When frocks fail the fashion test
When frocks fail the fashion test

Need to update your wardrobe but unsure what to throw and what to stow? A stylist can help you ditch the daggy, understand what clothes best suit you and even take you shopping for a flattering wardrobe that will make you feel amazing. Better still, it need not break the bank.

"I always go by the saying, we only wear 20 per cent of our wardrobe, 80 per cent of the time," fashion stylist Ivanna Fontana said.

Her wardrobe rule is clear: if an item of clothing has not been worn for six months, it's time to get rid of it.

"When I do a wardrobe audit, I try to restyle outfits within the wardrobe, to maximise what you've got in there before I take you on a styling session."

According to The Style Agency stylist Jo Shields, a wardrobe audit always starts with a cup of tea and a good chat about lifestyle - a client's job, social life and travel.

"That way I can determine what they wear often and what they may need more of," she said. "For busy people I like to create a few "uniforms" or "go to looks" so they can dress quickly on a daily basis and know what to look for when shopping. There is also a list of wardrobe staples I follow which helps create outfits and builds your wardrobe into something fabulous. This includes good basic tanks and tees, great jeans, the perfect white shirt and a denim jacket."

Having the help of a stylist is not a luxury reserved for the A list. Miss Fontana said a wardrobe makeover often went hand-in-hand with a life change; a new job, moving on from maternity wear, changes to lifestyle or just needing a confidence boost. Many young corporate men now called on stylists for help with their work attire.

A common problem the stylists see is when women buy the same clothes over and over because that's what they're used to. Mrs Shields advised you should call in the professionals if you were indecisive about clothes and felt you don't know what suited you.

"If you come home from shopping trips with the same thing every time, and still have nothing to wear, it might be time for some fresh ideas," she said.

So why do women often find it so hard to fashion cleanse? Mrs Shields believed it was a combination of nostalgia and confusion.

"We often connect a time in our lives or a memory with a certain piece . . . even though it may no longer fit or look good, if we discard it, it can feel like we're throwing away the memory too. Also, a lot of women lack confidence when making choices about what flatters them so stick to something they may feel safe in but not necessarily feel good in."

She said a wardrobe cleanse could make you feel lighter, freer and more organised.


  • _INSIDE: Style for the year. _ *

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