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Refresh And Update Your Wardrobe With Dye

12 Nov

I recently bought a couple of pairs of white sneakers at Forges for $3.99 each. Bargain!   I’ve worn one pair a few times and they were starting to look a bit grotty – and besides I figured I didn’t really need two pairs of white sneakers.  One would suffice.  So this weekend I decided I’d dye a pair blue.

If you’ve never dyed anything before, it’s pretty easy, it’s just a bit messy.  Despite that though, I think it’s worth it if you have something in your wardrobe that you really like for whatever reason, but you can’t wear because it’s faded, it’s got a stain on it or the color doesn’t work for you.

On this particular occasion I used Rit, which I bought from Spotlight for about $7.

In the past I’ve also dyed, among other things, towels and even a white dressing gown that wasn’t looking so white anymore.   Next on my list is to dye some bed linen grey.

To get the result you’re after, you MUST follow the instructions precisely.  (I also got on the Rit website and read some of their dyeing tips before I started)

So now these….

Look like this..


Like I’ve said before, you don’t necessarily need to spend a lot of money to refresh and update your wardrobe – sometimes all that’s required is some imagination and creativity.

Details of my personal styling services (Including prices) here

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What I Wore To Derby Day

8 Nov

I only had a couple of days to pull an outfit together for Derby Day.  I got the call up to go along to the Saturday event on the Wednesday.  Because I was busy helping others put together their outfits, I didn’t have any shopping time and needed to work with something I already had hanging in my wardrobe.  Fortunately I had all the pieces I needed, but despite that, I was still sewing at 11pm the night before.

Derby Day is traditionally black and white dress, so that worked in my favour, given 70% of my wardrobe is black. I knew that the marquee I was going to, given it was being hosted by a corporate group, would be relatively conservative, and kept that in mind when I put together my race day ensemble.

Here’s what I wore..

A vintage black silk skirt.  I bought this from an opshop for $10 a couple of years ago and it’s been hanging in my wardrobe unworn til now.   It started it’s life as a floor length evening skirt, but I cropped it (& hemmed it by hand myself the night before) to the knee.

A Zara blazer with a black body suit underneath.

A belt around my waist that I made from a piece of ribbon from Spotlight and a *buckle I’d taken off a jacket I threw out about a year ago.

I’m not really a hat person.  I wish I was, but because I’m quite petite they swallow me up, so I prefer, if I wear anything, for it to be something  little.  I pulled fluff and feathers (that I would never have worn on my head) off this headpiece I’d had for years but never worn and simply added some net and a vintage brooch I bought in a little fishing village in Massachusetts over 15 years ago.  A very sentimental piece, which is always a lovely thing to add to your outfit to make it feel special.

The bag I carried is a vintage cream snakeskin clutch I bought on Etsy.

My shoes were black patent leather open toe heels from Zomp.

And on my toes I wore my favourite nail color – Rouge Noir by Chanel

*When you decide to throw a piece out of your wardrobe, before it hits the rubbish bin look it over and see if there’s anything you can keep and re-use.  Sometimes dresses come with belts.  Belts that could be worn with different dresses or over tops or cardies.  Jackets come with great buttons. Buttons that could be taken off and used to reinvent another jacket.  And tops have lovely beading.  Beading that could be added to a collar of a shirt or a little vintage bag.  Just because the item has run it’s course in your wardrobe it doesn’t mean it’s embellishment has too. 

(I have even been known to salvage items from a clients wardrobe that were destined for Vinnies or the garbage bag, because the fabric was lovely and I thought it could be used as a cushion) 

Details of my personal styling services (Including prices) here

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Belt Up

4 Jan

image via here

Belts are not just designed for keeping your strides from falling down.  Although they certainly do also have that purpose,  (particularly if you’re five and you’re wearing your big brothers hand-me-downs), belts are so much more than a practical item to have in your wardrobe.

A belt can pull the whole look together. It can help smooth out the bumps where a shirt has been tucked in, accentuate or for that matter visually create a waist and even make your bum look smaller.  So I’m often surprised when I’m helping someone sort through their clothes and put outfits together when I ask, “Where are your belts?” that I am often faced with a blank expression in reply.  It seems to be that it’s an accessory many of us are not bothering with.

I know shopping for belts can be tricky.   Like everything, not all styles will suit everyone and every body shape.  There is a bit to consider when you’re searching.  Will it make your torso look short?  Your bust big?  Is it going to be comfortable? Where’s the right place for it to sit?  Should it blend in with my outfit or be a contrast and stand out?  You will need to experiment and try lots on,  just like anything when you’re searching for a “love it” item, to add to your wardrobe.

Search for belts in unexpected places.  Look in op-shops, (I picked up a great chocolate leather Country Road belt for $2 in a local St Vinnies) on Etsy,  in the men’s section or at markets. If you’re creative buy yourself some velvet ribbon from Lincraft and tie it around your waist – maybe pin on your Nana’s rhinestone brooch to really put your unique stamp on the look.

Don’t neglect the belt.  Next time you’re at the shops play around with different styles until you find something that works for you.  Don’t just think, I don’t know how to wear them, and give up.

TIP: Go through your wardrobe and see if you have any belts that came with a skirt, dress or pants that you could use with other things in your cupboard.  Don’t just assume because it accompanied a particular item that it has to be used with that piece and only that piece.

image via here

image via here

READ: “It’s Time To Go…” here 

Details of my personal styling services (Including prices) here

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One Way To Update Your Wardrobe Without Buying A Single Piece Of Clothing

29 Aug

I’ve had this brilliant fuchsia Bettina Liano pant suit for 8, 10….maybe 12 years.  It’s been one of my favourite trusty items in my wardrobe where I’ve worn it to weddings, the races, dinners and Christmas parties.  It’s a very classic cut so although it’s years old, it’s still current.

When I first bought it I took it to my tailor and got him to alter it so that it fit me like a glove – so I know it flatters my shape. I’ve always felt great every time I put it on…until recently.

A little while ago I pulled it out and put it on to wear to a luncheon at the races and it felt all wrong.  I looked in the mirror and felt blah.  This was odd.  It always worked.  It was my fail safe item I reached for when I couldn’t decide on anything else. This time I had to take it off and put something else on.  I felt like I was over it.   I put this down to two things. Firstly, about a year ago when my jacket came back from the cleaners, two buttons were smashed and I had to replace them.  Despite searching endlessly for something that matched perfectly, I could never find something I really liked.  Secondly, I was bored with it.   It needed to be revamped, I just wasn’t sure how.

So I put it back in the wardrobe and there it stayed, rejected, waiting for me to come up with an inspired idea as to what I could do with it.

I searched…and researched…and researched and one day came across this….

…so I did this….

I really wanted round gold buttons like the photo but couldn’t find them. (Still searching!) These will do for now, until I come across the ones I really want.  When I was sewing these on, I wasn’t convinced it was what I was after, but as soon as I tried it on, I loved it. I felt like I had a new item of clothing, and I hadn’t spent a cent.

People are often surprised when I help them go through and clean out their wardrobe, that I don’t come up with an enormous expensive list of what they need to buy to have a half decent wardrobe.  Sometimes, once we’ve gotten rid of what doesn’t need to be there and we can see what’s left, we find some hidden little treasures that can be reinvented.  There are lot’s and lot’s of things you can do to make your wardrobe feel fresh and updated without buying a single piece of clothing.  Here are five things you can do right now.

  • Pull all the dresses and skirts that you don’t regularly wear out of your wardrobe and consider whether they might work better on your shape and with your lifestyle, with a different hem length
  • Soak all your whites overnight in NapiSan or similar to bring them back to white white, rather than grey white
  • Try all your daggy jeans on and think about whether they’re making your legs look bigger than you are and if they would look more flattering if they were slimmer in the leg.  If so, take them off to a tailor (or do it yourself if you’re clever) and ask him to run them in down the leg
  • Give your leather bags and shoes a clean and polish. (I often just use Mr Sheen)  Make sure you test a small patch before you do the whole item
  • Buy a thick piece of velvet ribbon and wrap it around your waist and tie it in a bow with your blouses and dresses. Attach a vintage brooch.

**I wrote this back in 2011.  It’s now five years later and this suit is still alive and kicking.  I’m about to reinvent it yet again by having the pants cropped.

READ: “What’s Hiding In Your Wardrobe That Could Be Reinvented?” Here

Details of my personal styling services (Including prices) here

Get to know more about me and my style on Facebook here

..& Instagram here
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