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My style makeover in Newcastle: one year on

Style makeover in newcastle- autumn outift
My style code makeover was gifted to me a year ago.

It's been just over a year since I had a personal style makeover in Newcastle with North East-based stylist, Helenlee Loves. If you read my previous post all about my style code, you will know how life-changing this was. I regularly use the tips I picked up from Helenlee and the handy Facebook group set up for those who have had a style code session.

It's the night before Black Friday and I am very aware of just how much my shopping habits have changed. Previously I would see a deal like the current 25% off Topshop, and go crazy buying loads of items based on trends I'd seen online. I'd end up wearing things once or twice before realising they were either out of fashion or just didn't suit me. I would do charity shop runs nearly every month with bags of clothes I had hardly worn. Sound familiar?

Now that I know exactly what shapes to look out for, as well as my best colours, I really do feel like I don't need to buy into trends or have the exact same items as girls I see on Instagram. I have started buying higher quality pieces and using sales like Black Friday to purchase items I have been looking at for a while, and I know will truly suit my wardrobe.

Without further ado, here are some of the main lessons I learnt from my style makeover with Helenlee Loves. I hope you find these tips helpful when looking at your own wardrobe and think twice before buying a ton of fast fashion in the sales!

Style makeover in Newcastle- autumn leaves surround girl in autumn colours

Buy quality over quantity

I thought I'd start with this one as before my style code makeover I would say my wardrobe was packed with cheap items which weren't quite right but I'd usually bought in a sale and couldn't resist. I recently changed career and bought a house, so I am not able to regularly buy expensive items. However, I now tend to use any birthday or Christmas money I receive from family to buy items of a higher quality than I used to, and just select pieces that will complete my wardrobe.

I still buy items from H&M as I find their items really good quality and timeless. I recently bought this pleated skirt in two different colours as I really felt it would complement my wardrobe. Turns out I've worn both colours a number of times and I am nowhere near sick of them so I am very pleased with my decision! I try to think of a number of different ways I will style an item now before I invest in it, and I give myself a few days to think about a piece before buying it.

Helenlee Loves also recommends to leave a new item of clothing where you can see it hanging with the tags intact for a few days. If you find you are reaching for it to match other items, then that is great and it is an item which will fit well in your wardrobe. If you find you don't actually reach for it and find limited occasions it is useful for, then it probably needs to go back! Helenlee Loves is one of my favourite Instagram accounts to follow for useful tips like this which help me to stay on track with my style code.

I am not saying not to buy anything at all this Black Friday, but if you do, make sure you pick pieces which will work with your current wardrobe and go for the best quality you can afford.

Style makeover in Newcastle- pleated H&M skirt

Make different colours work with your palette

If you haven't yet had your style code makeover, it can be hard to know what exactly suits you. Now that I know I should be going for deep, dark autumn / winter colours I find this really helps me focus when I enter shops. I had never noticed until now but some store layouts are actually set out in colour palettes, so I can focus on the areas of colour I know I will suit. I haven't given up on all colours which aren't in my colour palette. 

This green is not right for me, but I love the jumper so much at this time of year when I am cold one minute and hot the next when I get inside, as it is a very fine knit. I find if I layer it with this scarf which is more suited to my colouring, I can get away with it. Try different tonal combinations and make sure the colour closer to your face is more suited to your colouring.

Don't be afraid to buy second-hand

I've been really thinking about sustainability since I had my style makeover. I realise more and more how much of an impact 'fast fashion' has on our planet. I haven't given up on cheaper brands entirely, but if I do purchase their items I stick to basics which I know I will still be wearing in years to come. My wardrobe just doesn't change as much now!

I have also started buying items on eBay, as I like to buy higher quality items but don't necessarily have the budget to pay for brand new clothes. I have picked up a few tips through playing around with eBay filters and after securing an amazing Reiss jumper for £11 last week which is currently £115 in store, I thought I'd share my advice for finding bargains.

1. Search for the specific brand and size you are looking for. The more detail in your description the better. I searched 'sparkly jumper reiss size 8' when looking for my jumper.
2. Sort by ending soonest. This saves you finding something you love then waiting a week to see if you win the auction. (This might only be an issue for impatient people like me, but if I'm in the mood to shop I want to see things that might be available soon!)
3. Inspect photos carefully and ask questions if you aren't sure or want further measurements.
4. Don't bid too high, too soon. I tend to do some very active bidding in the last two minutes or so and it usually serves me well - this is easier to do when you've found the auctions ending soonest so you know you are available to bid straight away.

Follow Helenlee's magic formula

This will sound so simple when I describe it, but has really changed how I plan outfits and particularly helps me when packing for a trip away. Helenlee's magic formula is to wear a plain or neutral colour which works with your colouring. You then add a patterned item, in this case my favourite autumnal scarf from H&M. Finally add a pop of colour and try to generally keep this the same across a number of items. 

It's not perfect for my style code but I find myself drawn to this rich, warm shade of yellow. I now have a jumper and this bag in the same shade and I feel like I can mix and match them with this scarf with its hint of yellow to make many co-ordinating outfits. For a weekend away I can take just this bag and scarf as my accessories and it makes outfit planning so stress-free!

Style makeover in Newcastle- plain pop print

Consider investing in a style makeover

I really wanted to share how much my style code makeover has changed the way I approach my wardrobe and clothes shopping in the hope that it might help others to avoid buying unnecessary clothes in the Black Friday sales. I feel like a year later I really understand way more about myself and my personal style, it's like a light bulb has been switched on in my head! A style code session would make a great Christmas gift for your list and you can read more about it on Helenlee's website.

I hope you've enjoyed reading some of these tips and you find some amazing deals in the Black Friday sale for items you will get use out of for years to come. Meanwhile I will be trying to stay away from clothing sales and instead hovering on travel websites looking for Mexico deals for next summer!

Style makeover in newcastle: pinterest pin


  1. Oh fabulous tips! I always think you look super stylish x

  2. So many great tips! I've definitely bought a lot less this year but still have a few lessons to learn I think!

    1. I'm definitely never going to be perfectly style coded but I can't believe how much my shopping habits have changed recently! Melis x

  3. Hi Melis! One of our clients wants to work with you. If you are interested in eco-friendly non-monetary collaboration please reply to


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