1 Invest in quality
Before spending money on high fashion or on-trend pieces, buy classic items that will form the bedrock of your wardrobe. Invest in the highest quality you can afford. I always build my seasonal wardrobe around a trench coat, a black trouser suit, navy blazer, striped T-shirt, blue jeans and a great white shirt.
2 Walk tall
There’s nothing like a killer heel to make you feel confident and powerful, but if you’re walking like something out of Thriller, its time to pass on those Jimmy Choos to a deserving friend, or save them for car to bar occasions. Make sure you can walk in your heels like you “own” them. I usually wear flats when travelling or when I’m busy, but I always have a pair of heels in my car or bag to take an outfit from day to night.
3 Tailor every look
Good tailoring can be transformative. I love form-fitting clothes, so I occasionally collect items from my wardrobe that are too long, short, big or small and alter them myself or take them to a tailor. Having pieces tailored to fit can elevate them from good to great. I also like to tweak pieces and make them my own. For example, I love changing the buttons on a dated coat, or cutting a full sleeve above the elbow to put my own personal stamp on it. When collecting a bag of clothes from the tailors, it can feel like I’m bringing home a brand new wardrobe.
4 Be wary of bargain buys
Ask yourself, “Would I buy this item even if it weren’t on sale?”. Most of us would have fewer random items in our wardrobes if we answered this question truthfully each time we went sales shopping. Don’t fall into the trap of buying something discounted simply because it’s high-end, or a label you couldn’t afford at full price.
5 Be organised
I don’t mean colour coding or separating summer and winter wardrobes. I mean make a list. Take time to figure out why you never wear certain items in your wardrobe and add to the list pieces that will make those redundant clothes more wearable. When I have a substantial list, I hit the shops feeling a little more protected from impulse buys. I also have a book of magazine references featuring looks that have caught my eye. Taking selfies before you go out and saving them in an archive can be really helpful for those days when you look in your wardrobe but can’t think of a thing to wear.
6 Find a style icon
Choose someone who has a coherent style you admire. Whether its Charlize Theron, Helen Mirren or Kim Kardashian (although if you’re reading IMAGE Magazine, Kim is probably not top of your list!), it helps to have your own style icon as it will keep your look consistent, and consistency is the key to a strong wardrobe. If I’m questioning a look I’ve put together or have been hypnotized by a new buy, I ask myself “Would Charlize wear this?”
7 Ask the right questions
When consulting trusted friends or loved ones, avoid simply asking, “Should I wear this?”. Most people will say yes so as not to hurt your feelings (or because they don’t want to be late!). Instead, make it easier by giving them a choice, such as, “Should I wear the long dress or this short one?”.
To read the full interview with Yvonne Connolly, and see our exclusive fashion shoot, pick up the September issue of IMAGE Magazine.