What I learned in my 20's about fashion
So in a little over a week I will be saying good-bye to my 20's and hello to my 30's.
With this comes bittersweet reflection on some of my fashion choices over the last decade.
As you've probably seen on my Instagram, I moved back to Portland a few weeks ago. Spending the last 4 years in Los Angeles had definitely changed my wardrobe. Los Angeles is a very car influenced city. You can wear the highest heels since walking isn't very common in Los Angeles. Since I lived dead center in the city I was driving pretty much everywhere. My shoe game changed and so did my wardrobe as a whole. Less layering pieces and more statement dresses. Less boots and more high heeled sandals. Now that I am back in Portland and living in a highly walkable area I have been selling off my high heels and opting for low heeled sandals and booties. New rule (2 inches or less). I have been selling off a lot of "going out" dresses and opting for comfortable tops and dresses I know I can layer in the winter with tights and a jacket. I am trading in a lot of frivolous pieces for practical pieces and as a whole reflection of my fashion choices this also feels like a change from 20's to 30's. So in a sort of a "funeral to my 20's" I thought I would share some of my favorite fashion tips and tricks and I have learned over the years.
1. REALLY try it on
So I am a big online shopper, but this tip is for online and in store buyers. When you try on a piece of clothing...really try it on. Do a walk in it. Make sure you can sit in it comfortably. Make sure when you bend over that your butt isn't hanging out. Make sure you have a bra that works well with it. Make sure that it's not so tight that breathing will be an uphill battle an hour later. Pretty much make sure it is a wearable piece of clothing not a mannequin piece of clothing. There is nothing worse then trying something on in front of a mirror, liking the way it looks when you stand still then finally wearing it out and realizing the skirt rides up when you walk. Clothes are meant to be lived in.
2. Shop on safe and reliable websites
The thing about online shopping is it is global. There are so many companies out of China that make knock offs of dresses and clothing at a HUGE fraction of the price. It's really tempting but most of the time those items are measured for Asian body frames, which are usually very, very petite. The items will be much shorter and tighter than a standard size even if it's marked as a Small it may fit more like an XX-Small. Also these websites will pull photo's from the original sites and send you poorly made knock offs. That For Love & Lemons dress is not going to look and feel like a real one in person. I learned that one the hard way. I would also suggest only shopping on out of country websites that accept PayPal. PayPal will secure any returns, lost/damaged items ect. Items shipped globally are more prone to be damaged or lost. Also a lot of cheaper over sea sites do not accept returns or if they do you have to pay for shipping which costs up to $20. When shopping online read all the fine print on returns/exchanges ect. Sometimes items can be finale sale even if not marked final sale on the site and only listed as a sale item. Certain items will be non-returnable whether they are full or sale price. Some companies will make you responsible for paying to ship back a return. This is important to keep your costs low when shopping online and to make the shopping process more enjoyable. Make sure the website is a safe website to buy from. A lot of time if the site isn't secure your credit card information can get lost in the interwebspace world and those lovely hackers will gladly drain your bank account. Once again, if PayPal is an option I strongly suggest always using PayPal.
3.You should be "geling"
Dr.Scholls makes a ton of gel inserts tailored for lady foot wear. Insoles for your flats, gel pads for the soles of your heels and other foot saving treats! Going to Disneyland? You should be geling. Attending a wedding? You should definitely be geling because taking your shoes off on a dance floor wedding is NEVER classy.
4. Don't over spend on "on trend" pieces
I get it, there are fun "trend" pieces every season, but it's pretty key to never over spend on these. Anything with a bold print or non-classic cut should be viewed as a tend piece aka a velvet mod print crop top. SO FUN to wear like...twice. It will not be something you can wear again and again. Try to set a limit for yourself on items that are trend pieces. Give yourself a max budget, like $50 or something like that. I don't believe in spending over $100 on a trend piece UNLESS it's a special occasion piece (like a dress to wear to a wedding or fun festive cocktail party).
5. Vintage jewelry is always a good idea
If you're looking for unique items for your closet I suggest one of the best ways is to invest in some beautiful vintage jewelry. The odds of anyone else having that same piece are slim to none. It's something that is an open size and you can pass on to a friend or family member in the future or easily resell if needed. Etsy is my favorite site for vintage pieces.
6.Disinfect your handbags
So......sometimes there is not always a free seat to set your handbag on or the strap doesn't stay on the back of your chair so you are left to set it down on the ground, or on the bottom of a grocery cart, or on a gas station counter or a public bathroom sink, which is absolutely disgusting no matter how clean it look...all of these places are covered in germs.....I strongly suggest disinfecting the bottom of your crossbody/tote bags on a weekly basis. I like using a Lysol wipe. Be careful with what you use on your bag though. Alcohol can rub off any stained color on the material. It's best too to spot test on any leather handbags.
7.Resell VS Donate
When I was younger and had more money for frivolous things (aka all the clothing) I would just donate everything at the end of the year. Now when I decide to retire something from my wardrobe I usually have a donation pile and a resell pile. In the donation pile I donate items like: jeans, comfortable shoes, sweaters, warm jackets, and items that could be worn on a work interview. In my resell pile I have items like: high heels, party dresses, on trend pieces. I use what I make from selling my clothing on sites like Poshmark for future wardrobe pieces. I donate items that I know someone in need can actually wear and use. I like to purge my closet at least twice a year to keep things fresh. My rule s if I have not worn an items in 16 months it either needs to be donated or sold.
My husband turned me onto searching for coupon codes. I ALWAYS do a google search now before buying from websites. Usually RetailMeNot.com is a good source but it's always smart to do a full Google search just in case. Also if the store has a 'registered customer' option I always suggest signing up for their emails, guest check in ect because usually you'll get a "xxx% off your first purchase" email within 24 hours.
9. Only browse the SALE section of bigger name stores
For bigger websites like Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Nordstrom, Free People, ASOS ect ect I know that a large amount of their regularly priced items can be out of my price range so I opt to always try and only browse their sale section. This keeps me from feeling tempted to spend money on an item that could very well go on sale very soon and keeps my bank account happy!