Style Me Five Ways with Kira Thomas

Kira Thomas is an I Love To Op Shop group members and I discovered runs a fabulous site called Style Me Five Ways.

I’ve been in her group for a few months now and it’s a beautiful place to ask for style ideas and advice.

She is a qualified style consultant so you’re in good hands and you can ask advice from other group members on how to wear clothes or what to wear with them.

I asked Kira to tell me a bit about herself and if she’d share what she does with us.

Over to you Kira!

Hi my name is Kira Thomas, I am a mum of 5 kids, wife and I am an Internationally Accredited Image Consultant – completing my training in 2008 BK (before kids haha).
At the start of 2018 I was approached by my best mate who thought we should do something along the lines of SMFW, the idea was manifested and grew to what it is now.
Style Me Five Ways came about after I had 5 kids and myself coming out of what I refer to as ‘Mummy Rut’. Even with my knowledge and experience I still fell into the Mummy Rut.

Mummy Rut

Mummy Rut to me is when women move into the phase of having kids. We devote all of our energy and time to our kids, home, husbands/wives, families, work, businesses and friends. So much so that at the end of the day there is nothing left for us.
We slowly or quickly loose ourselves. Our style goes out the window and we grab and buy what is quick, easy, comfortable and for me stretchy so that it could accommodate my ever changing & fluctuating body shape.

The Style Me Five Ways concept is to have every item in your wardrobe able to be styled 5 different ways simply by adding layers. This could be jacket, cardigan, blazer, scarves, layering a top over a dress to make a top and skirt combo or by adding accessories eg. necklace, hats, a different pair of shoes, belts, earrings etc.
My aim is that when you go shopping that SMFW is in the forefront of your mind and it makes you stop and think before you purchase an item. ‘What 5 Ways can I wear this, with what I already have to make 5 new outfits’.
This will also help stop the impulse purchases, the clothes sitting in your wardrobe that you don’t wear, the items that hang in your wardrobe with tags still on them and the thoughts of ‘I have nothing to wear’..

I have a closed Facebook group for women only here and in this group one of my followers asked me a question recently. ‘What are some of my favourite shops to shop at’? This was an easy one for me to answer ‘Op Shops’ 100% my all time favourite shop!! At least half of my wardrobe is from Op Shops!

The reasons I absolutely Love To Op Shop

  1. You have the opportunity to find unique pieces that are timeless, that have classic cuts, they are not necessarily what the latest trends are. Although you can still find these as trends come and go so the items you find that are on trend are not the ones you are finding in the shops. You may be wearing a trend piece it isn’t the same one as everyone else has brought from the department stores.
  2. You find unique pieces, vintage pieces, name brand labels that have stood the test of time – this also translates to your style and to Be YOUnique!
  3. The Clothes are of great quality, as they have been the items in the wardrobe that people don’t wear as much or sitting in the closet for months to years. They are in great condition that’s why they are being donated not thrown out plus they are then quality checked by the wonderful volunteers before they hit the racks.
  4. You never know what you are going to find which for me adds to the excitement. For me its like a treasure hunt & Christmas morning when you find that item you have been wanting and hoping to find.
  5. It is very budget friendly! If you don’t have a big budget or if you like a bargain, you will find something!

Shopping in Op Shops is a little different to the conventional department stores so I have put together some tips for shopping in op shops

Tips for shopping in Op Shops

  1. Make a list of what you need or are missing from your wardrobe (this helps to bring it into your life telling the universe what you need) you never know what you will find.
  2. Keep an open mind to finding those little gems, unlike conventional shops you can go in with your list and 90% of the time find what you need or are looking for. Op shopping can be hit and miss so keep an open mind for finding other items you didn’t think you would find.
  3. Go when you have time to really look through and try things on, and in my experience try and leave the kids & hubby home unless hubby loves op shopping too haha.
  4. As Op Shops stock donations they can be months or years old. Sizing these days change from country to country, store to store, label to label and even with the same store and label. Don’t just look in your size, look in sizes above and below and again try things on. You will be surprised what fits.
  5. If you are handy on the sewing machine or know someone that is think about having the garments altered, even by a dressmaker as the garments are at such a discount you still wouldn’t be paying full price with adding the cost of alterations to it.
  6. For the ladies look in the menswear sections also – boyfriend fit is in – and all that means is its over sized or has a different cut so look at the mens jeans, denim jackets, blazers, shirts. I personally have a couple of business shirts from mens wear section from Op Shops.
  7. Lastly some days you will score great finds, others you wont. Don’t be discouraged, just leave it a couple of weeks and head back again. Also, if you are away in another town and you have time head to their local op shops and see what great finds you can score.

Donating to Op Shops

When it comes to cleaning out your own wardrobe & donating to Op Shops – what I do with my clients in their Wardrobe Consult is I have them take everything out of their wardrobe and place it on their bed.
I then have them go through every single item, assessing one by one and ask these simple questions:-

  • Do I love this and have I worn this recently (last 6 mths or in the last season winter, summer, spring or autumn)?
  • Does it still fit me? (try it on if your not sure)
  • If I saw it in the shops today would I buy it?
  • Does this still fit my style?
  • Can I style it 5 different ways?

If you answer ‘YES’ then move onto the next question, if you answer ‘YES’ to all the questions then put it back into your wardrobe.
If you answered ‘NO’ to any of the questions put it in the ‘Maybe’ pile.
After you have sorted through everything including shoes, scarves, accessories, move to your maybe pile.
You now sort through the maybe pile into

  • not ready to depart with (sentimental reasons or see if will wear in the next 3-6 mths)
  • Donate pile to you local Op Shop for those clothes that are still in great condition no holes, tears etc.
  • Throw out pile, for those that have holes and aren’t in good condition (also check with your local Op Shop as some have rag bags)

You can then make a list of what you need to replace or purchase to have a better understanding what is missing from your wardrobe currently – those pieces that can pull it all together or add that finishing touch.

I have included my ‘Must Have Basics’ below for clothes and shoes.

Big thank you Kira! I love what you’re doing and boosting this mum to get out of her mum rut!.

You can follow Kira’s fantastic page Style Me Five Way’s here.

You can also follow the Instagram fun here.

You can join the Style Me Five Ways’s Women’s group on Facebook here.