Is the bedroom closet your favorite room? Do you cultivate your wardrobe carefully, spending time and hard-earned money piecing together outfits? Clothing is a perfect way to express your unique personality and style, and the right look can help you shine inside and out. However, finding the most fashionable, well-fitting attire often makes shopping a chore. Whether wrap dresses make you feel your best, fine-knit sweaters keep you cozy or jeans and a tee is your daily uniform, finding the right duds for a reasonable price can feel more like a scavenger hunt than a pleasant shopping experience.
How does your closet set the tone for your look? Let's take a look at five features women want in their clothing.
Trendy Yet Wearable Styles
Most of us can't afford runway-ready clothing, but we still want to wear what's trendy each season. Keeping up with appearances can be a challenge, however, since trends change constantly. But when you're able to put together the perfect outfit, you're sure to turn heads and feel like a fashion maven.
Finding the trendiest looks is a lot easier than it used to be, thanks to the Internet, fashion magazines, blogs and women's clothing store windows. There's a reason why fashion magazines are 500 pages long! That doesn't mean you should be all trendy, all the time, though. Those peacock blue jeans may look spot-on this summer, but next year they'll probably fizzle out. Be choosy with your trendy outfits -- they may only last a season or two.
Really -- $50 dollars for a T-shirt? Women expect and deserve reasonable pricing for apparel. Clothing is certainly not cheap these days, so try to find pieces at a good price point to ensure that you can stay on budget and still be fashion-forward.
So, what's reasonable pricing for fashionable attire? There's no true answer for this question, but if you're willing to dish out more cash for designer duds (and you take care of your clothes), your dollars may go a little further. There's a reason why expensive labels have a higher price tag. Aside from using premium fabrics, high-end designers generally spend more time and effort developing and producing clothing lines. Unfortunately, the term "you get what you pay for" applies, and the less expensive the item, the more likely it won't last more than a single season.
Ease of Care
Clothing that's easy to take care of is a huge bonus when shopping. Women want clothes to look new, even after multiple washings. Is it too much to expect T-shirts not to shrink or for jeans to not fade after a few spins in the dryer? Definitely not! And while not every piece of clothing is fit for the washing machine, the ability to keep a wardrobe in tact without having to replace items too often won't deplete your bank account. Just make sure to check labels before you buy items. You'd be surprised at how many simple shirts and pants are now recommended to be hand washed and air-dried, rather than washed in a machine. If taking care of clothing beyond sorting and folding is too much for you, skip those pieces and find something easier to care for.
Flattering Shape That Stays That Way
That little black dress fits your shape better than anything else in your closet. But why is it so tough to find more clothing that's truly flattering? Women of all sizes often experience this issue. Since there's no universal sizing standard, designers can basically create a clothing line and slap on any range of sizing they want. You may be a six in one store, and then an eight (or even a 10) in another. The result of this mind-boggling system can be frustrating, to say the least!
What's the best way to find what fits? Figure out which brands fit you best and stay loyal. That way you can visit a store without taking multiple sizes of the same outfits into a changing room!
Fashion and Function
Women want to look chic, whether they spend their day in an office or driving kids to soccer practice. Finding pieces that are functional but still fashionable is the key to any successful wardrobe. You don't have to break the bank to achieve a continuously stylish look. By staying simple and adding trendier pieces during each new season, you can feel and look good in your clothes, regardless if you're sitting in the carpool line or standing around the water cooler.
Here are some year-round closet essentials:
- basic staples, such as tees, tanks and jeans
- a tailored jacket or two, to dress up shirts and T-shirts
- two or three simple yet classic dresses
- layering pieces, such as gauzy cardigan sweaters
- pants and skirts that fit well and can be dressed up or down
- accessories such as scarves and jewelry to mix and match
The most important tip we can give you is to stay true to yourself. Trends come and go, but as long as you're happy with how you look, you're as fashionable as you'll ever need to be.
Squeezing into a tight pair of Spanx can make you look better, if not feel better. Learn about shapewear by reading this article at HowStuffWorks.
- Clifford, Stephanie. "One Size Fits Nobody: Seeking a Steady 4 or a 10." The New York Times. April 24. 2011. (May 6, 2012) http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/25/business/25sizing.html
- Holmes, Elizabeth and Rachel Dodes. "Unable to Stretch Further, Apparel Makers Raise Prices." Wall Street Journal. Nov. 4, 2010. (May 6, 2012) http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304879604575582673135103404.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTWhatsNewsCollection
- Me-ality.com (May 6, 2012) http://www.me-ality.com/
- Spradley, Nykia. "Do I Really Need to Dry-Clean This?" Real Simple. (May 6, 2012) http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/cleaning/laundry/do-i-have-to-dry-clean-this-00000000025108/index.html
- Tapert, Annette. "The Master Cleanse." Wall Street Journal. Jan. 21, 2012. (May 7, 2012) http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204555904577166833186678126.html