1. DEFINE YOUR STYLE AND STICK TO IT
Think about the style you’d like to project – it could be ‘modern mum’, ‘sophisticated’ or ‘casual chic’ – and resolve to buy only the trends that fit your personal style. So if you love ladylike clothes, don’t buy platform shoes just because they’re the latest trend. They won’t look right with your wardrobe, they won’t feel “you,” and you’ll regret spending money on something that’s only going to end up at the back of your wardrobe.
2. LOOK FOR LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIPS
Before you take an item up to the cash register, think about how many different places you can wear it and how it works with what’s already in your wardrobe. If you’re buying an embroidered shirt to wear with a skirt for an evening look, you should also be able to dress it down by wearing it under a denim jacket and jeans. If you can’t think of more than a few possible outfits for a potential purchase, don’t hand over your cash.
3. SPEND ON CLASSICS / SCRIMP ON THE FADS
Spend no more than 20 percent of your fashion budget on one-season trends. Learn to identify which items will still look stylish in a year and spend most of your personal fashion allowance on them. As a general fashion rule: the more classic the trend, the longer the shelf life.
4. SHOP SALES AND OUTLETS WITH AN AGENDA
Be very cautious at sale time – it’s easy to be brainwashed by a 50-percent-off sign and waste money on “steals” you’ll never wear. Only buy things that fit your individual style and that you’d almost be willing to pay full price for.
5. INVEST MORE ON YOUR BAG AND YOUR SHOES
If you’re wearing great-looking shoes and carrying a well-constructed handbag, your clothes can be from absolutely anywhere and you’ll still look totally stylish.
6. SUPPLEMENT WITH SECOND-HAND
Second-hand clothes can add an injection of newness into your wardrobe without spending a fortune.
* Skip over most shoes, unless they’re in perfect condition, swimsuits and lingerie. These suffer the most wear and tear, and can be unsanitary.
* Look for flaws. Test zippers and seams. Hold the garment up to the light to detect holes.
* Don’t buy anything if it’s stained, stretched, ripped or faded – you’ll never get them looking good.
7. GO ONLINE
Check out super sale websites like www.ozsale.com.au and www.cocoalee.com.au – and sign up for their newsletters so have the latest sales and deal delivered to your inbox.
8. THE MOST IMPORTANT FASHION TIP: Always wear what makes you feel good!