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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.

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.

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.

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…

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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

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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