Fashion Rules I Wish My Mother Taught Me
Peta Barker | On 03, Dec 2014
All too often I read of fashionable women learning their ways from a sartorially blessed mother, aunt or grandmother.
Betty Halbreich sought comfort in her grandmother and mother’s wardrobes, amongst silk negligÃ©e’s and fur coats. While Leandra Medine’s grandmother introduced her to bold fashion as well as purchased her first pair of designer shoes, Jimmy Choo sandals, as well as gifting Leandra with her own ostrich skin Hermes clutch and green vintage Chanel bag. Bee Shaffer had Anna Wintour to help her choose a prom dress! Sadly, I was not so fortunate. Though gifting me in many other ways the women in my life did not impart their sartorial wisdom, learned over many decades. As the desire for beautiful things seemed to be innate, as much as my petite feet or green eyes, I had to learn the fashion truths the hard way. Here I will share with you some style wisdom I learnt along a sometimes awkward, occasionally embarrassing but always exciting fashion journey.
1. Dress For Confidence, Not Comfort
Nothing is more comfortable than being confident. If you know your outfit is ticking all the boxes and you feel proud of your appearance, you will have a level of comfortability in your own skin which can only be achieved by confidence. The power of the perfect cocktail dress, curve hugging jeans or a flattering suit cannot be down played, it could change how you enjoy a special event or how you perform in a job interview. What makes a woman feel confident varies from woman to woman, wearing heels or wedges during daylight hours makes me feel queasy whilst it empowers others. There is no ‘one size fits all’ for confident dressing, it is something you will learn along the way.
2. Price Does Not Equal Quality
An exxy price tag does not ensure a hard wearing, long-lasting piece. Often you will pay for the label, location of purchase or current trend rather the actual item.Â Pieces worth the price are usually natural fibres such as cotton, linen, silks or luxurious fabrics such as lace and fur. Check the stitching and detailing from the inside of the piece, if it looks messy, loose or of a low quality thread give it a miss. Whilst expensive doesn’t always equal quality,Â inexpensive does frequently mean low quality. You have to be discerning, and often disregard the price tag to evaluate the quality of the item.
3. Care For Garments Properly
A lot of wasted money and heartbreak can be saved if you read and follow the care instructions. If the tag says dry clean only or hand wash only, my goodness follow it! Too often I have ruined a silk number or gotten holes in a linen shirt by machine washing. Sure dry cleaning can seem like an expensive pain, but its not as expensive as only wearing a $300 silk dress once because you ruined it in the wash.Â Take a bundle of dry clean items at once to save money rather than dry cleaning each piece individually.
4.Â Understand Your Shape And Work With It
As a pear shaped woman I have spent most of my teenage and young adult years fighting against my ‘non-model’ proportioned body. Usually the styles, trends and looks which are in season suit a taller, slimmer frame. As a fashion lover, this has frequently been a point of utter dismay. When I decided to embrace my shape and the clothes that flattered me I began to feel more confident and attractive in my clothes. It has also forced me to create my own style, a signature if you like. High waisted skirts, waist emphasising dress and knee and longer length hems are my ‘thing’. Slim leg anything, shorts and minis are NOT. Figure out what works for you shape and run with that.
5. Invest In Fashion
As much fun as cheap and cheerful pieces are, they don’t stand the test of time in their quality or style. Build a wardrobe of quality, classic pieces which you love and will be wearable for many, many years. A $60 frockÂ seems like a steal, but if you only wear it once or maybe a handful of times and then it loses its lustre or you become bored with it, was not so cheap after all. A quality dress which might set you back a few hundred dollars seems steep, though you will treasureÂ it for many years, wearing it countless times. Additionally, the feeling you get from wearing a quality piece, which will no doubt flatter you more than cheaper alternatives, is priceless. Cost per wear is a very real excuse to purchaseÂ luxury pieces.
6. Only Purchase Things You Love
By only purchasing things you absolutely adore, your wardrobe will become a happy place, always with something to wear. Clothes should give you some level of satisfaction, so if you don’t love it in the change room, whatever you do, don’t purchase it! You won’t like it anymore at home. By being selective you will save yourself money as well as having a carefully curated wardrobe which is easy to navigate and enjoy. Remember having a huge wardrobe is not necessarily a good thing.