Thursday, 24 November 2016

Black Friday anyone?

It started early this year: my Inbox is already full of amazing offers for Black Friday and I'm writing this the day before.

It's even spread to Spain!

So am I going to take advantage of any of these amazing offers? It's so tempting, especially with the incredible discounts - but wait! Do I really need any of the items that are being sold at such low prices? Are these offers genuine, or were the prices hiked up a week ago?  What do you think?

As regular readers know, I've been trying to restrain myself over the last couple of years as I build my capsule wardrobe of clothes that flatter me and work for my lifestyle. I may buy new clothes, but I'm working on the "one in - one out" basis. I've had my eyes on a couple of items though that will work well with my existing wardrobe, with the idea being that I would wait for Black Friday to see if any of them would be offered at reduced rates.

If I make any purchases tomorrow, I will update this post with photos of them. Do let me know whether you are tempted on Black Friday or able to resist all these fantastic offers.

PS Just to let you know that, if you click on any links here, I won't be getting a penny!

Saturday, 12 November 2016

My Journey to Chic Style

I should start this post with a disclaimer: I'm not claiming that I do have chic style and I admit that I'm still on the journey, however I think I've made a fair bit of progress over the last four years. I was prone to impulse buying, especially if I spotted something in a colour that I loved - regardless of whether the colour loved me back. I have always admired the effortless style of Frenchwoman and, judging by the number of Francophile blogs, I'm not the only one. Reading the many style blogs - one of my favourites being The Vivienne Files - I'm now more aware of what colours and styles suit me, also helped by taking part in 7 Steps to Style and having had various colour and style consultations over this period.

Me in Paris - trying to look Parisian!

An example of a dress that I loved the look of when I saw it in the sales, but on reflection it didn't really flatter me.

Too long, too dark and an unflattering shape

I've realised that I was wearing red accessories in both these photos, which I think helped to improve the overall look of the outfits, especially as it is a colour that suits me. Four years ago I was wearing mostly cooler colours, having been told that I was a "winter" or even a "jewel winter" in seasonal colour analysis. I went for a style analysis too and was told that I am a "Natural Gamine", which I definitely think describes my style. My current style recipe, developed whilst doing the 7 Steps to Style, is "Colourful Casual Chic with  a little bit quirky and a Parisian influence." Note that I said "current", as I reserve the right to change it over the next few years as my style develops.

Apart from creating my style recipe, which takes into account my lifestyle as well as my personal style, I have learnt about value and colour contrast, which helps explain why some combinations are more flattering on me than others. I am high value contrast (dark hair and eyes with pale skin), but low colour contrast. I also know that softer, warmer colours suit me more than brighter, cooler colours now that I am becoming older. While doing the 7 Steps to Style, I was told by Imogen that my colouring is warm, deep and smoky: in her system I'm an Enigmatic. This was reinforced by Maria of Looking Stylish, who said that my dominant colour family is warm, with a secondary of soft, and Karen of Colour Elements who told me that I am Earth:air.

Once I discovered the best colours and styles for me, I had to look at my existing wardrobe to see which (if any!) of my clothes met these criteria. Obviously I couldn't afford to throw everything out and replace them with more flattering choices, so how could I make the most of my wardrobe? I gradually realised that the key was to build a capsule wardrobe of clothes that suited me and went well together, plus accessories in my most flattering colours, especially when it came to necklaces and scarves worn close to my face.

I mentioned The Vivienne Files earlier and most of my inspiration came from Janice's helpful posts. The one that I linked to above is the first of a series showing how to build a capsule wardrobe from scratch. This particular capsule is perfect for someone like me, as the colours are ones that I like and that suit me, plus it's very casual whilst still looking chic. There aren't any dresses in it, however having shown a dress above that didn't suit me I thought it would be interesting to post a photo of one that is far more flattering. I may very well wear it tomorrow as we're going out for lunch and dancing: one of the few occasions when I don't necessarily wear my "uniform" of trousers and tops!

I hope this post explains how my wardrobe has evolved since I first started blogging in 2012. My journey to chic style is far from complete, and I plan to continue sharing it with you all. As always, I look forward to reading your comments.