How to Look Fabulous for Less

Rule #1 Used is better than cheap! It is better to hit the second hand stores than so called bargain shops.

When you feel your wardrobe is in need of updating start by pulling everything out of you closet. Look for staple items (basics) that you can re-introduce back into your day to day wardrobe.

Make a list of items you need. A reasonable wardrobe involves a couple pairs of jeans, around 5 pairs of dress pants, three new blazers, 5 blouses, and 10 embellished tank tops or camisoles. If you like skirts and sweaters throw some of these into the mix too.

Tips: Buy three basic blazers that fit you well. The less embellished they are the easier it is to get away with wearing them often. Choose black, brown, and/or midnight blue. If you wear a blazer all day then you can take advantage of short sleeved clearance items that are out of season. You want to choose items with pretty details to dress up your basic blazers. Look for camisoles and tank tops with beading, silk, satin, and colours that contrast your blazers and enhance your skin tone. Look for short sleeved blouses with bowes that look like built in scarves. Build an outfit that has layers and a variety of textures to create interest. Avoid clothing that is 100% polyester! Natural fibers are more durable and blends that combine synthetic and natural fibers often require less maintenance and look great. Blends are recommended for pants because they wrinkle less easily and you won't have to worry about static cling.

Take your list of items that you feel you need and start from the bottom up. Begin by going to second hand stores. If you are familiar with good quality brands and quality materials you can find fabulous items for great prices. Never buy items that have started to ball and keep your eye out for items that still have dry cleaning tags because it means they were obviously well cared for. Key items to look for are jeans, slacks, and sweaters. Do not put too much focus on the cut. Wear the style that suits your body type.Start with the cheapest second hand stores and work your way up to the more expensive ones. Once you are out of second hand resources go to Winners and try to pick up the rest of the items you need. The clearance rack is a great place to pick up short sleeve blouses, tank tops and camisoles. Winners is a great place to find interesting tops, skirts, and sweaters. Jeans, slacks, and blazers are generally a hopeless pursuit although every Winners is different. If after shopping at Winner's you still have items missing on your list hit the full retail stores. Its always nice to buy one or two feature items that are on trend for the season. If you shop wisely you can afford to splurge on a couple of more expensive items.

If you use this method of shopping you can build a new wardrobe instead of buying a couple of expensive outfits that just make you feel that the rest of the items in your closet are inadequate. Second hand shopping not only saves money but it is also a great form of recycling! Donate clothes that you no longer wear to make room in your closet and help others at the same time. Second hand stores help the community directly by providing an alternative to full retail stores. Most second hand stores also either function as a means of raising money for a charity or they have a program that puts a portion of their profits back into the community.

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Dorothy Duncan
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Posted on Jan 13, 2009