Category Archives: Styling Tips and Tricks

Four Ways To Get The Most Out of Your Wardrobe

nothing to wear

We’re all familiar with that closet full of clothes but nothing to wear feeling. We’ve probably all dragged a bunch of pieces out the wardrobe and then left them on the bed or floor because nothing seemed right for the occasion.  These meltdowns are quite common.

Thankfully, I don’t have these experiences very often anymore and you don’t have to either. It all centres on building a wardrobe that fits your personality and lifestyle.  Don’t think this means you need to constantly buy new pieces.  It means making the most out of what you already have and thinking carefully about any new pieces you add.

So let’s get into some of the things you need to consider.

Forget that work clothes/”out” clothes distinction.

Obviously, you won’t wear your sexy club dress to church but wherever possible, buy pieces that can be styled differently depending on the occasion.  Jackets can help you transition a strappy top from the weekend to the office. Tights can make a shorter skirt more work appropriate. Jewellery, belts, hairstyles and makeup can go a long way in making an outfit look completely different. The dress below can easily be styled for both work and play.

Take advantage of flea markets and thrift stores.

This suggestion serves two purposes. Thrift or consignment stores give you a way to get rid of those clothes you’ve only worn once while also letting you buy new to you pieces that would be more useful. If you’re in Barbados you can try 2nd Encore Consignment BoutiqueSt Michael’s Cathedral Thrift Shop,  A’New Treasures. I’ve never shopped with any of them so I can’t vouch for the selection but they should be worth a try. You can also get a group of friends together and swap some of your clothes and accessories.

Invest in multi-way clothing

Convertible clothing is especially popular among frequent travellers since it reduces the amount of luggage you have to lug around. However,  they can also be useful for the average person since you can get a lot of mileage from one piece. Quite a few options are available online but my plug is for this 5-way dress designed by Barbadian Andrea King of The 5th Element Experience.

The 5th Element Experience 5-way dress, andrea king, barbadian fashion, caribbean fashion

Get the right mix of colours.

You know that skirt you have that only goes with that one top? You may want to ditch it! Unless you are content wearing the exact same outfit all the time, you’re not getting much mileage from that skirt. Basically, you wasted your money. I would suggest giving it away or selling it at a flea market unless it has some sentimental value.

Don’t make the same mistake again. You want clothes that can easily mix and match with each other. For me, black and white make the perfect canvas but you may prefer earth tones. Whatever your preference, the point is to buy pieces that you can coordinate easily.

Do you have other tips for making the most out of your wardrobe?  Or do you have a specifc question you need answered? Drop me a line in the comments.

All the Style Advice You Need To Start A New Year

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you probably caught at least a couple pieces of fashion advice during my #12daysofstyletips series in December. I promised to pull all the tips together here and expand on them or share links to previous posts which offer more details. I don’t like breaking promises so that’s what this post is about.

Now regarding the title of this post, it’s bold but also true. Yes, trends will come and go this year. Depending on where you live, temperatures will also change and you will have to reach for different types of clothing from season to season. None of that matters! These tips will work under all circumstances since style is so deeply personal. Each tip can be adapted to suit your own aesthetic.

1. Forget trends. Wear what you like.

There’s nothing wrong with following trends but if you’re not a fan of what’s in, feel free to leave it out. You always rock your outfit more confidently if you truly love it. If you’re not quite sure what you like, here’s how to develop your personal style.

2. Mix and match creatively.

Tried and true colour combos are great when you’re in a rush. If you have lots of time to plan an outfit, don’t be afraid to play with unusual combinations of colours and patterns.  They may go against some of the fashion rules we have in the Caribbean but so what?

3.  Build a cohesive wardrobe.

You will struggle to find something to wear every morning if the different elements in your wardrobe don’t work together. Be sure that any new pieces you can buy can work with at least a few items you already own. Devise your own uniform if necessary.

4.  Learn which colours and styles flatter you.

Learn them then fill your wardrobe with them. Slaying is easy once you only have pieces that look great on you. Is red your colour? Do you look best in flowing silhouettes? Find out. Also, find out why your style game may be struggling.

5. Let your accessories do the work.

Even if you’re not into fancy clothes, your look doesn’t have to be boring. Choose jewellery, shoes, bags and even headpieces that show off your personality and elevate your image.

6. Support local and regional designers.

Support your own! I’m not saying never buy from big global brands but unique clothing and accessories go a long way in setting you apart from the crowd. You can also get pieces made to perfectly fit your body and style. Here are some Barbadian fashion designers from which you can choose.

Shakad Eco Wear

7. Watch out for wardrobe malfunctions.

The last thing you want is to spend an entire day or night making sure what’s supposed to be covered stays covered. Before you buy, walk around in the garment as much as possible and look at it from all angles.  And don’t let anyone tell you to stop looking in the mirror so much before you leave home! See how the outfit is moving around on your body in case you need pins or tape to keep things in place.

8. Be open to new styles.

Sometimes we get stuck in a style rut buying or wearing the same things over and over again. Comfort zones are all well and good but every now and then, try something you’ve never worn before.

9. Wear appropriate foundation garments.

You can ruin a good outfit by wearing the wrong underwear.  Exposed bras or bra straps and visible panty lines are a no-no. When you choose your clothing, make sure you have the correct foundation garments to ensure a flawless look. Check out my What’s Under There? series for loads of tips.

10. Get your clothing tailored to fit.

Clothing will not always fit perfectly straight off the rack. Sleeves or hems may be too long or you may need the waist of a skirt taken in a bit.  Find someone who can alter your pieces so they fit like they were made for you.

11. Take care of your clothes and accessories.

Follow those washing instructions and watch how you store bags, shoes and jewellery. Excessive heat, moisture and sea spray can all cause damage. Even if your pieces are of high quality, neglect can ruin them.  Click this link for tips on how to care for costume jewellery. 

12.  Don’t wait for special occasions.

This final tip is as much life advice as it is style advice. Life is short. Wear the dress, rock the heels and be a little extra if you feel like. People will talk anyway and it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed.

Have a style concern that’s not mentioned here? Comment below or email and I’ll do my best to help.

How to Prep for Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales

It’s the most wonderful time of year! No, not Christmas just yet. It’s the time we prepare for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and really and truly, at least two weeks of sales.

Some online stores start offering deals well before Black Friday and what used to be a weekend of special prices has now become much longer. Some retailers even offer deals from the beginning of November. It’s enough to send us all rushing for our credit and debit cards.

But hold up! Times are hard and while sales are great, I don’t want you to spend foolishly. You NEED to have a strategy. This does not only apply to fashion-related purchase but  just about anything you will buy including makeup, skin care and hair products, home goods and even electronics.

how to prep for black friday, how to prep for cyber monday

Make a list and check it twice.

Do you love swimsuits from a particular website? Do you have an Amazon wishlist a mile long? Write down (or type up) your preferred stores and products. If shoes are your weakness but what you really need are a couple new work bags, put those on the list. Take note of it all and then narrow it down based on the other tips below. The aim is to know what you want before you start clicking “Add to cart”.

Be clear on your budget.

How much can you really afford to spend without depleting your savings or getting close to maxing out your card? Don’t worry about if everyone else will be showing off massive hauls. If you can only afford one  $50 pair of shoes, that’s perfectly OK. If you’ve been pinching pennies and saving all year just for sale season, feel free to do the most this month.

Do your research.

Check which sites will actually have proper sales and if the deals will be on the items you truly want. Be sure to check as many product reviews as possible and take note of the store’s return policy.

Knowing the cost of shipping is also important, especially for my Caribbean readers. A while back I started pulling together a list of online retailers who offer free shipping. You should also take note of estimated delivery dates if you want an outfit for a specific event. Given the volume of packages being shipped at this time of year, you may not get your items in time for Christmas.

Bonus: Make technology work in your favour. Get on your favourite stores’ mailing lists so you can be among the first to know about discounts. Take advantage of any store apps, electronic coupons or promo codes which may be available.

Happy shopping! Let me know what’s on your shopping list?