I’ve never really taken fashion seriously. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a topic I’m passionate about (as superficial as that may sound) and I’d hate to add up the sheer number of hours I’ve spent window shopping, reading style magazines or scrolling through Instagram for inspiration. What you wear should be whimsical, creative and yes, whilst it clearly needs to provide a practical function, it’s something that ultimately should boost your mood.
So, how do you fall in love with your wardrobe again?
Own Your Style
In the past, like most people at some point in their lives, I’ve lost my way - I was so sucked into mirroring what other people were wearing, became stuck in a style rut or avoided wearing something I loved because I didn’t have the (insert random body part here) to “pull it off”. To be honest, it never made me very happy.
So, firstly, try to shrug off those negative voices. Life is far too precious to waste your time and energy on such things (although you’re certainly allowed the odd bad day - we all have them). Often what other people think of us is nowhere near as bad as we think about ourselves.
Be Honest With Yourself and Get Creative
When you think about clothes, what makes you feel good? Look at what you currently own and have a wardrobe clear out. What do you actually wear? What don’t you wear? What would you love to wear but have never found the “right” occasion for? Remind yourself of what you already have, try things on and have a play about with what you could wear each item with - and step outside of the box! I did this last weekend and found that a bright, multi-coloured wrap top from Zara looked amazing with a light blue Stine Goya star print midi skirt (trust me, sounds awful but it actually worked!)
Take photos of the combinations you like, so that next time you’re feeling uninspired or having one of those “I have nothing to wear” days, you’ve got a bank of outfits you feel happy in. When you’ve finished, bag up some items for charity, swap them out to friends or sell them on re-selling sites like eBay.
Shop Your Wardrobe
Sometimes we’re guilty of always wearing one dress with a certain pair of shoes, or one top with a certain pair of jeans. Instead, mix it up; I love wearing a big chunky jumper, a leather jacket or even a hoodie over quite a “dressy” midi dress to make it more casual. And, whilst we’re on the subject, don’t save things for best - wear what you love and don’t wait for the perfect moment. I remember watching Trinny and Susannah’s TV programme back in the 00s (throwback!) and Trinny saying: “If you save something for best, it just means you never wear it”. Some of their advice might not have stood the test of time, but on this occasion, she’s so right.
Here are my top tips for shopping your wardrobe:
- Mix up your footwear, such as wearing trainers with dresses. If you’re afraid of looking like Lily Allen in 2006, try wearing a midi dress with some biker or “hiking” boots (as in the style, not actual hiking boots!). I bought the Grenson Nanette boots last year and they look fab with girly dresses. I know Becca’s a fan of hers, too! (They’re currently in the Flannels sale here)
- A well-fitting blazer makes even jeans and a t-shirt look more polished. I’m a big fan of an oversized double-breasted blazer - especially if it’s got shoulder pads. I’d really recommend buying pre-loved or vintage any time, but especially for blazers and love buying from re-sell sites such as Manifesto Woman and One Scoop Store.
- Be a jewellery magpie. During lockdown, I wore my large gold hoops from Daisy London and Daniella Draper silver star necklace every day because it just made me feel a little bit less like a toad…! In my opinion, there’s no such thing as “too much jewellery”: mix different metals and combinations, and stack or layer rings, bracelets and necklaces, too.
- Don’t be afraid of print. A leopard print midi dress and a leopard print midi skirt are two items I frequently return to, especially in those “I have nothing to wear” moments. Similarly, why don’t you try a print clash? If you’re not feeling confident, start by picking two prints with similar colours. In my styling video, which you can find on Last Night I Dreamt’s Instagram page here, I wear a Prince of Wales check blazer with a ditsy floral print mini dress, for example.
- If I’m feeling a bit uninspired, I love browsing Studio B; it’s an independent fashion site with independent brands and run by Bethany, who has curated just the most amazing array of dresses and prints. On her Instagram page, Bethany always pairs colours and prints together in ways I wouldn’t have thought of before, which always helps me to think of ways I could recreate similar looks out of my wardrobe. A warning though… there’s so many gorgeous things that it’s hard to browse and not buy! I bought my Sleeper dress from her and can’t wait to wear it somewhere other than my living room.
- Have some good wardrobe basics: a white round neck t-shirt, a stripey Breton t-shirt, a black V neck t-shirt, a pair of jeans that fit you properly (John Lewis run a brilliant personal styling service to help you find your perfect jeans - it’s free and with no obligation to buy) and a black biker leather jacket are all brilliant outfit building blocks. What’s even better is that you probably already own most of these! Don’t forget jewellery, too - I’ve got my eye on this beautiful Alex Monroe bumblebee necklace, which I reckon would look perfect with just about anything, and I’m never without my Daniella Draper bangles.
- Most of all, have fun! The worst that happens is that you think “hmm maybe I won’t wear this combo again…” Life is too short to wear boring clothes: love what you wear.
Watch Anna’s styling IGTV video on our Instagram here for more fun styling tips.
Love Anna x
Find Anna (@AnnaLovesClothes) on Instagram.
P.S. Read Anna’s recent interview with Rebecca for Left Lion magazine here.
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