How do you spend money wisely on your clothes?
Quality over trends
Spend on signature pieces
What Does Quality Look Like?
- Fabric drapes nicely, doesn’t stick to the skin or other garments, doesn’t distort. A high-quality garment will naturally hang well, you don’t have to pull at it and fidget with it to make it sit where it’s supposed to.
- Fabric feels nice to the touch. Natural fibers are a plus, but if artificial fibers are used, they should be difficult to tell from natural. (Technical clothing excepted – but it should still feel nice).
- Garments that should have a lining – do. Lining hangs free and doesn’t show on the outside. Lining fabric is likewise quality.
- All seams should be finished properly. Most garments now are serged, but you will still find french seams on translucent garments. The seams should be even, and not prone to ravelling.
- A quality garment has a weight to it or is nearly weightless – there’s not much in between.
- Are made to last.
Signature pieces vs. cast members
- Start with the things that catch your eye. Here, the jacket is the signature piece. If you’re going to wear a look like this, the jacket has to be awesome. And that’s where you put your money and your love – please don’t buy something as a signature piece that doesn’t feel like you! That’s pointless – this is your signature, not mine. No forging allowed!!
- Anything that catches the eye must be flawless and speak for you properly. (What does that mean? Might be a good time to buy my book, Wardrobe Communication).
- (Important note: If you will be removing your jacket when you settle into work and it is your signature item, it will become invisible as it hangs on the back of your chair – make sure your blouse can hold its own and you have another, smaller signature item as backup).
- The old-school way of treating cast members is to get one or two cast members that are functionally invisible (black pants, dark-blue jeans) and wear them repeatedly. This still works – if you can find a perfect pair of “invisible” black pants, you can wear them three days/wk and no one will be the wiser. If you want to use this technique, quality becomes paramount (because the item will be taking hard wear) and a very classic look becomes essential. (In other words, you can wear the straight black trouser as much as you like, but the black palazzo pants are more eye-catching). This is great for the minimalists out there!
- The newer way to do this is to get multiple less-expensive cast members that are of decent (but not exceptional) quality. NOTE: Poor quality *is* visible, and you cannot throw the polyester nightmare in the mix and expect it do this job properly! So you have your basic dark-wash jeans – no rips, no design details, no major fake-fade. You have your basic t-shirts/tank tops in neutral colors (ivory/white, black/navy, nude/grey). You have your mid-range grey slacks, your navy pencil skirt. Whatever the “invisible” clothes for your lifestyle are. These are probably going to be found at a medium price point.
You don’t have to break the bank to have great style!
If you’d rather have someone else mess with this for you, drop me a line. firstname.lastname@example.org