Monday September 1, 2014
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The business of style: 8 no fail tips for busy women

The business of style: 8 no fail tips for busy women

Easy, stylish dressing is never an accident. We all dream of getting up in the morning, selecting a beautifully flattering, stylish, comfortable outfit, perfect for our day, in under 5 minutes. But, that’s just not how it happens… for anyone. Style success, just like your success in business, takes forward-planning, research and strategic action! Just not as much as you might think. By knowing where to focus and taking just a few minutes here and there, making some small tweaks, you will get big returns! Saving you time, money and stress and of course, helping you feel and look great so you can perform at your very best!

Our top tips for style success

1. Organise

Investing 30 minutes to organise your wardrobe, will save you 15 minutes when it matters. We suggest having skirts in one section, blazers in another, knitwear in another etc. so you can quickly put your hand on what you need. It might sound obvious, but we’ve all been caught out by rummaging through piles of clothes looking for that skirt!

2. Choose your outfit the night before

Take 5 mins before bed and save 15 mins in the morning, eliminating any stress with dressing for your day!

Evelyn’s tip: A great way to make this even easier is, at the start of each week, choose 1 staple key piece to create 3-5 looks around i.e. a blazer, a pair of boots, a dress. By eliminating the choice of your ENTIRE wardrobe, you’ll make selections much easier and faster. Day 3, choose another staple for day 4 & 5 and do the same.

3. Use what you already have to form the basis of your new wardrobe

What’s working? Look at what is already in your wardrobe that you a) wear a lot and b) can count as good quality key pieces (good trousers, dresses, skirts, blazers, knitwear) and get rid of everything else. Anything you haven’t worn in 12 months, needs to go in the charity bag! Be brutal!

4. Identify the gaps

Maybe you find it easier to buy tops than trousers, so you have a glut of tops. If so, assess your wardrobe objectively and be honest about where the gaps are. What’s that one item you could always have more options for? Research online to see which stores to hit and go on a focused shopping trip to fill that specific gap.

Four Key pieces
The staples of a great wardrobe, they are the foundations of a functioning, time-saving, stylish wardrobe. Always buy the best quality you can afford, think of price-per-wear when you’re considering purchases. Work trousers are going to be worn often, so get the best quality fabric and tailoring you can.

Example key pieces:
- A well-tailored pair of work trousers are a must, high-waisted are usually most versatile and flattering,
- A quality pencil skirt, with just enough stretch
- A quality knit cardigan (waterfall front is a favourite of ours – also very slimming)
- A well-cut instant-outfit dress, you know the one you can just throw on and look great, some chunky beads or a long pendant to finish it off
and
- A pair of stylish, comfortable ankle-boots, with what we call a day heel – a smallish heel, comfortable, that gives you just enough height.

5. Shopping strategy

Having a strategy will save you time, money and stress! Window shopping online is a great way to save time on this and most importantly stay focused. If you prefer trying things on, go shopping armed with your online shopping hit-list, a time limit and of course a budget, and stick to it. If not, save even more time and just buy online. Magpie shopping, when you’re just in the mood to pick up something that catches your eye, is of course fun and indeed necessary, but isn’t how we create the building blocks of a solid, functioning wardrobe!

6. Proportion

Dressing to your proportions is the real art of dressing. 75% of the women we dress are wearing trousers that are too big and badly cut, with excess fabric that is incredibly unflattering. Good quality fabric and tailoring (we find great examples on the high street) can take up to 2 sizes off! We will cover the science of proportion in more depth, in a coming post.

7. Work to play

Accessories are the easiest and quickest way to bring a day outfit into evening. A pair of heels, a belt, scarves, statement necklaces, a chunky ring and a statement clutch can instantly transform your outfit.

8. Play dress-up

Each month, take an hour or 2 of ‘me’ time with your wardrobe. Sounds silly? See it as an investment! Try out different outfit combinations, don’t be afraid to switch it up and try random things on together – you never know what could work and instantly give you more outfits from the same wardrobe. This is how we breathe new life into our own wardrobes without buying a single thing!

cocoon_personal_shopping_capsule_wardrobeThe ideal aim is, of course, to build the ever elusive capsule wardrobe, i.e. a wardrobe of interchangeable, complementary items that form instant outfits perfect for your body, colouring and lifestyle. We’ll give you the basics on how to do this in our next article.

We’d love to hear which points work best for you, or if you have any time-saving tips you use in the mornings, let us know in the comments below!

Share this article if you found it useful! And leave a comment in the box below. We hope to connect with you soon.

About Evelyn Cotter

Evelyn is a stylist and personal shopper based in London. Passionate about helping women find their style, streamline their wardrobe and dress with confidence every time, Evelyn launched Cocoon London. Taking the stress out of shopping, saving time and preventing costly fashion mistakes, Cocoon London gives every woman the advantage of having her own personal stylist. Evelyn also works as a stylist for up and coming designers, writes about fashion and is a Style Guru for Secretguru - the new Ebay website. For more information about Cocoon personal shopping & styling packages click on the icons below.

2 comments

  1. This is a great post. I think at least half of looking good is being organised and it’s definitely worth remembering the words of coco chanel: if a woman is dressed badly, you notice the clothes. if a woman is dressed well, you notice the woman (I’m paraphrasing but you get the gist!)

  2. Love that quote Sara! And how right you and Coco are. With so many variables relating to our success out of our control, why not maximise the ones we can and what a more pleasant one than – our style! Thanks!

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