Fashion | A season of style and outfits

Block colour silhouttes & tie features

A season of Style | Finding shapes and styles that suit you

A long time ago, Caroline from UN-fancy said something on her blog which I had never considered before. To be wary of using Pinterest for style advice because sometimes you can be drawn to how the photo is shot and not the actual outfit.

With this and a season of style in mind I wanted to start my designing of a season with my own past outfits. Combining how good I felt in them with seeing repeat style patterns here are a few of the looks which have worked for me in the past and which will hopefully work again in the future…

Above^ A long silhouette with a splash of colour

Rather than it just being an all black outfit if you choose the same shade and wear it all over it can be incredibly flattering. Although I am tall already this way of dressing has created some really fantastic photos and outfits in the past and is a simple look which would make the ideal base for my next season of style.

Not to make it boring however, the outfits I felt particularly drawn to have been those which have been broken up with a splash of colour. Pieces which are vital to this look have been pieces which can stretch my silhoutte and who are similar in colour which includes my black quarter length T from Zara, black harem trousers, leggings, my dark blue jeans as well as my Eiffel Tower sweater from Long Tall Sally and broken up by plaid and chambray shirts.The Harem Trouser and the half tuck

The Harem Trouser

For two pairs of soft trousers I have gotten a huge amount of wear out of these key pieces! From the first time I shared them, to being worn across India these trousers have gotten a good deal of Millage. Even to the point that I am potentially considering a third . . .

My favourites I’m considering are . . . Next+ Tapered trousers in Rainforest (these are the same style as my last two pairs) Topshop+ camo joggers for a more casual look Grey Cigarette Trousers Next+
Skirts - dresses and layers

The skirt/dress & Jumper combo

As you might have guessed for the UK, clothes which can be worn with sweaters are a godsend. A must for anyone travelling here over the summer is layers, less so than in hot countries in your average day you can have both cold and hot spells as well as rain so be prepared to being pulling on and off your layers as the day progresses.

With that being said I’ve really fallen in love with this look for spring, summer, autumn and winter. With a shorter skirt I often find its important to elongate my top half and having a longer top or sweater does a great job in giving an alternative look to the belted waist whilst being flattering on my top heavy figure.

One thing I certainly don’t need to be doing is buying anymore sweaters or dresses, I have them by the bucket load and do remind me I have a purple look to show you guys which is ideal for the british summer . . . (Work & Play)
Tassels

Finally for today I have Tassels 

Last year the blog was awash with this simple kimono from H&M’s Coachella range. Its light, airy and ideal for sleeveless dresses in the office. Its also lasted incredibly well and besides shrinking a little in the wash has retained almost all its tassels and continues to be a great layering piece.

I think you have to be a little bit brave for full on tassels but if your looking for something interesting and inspiring then then is the way to go! In summer this is my go to whilst in Autumn and winter I have been layering my Zara flocked velvet one which adds drama to almost everything!

What have you guys loved from my archives and what do you think my most flattering silhouettes are? I’d love your thoughts on what makes the ideal shape season to season . .  .
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Fashion | How to get dressed when you really don’t want to

How to get dressed in the dark, therealjlow

Monsoon White Shirt, Zara White T-Shirt, New look Patterned shirt (Petite), ASOS Lace up flats, Clarks Tan boots, H&M Draped Skirt, River Island A-Line Skirt, Marks and Spencer Denim skirt. 

How to get dressed when you really don’t want to. We’ve all been there. The alarm on your phone says you only have half an hour to get your butt to work or the train but your heart says leggings…what if I wore leggings and a T-shirt? Heavens what if I stayed in PJ’s all day . . . it sounds like a dolly day dream and realistically that’s because it is.

Girl, you have got to get to work. The only problem here though is this, when you’ve got your mind into this setting it’s hard to get out. Now all you can think about is staying home in bed and watching Brooklyn 99 on repeat (my current favourite TV show) and demolishing that whole bag of big Cadbury buttons.

What instead we have to focus on is pulling actual clothes out of our wardrobes and putting them on our body. What should have been easy can be easy again and here is how.

Find silhouettes that you love then make multiple versions of that one look.

My example above is an ideal outfit for me in Spring and Summer. I love simple skirts which offer stretch and I also love the lightness and simplicity of white. Together I have paired a simple white T (with slight detailing on each) alongside a simple, comfortable skirt and a comfortable shoe, the boot or the flat.

The key to these three outfits is this, It’s the same outfit but with different pieces.

Using your capsule wardrobe, pick the same colours and basic shapes but with separate pieces.

Go back to your capsule wardrobe, what were your core colours? Mine for spring were, White, Grey and Navy. For this exercise I picked out white because it’s refreshing and looks great in summer! The best thing about a white top is obvious; it goes with absolutely everything in your wardrobe. Skirt wise I love a jersey skirt, for my actual wardrobe that is my white wrap skirt from last year, it works with whites, it fits really nice and I love wearing it! Better still it goes with all three tops (in either scenario – my actual wardrobe or these pieces above).

Secondly we have the A-line black skirt. I am beyond tempted by this skirt because it feels like a complete fashion failsafe. It is a great shape for top heavy girls and works great with any number of tops. It’s a classic for a reason. With the pieces above I would wear the patterned T from New Look (untucked) and pair this with the lace up flats for the day or the boots for the weekend. This particular look I think would also be super cute for an impromptu date night or dinner with your girlfriends out on the town! For work throw on a structured blazer (and/or switch out the New Look Tank for the Monsoon shirt tucked in) and in the evening, a black leather jacket could add that little edge of cool!

Thirdly, the denim skirt is currently a dream I haven’t yet committed to. It’s a story for another time but I have been holding off. This one from Marks and Spencer’s is a really great piece and doesn’t cost the earth either. I would wear this 100% of the time with those gorgeous flat boots that I am also uber tempted by. The great thing about these skirts is you can dress them down on the weekend, right down to trainers if you will or pair them with the laced up flats and look effortlessly pulled together. It also goes with all three shirts, tucked and untucked!

therealjlow core colours capsule wardrobe

Apply this example to other looks

For me a great skirt goes a really long way! For others it might be great trousers (pants) or dresses. The options are wide open but what I feel is often missed from my own wardrobe is simply being able to remember in, in the morning that getting dressed is simple. I just need the colours and the basic silhouette to make my mind and outfit work.

  • Choose three core colours (for me its White, Grey & Navy)
  • Choose two moderations of your basic colours (pale blue/chambray + Cognac)
  • Then on top if you want, two to three stand outs to pull everything together and add interest!

Then you need to find silhouettes that you love and give yourself multiple options of that look. (I often go by what I’m naturally drawn to most and then spend an afternoon over the weekend dressing up!)
stand out

My absolute favourites are,

Jeggings/skinny jeans with a rolled cuff + long tunic T-shirt + cognac ankle boots

Dress + open chambray shirt + flats

Dress + Cardigan + socks + Ankle boots

Tapered trousers + Flowing top + Flats

Cropped trousers + flowing top + flats

The final stage is this . . .

Layout your wardrobe so your looks are together in groups. White shirts next to skirts, your flowing tops next to tapered and cropped trousers, cardigans and dresses all we need to do is be a little more intentional when we have the brain power for the times when we don’t.

If you’ve liked this post please leave me your favourite outfit combinations and colours in the comments or share your own post with how you are making getting dressed easier!

#trjlgetsdressed

 

Personal Style | Running from being outdated.

A cowl neck for warmth. High waisted denims for the tummy sucking in potential. And cow girl boots because . . .whimsy.

Something which keeps reoccurring recently is feeling outdated.

A cowl neck jumper layered over a long sleeved tee with jeans? Too 2000’s. Most Jean outfits feel like I’ve reverted back to my teendom. I’m also beginning to feel like a walking advert for Maidstone fashion and that, I’ll be honest. Greatly upsets me*

I never thought I would become someone who is a slave for fashion, and I hope I will never be but I also worry. Will become stale and start wearing old trends in a predictable way. And I think that’s become the problem, everything feels a little stale and no one wants to dress like their teen selves forever! It was cool for a second but I don’t want to be that girl now! I want to be someone new, someone chic, composed . . . Slick.

“Why be the same, when you can be someone better?”

It’s actually one of the things that put me off of the capsule wardrobe this season. Who wants to stay the same when you can progress? I feel like part of this is tied into the direction my life has taken. After all I’m no longer a teenager, a child, a student . . . We have a house, a mortgage, a car currently with its engine light flashing. I’m preparing sloe gin with my husband to be for Petes sake! And now I want my clothes, and my look to reflect that too – so what’s a girl to do now?

It seems like an endless question. Like during the end of university when every question started with, “what do you want to do . . . “ and you’d stare at them blankly. Hope I land on my feet? And so with the idea of free falling I have started picking up the odd thing (living life, capsule free) but only those which are entirely different or have no resemblance to earlier me’s.

The difficulty of course comes with another question how to wear them. For instance I have never, ever been a fan of roll necks. As a kid I wore one once and only because I was in the Orchestra section of the schools peculiar space themed play. Where we (The Orchestra) had to be dressed like extras from Star Trek.  I try not to think about that stage too deeply.

Regardless it has never been me and yet a cowl neck, something resembling both a scarf and a jumper has been calling to me in recent months and so of course, had to be chosen, along with a pair of high waisted jeans (trying to get over the stomach ache of wearing them however . . . ouch) and lastly of course leather leggings.

I feel like I’m buying in a progressive manner and yet . . . the moment you pull a short sleeved cowl neck jumper on over a pair of jeans and I feel like I’ve killed all sense of style. However I’m hoping that maybe with a few strategic changes I won’t find myself outdated or maybe I will but as long as it’s on my own terms, I think that might just be alright.

*Maidstone. Its certainly not a fashion capital.

Must be a mid-Capsule thing

Must be a mid-capsule thing

We have gotten to the end of July and my creativity has apparently abandoned me for someone better. I have to ask myself, is this a mid-capsule thing? During winter I got bored of being too one style, in autumn I had the hot mess stage and again I have those pesky hot mess feelings.

I don’t understand how this happens I can’t help but wonder if maybe I get lazy? When you buy new items every week its almost easier to dress yourself but once you’ve lived with your set clothes for a while it’s almost as if you stop seeing the good parts of your wardrobe and just forget how to be original.

I will say this here the key is really simple re organise your closet! Obviously if I was doing the traditional capsule I would be at that three month mark where I could switch everything around but in this case it’s a case of re organising what I have to better see what I have.

I have approached this in several quick steps which are as follows;

Remove the items that you haven’t worn or don’t work for you.

This is the after from my first clear out – there’s even less now and it makes us so happy!!!

Doing a capsule for six months is vastly different to three, I gave myself more room by having more clothes and of course this also means that there are pieces I haven’t worn or worse, even thought about. So I’ve pulled those out with items such as my thick jumpers which I will probably only put back in come mid-September time.

Keep your space clear

As you know I recently bought some sale purchases for fall now being lazy I have just hung them up in my current capsule and although I haven’t worn them they are cluttering prime real estate which could be giving me a bit more space to see potential outfits! So I have pulled them out

Re order

So the big one, reorder your closet! I am a big colour coordinator when it comes to my clothes. Back when I still lived with my parents we had these fantastic double hanging, nolte wardrobes. I used to love cleaning up mine and making them all beautifully colour coordinating (bottoms on the top shelf, tops on the bottom) and then I would be told off for leaving my wardrobe doors open – which I did so I could stare at my clothes from my bed. Sad but true.

So right now I have them colour coordinated (or course) but by item so it goes, tanks, tops, dresses, sweaters, skirts, trousers. So since I have less this time I have made it so I have all items in white together, all items in blue together say so I can hopefully put better ideas together!

When in doubt go back to black

So recently I have been struggling predominately with colours. My ultimate get back to basics solution? Go back to black, or white or navy, whatever your capsule’s normal base colour go back to it, pull on an outfit made entirely of that colour and then have a few stress free days to give your mind a break! My go to are,

White on white is my new surprising favourite! I love how easy it is to bring a look together just my making your colours the same!

  • Black jeans, Black Blazer and a black T-shirt
  • My white wrap skirt, white tee and white converse
  • My denim jeans, navy t-shirt and navy boots

Maybe dressing in all one colour seems weird but I like to think that taking it back to something so simple is really helpful for sparking your creativity again and feeling put together.