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Your How-To Guide to Purchasing With Purpose.

 

Hint – it’s knowledge AND a feeling.

Shopping IS fun, but if the psychology behind the WHY isn’t right you’ll stay in a pattern of consistently bad (fashion related) habits that will keep you stuck;

*Buying the same thing on repeat

*Wearing the same thing on repeat

*Hating your wardrobe, being in a creative rut, and shopping on a whim to fill a void (that isn’t fashion related) that leaves you saying “I have nothing to wear!”

Relating?

After working in the Fashion Industry for over 18 years I’ve seen alot in the way of shopping habits and many, many wardrobes. Which is why I believe every woman (and man) should empower themselves to make informed purchasing decisions that creates a beautiful wardrobe and evokes joy and fun in the process.

So below, I’m sharing the key steps I use when working with Personal Styling clients to get them back to having a functioning and workable wardrobe that does just that!

 

Start by looking at what you already HAVE. This is where you will be super honest about what’s lurking in all the corners/closets/storage bags and taking stock of it all. This naturally brings up emotions because like we do with music, we often attach a time, place, person or occasion with alot of what we’ve worn and whether it’s good or bad, we can sometimes hang onto pieces that no longer serve us in the way we need. You’ll also start seeing a pattern in how you buy – we gravitate towards the things we love (der) but over time we end up having TOO MANY of a certain thing – sometimes it tops, dresses or even shoes.

 

Then think about what you NEED. This is where classic wardrobe items come in. Pieces that are going to go with everything you already have in your wardrobe, the fundamentals, those pleasure pieces that come out and play season after season...you get the idea. But if you are unsure of what the wardrobe classics are – sign up to my newsletter and receive my free Top 3 wardrobe classics pdf – straight to your inbox and a great starting point for anyone wanting to turn their wardrobe around!

 

Next up is FABRICS  + FITS. This is a great time to jump online ( are we ever offline?) create an album, title it “Wardrobe Inspo” and start saving some of your favourite fashion looks. This is a fun process as it’s not just stalking for quick fashion gratification – its research (knowledge is power!) into what you like, what makes you feel good, what fabrics certain items are and even where you might find them.

It’s now onto LIFESTYLE + BUDGET. Totally necessary if you are going to go forth and reclaim your wardrobe. What do you do with most of your time? How do you spend your weekends? What do you want to invest in? Once you start asking these questions, it will give you more insight into what you'd like your wardrobe to be and how you want it to work for you.

 

If you have started doing all of these steps or atleast read them (!) you can already FEEL it’s becoming a thoughtful process. It’s arming you with knowledge, it’s made you step back and think about your wardrobe as whole – as it is now and what you want it to be. It’s made you think outside the square but create clever boundaries. This is what Purchasing with Purpose is all about.

 

I’d love to know your thoughts! What’s been your biggest take away from learning how to #PurchaseWithPurpose ? Comment below!

 

Tara x

 

LABEL LOVE // Victoria Row Footwear

What do you get when a former marketing director (great with words/keen eye)/stylist (creatively driven) casually starts designing shoes for herself, then her friends, then the world? You get the sensational Victoria Row Footwear label that offers small runs of ridiculously beautiful shoes that will brighten up any outfit, or wardrobe for that matter!.

Get to know a little bit more about Victoria (the designer) below, AND if you are anything like me and love to own quality leather shoes that last a lifetime, go check out her launch range at www.victoria-row.com.

 

What does fashion mean to you?

Fashion is an extension of your personality. It’s another way to express how you’re feeling. I absolutely dress according to how I feel on the day, and I have different personas – sporty, minimal, quirky and colourful, and all of my “styles” come out through my clothes depending on how I’m feeling. Ultimately, I dress for me and what makes me feel good (which can be harder as you get older!) Fashion is just so much fun. It excites me!

How has this translated into Victoria Row?

Even though I may experiment from time to time with new trends or genres with my own style, there is one constant that I am always drawn to – and that’s colour. I love colour and amazing prints and textures. I also love a hint of the unexpected or a juxtaposition. So whether it be in my fashion choices or shoe designs, I like to have, for example, a masculine style oxford produced in a feminine pastel colour. Or introduce a mesh fabric ordinarily reserved for sneakers, to a pair of stylish ankle boots. I guess I like fashion or design that takes people out of their comfort zone just a little bit.

When did you realize you wanted to become a designer?

Ha! Maybe 18 months ago! My background is marketing, but with a constant love of fashion. I have been a personal stylist, but have never designed before. Much of what I am doing with VICTORIA ROW is uncharted territory for me. But, I am an opportunist and I believe I have a good eye for what looks and feels good when it comes to shoe design.

What do you believe makes a quality pair of shoes?

The quality of the detailing and overall comfort. Shoes that are made with the wearer in mind. So is there reinforced stitching in certain places of the shoe or extra cushioning where the foot needs it? Has the shoe been made by quality craftsman who have paid attention to loose threads, marks on the shoes, glue residue? How suitable is the fabric -  the designer may have chosen an amazing material, but is it suitable for the type of shoe? And of course, does it stand the test of time in terms of durability, but also style? Some of my most favourite pairs of shoes I’ve had for many years and I can wear them every year and they still look awesome!

How does living in Melbourne influence your creativity?

It’s funny because Melbourne is renowned for everyone loving black fashion, and yet here I am with all my colours! I do actually wear a lot more black as I’ve got older though. I love Melbourne’s cool style, but I would say that living in London actually brought out a lot more of my creativity and experimentation with fashion. Understandably with far more people living there, you encounter so many different styles or trends, and everyone accepts whatever you wear! So it was the perfect place to experiment. I think I may have lost some of that “spunk” that I had when I was younger living in London, but I certainly draw upon the confidence I had and the fun that people had with fashion.

Favourite pair from your launch collection?

Well the shoe that really started it all was Camilla Be Cool – I started getting pairs made in Bali for myself and then my friends started asking pairs, and then it kind of took off from there! But I have to say, my favourite pair is Straight Talker. I just love the strong pointed toe with metal detailing. It’s such a perfect shoe to wear with boyfriend jeans, or a floaty floral dress, or with some cigarette leg black pants to work.

When, where and how can women get their hands on Victoria Footwear?

Victoria Row has just opened its doors online at www.victoria-row.com. There are only a couple of styles currently available – Actually Anthea and Camilla Be Cool, BUT, more styles will be coming very soon - including the Straight Talker! And at this stage we are purely online, however, we may branch out to wholesale soon.

 

Annnddd just because....

Favourite perfume? Oooo tough one. Right now I’m wearing Ellie Saab which I adore, but I also love Coco Mademoiselle and Narciso Rodriguez.

Favourite song to dance to? Oh what? Only one? Early 00’s dance music was my jam – that’s when I was peaking on the dance floor! So anything from that era will makes me happy. Otherwise I love a bit of JT, Bruno Mars, Calvin Harris.

Favourite flower? I’m not great with the names of flowers! But I do love a beautiful arrangement. I’m quite partial to a peony rose though.

Dream holiday destination? I would LOVE to go to Tahiti or back to the Greek Islands for a summer vacay. Paris is my most favourite city I’ve visited so far. And I am desperately wanting to visit Scandinavia to do a design tour or something where I can uncover the best interior designers / shops!

Follow Victoria Footwear

Insta @victoriarowfootwear

Facebook @victoriarowfootwear

Website www.victoria-row.com

VINNIES + VINTAGE // Being their Stylist

Many of you may, or may not know that for the last year and a half year I’ve had the immense pleasure of working with St Vincent De Paul Society as their Stylist. As organically as this role came around, I also believe it was serendipitous, because for as long as I can remember (from about the age of 15) I have been an avid shopper at Vinnies. I grew up in the Southern Suburbs of Sydney and I have so many fond memories of shopping/trawling/pawing through their shops (mainly Cronulla and Sutherland) for something  unique or just something I thought was great and knew I would wear.

I have also always loved the “thrill of the chase” that comes from op- shopping, partly because I find shopping therapeutic, and partly  because I love to uncover a vintage gem that more than likely had a fabulous story behind  it. I can remember so clearly booking my first trip to New York to spend a month with a friend over Christmas (Hello, sub temperatures) and wanting a beautiful, yet supremely warm jacket to take with me. Off I headed to Sutherland Vinnies and found a cream, vintage wool swing coat that fit me perfectly and was about $30. That jacket lasted long after my trip was over, and so did the memory of it...

Cut to many years later, and here I am, as part of the state team in a role that involves a  littttle bit more than getting around finding all the good vintage - having said that, I am hosting  an in-store event  this week that pretty much encapsulates all of the above and more -please come along if you are in Sydney and LOVE Vintage/Designer clothes!.

Another large part of my role is to Style and Creatively Direct all of the Fashion Campaigns you see online to really showcase how easy it is to create a wearable and fashionable wardrobe by shopping at Vinnies  -check out and follow @vinniesnsw for all the goodness. I also have the absolute honor to host the Vinnies Styling Sessions – which are in-store events (parades, food, goodie bags, lots of fashion talk and lots of fun) all over NSW.  These community events mean I get to meet so many wonderful, loyal, enthusiastic Vinnies customers plus all of new customers too. Vinnies NSW hosted NOSW (National Op Shop Week) last year and I had the pleasure of styling  Rae Johnston who was the Ambassador for the event in in  a Head to Toe Vinnies campaign.

I also worked on the huge project of bringing to life a new look store concept in the form of the flagship shop at Brookvale on the Northern Beaches. This was such an amazing project to be a apart of from start to finish, as  it involved me doing everything from presenting concept ideas, sourcing found fittings, designing custom fittings, writing a VM guide then facilitating it to the staff,  styling the shop and offering on going  support/training to the staff . This particular project was a great learning curve for many reasons, but I have to say, on that opening day the whole team were beyond please with the results we produced!

Working in such a creative capacity with a not-for-profit means I get to share and execute new ideas with everyone from the CEO to the volunteers in the shops all over NSW (never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would spend time in Lightning Ridge or Bourke) which makes it very interesting, and ultimately very rewarding as the social and community aspects of Vinnies is always apart of what I do.

 

Now I’d love to hear from you...are you an op-shopper? And if yes, what has been your best find to date? Share below!

 

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