid making any choices that aren’t completely, 100 per cent true to them or their style.

In fact, anytime you need to purchase something, consider your goal or your desired result and make sure to check in with yourself throughout the process — especially before you hand over any funds.

Stay focused, stay on track and you’ll never end up with another bad buy again.

Simple Ways To Reinvent Your Look

Change keeps things fresh, but it doesn’t have to be drastic. Yes, we’ve all done the major haircut or dye job, but what if you’re craving change but don’t want that much of a commitment? The most effective changes are smaller, subtler ones. We’ll walk you through various small-scale techniques that will pay off in big ways.

Make your brown eyes blue (or green or hazel)

If you want to go with a subtle look, try temporarily changing the colour of your eyes. Go green, blue, hazel, or Elizabeth Taylor purple with a pair of coloured contacts. In fact, why not get a few pairs and coordinate and contrast with your wardrobe and then accent with a few coats of mascara.

Change up your makeup

If you usually wear eye makeup, mix it up by emphasizing your lips instead. If you usually wear lipstick or lip gloss, try a flick of eyeliner. If you don’t want to change your makeup routine, why not change up your colours? Try a red lipstick instead of your usually nude or vice-versa or add new colour to your eye makeup routine.

Accessories make the person

A small way to change up your look is to change your accessories. Try adding pearls, a really big look this fall, to your wardrobe or pin a brooch to your coat or to the collar of your blouse. If that’s a bit much, start with a watch. Think gold, silver and decorative.

Treat it as a piece of jewelry

If jewelry isn’t what you want, you can change your look by choosing a bag in a new shape. The look is all about the top-handle bag.

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Meditate on it

Just five minutes a day could see a reduction in your stress levels and an overall increase in your well-being. Take the time to sit down, close your eyes and focus on your breathing before you go to bed or right after you wake up to help calm and prepare you for a good night’s sleep or a hard day’s work.

Add a pop of colour or go all black

Just a little colour can make a big difference. It might be a new shade of lipstick, that new bag or a new outfit. If you wear colour, why not embrace the elegant uniformity of black and grey like the French. Splurge on a black or grey blazer and throw it over everything. It might become the most used item in your wardrobe.

Change up your skin routine

Make your skin glow with a small change to your skincare routine. Just by adding one item, you could see fabulous results in weeks. This could be added moisture, an anti-aging product or even just sunblock to block those damaging rays.

Change your route

We all have our route to the office and one to our favourite lunch spot. We talk them every day without thinking about it. The next time you’re heading out for lunch, try a different route to your destination. It’s easier than changing your commute and the fresh perspective could add a little spark to your step.

Tips to Shop Like You Mean Business

I’m extremely particular (some might say downright fanatical) about having a solid, functional, yet super fabulous wardrobe. Nothing bothers me more than an unorganized closet full of useless, unworn or unflattering pieces. Well, other things might bother me more, but you get the idea.

While shopping to create and add to this perfectly curated wardrobe might be a casual pastime to some, to me, it’s serious business. (Probably because as a stylist, it’s quite literally my business.) And everyone knows that when it comes to business, you need a plan.

So unless I’m just browsing, when I shop for myself or with a client, I always have a plan. And so should you. (Unless of course you’d like to waste countless hours or your hard earned dollars. If that’s the case, off you go.)

 

Shopping with a plan always starts before you leave the house, mainly in your closet. That’s where you want to take stock of your wardrobe to see what you have and what you’re missing.

Note what you have plenty of so that you don’t buy any more and jot down which items need coordinating pieces to turn them into outfits. If you find that your wardrobe has gaps that you need to fill, add those to the list as well. These are the items you’ll be looking for when you shop.

Once your list is complete, decide on your budget. Determine what you think each item is worth or what you’d be willing to spend. Keep this amount in mind when you shop so that you don’t end up spending more than you should.

If you don’t think you’ll be able to purchase all the items on your list, prioritize and shop accordingly. Just keep the others in mind too. We all know that just because you shop for something, doesn’t mean you’ll find it. You might actually have more luck finding those lower priority pieces.

If you plan to shop for an item to coordinate with an existing piece, bring it along. It’s so much easier to find a match when it’s with you. You’ll also be able try the items on together to see if they’re right for each other. You know — see if they have good chemistry.

Make sure to also bring along the appropriate undergarments for whatever it is you’ll be shopping for. It’ll give you a truer indication of how things look with all your bits and pieces in their proper place.

If you’re not sure which stores to hit to find what you need, do some online pre-shopping prior to leaving the house. If you find something online that you like, call ahead to see if the location closest to you has your size and even one size up and down just in case. Map out your route so that you can hit the shops in the most efficient way and pick the best time of day to visit the area.

Now if you’re not a shopper or don’t like to shop (which always shocks me but is apparently quite common), try to make the experience as easy and enjoyable as possible. Dress in comfortable clothes and shoes that are easy to take off and put back on, wear your hair in a way that won’t get ruined or bother you after multiple clothing changes and stay hydrated and fed.

Shopping can be exhausting work — even for someone who shops for a living. If you’re thirsty, hungry, tired or uncomfortable, you’ll either leave early without having achieved your goal, buy the wrong thing, or end up really, really, super cranky. Take it from me — no one likes a cranky shopper.