Get over the notion that you need a lot of clothes. A well edited wardrobe in which every item works several different ways makes it easy to maintain consistent personal style.
With only a minimal number of the RIGHT pieces, you can create maximum style. Start by shopping your closet to see what’s there to build on. Whether your style is traditional, contemporary, or eclectic, you need basically the same number of pieces to work with. For instance a fall wardrobe can be built around the following core items.
1 Palette: Are you best in black/charcoal/white, brown/taupe/ecru, or navy/burgundy/ivory? Sticking to one is the basis to build on. A basic wardrobe doesn’t NEED both black and brown pants; it can lead to confusion because each palette needs different colors to support it. Most of us look best in one or the other.
2 Pairs of pants: These should be in whatever your basic dark colors are
1 Pair of jeans: No spangles, sparkles, rips, acid wash, or weird pocket details. Go for a dark wash, boot cut and great fit.
2 shirts: The perfect simple white shirt is a classic but solids and simple patterns are OK too. NOTE: White shirts have a shelf life. Plan on replacing them seasonally. They have a tendency to yellow, droop, and show their age when they’re in constant rotation. Crisp & white is the look you want.
2 Skirts: One solid and one pattern is a start.
7 Tops: This mix should contain layering pieces in basic colors (3), fine gauge sweater in a color that suits you and works with your core pieces (1), shirts (2), a printed shirt or blouse (1).
1 Jacket: Start with a basic. They can transform a look so don’t be afraid to add novelty jackets later.
For a business wardrobe, choose fabrics like gabardine and stretch woven bottoms and silk, cashmere, and fine gauge cotton tops. If you need a more casual wardrobe your core items can be denim, cottons, and knits.
If skirts aren’t your thing, then substitute pants for the skirts.
Prints pieces should work with at least two other items. If you opt for a patterned or printed top and skirt that match, you should be able to wear them separately. NOTE: dry cleaning can fade prints, so always send out your printed garments together (yes, even if one item doesn’t need it.)
Every item should fit without any buts about it. If a hem, button, sleeve, pocket or anything else is even a little off, take it to a tailor and get it fixed. All tailors display lists of common fixes and prices, most are not expensive. If a garment doesn’t fit well, it’ll never look good, no matter how much you paid for it.
See How It Should Look! We put together 2 core wardrobes. They will be posted here on Friday August 19, 2011.
Makeup follows trends just like fashion does. While fashion people study the runways for new influences, beauty pros study hair, makeup, and nails for information on what’s new in color, application, and style.
To an untrained eye, something might look bizarre enough to beg the question, “Who wears this?” But what appears to be outrageous, holds clues industry professionals “read” to glean what’s coming next.
Here’s what the Fall 2011 face looks like and some suggested DOs and DON’Ts.
For the last few seasons there’s been a mandate on a no-brow look, possibly influenced by fashion’s fascination with Tilda Swinton, who pulls off browlessness beautifully. I don’t recall any other woman taking this look seriously. Brows are important focal points of a face. The 3 things to get right are arch, color, and application. DO have them done once by a pro to learn how to make the most of what you’ve got.
“Natural” faces and nails always look good, especially when they’re a little (ahem) enhanced by the right makeup colors. DON’T go completely nude. If you’re wearing neutrals, don’t do neutral makeup too. Add some color somewhere (lips maybe?). Too much beige is BORING!
NOTE: Make your best feature the focal point on your face. If you have beautiful eyes, make them stand out. If you have nice full lips, go for a strong lip color. Don’t do both. It’ll date you.
Statement making scarlet lips are a fall “accessory.” Pure reds can be harsh. DO find a red that’s been softened with brown or rose tones. DON’T do very dark lips; you’ll look like an aging vampire, especially if you’re fair skinned.
The word itself sounds quaint. Our mothers wore it, which is one reason to tread lightly. The more “rouge” you wear the zanier you’ll look. Designers painted swathes of bright red across models faces in what looked like a mocking nod to the wacky aunt we all had who was a victim of rouge abuse. Instead DO a skin-enhancing blush that’s blended into your foundation.
They’re calling it a “new” look because the people who adopted this trend are too young to remember Twiggy. We’re not. DON’T do it.
Another Twiggy influence! Thick eyeliner is pretty much all for show, literally. Here’s the way Style.com put i: “At Marc Jacobs, François Nars etched a “droopy” black stroke, like “a grandmother who’s a bit eccentric that puts on her eyeliner wrong.” DO eyeliner in a very thin line at the base of the lashes.
It’s going to be a flashy fall. Clothing and accessories are going to show up in metallic shades and so are eyes, cheeks and lips. DON’T go full metallic on the face, the light-reflecting properties make lines and wrinkles more noticeable. DO a lip color with flecks of shimmer. DO metallic nail colors, shoes, handbag or accessories. DON’T overdo it, one or two shots of metal is all you need.
by Lynda Harm
My “fashion fast” was a cleansing exercise that tested my will power, put my closet to the test and thoroughly disrupted my routines. I made it through a year without shopping, but I can’t wait to shop again. Now, I have a Closet Clarity Plan that organizes what I own, what I need, and what I want. I plan to use it every time I buy anything to wear. Here’s what my year taught me:
- I don’t really need a new outfit for every important occasion because the occasion is usually more important than what I’m wearing.
- I took the 80% of my closet that I rarely wore and figured out why. Usually it was fit. I found a tailor for the stuff worth saving and donated the rest.
- The items that didn’t make the cut were mainly outdated skirts and impulse buys.
- There were a few “sentimental pieces.” I had a belt made from an outdated evening gown I was attached to. I wear the belt all the time. This made it easier to let go of the gown.
- Because I needed to see everything I had to work with before getting dressed, I reorganized my closet very early in the year.
- The items I wore the most were black pants, cashmere sweaters, a pair of flat black boots, a slim skirt, and white shirts. I wore pearls a lot, a pair of stud earrings, and a cuff bracelet.
- I wore high heels! With everything. It felt good, especially when I was wearing casual clothes. Jeans and heels made me feel great!
- My footwear wore out first. It seems shoes take a lot of wear and tear especially when there is no new blood coming into the rotation.
- I wished I had a good suit. I vowed to get one after the fast and shop for it like it was an investment.
- Instead of going shopping I went for facials and hair appointments. I felt great when my hair looked good.
- I discovered that no matter how long I had something and no matter how many times I’d worn it, my husband would still ask, ”Is that new?” To which I would ALWAYS reply…”This old thing?”
- I worked out more. Now I feel better in whatever I wear and I look better in nothing too!
- I thought about my constant struggle to fight aging. I decided to love my body and my age and just get on with it. I’m not the same person I was 30 years ago so why do I need to look like I did then?
- I thought about those who have less than I do, and I tried to use my time and assets (clothing, money, talents, experience) to help others in need.
- My best accessory is still my smile.
- If I didn’t wear it this year I’ll never wear it!
- What I’m buying first: A leopard printed trench coat (I love the one from Doncaster this season, it’s expensive but I know I’ll wear it many many times), a new pair of flat black boots, and pair of nude pumps.