clothing

Mid-season wardrobe therapy

“Chunky and cosy” no longer sounds as good as “light and summery” during this time of year. Time to get those blacks and grays out of my sight and bring out the summer dresses. But before packing my winter clothes away and taking out my summer ones, my aim for this summer is to get rid of a large chunk of my wardrobe, for peace of mind’s sake. I am donating some to friends, and the rest I will give to charity. I dream of a minimal wardrobe with only the things I love, and a little extra space for newly purchased clothes.

Getting rid of your clothes

When you’re in your teens you buy anything you fall in love with at first sight, whether it fits your body style and whether it is good or bad quality. It really doesn’t matter. As you start to reach your late twenties (like yours truly) you start to cringe at some of your purchases. I have been removing excess clothes year after year, but this year I want to outdo myself.

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You hear a lot of advice about how to throw away stuff from your wardrobe, but unfortunately you cannot stick to one equation. If you really love your clothes, you have a story attached to each and every one of them. You know the exact time and place where you got them, and even the places that you wore them to, so it can be difficult to get rid of them (unless you’ve never worn them!) Then there are emotional attachments such as clothes belonging to family members, vintage clothing, clothes bought from awesome holidays abroad etc.. etc.. Emotional clothing that you never wear should just be stored away in a box somewhere. These are memories, not practical clothes, so they’re only taking up space in your wardrobe. As for other clothes that have no emotional attachment, I usually store them away for a season, or more (if I really cannot depart from them). If I don’t miss them, I donate them. If I miss them (and so far, I never did) I bring them back to the wardrobe.

My mum told me recently, “Don’t buy any new clothes unless you remove an item you already have.” I actually think this is one the best advice I’ve heard with regards to throwing away old clothes, plus when I get the courage to remove something, I end up removing more than one, which is good of course.

This year I have accepted that certain clothes that won’t fit me now will have to go. If I lose weight, it’ll be an excuse to buy new clothes. I have also accepted that clothes that do not suit my shape, no matter how expensive or beautiful they are, will be given away to friends who have a more suitable body type. Plus it’s nice to see one’s unused clothes being loved and worn by someone else!

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My wardrobe mid-organisation.. still a long way to go

Organising

Prior to organising your wardrobe, make sure you have good storage boxes and good quality hangers (I like the wooden ones). It’s no use buying high quality clothes when you cannot take care of them properly. I usually treat my everyday / indoor clothes differently from the rest. Although I still fold them and store them neatly, I don’t like to show them off. I want to feel good when I look at my closet, so I want to look at my best clothes, not my crappy ones! A good idea is to put clothes that need fixing aside, this can be anything from missing buttons, broken zippers, even ironing.. and don’t hang them before they’re good to go.

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Beautiful storage boxes to store away the little things.

Organise your clothes by occasion rather than by shape and item. It makes choosing outfits easier when you’re in a hurry.

Decide what to hang and what to fold wisely. Items such as jeans for instance, are good for folding, so don’t waste any hanging space on them. Other items might need ironing if folded, and certain tops lose their shape when hung. You usually know what to hang and what to fold by the way they are displayed in the store, but this is not always the case, and with online shopping it’s a complete guess. Although common sense should tell you whether the clothing material will wrinkle quickly or not.

accessories

The top drawer is great for organising accessories (although I still need to go through mine, sorting through accessories is another story altogether!) Bottom one is great for trousers that tend to crease, and delicate scarves.

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Got most of these sunglasses for around 50 Euro cents form a car boot sale, old luggage/box also from the car boot sale, and it seemed the perfect place to store these.

Decorating

Some people like to decorate their closet and wardrobe by hanging jewelry and scarves to make it more feminine and decorative. I would be very careful because this process is exactly like setting up a still life or designing a display. When you see these kinds of things on magazines, they are done by a professional, so if you’re the kind of person who is prone to clutter, just put it all away, save for an item or two.

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This is my decorative corner, where I keep a fresh water pearl necklace; a gift from my mum, some purfumes, a Man Ray postcard and a frame that I got from ‘Patches’ a local hand-made & vintage market.

I’ve read tons of articles about how to organise one’s wardrobe and the phrase I keep reading over and over again is ‘Keep what makes you happy, throw away the rest.’ I think this sums up everything nicely; if you find yourself being annoyed at certain items, put them away for a while. It will clear your wardrobe, and your mind 🙂

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RunWays with Block Colours

The Spring/Summer wardrobe is normally associated with florals whether subtle and dainty or bold and dramatic. Pretty dresses and decorative accessories are also a typical staple for the sunny months. When I was looking through this spring/summer designer collections I was in fact expecting to find the usual patterns and florals, and I did, however I found myself being attracted to block colours, structured geometric shapes and lots of texture.

Block colours are fantastic because they are so much more flexible than patterns, so for someone with a budget, I find it’s better to splurge on something that can be worn in a multitude of ways. Some might argue that they are not as daring as graphic prints and patterns, however I do feel that this really depends on the shape of the piece of clothing. An asymmetric or unusually-shaped outfit can still be bold and daring, and with no graphic distraction from the form of the outfit. Block colours allow for the focus to be put on the lines and curves, the fabric and its texture.

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Dior Femminine & Bold Blocks, vogue.co.uk / topshop.com / modcloth.com / asos.com

As I’ve just mentioned, the great thing about blocks of course is that they can be worn with almost anything, so you can go for a mix of patterns this season, and then get a really cool block-coloured piece of clothing that can be worn with any of these patterns. Of course, choose your colours wisely, and this doesn’t necessarily mean stick to one colour scheme or go for safer colours, clashing colours offer interesting surprises if you know what you’re doing.

Blocks can be understated & elegant in simple pastels, or bold and over the top in neon colours and matched with hip prints. Curvy girls might shy away from these kinds of straight-cut dresses and tops, however not all of them are shapeless. Waist clinching block shirts and dresses are  a great way to flatter a curvier figure, whilst the so called ‘shapeless’ dresses are better suited for slimmer boyish shapes.

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Waist clinching blocks, vogue.co.uk , topshop.com , asos.com

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Chanel’s chunky accessories, Stella McCartney’s laid back shoes, and a variety of beautifully simple & elegant bags

Below: Block inspiration from “Style’s Inspiration” Board on Pinterest by Chiara Bollecchino

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Revamp of old unwanted garment

Hey hey! Here’s our first Guest Post by the talented Elisha Camilleri, enjoy! 😉

Christmas is on its way and with so many good offers around it is so easy to get lured into buying irrational items – many gifts end up in the closet unused. Twentieth-century technology has made it possible to mass-manufacture cheaply. A study revealed that as much as 700,000 tons of textiles and 100 millions pairs of shoes are being disposed of every year in the United Kingdom. This fact alone should be enough to motivate us to ponder about our  purchases.

There are many ways to contribute to our environment and this should not be limited solely to garments. Updating your winter wardrobe doesn’t necessarily mean buying new garments which will last just one season. Firstly most of us have overlooked some of the pieces bought last winter – try by putting pieces together in different combinations. I promise this can just have as powerful an effect as something new.

Visit your local charity shop and savor upon pieces that can be worn or customised. While you’re at it grab those unused pieces in your wardrobe and hand them over. Customising garments could be an enjoyable process, especially when unpicking the garment, you might encounter some interesting detail which could turn into a key feature.

Key trends  this winter  include layering and prints. Look out for pieces which carry beautiful fabrics. Tip: pick the ones that  have aged well – the final piece would certainly carry that unique rustic element.

While going through my mum’s wardrobe I came across  three cotton velvet skirts still in good condition. None of them were my size – this provoked the idea of creating a casual smart outfit to wear during the upcoming Christmas season. Some photographs below to get you in the mood.

And remember home made gifts tend to be more appreciated.

Design: Eli sha

Photographer: Eli sha

Model: Eve Warrington  Student/Doctor of Medicine and Surgery (models.com.mt)

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Elisha is a full time Fashion Designer and tailor currently specialising in smart and casual wear, working with technical jersey and woven fabrics. For more visit ElishaCamilleri.com Below is one of her pieces (photographed by Elisa Von Brockdorff and modelled by Ali Bosios) & a glimpse at one of her sketches.

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Something Special

‘Something Special’ is a regular post where we put the spotlight on one of our personal items that we think you would like. (If you would like to showcase a special belonging message us on our Facebook Page!)

Objects: Etui Vintage Look Leather Handbag & Deep Crimson Leather Bag from the San Lorenzo Leather market in Florence

What’s so special about them?

This time I’m bringing you two special things, unfortunately if you like them, you might have to travel to get a hold of them (although you can always get lucky on ebay!). Another option is to spend hours on Etsy searching through leather goods (as I’ve been doing everyday for the past two weeks), I’m sure you’ll find something similar, or better ;). I have chosen these two bags because they are practical, durable and beautiful!

I use the brown vintage-look leather bag practically everyday to carry my laptop to and from work. It has a compartment for documents and a pocket with a zipper inside , there’s even a little key on the side to lock, (although I never actually use this…ain’t no one got time for that!). I get constant compliments about this bag and if you’re heading to the large London Topshop in Oxford Circus, there’s plenty of similar bags with these flowery motifs. This bag also seems to be the obsession of other bloggers, you can find more pics of it and other variations here & here.

This red leather bag is fantastic because it is a huge lady bag disguised as a cool compact bag. It looks small-ish but it has plenty of room inside. It also has 2 pockets on the side for extra stuff. Great for work and to carry stuff around, mostly for winter though, since it’s a deep red colour and made of leather.  My mum actually has an exact same bag in brown and she managed to travel to Italy for three days and fit all her belongings in this Mary Poppins bag!

Birthplace and Story:

Brown Bag: I was heading to the huge Oxford Circus London Topshop to buy a specific coat that I had seen online. After what looked like a three hour futile hunt around the store, I lost all hope, but decided that I wanted to get something better with the money that I had saved. That’s when I remembered the Etui bags on the ground floor that I had been eyeing for some time, but that I could never afford. This time, the brown Etui Satchel would be mine! Each one of these Etui bags has a unique vintage-looking print and is made from what looks like used soft leather. The bag was around £150… no regrets!

So in case you were wondering why my mum has the same bag as I do, it’s because I wanted to buy it as a gift for her from Florence, but I couldn’t help buy one for myself as well. The San Lorenzo market is not to be missed if you’re thinking of going to Florence… check out the last picture of some tourists buying leather bags from the market.