Blog,  CCL's Country Girls Wardrobe

How I really built my Country Wardrobe *HONEST*

Did your style change through blogging? How have brand collaborations affected? Is everything ‘gifted’? Do you really splurge all your money on clothes? Have you adapted to gain or meet brand work? How much do you actually spend on your wardrobe? Would you ever buy second hand? How do you create a Country Wardrobe that size?

Time to tell all!

Probably one of the most realistic blogs I have written, and I have actually been really excited to get this published and shared with you all. I get so many questions about my wardrobe, style and all things Country fashion, so I was keen to share with you how I have achieved it, and what better blog to follow an amazing Cheltenham Festival – an event which my wardrobe was made for!

Before the rapid rising of content creation, sponsored ads and ‘kindly gifted’ flooding our feeds, mostly we would just genuinely share our favourite photos, with our outfits maybe tagged in the hope our favourite brands saw us loving our new purchased items. My wardrobe was no exception to this.

I have always been asked about my clothes, where things are from, and for help with dressing friends for occasions, I never originally pictured this interest would end up as a blog! My blog ended up coming about very organically as a natural unfolding of events/situations happened over a couple of years. My wardrobe is one of my pride and joys, I have always loved style (to the point where one of my university lecturers said I should have studied fashion instead! – which may I add, I could never have picked that over horses 🙈). However, I did work 3 jobs whilst at University, to fund my love of clothes, so I suppose that clarifies just how strong the passion was 😂 This blog shows how I started my wardrobe and what I built up from!

I am now in an amazing position with my wardrobe where I have the basics sorted, I have all the key pieces I needed! BUT you have to start somewhere- and this is how I did it!

So, how did I really build up my country wardrobe?

I built a wardrobe based on affordable basics…

If someone tells you a country wardrobe has to ooze expensive, investment pieces, costing you a fortune – wrong!!!! Pricing has absolutely nothing to do with style, and this is certainly not something that should put you off being able to create the wardrobe you desire! It is so easy to browse through thousands of glossy images on social media, writing a never ending wishlist. But it doesn’t have to be like that. The perfect Country wardrobe is much more easily achievable than some people think. It is all about thinking smart, investing wisely, and more than anything, it is about using your creative mind to create the outfits you want, with what you have!

I buy lots of my basics from places like Primark – and I’m not ashamed to say it! I think some people assume I splurge on the finest cashmere roll necks with every outfit I wear, the reality is, they were probably about £6 from Primark, and are about 2 years old!

When I say basics, I am talking about things such as roll neck jumpers, simple tops, even jeans. You can’t build any style of wardrobe without some simple pieces to start from. I mainly start all of my Autumn/Winter outfits with a roll neck, then work from there. I will generally buy basics in simple, safe, colours, which pair with anything else, such as black, navy, white, burgundy and green. I also have some jeans from Primark, I really like the fit of them, so for me this is a no brainer. I have two cord skirts from there too which have become part of my basics wardrobe, again they were under £10, and you wouldn’t even know! I have always found High Street shopping hard, my style is much more suited to shopping at the Country shows, or online, however, I have learnt to have an open mind on the High Street, and to take myself away from the fast fashion trends you see paired on the models, instead imagining the individual pieces paired with my own, more Country style items, and trying to imagine how they look that way instead. When it comes to basic tops or staple jeans/skirts, you can’t really go wrong with how they will pair with the rest of your wardrobe, so use this to your advantage, and save here where you can!

Quality isn’t always compromised by spending a little less, so think smart. If something looks or feels like it won’t last, it isn’t likely to, and if something is going to need regularly replacing, those are the pieces which are worth spending a little more on to get the quality which will last. I am trying to be realistic, I do think ‘buy cheap, buy twice’ and I do think investing in better quality pieces is the way to go, but I’d be lying if you thought every roll neck I own is expensive cashmere!

The amount of times I have been wearing a really affordable high street brand, and someone has thought it was much more expensive – purely from the way it was styled. A Country wardrobe doesn’t have to cost the earth, I can’t stress that enough.

I certainly can’t sit here and say I haven’t splurged on lots of the pieces in my wardrobe, I am very guilty of enjoying spending on clothes, but I have built up from affordable basics! I got to a stage with my wardrobe where I had done the leg work and got the basics in, and now I get to enjoy adding all the fun pieces to it!

I considered what I *actually* wanted…

There is nothing wrong with spending your money on what YOU want! I love buying clothes, I love spending! And I have been told countless times ‘you spent HOW MUCH on just a top/skirt/dress’ etc! It’s up to you how you spend, and if luxury pieces are what you love, I hear you!

Investing in more expensive items is certainly something I enjoy, I truly believe in investing in good quality, classic designs – however, I do believe in carefully picking these items. Before I fully invested in my first Holland Cooper cape, my parents bought me a gorgeous Joules tweed cape for Christmas. This meant I got to try out the style, how much I would wear it etc, before investing in another, more expensive piece.

When I was at university, I would work all Summer, and then treat myself to one ‘investment’ piece at a time. For example, one year I got my rayban sunglasses, another year my first pair of Le Chameau wellies. Budgeting well, and buying with intention is so much more rewarding than splurging, and then having the guilt and worry of what you’ve just done!

It has taken me years to build up a Country wardrobe that I love. I didn’t do a mass online shop and end up with the wardrobe I have today. It’s an amalgamation of years of finding special pieces, good value for money, and adapting capsule pieces as key staples.

Really thinking about what you want is key when it comes to deciding if something is a trend that you’ll phase out of, or something that will be a worthwhile investment in your wardrobe for years to come. I used to be so guilty of going to the races, seeing something on someone and immediately wanting it. I would have ended up with the biggest wardrobe full of things I would have worn once if I had done this. Keeping a wishlist is actually a really good idea, if something remains on there and you still really really want it, this may be a good indication that it is something you will actually wear, not just an item you’re lusting over. Think of your wardrobe like we think of people we’d like to date! Sometimes we know there’s someone we just like to look at, but we would never actually want to date them! It’s ok to think about style like that too – you can love something, whilst still knowing and appreciating that you wouldn’t get the most wear from it.

There is also some cross over between my casual wardrobe, and my practical wardrobe. For example, my schoffel gilets, although more of an investment piece, work between both wardrobes – they come to the yard, but they also pair perfectly with a tweed skirt. My wax jacket always saw a continued cross over between being out beating and paired with white jeans in my casual wardrobe. Let your wardrobe work for you! It’s often hard with a Country wardrobe, obviously you will have your every day practical pieces, which I’m not really focusing on here!

I looked for the best savings…

I have been quite savvy with my wardrobe, using outlet stores, sales, discount codes, eBay and buying second hand where I can. Sales are one of the slightly more risky ways to work as you can’t always guarantee something will go into the sale or be left in your size or colour – but sometimes I would then say ‘well it’s fate and meant to be’ if it’s there! Waiting for a discount code can also be a good test if this is a genuine piece you want to add to your wardrobe and wear long term, or is it simply an impulse buy?!

Buying something when it is not the best time of the month, no matter how many other people have it, or how many times you see it, is not worth it. I am all about treat yourself girls, but it sometimes comes at a price. And no amount of clothing/footwear or accessories is ever worth the stress of money!
It’s not always a never, but sometimes it’s a not right now.
And that’s ok, sometimes it’s just the case of waiting a few extra days or weeks for those favourite new items.

To a certain extent this also covers investment pieces. I know when I buy my Fairfax and Favor boots that the quality is second to none, and they are going to last. I have the proof of this from all of my early day purchases, I trust the brand and I love the footwear. Therefore saving for these and then investing, in my opinion, is a better option than rebuying new shoes each season because they are tatty, old and worn out. There will always be pieces which may require a slightly higher investment, but the long term cost per wear decreases! Once again, it’s about thinking smart with your wardrobe!

I never changed or caved to meet ‘demand’…

People always ask me how I keep coming up with blog ideas, and I think for me, because I know my style very well, I just find it easy to talk about. Being confident in your own style is a great place to be, but it doesn’t always happen over night, and it can take a long time to find a style you love, and more importantly, are comfortable with. I think something really important to remember though is that you don’t have to cave to meet demand. Just because you go to young farmers, you don’t have to wear a pink shirt and a Schoffel, just because you like horses, you don’t have to wear white jeans and tan boots. You can be whoever you want to be when it comes to your style. It doesn’t mean you love your hobbies, pets, lifestyles or passions any differently to the next person!

I am CONSTANTLY hit with comments about how my ‘clothes are always too clean’ or I ‘can’t have animals if I wear white jeans’. Every comment about stereotypical outfits I could have heard, I have heard! It used to bother me, until I realised I do muck out in white jeans and I have chased horses round the field in a dress- so jokes actually on those saying the comments now. I own vanish and it works a great with stain removal! I actually received a comment saying I would be ‘laughed off a shooting field’ because I had posted a picture of something I liked – it was even something aimed at going out shooting – and my only response was that if I had worn it imagine being part of a shoot which were SO judgemental and shallow, they aren’t people I would want to be around anyway! The pressure to dress a certain way to fit in is huge, I think even more so with social media. But it’s ok to fight against it and be unapologetically you. The best style you can wear is confidence, and negative comments reflect more on those making them!

I am very lucky that some great opportunities have arisen from blogging, and I am very grateful for these. However, this isn’t why I do it, and this cannot in most cases be the sole driving force to create content or produce posts. There is a great desire to content create/blog etc because of the idea of this idealistic life of endless collaborations/gifts, and it possibly is taken slightly out of context, if you want to hear my specific thoughts on this have a read of a couple of my other blogs because I have been into it in some more detail in the past. But with my style, I never changed to meet brand collabs, I wear what I would always wear, and if you look right back through my posts across any platform, my style has changed very very little, I have always dressed this way. I think that’s why I find it so easy to write about, why I have so many ideas etc, because it is genuine, there is no pressure to have changed or a need to try and be something I’m not to meet demand from followers or brands. I will turn down collaborations which would not work for me and my wardrobe, the message I want to spread across my platforms and the quality I stand for and believe in.

Anything else …

Take your time, don’t fall into the trap of lusting over fast fashion and trends.
Don’t get me wrong, I still buy things I like at the time, or pieces I know won’t necessarily last. However, I try to base my wardrobe around the pieces I know will either go with everything, or are an investment piece to my wardrobe which I know I will love for years to come!

Do I actually splurge on my wardrobe? Yes, yes I do! I can’t deny it at all. I LOVE spending, and I love adding to my wardrobe! I always have, but I wanted to emphasise in this blog that I have worked it fairly tactfully to work with my spending habits and obsession with adding to my wardrobe!

Don’t be afraid to have a good clear out!
I know right, practice what your preach Lucinda! I am the worst for clinging onto that 2010 shirt that I may one day crave wearing, so I never throw it out! BUT… selling second hand is so easy to do now, and turfing out the old can make room for new! I was really good when I was younger at selling things on in order to get something new. This is a good habit to get into. I’ve said in previous blogs the average item of clothing is worn 7 times – that’s it! Be ruthless – if you won’t wear it, let it go and replace with something you love – and consider it purchased at a discount!

I was also very fortunate to start out my content creation as a brand ambassador for High Bird Designs, which is where my love for content creation really began. My account was never started with the intention of brand work. I think it is very easy to spot the accounts with a ‘passion for fashion’, and those who cram as many gifted items into an outfit post. My best piece of advice for anyone wanting to start content creation, which is probably one of my most asked questions from my Instagram account, is to post what you have. Be you. Show you. Show YOUR style. BUT, don’t forget, you can enjoy style and dressing well, without the pressure of growing accounts, content creation etc. Don’t lose sight of your passion, through what others are doing – if that’s an area you are interested in!

Stay true to you, your style, and your budget!

I really wanted to write this blog because I always get so many questions, and people think I have this endless wardrobe which is totally unachievable. I wanted to share the tips and tricks to achieving a dream wardrobe – and how I actually did it, not by how people think I did it!

The most important thing about style, is confidence! It is not about how much money you spend, how many things you’re given, or how much you own. You can achieve an incredible wardrobe from simple basics, and affordable pieces. Style comes from what you do with it, NOT what you have! Be unapologetically you!

I hope you enjoyed this!

Can’t wait to see you for the next blog – so many exciting pieces to come!

Don’t forget you can follow my socials for daily outfit inspo 🤍

Lots of love, Lucinda xo

‘Fashion is what you’re offered four times a year by designers, style is what you choose’

– Lauren Hutton

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