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why editing your wardrobe is good for you

why editing your wardrobe is good for you


Imagine waking from a night’s sleep in a calm room and opening a neat and organised wardrobe. Picture the ease of browsing, selecting and pulling out your favourite outfit and opening a neat draw full of underwear that fits well, taking your shoes from their ordered and dedicated space, and having your complementary handbag at arms length. You are not rushing around trying to find items that you thought were in your wardrobe but could be at the dry cleaners. You are fully dressed in three minutes. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

When you stand in front of a wardrobe that has been re-organised, the results are instant - your head feels clear and you will feel more energetic and motivated. This energy is then transferred into your day, setting you up for success. I had a client say she felt lighter and that the room felt lighter too once her wardrobe was edited.


When I sort through a client’s wardrobe, the average amount to sell, donate or recycle is five large bin bags – this may seem drastic but I have never once had a client who has had a problem later on. In fact many find the process addictive and review their wardrobes on a regular basis re-evaluating items that they once considered essential, that now look totally out of place. It shows they feel empowered by the process of selecting what to discard and they feel proud because they know they have achieved it on their own.  It’s a total change of their mindset. Once it becomes habit they regard their wardrobe and the items in it differently. They become more selective with their shopping choices only selecting items that reflect their style and deserve a coveted space in their wardrobes. And they take better care of their clothes, understanding their value and getting longevity out of their clothes. 


Reducing the amount of clothes we have in our wardrobes allows us to see what we have and importantly, we are more likely to wear what we have. Getting dressed stops being stressful and overwhelming and becomes a joy.  When we detox our wardrobes it has a detoxing effect on our minds and bodies.  I think this is because we realise we don’t need wardrobes full of clothes and our desire to constantly buy new things decreases. When before, over stuff wardrobes stopped my clients from seeing what they had, they were never satisfied and always wanted something new to wear - that illusive item that would magically solve all their wardrobe problems. They were buying on impulse in an attempt to alleviate the stress of their wardrobe. But the buzz of the purchase is short lived when you realise you are adding to the anxiety as you try and stuff the item into your wardrobe. When all you are really craving is space physical and mental. Once we have selected and properly stored all the items they love, they feel like they have everything they need.  As my client put it, ‘Getting dressed in the morning is like shopping in my own wardrobe’. Your mind becomes clearer and you can focus their mental energy on the days tasks and enjoying life.


Although the benefits seem obvious, some of my clients find the process of discarding clothes really hard, they believe that having a wardrobe full to bursting affords them some security or saves them money. So I start the process by focussing on what they love to wear, what makes them feel confident and gives them happiness. By starting on a positive note and focusing on what they have and love stops them from feeling anxious about focusing solely on throwing things away. Empowering them with the ability to choose what they are keeping not what we want to get rid of.


When discarding items becomes difficult, there is a tendency to want to pass unwanted items to relatives or friends. Be mindful of this unless you know they will love them or they reflect their true style. My client was not able to develop an instinct for what she loved because the majority of her clothes had been passed onto her by her mother. It stifled her ability to develop her own style but it also made her feel guilty about not wearing clothes she had been given. Although passing something on seems generous, it doesn’t help mindset or reduce clutter, it just transfers the guilt of not being able to throw something away onto a family member. Be considerate; they don't need the anxiety of owning more than they need. 


After the editing process and the decisions made on what to keep it’s time to start putting the clothes away. How you store your clothes also impacts on mindset- creating order in your wardrobe is a great step in helping us gain control in our lives and sets you up for the day.  It feels great to open your wardrobe and see the clothes you love to wear arranged neatly on matching hangers. You no longer have to take a deep breath before opening the doors to overstuffed rails of clothes slipping off wire hangers, impossible to find what you need.  Wardrobes are not only messy because they are over stuffed but because the space isn’t being used efficiently and there is lack of understanding as to how to store clothes properly. One of my client’s wardrobes was so packed it took her 5 minutes to find the jacket that she wanted to show me and when she finally found it, all the clothes on either side slipped off the hangers or got tangled, catching on a mass of wire hangers. The wire hangers were the first things to go!


I’ve seen the amazing impact that streamlining your wardrobe can have but I have had many people question whether paying such attention to your clothes and the way they are organised can possibly have such a positive and lasting effect. So why not try it? It is more achievable and enjoyable than you can ever anticipate. As my clients say, it’s life changing. Swap out your metal hangers for thin velvet covered ones; rearrange your wardrobe by category. As you go remove those items that are out of date, damaged and ill fitting and reduce your wardrobe to those items you love. Creating space gives clarity and calm. When we regain control we can operate from a place of clarity and it gives us confidence and impacts on how we manage ourselves socially and professionally. 

Yes, this takes time. So if you feel overwhelmed by your wardrobe and you want a professional who understands what will work and can give you pragmatic and honest advice, then please get in touch.  

Penny Bennett is a Personal Stylist and Personal Shopper and Image Consultant who works with successful men and women from London and the south east who feel their wardrobe is letting them down. 

3 steps to the perfect print

3 steps to the perfect print

Summer is the perfect time to wear and experiment with print. But a lot of my clients find print challenging to wear because they don't know what prints suit them, they feel overwhelmed by print or they don't want to stand out for the wrong reasons. So how to find the prefect print for you? Follow my 3 easy steps and you will be enjoying the interest and beauty that print brings to your wardrobe. 

1. SIZE - you want the size of the print to match your scale. That is, if you are petite and fine boned you want to opt for small prints. Anything larger will overwhelm you. If you are tall and athletic then you want a medium to large size print. Anything too small will look dull and can make you appear bigger than you are. If you are shorter but a size 18 plus then opt for larger prints that add interest and disguise problem areas. 

2. SHAPE - the shape of the print should compliment your shape of your body but also the shape of your facial features. If your body is more boyish and straight or if you have angular facial features and high cheek bones then geometric or stripes work well. If your body is more contoured or your facial features are more rounded then circular, abstract or floral will be complimentary. 

3. COLOUR - opt for a print combination in your perfect colour palette and you can't go wrong. If you have warm colouring then cream, orange, blue and green work well. If you have cool colouring then pink, grey, white, burgundy and blue look stunning. Understanding your colouring opens you up to so many new and exciting colour combinations and takes the guess work out of choosing the right print. If you are confused about your colouring and would like clarity on making the best colour choices for you, then I would love to hear from you. My previous post on why colour matters is a must read for anyone who is still on the fence. 

PRINT IN THE WORKPLACE - If you work in a conservative office then block colours may be preferable but introducing print in the summer months is a great way to add interest.  Opt for monochrome ie two colours in your print for example black and white, navy and cream, burgundy and navy. It is also worth noting here that print decreases the authority of a look and is more approachable. Depending on what your role is then incorporate print when appropriate. 

WHERE TO SHOP - The Scottish designer Jonathan Saunders is the king of print and pattern and has transformed DVF's print offering. Here are my favourites...

Workwear - this blouse is perfect for the office or a night out with a bright pencil skirt. 

Weekend - Wear this to a picnic or pub lunch.  A simple white t shirt will let the print take centre stage. Wearing print away from your face is the perfect way to dip your toe in without it feeling overwhelming. 

Wedding - well it is the season! This Chinese vintage inspired print is heavenly and in a flattering wrap dress style. 

Everyday - the print doesn't have to be dominating. You could wear this everyday - subtle but statement all in the same breath. 

I also love Rixo, La Double J and Doên for original prints and patterns. 

ON THE HIGHSTREET - I'm always on the look out for amazing prints on the hight street. The best places are & Other Stories, Warehouse, Topshop and Finery.  

I would love to help you take the guess work out of finding your perfect print so please get in touch

Penny Bennett is a Personal Stylist and Shopper who works with successful men and women in London and the U.K. 

3 step guide to buying the perfect trousers

3 step guide to buying the perfect trousers

It is often thought that a great pair of black trousers is the essential wardrobe back-up, perfect for some many occasions from work to a dinner party. Yet so many of my clients come to me because they really struggle to find that illusive pair of perfectly fit trousers. Now that the weather is cold, the trouser becomes more indispensable than ever so to help you through the coming months of sartorial challenges, I've compiled this 3 step guide on how to find the perfect trousers. 

1. LENGTH | Consider your proportions and your height. 

Tall - Look for brands that offer longer lengths, like J Crew or who cut for a longer leg like Joseph. A cropped trouser on someone who is tall can look ill-proportioned if the crop sits too high above the ankle bone. Consider what shoes you will be wearing to get the length just right. 

Petite - Can petites wear cropped? Yes! Just match or tone the shoe colour with the trouser. Cropped trousers look great on shorter women who can carry the smaller proportions successfully. There are brands that offer petite ranges or better still have trousers altered. The London Workrooms (link) should be on your speed dial. 

Long legs - You choose! Cropped with a statement shoe, wide and long for extra drama… just make sure you consider the material and cut as below. 

Shorter legs - look for a centre crease that make you look long and lean. High waisted styles and a slightly longer leg with heels will also give the illusion of length. 

2. FABRIC | Consider if your body is curvy or straight

Curvy - Look for fabrics that are drapey, flowey or that have stretch to complement your curvy body. Avoid fabrics with texture like tweed that add bulk and stiff fabrics that will look ill-fitting and give you drag lines across your crotch.   And importantly consider the pockets - side pockets that pull can make your hips look wider, flap pockets on the back will add bulk to the bottom. 

Straight - You have greater choice in fabrics whether they have drape or are stiffer but consider the length and cut. 

3. CUT | welcome to the world of something-for-everyone...wide, tapered, pencil, straight, skinny... so much choice!

Wide - Good for tall, curvy and those with short or long legs. 

Straight - Good for everyone. Consider wearing with a heel to lengthen the leg and balance the hips. 

Tapered - Good for everyone. This is my favourite cut as it gives shape to straighter bodies but complements the curvy body. 

Skinny/Slim - Good for tall or petite, longer or shorter leg. Those who are curvier need a fabric with stretch and a bulkier shoe to balance the hips. 

The key is to experiment and try different styles. By doing this you can make comparisons to really find the style that is right for you. When you find a pair of trousers that suit you down to the ground, buy them in every colour and in triplicate!

Trouser muses - Catherine Hepburn, Jenna Lyons, Greta Garbo, Vogue’s Sarah Harris, Emmanuelle Alt 

Favourite brands - J Crew, Max Mara (curvy), Helmut lang (very slim legs), COS, Joseph and Vince

Thanks for reading, 

Penny x 

snow-conquering boots that are stylish

snow-conquering boots that are stylish

Perfect for braving unpredictable climates in the city and for looking stylish on the slopes, the snow boot should be a winter season essential in your wardrobe. Look for non slip rubber soles, cosy fleece lining and for those that like a bit of leg lengthening, a wedged heel. Once you have slipped your feet into these beauties you will never look back! Wear with skinny jeans or leather leggings and your favourite cashmere sweater. My favourites are from Isabel Marant, Ganni, Penelope Chivers, See By Chloe,  Sorel and Rag and Bone

Best T Shirts on the highstreet

Best T Shirts on the highstreet

A client once asked me "what is the point of t shirt"? I understood her argument, as a stand alone item they are not particularly interesting or inspiring. But that is the beauty of them. T shirts have this incredible ability to look elegant paired with a statement skirt, look crisp paired with high waisted denim, look cool with a pair of leather culottes or make a tweed jacket look modern… Not to mention that the are preposterously comfortable and affordable! I’m constantly on the search for the holy grail of t shirts and find myself time and again heading to this one highstreet store for an update…COS! The key to finding a great t shirt is the fabric. I prefer my t shirts to have drape as they are more flattering so I opt for a fine cotton or silk and I always size up. Here is a selection I have bought for my clients this season…

Women: silk, oversized, v neck

Men: cottonround neck, oversized

Top 5 tips for a curated closet

Top 5 tips for a curated closet

1. Choose a colour palette

Understanding your personal colouring makes it easier for you to build a capsule wardrobe of items that mix and match. All the colours work together no matter what the combination and importantly flatter your skin tone. It is even more important in winter when you need to be able to layer like a pro. Here are my favourite palettes to suit all skin tones;

light & warm… camel, light grey, navy, brown, cream

light & cool… navy, light grey, dark grey, white, burgundy

deep & warm…camel, chocolate, navy, dark grey, forest green

deep & cool….black, grey, navy, white, red

2. Get in the mood

As part of my consultations I ask my clients to produce a mood board of images that make their heart sing. When all the images are collated you can easily see consistencies and common themes such as colours, silhouettes, styles or individual items you love. Make a list and use this list to review your existing wardrobe, for example; muted colours, romantic styles, anything in leather, relaxed silhouettes. You will easily be able to see if there are items that don’t work for you anymore, remove these items and start to see a more consistent style coming through. Pin this list inside your wardrobe to keep you focused. 

3. Build a wardrobe that fits your REAL life

Your wardrobe should proportionally represent your lifestyle and how you spend your time. If you once worked in Finance but are now a stay at home mum, your wardrobe should reflect how you spend most of your time now. You will need comfortable and practical but stylish clothes and flat shoes or low heeled boots. When once a cashmere coat would have been a good investment, now a fur lined hooded parka should be top of your list!

4. Edit, edit, edit

You should edit your wardrobe between seasons and ideally have a mini edit in the middle of the seasons. I edit my wardrobe at least once a month; what do I love wearing at the moment, how can I get more wear out of pieces, Does that item still fit in with my personal style or lifestyle? By continually asking yourself these questions you will maintain a streamlined wardrobe of items you love and most importantly, wear! It will also stop you from making impulse purchases that don’t fit in with your wardrobe and help your shopping to be more targeted which brings me to tip number 5…

5. Shop Smarter and more selectively

Never go shopping without a targeted list and a clear idea of what you need to pull outfits together. Whether your budget is Prada or Primark the principles are the same, don’t stray from the list and take your time. I rarely buy a piece on the same day I try it on. I think about where I can wear it, what it will work with in my wardrobe and whether it complements my style. It’s better to have a gap in the wardrobe than a guilt-ridden gap in your bank account!

Image Impact. What it is and how to get it.

Image Impact. What it is and how to get it.

One of my favourite quotes on personal branding is from Jeff Bezos CEO and founder of Amazon “Your brand is what other people say about you when you are not in the room”. Your personal brand is what makes you unique and authentic. But are you standing out for the right reasons? 

A few weeks ago I was asked to comment on the national radio station, TALK radio, about Boris Johnson’s image and his controversial new hair cut (you can listen below). When Boris was running for London Mayor, his mad, feathery blonde hair made him standout out and even helped him to appear more approachable. But now that he finds himself in the formidable role of Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, representing the UK in all foreign matters, is his personal brand representative of his gravitas and effectively communicating his sense of quality and professionalism, or does it just say ‘cultivated chaos’?

What impression are you making on people with whom you meet and work every day? We are all really busy and we rely on instant information - you have made an impression on someone before you utter a word. So look the part. Be dressed in what is appropriate for your profession and the environment you are in whether it be a formal meeting, a networking lunch or client pitch. 

Maybe, like Boris you find yourself in a more senior role within your company but you want to dress with more impact and to influence people or maybe you recognise some of these scenarios below...

You have been in your current position for too long whilst other people are being promoted around you. You feel stymied in your career. 

Ask yourself - is your personal brand representative of your career objectives, future goals and what you're capable of being? 

Top Tip - People grow and evolve and so should you style. If your current look isn’t working for you, you are sending the wrong messages to your colleagues. You need to look as fresh as your ideas, updating your look communicates that you are current, up to date and that you have your finger on the pulse of what your company and clients need. 

You are very good at your job and your position in your company reflects that. But when it comes to socialising and networking outside of work you feel completely out of your depth and it shows!

Ask yourself - how effectively do you network? Do you come across as approachable and engaging or do you struggle to keep peoples attention. 

Top Tip - colour psychology plays a significant part here. Avoid intimidating high contrast combinations that keep you in work mode and opt for lighter more approachable colours. Your clothes can be a great talking point, - an interesting pocket square or a great piece of jewellery can be a conversation starter. 

If you relate to any of these scenarios stop putting your image to the bottom of your ’to do list’. Having a professional to guide you through the minefield of what to wear will help you maximise your impact and help you to enjoy your life! So get in touch! 

Penny x