Tips on Stretching Your Fashion Dollar

We can all agree that times are tough right now. Your dollar doesn’t go as far as it used it, and a new Fall fashion season just around the corner. It's always tempting to overextend yourself and spend more than you should on a few new outfits, but if your budget doesn't allow for it, then you need to make some adjustments. There are some really simple things that you can do to help make those adjustments and stretch your dollar, so here are some really simple tips to help you look and feel great without breaking the bank.

Closet Audit

A new season is the perfect time to audit your closet. You will always find pieces you still love and a few pieces that you just don’t wear anymore.  An audit is a great way to really see what you've got, and to see if there are any holes in your wardrobe that need filling. This will help make shopping for new clothes easier, and prevent against impulse buying something you don't need or already have.  It takes a little time and effort, but will pay dividends later on as you start dressing for the Fall season.

Back to Basics

It is important to go back to basics now. I bought a trench coat a few of months ago and have already gotten so much use out it. Trench coats aren’t particularly flashy, but they are a necessary part of the Fall wardrobe simply because you are going to need it at some point. I consider the trench coat a ‘basic’ wardrobe necessity, and have come to appreciate the beauty in its simplicity.  It has become the most versatile piece that I own. I can wear it over just about everything, and it just gives my outfit that extra something. It also keeps me warm, covers me up it keeps the wind out the rain out. It's practical, it's versatile and it makes my outfits look a little more polished and pulled together. So those key pieces in your wardrobe really become staple pieces, so if you don't own them, maybe borrowing one or doing a swap with your friends. Whatever it is, just make sure you've got some of those key pieces in your closet. It has made a huge difference for me, and I think it will for you too.

Accessories

The next tip to not spending too much money is the use of accessories. I always think of accessories as that little extra something to make your outfit come together. They're the final piece of the fashion puzzle that really does elevate some of the most basic clothes that you own. They're also a really cost effective way to add a modern look to some of those pieces that you may have owned for years. Those trending pieces are always going to elevate your style whether it's a bold headband or a beautiful lightweight scarf just wrapped around your neck or your shoulders or your purse. Whether it's a new watch or sunglasses or just a snappy piece of statement jewelry, these are pieces that you probable already have in your closet. So don’t go out and spend if you don’t have to, use what you have in new and fun ways.

 Monochrome Outfits

Keeping it simple and one of the easiest things you can do to wear monochrome outfits. Not only do these top to toe, same color outfits, always look chic and stylish, but they're really easy to pull together and create simple, elegant outfits. It's a really simple way to look stylish and if you just want to add a little bit of extra flair or just a little extra something to your outfits, use texture to do that, especially if you're wearing top to toe to break up an outfit and just add a little bit more personality.

Sale Alerts

Not all stores offer this but more and more are offering this so if you have identified key pieces that you would like to add to your lineup, put them on your wish list, set them up as a sale notification so that you will be notified when that piece is reduced. Now obviously this isn't always foolproof because you do run the risk of missing out on some of your favorite pieces. But it does mean that you won't pay full price and you will always get the best price possible for a piece that you really need. Sometimes it's avoidable with a new season that there are new pieces that you really need as opposed to want in your wardrobe. Try  looking at some of the online outlet stores like Saks off 5th or Nordstrom Rack. Now these pieces may have been hot for last season last fall and they've been in storage and they're being brought out and that's why they're on outlet stores or outlet sales. But a lot of these pieces will still work for this season, especially if they're a piece that you need. So think about shopping online but online at outlet stores now just a word of warning with choice outlet stores is make sure that you go into it with a plan. Don't just go scanning the site. The temptation to impulse buy is real, so go in with a plan and you can save yourself a lot of money.

Thrift Shop with a Plan

When thrift shopping, it is always wise to have a plan. I find thrift shops incredibly overwhelming there are generally so many options and often some of my favorite thrift stores are not very well stocked. So you do have to go looking through racks and racks of clothing. If you have a plan of a few pieces that you're particularly looking for when you're thrift shopping. This definitely helps. But I have seen some of favorite thrift shops are well picked over lately, so some of those gems you are looking for are getting harder to find. I had some success finding a few lately, but it isn’t easy. So set some time aside and go in with a plan to increase the the chances of finding what you're looking for.

Imitate Others

Copy someone else’s style. People wear clothes to attract the attention of others, so why not flatter them with imitation? Whether you have been inspired by someone that you've seen on Pinterest or on Instagram, or someone at work or at a restaurant, steal her style. Finding inspiration in others is perfectly acceptable and can be quite time efficient as well. If you love what someone is wearing, look at that outfit closely and take mental notes. Maybe you create a Pinterest board and look at some styles you love. I am sure you will have similar pieces maybe not exactly the same but similar pieces in your own wardrobe that you can use that image as a way of inspiring some different outfit combinations from within your own wardrobe. So find someone and steal their style!

Sell / Swap Your Stuff

I do this regularly with my girlfriends, and it is a great way to purge and/or to sell the pieces that you're no longer wearing. I regularly use the money from reselling to update my new season wardrobe. It's also great because it means that you are constantly churning or turning over your wardrobe by removing the pieces that you aren’t going to wear anymore. Plus, but selling them sooner rather than later, you avoid them getting worn out or fall out of fashion and no market for them. And you're investing in your wardrobe by adding to it.  So have a look in your wardrobe when you're doing that wardrobe edit I mentioned earlier. Have a little look for some pieces that you know you will not wear, and then list them list them on eBay on Facebook marketplace, the Real Real or wherever you like to list secondhand recycled clothes. It's a great way to find extra cash so that you can splurge on some new pieces. It takes time, be patient and diligent and it will pay off. And I'm sure you've heard about it before, but think about a clothing swap whether it's with friends, family or coworkers. It's a fun way to socialize and if you swap one piece of clothing for another, it is worth it. There's nothing wrong with most of the clothing in your friends’ closets, and what's old to someone else is new to you. Plus I love the idea of recycling clothes and giving them a whole new life. The clothes swap thing is not as hard as you think, you just need to organize and execute. I do this with a couple of my friends, and sometimes we only swap one or two pieces, but it is a fun way to get together.

 

Repurpose the Clothes you Have

Repurposing the clothes that you already own is hard, but worth spending some extra energy on. What I mean by that is just wearing them in different more creative ways. And it's as simple as wearing a button down shirt tied at the waist with your favorite pair of jeans one day, and  under your favorite sweater the next. It's about looking at those pieces and being inspired to wear them differently. I find Tik Tok to be a great resource for these kinds of ideas. There are hundreds if not thousands of videos dedicated to this notion. They inspire me to wear some of the pieces that I already own, just differently. Instagram is another good source for styling hacks and different ways to where simple pieces but it is about just getting a little bit creative. And if you're not a creative type of person, find someone creative to help out.

Okay, there you have it. Some great, fun ways to stretch your fashion dollar and be ready for the Fall season. Happy Shopping!

 

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Fall Fashion Trends for 2022

The leaves are changing color and the weather is cooling down – it's officially fall! As we prepare for the upcoming season, what can we expect from fall fashion? Well, according to the experts, there are a few trends that will be big this year. In this blog post, we will take a look at some of the most popular fall fashion trends for 2022. Stay tuned – you're going to want to update your wardrobe before the cold weather hits!

One of the biggest trends we can expect to see this fall is bold colors. After a year of wearing mostly neutral tones, it seems that people are ready to add a pop of color back into their lives. From vibrant reds to electric blues, don't be afraid to experiment with different hues this season. And if you're not ready to go all-out with a colorful outfit, you can always add a statement piece, like a brightly-colored scarf or handbag, to your look.

Another fall fashion trend that is predicted to be big this year is vintage-inspired pieces. With the '20s making a comeback in recent years, it's no surprise that we're seeing a resurgence of '70s and '80s fashion as well. This means that we can expect to see lots of retro-inspired clothing, like high-waisted jeans, flowy dresses, and statement jackets. So if you've been holding onto your mom's old clothes (or raiding your local thrift store), now is the time to break them out!

Of course, no fall fashion roundup would be complete without mentioning the ever-popular animal print. Leopard print, in particular, is predicted to be huge this season. So whether you want to go all-out with a leopard-print dress or just add a touch of the trend with some accessories, make sure to incorporate this into your fall wardrobe.

Baggy Jeans are another trend we see as evolving in 2022. They're stylish, comfortable, and don't seems to be going away. Whether its regular pant leg bottom or wide-bottom, you may want to have a pair in your closet so you don't feel left out.

And there you have it – some of the most popular fall fashion trends for 2022. So start planning your outfits now and get ready to rock the latest trends this season!

Photo by Joanna Nix-Walkup on Unsplash

Your Mom Used to Be Cooler Than You

Sorry to break your millennial heart, but back in your mom’s day, clothes were way cooler than what’s hanging on the racks now. Ever wonder why vintage shopping and style does so well these days? Well, when our mothers were at their hippest, the times were a-changing for women (see: The Feminine Mystique, Title IV, Equal Pay Act and Gloria Steinem). Fashion reflected a breakaway from the housewife mold ascribed to their mothers (aka our grandmothers). In other words, our mothers were style pioneers who brought the spirit of revolution, counterculture and women’s rights into their closets, changing fashion for decades to come. Thanks, moms!

While we may not be as cool as our moms were, we can definitely find some inspiration from their closets. In fact, many of the things they used to wear are trendy this spring and summer. So this Mother’s Day, thank your mom for being a great fashion role model and keep your mom-jean jokes to yourself! Here’s a look at what your mom’s generation has got to offer.

Jean … Everything

OK, moms may not have the best reputation when it comes to jeans, but these ladies made jeans cool. No, but really, we wouldn’t be wearing jeans today if our moms didn’t popularize the pants (and shorts, and jackets, and all things denim). They also were the first to get creative with their jeans -- embroidering, destructing, bleaching, painting, cutting and cuffing their denim before you could buy those looks in stores.

 

My aunt added a flower, ripped and frayed these shorts back in the day. These would probably run you $60 at Urban Outfitters today.

Crop Tops

Before you blame American Apparel for the overabundance of midriff, our mothers were the first to dare wear tops above their beltlines (despite giving us grief about our midriff). Though our generation clearly owns the crop top with low-rise jeans look (hence the grief), our mothers’ higher, more appropriate waistlines are what fashion runways have called upon for crop-top pairing this spring and summer.

 

Menswear

If you even think our gen’s “boyfriend” jeans and button-ups stand a chance against our mother’s menswear-inspired closet, kindly search “Diane Keaton” in the browser of your choice. Ties, masculine-looking suits, oversized button-ups and shoulder pads were worn by our mothers without the implication that they borrowed from their boyfriends’ closet. So, channel your inner Keaton to emulate the runway-inspired looks for suits, button-ups and pants.

 

Diane Keaton

Hair Accessories

The retro bows, scarves and headband looks that fuel Pinterest boards today have our mothers to thank. And, basically everything Coachella hair wishes it could be came from our moms. Yes, all the feathered and flowery hair accessories music festivals are teeming with today were brought about by our mothers expressing their Native American sympathies and peace-loving, anti-war sentiments.

Bridget Bardot

Elizabeth Taylor

Pale Pink

While we may attribute pastel in abundance to ’90s pop stars, it was Mamie Eisenhower (34th First Lady), not Britney Spears, who brought pale pink hues into style (the color was actually dubbed “Mamie” pink). Subtle pinks were all over the latest fashion runways, as were pastels, but if you ask your mom, she’s likely to say, oh yeah, that’s what we’d wear to look preppy and cute.

Diana Ross

Oversized Glasses

Mamie was followed by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (aka Jackie O). She took fashion by storm and is responsible for popularizing the oversized glasses look in the ’60s. So while we may associate oversized glasses with celebs trying to hide their famous faces, once again, our mom’s generation did it first. And all those super circular or square frames models donned on the runways were also looks Jackie O brought about. 

Jackie O

All the Skirt Trends

Maxis, minis, tulle, tea length, printed -- you name it! The skirts that are going to be trending this spring and summer were worn by mama dearest and her friends. Our mothers also wore skirts in ways we don’t, such as with slips (can’t knock ’em till you try ’em). Sometimes they even had tubes sewn into the hems that they could inflate for added fullness (yep, their skirt technology was way cooler).

via SerendipityCircus

Wide-Leg Trousers

I personally greatly questioned my ability to wear these when I saw them sashaying down the runway, but hey, if our moms could rock wide-leg trousers and make them cool (and they did), we can put aside our skintight jeans and leggings-as-pants for at least a day and give them a chance ... right?

Joni Mitchelle

Platform Heels

Do you think that cork wedge heels were a ’90s thing? Think again. Cork wedge and other platform heels are retro. So we can add them to our growing list of trends millennials think we started but didn’t.

Image via 1989Vintage

Embroidery

According to fashion mags and many a runway, you should wear embroidered anything this spring and summer. It doesn’t take a fashion historian to tell you our moms already wore embroidered everything. They even did the embroidery themselves.

Mia Farrow

Now that you have some insight into why our moms were so much cooler than we are, let us know which vintage style you’ll be rocking this spring and summer @TheStyleGlossy.

Your Most Flattering Neckline

When it comes to choosing a T-shirt, blouse, sweater or dress, it’s the neckline that is likely to make all the difference between a look that flatters your figure and one that accentuates your less-than-perfect parts. “Often, when an outfit doesn’t work, it’s because of the neckline,” explains Houston stylist and fashion show producer Todd Ramos.

On the other hand, choose the right cut, and you’ll appear taller, slimmer and more stylish. How to create this magic? You have to factor in your bust size, neck length, height and even face shape. Here’s a guide to discovering which necklines work for you.

Sweetheart, Scoop Neck, V-neck and Square Neck
The collarbone and decollete region is one of the most alluring parts of any woman. Wearing an open neckline that shows it off is going to make most women appear longer and leaner, says Ramos. Lower, open necklines like a sweetheart (which is shaped like the top of a heart), scoop, square or V-neck tend to look good on almost every body type and size. “They bring attention to your face and elongate your upper body, especially if you’re petite or have a short neck,” says Ramos. Just make sure you don’t reveal too much.

  • Tip: If you’re not well endowed, sweetheart and scoop necklines are best at creating the illusion of curves.
  • Bottom line: Great for everyone, unless you’re top heavy or have an especially long neck.

Crew Neck and Boatneck
If you have a long neck, narrow face, small chest or sloped shoulders, a high neckline -- one that rests on or very near the collarbone -- is your best bet. Crew necks and boatnecks draw the eye out to your shoulders so you appear more balanced and proportioned. In this case, the more substantial neckline gives the illusion of square shoulders, a shorter neck, a fuller face and more ample bust.

  • Tip: If you’re pear-shaped, look for dresses in this cut to balance your upper and lower body.
  • Bottom line: Crew necks and boatnecks balance out narrow necks, faces, shoulders and small chests. But on the flip side, these necklines can make you look bigger than you are if you have generous curves, a short neck or broad shoulders.

Cowl-necks, Mock Necks and Turtlenecks
By choosing the right amount of coverage, you’ll find there’s no need to shiver in the name of beauty. A true turtleneck that hits a couple of inches below the chin will whittle away your height, making it best for those who want to offset a long neck or face. A cowl-neck, which is a looser version of a turtleneck, naturally drapes at the chest, creating a vertical line that elongates the body. A mock neck hits slightly lower than a turtleneck and serves as a good midpoint if you can’t part with your more covered-up sweaters.

  • Bottom line: Trade turtlenecks for mock necks or cowl-necks unless you have a long face or neck. 

A Universally Flattering Neckline
Whatever size you are, a halter will flatter your figure. “It gives support and lift to a big bust,” says Ramos. If the halter has a built-in bra, it can create curves where there are none, which is why you see a lot of halter-style bathing suits and wedding dresses. If your arms or shoulders are your trouble spot, Ramos advises topping the halter with a fitted jacket.

The Neckline to Avoid
Strapless clothing may be on every rack in every store, but stylists agree it’s a hard look to pull off -- unless you’ve got flawless proportions and a yoga bod like Jennifer Aniston. “A strapless cut can make top-heavy women spill out, and tall, thin women look giraffe-like,” says Ramos. The silhouette may, however, be a boon to petite women, helping them look taller.

Tweak Unflattering Necklines
If you wore crew necks before you figured out it’s not your most flattering neckline, work the scissors. “Cut a crew neck a few inches straight down the middle,” says Ramos. A T-shirt may fray a little, but that’s in vogue, he says. And if you cut a sweater, a few minutes in the dryer will prevent it from unraveling.

With any lower necklines, there’s the risk of going too low and looking inappropriately sexy. Whether your top goes too deep or a V-neck is not your best look, try it over a camisole or slim-fit collared shirt before you toss it. “Layering can breathe new life into a too-revealing top,” says Ramos.

Must-have Spring Accessory: The Belt

Updating your spring and summer wardrobe is a cinch this year. All it takes are a few well-chosen belts. If the statement necklace was last year’s must-have fashion accessory, the bold belt is 2012’s style essential. From skinny, neon waist-nippers to embellished corset-like hip-huggers, the belt was everywhere on the spring runways.

Embracing the belt can add shape and chic to the most humdrum outfit, says Phoenix stylist Fawn Cheng. “You can refresh a tired dress or an oversized top by cinching it with a brightly colored belt,” she says. The smocked tee that feels about as sexy as a tablecloth? The boho peasant blouse you wore to death last summer and now seems as fresh as expired milk? “They’re both scorning to be tuned into new silhouettes with an eye-catching belt,” says Cheng.

Belts are also crafty accessories when it comes to flattering your figure. If you’re short-waisted, sporting a low-slung belt will create the illusion of an elongated torso. Try a chain-link version for a modern look. Long-waisted? Balance out your proportions with a wide belt worn at your waist.

Here are four belts you’ll want to add to your warm-weather wardrobe:

1. Glitzy. Skinny or wide, elasticized or leather, the statement belt of the season features a bold medallion buckle in plated or hammered gold, silver or brass. Cheng likes to see the wide version worn high on the waist -- right under the rib cage -- to add edgy glamour to a body-conscious dress. Or put a slimmer medallion belt through the loops of your flared jeans or trousers for understated elegance. The Italian designer Balmain offers a half dozen takes on this signature piece, ranging from $800 to more than $3,000. You can find stylish alternatives at stores like Urban Outfitters and Zara for a tiny fraction of that price.

2. Colorful. “Shocking sorbet” is what Cheng has dubbed this season’s collection of belts in vivid hues -- fuchsia, tangerine, baby blue, coral and chartreuse. They’re the perfect way to introduce color into a neutral or all-white outfit. Or, to update a preppy look, consider a neo-neon combination like a carnation pink cardigan punctuated with a lime green patent-leather belt.

3. Safari-inspired. For spring, Michael Kors showed his version of what a chic woman might wear while enjoying cocktails at a luxe gaming lodge. Models strutted down the runway in animal and camouflage prints -- and utilitarian colors like khaki, olive and brown -- all in supple fabrics. The standout accessory was his fashion-forward interpretation of the frumpy fanny pack: a gorgeous burnished leather strap slung twice around the waist -- once through the belt loops and then just below -- tied on one end and with a small leather purse on the other. The purse-belt is perfect for hands-free toting of your essentials. Ralph Lauren, Diane von Furstenberg, Fendi, Hermes and Yves Saint Laurent are all offering their luxe take on the belt bag. You can also find affordable versions from LeSportsac and, of course, Michael Kors.

4. Corset. Thick, waist-cinching belts show off a woman’s ladylike curves. They’re an edgy match -- especially in metallic -- for the peplum skirt you’ll be wearing this spring and summer. You’ll also find casually playful versions in more forgiving woven leather. These look smashing with a traditional trench, a structured jacket, or high-waisted trousers and a white shirt. Corset belts might be a fleeting trend, so you probably don’t want to make this an investment piece. Instead, have a fling with an inexpensive option from a store like Forever 21 or Anthropologie.

Photo: Getty Images