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  • Writer's pictureDiane Shaw

4 Easy Ways to Level up Your Winter Wardrobe - Using What You Already Own

So it's officially winter and, if you've done your style homework from my November blog and defined your personal style, shopped the Queens Birthday sales, and organised your wardrobe, you'll be ready to get your winter looks sorted so you can pull outfits together quickly and easily and feel confident getting dressed, whatever the occasion. So - instead of throwing on your favourite woolly jumper and jeans every day, try some of the following to add variation and originality to your personal style as you navigate the week : Colour: We looked at this last month, so you now know the best colours for your skin tone and the power of colour to enhance your mood and add some fun and contrast. Either in bold blocks, (for the colour confident), or accents,( for the colour shy).

  • Pull out the most colourful pieces in your wardrobe and play with wearing them in new ways. Try to come up with 3 combinations for each piece. For example: terracotta with bright blue, teal or gold, (when you usually play it safe with black or navy). Or deep purple with peacock, wine or silver, (when you'd usually opt for white or grey). (For more ideas see inspiration above).

  • If you're inclined to stick to a neutral palette and are a bit wary of introducing colour you can do it gradually starting with accessories and working your way up.

  • Cool colourings can really go to town in deep hues of emerald, sapphire, amethyst and ruby while the warm people among us can create amazing contrast with teals, oranges, moss or olive green and chocolate.

  • When layering summer items, the deeper colours of your palette will look more congruous than say, pastels. (The fabric weight can play to this too).

While we're here let's bust a few colour myths:

  • You do not need to match your bag to your shoes, (but you can if you want).

  • Blue and green should always be seen

  • Metallics and sequins are not just for evening they can add extra sparkle in the daytime too and are great near your face for in instant glow.

Texture: In winter, textures can really come into their own. Satin with merino, fine knits with textured knits, velvet with silk. There are loads of options and it's fun to get creative with unexpected combinations. Textured tights and scarves are another great addition to a winter wardrobe, (personally, I'm a sucker for a cable tight). Layering: Layering in winter can be tricky without coming off as the Michelin man, however layering is an art in itself and makes a very plain outfit more interesting, not to mention warmer! For the top you can:

  • Start with a camisole and add a long sleeve tee and/or merino.

  • On top of this you can add a blouse or dress if the neckline suits it.

  • You can then finish off with a knit or blazer. (Longline cardigans are a great layering piece).

  • Add a coat and scarf and there you go, layering without the bulk.

Bottoms are trickier but if you happen to have a loose fitting pair you can:

  • Throw on some tights underneath, (more for warmth than look).

  • This can be a good solution for the wider legged crop trousers and jeans that are on trend at the moment but leave a gap which can be chilly.

  • There are lots of choices of tights and leggings of differing thickness, pattern and colour.

  • Trousers under dresses, skirts or tunics add a bit of an edge and a warm layer especially cigarette pants or flares.

Note: Play with differing lengths when layering tops - it can look really chic (if thats what you want).

Satin and merino. Contrasting bold colour. Leopard and check.

Pattern: Patterns can be a fun statement or addition to your outfit. I'm not a big pattern wearer, preferring to stick to the odd Breton stripe or houndstooth check oh and paisley (for some reason I love paisley), however, winter lends itself to florals, checks, animal print and spots as much as any other season. Pick a signature pattern and introduce it to your wardrobe - make it your own. While you're at it switch it up and don't be shy to mix your patterns. Inspiration Looking for outfit inspiration this winter?

  • Pinterest

  • Books and magazines

  • Blogs - my favourites are : Fashion is Psychology and Who What Wear UK, (go to the archives because they're a season ahead).

  • Fashion films

If you haven't already, sign up for Kanopy through the library. All you need is your library card number and pin and you get 6 free films a month. They have tons of festival films including some of my favourites:

  • ​Dior and I

  • Madame C, (Carene Roitfield)

  • The September Issue, (Anna Wintour and Vogue)

  • McQueen, (sad but fascinating)

  • Westwood, (say no more)

  • House of Z, (Zac Posen)

I realise we're not about to rush out and buy Dior or Westwood but just watching and being in the vibe of this type of creativity can make you feel inspired to play in your own wardrobe. Filling the gaps: Using these ideas to work with what you've got can optimise your wardrobe and extend your outfits, however, if you need additional pieces to pull off a look but can't find it in the shops try Trade Me, Designer Wardrobe or Opportunity Shops, or, if you don't do second hand, Fashion Lane is amazing! You just type in them item and colour you're looking for and it brings up everywhere that stocks said item and posts to NZ. Genius! If you need more help getting your wardrobe to work for you consultations are available for July. Contact me to book a free half hour assessment or follow me on social media for more fashion and style insights, ideas and inspiration.

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