Lessons in Style – Lesson 6…

12 Feb

Today is the last of the Lessons in Style series. Not that there are only 6 things to know about style, heavens no! But these are the major lessons for me and ones I think can help any lady on her way to confident style.

So – without further ado… I present, Lesson Number 6:

CARE FOR WHAT YOU HAVE.

My husband’s mum holds the world record for oldest, most-well-cared-for…everything! She has a dishwasher that is 38 years old and still runs like brand new – yes, she really is that amazing!

Miele Dishwasher - well cared for 40 years later...

Miele Dishwasher – well cared for 40 years later…

What I’ve learned from her, and her son, is that if you care for something, it lasts – and you value it more.

This lesson is quite simple really, and it’s more of an attitude than anything. Clean your shoes regularly with the right stuff, store your items to protect them when they are not being worn (not crammed into a drawer or stuffed wardrobe), and only launder when necessary.

Now, that latter piece, about only laundering when necessary, may seem an outdated concept, but trust me, even the best fabric technologists haven’t found a way to stop fabric from ageing with every wash.

Only launder when necessary - image courtesy of northern star musings blog

Only launder when necessary – image courtesy of northern star musings blog

You can find a lot can be done with airing and a clothes brush or sticky roller.

I’ve also learned the hard way by ignoring dry clean instructions… it’s true many small designers put Dry Clean on all their pieces as a safe guard, but get to know the best way to treat fibres so you can judge when to follow and when to ignore the label’s advice. Silk, for example, almost always requires a dry clean.

NB: Dry Cleaning uses harsh chemicals, so make sure you air any dry cleaned items thoroughly before wearing and try to avoid dry cleaning items that sit directly on your skin.

As for standard washing. Here are some tips:

1. Don’t over load your machine – give the clothes room so the fibres don’t get crushed.

2. Use the right liquid/powder for your colour/fibre. There are an array of products on the market – special black liquid for blacks, special white liquid for whites, ones for colours, some for wool. Do your homework and make sure you have the tools for the job.

3. When drying out in the sun, make sure your clothes are inside out so the colour is not bleached.

4. Smooth out thicker fibres (like jeans) before hanging them to dry, this will reduce the need for ironing.

5. Ironing your clothes is worth the while… there are plenty of tips on You Tube for fast and effective ironing.

 

So – that’s it for now. I’ll be sure to share any other tips as life progresses 🙂

The most important thing about style is to feel confident and happy in your choices. To be comfortable and to find yourself appropriately dressed for your lifestyle. It’s also important to feel you have a control over your spending, which when it comes to fashion, is not easy to achieve!

Developing your style is a journey of course, and it’s never too late to start!

K x

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2 Responses to “Lessons in Style – Lesson 6…”

  1. Melanie February 22, 2013 at 16:29 #

    Darling you have totally convinced me and I cannnot wait to put it to practice! I have really thought about it the last couple of days how to make a switch and for me what really will help: only buy it when you really love it! And the rest will follow, coz I have been buynig loads of crap, I am not happy & quantity will not make me happy in the end (while I though it would but I realise now it won’t)! I would love your advise tho on designers. And more expensive shops like Karen Millen or Massimo Duti: is that worth the money, is that good quality? X

    • kaybruceonstyle February 22, 2013 at 16:54 #

      It’s so true! I just did a major wardrobe clear out, threw out everything I didn’t LOVE or look good in… And I found out… I have no less choice when I look in my wardrobe, since I would just look at all thise thing I didn’t love and feel like I had so much, yet nothing to wear. Now I have very little choice, but I’m much happier! 🙂

      You need to learn to look for quality. Expensive doesn’t always mean high quality and cheap doesn’t always mean low quality. Check labels, natural fibres are better than synthetics, perhaps with the exception of modal, which is somewhere between. Try everything on, never buy without trying on. Check it fits, the colours work for you and get a feel for the quality. Don’t buy if its itchy and if it clings or bags anywhere, or if its meant to be tight but stretches out of shape as soon as you bend your knee. Don’t buy it if you don’t already know what you will team it with – items you already own… If you have to buy something else to make it work, don’t buy it…. Until you find the something else.

      I was in mango yesterday and saw a Breton striped tee, something I have on my list of wants… It was only 9 euros… Old me piped up ‘oh just buy it, it’s only 9 euros and if it falls apart or looks bad, nothing lost.’ Then new me stepped in ‘no, it’s 9 euros I could put towards a piece I really love, try it on before musing any decisions.’ I tried it on, it was such thin fabric you could see right through. The tones of white and blue just didn’t work for me, and the cut on the sleeves made my arms look fat… 9 euros saved!

      Do a wardrobe clear out, it’s so cleansing! Then only buy what you need to fill any gaps…or update…

      Keep me in the loop!

      Oh, and take all the stuff you don’t want to a car boot sale (you have something like that in nl?) and make some money fr your next, more sensible shopping trip! X

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