The grown-up way to buy a new wardrobe

Self-confessed hoarder/scattergun shopper Stacey Duguid is doing things differently this season – she’s decided to plan ahead

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By Stacey Duguid on

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How many times have you thought "Pfff, there just aren’t enough hours in the day," as you glance at the clock, realising it’s almost midnight and you haven’t finished the day’s to-do list? If only we could lay off social media for a couple of hours in the evening (because why ring your mum when there’s everyone else’s life to catch up on, eh?). I know it’s all make-believe – if my house isn’t that tidy and my kids not that funny, surely no one else’s are either? 

But not all time spent online late at night is so unproductive. The other night, I started looking for a military jacket because I want something different to what’s currently in the shops. I’m thinking Jimi Hendrix meets 1950s American band jacket with a bit of military thrown in, in case you wondered. I ended up finding loads of ideas on Pinterest and added some lovely band jackets to my “fashion” board.

Half the fun is always looking and planning, which is exactly where my head’s at now because it’s a) the beginning of a new season and b) I’m halfway through reading Marie Kondo’s Spark Joy: An Illustrated Guide To The Japanese Art Of Tidying. Plan, plan, plan before you set foot in a shop and plan, plan, plan before you fill your cupboards and drawers and undo all your great “Japanese tidying”. 

I’m into the idea of finding something I really want to wear, as opposed buying the not-quite-for-me “must-have fashion pieces” I assume I need at the start of each new season. (Man, I’m so grown up these days)

While getting rid of bag after bag of unwanted clothes, make-up and toiletries strike fear in my heart, not joy, my Pinterest board is making me reconsider my usual approach to buying new clothes (I’m an ace scattergun shopper). I’ve realised I’m now into the idea of finding something I really want to wear, as opposed buying the not-quite-for-me “must-have fashion pieces” I assume I need at the start of each new season. (Man, I’m so grown up these days.)  

My colour inspiration this autumn is a burgundy bag bought from A.P.C. back in May, which I’ve carried every day since. Swapping black for burgundy this autumn should be fairly easy to do, given there’s an awful lot of it about to arrive in the shops. Not only is it kinder on the complexion than black, when worn with soft grey it feels fresh for autumn (although probably not in stripes on a scarf – unless you’re 12 and off to school). Burgundy jumpers and blouses look fab with indigo-blue denim, ditto a traditional tweed or bouclé wool jacket, and it doesn’t matter if you buy a burgundy bag or shoes in a slightly different shade – it’s meant to be mixed, rather than matched. I love all things burgundy, especially wine, but draw the line at burgundy tights – way too Harry Potter. 

A never-ending quest to find the perfect vintage band T-shirt to wear with old Levi’s 501s may continue until I draw my last breath (mainly because I hope I’m still wearing jeans into my eighties). A couple of months ago, I thought the search was finally over when I found a band T-shirt on some random website. When it arrived, it was so small it could have fitted a pug or a Victoria's Secret model (references unrelated, although both have narrow shoulders). Marie Kondo will be happy to know I sent it straight back, instead of hoarding it at the back of my wardrobe like I normally would. 

Like all things vintage, band T-shirts take a lot of researching and it’s advisable to get the tape measure out, unless you fancy looking like you’re wearing your son’s gym kit. As for finding the perfect vintage Levi’s 501s, remember how long it took to find a decent boyfriend? There’s your answer – prepare to try on loads before you meet The One(s). 

So, the new-season wish list is to find the perfect tweed jacket to wear with old-skool Levi’s, an affordable vintage military jacket to wear with an old band T-shirt (that fits), and a burgundy jumper to mix and match with grey and denim. One of the best bits about all this planning is realising the new-season me is a lot like the old-season me, but updated, which is probably how it should be. Find your style, pin it, shop it. What was that about wasting time online? Sounds pretty productive to me…

Click through to Stacey's Pinterest board here.


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