In honour of the new year and with the aim of making positive changes to my life, I’ve decided to get involved with a really important campaign; #WomanKind. The campaign carries a simple message that is so easily overlooked; care for yourself. With a recent survey by WeightWatchers showing that 88% of women wouldn’t criticise others the way they criticise themselves, I think it’s high time that the tables were turned. We need to start being kinder to ourselves and, in the spirit of the #WomanKind ethos, I aim to share lots ideas over the coming month to help us all to live well, feel amazing and look stylish, no matter how tight our budget is!You may have already seen the hashtag pop up on social media and have joined in yourself but for those of you who don’t know what it is (I didn’t know until a couple of days ago!) here’s a video about the campaign. I agree that it’s much easier to love and care for other people than it is to love yourself, and I can easily believe the 89% of women who say that they compliment friends and family in ways that they would never compliment themselves. I’m definitely someone who gives out love unconditionally but am rarely as kind to myself as I am to others. Thankfully I have a wonderful group of loyal friends and family who shower me with love but the true message of the #WomanKind campaign is to not rely on others to make you feel important – you are important and deserve to treat yourself well. To kick-start this campaign, I wanted to share some of the techniques I personally use to live well while being thrifty and stylish during the long day winter months. You can read by Q&A about why I’m getting involved in this wonderful campaign on the #WomanKind blog. Today I want to start by looking at fashion hacks you can use to make yourself look good on the outside and styling tips that will leave you feeling great on the inside.Tip 1: Tidy up your wardrobe
Over the last year I’ve noticed that of the key factors that stops me from being pleased with how I look is simply not being able to find the clothes I want. Often I’ve chosen an outfit that I’m happy with and I know I’ve got the perfect cardigan to go with that cute tartan skirt but I just can’t find it. It’s not in the wash and I’ve not chucked it out so where on earth is it?! This puts a stop to me wearing my preferred outfit and I have to settle for second best. Sound familiar?
January is the ideal time of year to have a wardrobe clear-out. And yes, I mean pull everything out of your wardrobe, dump it on the bed and don’t give up until its neatly back in the wardrobe on the right hangers and organised so that you can easily find the things you want to use. If you want to get rid of anything you’ve not worn in a while to make space for new purchases, now is the time to take a bagful to the charity shop. And for the coming year try out the trick of putting all your hangers the same way round and, after wearing an item, replacing the hanger the opposite way round. This will let you see what clothes you haven’t worn all year and that you probably don’t need = more space for the things you love that make you feel great. Tip 2: Make repairs
One sure-fire way to make yourself feel a little bit down in the dumps is wearing clothes that are damaged, old or have a button missing. Other people might not notice a small split in your jumper under the armpit but if you know it’s there, you might feel less than fabulous. Plus it might actually restrict your movements as you struggle to keep it a secret. So if you’ve got an item of clothing that you love and needs salvaging, do it now! Remove bobbles from a favourite cardi by using a proper bobble remover or, if you’re being thrifty like me, use a blunt-ish razor before it goes in the bin. Even if you didn’t enjoy textiles class at school, I’m sure you would be able to make a few stitches to join up a broken seam, catch a drooping hem or stitch on a button (here’s a YouTube tutorial by Crafty Amy if you need a refresher!). If you really love a dress or skirt but just can’t face doing the repairs yourself, take it to someone who can. A seamstress isn’t expensive for small jobs, dry-cleaning shops often offer repair services and even your mum, gran, aunt or friend can probably show the ropes and give you a hand if needed!
Tip 3 – Raid the bargain bins
There are tons of sale rails in the shops at this time of year and at this stage in the January sales everything is reduced as low as possible. So enjoy a little bit of ‘me’ time (something that the #WomanKind survey says is sacrificed by 53% of women) and go shopping! Come up with a budget before you head to the high street and make sure you stick to it. Overspending can make you feel as bad while getting a bargain and coming in under budget will put a smile on your face.It’s important to have cleared out your wardrobe before going shopping because you’ll have room for new things and will have an idea of what you actually need. If you already know that you just need a pair of smart trousers to go with that top and blazer combo, you’ll be more likely to come home with things that will make your life easier when putting together outfits this year. And while you’re out enjoying some retail therapy don’t overlook the charity shops. Lots of people just like you are having a January clear-out and you might be able to find some hidden gems, new items still with their labels on or genuine vintage pieces at bargain prices. Plus you can make the most of the items you do buy by styling it in different ways. Get inspiration for putting together lots of thrifty outfits from just one new piece of clothing with my thrifty fashion blog posts – including a denim shirt, a smart dress, a leather jacket and a men’s tweed blazer.What do you think of these thrifty shopping tips? Will you be using these hacks for yourself this January? What ways do you stick to a budget while looking stylish? And let me know if you are on-board with the #WomanKind campaign too, I’d love to hear from you and share ideas for feeling great and taking care of each other. Leave me a comment below or tweet me @Cassiefairy with your life hacks and happiness strategies.