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Style Basics

3 Things That Aren’t Fashion Crimes, No Matter What Anyone Tries to Tell You

fashion crimes

If you read fashion magazines or blogs, you might have picked up a few slightly strange ideas about what counts as a “fashion crime” these days. Things like…


According to the fashion elite, wearing the same thing over and over again is boring and uncreative: instead, you should be constantly experimenting and evolving, by finding new ways to wear older clothes.

We say: who has the time to put so much thought into getting dressed every morning? Sure, if getting dressed is your hobby, and you genuinely enjoy the challenge of never repeating an outfit, go ahead and implement a “no repeats” policy – but the fact is that most of us just want to look our best – and we don’t really care if that means wearing the same thing, in the same way.


It always surprises us to see some people still un-ironically declaring that something is “so last season” or “out of fashion”. If you like it and it suits you, then who really cares if it’s not at the cutting edge of style? Keeping up with trends will make you “fashionable”, true – but it won’t make you stylish. Wearing what you like, regardless of whether it’s “in” or “out” is a much better way to do that.


There are SO many stupid rules relating to what women should and shouldn’t wear at different ages. We say forget them all, and wear what makes you feel good – as long as it’s appropriate for whatever you’re wearing it FOR, obviously. You can be dressed inappropriately for the occasion – you can’t really be dressed inappropriately for your age.

In other words: don’t pay attention to fashion “rules” – that’s what fashion victims do, and look where it gets them! Instead, wear what looks good, regardless of what kind of rule you might be breaking: you’ll never regret wearing something you love.

Tips & Tricks

Why buying duplicates can be a sound shopping strategy

Why you should buy duplicates of the clothes you love the most

Ever had an item of clothing you love so much that you end up being too scared to wear it, in case something happens to it? 

Er, please tell us we’re not the only ones who do that? Sometimes particular favourites end up being consigned to the “do not wear” pile much earlier than they really need to be, purely because we know that, left to our own devices, we’d wear them so often we’d wear them right out – and can you imagine how awful it would be to no longer have that favourite sweater, or perfectly-fitting pair of jeans? Exactly.

The trouble with THAT theory, obviously (and we’re sure you’ve spotted it already), is that if you’re avoiding wearing something just so you don’t wear it out, it’s basically the SAME as not having it. And what’s the point of having beautiful clothes if you’re not going to wear them? The answer to the dilemma?

Shopping in duplicate.

It’s a very obvious answer, but it’s a technique that a lot of people don’t use, purely because of the cost. No matter how much you love something, after all, it can feel wasteful to buy more than one of it, and it’s not always financially feasible, either. If you CAN afford to double-up on certain items, though, it can be a really useful thing to do, because it gives you the freedom to wear that treasured item as often as you like, safe in the knowledge that you have another one tucked away, just waiting for that fateful day when you spill an entire glass of red wine down the first one, and it won’t come out, no matter how many Pinterest-approved techniques you try.

Of course, not all clothing is worth buying duplicates of. Here are some that are…

Things it’s worth buying more than one of:

  • Jeans that fit perfectly.  We all know how hard it is to find the perfect pair of jeans, right? Well, when you DO find them, for the love of God, don’t just buy one pair: if you can afford to, buy a backup – because you’ll probably never find THAT good a fit ever again.
  • Frequently-worn basics. It’s not much fun to stock up on t-shirts, to be honest, but at the same time, it’s ALSO not much fun to go to your closet and discover a huge stain on your favourite white tee – and then not be able to replace it, because although you’d THINK this kind of thing would be easy to find, sometimes there’s just no replacing a favourite, is there?Also, you can NEVER have too many Breton stripes. NEVER.
  • Ballet flats –  maybe it’s just us, but we seem to be on a permanent search for ballet flats that are just the right shape and colour. When we do find them, we seem to go through them fast, so having a second pair in reserve is a good way to cut down the number of shopping searches we have to embark upon each year.

Things it’s NOT worth doubling up on:

  • Trend pieces. No matter how amazing you think it is NOW, chances are you won’t feel the same way a few years from now, which is when you’d be needing your back up: resist!
  • Anything that’s easily replaced. We said it’s a good idea to stock up on basics, but that’s only the case if your “basics” aren’t always readily available – i.e. you’ve found a particular type of tank top, say, that’s out-of-this world amazing, but it’s from a brand that might not keep on making it. If, on the other hand, you love a particular Gap t-shirt, say, or something else the brand has been making forever, buying duplicates means you’ll just spend money needlessly, and clog up your wardrobe with items you could very easily replace if you really needed to. The idea is to use this technique to REDUCE the amount of shopping you do, not simply to turn into a hoarder by buying tons of things you can easily get from Target.
  • Clothes you don’t wear very often. As with the trend pieces, that evening dress you just bought might make you feel like a million dollars, but unless you’re going to be wearing it every other week, it’s not worth duplicating, because even if something DID happen to it, you probably wouldn’t miss it that much, anyway.
Tips & Tricks

6 Fitting Room Mistakes Most Women Make

Shopping for new clothes should be fun, but anyone who’s ever set foot in a harshly-lit fitting room will probably beg to differ. 

As awkward an experience as it can be however, making sure your clothes fit properly is one of the best things you can do if you don’t want to be branded a fashion criminal, so here are some fitting room mistakes most women make – but which you don’t have to…

mistakes most women make in the fitting room - and how to avoid them

01. Assuming they know their size

For some reason, a lot of women work out what size they are sometime around their twenties, and then rigidly try to stick to that size, through weight fluctuations, pregnancies, and all of the other changes in diet and lifestyle that can lead to a change in shape/size. Alternatively, we look at the size chart on a website, work out what size SHOULD fit… and then wear it anyway, regardless of whether or not it’s the best fit it could be. The answer? Don’t just assume that you know your size, or that it’ll stay the same forever. Don’t assume you’ll be the same size in every brand, and every garment. Try everything on, even if looks like it fits on the hanger: you just never know!

02. Thinking that if they can zip it up, it fits

Many people assume that “can I get it on?” is the only question they need to ask themselves in relation to fit – so if they can zip it up, they’ll buy it, even if a larger size might have worked better for them. Instead of relying on the “zip” rule, really ask yourself if the garment looks good: and if it doesn’t, go and try a larger size.

03. Settling for a fit that’s just good enough

Be honest: how many times have you tried something on, and even although it didn’t fit perfectly, have decided that the fit is good enough, and have worn it anyway? Because it’s so hard to find a perfect fit off the rack, many people settle for good enough, rather than spending even more time searching for that elusive perfect fit. It’s true to say you might never find true perfection, no matter how hard you search, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle: instead, find yourself a good tailor (many department stores will offer alterations as part of their service) and we promise it’ll be worth whatever you have to pay.

04. Only taking one size into the fitting room

We all know sizes differ from brand to brand, but they can also vary widely within a single brand: so just because you have one thing from Brand X in a certain size, it doesn’t necessarily follow that you’ll wear that size in everything else you buy from them. Always take more than one item into the fitting room: you might be surprised to find out which one fits best.

05. Not moving around when trying clothing on

Why do we always try clothing on by standing face-on to the mirror, in a rigid pose, normally either with our hands on our hips or beside our sides? We don’t normally adopt those kind of poses in real life, so when trying clothes on, you want to try to see what they’ll look like in “normal” situations, rather than just in the fitting room. Walk around, sit down, check out what it looks like from the back – that’s how people will see it when you wear it, after all.

06. Caring about the size on the label

Finally, one of the biggest fitting room mistakes people make is caring about the size on the label. Our simple advice here? Don’t. Vanity sizing is rife in the fashion industry, and sizes differ so much from brand to brand that the number on the label is pretty much meaningless. So buy the size that fits you, and ignore the number – you’ll be happier AND better dressed as a result.

Style Basics

Classic Capsule Wardrobe for Spring 2016

capsule wardrobe for spring

One of our most popular posts of all time was the capsule wardrobe we created for spring 2014

We still get questions about the items in that capsule to this day, and as most of them have long-since sold out, we figured it was time for an update. We’re definitely not trying to re-create the wheel with this post: as the nautical style is such a spring classic, and so popular amongst our visitors, we’ve simply updated and refined our original spring capsule wardrobe, using items available to buy right now. So you’ll find a lot of stripes, a lot of red, white and blue, and, above all, a selection of items which should easily mix and match to create effortless spring style that you don’t have to think too much about.

This capsule wardrobe is actually a little smaller than the original one: partly because not all of the same items were available, but also because we firmly believe you don’t have to own a huge amount of clothing in order to look stylish. In fact, sometimes the opposite is true, and the less you own, the easier it is to create combinations that work. As with any capsule wardrobe – or any WARDROBE, period – the key here is to buy the best quality you can afford, and to pay close attention to fit and fabric.

Inside our spring capsule wardrobe:

trench // blazer //  bag // floral dress // stripe dress //

red trousers // blue jeans // stripe skirt // print skirt // red flats // gold wedges 

blue cardigan // cream cardigan // breton top 

white t-shirt // navy top

(Please note that while all items were available at the time of writing, the nature of retail is such that items do sell out, so apologies if any are no longer available at the time of writing. We hope they provide you with the necessary inspiration to find something similar, though!)

And here are some outfits you can create using these items:

How to make the most of a very small wardrobe: spring capsule wardrobe

Tips & Tricks

Where to find petite clothing on the UK high street

If you’re shorter than average, finding petite clothing can be a bit of a challenge. 

Oh, there are plenty of retailers who stock petite clothing, of course, so it’s not like it’s impossible to find it. The problem is that many of the petite clothing sections tend to be pretty limited: you’ll rarely find the same pieces you find in the “regular” section, and when you do find something you like, it’ll often come in a very limited range of colours and prints, leaving you with very little choice.

Don’t despair, though: finding petite clothing might be difficult, but it’s not impossible. Here are some of our favourite UK fashion retailers with great petite clothing sections:

5 places to find petite clothing on the UK high street

Miss Selfridge

Not only does Miss Selfridge’s regular section go down to a UK size 4, making it suitable for the smaller shopper, the petites section is a particularly good one: in fact, we frequently spot items in the petites section that aren’t available in regular sizes. Their petite clothing section runs from size 4 – 14, and is updated often, so there’s always something new.

New Look

New Look also has an extensive petites section, and a slightly wider sizing range, running from UK 4 – 16. If you don’t find anything in women’s clothing section, however, the teens section is also worth a look: while many teens and children’s sections are unsuitable for women in terms of the cuts and patterns, this selection is more “grown up” than many we’ve come across, and some of the the larger teens styles will also work for petite women.


Is there ANYTHING you can’t find at ASOS? Probably not, and while their petite clothing section doesn’t contain all of the same styles you’ll find in ‘regular’, the site also carries plenty of petite clothing from other brands, too, making it a good place to see a lot of different options in the same place. ASOS’s main line also goes down to a UK size 4, so some pieces may be suitable for petites.

Chi Chi London

One of The Fashion Police’s favourite eveningwear brands, Chi Chi London has extensive petite and curve sections, offering many of the same styles they do in ‘regular’.


Topshop’s petite section can be a little bit hit and miss, and we really wish they’d start offering their petite jeans in the same range of washes and styles that are available in the regular section, but it’s still better than average, and, as with Arcadia stable-mates, we’ve occasionally stumbled upon awesome petite clothing which isn’t available in regular, so it’s always worth a look.

How to...

4 Ways to Refresh Your Wardrobe on a Budget

 Feeling like you’re stuck in a style rut? Don’t have the spare cash to get out of it?

Luckily, you don’t actually have to spend money to refresh your look: here are four easy ways to do it, without spending a single penny…

how to refresh your style without spending a penny

01. Let someone else dress you 

We’re not talking literally here: we’re sure you’re perfectly capable of putting your own clothes on, after all. But if you feel like you’re stuck in a style rut, handing the reigns to someone else for a while can give you a whole new outlook on your wardrobe on your style. Invite a friend round (ideally one whose style you admire!), pour a couple of glasses of wine, and let her loose in your closet: chances are, she’ll pick out items you’d long since forgotten about, and style them in ways you might not have considered. You don’t have to commit to actually wearing what she chooses for you if you really don’t like it,but seeing your closet from whole new perspective can be an easy way to refresh your style.

(Of course, this can also go horribly wrong: see what happened when our editor let her husband choose her outfit, for instance…)

Oh, and speaking of friends…

02. Do a clothes swap

When you reach that stage when you’re just sick to death of everything you own, it’s time to bag up a few items you don’t think you’ll want to wear again, take them to a friend’s house, and do a swap. You’re probably not the only one who’s feeling a little uninspired, and as we’re fond of saying, one woman’s crime of fashion is another woman’s most wanted item. You can even make a night of it, and invite as many people as you like – the more choice you have, the better!

03. Photograph your outfits for a week

This is another tip that might sound a bit pointless at first, but it’s really easy to lose objectivity when you’re wearing the same clothes all the time: we get used to throwing on the same things, in the same combinations, and we rarely shake things up, because if it works, why fix it? The problem is working out when it’s NOT working any more, so, as an experiment, try photographing what you wear for a week, then look back at the photos. For some reason, the camera can often help to highlight things you don’t see when you look in the mirror (strange but true), and when you know you’re going to have to look at the photos, it’ll also help inspire you to up your game.

04. Join a style challenge

You know all of those fashion blogger challenges you’re always coming across on the internet? The ones where you have to remix a particular item, or wear a certain colour on a certain day? You don’t actually have to be a fashion blogger to join in with those, and while you might feel a bit silly at first, it can be a lot of fun – and will also help inspire you to come up with outfits you might not have thought of. What do you have to lose, after all?

POPULAR, Style Basics

5 Items of Clothing Worth Investing In

At the start of a new year (or a new month, or a new school season…) a lot of people resolve to start spending less on disposable fashion, and more on the so-called “investment” pieces. But what kind of clothing is actually worth investing in? 

The answer to this will obviously depend on your lifestyle, and what you actually wear day-to-day, but here are some things we think are worth spending a little more on – although that’s not to say you shouldn’t ever try to grab a bargain if you can find one!

five items of clothing you won't regret investing in

01. Underwear

We touched on this in yesterday’s post, but a lot of people have the idea that if unless it’s on show, it’s not worth investing in in. We personally believe dressing well (even when no one but you will see it) is a great way to give yourself a confidence boost, but it’s particularly important with underwear, because it can completely change the appearance of your clothes. As much as we love pretty PJs, for instance, it doesn’t REALLY matter what you wear to sleep in: an ill-fitting bra, however, or underwear that creates lumps and bumps where you don’t actually have any, can ruin the line of your clothes, and also change your figure. We’re going to keep on re-itterating in this post that you don’t necessarily HAVE to spend a lot of money in order to find supportive undies that fit perfectly – but if you can’t find them on a budget, they’re definitely worth investing it.

02. Sportswear

As with the point above, it’s easy to convince yourself that an old t-shirt and pair of saggy leggings are OK to work out in, given that you’re just going to get them sweaty anyway. Appearance aside, though, you can actually end up spending more money this way, because if you’re constantly wearing and washing that old t-shirt, you’re going to have to replace it much sooner than something made specifically for the job. Not only is “proper” sportswear designed to be washed frequently without losing its shape or colour, it’ll also keep you cooler during your workout, thanks to the sweat-wicking fabric most modern sportswear is made from. Oh, and it goes without saying that a supportive sports bra and pair of sneakers are well worth the investment!

03.  Outerwear


We get it: coats and other outerwear are expensive enough as it is – and now we’re telling you to spend even more on them? Well, no, not necessarily: if you’ve found a source of low-cost coats that last for years AND keep you warm, then we want to know your secret, is all. Too often, though, you’ll find that cheap coats might look the part, but they won’t last as well or feel as warm as something that might cost a little bit more. And when you wear something every day for months on end, you’re definitely going to get your money’s worth out of it!

04. Shoes 

Be honest: what did you think when you saw the shoes in our image? Did you love them – or did you think they looked just a little bit… well, cheap? The problem with cheap shoes, you see, is that it’s much harder to make them look more expensive, so while you could put a cheap t-shirt, say, next to a more expensive one, and barely be able to tell the difference, with shoes you can almost always tell. It can be hard to resist the lure of the inexpensive ballet flat or party shoe, but when it comes to shoes you’ll be wearing to work, or which you expect to be able to wear for a long time, plastic uppers and thin soles are not the way to go!

05. Jeans

Now, we know not everyone actually wears jeans, so feel free to skip this one if it’s not relevant, but if you DO wear jeans on the regular, you probably know how hard it is to find the right fit and wash, right? For that reason alone, when you DO find the perfect pair of jeans, it’s worth paying whatever they cost – trust us on this. If you’re lucky, your perfect jeans might not cost too much (We love Topshop denim, for instance…), but if you’re NOT lucky, and your perfect jeans cost a little – or a lot – more, then we’re sorry, but you’re just going to have to suck it up: we promise you won’t regret it.

[For more fashion advice, check out our sister site, Forever Amber!]

POPULAR, Style Basics

6 Wardrobe Staples to Start Your Closet from Scratch

6 closet staples to build your wardrobe from scratch

trench / dress /  jeans  / sweater / cami shoes

Anyone else starting the new year with a renewed determination to clear out their closet and start again from scratch? 

Sometimes a good old closet clear-out isn’t enough. Sometimes a complete change of style is what’s needed, and if you’re still trying to work out exactly what YOUR style is (there’s some advice on how to do that here), a good place to start is by building up a solid foundation of basics: the so-called ‘wardrobe essentials’ that allow you to get dressed every morning without having to think too hard about what to wear.

Now, we’re not saying these items will be wardrobe staples for EVERYONE – far from it. It goes without saying that everyone has different taste and different requirements, but if you’re a fan of classic style (and as you’ve probably worked out by now, we ARE fans of classic style), you can’t go too far wrong with these six pieces, all of which can be worn in lots of different ways, and form the building blocks for a wardrobe that will work for you for many years to come.

They are:

The classic trench:

The mainstay of many an “items all women should own” list: we DON’T believe that ALL women should own a classic trenchcoat, but we don’t deny that it’s a handy item to have in your closet anyway.

The simple dress:

It doesn’t have to be black, but a plain dress, that fits perfectly, and can be dressed up or down as required, will see you through many an occasion.

The perfect pair of jeans:

What counts as the “perfect” jeans will be different for everyone: some people love boyfriend jeans, while others stick to skinnies, and still more people swear by the good ol’ bootcut or flare. Whatever your perfect pair, making sure you own at least one version of them will allow you to solve many a wardrobe dilemma, with just one item.

The Breton stripe:

It might be just a causal sweater, but it will add instant style to anything you wear with it.

The silk cami:

So much classier than a tank top or t-shirt, the silk cami is an easy shortcut to grown-up style.

The black patent pumps:

Don’t like heels? A classic ballet flat will work just as well!


Style Basics

5 Five New Year’s Resolutions for a Stylish 2016

New Year's Style Resolutions

Happy New Year, Fashion Force!

We hope you’ve had an excellent start to 2016. If you’re anything like us, we’re sure you’re starting the year the way you mean to go on: and that means resolutions a-plenty. Here are some style-related resolutions to help you on your way to your most stylish year yet…

01. Stop caring what people think 

One thing most stylish people have in common is the fact that they exude confidence. Think of the most stylish person you know: can you even imagine her/him standing in front of the mirror and agonising over that outfit? Probably not: because truly stylish people know what they like, and they don’t really care what other people think of them. It can be hard to get into this mindset, but once you stop constantly seeking approval from outside sources, you’ll be able to start wearing what feels good – and that’s normally what LOOKS good, too.

02. Stop buying clothes you won’t wear 

It can be so tempting to blow your budget on an amazing party dress or fabulous pair of shoes – especially if it’s on sale. It’s only a bargain if you’re actually going to wear it, though, so unless you have the kind of lifestyle that requires a constant stream of party dresses, your wardrobe will be better off if you invest in the type of clothes you’ll actually wear on a day-to-day basis. Spending the most money on the items you’ll wear most often might not give you the same buzz as those one-off purchases that you’ll never wear again, but it WILL result in a more stylish wardrobe in the long-run.

03. Clear out your closet once every season…

… or at least twice a year, if possible. Aim to go through everything you have for spring/summer and for autumn/winter, get rid of anything that doesn’t fit or flatter, and work out what you need to buy to fill any resulting holes.

04.  Try something new

We’re big fans of the concept of the signature style, but it’s all too easy to get stuck in a rut, and to keep wearing the same old things, even if they no longer suit you. We all change constantly, which means it’s good to re-evaluate our core closet every so often by trying something new. That doesn’t mean you have to buy it, or even wear it – just trying it on in the store will tell you everything you need to know – but every time you go shopping, try taking something you normally wouldn’t wear into the fitting room with you: you might be surprised by how much you like it, and if you’re not? Well, at least you know!

05. Create a capsule wardrobe, even if you don’t intend to stick to it

The capsule wardrobe was super-popular in 2015, but it’s definitely not for everyone. Even if you don’t want to restrict yourself to wearing the same collection of clothing all the time, however, we recommend taking the time to pull together a capsule wardrobe consisting of the items you consider to be absolutely essential. Doing this will not only help you work out what your style really is, and to identify any items you need to buy, it will also make sure you always have something to wear – even on days when you’re absolutely lacking in inspiration.

Here’s to a stylish 2016!

POPULAR, Style Basics

Style Lessons We Learned from Audrey Hepburn

It might seem like a total cliché to name Audrey Hepburn as your number one style icon, but the star’s classic style remains popular for a reason…

style lessons we learned from Audrey Hepburn

[This is not Audrey Hepburn. But you get the idea.]

Here are some of the style lessons we’ve learned from Audrey Hepburn…

Simple is almost always best 

When you look back at Audrey Hepburn’s outfits – and particularly at more candid shots featuring her “off duty” style – the main thing you’ll notice is the sheer simplicity of the looks. Hepburn favoured mostly black or neutral colour palettes, and while she wasn’t afraid to throw in a printed dress or colourful skirt, the pieces themselves were always simply cut, with minimal styling. While some would call this “boring”, that simplicity is what helps makes the looks so memorable – and so iconic.

Perfect fit is essential

In saying that simple is best, it’s important to remember that not all clothing items are created equal, and “simple” doesn’t necessarily equal “stylish”. If you’re going to stick to the basics, then, you have to make sure you have the RIGHT basics, and that the fit is impeccable. Many celebrities have their clothing tailored in order to achieve this (yes, even basics like t-shirts and jeans), and the perfect fit can be the difference between a stylish outfit, and one which is simply OK.

“I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.” – Audrey Hepburn

It’s OK to have a uniform

We’ve talked about this before, but have you ever noticed how the women most frequently cited as “style icons” all have styles which are instantly identifiable? It’s possible to look at a particular dress or top and say, “That’s SO Audrey Hepburn”, and that’s because one of the style secrets Audrey knew well was that once you’ve found a style you love, and that works for you, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with sticking to it. In today’s world, uniform dressing tends to be slated as uncreative – we praise the people who are capable of constantly changing, and criticize those who know what they like and wear it, even if it’s not “in fashion”. But whose style do you think will be remembered years from now? Exactly.

Choose a signature item to stand out and be remembered

The oversized black sunglasses Audrey Hepburn wears in Breakfast at Tiffany’s are one of her “trademark” looks, and she was often photographed wearing oversized glasses off-screen, too. You don’t have to wear bug-eyed glasses if you don’t want to, of course, but a signature piece is an easy way to give your style a personal stamp, and create something that’s very YOU. You could go for red lipstick, say, interesting jewellery or a colour you wear often –

Happy girls are the prettiest girls…

…and the most stylish, too. Perhaps the most important style lesson we can learn from Audrey Hepburn comes from the quote above: whatever you wear, it should make you feel happy, confident, and ready to take on the world. Clothes that make you feel uncomfortable or self-conscious, on the other hand, will NEVER look stylish, no matter how beautiful they look on the hanger, or how “bang on trend” they are. You know those times when you find yourself twisting and turning in front of the mirror, thinking, “Should I wear this?” The answer to that question is always NO: because the fact that you even have to ASK it shows that you’re not going to be comfortable if you do talk yourself into wearing it. That doesn’t mean you’ll look bad in it, necessarily – but it does mean that you’ll probably FEEL bad, and that will come across in your body language, and the way you keep tugging at your skirt or wobbling on shoes you weren’t sure you should wear. Remember that happy girls are the prettiest girls, so wear what makes you happy, and you’ll look a whole lot better as a result.

Tips & Tricks

The Shopping Habits of Stylish People

What are your shopping habits? If you tend to shop when you feel bad, or panic-buy at the last minute, this post’s for you: these are the shopping habits of stylish people…

learn the shopping habits of stylish people

The Shopping Habits Of Stylish People

Wear the right lingerie

If you’re going to be trying on clothes, make sure your undies aren’t going to let you down. They’re called ‘foundation garments’ for a reason: they form the foundation of your outfit, and should be completely invisible underneath it. Ill-fitting underwear creates lumps and bumps that will make any outfit look unflattering, and bright colours might look pretty on their own, but will show through light-coloured fabrics. We’re not fans of the lists of items that “all women should own”, but we do believe everyone needs a good, flesh-coloured bra and matching knickers – if only to go shopping in.

Don’t trust the size on the label

Think you know your size? Think again. Sizes differ from brand to brand, and often from item to item, so just because you wear a certain size in one store, it’s no guarantee you’ll also wear that size in another. Remember that size is just a number, anyway: the only thing that matters is that your clothes fit correctly, so ignore the size on the label and buy the one that fits perfectly,

Take two into the fitting room

Even if you do know which size you’ll need, you’d be surprised to see how different two items of the same size can be. One of the shopping habits we’ve picked up from the French is to always take more than one item (yes, in the same size) into the fitting room. One will almost always look better than the other, even although they SHOULD be identical.

Don’t buy it if it doesn’t fit

Because you probably WON’T slim into it, or have it altered, will you?

Don’t shop when you’re having a bad day 

You probably know you shouldn’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry – you’ll just end up buying the whole store. The same is true of clothes shopping, but for “hungry” substitute anything that makes you feel bad about yourself – particularly those things that make you feel bad about your shape or personal appearance. We all have those days when nothing looks right, and while it’s tempting to try to fix the “problem” by going shopping for new clothes, you’re not in the right mindset to make good shopping decisions, and are likely to just buy anything that gives you a quick fix. Instead, wait until your head clears, and you’re able to decide what you REALLY need to buy.

Don’t leave important purchases to the last minute

Got a wedding to go to? Some other important event to attend? The day before isn’t the time to go shopping for it – you’ll just end up panic-buying something you won’t feel good in, and will never wear again. If possible, shop well in advance of important events, and avoid last-minute panics by maintaining a wardrobe of high-quality basics, which will see you through any eventuality.

Spend most on everyday essentials 

It’s tempting to spend the bulk of your budget of a stand-out dress or pair of killer heels: that’s all well and good if you can afford it, of course, but if you’re trying to stick to a budget, one of your new shopping habits should be to spend most of your money on the clothes you wear every day and need to get the most mileage out of. Consider the cost per wear: you might only wear that dress once, but you’ll wear your everyday items until they fall apart – so make sure that doesn’t happen for a long time to come by making sure you buy the best quality you can afford.

Never shop without a list 

By this, we don’t mean you can’t ever stray off-list, but we all have those holes in our closets- those items we know we’d wear to death, but which we just can’t seem to find. Make a list of these items, and keep it in your handbag, so that any time you’re out shopping you can remind yourself of your priority purchases, and buy them first before succumbing to that trend piece you’ll get much less use from.

Only buy it if you can’t live without it -don’t settle for “good enough” 

In an ideal world, we’d only buy the items we absolutely love – those perfect pieces you take one look at and say, “I HAVE to have it!” Not every purchase can be like that, unfortunately, so if you’re wondering whether or not you really need something, try leaving it behind: put it back on the rail, walk out of the store, and continue on your way. If you can’t get it out of your head, and still want to buy it by the end of the day, it’s a good sign that you should go back for it. If, on the other hand, you forget all about it as soon as something else crossed your radar, you’ll know you were right to walk away.

How to...

How to Apply the Capsule Wardrobe Philosophy to your Non-Capsule Wardrobe

Capsule wardrobes are big news right now.

capsule wardrobe for people who hate capsule wardrobes

Everywhere we look, people seem to be embracing minimalism, clearing out their closets and decided to create a simple capsule wardrobe instead. Entire blogs have been built on the capsule wardrobe principle, and you only have to look at Pinterest to see tons of images of perfect, colour-coordinated capsules, for every possible scenario.

While it’s not difficult to understand the appeal of the capsule wardrobe, however (Seriously, who hasn’t looked at those images of perfectly-organised closets, and thought how much easier life would be if you didn’t have to work out what to wear every morning?), it’s also true to say that they’re not for everyone.

How a capsule wardrobe works

Capsule wardrobes work by limiting choice, and thus limiting the amount of decisions you have to make every day: let’s be honest, though, they also limit the amount of fun you get to have with your wardrobe. You can remix to your heart’s content, but how long do you think it’ll take to get sick to death of wearing the same old stuff day after day? How will you feel, faced with an amazing dress, which you feel absolutely fantastic in – but which you’re not “allowed” to buy, because it won’t work with your capsule wardrobe?

Some people, of course, won’t be even remotely troubled by these objections. These are people like Matilda Kahl, who made headlines earlier this year by wearing exactly the same outfit to work every single day, without exception, in a bid to simply her life. What Kahl has is more of a uniform than a traditional capsule wardrobe, but the theory is the same: you have fewer options, which makes getting dressed a whole lot easier.

What if you’re not like Kahl, though? What if you love the idea of a capsule wardrobe, but you ALSO love the idea of still being able to buy the clothes you love – even if they won’t work with your capsule? What if collecting clothes is your hobby, or you just like to switch up your style on a regular basis?

if you love collecting clothes, or switching up your style, a capsule wardrobe probably isn’t for you

The bad news is that a capsule wardrobe just won’t work for you in that case. The good news, however, is that you CAN apply the capsule wardrobe principles to your NON-capsule wardrobe, and get all the benefits of a capsule (saving time, making it easier to get dressed in the morning, always having something appropriate to wear, whatever you’re doing), without any of the restrictions of one. How? By creating a capsule WITHIN your wardrobe.

What’s a Capsule-Within-Your Wardrobe?

It’s exactly what it sounds like. You get to keep all of your existing items of clothing, so you still have just as much choice as you have before – and you can keep ADDING to your existing wardrobe too, if you want to. But you also create a capsule.

The capsule you create isn’t a traditional capsule wardrobe: instead, it’s a section of your wardrobe (ideally a LITERAL section of your wardrobe, in that you keep these items separate from everything else you own) in which you create your own capsule of basics. You can think of this as a capsule wardrobe, but you can also simply think of it as your CORE wardrobe: the essentials you need to get through your day to day life. These are the basics which form the backbone of your wardrobe: the building blocks which form the basis of your personal style, and which you can then build upon, by adding in whatever else you like.

the capsule-within-your-wardrobe is your core wardrobe: the building blocks which form the basis of your personal style

Developing your non-capsule wardrobe

So, what do you put in this capsule wardrobe that isn’t actually a capsule wardrobe, then? Good question. The capsule-within-your-wardrobe should contain your closet essentials. These will be different for everyone, so rather than providing you with a list of ’30 things every woman should own’, or whatever, what we’d suggest you do is this:

01. Make a list of the the things you find yourself doing most often: so, work, hobbies, social activities etc.

02. Write down your ideal outfit for each of those occasions.

03. Go to your closet, and see if you can pull together all of the outfits you’ve come up with, using clothing you already own.

capsule wardrobes limit choice, but they also limit fun…

04. Transfer the items you’ve used to a separate section of your wardrobe if you possibly can: if space is limited, try just grouping them together on the rail – maybe tie a ribbon around your clothes rail to mark off that section, or use a different colour of hanger for the clothes in your “capsule wardrobe”.

05. Make a list of any items you felt you needed, but didn’t have.

06. If you can, go shopping for those items: if you can’t, keep the list in your purse or on your phone so that when you ARE out shopping, or have some spare cash, you can start filling these closet holes.

07. In the case of activities like work, which you need more than one outfit, make sure you have enough of these basics to put together as many combinations as you’ll need.

And you’re done: now you get to enjoy all of the benefits of a capsule wardrobe, without having to restrict yourself to always wearing the same things!


Your new “capsule wardrobe” is NOT a traditional capsule wardrobe, and it’s not supposed to be in any way restrictive. So, just because you’ve pulled together a selection of outfits that are suitable for wearing to work, say, it doesn’t mean you can ONLY wear those outfits to work – not at all.

your new “capsule wardrobe” is non-restrictive – you can still wear everything else in your closet, too

What it means is that you can still wear whatever you like to work, because you still have access to your entire wardrobe, and you’re not placing yourself under any kind of shopping ban: heaven forbid. But on those days when you’re running late, feeling un-inspired, or simply having those “I have 500 dresses and nothing to wear!” moments, you have a capsule of basics which you can turn to, knowing that in the space of just a few minutes, you’ll be able to pull together something that works.

What it ALSO means – and this is the REALLY good part – is that now that you’ve got all of the basics in stock, you can really start to have fun with everything else. No more feeling guilty that you’re buying another impractical dress when you don’t have anything to wear to work: that dress is now just the cherry on top of a perfectly put-together closet!

[See my own capsule wardrobe here!]
Style Basics

Casual outfit ideas for classic dressers

Why is it that casual outfit ideas can often be the hardest to come up with?

6 casual outfit ideas for when you don't know what to wear

Many of us have no problem dressing for work, for special events, or for anything else that has a dress code you can follow: those outfits are relatively easy. Looking stylish but casual, however, is a whole other ball game, which is why we all know women (or maybe even ARE those women…) who can reach into their closet at a moment’s notice and pull out the perfect outfit for a wedding or other event, but who are totally lost when it comes to a casual lunch with friends, or anything else that requires them to dress down.

If the words “smart casual” – or even just “casual” on its own – make your heart sink with the knowledge that you’re about to spend an hour rummaging through your closet, while wailing “I have nothing to wear” over and over again, these casual outfit ideas are for you. In the list below we’ve pulled together some of the classic casual looks that you can always rely on to look good. Here are just a few of them…

Casual outfit ideas for classic dressers

what to wear with a biker jacket

Biker jacket and jeans

A black biker jacket is one of those pieces that’s often quoted as a wardrobe essential, and it’s not hard to understand why. This is also an item that’s worth investing in, because it’ll last forever, and allow you to come up with countless casual outfit ideas based around it, so when you’re shopping for your moto jacket, hold out for the perfect fit, and pay attention to the colour of the hardware. Most biker jackets come with either silver or gold hardware, so make sure you choose the one that will work best with the rest of your wardrobe. Pair your biker jacket with dark wash jeans, a classic stripe t-shirt or sweater and simple black pumps for a wear-anywhere casual look.   [Get the look here]

casual outfit ideas: blue jeans and white shirt

Blue jeans, white shirt

Lana del Ray knew what she was talking about, huh? You could come up with tons of casual outfit ideas with a great pair of jeans, but the combination of jeans and white button-down shirt is one of our favourites: it’s an another all-time classic, which is dressed down, but still feels pulled together. The key to this outfit is finding the perfect pair of blue jeans, which is often easier said than done. While slouchy, destroyed boyfriend styles like the ones above do work well with the look, if you’re a fan of classic style, you might want to go with something a little more fitted, and without the distressing. In general, the darker the wash, the more dressy the jeans will look, while bleached or mid-blue washes will look more casual. Boyfriend jeans tend to work better with heels, while skinnies will also look good with flats: your call.  [Get the look here.]

capri pants - casual outfit idea

Capri pants and pointed flats

Take style tips from classic dressers like Audrey Hepburn with a pair of black capri pants and pointed flats. The look above will be perfect for summer, but can be updated for autumn with pants that hit at ankle length, rather than just below the knee. A stripe top is always a good idea (and, again, will provide you with an endless amount of casual outfit ideas), but for true classic style, a boat-neck or bardot sweater will dress the look up a little, while still keeping it casual. [Get the look here]

casual outfit ideas: cropped trousers and silk cami

Crops and cami

A silk cami top is another important weapon in the casual-dressing arsenal. These actually look quite dressy, but pair with a pair of tailored crops and throw a cardigan or jacket over the top if it’s cold, and it’ll take you just about anywhere. The high heeled sandals show here will take the outfit up a notch, and make it much less casual, but these are causal outfit ideas for women who don’t really DO “casual” after all, so as long as you’re not wearing this one to something with a super-causal dress code, you should be able to get away with it!

pencil skirt and sweater

Pencil skirt and sweater

A lot of people wouldn’t add a pencil skirt to a list of casual outfit ideas: they tend to be connected with work outfits or other tailored/dressy looks, but pick one in a jersey fabric and it’s instantly casual. A slouchy sweater will provide the perfect finishing touch, and a nice mix of causal and dressy. [Get the look here.]

dress and sneakers

Dress and sneakers 

Finally, a little black dress is another item you probably don’t reach for when you’re struggling to come up with casual outfit ideas, but add a pair of sneakers, and throw a denim jacket over the top, and you could be surprised by just how casual you can make it look. The key here, of course, is in finding the right dress – midi lengths in stretchy, jersey fabrics tend to work well, we find.

How to...

How To Help Your Man Pick Stylish Accessories

[This is a contributed post]

When it comes to helping your man look more stylish, it can sometimes be tricky to know what to suggest for him.

You might be a fashion pro when it comes to dressing yourself, but when it comes to helping out your partner, you may not have any idea where to start.

That’s okay, even as a fashionable woman, you aren’t expected to know all the best tips for men’s fashion, as that is where we come in. Most men have wardrobes that are fairly stylish, but what they lack is accessories. The key to helping your man look more stylish and well put together is helping him to accessorize.

helping your man look more stylish


To help you, help your man pick out the most stylish accessories, here are a few tips that you might find useful.  

Start with footwear

When it comes to helping your man improve his style, the first thing you should start off with is his footwear. Shoes are a standard part of any outfit, but by choosing the wrong pair of shoes, your man can destroy the style of an outfit.

That’s why helping your man to choose the right type of footwear is so important. Many men make the mistake of thinking that black shoes go with everything when they don’t. There is no need to buy shoes in every colour, but to look stylish and well put together, your man should have at least a brown and black pair of shoes.

To look stylish, your partner should have dress shoes, as well as two or three pairs of less formal shoes. Toms, trainers, and Converse are ideal, as these each work well with different outfits and looks.  

A watch is a must

A fantastic way that your man can add extra style to his look is by adding a stylish wrist watch. Today there are many awesome watch designs for men, so no matter what style your man likes, you should be able to help him find something suitable.

There are lots of designs to choose from, so make sure to take your time when helping your man to find the perfect watch. If you go online, you can find lots men watches online, so have a look and have a browse to help your partner find the perfect one.

Help your partner choose stylish belts

When it comes to adding a little extra something to your partner’s look, a stylish belt is the ideal way to do that. The mistake that many men make with belts is believing that one belt works well with every outfit when that is not the case.

To ensure that your man’s belt works well with his look, he needs to ensure that he matches it to his shoes. If he’s wearing black shoes and a brown belt, he’s going to end up clashing, which is never a good look. The best way to help your man avoid this issue is by helping him to choose a few belts in different colours and designs. So no matter what he’s wearing, he has a suitable belt to pair with it.

By following the simple tips above, you can help your man to look even more stylish.

Style Basics

Anatomy of the Perfect Wear to Work Dress

finding the perfect wear to work dress

What makes for the perfect wear to work dress?

Well, let’s see…

It can’t be too short …

…because the last thing you want when you’re trying to be taken seriously at work is to be constantly hauling your skirt down, being afraid to lean too far forward in case you flash your knickers, or having colleagues oggle your legs rather than listen  to your ideas. That doesn’t mean you have to cover yourself for head-to-toe, obviously, but you DO want to wear something you can move around comfortably in without worrying about where your hemline’s going to end up.

It can’t be too tight

…because the office is not a club (er, unless you ACTUALLY work in a club, in which case none of this advice applies…), and if you can see your bellybutton through your dress, it doesn’t exactly scream “professional” – no matter how great you think you look. Choose fitted, pencil dresses or shifts rather than body-conscious lycra or spandex: you don’t have to hide your figure completely in order to look professional.

It can’t be too strappy

…because no matter how warm it is outside, spaghetti straps or strapless styles just aren’t for the office. The perfect wear to work dress doesn’t necessarily have to have full-length sleeves, but it should offer some kind of shoulder-coverage, at least. If you’re wearing a sleeveless shift and your office has air con, you might want to bring along a cardi or light jacket so you can cover up if you get cold (or are just sensitive about your arms).

It can’t be too childish

…because you all know how The Fashion Police feel about dressing like a toddler, right? All joking aside, some people favour very childish styles, and while that’s all well and good for your day-to-day life, it can be hard to be taken seriously at work if you’re wearing pigtails and frilly ankle socks. Baby doll dresses, pinafores and other styles associated with very young girls don’t make for a great wear to work dress: save them for your free time if you really want to wear them, and choose something a little more grown-up for the office.

It can’t be too bright

… because you want people to concentrate on your work, not on what you’re wearing. Although all of the dresses in our graphic are black, you don’t necessarily have to stick to very dark colours. While it’s true that many wear to work dresses come in neutral shades like black, navy or grey, you can get away with other colours, too. We’re not saying your wear to work dress can’t be colourful – we’re just saying it shouldn’t be neon, and it’s probably a good idea to avoid very busy, clashing prints, which are jarring and distracting. Choosing work dresses in neutral shades also means you can get away with wearing them more often, too – people will notice if you have the same bold print on constant rotation, but that little black dress can look different every time you wear it, and will work a whole lot harder for you.

Looking for a wear to work dress to wear right now? Try Boden’s Aurelia Ottoman dress -perfection in dress form.

anatomy of the perfect wear-to-work dress

Tips & Tricks

Style Lessons We Can All Learn from Fashion Blogger Fails

style lessons we can learn from fashion bloggers

Style Lessons We Can Learn from Fashion Blogger Fails

When you’re a fashion blogger, you end up having to look at a whole lot of photos yourself, and let’s be honest, you’re not always going to like what you see.

These fashion blogger fails – for want of a better expression – might make you cringe at the time, though, but there are important style lessons to be learnt from them, if you’re willing to pay attention. Here are some style lessons we can learn from fashion blogger fails…

Outfits should look good from every angle

Ever noticed how some fashion bloggers only ever show you their outfit from the front? That’s sometimes just an oversight, or because they didn’t have time to photograph it from every conceivable angle… but it’s sometimes because they know it doesn’t look quite right from the back: they might even have had to pin it into place, or leave a button undone to make sure they get that perfect picture.

That might work for outfit shots, however, but in real life people aren’t just going to see you from the front – and when you turn around, you better believe they’ll notice that bulldog click that’s holding your dress together.

Tip: make sure you look at your outfit from all angles before you decide to wear it – in real life you can’t just hit the “delete” button on a shot you don’t like.

in real life you can’t just hit the delete button on a shot you don’t like…

Always wear shoes you can walk in

If you’ve ever spotted a fashion blogger mid-shoot, you might notice the pair of flats stuffed in their bag, ready to be slipped back on when the camera stops clicking. While it’s true that some fashion bloggers really do wear skyscraper heels every single day (No, not everyone finds high heels impossible to walk in…), but others will wear them just for the photos, then change into something more comfortable to walk around in.

Tip: Again, this is all very well for a fashion blog, but in real life people will see you ALL the time, so it’s a good idea to wear shoes that are comfortable enough to walk in AND which look good with your outfit. It can be done, and you’ll look – and feel – a whole lot more stylish than if you’re trying to hobble along in shoes you can’t walk in, or wearing a beautiful outfit with a pair of scruffy old flats.

Dress for the Weather 

Ever wondered why fashion bloggers don’t freeze to death when they’re prancing around in bare legs and strappy sandals in the snow? The answer is that they DON’T prance around in bare legs and strappy sandals in the snow – they take a quick picture in the snow, so you can see their outfit (no judgement here, by the way: it can be almost impossible to get decent photos indoors in the winter, so sometimes you need to just suck it up and step outside for a few minutes if you want to get a good shot of that cocktail dress you’re planning to wear…), then they go back indoors and get changed into something more suitable.

While we understand why fashion bloggers do this, the rest of us actually WILL freeze if we don’t dress for the weather, and we’ll also look pretty silly wandering around with bare legs in the snow, or, alternatively, a thick coat in the height of summer. So..

Tip: no matter how much you love that summer dress or winter coat, wear it in the season it’s intended for. Refusing to dress for the weather doesn’t make you look stylish – it just makes you look a bit silly.

Refusing to dress for the weather doesn’t make you look stylish – it just makes you look a bit silly.

Buy clothes that you’ll actually wear in your day-to-day life

We’ve all seen photos of fashion bloggers dressed to the nines, or wearing a ballgown on the beach or whatever, and while it does make for a great photo (which is why fashion bloggers do it, obviously), you can’t help but ask yourself where on earth she was going dressed like that?

It’s not just fashion bloggers who are guilty of doing this either: we’ve all had those moments where we’ve seen something we absolutely love, but which aren’t even remotely practical for our lives, and it can be all too easy to convince yourself that you’ll find an excuse to wear it, only for it to languish unworn in the back of the closet, while you struggle to find something to wear to work.

Tip: life is not a photoshoot. Buy clothes that you’ll actually wear, not the ones that you’d just LIKE to wear, if your life was totally different.

life is not a photoshoot: buy clothes you’ll actually wear

Sometimes you need an objective opinion

One of the things fashion bloggers learn early on is that an outfit which looked good in the mirror can look totally different on camera – and not in a good way, either. It’s always disconcerting when that happens, and it can be hard to know which view is right – camera or mirror? They say the camera never lies, but that’s not actually true – a photograph captures a split-second of time, highlighting things the naked eye just doesn’t pick up on; meanwhile, we all know that some mirrors are more flattering than others, so who do you trust?

Tip: if you’re finding it hard to be objective about an outfit, find a trusted friend, and ask them to be honest. Sometimes the opinion of an actual human being is the best help you can get.

Not all trends work for all people

When you’re a fashion blogger it can be hard not to get swept along in every new trend you see, and to want to wear the same styles they see other fashion bloggers wear. It’s important to remember, however, that not all trends will work for all people, and if something just doesn’t suit you – or you don’t actually like it/ feel good in it  – you don’t need to wear it just to keep up with the Joneses – or whoever your favourite fashion bloggers are.

Tip: work on developing your own style rather than simply copying trends. That’s not to say you can’t enjoy a trend when it comes along, but only wear it if you genuinely like it: after all, fashion fades, but style is eternal…

POPULAR, Tips & Tricks

3 Things Stylish Women Do Every Weekend

3 things stylish women do on the weekend

Well, it’s finally Friday: the weekend is just hours away, and for most of us, that means it’s time to kick back, relax, and not think about anything more taxing that what to watch on Netflix, or what topping to get on that pizza we just ordered.

Not so for stylish women, though.

OK, so stylish women are just people, at the end of the day: they also chill on the sofa, watching Netflix and eating pizza. Or, at least, we hope they do, because a life without Netflix is no life at all. They also, however, use the extra time at their disposal to prepare for the week ahead, and make sure it’s as stylish as they are. Well, most of the time.

Here are three things stylish women do on the weekend


Stylish women know that impeccable style starts with an impeccably tidy closet. They don’t need to do a full-scale closet clearout every weekend (You’ll find our tips on how to clear out your closet here), but they do take the time to put things back on hangers, re-fold items that have been messed up, and generally transform the floordrobe back into a wardrobe. While they’re doing that, here’s something else stylish women do…


As they’re sorting through the clothes they wore or discarded in the week just gone, stylish women will take the time to check them over, looking for any missing buttons, mystery stains, or other little signs of wear that might otherwise get missed. We all know that feeling of pulling out an outfit you’ve planned to wear, only to discover a giant stain, or a missing button, so rather than putting off the mending and the laundry, stylish women try to tackle it right away, so everything is once again ready to be worn. And with the closet AND the clothes inside it clean and mended, it’s time for the final step…


For some stylish women, style is innate – it’s just something they were born with, and which can’t be faked. We hate those women. (We’re kidding.) (Sort of.) For others, however, style has to be worked at and planned, and one way of avoiding last-minute panics and that “I have nothing to wear!” feeling we all go through, is to take the time to plan ahead. Stylish women (or the ones who have to work at it, at least) don’t leave outfits to chance, they plan ahead, and always have an option should the weather not co-operate. Do this, and you’ll be able to head into the weekend safe in the knowledge that next week will be stylish, if nothing else…

More tips for stylish women

How to organise your closet

One easy way to clear your closet and switch up your style

Five habits of highly stylish people

How to find your style

How to look good fast

How to be Stylish – on any budget

How to...

How to find cheap bridesmaid dresses on the UK high street – without making your friends hate you

how to find cheap bridesmaid dresses on the the UK high street without making your friends hate you

“Why are bridesmaid dresses so ugly?” – said every bridesmaid ever.


“Why are bridesmaid dresses so EXPENSIVE?” – said pretty much every bride ever. (Or whoever is responsible for purchasing the bridesmaid dresses. Here in the UK, they’re most often paid for by the bride, but in some other countries bridesmaids are expected to foot the bill for their own bridesmaid dress, making the search for cheap bridesmaid dresses even more important…)

Herein lies the problem: traditional bridesmaid dresses tend to be both ugly AND expensive. No one wants to wear one, and no one really wants to BUY one either. But cheap bridesmaid dresses sound… well, cheap, really. And probably nasty, too. Is there a way to find cheap bridesmaid dresses without making your friends hate you for forcing them to wear them? Yes, there is. First, though, here are a couple of things you need to know about bridesmaid dresses – cheap or otherwise…

Two things you need to know about cheap bridesmaid dresses

01. You don’t have to buy your bridesmaid dresses in a bridal store

These days there are tons of cheap bridesmaid dresses out there which have the benefit of NOT actually being “bridesmaid” dresses. They’re just regular dresses, which can be used as bridesmaid dresses – and then worn again afterwards. This is one way to make sure your friends don’t hate you: by getting them cheap bridesmaid dresses they’ll want to wear AGAIN. They do exist, we promise.

02. They don’t all have to be identical

The tradition of a row of bridesmaids, all in identical dresses, is a little bit old-fashioned these days, and it’s perfectly OK to have bridesmaid dresses that are different lengths and styles. Actually, it could be a really good solution – not only will it give you a better chance of finding cheap bridesmaid dresses when you don’t have to make sure they’re all exactly the same, you’ll also be able to take account of your bridesmaids different body shapes and tastes. Bridesmaids don’t all look the same, so why should bridesmaid dresses all look the same? To create a cohesive look for your bridal party, all you really have to do is make sure the dresses are all the same colour. If you’ve got that down, the kindest thing to do is to allow your bridesmaids to choose the style of dress they feel most comfortable in. Because happy bridesmaids = beautiful bridesmaids, no matter what they’re wearing.

With that said, there are tons of options for cheap bridesmaid dresses right here on the UK high street. Here are a few of our favourites…

Cheap bridesmaid dresses on the UK high street

cheao bridesmaid dresses from ASOS

ASOS Salon bridesmaid dress

cheap bridesmaid dress from ASOS

ASOS Wedding

roundup of cheap bridesmaid dresses on the UK high street


ASOS is a great source of cheap bridesmaid dresses. The ASOS Salon and ASOS Wedding collections predictably contain some of the more traditional (and also more pricey) dresses, but you’ll also find some cheap bridesmaid dresses in the main line collection: the pink dress above, for instance, is just £45, and could easily be worn again after the wedding.

Coast bridesmaid dresses

Coast is pretty synonymous with weddings, and Coast bridesmaid dresses can be spotted at weddings around the country. For this reason, a lot of wedding guests prefer to avoid Coast for their wedding guest attire (they’re scared of turning up wearing the same dress as the bridesmaids!), so if you’re choosing a Coast bridesmaid dress, it might be an idea to make that known to your female guests! These aren’t the cheapest bridesmaid dresses you’ll find, but they are some of the nicest:

Coast Sandrina dress

Coast Sandrina dress

Retro-inspired bridesmaid dresses

For the bride who loves the retro look, some of the retro-reproduction lines can be an excellent source of cheap bridesmaids dresses: these dresses aren’t designed for bridesmaids, but the full skirts and nipped-in bodices that are so characteristic of the 1950s style can also be appropriate for a wedding. The dress below, for instance, is by Lindybop, and is just £27.99 – you’d be hard pressed to find a cheaper bridesmaid dress than that!

Lindybop bridesmaid dress

Finding cheap bridesmaid dresses at the supermarket. (Yes, really...)

The supermarket is probably the last place you’d expect to pick up cheap wedding dresses, but supermarket brands like F&F, George and Tu at Sainsbury’s have really picked up their game in recent year, and yes, you can find cheap bridesmaid dresses nestled amongst the bread and milk. Well, OK, maybe not quite – they’ll be in the clothing section, obviously, but check out this £50 dress from F&F:

finding cheap bridesmaid dresses at the supermarket

There are, of course, plenty of other places to find cheap bridesmaid dresses in the UK, and a quick Google search will throw up tons of sites dedicated to selling cheap dresses for bridesmaids. Before you go buying a bridesmaid dress that your friends will probably hate, and never want to wear again, though, our advice is to first of all take a look at the non-bridal stores you usually shop from: places like Oasis, Warehouse, Debenhams etc, as well as the ones listed above. You might be surprised by what you find there…

First image © Creatista | Dreamstime.comWoman With Shocking Gift Photo

Tips & Tricks

Laundry Tips to Make Clothes Last Longer

We all want our clothes to last as long as possible: here are some laundry tips to make your clothes last longer – the ‘laundry 101’ if you will…

laundry tips to make clothes last longer

Laundry tips & tricks from The Fashion Police

Don’t buy dry clean only if you’re not prepared to pay for cleaning

We’ve all been there – you find something you love… but it’s dry clean only, and you know you’re not going to be willing to haul ass to the cleaners every couple of weeks, or cough up the cash for constant dry cleaning. It’ll be OK if you hand wash it, right? Or even machine wash on a low temperature? WRONG. While it’s definitely true that some clothing with “dry clean only” on the label can be carefully cleaned at home, if the item is expensive, it’s best not to risk it. Instead, find machine or hand-washable alternatives

Always read the label

Yeah, yeah, it sounds too obvious to even mention, but you’d be amazed how many people don’t bother to read the care instructions before tossing precious garments in the wash. The instructions are there for a reason, so read ’em and don’t weep.

Don’t over-wash your clothes

While some clothes (underwear, exercise clothes etc) need to be washed after every use, others don’t – especially if you’re not sweating while you wear them. How often you need to wash each item is up to you, but as a general guide, if it’s not in direct contact with your skin, it should only need to be washed when it LOOKS dirty or SMELLS dirty. One of the most effective laundry tips you’ll get is to simply wash your clothes less often: it might sound counter-intuitive, but unless you do hard, manual labour, or work in a sweaty, smelly environment, your clothes probably don’t need as much washing as you think.

Separate colours from whites and easy-care items from delicates

Also from the “stating the obvious” files, don’t be tempted to cut down on laundry by throwing everything in together: that’s an easy way to end up with dingy grey undies – not a great look.

Buy a laundry bag

Not the most exciting purchase you’ll ever make, granted, but a mesh laundry bag will let you wash delicates like lingerie without worrying about them getting ruined. (Warning: if they’re super-delicate or hand-wash only, DON’T put them in the machine, even in a laundry bag!) If you don’t have a laundry bag, however, a pillowcase will also work.

Use the coolest temperature possible

It might seem like a good idea to get everything REALLY clean by washing it at heat, but seriously: it’s not. It’s just a good way to ruin things or wear then out faster. Use the coolest temperature you can get away with – better to have to wash it again if that stain doesn’t shift than to ruin it completely.

Wash jeans and other over-dyed items inside-out

Dark wash jeans will fade super-fast if you wash them too often, or on too hot a temperature. If possible, it’s best to try and hand wash those items (it’s not easy to hand wash jeans, but try putting them in the tub if you can be bothered…) in cool water: if that’s not possible, turn them inside out before washing, to help prevent fading. First, though, ask yourself if they really need to be washed at all: jeans don’t need washing nearly as often as you might think, and unless you’re after the “well worn” look, the less frequently you wash, the better they’ll look.

Try not to tumble…

Often it’s not washing clothes that’s the problem – it’s drying them. Tumble drying can be really tough on clothing – particularly on delicate fabrics, so try to let things air dry whenever possible. Delicates should always be laid flat and allowed to dry naturally

… but if you must, add a few tennis balls 

Yes, really. We haven’t tried this one ourselves (so don’t blame us if it doesn’t work, in other words…) but one of the laundry tips we’ve read is to add some tennis balls to the load: apparently it reduces the drying time and helps prolong the life of your clothes. You’ll want to wrap the tennis balls in a sock first, though, unless you want your laundry covered in yellow fuzz!

Spot clean rather than clean-clean

If stains are the problem, try using a stain removal pen to get rid of them rather than washing the entire item: it probably doesn’t need it.

Don’t over-fill your washing machine

Cramming your washing machine might be a good way to cut down on the number of loads you have to do, but it’s another easy way to ruin your clothes (it’ll also take much longer to iron them): this one should be on every list of laundry tips!

Wear a slip

This isn’t so much a laundry tip as it’s a how-to-avoid-laundry tip, but if you wear a lot of skirts or dresses, not only will a silk slip make them look better on, it’ll also prevent oil from the skin getting onto your clothes. You will need to wash the slip itself frequently, of course, but rather that than ruining your clothes with over-washing.

Iron with care

Lots of people don’t iron their clothes at all, but while that’s definitely the safest way to prevent damage, they still won’t look like new if they’re covered in creases. With that said, if you CAN get away without ironing certain items, go for it (lying items flat to dry, or carefully hanging them will sometimes allow creases to drop out): and if you can’t, use your iron on the lowest heat you can get away with, and try placing a thin pillow case or other piece of fabric on top of particularly delicate fabrics to avoid accidentally scorching them.

We hope you enjoyed our laundry tips to make your clothes last longer: check back soon for more laundry tips and other advice from The Fashion Police!

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POPULAR, Style Basics

Spring Capsule Wardrobe

spring capsule wardrobe 2014

Spring Capsule Wardrobe 2014

Spring is in the air – at least, we hope so – which means many of you are probably starting to think about packing away the winter woolies to make way for the lighter, brighter spring collections. So, what will you be wearing in spring 2014? To help you decide, we’ve put together a quick spring capsule wardrobe for 2014 consisting of just 22 mix-n-match items to get you through the season in style.

Before we get on to the items themselves – and the outfits you can create with them – we just want to stress that this isn’t an exhaustive list, and it isn’t a “one style fits all” type of thing, either. We’ve created our spring capsule wardrobe with the classic dresser in mind: these are the type of items you can use to build a selection of smart/casual outfits which are contemporary without being too trendy, and which should (hopefully) stand the test of time and see you well into NEXT spring, and maybe even the one after.

All of our chosen items come from the spring 2014 collections, and, at the time of writing, are available to buy from UK high street stores. We haven’t set a particular budget, but we have done our best to select affordable items in the low to mid-range price points, as opposed to aspirational designer pieces. That said, although we’ve put together this spring capsule wardrobe specifically for spring 2014, should you be reading this a couple of years from now or in a country these brands don’t ship to, you should be able to find similar alternatives without too much difficulty.

The key to this spring capsule wardrobe lies in the colour mix: we’ve stuck to a palette of mostly reds, navys and whites, with a couple of other colours thrown in. By making sure all of the colours in your capsule can be worn with each other, you can create dozens of different outfits from just a few pieces. Here are our 22 items:

Inside our Spring Capsule Wardrobe 2014:

OUTERWEAR & ACCESSORIES: Trench Coat | Jersey Blazer | Scarf | Belt
SWEATERS & TOPS: Breton sweater | White t-shirt |  Stripe shell top| Yellow cardigan | Navy cardigan
TROUSERS & JEANSRed jeans | White trousers | Blue jeans
SHOES: Polka dot slingbacks | Red wedges | Nude peep toes
DRESSES & SKIRTS: Polka dot dress | Flared dress | Full Skirt | Pencil skirt
EXTRAS: Necklace | Bag | Shirt

And here are 22 outfits you can create with them:

Spring Capsule Wardrobe 2014 | 22 outfits from 22 items

What would you include in your spring capsule wardrobe 2014?