This question - or variations thereof - regularly hits my inbox from readers all over the world. While we may not all speak the same language, there are a few things upon which we can all agree that make us take leave of our senses: rich chocolate, handsome men, and clothes that are too cute to leave behind at the store.
So what's a gal to do, particularly when she's been saddled with champagne tastes on a beer budget?
First, set down those glossy fashion magazines and back away from them slowly. They can be dangerous, particularly if you don't know how to use them. $700 pants? $500 shoes? Who can afford to buy these things? Not many! Look at what's popular, swipe some styling ideas, then go replicate the looks in prices that you can afford.
Secondly, start viewing any "must have" list with healthy skepticism. These are the latest trends that the designers are showing that will be dated by this time next year. Some will be cute, true, but others will only be cute on the models that show them. Once you learn what looks good on you and what doesn't, you'll be a lot less susceptible to buying what others say you "must have" each season.
Finally, invest in classic pieces that work well on your body. It's the single best way to get the most mileage out of your clothing budget, because you can wear classic styles for several years without ever looking dated. Top a classic base with a trendy accessory, and you'll look "au courant" without going in the red.
So what exactly ARE classic styles, and how do you know one when you see it?
Classics are styles that have been popular for years because of their clean lines and utilitarian features. While trends are instantly recognizable by length, pattern, or decoration, classics transcend time with their cut, style, and fabric. They can be worn alone, layered, dressed up or dressed down, and can be made to look current by adding something trendy.
Examples of classics include:
There are some years when these styles are more popular and some years when they're less, but they continue to sell well because they fit a variety of body types and offer a simple, unfussy silhouette. Get them in basic, solid colors, and you can wear them for years to come.
But won't you get bored with the "same old thing?"
Only if you have no imagination.
The neat thing about classics is that they not only look great all by themselves, they serve as a wonderful backdrop to flashier pieces. Add a snazzy jacket, funky hosiery, or a great pair of shoes, and you'll be able to brilliantly showcase the new piece using your classic staples as a backdrop.
Your friends, family, and coworkers will think you spend a fortune on your clothes, when in reality you're merely adding a few "to die for" pieces each year. It's a clever way to expand your wardrobe choices without overspending your budget or over-cramming your closet.
So the next time you're in a quandary as to what to add to your wardrobe, opt for classics. They're clean, versatile, easy-to-wear, and make the most of your budget. Dressing well just doesn't get any easier than this!
About The Author: Have designer tastes but a discount budget? Diana Pemberton-Sikes has helped thousands of women create a stunning style on limited funds with her fun, fresh approach to fashion. Sign up for her popular weekly ezine at http://www.FashionSavvy.com
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The secret is finding what best suits you - discovering your own style & sticking to it. That way you build a wardrobe rather than just having a lot of clothes.
Then you can tweek your style according to the fashion with accessories, etc. How many variations in clothing are there really? Shirts/tops/skirts/dresses/pants/jackets/coats/hats...you see what I mean - So if you invest in good basic pieces that you can wear til extinction you will get the most value out of them.
my wardrobe includes the following::
black bootcut trousers
dark denim bootcut low-waisted jeans
crisp white fitted cotton shirt
crisp black fitted cotton shirt
black belted cardigan
various short sleeved/sleeveless jersey tops(in all colors)
black strappy heels
a simple black handbag
some funky belts/scarves etc
a dark denim knee length pencil skirt
black knee high boots
longsleeved poloneck jumper(in a variey of colors)
from these basics i no i can produce an outfit tht will take me anywhere i need to go, whether its uni/work/drinks/clubbin. jus change the makeup/hair/accessories to suit.
when im slobbin out i wear a velour tracksuit with a plain top.
all the above items can be purchased reasonably cheaply from discount stores or factory outlets.
I don't know what a kelly bag is ;)
Classic clothing items: best at a church or salvation army thrift store. Department stores will give them their "overflow" of items (end of season) and women with income tend to donate more to these. I have rebuilt my wadrobe from one particular store thanks to "bag"sales (some include coats)....everything else came from christmas/birthday gifts and clearance racks. Sears, JcPenneys, etc have GREAT clearance sales for basics. Ask for gift cards from there next holidays. Check stitching and wear around the midriff (shirts) and crotch/leg area. What also helps me is the closet saver system (lets you hang five items on one thingy) I got 20 hangers for 7 bucks to hold 100 items. I separate for skirts, pants, sweaters, cardigans, vests, shells or undershirts, blouses, and everyday shirts, pj's and dresses. Then I do not buy a "new" clothing item unless I get rid of one (my dh's idea). I store extreme seasonal items in a sterilite box. My shoes are in one of those storage hangers. Also, all shirts/blouses must match with at least two pants and one skirt. I stay at home now, so my "work wardrobe" is never used, but I stay with traditional prints on the skirts and classic styling. I like to know that I have the clothes to wear if I need to go back to an office!
I really subscribe to this theory, but I'm still building my wardrobe.
Please, others, post ideas on classic clothing items and any good deals on such items (just because we're spending more here doesn't mean that every expensive cardigan is a good cardigan, etc).
I am especially interested in "classic bags" suggestions!
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