Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Fashion in the Age of Restraint


When I refer to restraint in fashion I am not referring to what reality stars should do. No, I am referring to the economy. We are now in an economic downturn and it is also apparent that more and more people want to remain fashionable without injuring their meager budgets. This can be hard to do.

One of the best ways to stay fashionable is to assess what you already have in your closet. Many of us buy at random intervals and then just put it in our closets. If you take the time to go through your closet and see what you actually own, you might be pleasantly surprised to find you have some pieces from last season or the end of this season that are still the latest thing. This evaluation of your closet may take some time because you want to go through all the pieces. I would suggest setting aside an afternoon or maybe a weekend if you have a large closet. You will want to try things on to make sure they still fit. Create a pile for keep, one for donations and another for alterations or cleaning. The keep pile is perfect just the way it is, the donations are for things that either don’t fit or were just a bad idea. Alterations are those pieces that would be perfect if only the hem was right or you replaced that missing button.

In today’s economy most of us can’t go out and buy a new wardrobe each season. It would be fun, but not practical. It is probably more reasonable to go out and buy two or three pieces that will be added to our existing wardrobe that will bring it into the next season. Hot items for fall include leather, layers and prints, maybe not all at once. The leather jacket is being seen more and used in a variety of ways. Jeans are a natural but designers are pairing it with floral dresses and menswear trousers. If you own black leather you’re ahead of the game, think about finding a leather jacket in tan to double your looks.

Layers, long over long, vest over jacket and jacket over vest, short sleeves over long sleeves and vice versa. The combinations are endless. Just remember that layers can get bulky so keep proportions in mind and highlight your waist with either a belt or end a layer at waist height.

Fabulous prints are everywhere, geometric shapes, floral prints and prairie style prints are all prints that seem to be making it big. Keep in mind that prints should not be overpowering and any polka dots, checks and stripes all together is too much. Think one statement print with more subtle solids that pick up colors in the print. Try a prairie print jacket over jeans and a plain white shirt, or a large floral print dress with dark leggings and leather booties, top with that leather jacket.

Anyway you look at it, keeping your fashion purchases to just the essentials makes updating your wardrobe budget friendly. Plus most of the fun is in the hunt. Finding that absolutely perfect piece that compliments other pieces you already own would thrill anyone. Happy fashion hunting!

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