When you look your best, you feel your best, and everyone notices. Here are my 7 favorite tips for looking stylish without breaking the bank:
1. Choose Wardrobe Staples That Can Bridge the Seasons
Buy now, wear later. For example: Wear a tweed pencil skirt throughout the fall, and then continue to wear it through winter with tights and boots. It can even carry over into spring if you sport it with bare legs and strappy shoes. One of the most important things I’ve learned is that each clothing item is defined by how you wear it. The right seasonal add-ons can help you get use out of the same item nearly all year round.
2. Make a Statement
Instead of buying a lot of little things, go for one impactful statement. For example, I think that a beautiful stack of bracelets worn together artfully is more impactful than dealing with a bracelet, a necklace, rings, and earrings. Less is more—both in your look and your checkbook.
3. Build a Foundation
Ten pieces can make 20 outfits (or more!) without anyone knowing. Mixing and matching is an art, but you add a little science to the process with a simple formula:
2 bottoms (pants or skirts)
2 layering pieces (jackets or cardigans)
3 accessories (a scarf, a belt, and a necklace).
Lay out each bottom and pair different top combinations to create a multitude of mixed and matched looks. It takes some practice, but you’ll get the hang of it!
4. Shop Your Closet
Mix and match your foundational wardrobe basics (a black suit, a white shirt, a skinny jean, a cardigan, and a little black dress) with one-off items that are more in line with current trends. You don’t need more than a couple new pieces to signal the new season, as long as you have a solid set of staples.
5. Be Smart About Suiting
Since suits are sold in individual pieces, stick to one retailer to eliminate variations in coloring. Doing so would let you buy a new pant this year to go with last year’s jacket, and even come back next month to pick up a pencil skirt—as long as it’s the same line from the same retailer, you should be okay. Update your suit one piece at a time to spread your spend and stretch your wear.
6. Focus the Eye
Learn which looks or styles draw attention to your best assets. Don’t buy anything that doesn’t show off them off, no matter how popular the pieces are.
7. Look Expensive (Without the Expense!)
Great-fitting clothes always look more expensive on your body. Many retailers like The Limited offer free pant hemming, so there’s no excuse for clothes that fit poorly. Properly fitted clothes will let you dress the part, no matter which part you play.