We have all been there, looking puzzled in front of a closet spilling out of clothes and sighing that we have absolutely nothing to wear. Well, nothing exciting at least or that our friends haven’t seen already.
I have a dozen outfits that hang there, unworn, taking up some space and collections dust. So have my friends, and the friends of my friends. This is how I came up with Nothing-To-Wear.com an exclusive online rental service where all those pre-loved fashion and accessories gems can be monetised and become someone else’s favourite outfit for a few days.
But renting out can be tricky and cleanliness is paramount. And when you send one of your dress or accessory to hire, you want it back in perfect condition. No worries, at Nothing-to-Wear, we thought of everything and deliver freshly dry-cleaned outfits right to your door.But fashion can be tricky, whether you buy or rent, so here are a few guidelines that I hope you’ll find helpful.
As they learn that I am French, people quite often ask me for some styling tips. There is an ongoing urban legend stating that French women don´t get fat and are effortlessly stylish. Don´t believe the hype. It takes a lot of failed attempts, hazardous looks and experimenting with various trends before we finally get there. And no, we do not indulge in croissants and pains au chocolat every morning either…
So here are a few tips from a Parisian woman working in fashion to make you look your best.
1. Buy investment pieces, rent the trendy ones
Unless you are a fashion editor who is showered with free designer outfits every season, it is quite hard and expensive to keep track of the trends. Buying mock offs at big high street retailers is fun and immediately satisfactory. But let´s face it, those garments hardly retain their shape and after having been worn a few times, they often look like rags and end up at the bottom of our closets. Invest instead in a couple of good quality wardrobe staples each season. You will gradually build up an edited wardrobe which can be styled differently according to the occasions.
Adopt Carine Roitfled‘s, French Vogue former editor and creator of the CR fashion bible, moto: : “Only buy clothes that you plan to keep forever. It is important to see trends for what they are, a trend”. At nothing-to-wear.com, we have a great selection of couture and high-end designer pieces for hire at the price of a High Street item. The quality of the fabrics and the cut are amazing and by not committing to outfits you will have more freedom to explore new styles, new designers and have fun with fashion again.
2. Buy clothes that fit you now
It sounds a bit obvious but quite often have I seen women in outfits that were too tight. It is neither sexy nor elegant and definitely not comfortable.
I think we can all hold our hand up to buying a dress a size down on sale, hoping that we will loose those extra three pounds. Or shoes that were instantly killing our feet but were gorgeous and at a fraction of their price. We both know that this was money not well spent.
Proper fitting clothes will make you look polished and confident.
3. Wear the right underwear
That stresses the fitting part of your outfit. Nothing is less flattering that undergarment marks on too tight a skirt or a dress. Keep in mind Pippa Middleton´s silhouette at her sister´s wedding. A flawless fabric flowing smoothly made the news that day. A good Spanx can work magic by tucking in everything that needs a little extra support and lifting what may need a bit of help.
Smooth lines in a vintage Here Ledger dress, available for hire
4. Mix high and low
No Parisian will be caught dead wearing a designer total look, no matter how great the designer is. This is a very American way of interpreting fashion whereas Parisians like to mix high end designers with high street brands. I am saying Parisians while actually the Queen of style is the Oh, so British! Kate Moss herself. We have a vintage Chanel tuxedo jacket which would look amazing with grey skinny jeans, a white tee shirt and some black ankle boots. Ditch your boots for a pair of heels and your bag for a clutch (we also have several good options for hire) to transition from day to night in a nick of time. I always carry a clutch in my day bag when I know I will not have time to go back home to change before dinner and leave my big bag at the office.
5. Mix new and old
Vintage shopping is my passion. Most of the time vintage shops look horrible and have a slightly musty smell but some don’t and they are real treasure caves. My favourite one was located on Madison and 96th in Manhattan but it relocated to the Hamptons . We have a whole vintage collection on Nothing-to-Wear.com which keeps on growing as we just got some great YSL pieces that will be uploaded soon. I recently went to an event with Victoria Beckham in an art Gallery on Dover street. A friend of mine was wearing a beautiful Isabel Marant dress from the currant collection and as she set foot in the hallway, she bumped into a lady wearing the exact same dress. They both laughed nervously, my friend kept her coat on while Lucie Yeomans, the editor of Porter magazine discussed fashion and being a working mom with Victoria. This will never happen with vintage clothes.
6. When it comes to make up, less is more
The most beautiful dress will look cheap if worn with too much make up. Especially with the recent trend of heavy contouring and black duck-tape like eye brows. French women do get fat indeed if they don’t pay attention but they will never, ever wear too much make up. They’ll go for clean shining hair, a tinted moisturiser and a touch of blush, NARS have the best ones, natural shade eye shadow and mascara. That’s it. We will add a darker eye shadow if we go out, an extra coat of mascara if we have a dinner or a party to go to. Maya Allen from Who What Wear has paired down for you our beauty routine and secrets.
Note from Rachel:
I have picked up so much from chatting to Cyrine, she makes Parisian chic style easy and accessible to all, which i absolutely adore. Nothing-to-wear is a service i would definitely use for special occasions as i don’t have the need or the room for lots of fancy frocks. I think hiring is such a great solution, i only wish i had found NTW sooner!
Would you use a fab rental service to achieve a look?