Marla's Tips: Fashion
New Looks, Same Clothes!
Create New Looks With the Clothes You Already Own!
This was a featured article at WomenWorking.com
Are you tired of wearing the same thing to work? If you're tempted to buy a whole new wardrobe, try these money-saving tips to get the most out of what's already hidden in your closet.
Look for the keepers: Foundation pieces such as well-fitting jackets, skirts, and pants; flattering colors; a white or cream collared shirt; basic tank tops for layering; a great shoe and belt to complement your foundation pieces, and well-fitting jeans or a casual pant.
Toss worn and rarely-used items.
If you haven't worn it in two years, it doesn't fit properly, it's not worth the cost to have it altered, it looks tired or damaged, the color or shape isn't flattering, it's not age-appropriate, or the style is outdated—get rid of it!
Organize by category.
Arrange all the leftover pieces in your closet according to category, and then color within the category. For example: Tanks, t-shirts, and then long-sleeve shirts or blouses, starting with light colors and ending with the darkest. Keep prints together. Organizing in this way makes it easy to see what you have, and what can be paired together.
Start with the "column" and build from there.
The column look—a top and pant or skirt in the same base color—is vital in extending the wardrobe, and will make you look thinner and taller. To build a complete look, add a different colored jacket, sweater, shoe, or belt. Or, wear a jacket in the same color and make the outfit pop with bold jewelry or a scarf. Sleeker fabrics like wool, silk, and cotton are the easiest to start with as part of the column, while textured pieces work better as a top layer.
Use modern accessories.
If you wear the same jewelry every day, you're missing out on an easy way to create a whole new look. Experiment with playful fashion jewelry such as hoop earrings and long chain necklaces. Also, try wearing a scarf as a necklace, or draping a chain belt over a black dress or t-shirt. Don't forget about the importance of undergarments—the re-shaping ones, like Spanx pieces, can help you pull off a look more easily.
Have a photo shoot!
Invite a friend over and create as many looks as you can with what you already have. Ask for her input on what looks good. When you've completed an outfit from head to toe, snap a picture so you have it as a guide if you get stuck. Take the guesswork out of getting ready each morning by selecting five looks to hang on the wall at the beginning of the week.
With trends, consider the "cost per wear" formula.
Some trends might complement your own personal style and help you build a versatile new look. But before buying, ask yourself how much use you'll get out of it. Will you spend $250 and wear it once or ten times? That's a difference of $250 or $25 per wear. Make sure you're going to get your money's worth. A metallic shoe or handbag, for instance, can go with many colors, and an animal print top in the right shade could spice up an outfit.
Are you putting your summer clothes in the closet now and storing the fall wardrobe? It can be stressful. Here are a few tips that will make it easier:
1. It is a wise investment to maximize your closet space. Hire a closet company to give you a plan and an estimate. There are many local companies as well as national ones. Shop around for the best price and the best design. As an example, The Container Store will install the Elfa system.
2. Treat yourself to matching hangers in the same color. I have been using the Huggable Velvet Hangers for myself and my clients. I bought mine from Joy Mangano on Home Shopping Network, but you can find them in different places. There are only 2 styles, so this will simplify the process and make more room in your closet.
3. Eliminate garments that you have not worn in 2-3 years. Don't just throw everything back in your closet.
4. Hang your garments by category and then color within the category. For example, tanks, t-shirts and then long sleeve shirts or blouses starting with light colors and ending with the darkest. Keep the prints together. Doing this in each category will make it easier to find what you are looking for as you get dressed each day.
5. Install a place to hang belts, scarves, ties, and jewelry. These items will properly finish your look and must be accessible while you are dressing.
Once you have implemented some of these ideas, you will feel more peaceful and organized when you look in your closet everyday!
Nothing detracts from a great look more than what I refer to as “Nipple Alert” – and I’m sure you know what I mean. N.A. kicks into high gear during the summer, when skimpy tanks, barely-there T’s and sheer white blouses meet air-conditioned rooms head-on!
Fortunately, I’ve found a sure cure: Silicone Gel Petals. These little gems give you a smooth look with or without a bra. And talk about easy care: Just wash them in soapy water, air dry and pop them back in their case until you need them. Lord & Taylor sells their brand for $15 and Victoria’s Secret has a version for $20. So now you can showcase your assets without the distraction of N.A. – unless, of course, that’s the look you’re going for…
If you managed to make it through the winter months without accumulating a few extra pounds – good for you! For the rest of us, here’s a hint for how to create a leaner-looking silhouette while we’re in the process of slimming down.
I call it “Column Dressing” and it works just as it sounds: You create a solid “column” by pairing top and bottom pieces in the same color. Black is easiest to find, but it’s not a color that flatters everyone. Consider other options like navy, chocolate brown or charcoal grey.
In addition to helping elongate your look, this is a great way to extend your wardrobe. When I work with Picture-U-Perfect® clients, I always start off by looking for at least two pieces in the same color – like a jacket and pant or a sweater and skirt – to form the foundation for multiple looks. Try it yourself and see how suddenly slim (and chic) you look.
No More Nubs
Nothing makes a wool sweater or jacket look worse for wear than pilling. In fact, some of my clients have spent countless dollars on high-tech gadgets that claim to banish the unsightly nubs. While nothing gets rid of them permanently, I’ve found a small, portable and decidedly low-tech tool that’s great for removing them anytime, anywhere.
I always travel with a fabric comb that can be purchased at a notion’s store or The Container Store for under $5.00. I use it to remove pills on everything from expensive cashmere sweaters to fine wools, and it works like a charm. Just be sure to test a small area to find the best direction to “comb” and your garment will look like new. Sometimes the simplest solution IS the best.