Don’t be a slave to fashion

Posted on: 4th August, 2015

Category: Image

Contributor: Louise O'Dwyer

‘Fashion fades, only style remains.’ Coco Chanel

You really can be a dedicated follower of fashion without having to be ‘draped’ in all of the latest trends. Buying up clothes just because they are ‘in’, irrelevant of whether they flatter or not, is entering into ‘fashion victim’ territory.

Learn to be a steadfast follower of style, this will give you the freedom to ‘jump’ in and out and pick amazing pieces without having to ‘buy the whole litter, runt and all’. I guess now is as good a time as any to remind you of this, what with ‘SALE’ signs greeting us at every shop entrance. Is it ever really worth buying all that ‘stuff’ just because it was 50 per cent off?

Sale shopping is an art and there are rules that apply and require strict adherence to. The first and very golden rule is to make a list before you go shopping — write down what you ‘do’ actually need to pull parts of your wardrobe together and identify what’s missing! People who make lists, just like people who write down their goals, always end up with a much better ‘end’ result — it’s a well proven fact — and they spend a lot less money getting it very right.

Moving on, always, always have a budget and only deviate outside that budget when you find something that is absolutely amazing; in other words, you instantly know and feel when you fit it on that it’s ‘made for you’.

Shopping in the sales is like trying to tackle a difficult math problem, easy and second nature for some, a complete nightmare for others. Those ‘nightmare’ trips can and do involve the ‘shopper’ going into a zone or trance, where the brain more-or-less shuts down; and the small percentage left active convinces you that ‘you are on a winning streak’ and all of your purchases are ‘to die for’. On returning home your brain reboots and this is when ‘reality’ kicks right back in and screams at you ‘What the hell were you thinking?’ You are left emotionally battered and bruised and the contents of the shopping bags will ‘never’ leave your house. You think back to how ridiculous you must have looked in the fitting room and wonder did you order a bottle of vodka instead of a sparkling water with your lunch? This is a big style confidence kickback — you become unsure of your judgement. The knock-on effect is that it makes you look at the rest of your wardrobe and wonder if you ever really did get it right in the first place. All I can say to you is ‘don’t dwell on it’. Move on. Console yourself with the fact that some of the most amazing styles or trends were happened upon by accident — one woman’s disaster could be another woman’s signature style! Maybe you can salvage a few bits, if not, learn a lesson and vow never ever again to fall for ‘just because it’s reduced by 70 per cent you have to buy it’!

Certain trends involve several pieces to complete a look; this can be where people fall down badly. I’m all for interpreting a look and making it ‘your own’ with a little twist but some trends should stay firmly on the catwalk. Wide-leg trousers can look fantastic but they desperately need an opposite heel height and adjacent accessory. I always think that when you are clothes shopping you need to be solid about who you are, rather than who you aspire to be. Trust your gut. Tap into that feeling ‘when you know you know’, so that when you ‘don’t know’, you know to leave it behind and not waste another precious minute of your life in the dressing room.

Be adventurous to a point and when it comes to shopping for underwear in the sales, ‘go hell for leather’. You cannot ice a badly made cake and expect it to look good so use the sales to buy really good quality underwear at a fraction of the cost, to wrap you in what you deserve — the very best. It pains me that so many women leave underwear as an afterthought or try to make do with what they have had for years. Become a clever shopper, stand back and watch and think about what will serve you best, make you look your best and keep you looking your best.

Shoe shopping in the sales is not ‘boring’ — it’s intelligent. Quality is a must — your feet need comfort and comfort costs money, so always take advantage of discounted shoes. Bags are another ‘goodie’ in the sales, quality bags that is. ‘Seek them out’ — they are to be found. Classic costume jewellery is another winner — find stylish pieces that will take you through many an event.

Finally, jeans deserve a shopping day all to themselves. Find your perfect fit and take advantage of the fact that they might be discounted somewhat at the moment. We are all seduced by the exotic scent of ‘newness’. Who doesn’t love a new pair of jeans or a new anything for that matter? You deserve something new; just think a little about what ‘new ‘style item you need and go for it and don’t forget keep it local.

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