Friday, 20 January 2012

Dressing to Impress- the A-Z of fab frocks and gorgeous gowns...Q is for Quality

It's definitely Quality not Quantity here at Redressing Towers this year!  Since founding Redressing 18months ago, I personally have half the amount of clothing I used to have. (And no, I don't 'borrow' fab frocks and gorgeous gowns from my stock!) I think I have gotten better at the art of buying and this had led me to move, albeit gradually, from a 'need it and need it now' mentality to a 'do I really need it and if so, what can go?' In true vintage make-do and mend style, I don't need a wardrobe full of things I don't really wear so I have started off this year by buying 1 in and moving 1 out.
This is a long post today guys, but it's important we buy right!

As a huge fan of reproduction vintage dresses, I like things which are of a high quality and this usually makes them rather expensive. Selling/giving/donating or upcycling an older item of clothing has helped to fund new purchases and has also helped me to see my wardrobe as one singular thing as opposed to several unrelated items that share space together. I like clothing to flow so that you can easily mix and match and utilise everything you own. I'm not sure I could manage Gok's capsule wardrobe alone, but I no longer buy anything which sits at odds with what's already in the wardrobe.
 As a colour-consultant I obviously know what colours suit me and what goes with what across the colour wheel so this helps that initial declutter. Incidentally, January is a great month to declutter. I only charge £5 for this service and it is essential if you are stuck on the 'what suits me?' rung of the Dressing to Impress ladder. Stage 2 of the declutter is to find and hold onto your own personal style. For me, that's most definitely the 1940s and 1950s but it doesn't really matter, it's whatever floats your boat.
 If you have started by culling the colour-drainers, it's easy to then think along some style lines. Once you've chosen a style, there will be a 'capsule wardrobe' associated with it (ie: Tea dress, victory rolls and Mary- Janes for the 1940s) and knowing what's in this capsule wardrobe could prove helpful in your initial stages of declutter.
Tea Dress £15
 Next comes the quality of what you put back in. I found that I appeared to have more than 1 red dress in my wardrobe and yet what I really wanted was the gorgeous Chilli Pepper Mary Dress from Heyday! So, the answer became obvious. Scrutinise the cut, colour and quality of the other 2 red dresses I owned and decide if one Mary dress fitted my good-colours and was the right fit for my shape instead. (If you've read my Vintage Norwich post you'll see that it did!) Fortunately I was able to sell one of my dresses on the good old eBay for part of the cost of the fantabulous Mary. Because she is of excellent quality and was expensive, I also know that she is a keeper.

Often we actually spend a fair old whack on several items which live in the dark recesses of the wardrobe which could have been spent on one spectacular number in which you feel fab. Just think about it...add up your last 5 clothing purchases, then add up the number of times you've worn them...see?!
Good quality is also really all about good stewardship. We live in a throwaway world so buy well, invest in quality garments (this can include good quality second hand too!) and hold onto your own personal look with style and grace. Refresh the way you dress. 


Lil Vintage Me (the 1940s family) said...

Brilliant Post at just the right time for everyone too. I always seem to reevaluate my wardrobe in the depths of gloomy january. Or maybe thats because its my b'day moth and i'm hoping for more lovely things to go in there!

Maxine x

Louise said...

I tried making a capsule wardrobe once. In fact I think the experience is on my blog, but it didn't really work, I re-cluttered it in no time at all. I have too many looks and personas and something akin to a theatre wardrobe department makes me happy. However, you have just made me thing that I do have 3 grey skirts in my wardrobe and only one is top quality and perfect fit, so time to ship the others out I think. A small step, but better than nothing. My name is Louise and I am a hoarder! Lol x

Julia said...

What perfect sense! I'm a bit of a "oo, thats a bargain, I'll slim into that" kind of gal, so my wardrobe is full of bargains that don't fit with the label still attached! I definately need to de-clutter and to be honest since discovering vintage, I'm actually buying less, but more expensive gorgeous reproduction items. Heyday's Mary dress being one of them (I actually bought it after reading your Norwich post on your blog after lusting after it for a while) I feel an ebay day coming up (for selling not buying!)

Ange said...

I hope you've managed to sell a few bits to fund some more quality items?!
I've been following my own advice and been thoroughly researching the vintage repro dresses market- no purchases so far but very much lusting!!!!