AW Fashion · Budget Fashion · Fashion · Lemonade Lifestyle · Lifestyle · Shoppingmywardrobe · Style · Wardrobe Overhaul

Shopping My Wardrobe – Week 2

I was pleased to finally be free from my ankle brace for the most part of this week. Which meant no more trainers. I could finally get my boots out their boxes.

I had a very busy week at school this week and several parental events which meant I needed to be looking my best. So it was all about the blazer this week. It doesn’t matter what you wear. If you pop a blazer on it can make any outfit look smart.

Monday – Black Cullottes (Next) and a cheap and cheerful shirt from Matalan. I bought the shirt earlier this year and have only worn it once. I don’t know why because it looks really lovely on and I received a few comments when I wore it this week.

Tuesday – Trying to squeeze a little more wear out of my Summer wardrobe. The Khaki 3/4 length trousers and pink tee were both purchased earlier in the year in the Zara sale. The trousers look great on but the quality is poor and the zip has broken for the third and final time. I added a Tan check blazer (HM) and Nubuck ankle boots (Next) to smarten up what would ordinarily be a casual outfit. The blush cape (Matalan) is a few years old and was perfect to throw on rather than a coat as the weather was still relatively mild.

Wednesday – Head to toe in Next. Their black workwear trousers are some of the best I have come across. Mine are about three years old and still look as good as new.

Thursday – Today I wore the prettiest of blouses. Found hidden away at the back of my wardrobe. I bought it from Next over two years ago. It has lace detailing along the hem, cuffs and neckline. Small pleats down the front and buttons all the way up the back. It used to be a little tight on the arms which is why it has been packed away at the back of the wardrobe. But I must have lost a little weight as it now fits perfectly.

Friday – My last work outfit of the week saw me wearing another very old shirt (Primark) that I found at the back of the wardrobe. Another one that looks more expensive than it was and prompted a few compliments from work colleagues.

I seem to spend the majority of my time in either work clothes or loungewear. Which this week consisted of leopard print joggers and a black sweatshirt (both Primark) So it’s nice to have the opportunity to either get dressed up or dressed down in jeans.

On Wednesday night I popped out for a few hours to the school’s PTA AGM, which just happened to be held in a lovely local pub. I only had an hour to eat and get changed after work so I just threw on a pair of Relaxed Skinny Jeans (Next) and a fluted sleeve fleece top that I bought from Primark earlier this year. It only cost £6 and to be honest I didn’t expect it to last more than six months. At that price you don’t expect it to wash well but surprisingly it still looks great, so I am pleased to get another few months wear out of it. I popped on my current favourite burgundy trainers (La Redoute) which look great teamed with pink. The weather was quite mild so I dug out an old Wallis Coatigan instead of wearing a coat.

Thursday night I was back in the pub again with my husband. We usually go to our local pub once a week, on a Thursday or Friday, to get the stresses of the week out of the way and have a catch up. This week I wore another pair of Next Jeans (Boyfriend fit) , Black Stripe Sweatshirt (HM) and Black & White canvas trainers (La Redoute) which you can see on @smalltownthreads #fridayfeet on Instagram.

On Saturday night we travelled back to where I used to live in London for a party to celebrate the 50th Birthday of my oldest friends sister. Usually I would play it safe and throw on smart skinny jeans and a dressy top but this time I wanted to try and make the most of the clothes I have hanging in my wardrobe. I have so many things that are not being worn. I popped a couple of outfit ideas onto Instagram and asked my followers for their opinions. I followed their advice and decided to glam it up in a sequin skirt ( which I teamed with a plain black top (HM) an old leather biker jacket from (Bay Trading Co – who remembers them) and Clarks suede ankle boots aptly named Melanie. The bag is old HM and as we were going to be travelling back late by train I threw on an black poncho (Next) that I completely forgot I owned.

We had a great night catching up with old friends, many of which I have known fro over 30 years. The only downside to the night was that I had a slight slip in the rain travelling to the venue and aggrevated my ankle injury.

I spent Sunday with my feet up on the sofa in leggings and sweatshirt (Next) catching up on Strictly and Cold Feet while hubby cooked a roast dinner in the afternoon. It was a lovely end to what had been a very busy week.

I am pleased to say I have not been tempted to buy any new clothes at all. And I am enjoying finding old clothes that I had forgotten about, which let’s face it is as good as buying something new.

So are you participating in the wearing my wardrobe challenge or the No spending in October challenge. If so, I would love to hear how you are getting on?

Thank you for reading.


Melanie xxxx


AW Fashion · Budget Fashion · Declutter · Fashion · Lemonade Lifestyle · Lifestyle · Mindfulness · Shoppingmywardrobe · Style · Wardrobe Overhaul

100 Days of Shopping my Wardrobe

I had a successful clearout of my wardrobe at the end of August and am pleased to announce that I have halved the amount of clothes and shoes I own. This is a big achievement for me. In the end a total of four bags went to our local homeless charity and I have a large sack remaining, that I will eventually pop onto eBay.

I have been ruthless and careful to only keep those items that I truely love and that compliment my body shape and colouring. I have finally accepted that my lifestyle has changed, so out are a large number of going out clothes and skyscraper heels and in are jeans, knitwear and trainers. I am also embracing my signature style that generally consists of jeans, shirts and blazers. I am no longer going to keep trying to wear florals and maxi dresses. They don’t suit me. Never have. Never will. It’s time to stick to the classics that I know I look good in.

Now that I have a more streamlined wardrobe I want to make sure that I actually wear all of the clothes I own. What is the point of having a wonderful selection of great clothes if it sits in the back of the wardrobe not being worn. I have actually discovered some gems tucked away that may have only been worn once in the last 2 or 3 years. Now that is a waste of money. And at this moment in time I need to be more frugal and make sure I am getting the most out of what I have.

I have had a wonderful idea of setting myself the challenge to wear every item of clothing I own at least once. so I am developed the “100 Days of Shopping my Wardrobe” challenge.

There are 100 days until the new year (that’s a little scary) so this is the perfect time to start. The aim of the challenge is to wear at least one different item of clothing each day. I will only be wearing what I already own. There will be no new purchases. The last shopping haul I had delivered was mid August which included a couple of Autumn/Winter goodies including boots, jumper and jeans from Next. I haven’t shopped since.

I have made a list of all the items I own (excluding Summer clothes) so I can tick items off when I wear them. This will help me keep track and make sure I wear everything. I am actually looking forward to this challenge so much and can’t wait to be inventive with my wardrobe to create outfits that give a nod to the new season trends and also look good.

I will be posting my outfit on Instagram every day and will also follow up with a weekly blog post detailing the items I have worn over the week.

I’m sure there are lots of you out there who, like me, have too many clothes to wear and end up wearing the same outfits over and over again. Why not be a little adventurous and join me in the #100daysofshoppingmywardrobe challenge and fall in love with old clothes all over again.

Thank you for reading.
Melanie xxxx

Declutter · Fashion · Lemonade Lifestyle · Lifestyle · Organisation · Style · Wardrobe Overhaul · Wellbeing

Wardrobe Overhaul – Part 4



This final part of the series is about how head and heart compete when making clothes choices. It talks about the reality of styles you see in pictures and want to emulate and if they would really work on you. A trap we all fall into on a daily basis on Instagram. We see those pictures of our favourite style icons wearing the latest it skirt /dress and they look amazing. So we buy buy buy and then wonder why it doesn’t look as good as the image we had in our head or why you never find the right occasion to wear it because to put it bluntly, you don’t have the same lifestyle as that Instagram fashion blogger you follow.

So what is a girl to do? Do you abandon your dream of looking as stylish as those gorgeous pictures on social media.  Definitely not. We all deserve to look as fabulous as we dare to dream. We just have to apply a smidgen of reality. I am calling it “Style & Sensibility”… And yes I made that up !!

This is where the use of Pinterest comes into it’s own. I have a vast number of Pins of the styles I love. Feel free to wander over to Pinterest and take at look at my boards here. Please don’t judge my Pin organisation…. I am a OCD neat freak. I have a very tidy mind and I really can’t cope with mess, and yes that even extends to my Pinterest Boards!!

Like many other women, I use these pictures as inspiration and then adapt them for my everyday life.

I love the effortless casual style of Parisian women. such as those in the pictures below, which are a couple of my favourite looks.




I spend most of my time at work and I want to incorporate my dream style into my everyday outfits but many of these are not suitable for my work attire so I need to tweak them slightly whilst still trying to retain the original style element.

It is not appropriate for me to wear jeans to work (which is why it still baffles me as to why I think I need to own over 20 pairs – but I love them and most styles suit me so they are staying). So to replicate this style I need to replace the jeans with skinny fit ankle grazer trousers. I can wear the same style tops to work which is great as I have a wardrobe full of shirts, fitted jumpers and blazers.

Footwear is the main issue for me. I love wearing heels and absolutely hate flats, probably because I am a shorty, but sky high stilettos are so not practical for me on any level other than date night. So I tend to opt for a mid heel or a wedge. I also love trainers (my husband hates them) and I have a small collection which I wear with jeans and skirts or dresses when I am out and about or at my local pub. I love the laid back smart casual look. And so I can emulate the Parisian style with a few minor tweaks.

I also love the images of on Instagram of ladies in boho dresses and floral maxi dresses but as much as I have tried I cannot pull off this style and I have now stopped depressing myself by attempting to emulate those beautiful slim, usually tall, ladies who just look so effortlessly gorgeous in long flowing dresses. Sometimes it is necessary to admit defeat.  I am never going to look like that so I should really concentrate on dressing in what looks fabulous on me.

So now I have more items to add to my “Wow Wardrobe” list….. Skinny trousers, shirts, blazers, mid-heels, simple stylish easy to wear items. And to be thrown on the OUT pile…. Wide leg trousers, comfortable shapeless tops in an array of colour and pattern that are always worn with black trousers.

This weekend I am starting the physical clear out. I am excited but also a little scared. I have always been a clothes hoarder and it will be hard for me to accept that I do not need to own as many clothes as I currently have. But I need to be honest about the clothes I own and how many of them really do very little for me. The only way to stop wearing clothes that do not look amazing on me is to get rid of them.

So how do you manage the draw of wanting to emulate what you see on others? Do you have a dream style that you aspire to wear. Maybe you have already managed to find your signature style. As always I would love to hear from you.

Thank you for reading.


Melanie xxxx


Note : The original version of this post first appeared on in August 2015
Budget Fashion · Declutter · Fashion · Lemonade Lifestyle · Lifestyle · Organisation · Style · Wardrobe Overhaul · Wellbeing

Wardrobe Overhaul – Part 3


Wearing the right colours can make such a difference to how you look and feel. As with Body Shape it can be quite a challenge to trawl through all the information out there to discover your “Colours” but once you do find them it really is quite liberating.
I have spent many hours over the years trying to find out which colours make me look amazing. It is all well and good wearing the right shape clothes that fit your body shape but if the colour is not right the outfit will just look average.
Wearing the perfect colours can light up your face and make your eye colour pop. The wrong colours can leave you looking tired and dull. I now know that when I wear certain colours I am likely to receive compliments bout my appearance. I know that when I wear shades of blue, particularly navy, I receive compliments about the colour of my eyes. When I wear colours such as coral, crisp pink and red people tell me how well I look.
Using this information I am making a concerted effort to buy clothes in these colours, as it is obvious they work well for me. It is much harder to figure out the colours that don’t work. Most people are not as willing to tell you how awful you look. They are most likely to say nothing at all. We all like to receive compliments. It puts a smile on our face and makes us feel confident and walk tall. That is why I think wearing the right colours is so important.
I have read so many books trying to figure out my colour palette. I wish it were easy but I find the process complicated and often end up with different results each time. There are so many things to consider and lots of talk about hues and undertones and seasons. My brain just can’t keep up. The one resource I would say is worth a read is the Colour Me Beautiful book shown below. It covers a lot of the information in a clear concise way and has at least given me something I feel I can use.
If you are short on time and wanting to do a mini wardrobe overhaul then there are some simple steps you can take to figure out what colours work for you. I have followed this process and it gave me the same results as the Colour Me Beautiful book.
First is the easy one. Do you have a warm or cool skin tone? If you look better in gold jewellery them you have a warm skin tone and if silver looks better then you have a cool skin tone. Remember though it is what suits you best not what you like best.
Secondly have a look at the veins on the underside of your arm. If they are more of a blue colour then you have a cool skin tone whereas the veins on a warm toned skin will look more green than blue.
Next think about how your skin reacts to the sun. Warm skinned tones tend to tan easily. Cool skin tones are more likely to colour red and burn.
The last of these steps is to think about which neutral shades flatter you most. Do you look better in bright white and the darkest black or are off whites, cream and brown hues more flattering. If the latter is the answer then you have a warm skin tone. Cool skin tones look great in bright white and black.
Once you have decided whether you are warm or cool you can then move on to discover what season you are. Warm skin tones tend to be Spring or Autumn and Cool skin tones Summer or Winter.

Cool Skin Tone with Dark Hair & Dark Eyes = Winter

Cool Skin Tone with Light Hair & Light Eyes = Summer


Warm Skin Tone with Dark Hair & Dark Eyes = Autumn

Warm Skin Tone with Light Hair & Light Eyes = Spring

Some may feel they are a mix of two Seasons and for this purpose that is quite acceptable. You can define your colouring further to light, dark, clear versions of each Season with a much more in-depth analysis. I have used this simple version to give me a basic understanding, so that I can incorporate the most flattering colours into my wardrobe.
Using the steps detailed above I am clearly a SPRING.

I know that I am definitely a Warm Skin Tone as gold does look better on me than silver and I tan very easily. I know from experience that Off White looks better on me than Bright White. And as much as I love Black when I wear it next to my face it leaves me looking pale and washed out. That does not mean I am going to stop wearing black, however it does mean that when I do I will also wear a scarf or statement necklace in one of the colours on my palette which then balances out the negative affects.

I have looked at photos of myself wearing black and it is amazing the difference I can see between two photos, one where I am wearing no accessories and one where I have a statement gold necklace. The first photo is unflattering whereas the second looks much better.

Looking at photos of yourself can be very informative. Instagram has become a useful tool for me to see what works and doesn’t work. It actually becomes quite easy to identify the colours that have a negative affect. And those items of clothing will be heading for the OUT pile this weekend.


The criteria for my ‘Wow Wardrobe’ is now growing and on the list are colours such as Navy, Clear Bright Blues, Khaki, Red, Orange, Coral, Clear Bright Pinks and shades of Brown, Cream and Gold including Camel.
Have you found the information above useful? Which Season are you? Are you aware of colours that flatter you? I would love to hear your comments on colour analysis. Do you think it is useful or a load of rubbish?
Thank you for reading.

Melanie xxxx

Note : The original version of this post first appeared on in August 2015