Every woman at least once in her lifetime has felt like they had nothing to wear, even while standing in front of a closet full of clothes. There are many reasons why we face this problem, however few of us realize how simple those reasons are. Some women shop in the wrong stores, can’t match colors correctly or they don’t use details and accessories properly. Others simply don’t know how to accentuate their best features and keep making bad style decisions while spending copious amounts of money. As a result, our closets are full of useless stuff that we never wear.
At Bright Side, we’ve consulted a couple of fashion stylists and based on their recommendations, we came up with 15 basic style rules. Not only will they help you to organize your messy closet, but they’ll ensure you always look gorgeous without spending a ton of money on unnecessary clothing and accessories.
1. Keep the outfit in your head.
If you want to put an end to the “I have nothing to wear” problem, you have to stop buying random items even if you really like them. You should have the whole outfit in your head, including accessories. Before getting a new top, ask yourself if you already have something to wear this particular item with. If you immediately come up with 3-4 options, go ahead and take it.
2. Shop in the right stores.
Your outfit should say a lot about who you are, it should be appropriate for your age, status, and peculiarities of your body. When you’re 20 years old, you can easily opt for light dresses that are not too expensive because your fresh look attracts more attention than some more costly items. However, if you’re 35, you might consider more expensive brands that use high-quality fabrics and offer original cuts and designs. This way you will look chic and elegant and not like those women who try to look like a 17-year-old girl when they’re anything but.
The same applies to young women who shop in clothing stores for more mature women. Spend some time analyzing shopping malls and 6-7 clothing stores near you. When making your list of favorites, pay attention to their target audience and their best cuts and designs that work for you (some stores sell amazing tops but so-so bottoms, for example). This will save you lots of time and energy since you won’t have to look for that one perfect item in every clothing store you run into.
3. Calculate the real price of the item.
Every single item in your wardrobe has to be worth the money you pay for it. It’s all about simple math — to get the real price of that gorgeous dress or pair of shoes you have your eye on, divide its price by the number of times you’re actually going to wear it. This will help you avoid unnecessary spending and you’ll soon learn to buy what you really need. Such an approach might also help you make a decision for buying something expensive.
For example, a coat is an item of clothing you can wear for more than one season, that’s why investing in a high-quality one is not a bad idea. If you divide the price by the number of times you’re going to wear it, you might be surprised by the fact that it’s worth its price.
4. Combine basic items with the latest trends.
Timeless basics are your wardrobe essentials. Their simple cuts never go out of fashion and can be combined with almost anything. Think about making basics 70% of your wardrobe, while the other 30% are trendy pieces that won’t last for long. Adding trends to your basics is a great way to keep your wardrobe stylish, modern, and bold. Just add 2-3 new trendy pieces every season, and your outfits will look up-to-date and won’t cost you a fortune.
5. Have 3 to 4 top options for each bottom.
The golden rule for a nice wardrobe says you need to have as many top options as possible for each of your skirts and pants. It’s the top item (not the bottom one) that makes the outfit look different and new. If you wear the same top with different bottoms, people won’t notice that something changed in your outfit. But if you mix and match the same bottom with different tops, you get a whole new outfit every time you change the top. It’ll save you a lot of money too — you don’t have to buy a new skirt or a new pair of jeans to combine them with the new top.
6. Mix different styles with a sporty look.
The coolest look comes from a tasteful mixture of different styles, a contrast of colors, and different types of fabrics. For example, adding some ethnic details to your classic look or a couple of grunge elements to the most romantic get-ups are both great ideas. But the most stylish combinations are usually those mixed with the sporty style.
Sporty style doesn’t necessarily mean sweatpants and a pair of sneakers. It includes a great number of styles and looks that one might not necessarily consider “sporty”. Safari, military, and navy inspired details always add cool flare to your outfit. The plainer the fabric is and the more details it has (embellishments, stitches, patch pockets, etc.), the more sporty you can get. Sporty details and accessories make the whole ensemble look young, dynamic, and full of positive energy. Plus, it’s a great way to look younger after 40.
7. Combine casual with formal.
One of the most popular trends among designers and fashionistas around the world is to combine formal outfits with casual, sometimes even sporty details. It means you can easily wear your gorgeous rhinestone earrings and party shoes with ripped jeans and a T-shirt. A sequin skirt is a cool match with your pair of sneakers. Add some bold details such as sunglasses and leather bracelets, and you’re good to go.
8. Wear 100% “your” colors close to your face.
Wearing a color that doesn’t suit you close to your face can ruin your whole look. It accentuates skin imperfections and other features you’d rather conceal than draw attention to. That’s why you absolutely need to know what “your colors” are and use them in your outfits.
Note that the color of your purse or heels doesn’t have as much critical importance as the color of the accessories and items you wear close to your face. The older you get, the more attention you should pay to this point. Avoid dark shades of gray and opt for light and pastel tones. And don’t forget to stick to “your colors” 100% of the time, even if they’re bright.
9. How to choose the ideal skirt or dress length
Take a photo of yourself wearing underwear, print it, and using a sheet of paper as a skirt, move it around to see which length suits you best. Analyze the image you see and decide how much of your legs you want to cover or if a mini is really “your” length. You can carry out the same experiment using a piece of fabric in front of the mirror; however, the photo variant provides a better visual effect and helps you make the right decision. You can make 2 pictures — one with high heels and one with flats.
10. Use unexpected color combinations.
Color is the first thing people notice about your appearance, even before they pay attention to your body type and style choices. Using interesting and unexpected color combinations is the best way to change your style without spending too much money, especially if you preferred dark colors in your wardrobe before.
From time to time, look through magazines, lookbooks from famous fashion houses and watch their fashion shows. Also, try to notice how mother nature combines colors. Those are often the best combos. These tips will help you incorporate some of the best options into your own wardrobe. Also, check out our recommendations here. Stick to the main rule which says you should use up to 3 different colors in your ensemble (apart from neutral colors such as gray, black, white and variations of beige). The same color can be used more than once though.
11. Distracting attention
Sometimes in order to draw attention away from your body’s imperfections and accentuate your best features, you only need to shift the emphasis. For instance, a bright print on your pants or on a skirt will draw attention to your hips and distract from broad shoulders and a not-so-thin waist. A big chunky necklace or rhinestone earrings will accentuate your pretty face and distract from heavy hips.
12. The total look concept
A total look is a single-color ensemble. The best way to wear a total look is to combine different fabrics of the same shade. This elegant concept makes your body slimmer, visually elongating the silhouette. Another brilliant idea to pull off the total look is to add another color, but in small amounts — a small purse or a pair of shoes, massive earrings, a chunky necklace, or a belt.
13. Wear jackets.
Jackets effortlessly create a strong shoulder line in your silhouette, thus making the whole ensemble look more expensive and stylish. That’s one of the advantages compared to sweaters, for example. A nice jacket combined with a pair of jeans and a T-shirt will make your look chic and elegant. The best way to wear jackets is to roll up the sleeves and add a couple of bracelets.
Just as multi-layered outfits do, details make your ensemble look complete, sophisticated, stylish and exquisite. Details include jewelry, purses, footwear, prints, various embellishments, buttons and so on. Often, it’s the details that actually complete your look. You can make the most boring one-color dress look absolutely gorgeous by adding the right pair of shoes, jewelry, and a purse.
15. One easy way to turn a work outfit into an evening one
What if you receive an invitation to some gala while you’re still at work and you can’t miss the event but have no time to change after work? The easiest ways to turn your work outfit into a stylish evening ensemble is to add noticeable jewelry, substitute your bag with some tiny evening purse, and your ballet flats with bold pumps. It works just as well for dresses, skirts, and pants combined with shirts or tops and jackets.
Would you try any of our recommendations when choosing your next outfit? Go ahead and share how you match colors and decide on what to wear every day.