Last week I posted a list of 10 things women should never buy cheap. Today, I’ve got a list of wardrobe rules every woman should follow. No need to go out and buy a bunch of stuff, these are just 10 simple guidelines we ladies need to keep in mind while putting our wardrobes together and getting dressed.
I’m excited to get through these!! You ready for this?
1. Start with the basics.
LBD. Black trousers. Pencil skirt. Black pumps. Dark wash jeans. Basic white tee. These are just a few of the basics that make up the foundation of a good wardrobe. I haven’t written that post yet lol, but if you need help piecing it together, here are a few posts you can check out:
Wardrobes should be as unique as the women who wear them. Your basics are going to be a bit different than mine but the main idea is to have those pieces that are classic, trend-proof, versatile, long-lasting and flattering to you and you’ll have the perfect foundation for a great wardrobe that will fit your needs and lifestyle.
2. Quality over quantity
Don’t worry so much about have a lot of clothing rather than having good quality pieces. I can attest to the fact that this can be difficult when you’re working with a real limited budget. But whenever possible, always choose a couple quality pieces rather than filling your closet with lots of cheap stuff that will fall apart on you after just a few wears.
3. Just because it’s in your size doesn’t mean you can wear it.
Seriously, if I had to choose just one out of the ten on this list, this would probably be it. Not trying to be mean but let’s just please be honest–some ladies wear things they have absolutely no business wearing. Just because your size is on the tag doesn’t mean it’ll look good on you. And this goes for all sizes. There are things I pull off the rack that look ridiculous on me when I try them on. There are things that slender girls can pull off that not-so-slender girls can’t and there are things that curvy girls can wear that slender girls don’t look good in. Just because it looked good on your friend, in the magazine, or on the mannequin doesn’t mean it’ll fit you right. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Shop for your body type; don’t just blindly settle for whatever’s in right now. If you’re not sure what looks good on you, bring someone with you that will tell you the truth next time you go shopping. You want to look your best not some lesser version of someone else’s style.
4. If you’re not 100% sure, don’t buy it.
And while you’re out shopping, consider this rule. It has been my cardinal shopping rule for years and has served me well. If you’re not 100% sure, don’t buy it. Think about those things in your closet that you bought on a whim. Maybe you wore it once. But you probably didn’t. You wish you hadn’t spent the money and now it’s just taking up space because you keep telling yourself that you’ll wear it one day.
That feeling in your gut that tells you maybe you shouldn’t buy something? Pay attention. Those are your instincts kicking in and they may very well be right. Unless you’re a fixer-upper, don’t buy fixer-uppers. If it doesn’t fit quite right, isn’t quite the right shade, isn’t a reasonable price, doesn’t go with anything else you own, then think twice before you purchase. I usually throw pieces in my cart and walk around with it for awhile and then consider it again to see if I still really want it. Granted, there are times when you just have to suck it up and buy something but most of the time, if you’re unsure, chances are you’ll forget about it once you get home.
5. Class over trend.
Coco Chanel said that “Fashion changes but style endures,” and I think she’s right. Think about what we were wearing 10 years ago. Fifteen years ago. Twenty years ago. And even though trends come and go, I think we generally have a good sense of what looks classic, especially on women. Some things never go out of style. This is why it’s important to build on basics, not trend.
It’s okay to have trendy pieces if you happen to like them but don’t build your wardrobe with them. Every woman can take classic and tweak it to fit her personality. Coco Chanel also said “Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.” I don’t think I own anything Chanel so I’m not trying to brand promote but I agree with this statement too. You’re not trying to make a splash with some fantastically hand-crafted, complex wardrobe. You’re trying to build something that’s functional, long-lasting, and unique as you are.
6. Cling wrap is for leftovers.
Ladies, can we please stop with the skintight from head to toe? Now, I have to tread lightly cause, as a slender girl, it’s super easy for me to just wear super-fitting clothing without the worry of bulges and bumps. But that doesn’t mean I should. Back to what I said about not wearing something just cause it’s in your size. Let me just be real candid–if you’re concerned about your weight or trying to lose some pounds or inches, wearing tight-fitting garments just exacerbates the problem; you just end up highlighting the areas that are least flattering and it’s not doing yourself any favors. On the flip side, if you’re like me and it’s hard to even put on weight, tight-fitting garments can make you look skinnier which can be misconstrued as sickly.
Everyone has their take on this but I think there is a way to tastefully wear pieces that fit your form without looking like someone painted on your clothing. Marilyn Monroe is quoted to have said, “Your clothes should be tight enough to know you’re a woman but loose enough to show you’re a lady.” I think that’s a good place to start.
7. Be practical.
There are times when I’ll see something in the store or in a magazine and think, man, I’d love to have one of those! But truth be told, I’d probably never wear it cause it doesn’t fit my lifestyle. When shopping, consider your lifestyle. You may need a special occasion outfit every so often but that’s what they are–special occasion outfits. Spend more of your resources on what’s practical, affordable, and classic. That way, you’ll have a wardrobe that’s functional rather than a closet that’s full of stuff you never wear.
8. Wear the proper undergarments.
I’m just going to put it out there — I don’t want to know you’re wearing a thong. And I don’t particularly want to see your panty line either. And make sure your bra matches the style of top you’re wearing (i.e. halter top, halter cut or strapless bra). But please do wear a bra! And make sure it fits so it doesn’t look funny beneath your blouse or t-shirt (I’m talking bulges and dips if you know what I mean). If it’s got a thin skirt, buy a slip–yes, I know it’s old-fashioned but they make ’em for a reason. There is an appropriate undergarment for every outfit you could possibly wear–please consider that when you’re getting dressed. I have probably broken more undergarment rules than I care to recollect but, from now on, let’s just be conscious of what other people might see when we’re out and about. Life has enough awkward moments without panties and bras getting in the mix.
9. Learn the art of mix and match.
This is when your basics come into play. I learned the art of mixing and matching partly cause my dad is great at it and partly out of necessity (I didn’t always have the latest and greatest in fashion as a kid). I’m super glad I did cause it’s an invaluable skill. Mixing and matching pieces that you already have will make you feel like you went shopping for new things. It’ll take a few tries but have fun with your clothing and see what great outfits you can create. Some people have a natural talent for colors, patterns, and textures and some don’t. It’s okay if it takes you some time to get the hang of it. Play it safe and always get the opinion of someone else you trust (I did this the other day and learned, 2 minutes before walking out the door, that what I was wearing wasn’t working).
10. Modesty is the best policy.
This could be a whole post all on its own so I’ll keep it short. Everyone has their own personal take on modesty and that’s fine but here’s the bottom line: modesty begins in the heart. You need to consider what your intentions are. I’m going to be honest, there are times when I have to stop myself because I need to rethink what I am wearing and why I am wearing it. Think about the image you’re creating with what you put on. You want people to see you the person not you the body parts. I read this really great article the other week and I think the writer sums it up beautifully.
Do you have rules about wardrobe that you live by? Leave me your thoughts in the comments below, I’d love to hear them!