You would never dream of making an obvious fashion faux pas (Seamed hose with sandals? Never!)
But even dedicated fashionistas sometimes run the risk of making style snafus. Not me…not lately since high school.
Here are fashion traps to avoid, with the fixes listed at the end of each. Please use this as a guide when in doubt. Think of me and my cynicism and critical nature, saying HELL NO. Now here are the rules, again LADIES!
1. Relying too heavily on the fashion media.
You buy all the fashion magazines religiously, watch awards shows, read the paper and keep up with all the online sources. How could that be a mistake?
By relying too heavily on the media to rule your wardrobe, you run the risk of being a fashion victim.
Remember: most magazines and TV programs about fashion produce an “aspirational” effect. They present you with fabulous clothes you’ll want to buy on fabulous models you’ll want to look like.
The problem is that a) you probably can’t afford any of the clothes they show and b) you’re never going to look like a supermodel or a celebrity.
Solution: better ways to develop style
- Take a serious assessment of your overall current style, deciding if you are traditional, modern, fashion-forward, casual, hippie natural, etc.
- Determine what you are trying to accomplish with your signature style: to be more memorable, develop an always chic look or have more fun with fashion. Like I constantly change my HAIR or HAIR COLOR
- Study famous tastemakers and what makes them visually memorable. Many use “props,” such as Karl Lagerfeld and his fan or me an my statement SHOES.
- Don’t hesitate to imitate a look and make it your own, making sure it fits into your current style and personality.
- Decide what you would be most comfortable changing: your hair, wardrobe colors or accessories. Do think to much just do and ask friends for advice if you are really unsure, REAL FRIENDS
- If you’re choosing a striking new hairstyle or color, try the new look in stages to see how it works.
- If you are choosing a bold new wardrobe color, start by incorporating it as a shirt, tie or scarf color to see how well it works for you.
- Relying on accessories — sunglasses, big pins, bright hosiery or vintage handbags — is a safe, easy and inexpensive way to start a personalized look.
- Experiment and alter your signature style pieces as you grow more confident.
- Use your signature style to camouflage flaws or draw attention to your best features.
- Try not to cross the fine line between signature style and affectation.
- A signature look can be something as sentimental as a charm bracelet or as breezy as brightly colored pantyhose: just make sure it feels like you and fits your personality and lifestyle.
2. Buying clothes that don’t fit.
You probably already know that you should NEVER buy something too small, thinking you’ll lose weight — even if it is a $10 Pucci dress you picked up off eBay.
But did you know that little details like the length of your jacket sleeves or the place your pants hem rest can make or break an outfit? I’ve been saying this for years, I wish you all listen to me. I know.
The best way to get perfect fit is to have a tailor alter the garment.
Solution: How your clothes should really fit
- Long sleeved garments should hit just below the wrist bone with just a little ease (shouldn’t be too tight or loose)
- A button-front blouse should never gap open at the bustline. If the garment seems to fit, the problem may just be wide-spaced buttons. Attach a snap.
- A slim or pencil skirt should fit without bunching or wrinkling up. Do the sit-down test.
- Hemline correction — skirts should be completely straight all the way around. If that’s not the case (because of hips or tummy) have it rehemmed.
- Tailored pants should fall to the top of your instep.
- Long, formal gowns should fall to about an inch off the ground.
3. Creating a mish-mash wardrobe by buying odds and ends.
Buying up odds and ends on sale may seem to make sense. After all, the easy availability of off-price merchandise has lulled us into thinking that minor purchases won’t blow our wardrobe concept or budget.
Actually, it’s the little things that kill your wardrobe. Without a plan, you can end up with tons of clothes and nothing to wear. But it’s never to late to change your habits
Solution: Always having something to wear
- Stop impulse buying. Every $10 mistake you would have picked up in the bargain bin goes to a really great wardrobe.
- In the first step of cleaning out your closet, eliminate everything that doesn’t fit or that you haven’t worn in a year.
- A few weeks later, go back and get rid of all the stuff you fudged on the first time around.
- With what’s left, begin identifying a theme to your wardrobe, relying on favorite looks, colors and lifestyle pieces..
- Decide on three colors that either match or will coordinate with what you own and buy only those three colors for apparel.
- Establish a workable budget.
- Make a list of all the items you need in your wardrobe. (For example: solid blazer, wool pants, white shirt)
- Set aside an hour of time each week to shop — online or off.
- Avoid trendy items.
- Buy clothing that will span two to three seasons — like wool crepe or matte jersey.
- Purchase only clothes that work with something that you already own.
- Pass on anything that doesn’t fit — no matter how great a buy.
- Try to add only one or two well-thought out items per month.
- Add punchy color and trendiness with accessories, shoes and handbags.
- Continually eliminate and replace essential wardrobe pieces once it is built up so that you are never caught without a necessary item. I swap out trendy pieces every season, even though I’m not a TRENDY one I like some 🙂
- Ignore that advice about buying “the best” of everything. Regardless of how well-made a garment is, moths, coffee spills and kids take their toll. Never choose between a mortgage payment and a cashmere sweater.
- Try to plan your wardrobe around three neutral colors like black, white, khaki, navy or brown.
- Buy more solids than prints – you won’t get tired of them as quickly.
4. Getting stuck in a style rut. Switch CHICKS
Sticking with classics has been conventional style wisdom for ages, and for women with full lives and limited resources this is still a sure way to investment dressing.
The problem is that as we grow older, we sometimes become a little too comfortable wearing our old standbys (or just doing “replenishment” shopping each season).
Sometimes all it takes is tweaking the basics that you already own to look fabulous.
Solution:How to keep your look up-to date
- Pick up a women’s magazine you normally wouldn’t buy (hint: should have more fashion than recipes on the cover). Elle, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and W are good starters. These mags are my go to BIBLES, Soma is another one of my favorite mags.
- Go to a different store (online or physical) and try on new labels or NON LABELS, even if the style is similar to what you already own. You may be surprised what you’re missing if you rely on certain set merchants and brands.
- Slip in some punchy color. Every season there’s a trendy color palette, and it’s usually not too hard to figure out what it is. Use color as accent pieces — a bright scarf, a camisole under a suit.
- Accessories are the easiest ways to update a look. Choose a new handbag, sexy sandals or a new necklace. If you’re not sure what’s modern, ask a sales associate to point you to what’s hot — they usually know what others are asking for.
- Don’t try to radically change your look — no one in real life ever emerges looking like the “After” picture in a fashion makeover Make subtle changes over a period of time..Not even me, well sometimes I can temporarily, then I turn back to one of my alters. It’s fun trust me your mate heads will turn.
5. Choosing the wrong undergarments.
Celebrities get stuffed and tucked into heavy-duty body trimmers, push-up bras, even sticky tape to look good in designer dresses for the red carpet.
Just think what the right bra or support-top pantyhose could do for us mere mortals.
In addition to gravity-defying bras and body slimmers that eliminate lumps and bumps, there are other tricks of the trade.
- Fit is everything in a bra. Go to a good boutique or store and have an expert “fit” you. It may feel uncomfortable for a stranger to do this, but it’s the best way to get a perfect fitting bra.
- For form-fitting, low-cut apparel, give Mother Nature a boost and use a push-up bra for the best cleavage.
- For larger-busted women, choose a full cup with underwire. Minimizers can help reduce the bustline, as well.
- For smaller busts, choose padded push-up bras.
- Have a wardrobe of lingerie — casual looks call for simple, comfy (often cotton) styles; sexier looks for lace, maybe even a thigh-high and garter belt. Have fun with it.
- Don’t forget the details. Remember to switch to smooth-seamed cups for knit shirts and wear the appropriate color: wear a nude colored bra with light tops; black with dark. Make sure your straps don’t show. Switch to strapless if they do.
- For fitted bottoms, choose thongs or super-smooth panties. Make sure your panty lines don’t show.
- Choose one-piece or slip-type stretch slimmers for the sleekest lines under fitted dresses.
- For full coverage, there are even pantliners that go practically to the ankle.