Living in Farnham, I'm pretty spoilt for good shopping destinations nearby.Farnham prides itself on a small selection of mostly independent stores, with the odd chain here and there, but it's not exactly the place to go if you need a wardrobe re-think. And since returning from travelling I've been wanting to do just that - sort out my wardrobe and really start to find my 'style' again.
In the twelve months leading up to when we left in February, we were on a strict travelling budget and buying new clothes became a thing of the past. So I recycled my AW2014 wardrobe, and tried to string out what little life was left in some of my ankle boots, polo necks and coats. Upon our return I squeezed myself back in to my skinny jeans (sob, beach life where have you gone) and decided now was the time to spend a little time and money working on getting back a bit of my style. The bad news is I have very little funds, so I've had to be tactical when shopping - seeking out versatile styles over statement pieces.
This is when I think The Oracle might have bugged my house or something because they just knew their Your 5 event was exactly what I needed! The idea being most people don't wear the full range in their wardrobe; only twenty percent, in fact. So by buying a handful of key items that nail the A/W trends - that of course you can mix and match with other items in your wardrobe - you're on your way to creating a closet that is concise and on point.
So when we arrived (we being myself and Lorna) we logged our details in to the stylist's iPad and quickly began a summary of the five pieces to nail this A/W; the skirt, the coat, the ankle boot, the wide leg trouser and the knit. We were shown a heap of different styles, brands and price-ranges within each category and were asked to pick one from each that we most liked - this was emailed to us in wishlist format at the end of the consultation with links, price-tags and information. Shopping made easy, right? I loved being shown items from shops and ranges I would usually by-pass, and had a good chat with stylists over how items could be worn in multiple ways. Brief, fulfilled!
After a brief five hour trawl (!) through the stores The Oracle has to offer, we retired for coffee and some reflection. For me, I've decided I want to step out of my sartorial comfort zone and try to avoid always going for the comfy option. I am the self-professed Queen of Casual... not to say I do it well, but I most definitely favour a relaxed jean over a fitted number. But when you find yourself at work in boyfriend jeans and a jumper, looking more like the students you teach than the professional you're meant to be... well, you catch my drift.
In the spirit of Your 5, I've put together a handful of my favourite buys that have seen me move away from my pre-travelling scruffbag attire...
1. Mules - these rust-coloured mules from Next and these black chunky heeled mules are both total dreams.
2. Culottes - casual but cool, and oh-so-comfy. These Zara culottes are spot on and a complete bargain.
3. Midi dresses - this Mango number has helped me move out of my boyfriend jeans and into something comfy and stylish.
4. Step hem jeans - a little different from standard skinnies, hurrah! Thanks, Topshop.
5. Frills, ruffles and tiers - this top has made me feel like some sort of boho senorita - in a good way.
To see these in action be sure to follow me on Instagram.