I love fashion. But I'll also be the first to admit that keeping up with trends can be overwhelming — not to mention expensive and horrendous for the environment. While it might feel like you have to buy every latest top or pair of shoes you come across (and yes, even if they’re in the sale), shopping strategically for investment pieces will likely yield a better pay-off.
Investing in well-fitted staple pieces for your wardrobe and mixing in budget friendly, pre-loved trend-driven items is a smart way to get more value for money and also kinder on the environment. My must-haves: Jeans that make you feel amazing, a little black dress (that can be styled a hundred different ways), and a well-fitted bra are the essential foundations of a woman's wardrobe.
If you thought jackets were just for keeping warm, think again. Jackets are actually an easy and inexpensive way to make any outfit more stylish. I’ve found wearing my leather jacket over an old t-shirt instantly changes it from tatty tee to being effortlessly chic.
A jacket over a dress is an easy way to dress an occasion dress down too - pair it with your favourite pair of trainers and you’re ready for a day in the town… when we can.
When it comes to looking put together, it isn't always about the clothes. Outside of clothing, one thing that I think always pulls me together is having my nails kept up. This doesn't mean that you need to get a manicure every week, but by either painting them at home or removing chipped nail polish, you automatically look put together. We’re excited to start stocking Nailberry here at Renaissance, their nail varnishes are AMAZING and cruelty free too.
One other tip - to change an outfit from ‘ok’ to chic, accessories can make all the difference. Using jewellery to accessorise any outfit instantly dresses it up. Every woman should own something with a story, something that was passed down or an item that just caught her eye when she was out. I have some fantastic vintage pieces that were my grandmothers.
While a pop of colour is always fun, I’m a fan of neutrals to add a hint of sophistication. An all neutral palette immediately screams ‘put together’. A pair of boyfriend jeans with a clean white top and camel jacket - perfect! You can combine basics with a show-stopping piece. Since starting Renaissance I’ve learnt so much about fashion - we have had some truly unique and wonderful pieces through the door - all with their own story to tell. Combining a Paul Smith shirt from Renaissance (that’s my pop of colour) with a neutral Boody cami and a pair of well fitting jeans (allbeit high waisted!) made me feel like the ‘old me’ - back before I turned into ‘Mummy.’
More than being stylish, being classy is all about looking polished. An inexpensive way to look put together is to always look clean - don’t laugh, it’s true! Your clothes say a lot about you. You can make a t-shirt and jeans look sloppy by being wrinkled, or not the right fit, or even stained. My advice: always make sure your outfits are planned out the night before so you have enough time to steam or iron out any wrinkles (I’m a huge fan of the steamer - quick and easy, the iron and I are not friends! I bought a hand steamer for £29.99 I think and it’s the best decision I made last year).
Shopping pre-loved is an excellent way of experimenting with different styles, without costing the earth. If you ever need any inspo or advice - give us a shout. We’re happy to help and we love what we do here - we're just a group of women from all different walks of life enjoying having some much needed fun.
Stay classy girls. We got this.