I don’t consider myself any sort of fashion maven, but there are a few “rules” I’m learning to live by when it comes to putting together an outfit or buying new clothes. SB and Mom are my favorite fashion icons, which is pretty convenient, considering it’s not too hard to get their opinions (or raid their closets).
1. A few nice foundational pieces are better than a bunch of cheap clothes. In the end, I think it’s easier on the wallet and more efficient for my wardrobe. This concept is something I really want to work on this year in an effort to pare down and really simplify. I’m a sucker for Target deals, Old Navy prices. What usually happens is that I get home, wear the item once and realize that the fit is actually poor and the materials cheap. Even if I force myself to wear it a few times, this clothing doesn’t hold up well and I end up having to buy something to replace it sooner. I’m starting to realize the brands that work well for me, the ones that I can count on.
2. Pair a slimmer fitting item with a looser fitting item. This is either way obvious or totally dependent on body type. But either way, it’s held true for me. If I wear my skinny jeans, then I typically try to wear a looser, more flowy top. On the flip side, if I wear my trouser fit linen pants (wide leg), I wear a slimmer fitting top.
3. The 3-piece rule. An outfit typically looks pulled together when you remember to wear three major pieces. For instance, skinny jeans, a looser v-neck tee, and a chunky longer necklace. Or, a dress, scarf, and a cute clutch. One last example: dressy capris, blouse, and jacket, and you might add a scarf or necklace with that. I think this rule is helpful for me because I struggle to accessorize.
4. When wearing a shorter dress/skirt (above the knees), go with flats or a small heel. With longer dresses/skirts, wear a higher heel. Again, this statement might not apply to every person’s body type, but it’s generally been a good rule of thumb for me, especially with the surge of short dresses on the market these days. If I wear a taller heel with a shorter dress, I end up showing too much leg for my comfort. On the other hand, if I wear a midi skirt with a flat, I tend to look more matronly. So, pairing that midi or longer skirt with a heel is a look that can really lengthen me out. Disclaimer: I have seen a few midi skirts lately paired with flats, and it looks totally adorable. Just not sure that will work for me.
5. It’s ok to buy a few of the same piece in more than one color if you LOVE it. I tend to wear the same styles over and over again. I know what’s comfortable for me and what tends to work with my body type. So, instead of forcing myself out of my comfort zone all the time (like I did in my mid-twenties), I’ve given myself the ok to buy a few of one style in different colors, particularly if they are super useful.
Here are some items that I have that with:
6. If possible, buy pieces that are adaptable for work and for play. Thankfully, my line of work is pretty casual, so, with a few exceptions, I can get away with wearing the same basic pieces during the week and on the weekends. This has made shopping easier and cheaper for me. I typically try to have a few casual/sporty go-to’s for days where yoga pants are key. But for the most part, I try to buy pieces that can be dressed up or down.
Something I’m trying to figure out: How to take advantage of sales on clothes going out of season without settling for something I only kinda like. For example, I just ordered a few things from Madewell’s sale (20% off of Sale), thinking that the items could be good transition pieces for Fall & Winter. The items I received were cute, but just ok. I’ll probably return most pieces this week. I kicked myself, once again, for buying things because they were on sale, not because I loved them. I’d like to get to the place where I don’t buy something on sale unless I would buy it at full price. I’m learning.
What fashion wisdom can you share? I’d love to hear!