Looking your best means dressing well. But what does that mean, exactly? The latest fashions are great, but putting together a killer outfit is about much more than following the latest trends. To truly dress well, you need to balance classics with fads, dress in clothes that flatter your body type, and pair your outfit to the occasion. And to do this efficiently, you need to dress smart — with cost-effective clothes and a wardrobe that isn’t full of dead ends. Here’s how to dress smarter.
Future-proof wardrobe choices
There’s nothing wrong with rocking the latest, wildest looks. But if you don’t want a closet full of stuff you can’t wear a year later, then you need to make sure that you have some classics, too. Some things never go out of style, and focusing on some timeless basic can give your wardrobe a foundation that makes it easy to build outfits and keep wearing favorites for years. So start with a classic little black dress and add more of-the-moment shoes, or mix a classic top with pants that will look wild in a few years. A wardrobe built on classics will make it easy to choose great looks fast.
Your body type matters
It’s no secret that what looks great on models doesn’t always look so great on real people. But what’s not always fully appreciated is the fact that not every piece of clothing looks better the closer you get to the “model” body. Some clothes are made to fit well on curvier bodies, and some on the superthin. Some clothes look great on people with broad shoulders, and others are best for people with narrower shoulders. When you’re shopping, keep your body type in mind.
To do this, you’ll first need to know what your body type is. Once you know that, start looking for the fits that flatter your best features (and downplay the stuff that you’re not as happy about). If you can find a designer or retail outlet that tends to have stuff that fits your body type, you’ll simplify your shopping quite a bit (though you’ll still need to try stuff on, of course).
Fashion is great, but it can be very expensive. Make sure that you’re not bankrupting yourself in the name of style. Going with future-proof classics will help you quite a bit, and so will knowing how much to spend on a given item. Fast fashion options may be cheap, but they’re destined to fall apart — so you may want to steer clear, especially when you’re looking for a timeless wardrobe staple that you hope will last for years. On the other hand, dropping huge amounts of money on flashy styles that will be passénext year is a bad move.
The outfit for every moment
Last but not least, never forget about the purpose of your clothes. They’re to cover you up a bit, of course, but they’re also supposed to send a message. What you wear to the beach isn’t what you wear to the office, and that’s only partly a matter of practicality.
As you build out your collection of smart staples, be sure to include some clothes for the office, the beach, the gym, houses of worship, and nights on the town. Find retailers you trust for each look. For instance, you might consistently turn to White House Black Market for professional attire (make sure that the retailers you choose make stuff that flatters your body type, too). You may want to have a favorite outfit combination picked out for each type of event.
With the right toolbox of classic looks, a bit of smart spending on trendy pieces, and a sense of which clothes to pair for any occasion, you’ll be ready to dress smart every day.
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