It's that time of year again - fashion week! Doesn't it seem like we were just talking about this yesterday? And yet here we are once again, six months down the road, embarking upon another new season release. Let's just share an honest truth here. Fashion week used to be about what was going on right up there on the catwalk. These days, it's just as much about what's going on with the sidewalk. Street style has well and truly taken over during fashion weeks around the world. There's even an official "Peacock of the day award" going on a national news site, awarding the title to the fashionista showing off her most elaborate look for the street style photographers. We live in a changed world. Instead of fighting it, most of us have embraced it. This naturally led me to where we sit today - talking about shopping for the big week coming up in London.
Fashion Week officially starts in London on the 20th of February. It's a four day event that is nonstop, unforgiving and quite honestly a daily fashion challenge for many. So I've teamed up with Oxford Street to talk about the easiest way to prepare for the big style days ahead. I spent an 8 hour day last week making my way from one end of Oxford Street to the next. It's a long street, people. Just to throw some numbers out there - we have nearly 300 shops stretching 1.5 miles. This is considered to be one of the Europe's busiest shopping streets, and for good reason. Name a respected high street retailer and I'll tell you where they sit on this street. I've been shopping Oxford Street for 13 years and can pretty much navigate this shopping mecca with my eyes closed. But I digress. Just wanted to get across to you the lengths I go to here for research purposes.
If you're headed out this week to shop Oxford Street in preparing your London Fashion Week wardrobe, I'd like to offer the following tips for your day and your style. This is years of research, piled into one place, that I put into action every time I head out to shop.
Let's start with the pre-shopping event. Begin your shopping adventure by assessing what's in your own closet. What are you statement pieces that have no end-date? A pair of staple boyfriend jeans? A great black stiletto? Pull out, and lay out, all items that you can wear from your existing wardrobe and snap pictures on your phone, so you'll have these items to hand as your seek out current season additions.
Wear flat, slip on shoes for the day! You'll want these to be comfortable. Oxford Street is long and there are a lot of shops to cover. Pair the shoes with skinny jeans or leggings and an easy coat to slip and off. You want to be in and out of dressing rooms with ease. The tighter fitting your day clothing, the easier it is to throw things on top without having to undress at all. Also, use a cross body bag so you have hands free to pile up clothing!
Once you get on Oxford Street and start slipping into the dressing rooms, take selfies. Ok admittedly these will not be for sharing with anyone else. Well, not for sharing unless it's a slamming good selfie with a dinosaur or something (taken in Topshop on Oxford Street). These will be great for you to see exactly how you look in the item from a camera's perspective. Will also be good to keep record of what you love if you are wavering.
Remember to stop and refuel. There are plenty of places on Oxford Street to stop, grab a snack and people watch, while you find your feet again. From sandwiches to sushi, you're pretty much in the golden zone. However, if you want a more formal setting, may I suggest Aubaine in Selfridges? It's a little oasis within a shopping heaven. Schedule an hour in for a coffee break with girlfriends, or a lunch break with the boyfriend - and naturally shop Selfridges from top to bottom when you are finished.
It's not all about clothes for LFW. I do the following, pre-fashion week, on Oxford Street - Eyebrows at the Benefit Brow Bar in Debenhams, Hair at Hersheson's in Selfridges, Nails at Wah Nails in Topshop - all on Oxford Street. Oh, and don't return home without a great red lippie. My advice? Visit MAC Cosmetics at Selfridges for the perfect red lip assistance.
Now, the rest of these tips are for your remaining style experience.
6. Once home lay out all of your purchases and start pairing. Keep all the price tags on your purchases as you may find you have bought an inappropriate colour combination or perhaps in the light of day your purchase looks a bit different.
7. Remember to dress for you. Dress as you would for any other day, but with just a little added sparkle. You want to be comfortable walking around in your chosen attire. Put away the mini skirts - never a comfortable or forgiving front row choice.
8. Layout your outfits by day and photograph each one before placing together on hangers that sit side by side on the rack in your closet. This will make things a lot easier for getting dressed in a hurry each morning.
9. Ladies, you are in luck this season as trainers/sneakers are in and ready to be worn with a snazzy outfit of your choice. Fashion Week just became a lot more comfortable. So don't feel like you need to wobble around in six inch stilettos all day.
10. Remember fashion is supposed to be fun, but also an expression of who you are as a person. Go crazy but have fun doing so!
FFG collaborated with Oxford Street for this post.