Contrary to what you may think, I actually don’t spend a huge amount of money on clothes!!! I do on the other hand spend a lot of time (perhaps too much time) thinking about fashion. I love clothes, I always have.
I remember from a young age spending hours pouring over my Mum’s Kays Catalogue, ticking off what I liked on each page. And Saturdays were spent shopping for clothes with Mum, often down Roman Rd market in the East End in search of a few bargains!
Fashion is not just frivolity
In my opinion, what you wear speaks volumes about you as a person. An ex-boyfriend had the opposite view and we used to debate this topic a lot, needless to say we were not destined to last!!! From the Personal Impact training I later became well-versed in, I know that in the first 4 minutes of meeting someone we make assumptions about that person based on their appearance. I am a firm believer that clothes play hugely important role because they form the outer projection of our self-image.
Despite placing fashion and style high on my priority list, I am not a slave to fashion. I am acutely aware of the latest trends and I get massive enjoyment from following them. Now in ‘Club Forty’, I have developed my own sense of style and I mostly know what looks good on me, and what doesn’t. I don’t adopt all the latest ‘looks’, but I choose carefully what fits with my personal style. Hopefully I don’t make too many fashion faux-pas these days!
Where I get the most pleasure and reward, is if I can be ‘on trend’, but still be thrifty. I do this in two ways:
- Looking at what I already have in my wardrobe and re-styling it to make it more relevant
- Buying pre-loved clothes
- Savvy sales purchases
Take for example, the outfit in the main photo. I found the fabulous statement top in a local dress agency and the jeans cost under a tenner in the sale. I especially love to buy pre-loved gems because you are less likely to turn up to an occasion wearing the same as someone else!
If I do buy high fashion items, I tend to pick them up in the sales or when the retailer is offering a sizeable discount. Usually I have been keeping my eye out so I don’t tend to impulse buy in the sales. Because I devote so much head-space to the matter of fashion, my purchases are usually very considered and I do buy well.
Never throw out good clothes
There’s a BBC2 documentary “Absolutely Fashion”, about Vogue magazine where the Creative Director is frank about the business of predicting the next big look and confesses, “Sometimes there is nothing new.” Confirmation, if we didn’t know it already, that fashion is a wheel that keeps being reinvented to make us consumers buy the ‘next thing’. Lucky for us mid-lifers, we probably already own the new trend from the last time it was in fashion!
I always keep items of clothing that a) are well made, and b) I love. Chances are, they will become into fashion again. Which is why – if you can – you should buy less, but spend well. Investment pieces, that is items that will stand the test of time because they are classic in style and are well made, are worth spending money on… I am happy to splash out on a good coat, tailored trousers or a white shirt. But these items can also be found in the sales.
On my Instagram, I am rarely dressed head-to-toe in a new outfit. I don’t have the means to shop for new clothes every week and surprisingly, neither do I have the desire to. What I do find fun and what gets my creative juices going, is thinking about how I can update my ‘look’ by utilising existing items in my wardrobe. Sometimes it’s just about wearing something in a new way – combining with different accessories or creating new outfit combinations.
Club Forty fashion
Aside from sharing my style and offering outfit inspiration, my intention for Club Forty is to keep you abreast of what the latest trends are; so that you can dip in and out as you please. On my daily Instagram #ootd posts, you’ll notice that I always combine old with new with old. So I hope to inspire you to pull out that old, beloved dress or blouse for a new lease of life – it’s so rewarding!
I am also a firm believer in not saving things for best… this is not a good use of money! Wear your special, high-end pieces with everyday clothes. For example, a gorgeous dress you may have bought for an special occasion – wear it with trainers and a biker jacket. Or a gorgeous faux-fur jacket – it will look so cool with jeans! So called ‘high-low dressing’ is the best way to get your wardrobe really working for you.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my musings on style and fashion trends. Do you have a similar or different view to me? I’d love to know what you think…
If you would like some help to make your wardrobe work better for you, please check out my Styling Services page. In additional to Wardrobe Audits, I also offer Personal Shopping trips.
“Claire looked at what I currently have and gave me some brilliant ideas on what to pair together. We came up with a few staples that were missing from my wardrobe and then a week later we met for a shopping session. I feel so happy with my wardrobe now – especially as I didn’t have to buy a whole new one and have re-worked so many of my existing items. I’ve got loads of new ideas and a renewed fashion confidence!”
Laila, Corporate Wellness Coach