How to buy clothing that will make you shine!
I love getting dressed just about every single day. To me, a closet full of tags or a handful of shopping bags is tremendously uplifting. I’m a great believer in shopping therapy and just adore putting outfits together combining texture, form and color. Accessorizing is the cherry on the cake!
So, yesterday, after a client asked me where I buy my clothes and complimented me on my style, I gave some thought to the way that I shop and what I look for to get the most for my money.
Here are some of my tips for putting it all together.
Dollars and Sense:
It’s not the cost of an item; it’s the quality and the style. In my opinion, a classic or beautiful piece – even if it is expensive – will last in your closet and replace numerous cheaper “buys” that will wear out and fade. It’s quality, not quantity here. Over time, the amount of quality pieces you obtain will add up to a better wardrobe and more choices.
A note here: I have seen people buy clothes that they like, or purchase something they think is a “good buy” when it doesn’t truly fit them. So, try to be very honest with yourself and steer away from this practice. For myself, I know that I don’t feel entirely confident in something that doesn’t fit right. Stick to the classics and to what looks best on you. This will help develop your own unique style.
When making clothing purchases, I consider items “pieces.” Will it add to your wardrobe? Is it trendy? Does it fit with other things you already have? Can it be worn with pants or skirts? Do you have an outfit in mind – in other words, are you thinking about pairing a new purchase with something that you already own? This will expand your outfit repertoire.
Eyes on the prize:
When making a purchase, I pay attention to how the garment is made. I note how delicate the fabric and how it needs to be cleaned. As a rule, I don’t buy anything (except outerwear) that needs to be dry cleaned – too much fuss involved. I’m careful not to buy materials that will pull easily. If a material is already pilled or has a pull, I don’t buy it. Pills and Pulls equal problems. If a material doesn’t wear well, it’s not going to be long lived.
It’s all about love.
Here’s my rule of thumb: Buy only what you love. Don’t buy it because it’s inexpensive or on sale. Pick those things that will go well with other things you own; in fact, sometimes you will see something and know that it will work with something else you already own and that’s a go!
Furthermore, if you love how something fits, check out the other colors and don’t be afraid to buy it in more than one color. Last year, Free People featured a beautifully detailed thermal henley that I bought in three colors and I’ve never regretted that purchase.
A few weeks ago, I was on Monhegan Island in Maine for an Eden Energy Medicine seminar and checking out the local finds with a friend and colleague. She had tried on a top and asked my opinion. “Do you love it?” I asked her. She thought a moment and said, “No, I like it but I don’t love it.” She didn’t buy it. This especially helps when you have to make a quick decision and will save you from buying something that you won’t get a lot of wear from.
Color your world!
In general, stick with color choices you like, feel good in, are complimentary and are basic enough so that you can base your wardrobe upon them. This is especially true for pants, jackets and skirts. This enables you to pair more things together and expands your wardrobe possibilities without adding more pieces.
Be careful when you like something in a color that you don’t have anything else, unless you are buying it as part of an ensemble and can match it up right then and there at the store. Otherwise, this piece may become an orphan in your closet — not having anything it goes with. I’ve done this! In fact, I have one shirt that I keep waiting to find pants it will go with, but I never do.
Now, when using unusual colors: Keep in mind that one unusual color on a print blouse, for example, will work; more than one will be difficult to match. Unusual colors work nicely for things like camisoles, necklaces, scarves or other accessories.
And, speaking of accessories – Scarves, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets are fabulous for adding zing and bringing your whole look together to make you look stylish. I love necklaces and design beads with semi-precious stones, crystals and glass to create one of a kind pieces (and also do offer this service for others in custom colorings to match).
Look good, feel good. Feel good, look good.
I like clothing that is comfortable. I find that if I don’t like the feel of a fabric, or if I have to fuss too much keeping something in place, then I’m less likely to wear it, which boils down to a waste of money. I’d also like to note that it’s possible to bring an article to the tailor and have it fit more comfortably and this is worth the expense when it will allow you to wear it more often.
Putting it all together:
So, what’s my MO when I get dressed? Many times, I choose something that speaks to me that day. This could be a necklace, eye shadow, new lip color, shirt or scarf. This is where I start. Then, I take that piece and match it to a basic – do I want to wear a skirt or pants? Black, blue or brown? From there, I build my ensemble. I find that this works for me in terms of assembling an outfit and creating personal style.
Overall, being well dressed goes beyond beauty. It adds to our sense of confidence. It boosts our self esteem and makes us feel good. So, assemble your pieces and head out there with style and confidence!
Reisa Mehlman is a New York State Licensed Aesthetician, Nail Specialist, Eyelash Extention Master/Trainer and Stylist. She welcomes your questions