Whether you consider yourself a fashionista or you wish you could wear pajamas every day, every girl will encounter some fashion roadblocks at one point in her life, or another.

Channelling your inner Coco Chanel can sometimes be a daunting task, but with these 5 tips and tricks from U/R Italian’s Ulrike Bollmann, you’ll be sure to be back on track to becoming that fashionista you always knew you were.

“For me, fashion is not just ‘business with clothing’ – for me, fashion is everything around me: the way we live, what ideas we have, what we see, how we see others, it is the most intense lived form of art. It is the interpretation of the world around us expressed in clothing. It is also the only true direct way for all people to express themselves.” says Ulrike Bollmann.

We caught up with Ulrike Bollmann; Owner, Designer and Founder of U/R Italian, who shares her top 5 fashion tips on how to remain fashion-forward in today’s day and age.

Don’t buy something for just one occasion

We’re all guilty of it. That one dress for a wedding, a party outfit for that end of year Christmas function, a dress for that Friday night reunion at your favourite restaurant with your friends. Heading somewhere exciting means we inevitably feel like we need something special – and therefore something new – to wear. However, more often than not, as much as we like the piece that we buy, it rarely gets more than one outing.

Instead of purchasing something specific for certain events, causing that unnecessary spend, try to have a few dressier pieces in your wardrobe that are more versatile – like a LBD or a classic black blazer. If you go for something simple and more classic, you’ll be able to wear it again and again. Accessorised cleverly with bright colours, or sophisticated jewellery as it will never feel like the same look.


When you buy something, get rid of something else

Here’s a rule we should all apply to our fashion-led lives. This is not only an excellent way to keep your wardrobe at a sensible size, but also means you’ll be more confident in what you are purchasing, thinking that specific buy through carefully. Adopt the one-in, one-out policy, therefore, every time you add or buy something new, take a piece out (and sell it or donate it to charity or someone that would benefit from it). Not only will it keep your rails and shelves from overflowing, but it also means that you will only really buy something if you completely love it, knowing you have to lose something else in your wardrobe that you might love just as much.


Make an effort to discover and support new brands

Another reason we may sometimes get stuck into style ruts and feel like we never have anything to wear is because we get attached to and comfortable with certain shops. It’s great to have your core favourites who you trust and you know last well, but there are always so many new, amazing brands hitting the market that are waiting to be discovered – especially brands that are going the extra mile to not only be different, and be unique In their offerings but also provide something special for the consumer. From high-end designer labels to more affordable mid-range brands, keep exploring all year round as you’ll end up with some truly special, stylish finds. Also be sure to find a brand, such as U/R Italian, that doesn’t produce in bulk which means their clothing is exclusive to the buyer and will not be seen in many closets around South Africa – giving you that extra special fashion flair.

If you not sure if you will ever wear a certain item in your closet – try the hanger trick

Given you have sorted your closet to a respectable number of items, with no hoarding anywhere in sight, at the beginning of the season, place all your hangers in the same direction, with the clothing article in place. Each time you wear a piece, turn the hanger the other way when you return the item on it’s hanger. Very quickly within the season you will see what you wear often, and what you don’t. Women usually only wear 40 to 60 per cent of their wardrobe, so if you haven’t worn it all season, the likelihood of you wearing it at all is slim to none.


Be loyal to your style

Let’s put it this way – you don’t have to love the pink flared pants that you wore in 2002, BUT, you should be able to understand that you wore them back then when they were in style. People with style stay true to their taste, but do not follow every trend and have a certain stylistic continuity. How do you know if you are on the right track? You often hear things like: “that beige knitted dress is 100 percent YOU!” = that’s it. With time, trends come and go, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to suit every body shape, type or colour tone, and that’s perfectly ok. Rather, emphasize what you particularly like about your body. If you like your legs, wear high heels and a narrow pencil skirt that makes your legs look longer. If you have a great décolleté, highlight it with beautiful cut-outs and classy chains, that way, you’re remaining true to your style and fashionably stylish.

Founded in 2018, U/R Italian offers unique & exclusive collections of accessories, handbags, shoes, and belt designs which come directly from their factory in Italy, straight to South Africa for South Africans.

When it comes to their own company, U/R Italian, they produce only a handful of each item which means their clothing is exclusive to the buyer. Their brand “U/R Italian” stands for the first names of the founders and most importantly, it is the pillars of the label: Ulrike & Romano.

They have also so cleverly incorporated a different meaning to their name as the letters “U/R” means U = you, R = Are, in English, and combined with Italian, that’s exactly what they want to express to their clientele – that they too become a little bit Italian when wearing their fashion.