Secondhand Style - Using Preloved Clothes To Create Outfits

Posted by Victoria Lochhead on

One of the things I love to do is help my clients find gorgeous new things for their wardrobes from charity shops, secondhand shops, online sites and even our very own dress agency.

But a beautiful embroidered Monsoon skirt does not an outfit make.  Not without a few raised eyebrows anyway.  So it can be nice to demonstrate preloved clothing as outfits to give my customers a sense of how things can work together as a whole.  Here's a few recent outfit creations I put together along with one or two tips on the outfits and how they work on the body:

An outfit of white and pink
Firstly, the column of colour outfit.  Wearing the same colour head to toe with a layer over in a different colour can create an outfit that elongates the body and legs.  This is a small sized outfit consistsing of a Monsoon Cardigan, Promod cream t-shirt and Coast trousers.  Adding in a metallic sliver in the necklace and the shoes adds a splash of interest (shoes: Mint Velvet wedges).
blazer and jeans
Next up, I love a jacket, and I think it's a great look to mix smarter blazers with jeans and t-shirts.  This deep blue/ purple Linea jacket in size 12 goes well over the john lewis t-shirt and jeans from Abercrombie and Fitch.  It would work with flats or add a wedge like these white Office wedges.
Yellow jacket
This outfit uses the jacket to add a flash of colour to our column of colour outfit.  Here I've paired a grey pair of size medium wide leg Wrap 3/4 trousers over a Captain Tortue grey/ green v neck top and the yellow Mango jacket lifts the whole thing.
Green shirt over trousers
I also think a shirt is a really useful thing to have in the wardrobe.  In winter, you can wear it under jumpers and just have the collar and cuffs showing, or wear it under jackets.  And in summer that shirt can be used almost like a casual jacket, worn open over vest tops.   This lime green size 18 Artigiano one is a long linen shirt over a pair of navy Boden trousers with a white Crew top underneath.  Perfect to keep the sun off your arms and to smarten up trousers and a top.
Skirt and top
Understanding how colour works together can be a really easy way to start creating co-ordinating outfits.  In our online colour consultations, I show clients which palette of colours works best for them, and how they can use that palette to create visually harmonious outfits and wardrobes.  This cream Monsoon skirt goes well with this XL mango linen Boden top, as they are both warm toned, and so knowing that means it's easy to pick shoes and a necklace with a bronze metallic finish as it harmonises with the colours.
Red maxi dress
A maxi dress can work well on so many different body shapes, and can be worn on it's own or with a jumper or buttoned cardigan over the top to make it seem like seperates and change the look.  This red Sosander maxi sold pretty fast in our dress agency, and I teamed it with this XL Mint Velvet cardigan.
Blue jacket and trousers
My final outfit is a great work around for anyone who feels top heavy, or wants to minimise a larger bust.  The patterned trouser draws the eye down to the legs and the casual open jacket creates slimming lines down the centre of the body.  I love the fabric on these Hobbs trousers (sold out), and I've teamed it with a white Crew top and blue linen jacket.
How do you style your secondhand treasures into outfits?  We'd love to know!  Send us your outfits in the comments below, or head on over to Facebook and join our free online group - Wear It Well.  We share tips, ideas, outfits, charity shop treasures and dress agency previews every week!

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