Don't waste money on unnecessary buys. It is very easy to go out for some retail therapy, buy a few items then get home and find you have practically the same item already in your wardrobe. When I go shopping I have a few guidelines that I now follow religiously.
Firstly I ALWAYS try the item on.
I then follow my friend Suzy's mantra "does this look better than the outfit I'm wearing?" If the answer is "no" I don't buy. If the fit isn't perfect I also don't buy. If the garment passes these three tests I then inspect the seams, is it well made? I check the label, what sort of material is it made from? Which country was it made in? Is it easy to wash? and finally I ask myself if I have anything in my wardrobe already that is almost the same.
When I find I'm missing an item when dressing, I make a note of it and hunt around until I find the perfect item, if it's not EXACTLY what I'm looking for I don't buy.
These simple rules have helped me to stop wasting money on clothes that are either badly made, difficult to care for or that I don't really need.
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Once you have sorted out your clothes, got some good basic items and a few colourful pieces, it's time to add some accessories to your outfit.
Accessories of contrasting colours can compliment a basic outfit giving it an original twist, a yellow scarf can set off a black outfit or an orange bag can revolutionise a navy blue Jean look, a string of pearls can add the finishing touch to either an evening dress or smart day wear. Adding a corresponding accessory, for example a yellow bag and a yellow string of beads will enhance the effect ,but the shade of yellow must be identical.I love the mantra "Less is more" when it comes to accessories. Don't be tempted to overdo it. ©
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Begin to add some colourful items to mix and match with your basic wardrobe. Remember that colours can either flatter you or make you look washed out and tired. Experiment with colours to find out what suits you best. Which colours complement your skin tone, your eyes and your hair colour? Inspire yourself from art and nature. We are surrounded by combinations of different colours that look incredibly beautiful together. Avoid wearing too much of the same colour, this can be ageing and not very chic. If you do decide to wear a red jacket or dress it's important to match both your lipstick and nail varnish to harmonise the look.
Horizontal stripes (these inevitably make you look larger) and large floral prints should be avoided, as should any other item that is instantaneously recognisable.
Establish a good basic wardrobe. Buy well made pieces made from good quality fabrics in classic styles that never age or date and can be worn innumerable times. Basic articles in black, white, camel and cream are essentials. Bare in mind that shades of brown and deep green are also very flattering. A crisp white blouse with a collar is a must and goes with just about everything.The colour white will brighten up your complexion by reflecting light onto your face illuminating your skin. Go for an excellent cut and finish and forget high street fashion, this is for the young and usually looks terrible on an older woman. It is better to invest in two or three quality items that can be mixed and matched than numerous fantasy garments.
Always make sure that you buy the correct size. There is no point trying to squeeze yourself into clothes that are one or two sizes too small. Most of us are guilty of making this mistake at some time. It will not and I repeat WILL NOT make you look slimmer. In fact it has the exact opposite effect, showing up unsightly bumps, bulges and underwear lines.
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