Principles I have learned from working with image consultants and fashion experts
Create a Core Wardrobe
While collecting lots of trendy items might be fun, creating a high-quality core wardrobe is the strategy that insures your ability to look pulled-together and polished for any occasion at a moment's notice.
The definition of a core wardrobe is a collection of good quality pieces that best enhance your coloring, body type, and lifestyle. Two qualities are essential:
- Each piece MUST coordinate perfectly with every other piece.
- You MUST love wearing each piece with all of its combinations.
Look like you, only better
Ignore the marketing du jour. Instead search for pieces in the colors and with the silhouettes that best suit you. If you aren't sure what is most flattering, find out. Consulting an image specialist, or even researching the topic on your own will reduce shopping stress and purchasing mistakes. A nationally known image consultant once told me that his clients are rarely attracted to the pieces that enhance them the most. In fact the opposite is true. As for copying celebrity looks, forget it; that's just silly.
Go for Quality, not Quantity
Buy the best quality-constructed clothing in the best fabrics that you can afford for your Core Wardrobe. This is because you will be wearing it a lot. With only 7 well-chosen pieces you can create at least 18 different, really smashing looks. For example:
Jacket (in your best neutral color)
Each bottom piece should coordinate perfectly with each top, and should be able to be worn with the jacket topping all the combinations.
Your shoes are extremely important
Shoes are your only accessory that can cause real pain and damage to your body (not to mention awkwardness). Choose well-constructed shoes, with superior cushioning and shock absorption, with enough room for your toes to fit comfortably with all the padding. Choose them in classic designs. Avoid extreme heels (over 3 inches without a platform). Even the pros can't function gracefully in them (If you want proof, look at the YouTube videos of runway models falling off their shoes in fashion shows--funny, but NOT!). Remember, even if you must pay more for them, it is far more cost effective to own a few pairs of high quality, well designed and constructed shoes that you can actually wear, than to decorate your closet with shoes you can only wear for a few hours (or not at all).
Do lots of shopping, but only disciplined buying
These principles require a little thought and planning. And they pretty much eliminate impulse buying. They are, however, the rules that are followed by the best-dressed women in the world. These women NEVER find themselves stuck with closets full of clothes, but "nothing to wear"!