Written by Susie Taaffe
When I saw the topic for this month’s magazine my eyes lit up! I am the queen of life hacks. I truly believe there is no room in life for wasting time on things that will never give back to you. I want to live my happiest and easiest life however I don’t want to compromise on the things I desire in order to achieve this. I’ll be covering my tips and tricks to make sure you are always feeling and looking amazing! Preparation and knowing what brings you feelings of joy is my first life hack so let’s dive into it.
I know I bang on about this over and over and over again but if it doesn’t ‘Marie Condo – spark joy’ then it has to go!! We only have time in this life to feel fabulous – there is no time to feel blah! This is my number one wardrobe tip – only keep the things that make you go ooohhhhhhhhh. You can either do this in one hit or gradually. I like to do a combination of the two, a mass wardrobe try-on with music playing until I’m exhausted with an enormous pile of clothes on the bed! You can also do the cull progressively, noting when you put a piece of clothing on and don’t feel amazing – out it goes!
If there is something in your wardrobe you haven’t worn for a long time, pull it out and put it on. How does it make you feel? Or is it missing a piece in the ‘outfit puzzle’ meaning you love it, but it doesn’t go with anything? Maybe there is an underwear issue that needs to be resolved before the item can be worn? Time to hit the shops! When you know specific items you are looking for to complete an outfit, take or wear what you are wanting to match it with. See my article on passionate dressing on the website
Shoes, Shoes, Shoes
Not all shoes were made equal. This is something that has taken me many years to really understand. You might think that you cannot wear high heels because they are so uncomfortable. I believe you have just not found the right high heels yet. And when you do find them – buy them in every colour!! In fact, this is a basic life hack for all areas of your wardrobe – if you find something you love, buy it in different colours. I have even been known to buy an extra pair of my favourite shoes for when the original pair wear out. That is how obsessed I am with this life hack.
Replicate What You Love
I get my favourite items copied by tailors after I cannot buy them again. I highly recommend this if you are travelling to a country that specializes in this such as Bali or Vietnam. If you have a jacket, dress or skirt that feels and looks great – replicate it!! This is much easier than searching out a whole new look. Plus, you can achieve different styles by recreating them in different fabrics and prints. One secret tailoring tip is to make jackets out of furnishing fabric e.g. fabric used to make curtains and cover furniture. It sits out nicely and is structured plus wears well. Maria from the Sound of Music was on to something making the kid’s clothing out of curtains!
My next major tip is to play dress-up regularly! Our style is continually evolving plus the different seasons allow for new combinations to be created. I use my outfits as an outlet for my creativity. They don’t necessarily have to be dressy combinations either! My current favourite trend is oversize shirts and jumpers. They wear more like a dress and look fantastic over jeans or leggings for the cooler months. For the summer months, try oversized button-up shirts over swimmers or around the house. You won’t know what you like unless you play around with it. If this feels daunting to do, ask a friend to come over and help you trial some clothing combinations.
Alternatively, there are heaps of stylists on social media who do outfit ‘how to style posts. I like to do this seasonally and I have my go-to outfits front and centre of my mind for different temperatures in case the weather changes. For example, when you have an outfit in mind for an event and then on the day the weather makes your choice completely inappropriate? I need to know what quick backup options I can choose from so I will feel comfortable and consequently look amazing at the event!
Outer & Inner Alignment
After filling the gaps in our wardrobes and playing dress-up, you should now have an idea of what outfits you have in your arsenal. We are always aiming for a feeling when we are getting dressed. How do you want and need to feel for the day? After playing dress-up and knowing what outfits you have as options, matching the outfit to the feeling you wish to curate within you should be easy. Do you want to feel cosy and snug or powerful and sassy? Also, does your body need some TLC and a less snug waistband for the day?
When we listen to what our inner world needs for the day and dress accordingly – we can achieve anything! Plus feel amazing while we do it! Alignment of our outer world with our inner world is crucial to feeling at peace with yourself.
My Magic Toolbox
The Girl Guide Motto is “Always be prepared” and I present you with one of my best life hacks for time-poor people who want to be able to pivot into anything. Keep a magic toolbox in your car or handbag. Everyone’s toolbox will be different depending on what your style is. For me, my basic go-to is a pair of awesome sunglasses and lipstick. A touch of eyeliner if I wanted to really ‘transform’ from school drop-off gremlin to James St Queen! Another life hack is to rub in a dab of lipstick on the apples of your cheeks for instant cheek radiance (that matches 😉). I also always keep a travel-size perfume in the car plus deodorant and moisturizer in the car door!
Your toolbox might incorporate other things – whatever helps you to feel amazing in the blink of an eye. Maybe you’re a hat girl or love scarves? Mascara and lip gloss or a fabulous headband? Keeping your magic toolbox wherever you might need access is key. If you don’t drive, maybe you need to keep these essentials in your desk drawer or in your gym bag. Sample sizes are great as they are small enough to fit in your handbag so you can always be ready in an instant. You’ll know what you need to transform yourself into the ‘Ready for Anything Queen!’
Make Life Fun
Life is about the journey, not the destination so I say let’s make life fun. Wear sequins to breakfast, stilettos to get ice cream or bright lipstick to the gym. Throw all the ‘shoulds’ we put incessantly on ourselves to the wind!! Drink the good champagne, use the good plates and glasses, dance and sing like a child, laugh until you cry, watch a sunrise or a sunset and eat the chocolate! I implore you next time you hear yourself saying “I should xxxxx”, really look at the why behind it. Next, ask yourself if you want to do it. Changing our mindset from ‘I have to’ and replacing it with ‘I get to is my key to success and appreciation.
We live in the most wonderful world. Seeing and experiencing it through eyes of gratitude and amazement is a life hack that will set you up for a life of joy and happiness. A purring cat, a dog wagging his tail, sunshine dappling through the trees, a beautiful flower growing on a tree, or a coffee in bed on a cold morning. Life is a collection of these moments – savour them like they are precious treasures!
Much love Susie xoxo
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