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Style Resolutions

Written by Nicola Cupples

KNOW WHAT YOU WANT

So it’s a great time to bag a bargain in the January sales, however I find most of my clients just end up buying things that are cheap which they don’t need and will never use (this does not constitute a bargain!) The recession has actually been great for bagging a bargain and I have managed to get things on my ‘wishlist’ for half price or less. These are things that I spied at the beginning of the season and have kept my eyes on over the last few months. Sale shopping was therefore easy for me as I simply looked in each shop for the things I’ve had my eye on. This meant that I didn’t waste time trying things on in busy changing rooms as I already knew which size I need having tried them on previously.

It also meant that I knew that I really wanted the items because I had been thinking about them for a couple of months and I was constantly thinking about them when getting ready in the morning. This just makes the discounted price even sweeter. However I saw plenty of women taking armfuls of clothes in to the changing rooms that they probably never would have bought at full price but just because they are a ‘bargain’ they buy them.

BE INSPIRED, DON'T COPY

Whilst the January sales are on, it’s tempting to be a bit more daring as you feel like you’re not ‘wasting’ as much money if the wild card garment is in the sale. This is where a lot of women can make a lot of fashion faux pas as they tend to see other people trying things on and think ‘that looks nice, I’ll get one too’. They also may see something that their friend looks nice in and buy it thinking it will look just as good on them. By all means try something new and look to others for ideas and inspiration, but try it because it suits your style, personality, lifestyle and body shape.

So for instance you may see someone trying a pair of biker  boots which look fabulous on the girl parading around the shop on them. Biker boots however, might not be the right style for you, so don’t just copy and grab the same pair, perhaps consider a riding style boot instead, or a biker boot with a different shaped toe. There are lots of options on the highstreet so don’t just copy off other people – find your own style. 

IF YOU'RE UNSURE, STEP AWAY FROM THE RAILS!

If you don’t instantly think ‘yes, I love it’ when you try it on, then leave it alone.  If you are questioning whether something looks nice or not, there’s clearly something not quite working for you so why would you even consider buying it? One thing I have learned is that there is always something that is ‘right’ if you learn to be patient and shop around. Use websites like shopstyle.co.uk to search for ‘black pencil skirt’ for example to do some research on options rather than just make do with one that kind of fits. I meet a lot of women who end up buying things that aren’t quite right and just think ‘I can bring it back for a refund’ but then very often don’t have time; forget to return it; or leave it in the wardrobe thinking magically one day it will just look better. It won’t , so don’t waste your time or money.

IF YOU HAVEN'T WORN IT IN 2 - 3 WEEKS, RETURN IT

If you do buy something which you think is a good buy at the time, but after 2 or 3 weeks (depending on the refund policy) you still haven’t worn it, take it back. There’s a reason you aren’t wearing it – maybe it’s just not appropriate to your everyday life and there is no occasion to wear it.

Women often convince themselves that the right event will come along one day where they can wear it, but in my experience, this event never comes along. You might as well get your money back. After you get used to doing this. The idea with all these tips is that after a while, you stop wasting your hard earned money on clutter; and the garments and accessories you do buy, you love and wear them to death every week. It’s so much more satisfying having a wardrobe like this. 

MIX CLASSICS WITH FASHION PIECES

The January sales and major sales periods are great for bagging classic and timeless pieces that at full price, may have felt a little out of your price range, but at 50% are much more affordable. For example a leather jacket might be £350 full price but in the sales could be £175 which is easier to stomach. I still meet a lot of people who resent paying these sort of prices for garments, because we have been brainwashed in to thinking ‘why pay that when I can go to Primark and buy a whole new wardrobe for the price of that one piece?’ Well the difference between the stylish women you admire sashaying down the street and the average Joe that blends in to the background is that Style Queens tend to mix timeless, higher quality classics with cheaper fashion pieces. Sale periods are the ideal time to join the fashionistas and add some quality pieces to your fashion repertoire.

DON'T BY ALL CHEAP

Younger girls in their late teens and early twenties can get away with shopping for their entire wardrobe at Primark and H&M, but I personally wouldn’t recommend it for anyone over the age of 25 as the more cheap fabric you wear on your wardrobe, the cheaper, older and less toned you tend you look.  I’m not saying you have to shop designer, but try to get a little better quality in terms of key staples such as black trousers, tailored jackets and underwear. It’s worth it when you look a size smaller and younger. 

KNOW YOUR BODY AND WHAT SUITS IT

I would love to wear some of the cute leather shorts I’ve seen on the catwalk but I just don’t have the thighs to pull them off (boo hoo!) However I’ll embrace the leather sub-trend with a jacket, or leather shoulder detail on a tee instead which are things that suit my body and personality.

One of the major faux pas I experience in my job as a Personal Stylist and Shopper is seeing how women tend to buy similar things to their friends or a celebrity who they always think look ‘gorgeous’, however very often the reason that person looks great is because they have dressed really well for their shape.

For further assistance with how to dress for your shape have a look at my articles on What to Wear for Pear Shapes, How to Dress for Petite Figures, What to Wear for Tall Women and What to Wear for Apple shapes. However, if you’ve got the personality and confidence to pull it off, go for it. It’s all about having fun and exploring all sides of your personality!