Spring Clean: How to Detox Your Wardrobe

Now that the daffodils have bloomed and the beast from the east (and its little brother) are behind us, who’s ready for spring? I SURE AM!

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Excited much, me? Yes, I love spring. The first few boring months of the year are just a warm up but spring is the real deal. Flowers, baby animals, and spring fashion, hallelujah!

And along with change of season comes the need for a good old fashioned spring clean. As I’m sure you’ll know, I’m all for a spring detox, in every sense.

As we’re moving house next month, I’ve got the just bin it bug and am weeding out what we actually need from all the crap we’ve been collecting. I’ve also finally found the motivation to get back in shape, so I’m going on a bit of a health detox too. And I’ve recently rediscovered my love of reading and learning so I think I’ll be going on a bit of a digital/telly detox and lose myself in a book more often. Does all this talk of detox sound exhausting? It probably will be! My trick is to start small and focus on one area at a time.

Fortunately for you, here’s where I can help. Your wardrobe is a perfect place to start. Just a few hours and you’ll feel truly cleansed. In my professional life as a stylist I have done dozens and dozens of closet clearings… and every single one has been a success.

So where to start? Here’s my top tips for your very own Wardrobe Detox and spring clean:
 

1. Give yourself a good chunk of time

I promise it will be worth it. A little sacrifice to start and you’ll save yourself loads of time in the long run. Set aside two to three hours one evening or weekend.

 

2. Call for back-up

Ask a friend or family member or even a pro like me (!!!) to come and help. Having someone watching over you will put a bit more pressure on you to make decisions. So things you might think I’ll just keep it for now, you’re more likely to toss, or at the very least give them some proper thought.

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3. Start with the things you’ve worn in the past 30 days

These will probably be your favourite items that fit you well. You can keep them all, unless they have holes or stains of course. Pull them out and set them on your bed or a portable rail so you can see what you’re left with.

 

4. Now get on with everything else

Go through one by one and put things in piles – keep, alter, donate, bin and if you need it, maybe. Try on all the maybes.

If you aren’t sure, pop the hanger in your closet backwards and try to wear it ASAP. If you do, turn the hanger around and keep it. If you don’t turn it over in six months – see ya later!

 

5. Don’t be precious

No matter how much something cost or how many times you’ve (not) worn it, if it doesn’t fit you or make you happy when you put it on GET RID OF IT.

 

6. Recycle, up-cycle, donate

There are so many ways to get rid of clothes nowadays. Obviously you can give them to the local charity shop. For higher priced items in good nick, try selling them at a local dress agency or on eBay (still the best in my opinion). For designer bits, check out some of the online selling platforms. There’s also loads of clothes swaps and second hand sales popping up. Or give them to an appreciative friend! I’ll pop some links for ideas below.

 

7. Reorganise

Now that you’ve streamlined what’s hanging in your closet, make some sense out of it. I like to colour code my closet. Some people like to keep certain items in a category together. Do whatever works for you.

Stylist tip: Don’t hang things that ‘go together’ together. This makes for lazy dressing and uninspired outfits. Take belts off of garments they came with. Give everything it’s own space.

 

8. Hang it!

Now that you’ve got less make sure you can see what you do have. Every item NEEDS its own hanger. I love the flocket / velvet non-slip ones which are available from Primark and TK Maxx for cheap.

All tops and dresses should be hung; trousers and skirts too if you have the space. Knitwear and jeans can be folded.

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FINALLY…

Take some time to try putting new outfits together. Take pictures to remember them. Get creative and have fun!

 

Some of my favourite dress agencies…

Brockhurst Boutique (Chesham, Bucks)

Lanes Dress Agency (Epping)

The Shiny City of Wardrobe (Hitchin, Herts)


Resale events…

Fashion Re:Boot (multiple locations)

Rockup Frockup (Herts & London)
 

Resale sites…

Cudoni (designer goods, London – contact me first as I have a direct contact!)

Vesitaire Collective (designer)

eBay

Shpock

Depop

Let me know if you know others to add to the list! 

If you need any help detoxing your own wardrobe, just get in touch! Here’s a run-down of the full service I offer. If you’re not convinced head over to my testimonials to hear about some of my results!

2018 The Year of Me

It’s that time of year again – where blogs are awash with posts about resolutions or anti resolutions or whatever ways you/they plan on making 2018 the best year ever.

2018 the year of me. And palm print. I bloody love a palm print. 

Well my friends, I’m skeptical. I’ve done this post before. Not last year because I was busy looking after a newborn and all that, but I did the year before. This one is a whole week earlier than that one was – but who really cares? I’ve not written a blog post in nearly three months, did you notice? Did you miss it?

So why do it? I think every blogger has dissected that question at some point in their blogging career.

I do it for me. I’d like to blog more. I’m going to try to. But if I don’t, I’m not going to give myself a hard time or apologise for it anymore.

I want that attitude to cover anything that is not a do or die priority. And even then, we can only do so much. So let’s be kinder to ourselves in the meantime, k?

The last half a decade or so we’ve become so dependent on social media and viewing other peoples’ happiness and perfectly photographed and curated lives. We’ve coined terms like FOMO and YOLO and keeping up with the Joneses has never been so outwardly and incessantly shoved in our faces. Let’s just turn it off?

I’ll be the first to admit I get sucked into the rabbit-hole of online scrolling. Last night I decided I’d watch an episode of Grey’s Anatomy then read for 15 minutes before going to bed. Then I started scrolling the ‘gram and before I knew it an hour had passed. So long Grey’s. I thought ok just another minute then I’ll go read in bed. Before I knew it, I’d wasted TWO HOURS total. Doing what? God knows!

So my one and only goal for this year is to take back MY TIME. I enjoy reading. I enjoy exercising. I enjoy writing. But I often don’t because I don’t ‘have enough time’… yet I can tell you all about the wallpaper that Fran Bacon has in her down stairs loo and which maxi dress is top of Kat Farmer’s wish list. I love you ladies, but it must stop. It doesn’t make me happy. It doesn’t do anything for me at all.

So this year is the year of ME. That age-old saying of putting on your own oxygen mask first before helping others has never been truer. We need to take better care of ourselves. We must be selfish. I’m sure I’ll still waste some time doing the Insta scroll but I’m going to be more mindful of letting it waste my time or affect me and my mindset.

Mindful. Selfish. Unapologetic. Kind to self. That’s what I’m making this year all about. No, I don’t want 2018 to be the best year EVER. I want to learn from my past, look forward to what the future and perhaps it will be the best year yet.

Back to Blogging. Hello September!

I’m writing this sat in my car outside of little L’s nursery. It’s his last settling in session before he starts one day a week. I’ve been okay up until now. Heck I’ve even excited for him to start this new chapter and for me to gain a solid day when I can begin taking on clients and putting my business brain on again.

But now… I’m a bit emotional. This is normal right? When I look back at these past 10 months I can’t believe how far we’ve come. There have been ups and downs, laughter and tears, sick and smiles, but overall, I’m kind of loving this motherhood gig.

Bag packed and ready for nursery!

Bag packed and ready for nursery!

That being said, it’s only been for the past er, couple of months that I’m finally starting to feel a little bit myself again. Little L is going to bed much easier in the evenings which means this mama can have a night off – and catch up with friends over dinner and drinks like the old days. Except of course that I’m ready for bed by 10pm. Baby steps okay?

Out for a sunny stroll... the sunshine didn't last (it is England!)

Out for a sunny stroll... the sunshine didn't last (it is England!)

But the dawn of this new chapter is a bit emotional. I’ve always loved September and this one is no exception. Its fresh start, which is probably engrained in our brains from school days. It feels exciting and fresh. Which is kind of weird because autumn is all dead leaves and darker days. But I don’t care, I love it.

I’ve already had my first (but by no means last) pumpkin spice latte of the season. Thanksgiving is just around (my) corner. And funnily enough, Little L’s 10 month birthday yesterday also meant its just 100 days until Christmas! So it's now 99 and counting (even if I'm the only one counting)... 

Summer loving... see ya later! Bring on autumn!

Summer loving... see ya later! Bring on autumn!

Lolo Lovett at St Albans Fashion Week

Over the past few months I’ve had the pleasure of working with St Albans Fashion Week as their resident stylist. This culminated last week when I hosted an event called How to Look Good Knackered, alongside their week long celebration of fashion, retail and local businesses.

The event itself was a great success – I had around 25 fabulous women in attendance and I was pleased to welcome the gorgeous make-up artists from Bare Minerals and the lovely Julie Cole, a stylist with Stella & Dot jewellery, to showcase their wares.

I also learnt that speaking in front of a group of people for an extended period of time is not an easy task when 37-weeks pregnant! Due to the length of the talk, I hadn’t done a full run-through … and didn’t anticipate that baby L would be burying himself in my upper torso, giving me very reduced lung capacity!

Lolo and her rail of clothes at St Albans Fashion Week

Despite this it was a lovely evening and so far I’ve received some great feedback! As such I thought I’d share with you some of my top tips if you weren’t able to attend the evening….

Let’s face it, we ALL have those days when we feel like no amount of makeup will hide our exhaustion, our favourite outfit isn’t coming to the rescue, and even carrying that beautiful bag won’t draw attention away from the bags under our eyes. Let’s be honest, life can be exhausting. And for most of us, our selves are one of the first things we sacrifice when the diary gets full and we’re running on empty.

So the million pound question, how DO you still look good when you are absolutely knackered?! Here are my top tips…

1) Know your shape and style

It’s not about fashion and what’s trendy, it’s about your personal style and what works for you. We all have different personalities, different lifestyles and different body shapes.  

If you struggle with this, there are plenty of online resources to help (check out Pinterest!). I also offer a free body shape guide when you sign up for my email newsletter – you can do so here.

Which of the main body shapes are you? 

Dressing for your shape is one of the best things you can do to look more pulled together and stylish. It’s not about size - anyone at any size can look fab, but you have to know your shape and how to dress for it!

2) Get your wardrobe in shape

I always suggest new clients start with a wardrobe detox. The best way to get the most out of your wardrobe is to know what’s in it. I’m sure you’ve heard that most women wear 20% of their clothing 80% of the time – I actually think these numbers are even more skewed!

My general rule is that if you haven’t worn it in six months, it doesn’t belong hanging up. Also anything with stains or holes needs to go (unless it can be repaired – and you actually will do it). If your clothes look knackered, then so will you!

Invest a couple hours, twice a year, in a closet clear-out and you’ll save yourself so much time in the long run!

3) Wear colour

Colour is so important. You don’t need someone telling you what season you are though. I strongly believe that all women have a natural instinct and know what works for them – they just often choose to ignore it. And then retreat to basic black and white.

If you’re tired, colour will liven you up. Black absorbs light, and will make dark circles and fine lines more noticeable. White does the opposite – it reflects light. Which is great if you’ve got a glow, but not if you want to hide under a duvet. Choose something colourful and you’ll be amazed at the difference it can make. 

4) Make-up, make-up, make-up

This is a pretty obvious one, but it works. Have a basic routine ready that you can nail in a matter of seconds, focusing on features that you love.

If you’re frequently looking drab and don’t have time for a face full of make-up, invest in longer term solutions – like getting a monthly facial. Or even just regularly exfoliating and using a great moisturizer will make a difference.

Bare Minerals Make-up Artist Lucy, showing an attendee how to liven up her skin

If I could only choose three products to pick me up, I’d go with 1) a concealer to get put those bags at bay (this Bare Minerals one is my favourite), 2) mascara to open up your eyes (no need to spend here though – cheap supermarket brands are just as good as premium!) and 3) a bright lipstick to draw attention away from where you look most tired. At the moment I’m really loving lip crayons like these from Bobbi Brown and Lipstick Queen – they’re a great all-around product.

5) Know how to pull an outfit together

This is probably the most difficult one and it will take some practice. Obviously, I’m going to say get in the professionals who will help make it easy on you!

When I take clients shopping, they often ask for one of my Look Books- it outlines several different ways to wear the items they bought. I also do Outfit Building – where I come to your house and working with what you already have, pull together a number of outfits (up to 50 in three hours!), take snaps and leave them for you to use as necessary.

If you want to work on this one on your own, follow the ‘three-piece Rule’ – wear at least three articles of clothing that are interesting in their own regard. You can also spend some time taking snaps of your favourite outfits and keep them somewhere handy (like posted inside your wardrobe) so when you have those ‘ I don’t know what to wear!’ mornings, you’ve got a handy guide right at your fingertips.

Put these tips into practice and your routine will work better for you and you’ll look less knackered, I promise! If you need more help, do get in touch. Or if you’d like to add something, please comment below!

My five must-haves for surviving your first trimester

As I begin the third trimester today (yay!) those first twelve weeks of pregnancy seem like a distant memory. While it was a super exciting time, it was also just a bit stressful. Having to avoid certain things and activities whilst keeping it secret, was not easy. Add to that silent stress about the health and well being of the tiny human growing inside me, and my mind was full of what if scenarios!

Then there were all the actual physical changes happening in and to my body. I read a lot, and Googled ever more (who am I kidding, I still am!), but not really knowing what was normal and was not is somewhat emotionally draining. Especially because none of it is ‘normal’ to you – everything is new and unknown.

I’ve been very fortunate to have a reasonably straightforward pregnancy thus far. I was never sick and aside from excessive tiredness, I can’t really complain. Then at the end of the first trimester when you first get to see your little baby – well it’s just magical.

It’s been, without a doubt, one of the most exciting and anticipated periods of my life. But I won’t pretend navigating the unknown has been easy. Here are a few of the things that have helped me along the way…

1) Reading materials

Available on Amazon.co.uk for £11.89

I think within 24 hours of finding out I was pregnant, I had ordered What to Expect When You’re Expecting from Amazon. It’s everyone’s go to guide, probably because it contains a huge amount of information in easy to digest format. I highly recommend!

I also downloaded their app – while I think its more geared toward an American audience, it’s a great resource. I also use the Pregnancy+ app – another great one for daily and weekly updates.

2) Nakd bars

Nakd bars available from Amazon, health food stores and most supermarkets

One symptom that appeared almost overnight was the hunger pains. If I didn’t eat something, anything, every two to three hours, I was not in a happy place. Between working and travelling it was sometimes difficult to have a healthy or fresh snack, so I stocked up on these.

They’re the perfect size to carry in your handbag. Plus they’re made from 100% natural ingredients – just fruits and nuts. They’re gluten and dairy free, have no added sugars and they keep that hunger at bay. My favourite flavours are Berry Delight, Cocoa Orange and Café Mocha.

3) Hair elastics

Just loop an elastic through the button hole and over the button - loop around a few times if needed! 

Once again a simple hair elastic came to my rescue (if you missed my video, I use them to help put bracelets on too!). A couple months into pregnancy, my jeans became a bit snug but were still totally wearable.

I wasn’t ready to get into maternity clothes quite yet so I used an elastic, looped around the button and hole, to add a bit of an extension. It seems too easy, but this trick never failed me – until my bump grew too big!

4) Lotions and potions

I’m not sure how common it is, but I was sooo itchy in the beginning of my pregnancy. I’ve always been a bit slack about applying the moisturizer but quickly realized what a godsend it was.

You’re skin is stretching and there’s all kinds of hormonal changes happening so it makes sense. My favourites at the moment are Aveeno and Palmers.

I was also gifted a Mama Mio Pregnancy Starter kit and some Bio Oil – both of which I’ve quickly went through. I’ve become consistent in applying either the oil or cream to my belly twice daily – so far no stretch marks!

5) Water bottle

From a selection at TK Maxx

I drink water like a camel regardless, but have found myself even thirstier throughout pregnancy, especially when I’m out and about.

I totally recommend buying a proper water bottle. I got mine at TK Maxx for I think £3.99. I love the no tilt straw bit – which will be super handy during L&D and while breastfeeding. Plus the tuck in straw means I’m less likely to spill it – becoming clumsier during pregnancy is no joke!

Did/do you have any must-have items for mums-to-be in their first trimester? Please share your tips and recommendations or any thoughts on my favourite things! And stay tuned for my must-haves during my second and third trimesters as well.