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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. 

summer workwear for a steamy city

summer workwear for a steamy city

We are all aware of the remarkable impact our clothes have on how people view us and treat us so despite the hotter weather, we still need to look crisp and professional. Here are my top five tips on how to look stylish despite the rising temperatures.


Wearing black when the sun is blazing only makes you feel hotter. Opt for a lighter colour palette of whites, taupes, light grey and cooling blues that are summery but sophisticated and don’t feel as heavy as dark grey and black.

FOR WOMEN - Summer is a great time to experiment with print. A subtle print can add interest to an outfit and importantly prints are great at hiding sweat marks!


FOR MEN - A suit in a ‘tropical’ wool will be indispensable at this time of year and perfect for travelling to sunnier climates the rest of the year. A summer light weight wool is 7oz-9oz - although just be aware the ‘heavier fabrics tend to drape or hang better which affects the overall look of the suit.

FOR WOMEN - a sleeveless dress with a bracelet sleeve jacket as an option for meetings or more formal situations. Look for lightweight but wrinkle resistant fabrics like cotton blends and silk blends. A Lycra component will help the fabric keep its shape. Also consider the fit – fabrics that skim the body will be keep your body cooler. Swap your pencil skirt for a fuller style in a subtle print or brighter colour.


FOR MEN - opt for Silk ties in brighter colours or with small understated Hermes style prints to add a summery element to the formal suit. Short sleeve dress shirts err on the wrong side of casual so instead when in the office roll up your sleeves. This is also the perfect opportunity to show off a fine wristwatch. Maintain composure and carry a pressed crisp white cotton hanky in your pocket to wipe the brow of perspiration. I know many men find hats hard to pull off but their ability to keep the head cool whilst keeping the sun off the face should not be overlooked. A finely woven panama with a navy suit is refined and functional . Just remember to take if off when you are inside. 

FOR WOMEN - Add sophistication and polish to more summery looking dresses with jewellery. A statement necklace or refined drop earrings work well but avoid bracelets that can bang on the desk when typing and can be distracting. Try a brighter handbag like a red to lift a more neutral palette.


Feet swell in the heat so opt for softer fabrics like suede that will stretch easily with an expanding foot

FOR MEN - A tan shoe will work with the light colour palette of greys and blues.

FOR WOMEN - Try a brighter coloured shoe with a fit and flare dress and if you can, leave the tights at home and prep the legs with Sally Hansen’s airbrush legs


Most UK firms seem to have a summer dress code so it is worth enquiring with HR. Some flexibility during these periods of intense heat is advantageous - the more comfortable the staff are the more productive they will be but a more relaxed approach to dressing in these periods should not be carte blanch for looking ungroomed and sloppy.

FOR MEN - If the office culture is more flexible then a cotton suit or a light wool blazer with chinos and polo shirt make a great hot weather combination. 

FOR WOMEN - Softer silhouettes will be comfortable, cool and professional and if your office is air-conditioned a cotton silk cardigan will take the edge off. 

If you feel your professional image is letting you down then I would love to help you raise your sartorial game and your confidence so please get in touch. I wish you all a successful and productive summer 

Penny Bennett is an Image Consultant, Personal Stylist and Shopper who works with successful executives, entrepreneurs and working mum's in London and the South East. 

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