Trying to be “fashionable” can be a challenge, especially when you’re on a budget. If you follow a few basic steps, you can look fashion forward, regardless of how much you spend. The key to becoming a fashion expert is figuring out your personal style, then finding specific wardrobe pieces that highlight it. The first step is to know yourself. Ask yourself these questions. How do you like to dress? Are you wild or more conservative? Do you prefer business formal or casual comfort? Is your current wardrobe more comfortable or fashion forward? Consider the persona you want to present to the world.
Try to dress your body type. What are the best parts of your body? Focus on the areas that you like best then choose clothing and accessories to highlight them. You can still find fashionable, tailored clothes that comfortably compliment your body. Shop in stores that can accommodate your shape and buy clothes that fit well.
Consider your occupation. You wouldn’t wear jeans and a cut-off T-shirt to work at a law firm, and you wouldn’t wear super-high heels and a short skirt to teach Kindergarteners. Use your profession as your guide when you shop. Once you’ve got an appropriate ensemble for your job, spice it up with a few accessories to add your own personal flair. Also, keep your lifestyle in mind. Fashion should combine form and function, and it should fit well with your surroundings.
Finding inspiration can help as well. For example, a celebrity or model who best captures the style you want to emulate. Flip through the pages of fashion and entertainment magazines to find your style icons. You don’t have to copy them fully, just use elements of that celebrities’ look as a starting point to create your own style. Start to think about which design elements and accessories can help you pull off your looks.
Develop a list of pieces you want to acquire in your closet so you can gradually add them. You can write it out to have essentials and wants on it. If you want to get a better job, think about adding a few pieces to your suit collection. If you’re headed back to school, you’ll want to trade in a few of the suits you already have for some casual knits and jeans. Once you have your list, take it with you when you shop. Ask the salesperson to help you pick out pieces that will enhance your current wardrobe and help you accomplish your goals, that’s what they’re there for.
You don’t need a degree in fashion to understand clothing. You just need to be more aware when you shop. Know which fabrics and textures are most flattering. As a beginner in the fashion world, think of yourself as a student and your “textbooks” should be the big magazines such as Vogue, Marie Claire and Elle. Study the ads and articles, including the picture captions, to see what fabrics and colors are popular this season. Look to brands like Dior, Dolce & Gabbana and Versace, Balmain, etc. to see what elements they use in their designs. Use those designs as inspiration to create your own fashionable looks more affordably.