In my last post, I talked about ways I am making my life beautiful. Some of those ways are intangible and some are. One of the more intentional things I do to make my own day, I blame my mother for. I do not remember a time in my life where my mother didn’t wear red lipstick or smell of perfume. I don’t remember a time where she didn’t usually “put her face on” before going somewhere. She taught me how to use Noxzema to wash my face. How to put the end of a paper clip in your lipstick to get the very last bits out when you’re in a bind. She may have worn the same sweaters for years but she was not going to be without her red lipstick for a single day. I think that is because we all have specific things we utilize to make ourselves feel and look complete. While I have inherited the love of red lips, I’ve also unfortunately developed an affinity for clothing that I have no one to blame for. As my style and my wardrobe allowance have fluctuated over the years, I’ve learned a few key things that I go by when it comes to what I have in my closet. I truly believe that how we dress reflects how we feel. This can be difficult for a woman like me whose moods change with the tide. However, there are certain things I abide by that will never change. So, if you find yourself needing a wardrobe make-over and you aren’t sure where to start, here are some tips I find work for me.
- Stock up on the Classics, Avoid the Trends. Raise your hand if you secretly wanted to buy some high-waisted shorts this summer. Ok, now put it down. Hurry. Put that hand down. Girls, I know the trends look really cute on the models in H&M. I know they beg you to buy them and they scream “THIS IS SUMMER!” (and I do imagine Gerard Butler kicking a girl in high-waisted shorts into a giant hole a la 300) -but there are some problems with buying into all of the trends. One being that trends are made for certain body types. Types you may not have. Just because something is “so hot right now” doesn’t mean it’s going to be so hot on you right now. Or next season, which brings me to my next point. If you are rich, disregard the next bit. I happen to not be rich. In fact, I happen to have a three year old who requires food, shelter, AND his own wardrobe. AND he grows out of clothes each season, unlike myself. I just do not have the money to buy something I am only going to wear for three months. I want to wear it next summer! And the summer after! And until the freaking threads come out and people tell me to throw it away! Therefore, if there is ever a rule I stick to 90% of the time it is to stock up on the classics. Pieces that will not go out of style; ones that you can mix and match and make your own. Solids or classic prints. Pencil skirts. A good pair of jeans. Maxi dresses (those emerged initially as a trend but they are here to stay). Pumps. A good pair of flats. Not sure what is “trendy” right now? Google it. Or go to the mall. It is okay to indulge if you MUST, but try to avoid dumping it if it’s “last season” next season. Buy it if you like it, not because it’s in. Peplum? I’m rocking that forever.
- Never Underestimate the Little Black Dress. If there is one staple I would recommend it is the LBD. There’s even an acronym for it. That is how necessary it is. And by “little”, I don’t necessarily mean so little that we can see your bits and kibbles. If you can, invest in two different lengths – one a little longer and one a little shorter. If you can’t, pick one that hits right at the knee – the safe zone. This is just one of those adult-like things you are going to need in life so that you can never say, “I have nothing to wear!” when you need something a little nicer than pants. Most semi-formal events are LBD acceptable. Got a wedding? LBD. Got an awards ceremony? LBD. Someone asks you out to a really fancy dinner? LBD. They come in all sizes, for all body types, in all styles. When it gets chilly, throw some tights on. It’s like the best friend you always wish you could replace your best friend with. (p.s. it doesn’t necessarily need to be black but the acronym isn’t LWD, just saying).
- Jeans Do Not Have to be Designer to Look Good. Now, are designer jeans amazing? Yes. I do not know why. All I know is that for $300, you too can have supermodel legs and thighs! However, it isn’t necessary to spend a car payment on denim. Two of the jeans I wear the most cost me a whopping $10 and $25. Nobody has ever spoken negatively of them. At least not to my face. If you are wondering, the $10 skinny jeans are at Forever 21 (as if you had to guess where to buy jeans that cheap) and the $25 ones I got on sale at American Eagle because their denim, unlike the majority of their clothing, is awesome and lasts forever.
- Play Up One Feature at a Time. I don’t know that this needs much explaining. Just look at Pam Anderson and think of the opposite of that. Look, every woman enjoys feeling sexy but how many women enjoy literally LOOKING LIKE SEX? When you are feeling like a glamour puss and you are going out on the town, choose one of your beautiful physical attributes to play up. If you have amazing boobs AND amazing legs AND an amazing back, we salute you. We kind of hate you but we salute you, nonetheless. That still doesn’t mean you must show them all at once. Wear a shorter LBD that covers you up top. Create visual balance. If you’re wearing a strapless dress, keep a lower hemline. Too much of a good thing is not always a good thing.
- If You Don’t Feel Good in it, Take it Off. It seems like common sense, really. Yet, how many of us leave the house and complain about our outfit all night? “This top keeps riding up!” or, “I don’t know about these shoes. Are you sure these shoes look okay?” or the classic, “Is my bra strap/underwear/cleavage/tag/fill in the blank showing?!”. Believe, me it can ruin a perfectly good evening insanely fast. There is nothing worse than a girl in a gorgeous dress who clearly does not want to be in her own skin, let alone that gorgeous dress. And we have all been the girl awkwardly fidgeting and pulling on our clothing and constantly worrying if we look alright. Rule of thumb: If you wear something, wear it with confidence. If you can’t wear it with confidence, don’t wear it at all. It’s that simple. Your spirit is lovely regardless of what you wear – let your clothing reflect that, not detract from it.
I hope you took something away from my twenty-three years of bad fashion choices and learning the hard way. There are many stories that came from these rules that I would rather not divulge, but just know that I took one for the female race to bring you this. If you gain nothing else from this, simply remember that no matter what you wear – trendy, classic, or your old college tee’s – there is absolutely nothing that compliments a woman more than a smile. Your confidence is the single most attractive thing about you and the rest is just the icing on the cake.
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