I remember as small girl how my mom’s clothing cupboard intrigued me. I could spend hours trying on her clothes and looking for ways to be creative and incorporate some of her accessories into my own wardrobe.
I grew up in a small town with very limited fashion retail options, if I had to be diplomatic. To be really frank, there was none – so girls who could not afford to go shopping in the city had to resort to their creativity and a sewing machine to make the magic happen. Luckily for me, my mother allowed us to work on her sewing machine, an Empisal, which she bought in 1979. (It is still a working horse.) Only years later could we afford a fancy machine with double stitch options, to refine our garments. I made my first ball gown at the age of 13.
A few years later an amazing television channel popped up on our screens. FashionTV could broadcast fashion from runways around the world straight to our living room. I would watch for hours and hours fuelling my fashion imagination. Today we have a world of fashion at our fingertips: online, bloggers, television, fashion week and the list goes on. The fashion industry is worth billions and everyone wants their share of the pie. Sometimes it is just overwhelming and this let me to the idea of creating my own Fashion Strategy. I have a feeling some of you might feel overwhelmed by information too? Well, here is some good news, I have done all the hard lifting to help you create your very own Fashion Strategy!
I think it is almost every girl or woman’s’ dream to be able to switch things up and stock up on all the trends for every new season. It is, unfortunately, just not possible for everyone, well at least not for me. I have had to take many factors into consideration, which includes budget, body type, time, season, my brand colours and style to just name a few. That is why I created my very own personal Fashion Strategy and this has been my very own little secret to overcome the challenges I face to always stay on trend, but I am ready to share this with all of you!
Let’s have a look:
Step 1: Create your style, brand and colours
I use Pinterest to get a visual idea of what I like and would like to accomplish with my look. If not already, sign up and start browsing, create and name your own board. Beware it can become addictive.
Step 2: Skim your cupboard
With every new season, I go through all the items in my cupboard in order to assess what can stay and what should go. A good indication for me is: If I haven’t worn an item at least twice during the season, then it needs to go. We have far too many clothes and decluttering your wardrobe can help you focus on your strengths.
Step 3: Go back to your Pinterest board
I then look at my Pinterest board again, to see how the left over garments fit in with my overall look. Obviously here you consider the season. I also switch up my cupboards according to the season, and store away the previous season’s garments (after the clean up), the rest I either chuck out, sell or donate.
Step 4: Planning
Look at what you have available, compare this with your new look and must have items according to your Pinterest board. This is where I usually consider all the factors mentioned earlier, like your budget, body type, time and then make a list of the garments needed. Remember less is more.
Step 5: Shopping
I would classify myself as a moderate trend follower – let me explain. The boyfriend jeans are high fashion now, but for me with my body type, it is just not working. So, I ask myself: Am I going to spend money on this fashion trend, to just look ‘hip’ in the eyes of the fashion world? The answer is a definite NO. I also know that the trend will pass soon, so why would I invest in the boyfriend look at all? So, I am sticking with what I have in my cupboard when it comes to my jeans style and options.
When it comes to garments like, jackets, jerseys, jeans and shoes, I opt for the best quality within my budget first. Sometimes I will even go a little over my budget for these. The style will obviously be on trend, but I also consider styles that are moderate. The reason for this is, with quality you can extend the life of the garment and your seasons. For example, I have 3 pairs of leather boots, which is over 7 years old. With good care and looking after them, they can last a lifetime. And believe me, if they are not on trend now or the next season, they will make a comeback! (This means more money in your pocket to spend on something else in need)
Shoes, I always opt for genuine leather and a comfortable fit. Oprah once said: ‘This is a sit-down shoe.’ If you must have one of those, only one pair will do. I also try to shop at the end of the season, because this helps you stretch out your budget way more. It does take awhile to get into this strategy, but it is really worthwhile.
When following a trend or to get a desired look, I focus on accessories and shirts, pants and dresses. This way I can stretch my budget and swop out more easily.
Step 6: Get help
If you are not so keen on all the fashion trends and are not the branded shopper girl or guy, I definitely recommend to find yourself a personal shopper and planner or stylist. Spoil yourself with a first consultation – in the end you will save a lot of time and money. The stylist will usually assess your current array of garments, look at your body type and make recommendations. From there they will set out to plan, purchase according to your budget and transform your cupboard and look . Don’t feel pressured to adhere to all the trends and propositions from the stylist, be upfront and open about the experience and most important of all get out of your comfort zone. They usually know their stuff.
I hope my fashion strategy will be able the shed some light on your fashion journey, let me know if you have any questions.