November Content for Level One Membership
Hello and welcome to November’s content for you lovely lot! Thank you for sticking with me during the first month’s teething problems. I’m sorry it wasn’t smooth sailing for some of you, but hopefully any glitches are now sorted ready for this month’s content consumption! Thank you too for your feedback- keep it coming as then I can keep improving what I do and also share the positives to entice others to join. The more people who sign up- the more time and money I can invest in giving you the best content.
For those of you who have recently joined – please do go back to look at last month’s content which is also available for you. You can find this by:
- Logging into your account on my website
- Going to the Blogs page, scrolling down to the right hand side of the page labelled “Categories” and ticking the box marked with the membership level you have signed up for.
Now on to this months’ Blog which is all about ‘how to know what items to invest in for your wardrobe’ and ‘what you can get away with by going for more budget brands’
Whenever I am working with a client for a Personal Shopping trip I always take a very thorough brief. I ask them to fill in a form to tell me what they are wanting, what they need it for, whether they needed the item to go with something else and what their budget is. Most people are pretty hazy on budget, they know what they can afford but that doesn’t necessarily mean they want to spend it all. (I ask for their budget to help me to know where to pitch the brand level at for my search. For example, if the client asked me to find ten items and they had £2000 to spend I can pitch the brand search at the “Mint Velvet” brand level. However, if they had 10 items and they had £250 to spend I would be looking at the “H&M” brand level.)
When I can see them struggling with how much to spend, I ask them if they would like me to use my experience and initiative to know whether to look for an item at an “investment” brand level or at the “savvy” end of the scale and the answer is always very gratefully “Yes”!
So I thought it might be helpful if I give you my theory and pointers on how to work out where you can scrimp and where you should spend when buying for this season.
Write your list
I apologise if I sound like a scratched record but I cannot express enough how important it is to have written a list of what you need, what you need to replace from your wardrobe, and what you could buy that would make other items in your wardrobe work better. Once you have written this list, put the items in priority order of what you need most so that when you are shopping you have a very clear agenda.
Keeping it in the family
Think of your wardrobe as a “family”, with the mum, the dad, and the two kids; in the sense that everything in your wardrobe should go together and have a common ‘link’ (if you don’t feel that you have achieved this yet, you might find it helpful to watch my webinar on “How to create a capsule wardrobe”! The investment pieces would effectively be the mum/dad, such as a winter coat, a pair of boots, or a cashmere jumper. The more frivolous, fun, less expensive items would be the “kids” such as a printed top from Zara, or a fun pair of sandals from a market in Spain you purchased when you were on holiday.
Every time you consider buying a new item you need to think about whether you are buying a “parent” or a “child” which will help you to determine how much of your budget to spend on it. You also need to be able to think of three other items in your wardrobe that it could go with it to ensure that you will be getting the wear out of it that it deserves. If you can’t think of anything it goes with you need to consider buying it its own “family” such as the aunt, the uncle, and the cousins, ie. a new branch of the family! The easiest way to do this is to stay in the shop where you found the initial item and ask the shop assistants to show you items that are designed within the range that the first item belongs to (you can only really do this with brands at a Jigsaw type level…below this the assistants are unlikely to be as available, helpful, knowledgeable and cheaper brands don’t really design in clear ‘collections’). You would then try those items on and decide if you can afford and justify buying those as well as the first item you liked.
It’s a lifestyle decision
Once you’ve decided you do want it (and it will either go with what you already have or you’re happy to buy other items to make it work) you need to pause for a final time to think about the occasions within your lifestyle you would be likely to wear the item to.
The more occasions you can wear it to and the more items you can wear with it, the better quality the item needs to be in order to withstand the frequency of wear. To deliver this it is more then likely you should buy at a higher price point.
To give you an example: a winter coat that can be worn to work, going out for dinner, going out with friends, or even dressed down with a hoodie is an item I would advise you to spend more money on then a pair of shoes that can only be worn with a dress and are on your feet from your front door, to a taxi, to restaurant, back to the taxi, back to your home again! (As you can probably tell I am not an advocate of a pair of strappy Jimmy Choo sandals….pretty they may be, cost effective…not so much! Having said this though- you may LOVE shoes and would prefer to scrimp on a simple black dress and always let your footwear do the talking….it’s just down to what YOU want to prioritise!
Quality vs quantity
Think about how you spend your time – which parts of your lifestyle do you want to have the broadest choice of clothes so that you can feel constantly inspired and excited by different outfits? This section of your wardrobe will probably need items at a lower price point because you want to have more of them….ie you are wanting quantity vs quality.
My favourite brands for investment / savvy purchases:
COATS – please see my blog for October which details my top picks and explains why I rate them so highly. However- I would like to add to this that H&M’s current winter season collection is amazing…!
Savvy: Mango, Topshop, Zara
Savvy: Boden, Uniqlo, M&S
Invest: Pure Collection, Yaeger, Reiss, Boden
Savvy: H&M do a brilliant polyester copy!
Invest: Keith Scarrott are my favourite brand bar none because they fit so beautifully, and they last…so well worth the investment. Duo Boots if you want something more classic and struggle to find boots that fir your calves.
Savvy: Marks and Spencer’s, Next Zara, River Island, ASOS
PUMPS AND SANDALS: I love New Look, H&M, Topshop, Primark – you will notice all of these a lower price point brands because in my opinion, there is no need to spend a lot of money on this type of shoe as its not going to be worn in “high pressure” situations!
ACCESSORIES – the cheapest and yet most effective way to finish off outfits, pull a look together and help you get the most flexibility from your wardrobe. Please don’t neglect these. The best thing is that you don’t have to spend a lot to make a collection of little beauties – all ready to help you put the “cherry on top” of your outfit.
OR YOU COULD RENT?
Maybe you might like the idea of not buying at all…but just renting as and when you need a particular item. In light of the need for us all to be more considered about our purchases it seems like an amazing option to consider as you can find amazing Rixo dresses to rent starting at £45 or Chanel pumps starting at £74!
Here are a few websites for you to bookmark:
And for total handbag lovers, you can join a club where members have access to the most sought-after bags. Borrow it, return it, choose another.
- DISCOUNT CODES:
All Saints: 15% off first order when you sign up Code: WELC1REO69E2O
Baujken: 20% off full priced items with code ‘Kate20aw’
Celtic & Co: 10% off plus free delivery with code ‘ WCPC19’ valid until 25/1/20
Jigsaw: COSY20 gives 20% off knitwear until Monday 4th November
Monsoon: 15% off first order when you sign up and become a reward member
Cos: 10% off when you sign up to newsletter
These two brands are exhibiting at The Cotswold Christmas Fair. I wrote a blog introducing them on my website- you can read it here. I asked them if they would offer you, my treasured members, a discount code- which they kindly did….
Organise us: KES19 gives you 10% off and free shipping until November 30th
(It may only be used for online or telephone orders and cannot be used at the Cotswold Christmas Fair fair) The code should be entered in the discount coupon box at checkout.
Harry Rocks: POP10 gives 10% discount
If you enjoy the membership content, or any or my webinars, please let me know by either emailing me or tagging me in social media as this really helps spread the word:
In My Stylish Group on Facebook – this group is the place to put questions to me (just remember to tag me so I get a notification), get more tips and ideas, share your style successes with the group or ask for advice. Just clink on the link to ask to join.
Please also let me know your thoughts / suggestions / requests for these monthly Blogs and How -To videos and I will try to include them. For this to work on both sides I have to be giving you want you want…so I am ALL EARS!!
Thank you so much again for your interest.