"I like my money right where I can see it. Hanging in my closet."
Carrie Bradshaw, Sex In The City
The obsession with having the latest "IT" bag/shoe/hair extensions makes me cringe.
My mind spins when I see what celebrities are wearing or carrying in the latest trash mag, knowing it would probably cost more than my monthly mortgage repayment.
I used to be one of those girls who needed a collection of designer handbags, a near exploding closet full of clothes and my favourite heel in every colour. I thought nothing of splashing $1,000 on a bag if it meant I could run my hands over the crocodile leather and call it mine. Sick right?
I certainly don't feel that way now. I shudder at all the money I wasted over the years, for what? I honestly don't think too many people knew whether or not my bag was real leather, my shoes Manalo or my sunnies Versace.
I can remember thinking I was very fashion savvy depsite that every time i looked into my wardrobe I would look at its contents and sulk that i had nothing to wear -and promptly go shopping.
What I realise now is that being fashion savvy is working with a few basics and gradually adding cheap accessories to give your basics a whole new look. Great hair, flawless make up and stunning fits are all within your reach without having having your heart skip a beat each time the bank statement arrives in the mail.
Basic principles to follow.
- Don't buy anything new that you can't work into to at least three outfits of what you already own
- Get a second opinion. (An honest one, shop assistants don't count)
- Buy for fit rather than trend
Invest $$ in the basics
- Great haircut and colour. Pick one close to your natural colour that is semi permanent and low maintenance cut to fit in with your lifestyle. This will mean it will stay glossy longer, less money on styling tools/products and needing to get your roots redone every six weeks
- Consult a make up artist to find the right colour palette for your skin tone so you are not buying make up you don't need.
- A well fitted pair of dark denim jeans and tailored pants. Jeans are a staple in a closet and tailored pants are suitable for more formal occasions. Remember though to always iron them.
- Running shoes. your feet are incredibly important and take a lot of weight and impact. Ensuring you have adequate foot support is important for your overall health and wellbeing.
- High heel and a ballet flat in a neutral colour such as nude, black or brown so they can be used with multiple outfits
- Tailored trench coat or jacket. Tailored clothing is something that never goes out of style. Think Princess Katherine who's fashion choices would probably still fit in quite well in twenty years time. Don't be afraid to use a bold solid colour or a pattern with your coat. It will last you for winter for years to come.
- Little black dress. Tailored cut, on or just above the knee and well fitted across the bust so ensure it can be used for multiple occasions.
- Convertible bra. The go to bra for any outfit be it strapless, cross back etc. Make sure you have it properly fitted.
- Fitted Tshirt in black/white/grey
- White button up shirt
Cheap Outfit Changers
- Dress jewellrey. Keep it varied. Chunky/formal/dainty/unusual
- The brighter the better
- Sunnies. The bigger the better
- Lipsticks in various shades
- False eyelashes
- Clip in hair extensions
- Head bands/ribbons/clips/bump its
- Nail polish
- Cheap strappy sandals, heels or flats
By having the basics that are going to get you through several seasons you can experiment with trends with the cheaper stuff. For instance if animal print is on trend, wear a leopard print bracelet and matching belt and black nail polish.
If the trend then changes to pastels and you wouldn't be caught dead in animal print, you haven't got a bunch of clothes sitting in your cupboard taking up space you will never wear again, you didn't waste money and you were still fashion forward.