The secret to paying less without looking like a discount is to stick to a few essentials. Shopping is a money issue, and like all money issues, you should look at every purchase as an investment. Most people go to the mall intent on making their budget stretch by paying a little bit of money for a bunch of things. This is how you overspend for nothing.
You have a closet full of clothes, but you find yourself at the mall the day before what’s-her-name’s wedding or the formal Christmas party, pawing frantically through racks of clothes. By buying for just one occasion, you end up with another inflexible piece of cheap clothing. It‘s a vicious cycle. ‘Nothing to wear’ is an excuse that keeps you from going places.
When you buy the bare minimum, you eliminate this problem. You will always have something to wear and you will always look good.
Pants & Skirts
Wool and tweed blend well with other colors and materials, so buy the following pieces in those colors. One of your pairs of black pants should come with a jacket. In other words, buy a black suit.
- Pair of black dress pants for day-time.
- Pair of black dress pants with a fuller leg for evening.
- A-line or bias cut skirt that drapes.
- Pencil skirt in black.
- Neutral colored skirt.
Jeans come in every shape and size for different body-types. If you have generous hips, wear a straight legged jean. Avoid stressing and stylized fading on jeans, as this can highlight your trouble spots.
To get a perfect fit, there is nothing wrong with getting your jeans tailored, in fact, you will probably have to. This is an expense that’s worth it because jeans travel well, pair with almost any top and are appropriate for almost any occasion besides church, the opera or a banquet. The hem of your jeans should brush the toe box of your shoe.
- Hemmed pair of jeans to go with heels.
- Hemmed pair of jeans to go with sneakers or flats.
- Sweater in the same shade of black as your pants and skirt.
- Sweater in a neutral shade.
- A lilac, olive or salmon sweater. Something with a rich tone that pairs with tweed or camel..
- White button down shirt.
- Tailored jacket that matches pants.
- Bomber, motorcycle or windbreaker jacket in a refined fabric. Think leather, suede or corduroy.
- Trench in neutral or black.
- Knee-length for day and between seasons. Look for leather, suede or lightweight wool.
- Winter coat of the highest quality you can afford. In colder climates, look for a calf-length coat. In milder ones, the lightweight knee-length will suffice.
- Absolute must have: a little black dress.
- Classic leather style bag that works with everything.
- Evening bag , envelope style or square-top handle.
- Tote bag for running errands.
- Pair of black pumps with 2 1/2 to 3 1/2-inch heel. Get kitten heels if you don’t like heights.
- Comfy evening shoe in black satin.
- Pair of tall black boots.
- Bad weather boots.
- Pair of cool retro sneakers.
Remember to look for deals at your favorite stores to ensure the best quality possible. Fit is important, so get the styles that are most flattering to your shape. Retail clothing is one size fits all so count on having a few alterations. Don’t be afraid to use a tailor.
Since you’ve bought fewer clothes, you can afford the best fit. Every piece you buy can be a designer piece. Same budget, better clothes. These are the essential basics that you really need-the rest is gravy.