“But I got it on sale …” has been the lament of so many women as Kathy and I pulled unworn outfits from the back of their wardrobes. Having a wardrobe with the “wow” factor is possible for any woman, no matter what economic restrictions, if you just understand a few of the basics and make a plan.
Divide a piece of paper into three columns and then determine the three main functions of your life, by time allotment. Where do you spend the majority of your time?
At work? At home with your children? Being with your significant other or casual activities with your friends? The next step is to put one word at the top of each column on how you want to be perceived in each of these activities. Then list the favorite outfits that you wear in each of these areas.
The second step is to look for similarities and differences in what you wear in the three primary areas of your life. What colors do you feel the best in? How many sweaters and tops do you have in the same colors? Are your clothes transitional from one aspect of your life to another? How do they enhance the image you have chosen for that life segment?
Try to look at your clothes from a different perspective. To have a “wow factor” wardrobe during times when less money is available for splurges, the key is to stop looking at clothes as disposable. The most important factor is fit. Try each garment on and if it fits, put it back into your closet separating the items by category. Keep all tops, pants, jackets, skirts, dresses etc. in groupings sorted by color. Then make a list of the items that need to be altered to fit. If you can sew, great; if not, perhaps you can trade off with a friend or take the clothes to the tailor. When the clothing fits you properly, you’ll find they look more expensive.
To get the most of your clothing, make a wardrobe plan: Start with any piece of clothing (most people find it easiest with a jacket) and then put outfits together for each category of your life, by listing all the pieces you have make it work. Then take your basic piece and list another outfit you can wear using it, find as many combinations as you can and transition them from one area of your life to another. At this point, make another list of things that you need to purchase to make an outfit work. In other words, the jacket would look great with these pants if you had a certain type of top, or belt, or accessory to add to the look.
Every season, you should budget for one or two funky “in” pieces with the realization that they will be “out” very quickly. There is nothing worse than wearing last year’s edgy piece. It just looks dated.
Now it’s time to hit the sale racks with your list of items you actually need. Buy the best you can afford and choose carefully. Each purchase is an investment that you want to be able to use for many years. Undoubtedly, you will be tempted by many items, but if they aren’t on your list, don’t buy them. You are working to build a wardrobe where every piece fits and looks great on you.
Kathy and I developed our business to help women reach their goals, personally, professionally, and financially. Appearance is so important and there are so many books and articles on how to dress for your shape. They miss with the lengths of their jackets, tops, skirts, shorts, capris. We developed the mathematical formula for providing women with their perfect vertical proportion. It is so critical because if a woman is going to make a mistake in her appearance, 85 percent of the time the outfit is out of sync with her bone structure. We made it very affordable so every woman can look her best. Try it; you will be amazed at the difference it makes.
Article written by Janet Wood and Kathy McFadden as part of the "Buying in a Recession" series.