Reuse, recycle, repurpose…
Now that the temperature and humidity has officially dropped, we’ve moved our thoughts from autumn trends to winter wardrobes. I’m frequently asked where to shop in Hong Kong, and my reply is always the same: start with what’s already in your personal store… your wardrobe! It’s the best place to begin. As the season’s change, it’s time to make your wardrobe work for you – before you hit the shops.
Read more: 7 Autumn Trends for Hong Kong Heat
1. Taking summer into winter
We all have that item that we’ve adored all summer long and aren’t ready to pack away. Maybe you don’t have to (unless we’re talking about true beach wear, the chances are you can extend the shelf-life!). In Hong Kong, where our winters aren’t exactly Arctic, transforming summer staples to winter warmers is a quick win. I am especially a fan of taking summer dresses and pairing them with tights and boots then layering over jackets and knits. Beware of fabrics like polyester that stick to tights! Don’t shy from bright, colourful prints in the cooler months – they can be perfect for adding interest into duller looks. That’s one of the reason dark florals are trending this winter!
2. Different ways to wear your favourite piece
It’s ironic that our favourite pieces are often the ones we wear least, saving them for “special occasions”. Well, this autumn, make a little pact with yourself to wear the clothes you love more. Usually these pieces are fancier, so have fun experimenting, and wear them in a way you normally wouldn’t. Examples could be taking a sequin skirt with a long sleeved tee shirt, a fancy top with your jeans and flats, or a dress you’d normally wear in the evening layered on top of an oversized jumper, teamed with trainers. Wearing the clothes you truly love will make you feel fabulous, AND you’ll reduce the cost per wear on these items. The benchmark to working out the value of your investment? The more you wear it the cheaper it becomes!
3. Reinventing rarely-worn items
Have you got something that you love but never wear and can’t quite put your finger on why? From experience, the reason is usually that the fit or silhouette doesn’t compliment. Despite knowing they may never wear it again, we often don’t want to give it away. Wherever possible (and worthwhile), it’s worth reinventing! One of the most underrated perks of living in Hong Kong is access to inexpensive experienced tailors who can transform almost anything. This winter, I’m breathing new life into a dress I used to love. These days it’s just too short for me and I don’t love the way it sits with tights, so the reality is, it’s been unworn for over a year. Before the end of the year hits, it’s easily evolving into a top, which I’ll wear with jeans or a skirt. A whole new outfit!
4. Key items: what to buy and how to buy them successfully
Winter is the season where the classics really earn their keep. Great fitting denim, cozy cashmere, a statement jackets and fabulous boots will last for seasons so consider buying pieces that won’t date. Spending a little more on pieces that you really love can be money well spent. When buying pricier items, the purchase is more considered so we’re more likely to really value it. Of course, the price tag does not always guarantee success, so the one main thing you should question before you commit to a purchase is: do you truly love the way it looks and feels on you? If you don’t love it, chances are you won’t wear it and that just equates to wasted cash hanging in your wardrobe.
5. Pro’s of pre loved
Buying second hand in Hong Kong is becoming more common as the trend and demand grows globally. Fashionably known as pre-loved, new to you and vintage, this is a trend that I hope sticks around. At least 50% of my own wardrobe once belonged to someone else. The reason I am such a huge fan is tri-fold. Firstly, it saves money. Pre-loved clothes are cheaper than buying new ones, and I often pick up designer pieces for the same price as the usual high street stores. Secondly, buying second hand prolongs the lifecycle of each item, reducing overconsumption, unnecessary manufacturing and reduces the amount of land fill. Thirdly, you can experiment with new looks and styles that you might not be willing to splash out on new – after all, fashion should be fun!