Shopping sales: How to shop savvy

shopping sales tips to save moneyDoes your pulse race with excitement and anticipation when you see SALE signs plastered to the window of your favourite shop?  You can nab hidden gems during the sales if you take a moment to think through some key questions before you hand over your credit card.

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Winter Wardrobe Update 2014

It’s difficult to think about autumn/winter fashion when you’re in a bikini and enjoying a beach BBQ. But fashion moves on and as shops put away their sales signs, you’ll begin to see new shapes and colours being introduced. So here’s my quick winter wardrobe update 2014.

Here are my five picks of what I think we’ll see a lot of in the next few months.  The good news is that many of these “new trends” are a continuation of what was popular last winter, which means you get to wear them again or upgrade last winter’s favourite pieces this time around.  Many of you know how picky (and frugal) a shopper I am so you know I am not suggesting you go out and buy five new pieces (unless you want to).   Rather  I recommend you dust off your existing pieces and look at them in a new way.   Pay attention to how they are combined in shop windows or  magazines and then use what you have.

Australia Winter 2014 Menswear Vibe

The Downton Abbey Influence? Classic checks and tartans are in.

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Worst clothes 2013: My least favourite buys of the year

What was I thinking?

Shoppers’ remorse.  Just because I am a personal stylist doesn’t mean I don’t experience it sometimes.  I may have a lot of practice shopping for others (and myself), but I don’t get it right 100% of the time.  I figure shopping is a metaphor for life.  If you don’t make any mistakes, you probably aren’t pushing yourself enough to try something new.  And life is all about evolving, improving and growing.

Here are five things that I wished I hadn’t bothered to bring home.  They are not seriously bad (OK. Maybe the shoes are a bust), but they don’t justify the space they occupy in my wardrobe.  That said, each item represents a lesson in decision making.


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Best clothes 2013: My favourite buys of the year

As 2013 draws to a close, I like to take stock of everything that has happened wardrobe-wise.  I find it educational to examine my year’s purchases to understand what were good buys and what were silly spends. This bit of sartorial reflection makes me appreciate my favourite pieces more.  It also teaches me what not to spend my money on so I can mentally resist the urge to splurge.

So here are my five most beloved wardrobe additions of the year.  They make it on to the list because they get worn at least once a week, are comfortable and make me feel invincible when I walk out the door.


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How to fit jeans without trying them on

In the market for new jeans, but dread trying on fifty pairs to find a pair that fits right?   Here’s a very cool tip to fit jeans without trying them on.  This trick will  save you time and keep you sane when shopping for jeans.  When you find a pair and want to know if it’s worthwhile trying it on properly in the dressing room, do this quick test.

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Authentic Style – My first book is launched

Style, bubbles and baubles

What better way to welcome  into the world a book about styling than to throw a party at a jewellery shop?

That’s what happened one gorgeous sunny Sunday in July. My first book, Authentic Style: A practical guide to loving how you look every day was welcomed with such love and anticipation from past clients, friends and new acquaintances. Here’s how it was reported by the Sydney Standard.

It’s not too late for you to get your own copy of Authentic Style.  Buy your copy here and start your Authentic Style journey right away.

Thank you to the beautiful readers who’ve sent in positive comments:

Authentic Style. A must read for all ladies – really explains how to be authentic to yourself with your style. Great whether you are into fashion or not.  – Amanda F, NSW

I’m reading your book and really enjoying your perspective. It’s a lot deeper than many styling books. Had you in the change room withe me today when I tried on a pair of white jeans.  I could hear your words in my ear..avoid white pants when you can see the inside of pockets through the fabric. – Sophie R, NSW

I’m grateful to all the people who came to the launch as well as those who helped me put on an afternoon of  styling fun and jewellery browsing.  Special mention goes to Forooz Normyole at Les Nereides for helping me host the afternoon, Both Sides of the Story for donating dinner vouchers at Catalinas and Danielle Chiel for donating a gift certificate for one of her soft hand-knitted jumpers.

Host your own clothing swap party

host your clothing swap party

Photo via www. trashbackwards.com

A clothing swap party is a wonderful way to enjoy time with girlfriends and to experiment with new fashion styles without spending a cent. Hosting your own clothing swap party is easy.   Here are five ideas to ensure yours runs smoothly and everyone has a great time.

1.  Timing

Consider hosting a clothing swap party at the end of a season.  A change in the temperature will encourage your friends to sift through their wardrobes and identify what they’d like to pass on. [Read more…]

How to determine fit in the dressing room

It’s sale season so there are plenty of good bargains out there.  When you’re in the dressing room trying on your pieces, it’s vital you find something that both fits and flatters you.  Let me tell you more about how to determine  fit.

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How to buy clothes that fit you properly

I tried on a black and white jacket last week and emerged from the cubicle to examine the fit.  Even before I had time to register my reflection in the mirror, the sales assistant gushed, “You look great.  The jacket fits you so well.  It’s my favourite this season and I wear mine all the time.”

I know she was trying to be helpful, but what I appreciate when I’m trying on new clothes is a few minutes of quiet so I can react to how something feels and looks.

Here’s my mental checklist to determine if something fits AND flatters me.  I won’t buy anything unless it fulfills both sets of criteria. I know my list looks a bit OCD, but I have saved a lot of money this way by not buying things that don’t measure up.

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Become a Savvy Shopper

I did my bit to support the retail economy of Las Vegas, Nevada last week.  The whole family spent a day at the Premium Outlets in the North (a 30 minute bus ride/15 minute taxi ride) from the Strip.  I had loads of fun and I think we got some real bargains for everyone in the family.

My clients who are planning trips to the US often ask me about shopping in the factory outlets.

  • Are the discounts worth the special trip (many are located outside the city metro areas so you need transport)?
  • Is the quality decent?  Is the range current?
  • Are things laid out well?
  • What are the return policies?

I thought I’d share with you our recent experience so you can judge if outlet shopping is for you.   (The nearest American Premium Outlet is in Honolulu.  We’ve also been to the outlets in Hong Kong which are set up a bit differently.  Be prepared to still pay a lot of money for discounted luxury branded goods in Hong Kong!)

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