Are you fed up in February? Do you need a juicy, uplifting and glamorous pick-me-up?
Well today it’s time to read ahead to find out how to glamourize your wardrobe with a February budget, thanks to the first installment of Project Glamour!
So let’s get started on our mission to achieve a wardrobe bursting with glamour by first asking…what are we aiming for?
When asked to think of glamour and what glamorous actually means, many people tend to think of the usual suspects: old-school pin-ups from the 40’s, racy red lipstick and luxurious boudoirs. Marilyn Monroe is a woman often worshipped for her embodiment and abundance of glamour, whereas others tend to think of Audrey Hepburn. Some say glamour is a cross between both.
It is evident, then, that in order to “Glamourize” our wardrobes, we need to be thinking of embracing certain traits when selecting our styles and outfits. We want a cross between sexy and elegant, we want to enhance our femininity without letting the garments overpower us. This would suggest that the glamorous style we are aiming for can be described as classic, with a few sexy twists. We want to enhance well-purchased classics with a certain sex-appeal. We need a good range of top quality main garments (basics), accompanied by one-of-a-kind pieces and we need to draw the whole look together with a polished aesthetic.
Deciding Upon Your Essential Items and Pieces of Glamour
The first stage in your project is similar to any goal, in that there is a need to be fully aware of every fibre that constructs what is to be achieved. Having a clear vision really will assist you on the hunt for the members of your new wardrobe family. Set aside one whole afternoon to trawl through mediums of fashion, style and glamour – magazines, style books, fashion websites, etc. Take anything that inspires you, and create a moodboard or notebook of inspiration.
Things that you might want to pay attention to initially are coats, pencil skirts, day dresses, sexy dresses, heels, other good quality shoes, blouses, cardigans & cover-up shawls, silk dressing gowns for the house, bags, belts and accessories.
Streamlining Your Wardrobe
There is a tendency with most people to hoard lots of clothes and accessories, even those that are past their periods of fashion, in a hope that they will come back into style the following year. Glamour is not about fashion, but rather style.
“I love America, and I love American Women, but there is one thing that deeply shocks me…American closets. I cannot believe one can dress well when you have so much.” – Andrée Putman.
Try to maximise your bottom pieces to 5 options. Yes, 5. This doesn’t include day or evening dresses, so it shouldn’t be too difficult. The idea is to reduce the options you have to make sticking to your signature style easier – but also to maximise the quality and impression these options give. With regards to upper and other garments, some items that you should definitely have are:
Classic & Sexy Dresses
Namely, shift and body-con dresses. These will enhance your shape, creating the allure of femininity no matter what figure you have. Don’t be scared to wear a bodycon dress during the day – pick a bright one and couple it with a cardigan and add some accessories for a glamorous day time look. Boohoo.com do lots of these dresses for great value, many are for as little as a tenner – what wonderful wardrobe additions on a February budget! Colourful day dresses are also a great choice.
The Trench Coat
When it comes to coats, the trench is the ultimate choice, a definite essential that compliments everything we are putting into this wardrobe. Not only does it belong in the most glamorous category of garments, you can wear it with almost anything. Casual and Formal. Best of all they come in all colours and styles, but in my opinion classic is more chic. You will always be able to find basics like this on sale but the best tip is to get it out of season, then it will be at its best price and you can keep it until you’ll need to wear it (and trench coats are basically worn autumn, winter AND spring, thereby making it a sexy and wise investment.
A Good Bag or Two
It’s essential to have at least one good quality bag. However, good quality can also be faked – provided you update your bag on a fairly frequent basis, or own more than one. An example of a glamorous, classic yet cheap bag is a Marc B bag. The majority of his collection have the chanel-inspired quilted and chained look – and whilst many would suspect that this description produces a knock-off look, it is quite the opposite and certainly won’t break the bank.
You can buy them in topshop but its best to keep an eye on his website, as items are often 50% off and, as they are classics, they never go out of style. Their attributes of elegant charm and class coupled with an attractive price tag have even earned them space in Selfridges.
You may choose to only purchase one bag in February due to your budget, but it’s a good idea to have at least a couple of to mix up with your outfit choices. Perhaps in March, you could treat yourself to another from a good quality brand such as Longchamp. This French brand has a great selection of tote bags, which have loads of room to carry all your essentials.
French brands are great for chic simplicity, so as a sidenote it might be a good idea to look at La Redoute, who stock most of the French High Street brands.
When it comes to other basics, I believe that designers (not all, but many), tend to do the best well-made basics. Therefore, this is where you should be prepared to invest. It’s understandable that, as you’re on a budget, you’ll want to buy your designer basics when they are on sale. My Wardrobe is a website dedicated to precisely this. You can achieve a discount of as much as 80% in some cases, on brands that are well-known for their own specific category of garment such as J-Brand and Acne for jeans. If you hate online shopping, check to see if there are any designer outlets near you – there is a mass of heavily discounted designer beauties to be snapped up.
One Of A Kind Pieces
It’s worth taking a look at the online boutique fashion stores you often see advertised on bloggers’ pages – a benefit to this is that they usually give you a discount if you quote where you found them. It’s a great way to support small businesses and peoples’ dreams – good karma will find it’s way back to you! Their pieces are often inspiring and unique, so you won’t be walking around wearing what everyone else has also snatched up from Primark. Many people assume Primark is the best way to pick up cheap basics and in-season items. This is not the case – you will end up spending more in a year on Primark items than if you invested in good quality items for a streamlined wardrobe. You will also look like everyone else, instead of having your own glamorous allure and charm.
Ebay is definitely a good way to source inspirational extras to your wardrobe. A good tip is to search for things that have been badly listed by mistake. Putting in the time to gold mine will certainly reap rewards. For example – searching “woman’s dress” (or indeed a mispelling such as “women’s dress”) and spending hours trawling through to find the brand or style you want usually ends up in a good deal as not many people will have viewed the item. This is because the item will not be listed when the brand or style is entered into the search terms. Don’t forget the last minute bid strategy on ebay: defeating the maximum bids of others by the absolute minimal amount by waiting until the last 10 seconds to put in your bid – it is a risk that can really pay off.
Customizing Your Wardrobe
To give your existing basics a bit of extra charm, you might want to consider getting your creative hat on. Adding or changing buttons can make a subtle yet stylish difference. There are many specialist button shops in cities like London or you can look at stalls and markets. Alternatively look in department store’s Haberdashery section. Josyrose is a fantastic store specialising in Haberdashery which also has a great website.
Learning to sew will be a great asset to your wardrobe, as you’ll be able to add jewellery and alter lengths to see fit. I’m a big fan of miniskirts (and knee length skirts) in printed fabrics, paired with a plain fitted black or white vest top and jewellery. Altering beautiful fabrics and garments into skirts is something that has extended my wardrobe enormously and is a strong feature of my style. Transforming dresses into tops is even easier and is just a case of cutting an inch below where you want the top to stop, folding up ¼ inch, folding again and stitching.
If you are wearing a blouse, it might be a nice idea to attach matching delicate bracelets to your cuffs. Attaching bows to the neckline of plain tops will also give a nice femenine, blousey effect.
There is a blog of a girl who set a challenge to create something new every day from old charity shop or boot sale finds – so for 365 days she set herself a budget of $365 dollars. Read and get inspired.
Charity Shops And Vintage Stores
Charity shops and car boot sales are a treasure trove of stylish and unique items, as well as an amazing area in which to find your classic basics.
I always tend to like the silk scarves I find in charity shops and boot sales. You really can refresh outfits and bags by attaching a colourful scarf and they can be worn in so many different ways. To demonstrate this better, watch this video on nine ways to wear a silk scarf. Michelle is a big money making star now, but her advice is still as applicable to our lives as ever for being glam on a budget. Belts are also a great way to give your outfit a new shape, just by changing where you place the belt.
Search for cute vintage clothing shops which tend to be hidden down the less obvious lanes in most cities. Head to charity shops in the best (ie. poshest!) areas – such as Kensington in London (if you ever visit London for a holiday make the time to look at second hand shops in this area) – for absolutely amazing brands in clothing, bags and jewellery. However remember that in these better areas, the price of stock is higher as the rent is significantly higher.
Another factor to consider when visiting charity shops is – believe it or not – the parking facilities. My friend who used to work in a charity shop for many years, tells me that “rich” people are more likely to drop their goods at a store they can park outside of. And if you think about it, it really does make sense.
If you cant make it to a good area, don’t dismay – many of the items that are deposited in the large metal containers that you usually find in car parks are centralised and then redistributed evenly throughout the stores, and stores that lack items of a certain category, eg. shoes, will have them shared out. If you find something in a charity shop that you really like, but its too big or too long, don’t forget it can probably be easily altered.
Whenever I’m in London I always make the time to drop by Portobello Market (perhaps not on Saturdays though as it’s unbelievably busy, Friday is your best bet). In terms of vintage, some good stores to visit in London are Virginia and One Of A Kind. Vintage fairs are also a good opportunity, here in my city we have ‘Granny Would Be Proud’.
Extra Tips For Glamourizing Your Wardrobe
Spray Your Underwear Drawer With A Glamorous Scent – As mentioned in a previous post, I like to spray Agent Provocateur into my drawers so that everytime I dress there is a whiff of glam in the air.
Don’t Forget Your Hair and Make-up – Being polished is what pulls the look together, no point in wearing a glam outfit if your hair resembles a bird’s nest! I will be posting on glamorous hair and makeup soon, so stay tuned for more inspiration.
You Don’t Need To Lose Your Individuality – whilst basics are important, the one of a kind pieces you acquire will ultimately be of your own taste. “Classics” themselves now come with many twists.
The most important, and effective, thing is how you wear it – If you find yourself getting a bit lost when trying to find “glamorous” items, remember the attitude you give off and allure of sex appeal is what makes the outfit glamorous.
So that’s all for the first week of Project Glamour. Let me know if you enjoyed it and if there is anything else you want me to cover in this project! Coming next week – Glamourize your daily routine!
Images either belong to me or were sourced from weheartit.com, should any belong to you and wish them to be removed please get in touch!