“I want to look good without spending a lot of money. What's best way to use my clothing budget?”
This question - or variations thereof - regularly hits my inbox from readers all over world. While we may not all speak 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 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 looks in prices that you can afford.
Secondly, start viewing any “must have” list with healthy skepticism. These are latest trends that designers are showing that will be dated by this time next year. Some will be cute, true, but others will only be cute on 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 single best way to get 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 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.