How to stop wearing the same things every day

You’ve heard the stat; we only wear 20% of the clothes in our wardrobe 80% of the time.

So, how do you stop reaching for the same thing every day? Here is my nifty little trick for you to try out!

Step one

First up, I’d recommend a quick assessment of any obvious items hanging in your wardrobe which need to go.

Clothes you never wear because:

– they’re scruffy
– falling apart
– unflattering
– totally wrong for you
– don’t feel good in
– wrong colour, style, fit and shape.

If you don’t feel good wearing something, why wear it? And please, don’t ‘save’ these clothes for the chores and jobs such as cleaning, gardening or exercising! It won’t help your mindset, so get rid!

Step two

Next up, turn all the hangers round so they are facing the same direction.

Why? Well, it’s not OCD, but each time you wear an item and hang it back up (whether worn once or after washing); turn the hanger round to face the opposite way.

This way it’s a visual reminder of what items of clothes you are wearing and also, which ones you aren’t.

You’ll begin to see a pattern emerge.

I’ve done this exercise many times myself and recommended it to those who attended my capsule wardrobe workshop at the weekend.

the result

It’s a really simple way to challenge yourself to stop reaching for the same thing every day. It’s more about identifying what you’re not wearing – those hangers facing the opposite way.

Be creative – I’m not talking pink tutu, striped shirt, pair of trousers and a fascinator (unless that’s your style). You’re still you and they are still your clothes. Just try to reach for the items you’re not wearing and see if you can wear it with something else in your wardrobe.

Visibly seeing the hangers a different way makes you consciously more aware of what you pick out without any thought. We can all get lazy, bored and complacent. You might find that you’re not wearing things because you don’t like them or they don’t suit you, by which point at least you know and you can remove them!

Choose something different tomorrow and the day after and you’ll soon begin to start wearing more of your clothes and stop wearing the same things every day. Try it, you might surprise yourself by what you find.

Is loungewear just for lockdown?

Is it just me accumulating A LOT more loungewear??

Are you putting your recent purchases down to isolation necessities or could you try incorporating these new items into post-lockdown wear too?

Personality matters

For me, this feels easy so if you’re similar with a Natural Style Personality, you’ll already have a fair few easy-wear comfortable pieces in the wardrobe.

I’m betting you Romantics might have felt rather alien in elasticated waistbands, hoodies and relaxed t-shirts.

Ask yourself if you can work any loungewear pieces into your existing wardrobe.

City Chics and Dramatics could try wearing a hoodie underneath a smart blazer for effortless chic. A more fitted pair of joggers or leggings, worn with a smart blouse and heels will create a preppy outfit. Or pair with trainers or flats if you’d rather skip the heels.

Speaking of trainers, wear with your dresses too, even if you may have normally have worn heels. I also have some classic personality and felt totally comfortable as you can see:

Dress and trainers

A sweatshirt or T-shirt can work really well over a summer floral maxi dress, giving the illusion of a skirt, and providing an extra layer on cooler days. Put your jeggings or thick tights underneath: think Alexa Chung. This is a look you creatives have being carrying off with ease.

Try a t-shirt with a skirt, tucked in, semi-tucked or un-tucked. The choice really depends on your body shape and the most flattering way to wear it.

Do you have anything in your ‘saving for best’ or holiday wardrobe that you can switch up to style differently?

If you’re joining my capsule wardrobe workshop next month or doing a detox with my five simple steps, then you may have a healthy pile to donate to charity.

Just make sure you’ve thought about restyling them or wearing them in a different way first. That way, you’ll get more outfits and wear from your existing items.

If you need any colour, style or wardrobe advice, book one of my online sessions during lockdown.

Guide to denim jeans

If you’ve found yourself wearing more denim lately, you’re not alone!

You could argue that Jeans are the most basic of clothing items. A wardrobe staple, but they can also be difficult to get the right fit and style too.

Here’s my guide to denim.

Fit and style

Like most items of clothing, finding the right fit and style for you is a must.

We are all different after all, which is why there’s so many different styles out there. But, having choice doesn’t always make it easier to find a pair which works for you. I always say that size doesn’t matter but shape does. It’s really important to remember this, as there is no uniform guide to clothing sizes. It’s not just your waist size but also think about your inside leg length and the rise (from the waistband to the crotch).

Skinny

The skinny jean is made with stretchy denim so they have a fitted shape which stretches and finishes on the ankle. Also available in super skinny which has much more stretch and a much closer fit. Can be dressed up with heels or down with trainers.

Slim

This style can flatter the hips and thighs and they are fitted, with a straight, clean cut through leg and a looser ankle. Sits between a skinny and a straight jeans style.

Jeggings and leggings

Jeggings are leggings made of denim and are an alternative to skinny jeans as they tend to be less rigid than traditional denim jeans but more comfortable to wear. Designed with an elasticated waistband and are stretchy so they are fitted through the leg, with a skinny ankle and sewn-down pockets so they also avoid bulk at the hip. The more curvy you are, the more stretch you’ll need! Jeggings tend to have lots of stretch so give them a try as they’ll skim your curves rather than constrict them.

Bootcut

Designed to elongate the leg, fitted through the hips and thigh with a subtle kick at the knee so they are slightly wider at the ankle. Designed to fit over a pair of boots and so have extra width in the calf and ankle to accommodate the boot. If you’re more petite and want to appear taller, a boot cut or flare that skims the floor will do wonders.

Flare

Mention flares and everyone thinks of the 70s! They have a slim fit around the hips and thighs and flow into a wider hem below the knee.

Wide leg and culottes

These fit at the hips but fall down in a straight and loose style and fit. Much wider in the leg from the hips down the leg. Could be cropped in length like culottes or fall to the ankle.

Mom

Tend to be higher waisted with a slim fit through the leg. Relaxed, slouch and loose fitting. Like you borrowed them from your mum. Apparently.

Straight

A traditional style which has a simple straight cut with no stretch in the fabric. The width is the same for the length of the leg so they’ll fit more at your thighs than they do the ankle and calf.

Boyfriend

Named assuming you’d borrowed your jeans from the boys; this fit is loose and slouchy for a more relaxed style. Tend to be low rise so they sit on the hips.

Girlfriend

Another straight leg style but with a more relaxed fit. The girlfriend jeans have some stretch in them (unlike the straight styles) so they are fitted on the waist but relaxed fit in the leg.

The rise

This is the measurement from the waistband down to the crotch. Essentially, it’s how it will sit on your waist and hips. Not everyone is equal and balanced in their body proportions. Go for a rise which works for your shape and proportions so think where your waist needs to be visually in order to balance you out, if needed.

High rise or high waisted

Sits higher in your waist area. Typically, worn up to or above the belly button. If you’re long in the waist area, this style will trick you into thinking your waist is higher than it actually is. Might help you hide a tummy too. If your jeans gape at the bag, the fit and rise is too high, so try a lower rise style.

Mid rise or regular

This style sits on the belly button or slightly below.

Low rise

Will sit lower on the waist and hips and below the navel, often sitting on the hips.

Fit tips

If you happen to be conscious of your bottom and don’t like to highlight it, stay away from jeans with detailing such as contrasting yellow thread detailing the pockets. Instead look for a tonal blue or black trim. Detailing on any garment on an area you don’t want to highlight will have the opposite effect.

Pockets. Traditionally, jeans do have pockets but if you have wide hips that you wish to minimise, don’t opt for hip and coin pockets. A plain front will work so much better for you. Also check the placement of the pockets (the nearer together, the slimmer you’ll look).

If you need more help dressing your shape, why not book a style and shape session (also available online), so you can learn the tips and tricks for dressing your shape.

Guest blog – colours by Ell – let’s talk shoes!

Us women do love shoes don’t we! For me, shoes aren’t very different to clothes – you still want to find something that’s in the right colour, style but perhaps most importantly; fit. Sometimes, this can be the biggest challenge of all!

Earlier this year, I got chatting with the owner of a very niche shoe business here in the U.K. She is a champion of finding the right shoes to tick all the boxes – colour, style, fit and personality and so I asked her if she’d like to guest feature in our blogs and she accepted!


Introducing Helen Allen – Colours by Ell

After taking early retirement from my previous career, I trained to be a Colour and Style Consultant. When I first started as a Personal Stylist, I went to promote my business at a Wedding Fair. Whilst there, I was surprised to hear a number of women my age saying that they dreaded looking for shoes. Up until that point I hadn’t given much thought to the styles of shoes that women wore to weddings.

Then I found myself in exactly the same position – desperate to find these elusive coloured shoes to go with my outfits for both of my daughter’s weddings!

 

Style personalities

I have lots of Natural in my own Style and really struggled with the style of shoes that were available in the shops. I spent hours searching for shoes, but they were never quite right. Too high, too elaborate, too shiny or peep toes – all lovely, but frankly just not me at all!

Then one evening whilst looking for some navy shoes for a client, I found a picture of a Belgium based Brand of handmade, Italian leather court shoes in a variety of colours. I had to find out more! I rang the owner of the company the next morning and told them that I was a stylist and struggled finding shoes for my clients.

They suggested I go to see them and I didn’t stop to think about it – I booked a flight and went to Antwerp! They were fascinated by what I was proposing and sitting there surrounded by 88 colours of leather; I felt like a child in a sweet shop!

My shop was born!

As it turns out, that conversation was my light bulb moment and a turning point for me. I founded ‘Colours by Ell’ as a mobile shoe shop – a play on my christened name – Ellen.

It’s been a bit of a revelation and the experience and knowledge I have gained over the last seven years means I have become something of an expert! It’s great to be able to work with independent stylists around the country.

Noe shoes
Helen has a range of shoes and brands available through her online shop which you can browse here: 

If you’d like some assistance choosing the right colours and styles for you, either Helen or myself will be delighted to assist you.

If you get in touch with Helen directly, be sure to mention Toni Carver at TLC Style & Colour sent you.

Elasticated waistbands

Have you found yourself dressing more casually these last few months?

It’s been the subject of many conversations recently as many of us have gotten used to a more casual dress code.

 

Formal or casual?

With the kids back at school and many people returning to the workplace or socialising more; are you glad to ditch the elasticated waistbands? Or, are you dreading stepping into formal trousers, shoes and tight jeans?

It could be that you have found that your style has changed a little. But, this is ok as it’s so easy to incorporate this newer style of dressing into your wardrobe.

For the City Chics amongst you, with a more Parisian vibe; choose to pair your smart blazers with a sport-luxe style of jogger or trousers.

You Classics might prefer a more relaxed fabric such as Ponte, which has a little bit of stretch and becoming widely available.

Dramatics may well ditch the heels and pair their midi dresses with a cool pair of trainers.

Just think how you can incorporate what you’ve been wearing into everyday.

The more you can mix and match items in your wardrobe together, the more you’ll get your wear out of them and create more outfit choices. Winner.

 

Help is on hand if you need a little TLC, so don’t be afraid to get in touch and book a session with Toni.

 

In our video section, there are three easy tips to dress up a simple top which you can revisit here.

 

You’ll also find more styling tips on our Facebook page.

The wardrobe staple

A navy jacket (or cardigan) is often seen as a wardrobe staple for many people.

The trick, like many things in your wardrobe, is knowing how to wear it successfully and repeatedly.

Don’t worry too much if the jacket you have isn’t navy. It could be another neutral colour like black, brown or grey! In fact, if you’ve seen my recent video about dressing up a casual outfit, you’ll see that my jacket staple is a grey check. It’s the theory of how to wear it which you should think about, as this is still the same.

How to wear your wardrobe staple sorted by colouring type:

If you’re not sure which category you fall into, or you’ve changed since you were first analysed then it’s worth making an appointment for either an online or face to face colour session.

Face masks – the next fashion accessory?

Today is the day that the use of face coverings and face masks is compulsory to wear in shops across the country.

Early into the pandemic of the coronavirus, there seemed to be a little spike in the fashionable take on these. From matching swimwear to clothes and I wasn’t sure I was wholly comfortable with the idea of this fashion trend emerging if truth be told. After all, these were largely intended to protect others against the spread of the infection.

The pros and cons over their use has been well debated and whether you agree or not, if you’re venturing out from now on, you’ll need to wear one. Here’s my take on choosing and wearing one.

 

Fit

 

Like any clothes, we want to feel comfortable wearing them and a mask is no different. Should it dig in or be too tight then it really won’t be comfortable.

For the purpose of the outbreak, your face covering should safely cover your nose and mouth. This doesn’t have to be a face mask as you can use a scarf, bandana or any other cloth garment. Make sure it fits securely around the side of your face. The government website suggests using material which is breathable and comfortable such as cotton with at least two layers of fabric. But, the World Health Organisation recommends three layers depending upon the fabric used. You can also buy masks and add your own filters for extra protection.

 

Colour

 

Let’s be honest, face coverings are not the most flattering of garments you’ll wear! Therefore, wearing something which is in a pattern or colour can elevate their appeal. I had a white one in the very early days and did feel as though I was an extra for a hospital show! A client of mine was making them so I ordered a purple one which I had to agree, did look much better, less scary and was more complimentary.

Being able to choose a colour which compliments your skin tone, hair colour and eye colour will actually make your eyes stand out too!

 

Style

 

We all have our own sense of style so there’s no reason why your face mask should be any different. Choose something which feels more ‘you’ and it will help to make you feel more confident wearing it.

If you’re more creative, then chances are you’ll have designed or created your own, but if this isn’t you, there are plenty out there who have so I’m confident that you’ll find something that works for you and your personality. Whether it’s print, plain, unfussy or disposable, there’s lots of options available now to suit all budgets.

 

Let me know what you choose and feel free to send me pics on social media.

What’s the difference between a seasonal and tonal colour analysis?

There are two main types of approaches with colour analysis – seasonal and tonal.

It’s not simply having different names of the palettes but actually how they relate to one another too. Both systems of analysis are rather technical and beyond the scope of this blog but it should provide you with some background as to how each approach operates and the main differences between the two systems.

Seasonal approach

This system operates the standard four season approach – spring, summer, autumn and winter. Within each season, there are sub-types within each season to create either a ’12 season’ or ’16 season’ system rather than the traditional and older ‘4 season’ one. If you were analysed and ‘had your colours done’ many years ago; like I was, you may just have the traditional four seasonal palette. 

Sub types essentially finesse your palette further by narrowing down the colours that harmonise the most with your own natural colouring so that you have a more tailored approach for the shades of colour which work best for you.

Tonal approach

This approach is based upon an assessment of your hair colour, skin tone and eye colour where you will be one of six ‘dominant’ types – Light, Deep, Warm, Cool, Clear or Soft. Within each dominant colouring type, there are sub-types too to create a secondary and tertiary palette. Within each of the six dominant types, there are four sub-types. 

The translations of tonal to seasonal systems, vice versa or even between the different versions of the same analysis can differ slightly. If you’re feeling a little lacklustre in your colours, or you don’t feel like they are working for you, it may be worthwhile reviewing your palette with a colour consultant.

Will your colour type change as you get older?

That depends!

The standard four season approach is thought to be wide and broad enough not to alter as you age. However, the sub-type is likely to change within the season to reflect the changes. For example, you may go from a sultry winter to a bright winter.

With the tonal system, due to the assessment of your hair colour, skin tone and eye colour, you may change either your dominant type or sub-type. If your hair colour drastically changed for example, from dark brown to grey then you are likely to move from a Deep to a Cool. 

If you’re feeling a little lacklustre in your colours, or you don’t feel like they are working for you due to a drastic change in hair colour or skin tone, it may be worthwhile reviewing your palette with a colour consultant to discover your best shades. 

‘Getting your colours done’ is for anyone of any age. Everyone can wear colour, it’s merely about knowing and understanding what works for you so you can feel confident in colour. 

I trained with Colour me Beautiful who operate a tonal system of analysis and if you’d like to book a session, please get in touch. Sessions are available online and face to face and gift vouchers can also be purchased for that special person. 

My own colour analysis experience

It was over 15 years ago that I first heard the phrase “getting your colours done” from a lady I worked with. I had no idea what this was or even if it was a real thing! But, what I recall was how she dressed differently, wore more colour and seemed to exude confidence which she didn’t seem to possess before her consultation.

Not long after, I had my own colour and image consultation. What I recall at the time was a lot of information about me, dressing for my body shape, my proportions and also what suited me from colours to styles and makeup.

It was colour that resonated the most for me and it still does now. I was a ‘summer’ and I had my colour swatch wallet tucked away in my handbag which I used shopping for new items as well as for weeding my wardrobe of any not so good items.

The declutter

I recall purging my wardrobe not long after my session. Naturally, the most obvious items which didn’t suit my shape, colouring and which didn’t match my swatches were the first to go. But, there are always some things you aren’t quite ready to get rid of.

For me, it was black suits which I wore to work. At the time, I was working in an office in the financial services sector and I already knew that they didn’t compliment my colouring as they seemed to wash out my complexion. It was visible – I could see it and so could everyone else! I often received comments about looking tired or unwell (when I felt perfectly fine!). I also had a range of other items, in colours, which I frequently wore to work, but for some reason I wasn’t quite ready to let these go and so they remained in the wardrobe.

There were some mornings that I put the suits on, looked in the mirror and saw a drained and tired looking face staring back at me and each time, I promptly took them off and hung them back up! Was it because I knew they weren’t right for me? Perhaps. Whatever the reason, these suits remained hung up for around a year before I decided that enough was enough. If I wasn’t going to wear them, there were other people who could get their use out of them and bagged them up for charity.  

Future purchases were always in line with my swatches, wanting to both look and feel my best, but certain colours eluded me and it wasn’t until I retrained years later that I realised why.

I’d say it genuinely took me years to finally have a wardrobe that truly worked for me and suited me and my lifestyle, so you shouldn’t feel disheartened if it’s the same for you.

If you would like a little help and guidance when it comes to decluttering your wardrobe, download my free five step guide here. 

Colour and the impact

Colour was always my go to though. Whenever I wore my colours, I felt good and I had more confidence in my outfit choices and styling things to suit me.

I wouldn’t describe myself as a person who could dress effortlessly, chic or particularly fashionable. But, I had knowledge and tricks about how to dress for best effect.

Years after my session, I decided to retrain as an image consultant so I could impart the same knowledge and demonstrate that same amazing impact that dressing for your shape and lifestyle, in the right colours and makeup and how it can totally transform you.

Different methods of colour analysis

When I originally had my colour analysis, I didn’t realise that there were different methods of analysis available.

I’d personally experienced the seasonal approach all those years ago but there was another method which used a tonal approach. When I was looking at training, I looked into this further and the tonal analysis really appealed to me and so I chose to train with colour me beautiful who trained their consultants on this method.

The local paper wrote an article about me and my new services which still hangs proudly on the wall in my studio.

Toni Carver

It’s fascinating that there are so many colour theories which have developed over the years and adapted so that they still influence these main forms of colour analysis today.

With both approaches, when a colour combination is harmonious, whether that be with colours being worn as much as with a person’s colouring, then it is pleasing to view. The person will look healthy, they will look well and their complexion will look brighter. But, when that colour is not harmonious, the effect is the opposite and it will appear to discolour a person’s complexion making them look unhealthy, tired or unwell.

I’ll explore the two systems in a separate blog next week, but if you’d like to experience the impact that wearing the right colour has, get in touch to book your colour analysis consultation.

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Over the years, we have received some lovely feedback from clients. As a business, it’s so nice to hear of the difference that we’ve made to you, however small.
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If you have any further questions or would like any help please get in touch: toni.carver@tlcstyleandcolour.co.uk.