Dream bedroom & Chanel 224What we wear matters, clothes not only influence how others see us, but also how we see ourselves.

You can imagine the difficulty in keeping it all together with all the house renovation chaos. And if you think budgeting for a good wardrobe is tough, try budgeting for a house. Nightmare!

Wardrobe evaluation

I stopped buying fast fashion may be 3 or 4 years ago and Have never looked back. It was tough, at first, but I did it. No more wasted time visiting H&M “just to browse” and ZARA holds no temptations for me. I gradually phased out all my old purchases, so I don’t think there is really much left from that era. The key now is to buy for my real lifestyle so I have lovely things to wear every day, rather than stock up on imaginary lifestyle scenarios.

My own London Lifestyle means lots of rain, traffic, rush hour, crazy work, swanky bars and good restaurants. The delightful lady Beatrice also features prominently in day to day affairs, as of course my LSH. (Long Suffering Husband)and would love to hear about your lifestyle evaluation and how you balance it with your clothing purchases…everyone has a unique lifestyle and needs a unique wardrobe to suit- share a short paragraph here or email me separately.

Trousers: I have a few tailored pairs for work, but since I cycle they do get rather worn out and need to be replaced. I love good tailoring andusually hang on, and wear them, till there are holes and start looking indecent, but ultimately this is an opportunity to keep shapes current. So out with the old. Oh and avoid cheap black fabrics acting as a cat hair magnets. Good trousers will need adjusting by a good tailor for perfect fit – so double the cost and the time, but it has to be done.

Skirts/dresses: in the winter I am mostly a trousers kind of girl, but I keep a vintage pencil skirt and a full voluminous one for special occasions. These transcend fashions and always look great with cashmere tights, and new shoes. The pencil skirt is an 80s grass green, tweed CHANEL -which I absolutely love to wear for restaurants and festive outings. It’s a real chameleon and have yet to tire of it.

Shoes: block heels will bring an outfit up to date. I love the idea of a good shoe, yet I don’t see the need to spend excessively. Shoes must be of reasonable quality and offer comfort. As much as I try to buy made in EU perfect shoes are hard to come by, and I wear them rather than keep them stored for years. This is one item I am happy to buy two the same design and alternate wearing. Ready to kick Borgias a**!

Tops: cashmere from Brora is timeless and virtually immortal. Silk shirts are good for work, but they need regular replenishing, especially cream or pastel colours which I adore. I had my eye on a divine Dior satin silk shirt, until I saw the price, which made me weep. More expensive than my new bathroom taps! And they were expensive! So I abandoned that plan and bought the taps instead. I tend to buy silk shirts from Top Shop boutique, (made in England, pure silk and relatively inexpensive)

Coats: These come from Max mara and were good investment pieces in the true sense. Warm and attractive without excessive embellishment that tend to date things.

Accessories: my adoration for a good handbag, has led me to overbuying. There are so many good handbag choices out there, though prices have hit the roof. I was looking for a casual shoulder bag from the row, the price made me faint. One needs to re think handbag purchases. Do you still think Kellys are current? And I so need a new belt…

Personal style notes
I have a set silhouette that I follow. Fitted clothes, (but not skinny or tight). Nothing that restricts me sitting down, or cycling. I mean seriously, it pains me to see women wearing clothes they cannot breath in…Buy little and buy exquisite.

How many vintage Kelly bags does a girl need?
That is a rhetorical question…

House renovation
Don’t ask! London prices are making me loose the will to live.

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© Ladysarahinlondon

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10 thoughts on “Personal style: wardrobe & lifestyle evaluation #2

  1. Eddie

    I am also starting to evaluate my wardrobe. I need to get proper things for job interviews and hopefully my first full time position. Do you suggest any good starter non sweat shop brands?

    1. lady sarah in london Post author

      That very much depends where you live, what sort of work you are after, etc. For starter budgets, try http://www.peopletree.co.uk to get you going. The prices are comparable to high street brands, but much better quality and sweat shop free. I buy from their organic cotton range for yoga and loungewear which I find far superior to most specialist yoga brands. Their clothing collections would suit most casual, to semi formal office environments, (though probably no good if you are a junior barister 😃)

  2. dottoressa

    I am curious and looking forward your answer to Eddies question,too 🙂
    I used to work in “coat with trousers/skirt” uniform before.
    Now I am driving a lot,have meetings where I have to dress up or
    down ,sometimes in the same morning :-),have physiotherapy as work out,go out with friends or family for a coffee,drink or lunch/dinner,visit concerts and theatre….
    So,it means jeans,tailored pants,silk or wool-depends of the season (yes,good tailor and adjusting is the secret how to be immaculate :-)! Always!),white tees or silk blouses with cashmere v-neck or cardigan and a scarf,I can’t wait to start wearing silk or cashmere turtlenecks ( I adore them!). It seems I still love uniforms :-).
    It is interesting, but I wear dresses more( with ankle boots) when it is cold, than during summer.
    Max Mara coats are my choice too. Black,navy or camel. Vintage navy Burrberry or mid-lenght sand one. Leather jackets.
    This fall purchase: Longchamp black briefcase (I wear it as bag) and a belt with two sides (black and blue)
    I might buy a turtleneck ,and thats all.
    I simply don’t plan any investment pieces so far.
    Prices are going so eye-watering high every year indeed
    And,yes,I might buy a bathroom tap or two 🙂

    1. lady sarah in london Post author

      Your lifestyle sounds pretty full- as you know there is no easy answer for ethical shopping. We ve got to weight the pros and cons. I love Max mara, but they do use fur which I find objectionable. ( though of course I don’t buy the fur) but since their clothes have longevity and don’t end up in the dustbin I find is worth it. No major purchases for me either, the house is like a big black hole swallowing gold coins…😡

  3. Susan

    Good slacks, a few neutral pencil skirts and a few tulip cut dresses are my staples. In addition, I have a small collection of suit jackets (waist and 3/4 length) that mix and match with my slacks and dresses. These clothing items easily move from the workplace to after work dinner/drinks with friends. Take the jacket off and a dress with good jewelry, shoes and a bag is ready for social occasions. Keep the jacket on at work or for a business lunch/interview and you are business ready; I also limit the jewelry. Knowing what looks good on me, individually, is key. To many times we see a photo and transfer the image to ourselves. Problem is not everyone is 6 feet tall and 125 lbs with a killer figure. Dressing for the occasion, knowing what looks good on me individually and maintaining a high standard is my goal. Renovating is expensive. In the US we have places like Frank Webb bathroom sales and showroom. I love their showroom and have found items to purchase. Sometimes I have saved money by purchasing an item (a kitchen faucet Hansgrohe. German maker) online. I tend to price check items and availability online. I’m sure your reno will be fabulous. .

  4. Nicola

    I work in a very traditional, non corporate environment. Women almost never wear trousers in the office so I have a collection of dresses – mostly A-line as that suits my figure, and all tailored to fit properly. LK Bennett and Hobbs are staples but I’m looking to move beyond high street brands in the next couple of years if I can find something at a similar price point but better quality. I’ve just bought a beautiful dress by Bombshell London – an Englsh company.

    Accessories: a couple of handbags from Aspinal (an English brand), tote bags by Longchamp (the only brand strong enough to cope with all my clutter) and jewellery by independent craftsmen/women. I’m a bit disappointed with one of my aspinal bags, though – it was a very recent purchase and the leather on the handle is already fraying slightly. stockings – utterly de rigeur at work, even in 35 degree heat – by M&S.

    Thinking about my lifestyle, the big gap in my wardrobe is loungewear. Being on a tight budget, I’ve always felt always felt terribly guilty about spending money on clothes which only I will see. The clothes I wear around the flat really ought to be donated for recycling. I might have a look at Peopletree for inspiration.

  5. mary carsten

    Sarah, I just made a donation to the save the elephants division of the wildlife conservation fund…could you send me the password for reading the extended poss


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