Last week I went shopping for 16 hours. Granted, it wasn’t consecutive hours. And it wasn’t with my money. But it was a lot of shopping all the same.
The reason: I was asked to help style the four finalists in the Sunshine Plaza Showcase Your Style competition, here in my home “town” on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.
Each finalist had me as their shopping guide for more than four hours.
How’s this for a challenge? In that time we had to create four different “winning” outfits (top to toe) using as many of the participating retailers as possible.
The outfit categories:
Colours of summer
Summer on a budget
It might sound easy but as the four finalists will tell you, finding just the right combination does take a bit of work, on-the-job-planning and a coffee stop or two.
I’m going to share the process I used as it’s one that is great to apply yourself when shopping for a particular occasion or a seasonal update.
1. I talked to each of the finalists about their style, where they usually shop and what their work and play lifestyle entails. Great style is not about copying looks from the pages of a magazine. It’s about understanding what works for you and what makes you feel fabulously different from the next person.
2. When putting together a specific outfit, start with the base of that outfit. Whether that’s a dress, skirt and top, jeans and shirt, the outfit needs to be built around these building blocks. Think about what in those outfit building blocks is going to not only stand out but suit the occasion you have in mind.
3. Bring those wardrobe building block pieces with you when shopping for the “icing on the cake” accessories. Trying to work back a pair of shoes, bag or belt with an outfit that’s sitting at home in your cupboard will rely on guess work. Which usually won’t work.
4. Accessorise for impact. Not just because you can. You are wanting to make a statement with your accessory choice but you don’t want to diffuse the statement by adding too many statement pieces in the one outfit.
5. Never settle for just any old clothing or accessory purchase. If there’s no spark in your eyes when looking at your reflection in the change room, you can bet your clothing budget dollar there won’t be when you get home either. There is so much fashion choice out there. Move on to the next store. What you need is probably there waiting for you.
6. All four finalists received mini-makeovers from Napoleon Perdis (yes, even the guys!) and this is something to really consider if you have a special summer occasion coming up or, like our finalists, you are being photographed. A simple addition of a bright lipstick or a smokey eye can make your outfit pop.
So do you want to see the finalists’ first looks?
The first category currently being showcased in this month-long competition (that will see one of the finalists walk away with a $5000 Sunshine Plaza gift card) is Colours of summer. I’m particularly excited about this one as this season, as you already know, is all about colour. Walk into any fashion retailer at the moment and you are greeted by orange, blue, green, yellow … it’s impossible for it not to put a smile on your face.
Remember, if you want to embrace colour this season and colour blocking entire outfits seems too overwhelming, opt instead for popping a neutral outfit with one bright. The effect is still strong and it’s guaranteed to give you a lift.
Which look do you like the best?
This is where you come in. Head to the Sunshine Plaza Facebook Page and vote for your favourite look and vote for your favourite look by clicking on Latest Outfit under the Sunshine Plaza profile picture. This Thursday, the next category will be posted, followed weekly by the final categories. The finalist with the most votes at the end of the month-long competition will win the Sunshine Plaza $5000 gift card. There will also be random prize draws for those commenting on the page and voting in the competition.
So, do you plan ahead when heading out to buy new clothes for a specific occasion or a new-season update? Do you have any tips do you have to share? Have you already added colour to your spring wardrobe?