Charity / Fashion

Look fabulous for nowt!

Despite my unconditional love for Aberdeen, I am a Yorkshire lass at heart hence the title and it seemed an apt way to suggest the theory that in order to look your best for the least amount of money, really you should be looking inwards rather than outwards. Girls, you need to get to know your wardrobe.

Yes, you might have bought it all, but when!? And with what in mind? These questions need to be answered! It is very easy to go shopping, buy a gorgeous new dress/skirt/pair of trousers, feel very impressed with yourself for two days and then realise that you have nothing to wear with it/them. So you go shopping for another item to match, and the cycle begins.

You feel guilty for throwing something out that you only wore once or twice, so you keep it, but to what end? You merely obscure things that you could be wearing but have forgotten about.

I urge everyone to get to know their wardrobe. Send it on a diet and a spiritual guidance week, let it pour out it’s deepest darkest desires to you. Does your wardrobe wish you were more glamorous/classy/bold? Once you have sent your wardrobe to therapy and back again you need to look for items that join up all of it’s multiple personalities so that you get the most from it. Gok Wan talks about his capsule wardrobe, and most women would balk at the thought of 16 items in their closet. However, consider the number the amount of items you wear day in day out – I bet it is around 20, and then think about all the items you wish you wore, but don’t feel you can, or have forgotten about!

I want to demonstrate with my own wardrobe, a couple of items that I have acquired over the years very cheaply, but that no matter when I bought them, I always have something in my wardrobe that joins it all together. I haven’t yet exhausted all the combinations that I can put together:


This Next shift dress is a fantastic palette of colour, black, nude or brown shoes tone it down should I want to. I can go for any shade of red or orange if I want to jazz it up a bit. Normally a black cardigan is great if I feel a little chilly, and I can wear a brown or white shirt underneath in autumn. Similarly brown or black tights will work too, and the colour is bright enough for summer, but also perfectly autumnal to take me right through to winter.


Before you moan that you bet I have never worn this during the day, I have. I picked up ES from the train station wearing this very outfit.

This Red Herring dress is a perfect example of something that you can wear through the day with a jacket if you’re daring, but as soon as you remove the jacket it glams right up for night time. Gathered detail over the bust shows just the right amount of cleavage and strapless is always sexy. Shoes are the main thing that differentiates this item from day wear to night wear. My LK Bennet sparkly sandals are perfect for night time, where as these nude ‘snakeskin’ Dorothy Perkins court shoes are simple and classic enough to wear this to lunch. This navy suit jacket was originally Zara and I wear it to death. I have had to repair the lining already, which considering I bought it from a charity shop shows dedication. I always choose navy over black. I find it picks out other colours better rather than muting them and offers a smart alternative to the traditional black or grey work wear palette.


This DVF dress is the perfect example of how a pop of contrasting colour can completely transform an outfit from ladylike chic to bold and funky. Gorgeous mid calf wrap dress with a sexy split, this could be worn with a cropped jacket or cardigan to cover up the arms, and would look equally good with black tights in winter.


These brogues are what I wear for interviews without fail. I have to be careful with a skirt or dress because they cut the leg at the ankle. They can only ever be worn with tights, but they are fabulous with trousers. This dress also goes with pretty much anything, it has a high demure neckline and falls on the knee. The pattern has a suggestion of animal print but I’m not sure which, that makes it great for autumn fashion as inevitably animal print will make a passing appearance.


This is a perfect example of how shoes can transform an outfit. I usually don’t like black and red together but for this jacket I make an exception. Cropped sleeves and length highlight the waist.


The white shirt is very useful as every one knows and this is a particular favourite, it is just slouchy enough that you can wear it casually with a pair of shorts, but just smart enough that you can chuck it on with a pair of trousers for work. Or you can wear it with a dress as below:


So hopefully I have managed to demonstrate the use of several items in different contexts. I hope that you will be able to look inside you wardrobe with renewed interest and pair up items that will work together. And remember, if there are items that you just never feel confident in or that just do not fit, be ruthless and donate them to charity. Someone will come along and buy it, and they will love it and treasure it.

Don’t forget that if you like what you see here you can always follow me on twitter: @meggiemaie


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