For a dressaholic like me, the end of summer is so very bittersweet. I always feel a hint of melancholy as my favorite sun dresses relinquish their starring role in my wardrobe so that the colors and textures of autumn may take center-stage. Yet, I also feel energized when I see the fall fashions appear like magic in store windows. Flipping through the September magazines, I submit myself to Technicolor daydreams where I am dressed to the nines in all of the fashions that my heart desires while "I'm Every Woman" plays in the background.
But, hello. Reality check. This diva is on a budget. Not only can't I afford to replace my entire wardrobe but I actually look forward to wearing my favorite pieces each season. I consider my Diane von Furstenberg dresses absolute essentials and I plan on wearing these classics FOREVER! The codeword for shopping during these lean times is STRATEGY. No mindless buying. The new clothes must play nicely with my oldies but goodies to create a fresh look.
That is why I have developed my patent pending 4 Part Shopping Strategy. Now, I am not pretending that my system is a "discovery" on par with the Theory of Relativity but follow my plan and you will save time & money and look FABULOUS! Did Einstein do that?
1. Take inventory of your closet and determine which of your current pieces will form the foundation of your fall wardrobe. Classic pieces never go out of style. Work that little black dress and those great fitting slacks.
2. Research the current trends to see which ones can be easily incorporated into your current wardrobe. Pick up the September 2008 issue of InStyle. This magazine is more than pretty pictures - for just $3.99 you get a user-friendly manual that clearly outlines the latest trends at all price points and where to find them. From Aerosoles to Louboutin, Ann Taylor to Michael Kors - InStyle features clothing and accessories that work for all budgets. In fact, in the Editor's Note, Charla Lawhon acknowledges that the current economic climate has women skittish about shopping. She gets major points for delivering an honest message and for featuring so many affordable fashions in the magazine.
Keep in mind, fashion is cyclical and you may already own some of the new looks. For example, ruffles are popping up everywhere this season and I discovered that I have a great old blouse that looks au courant. Keep an eye out for those forgotten treasures. In some cases, minor alterations can make an outdated frock look and feel brand new.
3. You don't need to wear every trend. If you don't like it, leave it. Be honest about how the new look works with your body type. Everything ain't for everybody. I see skinny jeans and I keep walking. For a little more guidance in this area, pick up Style RX: Dressing the Body You Have to Create the Body You Want. Written by stylist Bridgette Raes, this comprehensive guide features pictures of real women with various body types. Learn what silhouettes are most flattering for your figure.
4. Get the look for less! A sale is your best friend. Take advantage of coupons and online shopping. Don't be afraid to mix a designer jacket with a Target t-shirt. Check out The Budget Fashionista. The website and book are chock full of good advice on how to "be fabulous for less."