There are occasions when we need to follow a dress code or wear a uniform. However, in our own time we usually have the freedom to choose what to wear. Clothes and accessories are a way to express your personality. What you wear can also influence how you feel.
When you buy clothes, choose what you want to wear, not what others like. If you dress in a style or select clothes in colours that aren’t ‘you’ the result is unlikely to make you happy. Fashion keeps changing but you probably know what suits you. Having said that, don’t be afraid to try something different from time to time.
Avoid getting stuck in a fashion rut. It can be fun to try a new style from time to time. You can look at styles in magazines, on the internet and in stores. Remember it is free to try things on. Sometimes you will be surprised what looks good on you. A change of style can brighten up your wardrobe and also your attitude to yourself.
Here are ten tips to keep in mind when shopping for clothes:
• Some people suggest taking a friend with you when you buy clothes. If having a friend along for a second opinion is helpful to you then do it. However if you have tried this and found you bought items that were not really ‘you’ then go shopping alone. Likewise if you feel pressured to make a decision quickly.
• Stay true to your individual style and personality. Don’t feel you have to wear a particular trend because it is ‘in’
• Buy items that are versatile. Mix and match items extend your wardrobe. A jacket that can be worn over summer items allows you to get more wear out of those short sleeve tops.
• If you can’t afford a particular item you may be lucky enough to pick it up at the end of season sales. Alternatively, you or a friend with dressmaking skills may be able to sew something similar.
• Sometimes shortening a skirt or sleeves can change an item from something that just hangs in your wardrobe to something you actually wear.
• Try shopping from different places, op shops, vintage, garage sales, markets, online, sales and boutiques. Try swapping with friends to get something ‘new to you’ without spending.
• You will probably find certain labels tend to suit you in terms of sizing, style and cut. Find the shops that stock these brands and check them out, especially when sales are on.
• While certain styles may not be considered suitable once you are past a particular age, always judge according to what suits you. The general advice might be that women of your age shouldn’t wear shorter skirts or whatever but if it suits your body and you feel terrific in it, then break the rules.
• Learn what colours look best on you and build your wardrobe around them. It is just as important to be aware of those colours or shades that make you look washed out and avoid them. Often you will find you can wear a particular shade of a colour but not others. Perhaps you look tired when you wear dark navy but look great in a bright shade of blue.
• If you feel you need help developing your style, attend a class or short course. I attended one run by WEA in Adelaide and it was a fun day.
I like this quote from the actress, Anne Hathaway, ‘I think fashion is a lot of fun. I love clothes. More than fashion or brand labels, I love design. I love the thought that people put into clothes. I love when clothes make cultural statements and I think personal style is really cool. I also freely recognize that fashion should be a hobby.’