‘SUMMER’, ‘DONATE’ and TURN OVER A NEW LEAF FOR AUTUMN WINTER – TIPS FOR ORGANISING YOUR WARDROBE

LARGE TRASH BAGS, or boxes which should be labelled

Do your yourself a favour and have a seasonal sort out; organise yourself; pack away summer gear – and don’t worry, there is still space in your wardrobe for one or two transitional pieces for now, or for if we get a freak Indian summer in March…

WHAT YOU NEED

 

CLEANING KIT – Vacuum cleaner, cleaning cloth, cleaning spray or hot soapy water.

STORAGE SPACE – allocate some space for storing your Spring Summer clothes and give it a good clean out – ideally with a vacuum cleaner first, to get in the nooks and crannies. Moth eggs can be difficult to spot and it’s no good tidily folding away your favourite silk summer dress or cashmere sweater, just to find it’s been chewed to death by moths next season – no good at all!   Same goes for your everyday closet and drawers – Pull everything out and pile it onto the bed (start as you mean to go on and pile everything loosely into categories such as trousers, singlets, short skirts, shirts, jeans and dresses) and give your closet a good dust and clean, ready to be re-organised.

‘TRASH’

COAT HANGERS – no matter what style (wooden, padded, fuzzy, plastic or metal) matching hangers make for a tidier closet. When I moved apartments I was on a very tight budget, but I bought one multi pack of fuzzy velvet hangers per month and eventually filtered out the miss-matched plastic and wire ones. Now everything matches and I find it very calming!     

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VACUUM STORAGE BAGS (optional but highly recommended)

Whether your storage space is a suitcase or a box in the attic, you can pack a lot more, save space and protect your clothes far better if you use vacuum storage bags – and it’s incredibly satisfying to watch a giant bag of bikinis and sarongs, shrink down to half the size!

Style classics like a blazer or a good pair of skinny jeans (if the condition & fit is still good) can often be worked back into your wardrobe. (Definitely if it’s a blazer this Autumn) otherwise pack it away in a vacuum bag for when it’s relevant again.

 

“Have I EVER even worn this?”

If the answer is no, there’s usually a good reason, so set yourself a challenge to either wear it this week, or give it away. If it’s sparkly, fluffy, feathery or embellished, maybe you have been saving it for the ‘right occasion’, but 2017/18 autumn & winter, every occasion is right – so either be brave and put sneakers and a grey sweater with that never worn sequinned pencil skirt – or give it up!   

 

“How many black singlets do I really need?”

If you have an everyday ‘uniform’ which involves a basic, like a t-shirt or singlet that’s totally fine! But have a biannual sort out and ditch any faded, stained ones and organise the keepers into a drawer or shelf. Or, if like me, you have a burgeoning pile of jersey which rarely sees daylight, pick out a few, then give the rest away – and for goodness sakes, stop buying more!

 

GET WITH THE PROGRAM

Now, sweaters, jeans and jersey basics can be folded or rolled away, then ultimately you will only have your favoured items left to hang and you can start to order them from left to right:    

Short sleeved shirts, short skirts/shorts, long sleeve shirts, trousers, jackets, dresses (long, through to short)

Yes, it’s lovely to see all of your clothes in colour order, just like in a boutique, but actually I suggest this ‘category order’ because you can clearly see what you have to choose from and it’s easy to upkeep if you ‘stick to the program’ and you can also now see what’s missing for the season ahead.

 

SEE YOU NEXT YEAR?

Now your A/W wardrobe is organised and you have all your summer pieces separate, so have a QUICK check through these to see if they are still fit for next summer. Don’t spend too long on this section, as you won’t be wearing any of them until next year – but assess what’s definitely worth storing; are your crisp white Broderie Anglaise blouses still looking good, or are they a little yellow? Is the elastic still going strong in your bikini bottoms? If anything is looking too worn, it’s time to say goodbye! (Except for good quality favourites which may require repairs).

 

Some pieces are transitional, such as slip dresses (with a sweater) and strappy sandals (with socks) so keep one or two of these in your closet, then fold the rest into vacuum bags labelled ‘dresses’, ‘beach’, ‘bottoms’ & ‘tops’ etc – you will appreciate it more if you book an impromptu holiday and can grab a bag of ‘Beach wear’ rather than digging through the whole summer kaboodle.

 

Get the Hoover out, shrink your bags nice and small then store it away, out of sight; drop off the trash and the donations, then marvel at your newly organised fashionable life!

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ALL THAT SHIMMERS – WEAR IT NOW!

There’s so much glitter, sparkle and shimmery delight to choose from at the moment, with pearls and glitter on everything from ankles, heels, belts, hemlines, necks, ears, hair, nails, jackets and bags. No rules apply except for ‘don’t save the sparkle for best’ in other words, clash it on with everything, day or night. So razz up your tracky bottoms and denim jacket with a pair of pearly heels, or your Granny’s paste brooches one day, then cover your neck with pearls when you wear your jeans, t shirt and trainers the next, why don’t you?  

And if you need some pearly, sparkly, shiny inspiration, look to Karl Lagerfeld and the Chanel Fall Winter 2017/18 ready to wear collection, for a masterclass in everyday sparkle (but not an everyday budget of course). Space Man prints and planets on hoodies, chiffon and sweater dresses; sixties shift dresses with patent and knitted, crystal and pearl encrusted headbands. Green metallic leather (from Mars?) and embellished tweed and of course, the sparkly boots – with everything! Black toe capped, Paco Rabanne-esque, Barbarella style go-go boots, in white, pale pink, silver, camel and my favourites; dark vampy glitter (like a galaxy filled night sky view, from a rocket ship…) AND there’s an ankle length version too. Like grown up, glittery wellies, fit to elevate any outfit – but not actually recommended for a muddy festival, unless you’re some sort of bloody masochist.

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Ahhh, the boots of my dreams… along with the Saint Laurent ones on the left, Ive been dreaming about those too.

 

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Lagerfeld said to Vaccarello

“I’ll see your rock n roll rhinestone boots and raise you!”

 

Yes, glittering footwear is a big big deal for this autumn & winter, and street style trend setters are already in a silver and gold ankle booted frenzy, but with big labels come the big price tags, so if six and a half grand isn’t in your budget – or stratosphere even, there are versions for every budget on the highstreet too – phew!!

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Russell & Bromley Scrunched boots; Savannah Miller for Debenhams & River Island Glitz

 

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And finally, if you are going to wear a show stopping, attention grabbing pair of shoes like these, they deserve a great pedicure. Stunning shoes warrant perfect nails, buffed skin and exfoliated ankles, even in winter, so don’t give up on your summer beauty regime just because the flip flops are being shelved.

Even if you are doing socks-n-sandals, there’s a good chance that your tootsies will show through the fine knit or lace (which will look so great by the way) so once you’ve made your sandal selection, grab some nail colours to showcase your toes too.

Along with geometric artistry and neutral shades with graphic black accents, such as a short neat stripe, or corners cut with black, one of this Autumn & Winter’s hottest mani pedi trends is ‘shimmer’ – with varnishes in shining gold, silver, pewter, bronze and rose gold. Ooh la la!   And hallelujah, the glitter has been replaced with molten looking metallic liquids, so whether you are going for an all over shine, or adding super cool cuticle highlights, there will be no more scratchy, half hour glitter removal sessions later, woop woop!

And as for the pearly whites, with all pale nail colours, you need to be extra careful in the application, so a nice thin layer allowed to fix first, then follow with one more even application. Don’t be tempted to add a third layer – or even better; just leave the manicure to the professionals.  OPI’s Pearl of Wisdom, a lightly shimmering pearl actually looks very ‘mother of pearl’ and looks great on either very pale, or dark skin and I like it on short, rounded nails.

2017-nail-trends

Autumn Winter 2017/18 nail trends include neutral base with graphic touches, embellished cuticles, geometrics and metal hardware.

 

I haven’t found that perfect rose gold (like the centre cuticle photo above) yet, but in the meantime, the Smith and Cult ‘Regret and the Moon’ is a hit for me, it seems to have a touch of pearly pink that suits my colouring, along with a touch of rose gold cuticle… with these Miu Mius, would be a match made in heaven!

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Ooh La La, I’d ooh la love these Smith and Cult colours!

 

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By the way, I’m not affiliated with any brand or being paid to promote any of the products, but If I bang on about some more than others that’s just because they are my particular fantasy favourites, or blissful items that have captured my heart – But you know, if Miuccia Prada wanted to chuck a pair of those beauties my way, I’d gladly accept them… What, a girl can dream can’t she??

MACRAME FOR LAZY GIRLS

I love decorating and adding fashionable little twists to my apartment as well as my wardrobe and just like a new nail colour or a pair of shoes can revamp an outfit for the new season, cheap colourful soft furnishings can do the same for a room. So, in the pursuit of ‘fashion-ising’ my small office space (which for the moment is just a small coffee table outside on my roof terrace), I’m making some trendy MACRAME HANGING POTS for pens, stationery, brushes and receipts (come on, where else can I put them??).  

KEEPING IT SIMPLE

Seems like all of the cool, boho homes in magazines have a bunch of them and there are instructions for creating some spectacular versions on Pinterest and YouTube, but some of them looked a bit advanced and fiddly for me – and as I’m short on time and wanted a quick fix, I thought I’d simplify one of the methods, for me and other like-minded lazy folks and have listed the instructions below!

keeping-it-simple

Soft pinks and greens in every shade are having a moment both in fashion AND interiors, so for this project I am using some fabulous Khaki green and gold wool that I bought at the local second hand shop (four balls for £4, so I can make loads with that) but you could use any type of string – or even just actual macrame cord!

 

First of all, you need to decide where the baskets are going to hang – on hooks, or along a rail – and if you decide on a rail, you should make sure the hook or ‘ring’ you use will fit on the rail before you start  – it was annoying to make a bunch of hangers, pot some lovely plants then realise that the meat hook didn’t sit comfortably onto the hanging rail, doh! – but I used those ones in my bedroom for cotton wool, makeup brushes and makeup instead – bonus!

 

For the LAZY GIRL MACRAME HANGING BASKET

You will need:

  • Macrame string or wool  
  • 1 x Butchers hook or metal ring (I used Indian bangles)
  • Scissors
  • Pot or bowl
  • Optional – 5 Large holed beads (the hole needs to be big enough to thread 4 lengths of the wool through) and a toothpick or something similar to push the wool through the bead.

macrame-hanging-basket-1 macrame-hanging-basket-2

Beads for the Deluxe model – There’s a shell in the photo, but don’t let it distract you.

FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS…

  1. Roughly measure 8 lengths of wool around 2 meters long, then pull them through the ring and tie a firm knot at the middle, close to the ring (leaving 16 x 1 meter lengths to play with).
  2. Now separate the lengths into 4 bunches of 4 strands and push each bunch through a bead (if you are including beads) and tie a knot – leaving 4 bunches.
  3. Separate these bunches into 8 bunches of 2, then connect each bunch to it’s neighbour, approximately three inches further down.  
  4. If you have more beads you can add them before you tie the knots.
  5. Now, depending on how long you want to make your basket, or the size of your pot, you can repeat this last stage again, but just make sure that the last knots are half the height of your pot, at the very most, to make sure the pot can’t fall out.
  6. Bunch the remaining lengths together and push them all through the last bead, then tie one fat knot, leaving a nice swishy fashion-y tassel which will hang underneath the pot.  Trim it so it hangs neatly if required.

Macrame 4 5 6

And that’s it – fill the pots and hang ’em up, sit back and enjoy the admiring oohs and ahhhs from your fashionable friends!

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keeping-it-simple

Happiness is a tidy workspace – no more procrastination!

easy-macrame-hanging-baskets

TIPS…

 

No tape measure? No problem!

Baskets hanging at varied lengths look great. I measured a piece of wool by stretching my arms out wide (so that will be approximately 5ft 7 inches) then used the first piece to measure the rest.

 

The first ‘Beaded Lazy Girl’ hanger I made took around 8 minutes to make from scratch, then once I’d made that one, I found it easy to make more while watching ‘Great British Bake Off’ on TV, then the Marc Jacobs Spring 2018 show on the net with the gold ring hooked over my toe to give the wool tension while I worked (multitasking or what?)

 

The ‘even lazier’ version is obviously faster too as there’s no beading involved!

 

I used two rings for heavier plants, just in case!

 

Now I am literally obsessed and have come up with a few alternative string suggestions… ribbon, scraps of jersey t shirt fabric, colourful striped meat string (unused of course), embroidery silk…

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