Did you know? Everything in a capsule wardrobe should be interchangeable and should work with at least 3 other things in your wardrobe. Ooh, thank you Gok.
Another Gok-ism which I am forever encouraging women to think about when shopping to avoid ending up with a wardrobe full of items but no outfits!! In my last blog I set the scene for some fashion tips from the one and only Gok Wan. I attended his One Size Fits All Style masterclass in Bristol in October 2018 and I learned and laughed a lot!
You might not know that Aunty Gok has a filthy mouth on him! He is a self-confessed swearer, for which he fervently apologised. Where the TV shows have been able to edit this out, Bristol Mercure Grand Hotel couldn’t!
He even set up a swear box and made over £100 for Sue Ryder - the audience got a lot of laughs and one lady got to make some money for her favourite charity!
Funnily enough though when he's talking about clothes, he's a bit less sweary and once he had got all our foundations right with clever underwear choices, we picked up some more fab dressing tips.
He promised the key pieces of a capsule wardrobe; in reality, he only talked about 4 pieces. Now I am an advocate of living more with less Gok, but 4 is pretty restrictive!! What he was really trying to do was to dissect 4 garments which every woman should have in their wardrobe and give tips on getting the right ones for you.
Here’s my Shelley Kelly Style take on Gok’s advice.
Gok Tip: Above all else always look for a minimum of 2% elastane in your denims. Jeans - so many fits, so many styles, so many denims! Regardless though, 2% elastane allows them to stretch left and right to fit well. Much more though and you risk stretch in 4 directions and baggy knees after 2 wears!
Gok Tip: Women own the dress.
The Perfect Dress – when it comes to feeling like a woman, the dress has it all. When both sexes are wearing androgynous clothes which cross genders, Gok loves that the dress is the one thing that women still own. Trousers, skirts (men in kilts?), jackets, shirts, jumpers. All worn by both sexes. But males have yet to adopt the dress. Women really do own it. So get one in your wardrobe for the ultimate in femininity. It also makes it easier to get dressed in the morning: you pick one item out of your wardrobe – not two! Simple as that. Dress it up or down (yah de yah…..that’s another blog!)
If you don’t have a dress in your wardrobe it might be time to start thinking about one - I’ll help you – you just have to ask!
Gok Tip: If you have just one skirt in your wardrobe - make it pencil.
Pencil skirt - People often think of this as a straight tight skirt that goes just below the knee and is worn with heels in a Miss Moneypenny kind of way. Nonsense Gok would say!
A pencil skirt can be in any length and in any fabric. But it should accentuate the narrowest part of the female form – your waist (and Gok has a penchant for belts to create that contour line as much as I do!) and fit to the hip and thigh and then end at the most flattering length for you. That bit might need a bit of trial and error, but as a general rule, I would say that this should be at the narrowest part of your leg.
This pencil skirt is absolutely giving me joy not only with its shape, fabric, fit, stretch (yes stretch!), pockets (yes pockets!) but the colour too. Why should yellow be the domain of summer? I can wear this with darker colours above and below to create a more seasonal look. Should have worn this to Gok......
Gok Tip: The perfect length for a coat? Exactly half way down your thigh.
Outerwear – Coats and jackets are
absolutely key pieces in a wardrobe and complete your outfit. Gok’s advice on coats – the perfect fit is absolutely critical to avoid adding unnecessary bulk (a big worry for most - I’m always thinking about my bangers here!). If that’s a concern, avoid something that’s got bulky lining – I started shivering at this point!
But for me it more about colour, why buy black or grey? A brightly coloured coat will go with just as much. When it’s grey outside let your coat bring you some joy! I have pink and blue on the go just now, and I’ve got previous with red and turquoise. Guilty.
Why was it called One Size Fits All? Well, I’m not entirely sure as it clearly doesn’t. What I took from it was that it’s about an attitude around dressing which can apply to everyone. You make your own rules, you make your own choices about what you want to wear. Every woman deserves to feel good about themselves, no matter their size and shape. Yes, there are things to be aware of such as fit, good foundations, hemline etc. But fashion is for all, not just for those that the media would have us believe it’s for. The High Street is for everyone if you look hard enough and know what you're looking for!
Gok was one of my inspirations in setting up Shelley Kelly Style – I am firmly with him on styling outfits and creating wardrobes to help women feel incredible, in which they feel they can take on the world. We all deserved that don’t we? We are forever indebted to you Gok.