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Finding the right shops and designers for my style

by Justine

What if you know what suits you in style, colour and shape but have no idea where to buy it? What I want is to find the one or two designers that cater to my look so I can just buy from them. I am not a fan of shopping or browsing. I just want to go into the right store, put together a look for the season and walk out.

I am 40 years of age but really look much younger. I blame it on my chubby cheeks. They're a bit Sally Field. I've always thought of my personal style as sporty. Using your website guidelines I have an oblong face, short legs & long torso, hourglass figure but with a round butt, medium bone structure and height of 166cm.

I know the light summer colours suit me best but I'm really not one to follow the trends and as I spend a considerable amount of time dressed casually I'm looking for stores (physical and online) that offer upmarket casual attire. Each piece needs to be multi-purpose and I like things to match. I'd love to find a couple of stores that sell my style so I can just go in and purchase. What a relief that would be. Any suggestions on how I can accomplish this objective?

Jane's answer... Goodness Justine, that's quite a challenge: to suggest just 1 or 2 stores that will provide you with all your clothing and accessorizing needs each season!

The easiest way for me to answer this is to tell you to shop at a quality department store (either in person or online) such as...

  • David Jones, here in Australia

  • Nordstrom in the US

  • John Lewis in the UK

However, you will still need to establish which labels and designers your chosen store stocks that suit your style, body shape, colouring and budget best.

Even when you've worked out the designers and labels that work for you best this season what can happen is that the designer or buyer changes their style or moves on. So you still need to be discerning and prepared to look around again.

Another potential problem with this approach is that your look may becoming boring if your label choices don't offer enough variety from one season to the next, or even within a season. So, I'd suggest caution: watch out if you catch yourself buying pants, for example, that are almost exactly the same style and colour over and over again through the years.

Having said all that, it's quite common to have a few favorite labels or shops, where we tend to be able to find things that work for us -- you probably have at least one of these already.

The best way to find physical stores is to invest a bit of time investigating the stock of the different shops accessible to you. It's also becoming more common for physical stores to give a good indication of their range online, even if they don't have an online store, this should help you identify the shops you like. I give you some examples of Australian physical sotres below.

Your personal style

The Sporty style is also referred to as Natural or Relaxed. The overwhelming feature of this style is that clothes and accessories must be comfortable, functional and no-fuss.

While you have identified this as your main personal style you will most likely have 1 or 2 other secondary personal styles that you can use to add interest to your outfits.

The good news is that the Natural personal style is a very popular style, so there is a large choice of clothes and accessories in this style.

You mention "up market" casual attire. This indicates to me that you might be ready to smarten up your image a notch or 2? Another way to think of this might be "Smart Casual" rather than clothes to suit just "Casual" lifestyle situations. Often Smart Casual (and "up market") means higher prices, but not always: look for nice quality fabrics and good construction and fit and perhaps a bit more tailoring in clothing than you might have gone for in the past.

Stores with Natural style clothes

I can help by pointing you to labels and designers that include clothes in your Natural, Sporty style and for lifestyle categories of Casual and Smart Casual. However, you will still need to decide for yourself whether the styles and colours work for you and whether the quality is what you're looking for.

My online clothing stores directory is intended to give the information you are looking for, though it's a work in progress and could do with lots more entries (so please do keep checking back there)! I'm also intending to list the entries by personal style type -- for now you can use the Google search box on that page to search for "Natural", for example.

In Australia physical shops stocking Natural, Casual and Smart Casual styles include...

Of course there are many other stores and labels that have Natural personal styles and suit the Casual and Smart Casual lifestyles, but hopefully this will get you started.

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jane liddelow

"Your style makeover may require a few tweaks or a total re-think. Using a mix of science and art I show you how to discover your style and look great every day.

Hi, I'm Jane Liddelow, the Personal Image Consultant and Stylist responsible for this site. Find out more about me here."

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