Quality Over Quantity
by Linda Potgieter
I hope you are enjoying the sunshine as much as I am! Having been in London for 15 years, I am appreciating and soaking up the beautiful Texas sunshine.
Speaking of sunshine, I wanted to share with you the beautiful wedding we attended recently in Hawaii, and why I always advocate quality over quantity when it comes to shopping.
If you are someone who has always shopped at thrift stores or if you only shop the sales, chances are high that you have many items in your closet – and chances are even higher that you don’t wear all of them regularly. There are a few reasons for this.
Firstly, we don’t have enough days in the week to wear many different pieces day in day out, month in, month out. Secondly, we rarely create a schedule efficient enough that will rotate and preserve our garments. So we end up with a closet full of clothing and still find ourselves saying “I have nothing to wear”! This is why I am so passionate about culling (clearing out) your closet because it makes more space in your head than it does in your wardrobe.
The other reason you might have a bulging closet is for simple shopaholic reasons. As a rehabilitated shopaholic, I know exactly what comes with this unfortunate habit. If that’s you, please get in touch! I found total freedom from this addiction and today I fully and completely enjoy my shopping, with zero guilt. There is a way.
So whether you are a thrift store shopper or a brand shopper, if you have too many clothes, you will never, ever reach a fulfilling, peaceful, confident level of personal style. Why? Because a cluttered closet produces a cluttered mind. Hence my Quality over Quantity advice. (Should we ever shop the sales or thrift stores? Sure, as the exception and not the rule. So whether you were raised and trained to be super frugal or whether you were not taught the value of time and money in the area of personal style (very few of us were!), the outcome is the same. I find that very interesting.)
This is why I advocate a Capsule Wardrobe foundation for dressing – it’s like building a home. It provides a solid foundation, a sturdy blueprint that brings confidence and longevity. And from there you can add fancy swags and tails, plush cushions and comfy corner couches to your home. The same applies to your wardrobe: when you have a strong base, it trains your eye to look for the right additions in the right style and colour. And over time, you will find yourself developing a personal style that is entirely you – rather than what the seasonal fashion fads dictate.
So back to the wedding in Hawaii. I am not a brand or designer shopper, I am a simple High Street/Main Drag girl who loves finding little boutiques tucked away in different corners of the world. I enjoy mainstream shops like Zara and H&M. But in the pictures below I am wearing BCBG Max Azria – my favourite and only designer that I regularly invest in. Max Azria is a Tunisian born designer who really understands the female form, and I have pieces from his line that have served me well at all kinds of shapes and weight of my fluctuating body over the years.
In the pictures below, I am wearing a floral wrap skirt and black fitted double-lined top (which is actually from their underwear rail that can be worn without a bra). Wrap skirts and dresses are very flattering on any body shape – from super skinny to super curvy. The strappy heels are from Truworths in South Africa, unbelievably comfortable! And the simple but stunning jewellery is from my 1 of my 3 favourite jewellers, Konplott (www.konplott.com). Much of my other jewellery is from Swarovski and White House Black Market.
Konplott’s beautiful London based team sponsored 2 of our photo shoots in London and South Africa in 2017, and I am so grateful to have discovered them! Their pieces are handmade by a beautiful team in the Philippines, and they are not nearly as expensive as they look! So I highly recommend this jeweller if you are looking to put the reset button on your jewellery collection and invest in some good quality, long lasting pieces that are absolute conversation starters wherever you go. That’s a key fashion statement of ours at LindaPaige – wear items that are eye-catchers, conversation starters, and relationship builders. (Join us at www.lindapaige.com if you need a fresh vision for your wardrobe, and to benefit from our upcoming August 2018 promotion on our ’123 Style Me’ course.)
When your closet is built up with pieces of good quality, they will not only last you much longer, but you will find yourself dressing differently for 2 reasons: they will be different than most of the thrift store shopping you do and they will typically be far more versatile, and you will find yourself standing taller, shoulders and chin lifted a little, when you wear clothing that feels and fits better and makes you feel both confident and beautiful.
This does not mean you need to become a designer shopper. As I mentioned, for some reason I just never had appreciated high end, designer brands like D&G, Prada, Chanel, Louis Vuitton…there is absolutely nothing wrong with these brands, it’s simply that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So trust your instincts. They are often right when it comes to style – both in the home and in your closet.
My main point here is that when you invest in higher quality clothing, dressing for any occasion becomes so much easier! And you will absolutely feel more confident and more beautiful.
So if you have any summer parties or occasions coming out, first shop your closet – chances are good that you have something in there that will look great for your event. But if you have a budget set aside and you are planning on buying an outfit, trade your thrift store mindset for a ‘quality over quantity’ approach and see what happens! You might even find yourself wearing a beautiful, bold red lipstick that you never wore before…and in my opinion, every girl needs to wear red lipstick from time to time!
Linda is a wife and mother, and Partner & Director of JPA Ltd, a global negotiation training firm headquartered in London. She is also Founder of LindaPaige, a fashion brand that empowers women to be a bold light on a hill in this world. Born and raised in South Africa, she currently lives in the UK with her husband and 2 children.
Linda started working at age 17 and spent most of her career in the corporate arena, often the youngest on the team enjoying powerful on the job training, learning from ambitious, accomplished executives what the marketplace wants.
Linda had the immense privilege of serving on former President Nelson Mandela’s PR team in 1998. As the final member of a team of 5, Linda and her colleagues organized the Vulindlela Water Supply Scheme in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa, on Human Rights Day in March 1998. Awarded along with her team members for her performance in this role, she cites this experience as one of her distinct career highlights, referencing Nelson Mandela as her leadership standard in life, and continues her involvement today in fighting oppression and injustice.
After relocating to the UK in 2002, Linda won a national sales award in January 2006 from the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management (UK) (ISMM) for ‘Best New Sales Professional in Britain’. She is passionate about sales and loves working with people, a combination that opened up fantastic career opportunities for her across geographical and cultural boundaries, working on negotiation training projects with some of the worlds largest brands such as Adidas, Network Rail, EON, Mercer, Nestle, Pfizer, Nokia, and Vodafone. Her clients cite her training style as “…highly motivational, passionate and performance impacting”.
Linda is extremely dedicated to her own personal growth and attends regular leadership training in the USA which she cites as life-changing. On a personal note, she is an adrenaline junkie continuing her pursuit of the next thrill in adventure sports, she loves travelling the world exploring good food, good wine and when there are gaps, she is home socializing with her family and friends.