Category Archives: Styling Tips and Tricks

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 natasha@inmywardrobebarbados.com 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?

Fashion And Beauty Stores Offering Free International Shipping

Caribbean online shoppers will know how this goes. You find an item on a website at a reasonable price then shipping fees, customs duties and taxes double or even triple the cost.

I can’t help you with the latter two levies but I was quite happy to find some sites that offer free international shipping.  These are mainly UK sites since the US seems not to be in on this free action as yet. If you know other stores, feel comment below and share the knowledge.

Monsoon 

Shipping is free once you spend over £75. Items usually ship in 5 to 9 working days. If you’re in a rush, express shipping is available for £20.

ASOS

Shipping  is free for orders over £20 or US$31.58.  Delivery times are revealed at checkout. If you’re in a rush, express delivery costs £20.

Topshop

This site offers free international standard delivery on orders over £100.  Delivery times vary depending on location. For Barbados it’s up to eight working days once you purchase before 8 a.m. AST while for St Vincent and the Grenadines it’s up to 11 working days. Tracked and faster shipping is available for £30.

New Look

Shipping is free on orders over £55, £10 otherwise. It’ll take about 7 to 9 working days for your goodies to be shipped. Express delivery wasn’t available for most Caribbean islands at the time of writing so you can’t get a rush delivery.

Quiz

Delivery is free on orders over £25 and you’ll have your items within ten working days. If your order somehow costs less, shipping is £10.50.

Beauty Bay

Shipping is free for orders above US$20  and packages ship in 7 to 10 days under the “international saver” option.  If you’re willing to cough up US$64.70, your items will ship in two days under the “international express” option.

Have you used any of these sites? Let us know your experience. And don’t forget to add any other store which ship internationally for free.

If you’re making a purchase, keep these online shopping tips in mind.