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Wardrobe Ideas for Winter 2008 (Part 1)

What to wear? What to buy? Or better yet, what can you afford to buy for the fall and winter 2008 fashion season? It comes down to two basic issues. What can I recycle or redesign to go with what’s in my closet? And what can I afford to purchase? I prefer to rely on my old college skills of sorting through my closet to see what I can rework or how I might layer a summer item with a winter one. And I’m also resurrecting haunting local resale shops and purchasing items I can wear with more than one outfit. I think about how many ways can I wear an item before I make a purchase.

My first quest began for the perfect classic black dress, which of all places was in my closet! It had a metallic jacket over it which I can see using for an after 5 event. Once the jacket was removed, voila! I had a nice little black classic empire dress. I can dress it up or down.

On my first shopping trip I found a cute little black and white houndstooth swing coat. It was perfect and only $14.99! Accessories are next and since vintage is in, as well as black and white, I added a pearl and jet necklace and earrings from my 1970s collection. Bold colors are also in style this season so I checked my handbags. I can add the red crock bag that I purchased on a whim or one of the new silver or gold metallic bags I purchased for ten dollars each. I know what you are thinking, where did I purchase purses for ten dollars each! One of my favorite stores is A.J. Wright in Clarksville, Indiana. Today I saw so many hot fall colors like orange, red, olive, purple, and even the classic black. I can wear flats or heels with this outfit but I think my days in heels are over, so I’m opting for the black flat suede boots I purchased last year after Christmas! And no, I did not blow all my Christmas money on them either, they were on sale and I used a gift card I had been saving from my birthday. It is always best to hold onto that until the end of season clearance sales. Stretch dollars and gift cards!

Back into my closet for my next outfit makeover. Ah ha, there’s my red leather jacket. I know it will go with the black dress, but what kind of jewelry do I want to wear with it? I have a triple strand coral necklace I made with a turquoise stone as the centerpiece. Looks pretty good, so I’ll go with that. And I can wear the black suede boots, but I have a pair of red boots I hardly ever wear, I think that will work! Add a basic black handbag and a pair of turquoise earrings I made and I am set! Or I can even wear the triple strand crystal, pyrite, and lava necklace I made with some crystal earrings. Decisions, decisions.

When adding accessories this season, don’t forget about adding splashes of color with leather gloves. Select a color that will add punch to your outfit and that you will wear throughout the season. I am partial to red leather gloves, as wearing red makes me feel good! But hot pink would be great, as well as purple or olive. And okau, black leather gloves will work as well if you are going for a classic look. Hats and scarves are also a wonderful fashion accessory. Berets are back this season, so think about adding one as a staple to your wardrobe. I have a black Persian lamb’s wool beret and I think it will look great with my new hounds-tooth coat! Adding a favorite broach or stickpin can add a bit of class and fun to your outfit.

You can also get an expensive look by purchasing knock-offs! So every season, when the new fall sales catalogues come out, I sit down and tear out the pictures of outfits I like. I start with something basic like a skirt or pair of pants I have that is similar to the picture. Then I make a list of the items that I would like to have. Each month, I put aside, say fifty dollars, and I purchase one or two of the items. I try and select items that I can rotate and wear with several other pieces. Today, I found the black and white hounds-tooth jacket, a beautiful deep aqua jewel-tone sweater to wear with my black wool pants and the gold metallic handbag. My total for today, about forty-two dollars! I found a beautiful scarf that was originally fifty-eight dollars marked down to $14.99 and I got 40 percent off!

Here’s a quick review:

1. Remember, your closet is your pallet. I use it just like I do when designing jewelry!

2. When you bring home an item that has two or more pieces, separate them in your closet. It doesn’t mean you can never wear them together, you just get to have a bit more fun and most important of all, stretch your wardrobe.

3. Remember to keep a pad and pencil nearby, so you can write down items you may wish to purchase.

4. Try organizing your clothing from light to dark. It helps you think about options you have never considered.

5. Remove any item from your closet you have not worn in a year! Keeping it only adds bulk to your closet. Besides, there is someone out there in need that will be grateful you cleaned out your closet!

6. Consider putting your outfit together the night before, add accessories and all, you’ll find your morning will go much smoother and you aren’t rooting through this drawer and that to find your gold earrings!

7. Have fun; you’re creating a masterpiece … the perfect outfit for you!

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