Monday, March 1, 2010

How to Build a Great but REALLY Cheap Wardrobe - Part I

Recently I read a magazine article titled something like, "Dressing for under 100 Dollars!" It took me a few mintues to realize the bargain was that each garment and accessory in the outfit was under $100.00. Added up, the spotlighted outfit cost more than my first car. Some bargain! 

So let me give you some REAL advice on how to build a really cheap wardrobe that is great and will last you longer than a season of "Gossip Girl."  

This will be a Two-parter.  First I wanted to present some "rules"  that will save you from wasting a whole lot of money on a whole lot of nothing.  Check back Wednesday for Part II which will be actual shopping tips.


THE RULES
1.  To your own size be true:  Let's cut to the chase.  Buy clothes that you can wear TODAY!  Not for when you lose those last 10 pounds, or the first 50 for that matter.  The biggest waste of money is to buy clothes that you can't wear.  Sounds crazy right? Well, it is! 

2. Buy what fits:  This may sound redundant, but its not. Fit is not about size or weight.  Determining the right "fit" of your clothes makes shopping easier and can save you gazillions of dollars in the long run.  Unerstanding the cut and fit that best suits you is key in making sure your body looks it best and that you are comfortable.  If you feel like Harry Houdini in a straight-jacket - then you probably won't wear it.  If wearing a long nubby sweater makes you look like a Lilliputin - you probably won't wear.  Fit is everything.

3. Bust those myths: The average american women is between a size 10 and 14.  The marketing industry has convinced us that we can't be happy or look good if we have a little more "meat on our bones" than the airbrushed size 0 cosmo girl.  Whatever!  Look at Queen Latifah and the plus size model Emme.  They have some "junk in their trunk" and still look healthy, happy and beautiful. You can express yourself and look and feel wonderful at any size.
Sidenote: Throw away those foolish oversized clothes you wear because you don't like your body... they are ugly. You are in fact creating the image you fear so much. 

4. Buy what works: There is a big difference between allowing "fashion" to inspire you and imitating some crazy fashion trend.  Buy what looks and works for you. Not everyone looks good in harem pants...so don't waste money buying buying a pair.  (no one looks good in Harem Pants..it looks like a pouch for a big poop)

5. Create a Uniform: This sounds a little backwards for someone who stresses self-expression - but having a uniform, a set of basics that you can wear daily is great for your budget.    My uniform is simple.  Dark-washed jeans, long sleeve tees and a variety of  jackets and accessories.  It makes shopping easier and I still have a creative and original wardrobe.  (that's not me, that's Halle - but you get the idea.).

6. Discover who you are:  It is my philosophy that clothes should represent externally who you are internally. I mean it doesn't have to be that deep...its not rocket science as they say. Your clothes should be a reflection of who you are.  They should inspire you and make you feel good about yourself.  What they should not be is a costume hiding who you really are.  If your clothes do not "direct" people to the real you, and all they see is a costume or an image, your clothes aren't working for you.  Develop that inner vision of yourself and get going!

If you try some of these simple rules - it may take the anxiety of shopping and help save your money.  Tomorrow we will get into the actual shopping tip - the first being - NEVER PAY FULL PRICE!

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