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Through the Looking Glass
Summer sunshine, blue skies and lazy evenings are top of mind during the sun filled days of warmth and glorious beauty. When getting ready for lemon drop and cocktail infused evening fun - check no more for the latest fashion piece conveniently stashed in a fashion maven's wardrobe. It is fascinating to learn to mix and match pieces while selecting wardrobe favorites. The stores are brimming with heaps of apparel at discount prices and yet when reviewing attire for each season it is often noted that the cheaper clothing purchased is rarely worn. Let's review rules of shopping, the closet that will prepare the shopping list for the annual Nordstrom Anniversary Sale beginning July 14th for the pre-sale cardholder shoppers and for the public on July 22nd ending on August 8th.
Rules of Engagement - Shopping
Set a Budget
I. Set a Budget: Repeat - Set a Budget! There is nothing more disheartening to spend hard earned cash on apparel when not needed. Or worse of all - to receive a credit card with a bill that cannot be paid. Decide on a firm number that is available for a splurge. Stick to the budget and do not go over. Track the online and in-store receipts. Paying the piper later is an ill way to run everyday finances. And speaking from experience, the eyes get overwhelmed at the hues, shades, designs and before the clock rings midnight, new items suddenly appear in bags or on the doorstep. The initial shopping high is fabulous but the day after is often one of remorse. I know - I have gotten in hot water with my eyes open and a credit card singing. Thus, set a budget and play the game of saving for a pretty piece or only purchase within ones means. Boring yes but wise - and so very owlish and astute. We can all try - right!
"A budget is telling your money where to go and not wondering where it went" - Dave Ramsey
The Dream Closet
Yes Or No - Do I or Don't I?
II. Donate, Purge or Store: It is essential to review apparel each season and decide what needs to be given away, donated or sold on a quarterly basis. Must admit this is very hard because there is the thought in the back of the mind that the style or hue will come back. However, when it does come back will you really wear the item again? If you purchase classic attire this dilemma is rare since everything classic remains forefront and center each season. Here are a few helpful tips:
1. Pilled or Discolored or No Longer Fit: White tee's, shirts, shorts or jeans etc. that are worn out, discolored or pilled or no longer fit must be purged. Yes, you may lose the weight but after a certain age this is a bit more challenging. Best to let go of the size 2, size 4, 27 jean and embrace the new and more elegant curvaceous you! Send down the rabbit hole for someone else to enjoy.
2. Discount Apparel Purchased on a Whim: The never worn flouncy item or crazy colored top that has never been slipped on needs to be sent down the donation shoot. How many times has a piece been purchased because it was 50% off and yet was never worn? Do you have stacks of shoes, shirts, tee shirts, jackets and suits all collecting dust bunnies? Be ruthless and if not worn in a year - off with the apparel. Think of Jerry Seinfeld's routine of how we bring home stuff only to have it move to the garage and then to the dump. In our case, we accumulate too many clothing items, stuff the closet and then slowly purge everything that was wasteful.
3. Keep/Yes Apparel: Store quality sweaters, tee shirts, shorts etc., each season by properly cleaning and placing in storage either in dressers or appropriate containers with lavender or cedar chips.
4. Purge/No Apparel: Donate to women's shelters or sell. There is always someone in need that will cherish the apparel even if you did or didn't.
5. Think and Track: Clearly understand what is in the wardrobe. Either keep a spreadsheet, or photos or whatever it takes to know the contents of the closet. The chance of buying the same or similar items will become slim. Additionally, a fashion maven will be prepared for the next sale with knowledge of what is desired or needed.
6. Be a Mademoiselle French Woman: Only purchase quality apparel. Seriously, everything else from shoes to dresses if not made well will be never worn or worn once maybe twice or will fall apart quickly. Cheaper apparel does not mean long lasting or great fitting. French women buy several expensive core items and then accessorize with scarves, a few cheap trends, jewels, perfume and lips. That's it. Keep it simple silly.
7. There are Exceptions - Know your lifestyle: Be clear on what one needs to wear daily. For some it is slacks, blouse and jacket and for others a tennis outfit and then jeans. Additionally, there may be some apparel choices that are hard to abandon. For instance, I love suits and have several or maybe more than several that are rarely worn together. I am not ready to part with them and still wear the jackets now and then. Of course, I would never part with my black suits. The black suit is always a must for business or serious affairs. They are crafted with exceptional fabrics and the quality is sublime. Thus, these beauties are remaining the closet. Keep until sure that a piece will not be used.
8. Organize Wardrobe: Yes, organize the wardrobe so that everything is within eye sight. Color coordinate jackets, skirts, jeans, tops etc., Keep shoes insight and neatly lined up for ease of use. Visit a container store for ideas on organization. The end result is a precise closet and a fast way to get beautifully dressed in only a few minutes.
"Some people dream of pools, with me it's closets" - Audrey Hepburn
Back to Classics Baby!
III. Style, Style & Forever Chic Style: Style is based on ones own sense of self and creativity. It is a way of expressing oneself to the world and those that think it doesn't matter are sorely mistaken. It is known fact that if a women dresses up for work (slacks, skirt, top, jacket, showered, hair done and minimal makeup) they will be paid 20% more than other women. Or if dressed up daily (pressed or laundered clean clothes with a little makeup and hair) whether playing sports, going shopping to a grocery store or just being out and about looking put together does bring certain advantages. Or maybe it is the self confidence which comes from taking care of ones appearance that makes the world a bit brighter. It works - trust me! We live in a visual world and it is noted everyday in social media, film, art, books, magazines and in the nature around. If you think that you can roll out of bed, not take a shower, appear disheveled, pull on ragged clothes and be respected during the day - you are indeed wrong.
And, remember those that truly turn heads, stop the presses in a positive way or just get noticed all have something in common - simplicity in fashion apparel combined with positive energy and a smile. The apparel is worn and the person is seen first rather than the outfit. Think of a fine painting where the face and silhouette shine forth rather than the surrounding hues and or settings. In my book - always purchase quality and lasting classics with a few cheaper trends mixed in. And, smile!
The Classic List - Spend Well My Friend
Turtleneck, black slack, penny loafers, pointed toe pumps, camel coat, white blouse , pencil skirts, little black dress, black skirt suit, black pant suit, white tee, blue denim jean, blue denim jacket, classic dress with color, black rain coat, well made sandals, one piece bathing suits, cashmere sweaters and cardigans, black sunglasses, boots, black handbag (no embellishments), appropriate sports attire, pearls, diamonds and red or pink lips.
"Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman." - Coco Chanel
Trend Lightly with Fashion Trends
Spend Less on Trendy Trendy
"Trendy is the last stage before tacky" - Karl Lagerfeld
The Shopping List
V. Last But Not Least - Be Prepared: Peruse the wardrobe and decide what is required for the next season. Since Fall and Winter are around the corner, now is the time to make a note on what is required to get through the wind, rain, sleet and snow. Check out the Nordstrom catalog and make an appointment for the pre-sale. Don't go crazy shopping and just pick out a few items. I will review the upcoming sale shortly.
There you have it. A little insight into a Forever Chic Style closet and wardrobe. We Forever Chic Style fashionistas need to aware of what we own, organize our belongings, know what we need and understand how to present ourselves everyday to the world. It is our time to shine, to emote, to be liked, to inspire, to lead and to basically spread goodwill to all. And, by starting with ourselves, by respecting ourselves and by dressing well we in turn can be vibrant lights that care, give back and make the world a better place. Don't wait! Start today! A smile, a nod, a verbal hello and maybe a bit of lipstick with appropriate attire will make a world of difference in your day and others.