Get the look

Life does get very busy and the busier you get, the less time there is for tidying up – you know the feeling, the wardrobe’s full of a million things but you still feel like you have nothing to wear!

With the new season upon us there is no better time to detox your wardrobe (I generally aim for March for Spring/Summer and September for Autumn/Winter). Having a working wardrobe means you the space to see exactly what clothes and accessories you have [for the coming season], you will spot any gaps and see what key pieces are needed, you might discover unworn items and new outfit combinations, or identify items that need to be cleaned, repaired or repurposed (giving them a new lease of life).

But ultimately, by understanding how to get the most out of your wardrobe you will only spend your hard earned money on a few great finds instead of a lot of ‘just okay’ items.

At the time of writing I’m at the end of another busy month of wardrobe detox appointments and it’s been a pleasure to meet some lovely new clients. Interestingly on each occasion I have encountered a style dilemma that is all too familiar…. [Picture the scene] your new boss says the company’s dress code is “smart casual” but you have no idea what that means… you’re off out for drinks with the girls but feel that your safety uniform of jeans + tee + slouchy sweater, just isn’t going to cut it!

Considered to be the holy grail of outfit creation, the smart-casual look is a presentable yet comfortable way of dressing and there are few key pieces that you can have in your wardrobe that will help you pull this look together.

  • Dresses are easy and a fail-safe option for creating a smart-casual look, as they can be dressed up or down. Look for mid length dresses, tea dresses and shifts are a great example, and if the dress has a print, let it shine, and keep the accessories (scarf, shoes and handbag) understated.
  • Jeans and a top is a commonly accepted smart-casual outfit but ensure you choose dark wash denim jeans (think crisp and clean) and elevate the casualness with dressy accessories (bag, jewellery, shoes/boots). The reason for this….when you start with a casual item and style it with items that would be considered dressy, a middle balance is created
  • A classic skirt, such as A-line or pencil, and top is another great example of smart-casual dressing, but to really finish the look experiment with solid colours on top and tonal patterns/print on the bottom, or consider the above and pair a tailored pencil skirt with a casual tee or fluffy jumper.
  • A tailored jacket/blazer is a wardrobe staple as it can be thrown over dresses, jeans, trousers, to create the smart-casual look, and a cashmere cardigan in a fun, flattering colour is always a good investment.
  • A blouse is a good place to add pattern, colour or texture when paired with jeans or a good pair of tailored trousers, but keep it interesting rather than average; if the blouse has multiple colours consider carrying a few of them through to the accessories and jacket/blazer, instead of opting for a safe pair of black shoes and a black handbag
  • Every wardrobe needs a versatile dress shoe (a nice kitten heel is practical and dresses up jeans or a day dress) or a pretty pump.

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