Top 10 Smart Wardrobe Staples That Will Save You Loads in the Long Run
Do you have a walk-in full of expensive regrets? Is your dress habit leading to financial distress? If you drain your bank account on a monthly basis, impulse buying the latest trends, you may need to purge that closet and commit to healthier shopping habits, ones that will save you money in the long run. The key is to invest in a few high-quality classics that will stand the test of time and can be accessorized up or down.
1. A handbag from heaven
Diamonds are nice, but a hardworking purse is a girl’s real best friend. We go everywhere with it and it holds all that is dear to us (i.e. our credit cards) so it’s important to choose it wisely. Skip the animal prints, fringe and chains and go for something of quality with a timeless look: soft shapes, durable, mat leathers (glossy finishes scratch), minimal hardware (hardware dates) and large enough to hold all your essentials.
2. The crisp white (or striped) shirt
Does anyone look bad in a crisp white shirt? A gorgeously simple dress shirt that fits you just right will go with anything – a suit, jeans or a pencil skirt – and always makes you look fresh and put together. Just iron it meticulously before each wear.
3. The eternal allure of the LBD (Little Black Dress)
Quite possibly fashion’s most generous gift. It works everywhere: at the office, lunch, dinner, cocktail party, nightclub, wedding, funeral -- everywhere. Plus, from Coco Chanel’s boyish frame to Marilyn Monroe’s hourglass curves, it suits all. Always have one or two figure-flattering LBD’s in your closet and you’ll be ready for any fashion emergency that might come your way.
4. Boots made for walking
A well-maintained pair of low-heeled leather boots that come to just below the knee will get even better with age (make sure to clean and polish them regularly). Look for a neutral toe -- nothing too pointy -- and a stacked heel that could be cowboy-like or taller, in the style of the '70s. For colour, as in, black or brown, look to what you wear most to decide which colour would be more versatile. Perfect for fall, winter and spring, pair these boots with tucked-in slacks, leggings or jeans, or with a short skirt for a sexier look.
5. Cuddle up to cashmere
Invest in a couple of deliciously cozy, classic cashmere sweaters, perhaps a cardigan and a V-neck. Truly an investment (in your own comfort and coziness), if you launder them carefully they will repay you with many years of warmth and fuzziness – a chic antidote for Canadian winters.
6. Pump it up
Stilettos (heel height approx. 3" or higher) are sexy, but before you buy your next pair, ask your self: how much wear will I actually get out of these towering beauties? If you’ll only don them a few times in the next year, skip the sculptural, calf-shortening footwear and sink your money into a pair of (just as sexy) leather pumps (heel height approx. 2.5" or lower). Be they peep-toe, sling-back or patent leather, a well-made pump can take your look from day to night without (universally un-hot) calluses.
7. Jeans that fit just right
There are a few fashion essentials that necessitate the perfect fit: bras, suits, swimwear and (I could go on but will stop here) jeans. With jeans, you know right away when you’ve found the ones, though getting there can be an arduous, self-esteem shaking journey. May I suggest that if and when you do find them, don't look at the price tag. Can you really put a value on your hips and butt looking incredible, and that instant swagger to your step? Bite the bullet and invest. If only to avoid jeans shopping for a couple of years. Oh, and forget about denim trends that don’t suit your shape -- it's not you; it's the jeans.
8. A drawer full of leggings
No, leggings are not pants, but they don't need to be: they're leggings! They are your fashion workhorse. Comfortable and insanely versatile, pair them with a slouchy, drape-y tank and flip flops; heels and a pretty tunic; or short dress and boots – the possibilities are endless. Always have a few pairs in black, grey and neutral shades that will span the seasons, and look for legging with a bit of lycra in the weave, to help keep their shape over time.
9. Skirting around
Have two types of skirts on-hand: one in a dark solid that's more formfitting and basic, the other bright, printed and flirty. Don’t worry about hemline trends: they change faster than you can zip yourself up and you’ll end up wasting money on lengths that don’t work for you. Again, just go with what suits your shape – that is to say your legs, your hips and your waistline.
10. In the trenches
Second only to the LBD, a classic belted trench coat in black or beige is one of those fashion staples that's forever elegant. Single breasted is best and look for something lined. A belted tie enhances any waistline and make sure to keep it just above knee length or shorter -- you'll want to show some leg in this saucy number. In fact, wear it over your favourite LBD, and you’ve got yourself a serious, one-two fashion punch that will never go out of style.
Written by: Gemma Pines