I’m kind of in love with Lucky‘s December 2010 issue, which is celebrating the shopping mag’s 10th anniversary by rehashing some of their best content. My favorite piece is the 100 fashion edicts that the editors live by — not dumb, lofty fashion tips like Rachel Zoe might suggest (“An elephant tusk will spice up any outfit!”), but real, practical advice. I had a serious “aha!” moment when I read the following piece of advice:
“Buy clothes that you’ll wear on a Tuesday afternoon, not a Saturday night — few people lead Saturday night lives.”
If only this Saturday night shopper had heeded this advice a decade ago, I might not have a closet filled with 267 cocktail dresses, a zebra print Alice + Olivia jacket I’ve only worn once, and pink clogs trimmed with maribou.
But I’m not a total shopping idiot — I’ve got some tricks up my sleeve and so do the other Frisky folks. I mean, duh, why do you think “What Are We Wearing Today?” is so awesome?!
- Be diligent about washing your “hand wash only” clothes. Otherwise you are just pouring your money into a hole.
- Try on your tights/pantyhose and leggings to make sure they all still fit before you start to wear them in fall and winter. If they feel tight, chuck ‘em and go buy a new pair to replace them. There is nothing worse than suffering through the day in too-tight pantyhose.
- Invest in quality shoes and bags — they’re things you use every day!
- Never underestimate the power of Dr. Scholls inserts.
- For Zeus’ sake, if your heels need to be replaced take them to the damn cobbler. It only costs $8.
- If you buy something and don’t wear it within a week, automatically return it. If you’re not excited about it at some point in those seven days, it means you never will be and it will sit with the tags on indefinitely until returning is no longer an option.
- Buy your basic T-shirts on sale at pricier stores like Anthropologie or J.Crew instead of just buying cheapo crap at full price. A more fitted Anthropologie tee that you got on sale for $20 will always make you feel better than a shapeless tee you got at a big box store for $14.99.
- Skirts with elastic waistbands or dresses made from stretchy fabric are ideal for time periods when you’re going to go up or down a few pounds. (Hint: freshman year of college, when you get your first office job, any time you try to lose weight, etc.)
- Don’t buy into trends unless it’s appropriate for your body. If something is a fleeting trend hit up H&M or Forever 21 for it. If it’s a trend that sticking around, like skinny jeans have, then go more expensive and higher quality.
- Vintage clothes are awesome but oftentimes they are a smaller size than the clothes made today. Yes, the ladies of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s were a bit wee! It can be tempting to own a one-of-a-kind dress, but be sure vintage fits — really fits — before you buy it.
- If shopping for clothes at vintage or resale shops scares you, stick to buying accessories instead. Wendy has a collection of fantastic necklaces, earrings, brooches, handbags, belts, boots, scarves and gloves that she’s gotten on eBay, Etsy, at flea markets and vintage shops that add flair to outfits that would otherwise be not-so-special. This is a cheap and easy way to make your wardrobe much more unique.
- Don’t wear big-ass earrings, a necklace, bangles, and cocktails rings all at once. Edit your accessories for the love of God.
- Get a neutral-looking ring that won’t clash with half your outfits. This goes double if you paint your nails kooky colors — turquoise, anyone?
- Sometimes Amelia will buy an item online, like a really cute dress with a print she loves, but then she’ll be disappointed with the fit. Instead of automatically returning it, she’ll take it to a tailor to see whether, for $10, it could be turned into an amazing AND one-of-a-kind top. This also works for items in her closet that she’s gotten bored of or no longer fit. It’s a way of giving new life to something you haven’t worn in a while.
- Instead of buying those tiny, cheapo elastic hair ties from the drug store that you just lose all the time, invest in a nicer hair tie with a clip on it from some place like Loft or Banana Republic. Jessica has a nice one made of tortoiseshell that’s prettier but, more importantly, too big to lose.
- Want to buy that reaaaaally short skirt? Try sitting down in it first. If you sit down in a short skirt and can feel the back of your thighs or worse, your tush, touching the seat, you might want to pass. Just think about how gross it will be if your bum is thisclose to strange people’s germs on the bus!
- Maaaaybe it’s a little unhygienic, but always try a headband on in the store. The only thing worse than too-tight pantyhose is a headband’s prongs stabbing into your skull.
- Three words: cardigans and tights. You can pretty much wear all the same clothes year-round if you have a cardigan to throw over them.
- Never let anyone do your laundry if it requires specific instructions, such as washing in the machine but air drying. Sometimes your mom or boyfriend will try to be helpful by doing a load of your clothes, but then they end up ruining something you love!
- Window shop more than you actually shop! If you have a good grasp on all the different clothes, shoes and accessories out there, you will be less inclined to make a purchase and quickly regret it if you see something cuter. Besides, window shopping counts as cardio … right?
Any tidbits of style advice you’re just dying to share? Tell us in the comments!