The Power of 3

Posted by Jacqui Cooper On 03rd Jun 2020

It’s the first day (which feels like quite some time now) that I’ve had to pop a topper on to keep cosy. Fear not (I’m told, by just about everyone I seem to converse with), it’ll start to warm up again soon. But as I mentioned in last month’s newsletter I’ve been getting real value from my summer wardrobe this year, I’m getting to wear it as much here as I do when I’m on my travels.

Unpacking memories

And have you noticed what happens when you start to unpack your ‘next season’s’ clothes? Do you also unpack all the memories with them? You think about the memories they evoke when you put them on, that delicious paella you shared with your significant other in that beautiful beach bar in your new maxi dress; the fun you had around the pool watching an elderly person regain her confidence being taught to swim again, in the oversized scarf you wore as a sarong. The shorts and T-shirt you wore when you hired bicycles and giggled most of the journey to the beach.

You see our clothes are not just fabric and thread, are they? They hold memories, positive and negative, about our experience and how we felt at the time.

And have you a handful of clothes that you’ve “worn to death” season after season which never fails to light you up when you put them on? It’s often said, within stylist circles, that you shouldn’t be wearing anything in your wardrobe you’ve had for over five years. In my opinion – that’s just someone else’s opinion! You can upscale an already loved piece by switching buttons, adding more up-to-date accessories such as footwear, belts, glasses or even a new hair colour and cut.

Adding a new item can change the look of a ‘hero’ ? (new buzzword) piece. That doesn’t necessarily have to be a clothing item. How about adding in an accessory such as jewellery or perhaps a scarf.

Introducing you to the Power of 3

Let me introduce you to something known as The Power of 3. I didn’t realise I was doing it naturally until someone pointed it out to me a number of years ago. Adding a third piece which could be a jacket, perhaps jewellery, a scarf or even a hat adds to a more styled look. This is how you can really bring your own personality into your wardrobe and make the look your own. Take a peek at the video below where I show Julie how to style up a simple shirt with a pair of skinnies into an ensemble that aligns with her personality and physical appearance.

Key pieces

Here are the key pieces I put together for Julie.

With the addition of just two knit items, a tank, a scarf, a necklace and a pair of heeled boots she could make at least 7 outfits:

  1. Black jeans + Cunningham shirt
  2. Black jeans + Cunningham shirt + Green cowl neck jumper (this looks super stylish and is a great layering piece which makes it super cosy too!)
  3. Black jeans + Green cowl neck jumper
  4. Black jeans + Cunningham shirt + Black Prep pullover
  5. Black jeans + Align tank – do not tuck in (treat as a layering piece as the cooler months and a practical top for warmer weather) + Cowl Jumper
  6. Black jeans + Align tank + Cunningham shirt worn open as a jacket
  7. Black jeans + Align tank + Prep Pullover

I’ve also seen her in a white shirt – that is a great piece to add under the Prep pullover and even the Cowl jumper untucked.

Why I chose these items for Julie

Firstly her colouring, whilst the video might not be the best quality, Julie has a naturally high contrast between her skin, hair and eyes. As her hair and eyes are dark, dark or contrast colours (light and dark worn together) will complement her appearance. As she is super tall (5’ 11”) with the most amazing long slender legs, breaking up her silhouette with colour blocking horizontally (e.g. the Align Tank under the Cowl jumper) doesn’t have a high impact on her visually. Now, if that was me it’s likely to reduce me visually in height by a few inches.

Try experimenting with layering with patterns and see what does and doesn’t work for your body line. The general guidelines are wearing block colours elongate whereas mixing colour and pattern horizontally adds interest and creates the optical illusion of reducing height.

As Julie is a self-employed working mum ( her time is spent working from home, on the school run and the occasional face-to-face client meeting. Her clothes need to be able to take her from school, to work and home again. Adding in stylish accessories such as a leopard print scarf and switching Chelsea boots to a heeled boot makes her clothing combinations simple but smartens the look when needed without having to rethink the whole outfit.

Killer coat

Red Celebration Jacket, Cabi
Celebration Jacket

The great thing about Autumn/Winter wardrobing is that a statement coat can be added into the mix which upscales each outfit.

Here’s one I would recommend for Julie. Not only would it look amazing with her high contrast colouring but the fabric is so comfortable because it’s a stretchy ponte, plus it’s practical as it’s machine washable. Who needs the inconvenience and cost of having clothes dry-cleaned these days?

Can you work out how many more outfits she could make if she added the red coat?

If you applied the same formula to a handful of your clothes I wonder how creative you could be? I’d love to see your pics!

Like the clothes?

They are all available through my Alternative Store, book your place here to see the Autumn/Winter collection and for a personalised fashion experience.

About Jacqui

Hello, I'm Jacqui Cooper, The Style Counsellor, and I'm passionate about helping people look and feel good by living and dressing authentically.

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