Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Clothes Shopping: My "How To

Hello, readers! A lot of friends compliment me on how I dress and ask me questions about how to clothes shop, I don't know why, I think I'm still a work in progress haha. Even so, I figured I'd share a few tips and tricks I've learned over the last few years.

In high school I wore what I wanted, which mainly consisted of converse, cartoon t-shirts, dickies, and oh-so-frizzy hair. I was happy as a clam and didn't care a jot about what others thought of me. I took a 12 week ballroom dance class with some friends, and the girls were required to wear skirts and heels when dancing. I suddenly realized that I really liked wearing skirts and heels, and even began wearing makeup. The transition from tomboy to girly girl was a little strange because people weren't used to seeing me in dresses and makeup (and neither was I), but the looks didn't last long. I've gone though a few different styles since then and my current obsession, as you well know by this point, is currently vintage fashion. The 40's and 50's are my particular favorites.

Some people wear anything and everything and are quite happy. If you are not one of those people, and wish to create your own style but don't have a clue where to start, then here are a few tips to get started.

Dress to compliment your body type. In my opinion, this is the most important piece of clothing advice I've ever gotten, (thank you Stacy and Clinton from What Not To Wear). I'm still figuring this one out for myself, I've discovered that the best outfit can be ruined if it doesn't compliment your shape or if it's not appropriate. The simple way to figure out what your body type is: GOOGLE it. Find out what shape you are by looking at a simple chart like this....

Once you've figured out what shape you are, do a web search on, "How to dress if you're _____ shaped". You might find a few things helpful, mainly things like proper length and size, how to accessorize, and which clothes and colors will compliment your ALREADY beautiful body. 

Find a style you like (or several), by looking for inspiration. Is there an actress you admire? Look her up, find out what she wears and take notes! Ask your friends for used magazines so you can look through them for ideas. There's all sorts of fun stuff to wear, just keep looking until you find the style that makes you happy  :)  My recent style icons are Zooey Deschanel and Keira Knightley.

Shop with your friends. Sometimes I like to shop alone because then I don't feel like I'm wasting anyone's time if I'm just browsing, but others times it's great to shop with friends! It's a lot of fun and getting second opinions can help you decide if what you picked out is appropriate and flattering. 

Buy within your budget. IMPORTANT. You don't want to go home feeling guilty because you spent too much. If you can't afford to buy anything then just keep your eyes open for stores you like so you know where to go when you do have money. 

Become a bargain hunter. Sometimes you need to spend a bit of money on quality clothes like a fitted, button down shirt that goes with everything, or a good pairs of heels or work shoes, or a great fitting pair of pants, but not everything has to be expensive. So don't buy on impulse, do some research to find the best price and don't be afraid of thrift stores! Thrift stores are huge money savers. I can't tell you how many things I've bought from The Salvation Army or Goodwill that were brand new and still had tags on them!  Just take your time going through the racks, you have to look closely and have patience. 

Buy things with an outfit in mind. Every once in a while I buy something and then get home and realize that I don't have anything to wear with it, so it sits on a shelf or hangs in my closet, waiting to be worn. When you see something you like try to picture what you have at home so you don't get excited about your new item and then discover that you have nothing that matches with it. 

Have fun! Shopping doesn't have to be boring or daunting, take the time to enjoy expressing yourself through your style! 

I hope some of this was helpful! If I remember any other tips I'll be sure to share them. Feel free to ask me questions!

~Lady of Virtue

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