South African Fashion Runways Should Embody What South Africans Actually Look Like


There is little representation of plus-size fashion models on South Africa's runways currently. That's the view of budding plus-size fashion designer, Daniel Lyonga.

He was speaking to HuffPost SA ahead of the Johannesburg leg of Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week, taking place from Thursday to Saturday.

"There is definitely more room for growth. Your big fashion shows don't largely cater for different body types as they should. Fashion shows need to embody what a society looks like," said Lyonga.

Plus-size model coach and fashion show producer, Grace Ramasobane agreed. She said plus-size models in plus-size designs shouldn't only be a small feature, but an equally dominant presence -- reflecting the diversity of South African women.

Ramasobane believes that some progress has been made in representing different body types on the country's fashion runways, but it is not nearly enough. "Size 36 is just a compromise by fashion heads in big shows. We want to see size 46 on a runway."

The former model is of the opinion that it may be a lack of understanding about the plus-size market that is influencing the types of models seen on runways. "You still hear people talk about plus-size models wasting design material. What does that mean?"

She explained that plus-size models need certain shoes, quality material on their bodies and need to be trained differently in how they walk -- which may be more work, but that does not mean they should be disqualified from prominent fashion shows.

Ramasobane called this puzzling as the plus-size model is such a lucrative market currently. "There's a reason why after we showcase plus-size designs at our local fashion shows, all clothes are soon sold out."

She commended local fashion shows like the Soweto Fashion show, for "reflecting all types of women's sizes."Read more at:formal dresses online | bridesmaid dresses


Kiwi 'extreme' knitters taking on the world


Extreme knitting. It sounds like an oxymoron but it is a hot fashion trend sweeping the world, with Kiwis right at the forefront – giant knitting needles and skeins of oversized wool in hand.

Devotees are taking this traditional handcraft and exploding it, making jerseys, scarves and wall hangings that are oversized, deliciously textural and beautiful. You see them in fashion mags, home decor blogs and all over social media.

And no, they are not just for winter. People are knitting these pieces all year round, heat be damned.

Nicole Leybourne's year has been defined by the chunky knit. The Auckland-based knitter has seen her nascent business take off this year, thanks to an Instagram image of her soft pink "Bubblegum" jersey, which is admired by some seriously influential people.

In March, instead of returning to university to continue study towards a Bachelor of Natural Medicine, she plunged into knitting fulltime, to see where it might take her. It's a gut decision that's starting to pay off.

"I thought I've really just got to ride this thing and see where it takes me," she says.

Around the same time, she was at home sewing labels onto jerseys when her phone lit up with an email notification. It was Kylie Jenner's stylist asking if she would make a Bubblegum jersey for the influential style-setter who had "fallen in love".

Leybourne offered to give Jenner one, but hasn't had time to make it yet. She has more orders than she and her network of 15 knitters round the country can cope with.

"It's alright, I just have to find more knitters. I need 100 knitters!" she says.

In April a buyer for high-end UK department store Selfridges got in touch and asked if she would bring her collection to New York for a meeting. "I didn't even have a collection at that point," Leybourne says. "I would never even imagine taking my knitting to New York."

But last month she took that meeting and while she was in New York she also showed her collection to editors at Vogue and Harpers Bazaar. Both are doing small features on Leybourne and her line, all made with thick mohair from South Africa or "super bulky" wool from Peru.

They are like story-book characters: Mr Ribbly, a turtleneck with bulbous sleeves, Happy Hearts bearing a massive love heart, and Dandy Andy, which looks like something a grown-up Charlie Brown would wear.

"You're paying for the maker's specialist skills, their time and materials when something is handmade to order, so the production cost is naturally always going to be high," explains stylist Kylie Cooke.

"There has always and will always be a market for one-of-a-kind items. I think with the fast-paced lifestyles we now all lead it's natural to reflect on when things were simpler and knitting has a beautifully nostalgic appeal. It's delightful to know there are still people dedicating their time to hand-making one off pieces," says Cooke.

Christchurch creative Jacinta McLaughlin of Plump and Co, which runs workshops for extreme knitters and sells materials online, says the popularity of handmade chunky knits is growing.

"I keep thinking, when is this trend going to have its heyday, because it's getting more and more popular," says McLaughlin. "I don't see it going anywhere."

She puts that down to the beauty of the finished product, the joy of working with natural materials and the speed with which some items can be made.

"We are such time-poor people. It's like instant gratification. You can achieve something in an hour or two. Some people pick it up really quickly and for some people it's about slowing down and taking time," says McLaughlin.

"We encourage people to relax. If they drop a stitch, that's okay. The imperfections, we encourage."

Leybourne is currently filling an order for American fashion brand Free People, and had to decline one from online boutique Net-a-Porter because, at 600 units, she had no hope of fulfilling it in time.

It's an exciting time and an unlikely turn of events for someone who first knitted at age 11 to make a scarf for school, but didn't bother with the craft for years afterwards.

Her interest in knitting was awakened by a "big yellow jumper" she bought as a student. Really bright ? the colour of egg yolk, or a banana, or a buttercup. "Every time I wore it I felt really happy."

She bought herself some chunky wool and started watching YouTube tutorials, building on the skills she had picked up from her nana back at primary school. Her first efforts weren't particularly good, she says, but she persevered.

"I thought other people would be happy wearing them too."

She personally likes to wear her big knits with a simple mini skirt or dress with minimal accessories, and models them for her Instagram and website.

"The pieces are really fun and bright and I don't feel like you need a whole lot else."Read more at:formal dresses online | formal wear melbourne


Networking Fashion event for models



The BBMA Open House is a fashion networking event for the fashion & beauty industry including visual arts. The super networking event will be for all Models, Fashion Stylists, Personal Shoppers, Hair Stylists, Photographers, Musicians & Game Hair Stylists, Photographers, Musicians & Game visitors.

In an interview with WeekendLife, the President and founder of BBMA, Ikanyeng Galebotswe, highlighted that the event will help attendees to create new opportunities, meet new contacts, help promote their brands and services, and help with the exchange of ideas for projects they can collaborate on.

“BBMA Open House, Designer, Model networking event is a fashion networking event for the fashion & beauty industry. This event promises to be the noteworthy event of this year. With 100+ models, photographers, advertisers, marketers and associated media personalities expected to be a part of the event, this promises to be like no other,” Galebotswe explained further. He further shared that BBMA wants to bring a different taste to fashion networking events, in the sense that fashion icons will be engaged and people will be given an opportunity to connect and interact with them.

“There will be many fashion gurus and professionals to help you get the best out of your career, including model scouts / coordinators and casting directors. This also goes for photographers and artists,” Galebotse asserted. The event, he highlighted, is an opportunity for models to be branded and to market themselves to potential agencies. Galebotse further explained that models can be represented by modelling agencies in different markets. Scouts from international agencies often visit other models’ networking events outside of their own markets to scout for new models.

He explained that most models are discovered simply by being in the right place at the right time so being at this event will be a dream come true for some local models. “When you are signed to more than one agency, all of your agencies will work together to promote you and guide you through your modelling career,” he added.

“Since the best clients always use modelling agencies to find their models, you will be exposed to the best job opportunities. For example, if a particular model that a top client wants to hire is unavailable, you could be presented to that client as an alternative, and voila! You could get the booking. The mere fact that you are in the vicinity of agents, bookers, models, and clients will increase your job prospects by about a 1000 percent,” he highlighted.

The fashion network will feature live photo shoots as guests enjoy drinks and music whilst networking with up and coming creative talent across the fashion industry. Designers will receive professional look book images of their garments whilst models will further their experience and expand their portfolios. The event will feature different key-note speakers from different ventures associated with modelling, fashion and beauty industry. Key-note speakers will be from the following fields of expertise; Photography, Fashion Design, Music and Modelling.

“We plan to bring Empire and X Models on board, Dress Code for Ladies is Stylish, Elegant & Fashionable as for gents it will feature Smart & Trendy with Shoes Mandatory and strictly no trainers or casual wear”.Read more at:bridesmaid dresses


Natural remedies for common skin disorders: the natural way


Natural remedies for common skin disorders: the natural way
(Photo:beautiful formal dresses)

Skin is one of the important presentable organ of the body. It has a definite role in one’s personality. Hence skin diseases (twacha rogas) affect not only on somatic level, but also on a psychological level. Skin is the mirror of inner health. The external body is manifestation of everything that happens inside, including our emotions. Skin is the most important organ of the body, which also effects the personality of an individual. Hence healthy skin is highly essential thing in present day scenario. Ayurveda emphasizes on proper nutritious diet, peace of mind and daily regimen and seasonal regimen for keeping healthy as well as healthy skin. Ayurveda, the science of life also deals with the concept of beauty. We are born with a soft skin but as we grow, it also grows and comes in the contact with environment and exposed to seasonal changes. All that is required of us is a little maintenance to keep our skin healthy. Ayurveda has a very different approach to skin care from modern medicine. Rather than using topical agents alone like creams, lotions, and oils, Ayurveda treats and prevents the underlying skin problem at its root.

Lifestyle is part of the remedy: The lifestyle in the form of diet, exercise & Yoga should be adapted for healthy skin are changes you can make in your daily diet and lifestyle to help you on your way to better skin:

Diet: A healthy, well-balanced diet is essential for skin health.

Nourishment– Eat plenty of sweet, juicy fruits and multiple grains in your diet (millet, barley, wheat) to provide a variety of minerals. Variety of cooked vegetables with spices should be taken daily. Vegetables like Spinach, Carrot, Tomato, and Cabbage also provide required minerals, vitamins and proteins to your skin. Green leafy vegetables are rich in fiber and minerals like iron that help in nourishment of blood and skin tissues. Take light, easily digestible proteins such as milk, paneer, cheese, as well as mung dal. Turmeric is the greatest friend of skin because it is purifying and is a potent antioxidant. Intake of Cow’s milk daily with natural sweeteners like honey, devoid of sugar is good for skin health. Further abstaining from intoxicants like coffee, tea and other such beverages is advocated.

Rehydration- For maintaining moisture and elasticity of skin internal rehydration is must. Drinking water, eating sweet, juice of fresh fruits and including high quality fats such as ghee or olive oil in your diet. For external rehydration daily massage with skin massage. oil enhances absorption and increases glow and lustre.

Exercise: Exercise helps increase blood flow to the skin, and encourages the removal of toxins through sweat, so make daily exercise should be a part of skin health program.

Stress management: Stress result in inflammatory response of the body and influence digestive and immune functions adversely, together these lead to poor skin health. Stress on your mind is immediately reflected on the face. Stressed peoples have trouble sleeping and lack of sleep causes stress, so it is important to take care of both factors at the same time. Sleep well, do meditation and easy breathing exercises.

Brush skin: Dry skin brushing prior to morning shower is a simple technique to stimulate lympathic circulation, helping the body to clear the build-up of toxins that can aggravate skin conditions.

Use of pH-controlled soaps: Humans are covered in a diverse wardrobe of skin microbes, many of which promote skin health. Frequent washing or use of strong alkalising soaps can take away some beneficial microbes from the surface of the skin, leading to infection by the pathogenic organisms.

Supplements: a personalized supplement regimen to boost your health status and address the causes of skin ailment.

Local applications: Honey has been used topically in healing of wounds burns, decubitus ulcers. It also has antifungal and antibacterial property. Curcumin the active compound of turmeric is a polyphenol, having anti-inflammatory activity.

Haridrakhanda rasayana- It is commonly used in the treatment of allergic skin diseases, itching skin. Regular consumption of this, for long term (2 – 4 months) makes the skin as lustrous as gold as per the classical description. Drakshasavam that is indicated in piles, fistula, indigestion, bleeding diseases, intestinal worms, injury, wounds.

Tikta Ghrita - In the realm of herbal medicine for the skin, there is not much greater than Tikta Ghrita (Bitter Ghee). This medicated ghee is beneficial in liver problems, blood and Gastro-intestinal tract ailments, inflammation, hormonal problems, improving the complexion and healing the skin. This formula can also be applied externally for even greater results.

Triphala Churna- Triphala is quite the herbal panacea in the world of Ayurveda. It is rich in antioxidants and Vitamin C. It is a good detoxifier, mild laxative, blood cleanser and is good for liver. Triphala is a great addition to any skin healing herbal regimen.

Simple home remedies for a healthy glowing skin: Avoid chemical treatments, fairness creams etc. as they only give a temporary look but will not last longer and may also damage your skin and cause early wrinkles.

a) About 20 gms of Aloe vera pulp is blended with half a teaspoon (3 grams) turmeric powder and heated for a minute and this is applied externally. Left for 20 minutes, washed off with water.

b) The paste prepared by rubbing Nutmeg and root of Sariva with the fresh juice of Aloe vera is applied to the face daily. This is beneficial in black and white heads. Natural methods / tips for making skin glow and improving facial skin complexion

c) The almonds soaked in water overnight should be grinded after removing their skin. A teaspoon of gram floor, one teaspoon of milk and 4 drops of lime juice are added mixed well and applied on the face followed by gentle massage, provides long lasting clear and fair skin.

d) Take 1 tablespoon of milk powder is taken and mixed with one tablespoon of honey. Further one tablespoon of lemon juice and half tablespoon of almond oil are added and blended well to make it into a fine paste and applied on the face and neck daily and washed after an hour.

e) Turmeric is good ingredient for skin. Make a facepack with mixture of turmeric and milk. Apply this and wash off after an hour with cold water for glowing skin.

f) Lemon juice and glycerin work nicely for dry skin whereas fuller’s earth and turmeric are used for oily skin.

g) Take one tomato, grate it well and mix it with 3-4 drops of lime juice. Apply it on your face wait for 15 minutes and then rinse it off.

h) A mixture of egg white, milk cream and honey works excellent against skin tanning.

i) Mix tomato juice with honey or yogurt and apply it daily on skin to remove tanning.

j) Prepare a fine paste of ripe papaya, oatmeal powder, milk cream and honey. Cover your face with this paste for 15 minutes. Wash it off with water.

k) Apply buttermilk to skin, keep for 10 minutes and then wash off thoroughly for softening, cleansing and radiating effect.

l) Sandalwood paste acts as a sunscreen and protects the skin from harmful UV rays of the sun.It also enhances fairness and is considered as anti-aging ingredient.

m) The application of mixture of carrot juice and pineapple juice to the skin twice a week helps to remove skin marks and also enhances the skin glow.

n) Making a face pack with red sandalwood powder and coconut milk is the best recipe for glowing skin.

Conclusion: The healthy skin not only enhances beauty but also an external indicator of an individual’s internal physical and emotional health. The skin problems like acne, eczema, psoriasis, rash, itchiness, extreme dryness or dullness, complexion indicates an imbalance in the diet and/or lifestyle that may be a causative factor. Skin is the dressing organ of the body. Hence skin diseases not only involve somatic level but also affect psychology of an individual. Hence to get a proper idea of skin disease, one must know the normal echo texture. Ayurvedic herbs and herbal drugs play a key role in curing various skin ailments. Large number of herbs are components in cosmetic products. Further pure natural products without any synthetic chemical used in the form of face packs are highly beneficial. They are devoid of side effects and equally effective in comparison to chemical formulations. The use of bioactive ingredients in cosmetics influence biological functions of skin and provides nutrients necessary for the healthy skin.Read more at:cheap formal dresses


Winter, Indian style


The recently held Bangalore Fashion Week, this year, witnessed winter collections with a contemporary twist on ethnic wear. The 17th edition of the four-day event featured celebrity showstoppers including Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Pallavi Sharda, Rahul Dev, Sharmeila Mandre and Pranita Subash. Here’s a look into the collections of the veterans at the show:

Abhishek Dutta

The designer for the first day was Abhishek Dutta, who has worked with actors such as Vidya Balan and Konkona Sen Sharma. His collection at the show was characterised by the migrating instincts of birds woven in digital prints. Talking about the latest line, Abhishek says, "As a child, I always loved going for treks and spending time outdoors, which served as my inspiration. The migrating instincts not only represent the essence of freedom, but also address the important issue of extinction". Drawing a parallel between the birds intricately captured on his design and the weavers, he says, "something must be done to sustain the profession of weavers, otherwise they will be lost like the migratory birds".

He has incorporated the Baluchari silk textiles in his collection because, "it is a high fashion fabric which was earlier used for making traditional sarees, but is now used for making cushion covers and men's jackets, and mainly garments which attract the youth. The aim is to not only prevent the silk from becoming extinct, but also to enable the weavers to sustain their employment".

Elaborating on the issue, he says “I have collaborated with the West Bengal Correctional Services, where about 40 inmates were trained to stitch hand woven, sustainable material into shoes, bags and garments. The idea was to give the inmates a new lease of life by making them financially independent and productive". This clothing line was inaugurated at the Tihar Jail Festival.


Monapali's collection for the second day was inspired by the 'tree of life' concept which occurs in many cultures. The lively sister-duo Monapali say "This collection represents the different elements of nature -- air, water, fire and earth. The silk and georgette fabric collection carries a youthful and modern touch." After spending a considerable amount of time in this industry, they feel that fashion trends keep coming back. "Fashion trends keep getting recycled and revived time and again, depending upon their relevance".

Talking about the gaining prominence of unisex clothing, they say, "although, there is a separate unisex section which incorporates gender neutral fashion, the gap between men's and women's fashion will not bridge anytime soon. Both genders are more at ease embracing their own masculinity or femininity and so, the demand for both men's and women's fashion will remain".

Pria Kataria Puri

The collection for the third day "Firsdus" was launched by internationally acclaimed designer Pria Kataria Puri, who has worked with public figures such as Paris Hilton and Oprah Winfrey. "Firsdus is derived from the Persian word 'Fridaus' which means paradise. The collection that found its inspiration from the Middle-East, gives out a charming, elegant and feminine vibe which is perfect for a festive occasion like a destination wedding, Diwali party or even for Christmas or New Year's Eve. The fabric used is that of fine satin and crepe silk from Italy, along with Chantilly lace and Riti feathers which add a touch of glamour," describes Pria.

One of the universal themes in her collections is that of 'Occidental Couture'. Talking about the same she says " The colours used are vibrant and exotic ranging from shades of peaches, to off white, and midnight blue; and sunset colours like red and orange. The embroidery work consists of floral prints which are aesthetically well placed. The collection incorporates kaftan silhouettes such as off shoulder cuts, and maxi kaftans which are not only comfortable to wear owing to their weightless nature, but can also be worn by anyone if draped intelligently, since they are not restricted to a particular size". By beautifully blending the exotic colours of the east and the kaftan silhouettes of the west, this collection also makes people feel comfortable yet elegant in carrying off their clothes.

Riyaz Gangji

The finale of the show featured Riyaz Gangji, known for his brand 'Libas', that he started along with his wife Reshma Gangji. The Horizon collection from Libas is inspired by his travel to Morocco. The collection features silk and polyester and is characterised by dark colours – shades of deep emerald, sapphire and black tones. He says "Libas is a personal quest to weave together unique styles and cultures. The designs are aimed at evoking an aura of mystique and is a mesh of ethnic and western styles”.Read more | formal dresses melbourne


Meet the Danish Design Duo Helping Imprisoned Peruvian Women Find Their Independence


There’s hope inside the women’s prison in Cusco, Peru. Though the inmates (mostly poor and desperate pawns in the widespread drug trade) are more often than not in their teens or early 20s and locked up for 17-plus years, they’ve found stability in knitting beautiful sweaters for a new brand called Carcel. Louise van Hauen and Veronica D’Souza launched their first fashion collection today in Copenhagen, a project they dreamed up just over one year ago. Today, Carcel employs 15 women in the Cusco prison, who are paid in cash for each item they make. That money is distributed to the women’s families by Carcel’s production team—a husband and wife who work inside the prison and monitor the manufacturing.

Van Hauen and D’Souza met while living and working in Kenya—the former as a creative manager at a leather bag company and the latter heading a social startup that made, and distributed, menstrual cups for women throughout the country. “Because of the nature of the work I was doing, I was spending time in a lot of the slums in Kenya,” D’Souza explains. “I started to become curious about the prison system and the incarcerated women in particular.” She visited and toured the women’s prison in Nairobi, including the prison shop that sold items made by the inmates. “It felt like a waste of resources,” she says. “They don’t have access to the market or to proper wages—there has been production in prisons for a long time, but I think what differentiates us from any good vocational program is good wages.”

After that, D’Souza teamed up with Van Hauen and they began mapping out parts of the world where the best quality of materials intersects with the highest numbers of female incarcerations. Quality, in fact, is a key ingredient to Carcel’s progressive business model. Van Hauen, who also spent time working in production at Louis Vuitton, understood that in order to make the business profitable and therefore successful in aiding the inmates, the clothes had to stand up to fashion’s very high standards (even in the sustainability market). “The women in Peru have a feel for design, and that coupled with the materials makes everything more elevated,” she says. “You need to be able to reach people who care about fashion and won’t disregard you as some kind of a hippie brand.” Carcel’s aesthetic is certainly on point, from the sleek, minimal design details of the knitwear to the sharp, modern marketing campaign.

D’Souza and Van Hauen are also beginning to lay the groundwork for expansion. They’ve recently traveled to Thailand to visit women’s prisons and hope to work with them in a similar capacity, creating ready-to-wear from local silks. Eventually, they’d like to work in women’s prisons in at least five countries around the world. “You can’t come in with a Danish mind-set of what is a just system and what isn’t,” D’Souza notes. “What we can do is get access and change things from the inside without being an NGO or yelling and screaming about the justice system being broken. We can do it through something that makes the prisons shine as well, by showing that the women are happier because they can provide for their families, that they won’t come back into the prisons and will be better assimilated into the economy once they’re out, which is a win for everybody in society.”

“That’s on the really ‘trying to change the world’ side,” D’Souza continues. “But we also can’t forget that we can only do all of this by selling as many beautiful things as we can in this part of the world and making our customers feel happy and positive about what they’re wearing and what we’re trying to do.”

Here’s a first look at Carcel’s new knitwear and the Peruvian women who weave it.Read more at:celebrity dresses | bridesmaid dresses australia


7 steps to weeding your fashion garden


Those minutes standing in front of your closet add up.

Studies show women spend 16 minutes each weekday morning and 14 minutes on weekend mornings deciding what to wear, according to The Telegraph. Holidays, vacations and weekend nights tack on even more time.

Perhaps even more alarming is that a study conducted by Elizabeth Bye and Ellen McKinney revealed that 85 percent of women own clothes that don't fit and the average person only wears about 20 percent of the clothing in their closet, according to Business Insider.

Susie Ekberg Risher, owner of The Essential Closet, says the statistics are even lower; she's found her clients utilize closer to 10 percent of their closets.

"Here's what I liken it to," she says. "You've got a beautiful garden, with all of these beautiful flowers growing, but then you've allowed all these weeds to grow up, so you can't see the flowers anymore."

Weeding through your closet is often much easier said than done. Pieces with similar fabric, cut and color act as "fake flowers," imitating clothing you love. We become attached to our clothing because of the stories associated with them, Ekberg Risher says.

Some pieces have sentimental value — a gift from a relative or a shirt attached to fond memories. Other articles of clothing are kept due to wishful thinking — future weight loss or a modeling career.

"I think part of it is the story in their head about how they want to look, how they used to look—that kind of a thing," says Liz Fevig Hager, intuitive massage therapist and aspiring Fargo minimalist. "We keep certain kinds of clothing that used to fit us but don't fit anymore."

How to weed your fashion garden

Eliminating undesired clothing and reducing your wardrobe has a plethora of benefits. To showcase the best blooms in your closet, follow these seven steps.

1. Collect all clothing. "Find every article of clothing throughout your whole house that belongs on your body and you bring it to one place — probably your bed," Fevig Hager says. This includes outerwear and extra clothing in in entryway and spare closets.

2. Sort clothing into categories. Divide clothing into three piles: "love it," "maybe" or "donate/toss." Ekberg Risher says it's easiest to start with your favorites. "The first thing I would recommend is picking out your top pieces," she says. "Those are the things you know that you love. Even if they're worn, pilled and ripped — that'll give you information. If you do want to wear them, pull them out and fix them, but commit to doing that."

3. Remove donate/toss piles. "Once you've sorted everything into those three piles, the donate or toss piles leave the room — to your car, trunk, wherever. You're never going to look at that again," Fevig Hager says. If you're looking to sell or consign items, Ekberg Risher says expect to make 10 cents on the dollar.

4. Sort again. Return to the "maybe" pile and re-sort those items into the "love it" or donate/toss pile. "Now that you've gotten rid of the toss pile, you'll be more discerning — hopefully ruthless — with the 'maybe pile,'" Fevig Hager says. "When you're making these piles, you have to hold each item in your hand so you can ask yourself, 'Does this spark joy?' or 'Why do you deserve a place in my wardrobe?'"

She offers up a minimalist mantra: "You can keep things that are just for 'when' but you don't keep them if they're 'just in case' because 'just in case' almost never happens anyway," she says. "If you know you have weddings coming up and you have wedding dresses then keep them just for 'when' even though you might wear it once that year. But don't keep a ball gown 'just in case' you go to the Academy Awards — you could buy another one."

5. Organize your closet. "Once you have all the clothes that fit — you've given away the ones that don't fit and you have the pieces you know are your essentials — now organize it," Ekberg Risher says. Sort clothing by category — pants, tops, sweaters, outerwear, etc. — and color.

6. Store some clothing away. Set aside seasonal clothing and other pieces to store in totes for a later date. "All of your clothes have to fit," Ekberg Risher says. "If you love some of those clothes, then put them in another closet. Get them out of there."

7. Swap clothing every few months. Fevig Hager found swapping clothing from the totes every three months has helped to kept her wardrobe fresh. "You end up having new clothes but you didn't have to buy them — which is my favorite part," she says. " When you open a tote, it's just like shopping."

Stress less with reduced mess

When everything fits and pairs seamlessly together, you can be creative choosing outfits without overthinking it.

"We are all looking for ease in our lives because there's so much stress and there's so many other decisions to be made," Ekberg Risher says. "But, if we want to look good, this is a way to look good without a lot of stress, without a lot of pressure."

Fevig Hager highlights a theory that says the more choices a person has, the less satisfied they are with their choice in the end.

"I've found I appreciate more and enjoy more the things I have in my closet," she says. "I see what I have, it all goes together and I can get dressed quickly."

For those nervous about owning only essentials, downsizing doesn't mean you have to throw fashion out altogether.

"If you like fashion, you can incorporate little tiny bits without having to own everything of everything," Ekberg Risher says. Rather than buying a pair of velvet pants, a rose gold jacket and floral shorts, she says women can incorporate those textures, fabrics, patterns and colors in their accessories like shoes, belts, hats and scarves.

Whether you like it or not, the way you dress tells people about you.

"Your closet is a Rorschach ink blot of your life," Ekberg Risher says. "When you are coherent and integrated with what your clothes are and how you dress, it makes you more powerful out in the world, more confident."

Shopping after downsizing

Once a person has downsized their closet, the urge to shop will inevitably return one day. But how do you do it without filling your closet back up with unnecessary items?

"You start with buying things that fit you right now — things that fit your body exactly the way it is this minute," Fevig Hager says. "Going out with the list of things you really need — especially if you're someone who is a chronic shopper — keeps you reined in."

Ekberg Risher echoes the same sentiment; go with a list — and be picky.

"For me, 90 percent of the fun is the research," she says. "I think the addiction part of shopping is the hunt. So go for the hunt, but you don't need to kill every cardigan. You can catch and release."

The magic of a capsule wardrobe

Coined by Susie Faux — owner of the London boutique "Wardrobe" — in the 1970s, a capsule wardrobe is a collection of essential items that can easily be mixed, matched and paired with seasonal pieces. Though Faux suggested fewer than 12 items for the ideal wardrobe, each person has their own idea of what it looks like to them.

The general rules include a color theme with one or two neutral base colors; pieces that flatter body size, shape and complexion; classic shapes and patterns and high-quality fabrics that will stand the test of time.

After determining favorite pieces in your closet, Fevig Hager recommends creating a capsule wardrobe. By determining those essential pieces, women are able to more easily choose outfits and get dressed in the morning.Read more at:QueenieAu | celebrity dresses