It’s an understatement to say that life is getting a little simpler these days. We’ve had to learn how to deal with life’s restrictions and to make the most of simple pleasures. I like to think of the Indian notion of “jugaad”; a colloquial Hindi and Punjabi word that means an ‘innovative fix’ and refers to making do with what you have.
And while we are definitely buying more online and in places like Melbourne, “click and collect” is a wonderful excuse to leave the house, perhaps now is the time to start to spend more wisely.
With that in mind, it seems fitting to share some suggestions on how to create a wardrobe that you can keep looking fresh, rather than constantly replace.
So here goes:
Maintain around 60% of your wardrobe as investment, staple styles.
These form the basis for most outfits and should be well made, using high quality materials. Choose designers whose designs flatter your shape and are comfortable to wear.
To make sure your outfit always has something uniquely you, look for classic pieces that have unusual elements to make up another 30% of your wardrobe.
These pieces should have some visual interest to them. This could be as simple as interesting stitching, an unusual drape in a classic colour or it could be more dramatic such as a radical fabric in a very simple cut. After a while, you will work out which details you gravitate more towards; and you can make this part of your signature style.
For the remaining 10%, take some risks and go for whatever takes your fancy.
These pieces may be statement pieces that stand the test of time, but they may also be pieces that you’ll wear a lot for just one season. When spending on these, make sure you wouldn’t be concerned if you couldn’t wear them next season but do at least try to make sure that they can be worn with other pieces in your wardrobe right now.
And what about activewear?
It’s true that COVID-19 has really been a transformative year for activewear and for many it has just become “everyday wear”. However, if you’ve invested wisely in your staple styles, you’ll be so comfortable that there’s no need to spend all day, every day in activewear. I may be overly optimistic, but I’d like to think that activewear should fall within the 10% of your wardrobe.
Accessories are a fantastic way to dress your outfit up or down, ensuring that you get more wear from your clothes.
With the increase in mask wearing, layering necklaces can be a great way to add personality during the day without clashing with your mask. They can also help you transition a daytime outfit to early evening drinks, while statement earrings always create presence.
Choose accessories that will stand the test of time.
While it’s easy to be attracted to the latest shiny thing, items that are made from precious materials or recyclable material are infinitely better to reduce waste and are usually more thoughtfully designed and crafted.
If you love gold but also love larger statement pieces, choose gold vermeil over gold plated brass pieces. Gold vermeil jewellery is made from solid sterling silver and is coated in an extra thick plating of gold so that it not only lasts, but can also be repaired and recycled.
Take care of your precious jewellery.
Be sure to minimise contact with chemicals, clean your jewellery regularly but carefully, and protect it from air and other items while storing. We recommend you read our advice on how to keep your jewellery beautiful for longer here.
To keep your clothes looking brilliant, keep them clean but do so carefully.
Try not to dry clean your clothes too often, harsh chemicals can cause fading over time. For many items, mild detergent and a cold hand wash cycle in a front-loading washing machine are kinder on both the environment and clothes. And remember to always put delicate items in a washing bag. Resist the temptation to tumble dry clothes – this invariably shrinks, fades and distorts even the most robust items.
Keep your clothes looking tidy.
Take the sewing kit from the next hotel you stay in and keep it on hand for securing any loose buttons (most buttons these days are machine sewn and some can fall off soon after purchase). Also snip away any loose threads on clothing as soon as you see them, it will not only look neater, but it will prevent you from wanting to tear it off and take the whole seam with you in the process!
Be proactive with your shoes.
Clean them regularly – seriously, they not only look better, they genuinely last longer. Give them a rest between wears, like clothes, they do better if they're given some time to regain their shape after use. Also take care to re-sole and re-heel them before they’ve worn down too far.
Usually more thought and has gone into items made by small business owners who have a personal mantra; their livelihood is based on you loving their product, so these items are often painstakingly created and more likely to provide an interesting and meaningful addition to your look. Items produced by large manufacturers will often reflect current trends, but trends also come and go.
It’s clear COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon, so the more we learn to live with it, the better. We are all getting used to keeping our distance and washing our hands regularly, however one thing that isn’t often talked about is keeping your jewellery clean.
Jewellery that is worn every day is wonderful for harbouring bacteria in its nooks and crannies. The good news is diamonds and precious metals are quite resilient and with the right attention to detail, are very easy to clean. Here are some tips on how to clean some of the most common everyday gold and silver jewellery.
When it comes to making a fashion statement, you should always dress in a way that makes you feel fantastic. It's also lovely to get compliments on how wonderful YOU look rather than on just the pieces you are wearing.
So how do you choose items that bring out your best features? When it comes to statement earrings, the best way to create an impact is to ensure that you choose earring styles that suit your face shape and features. Find out your face type and tips on earring styles to complement you.
Why choose precious metals? Many of us wear our favourite jewellery day in, day out. This means that it needs to be constructed of materials that will stand the test of time and will be comfortable to wear. Silver and gold are particularly prized for their durability as well as their hypoallergenic properties. While jewellery made from base metals such as brass may be cheaper, these metals are less durable and much more likely to create an allergy. That's why it's important to look out for hallmarks, or metal "fineness" or "quality" marks when buying jewellery.