There are those of us who were born with style, those who have developed their style, and those who are still searching. I would say I am somewhere in between these three. Growing up in Virginia, my style was a cross between tailored classic and preppy. “Tacky” was often used by my elders to describe glittery, fun elements that many little people love (including me) and some big people as well. Ruffles, sequins, gold, full skirts, high heels on little girls, and the list goes on.
I still had a conservative style when I met Tony. He was much more stylish than me and followed lots of trends including the Don Johnson suit look, New Kids on the Block pop look and the propped Polo collar preppy look. When we met, he was in the Kenneth Cole phase, and after about a year together, he rubbed off on me. I started adding some trendiness to my wardrobe. I remember one of my college besties visiting for my wedding, taking one look at my closet and saying, “wow, you used to be so conservative.” LOL.
The interesting thing is that I have rubbed off on him too. Tony’s style is now pure classic including needlepoint belts, bow ties, classic navy and grey – there is very little left of trendy. Funny, how that works.
Now that I am into my fifties, I feel pretty comfortable in my style: classic, tailored staples that I like to pair with fun, trendy pieces. I love to shop and change things up A LOT.
So, how do I do that without breaking the bank? Here are my top ten for building my wardrobe and a fun reel to see them in action (there is no #8 as I am not doing that anymore – LOL): (if video does not play, click here).
- If there is one thing I hung onto from my childhood, it is to always buy at a discount. It is rare (except maybe for shoes), that I do not buy on sale, at a discount retailer, or an outlet.
- Shop consignment for your classic pieces. One of my favorite ways to build my closet of classics is to shop consignment. That is how I acquired most of my designer pieces, and the good news is that you can always re-consign them receiving back a portion of what you spent. Tailored designer pieces keep their value.
- Make consignment part of your vacation. Research the best consignment stores for places you are visiting and make a stop. I plan to introduce you to my favorites during my travels. Have you found some favorites on your travels? Please share.
- Do not spend big bucks on trends. I remember being in NYC with a friend a few years ago. He asked me about something I was wearing and with a twinkle in my eye, I said it was Forever 21. He looked aghast and said, “you are too old for Forever 21.” Honey, I am never too old to find a little nugget at Forever 21. Or Shein. Or Amazon.
- Love something trendy with a huge price tag? Find a dupe. Big statement earrings? Sister, you can find some very similar at discount stores or on Amazon.
- Do not clear your closet every year. What? I thought if you haven’t worn something in a year, you passed it on? Nope, not for me. I keep my classics and pieces that look great on me as trends always return.
- Assess what you have periodically. I find myself often picking things similar to what I already have. Each season, peruse what you have and stop yourself from buying the same thing.
- Do not buy just because it is a deal. How many of you have fallen into that trap? I know I have too many times and I say, don’t do it! If you do, sit on the purchase for a few days and make sure you like it before removing the tag. Heck, wear it around the house, take a picture of yourself in it or just stare at it. If you still love it, keep it; if not, return it.
- Find your colors and silhouettes and stick to them for more expensive pieces. When you are spending the $$$, make sure it is flattering. Stay tuned for professionals offering us some advice in the future.
- My last but most important tip – Buy it, when you see it. How many of you go out looking for something for a special occasion and have to settle? Buy it when you see it even if you don’t know exactly where you will wear it however, remember not to do #8.
Do you have style tips to share? We would love to hear them!! Please leave in the comments.
Love what you see? Here are some of the pieces (beginning with 1 in top right corner, across and then with #5 in bottom left corner and across):
- Top is vintage, purchased 30 years ago; pants are Helmut Lang from Material World.
- Tuxedo jacket purchased 25 year ago – similar here; Ann Taylor strapless top purchased 15 years ago – similar here; black satin cropped pants – similar here.
- Banana Republic Black A-line Dress purchased 7 years ago – similar here; Henri Bendel vintage necklace.
- Target puff-sleeved sweatshirt bought last year – similar here; white jeans from TJ Maxx – buy your favorite jeans & keep!
- Red Dress Boutique Dress – possible Derby Dress?
- Alexis Dress bought after falling in love with a friend’s at Perch for a fraction of the price on sale this summer.
- Shein Leopard Top with H belt and favorite jeans. Exact pair search on Poshmark. Statement earrings.
- Theory Grey Silk top bought at TJ Maxx several years ago. Similar in cream and black.
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