Nov 19, 2008
Find your style. In other words, find clothes you like, then look back at everything that caught your eye, and try to classify it all. For example, if you find yourself being drawn to bright, colorful, and bold pieces, you're style is probably very bold and maybe risky (in a good way). If you notice that you love to buy lots of skirts and dresses, your style is probably leaning toward a flirty, girly aesthetic. If you liked a mix of everything, then you're free-spirited and your style has no boundaries.
Go to the mall and try out some new places. Now that you've figured your style out, you have a general idea of what to look for. Once you're at the mall, try out as many stores as you can, even if it means going somewhere you've never been into before. Some good, affordable places are Forever 21, Wet Seal, Rue 21, Charlotte Russe, Steve and Barry's, and The Buckle. Try any place that catches your eye.
Stay away from Aeropostale, Abercrombie, American Eagle Outfitters, and Hollister (especially if you're a teen). Yes, they may have cute clothes, but everybody shops there, and you don't want to look like all the others, right? But, if you absolutely must buy something from one of those places, only buy 1 or 2 things.
The mall is not your only hope. If you think the mall is too expensive or if you dislike it, try out other retailers. Kohls and JC Penny have awesome stuff. Other great places are T.J Maxx, Marshall's, Macy's, Boston Store, Target, or Sears. For especially unique and cheap items, hit your local thrift stores. Goodwill and Salvation Army have many one-of-a-kind items for under $10. Look for skirts, vintage dresses, cute purses, scarves, and jewelry.
Remember: FIT is important, NOT SIZE. If you find something you like in a store, try it on! Look for a good fit, not size. You might have to bring a few different sizes into a dressing room, but what difference does it make? You could have the most perfect top in the world but it would look terrible if it's too loose or too tight. Don't get all hung up if you have to buy a size larger or smaller than what you usually wear. Remember, all stores are different; their fits are rarely identical. If you really like something, try on various sizes until you find one that looks best. If none of them do, don't buy it. It may be adorable, but if it's unflattering, you won't enjoy wearing it.
Keep your body type in mind. Flattering your body type is key to looking stylish.
Thin and Short: Look for medium-length shorts, loose minidresses, skinny jeans, and fitted jackets that end at your waist.
Thin and Tall: You can pull off many different looks, but keep proportions in mind. Go for dramatic garments like ankle-length skirts and dresses, wide-leg jeans, and sweater dresses.
Curvy: You should try wrap dresses, tops with vertical details (such as thin stripes or pin tucks), jackets that tie around your natural waist, and boot-leg jeans.
Athletic: Look for pieces that create curves, like flair-leg pants, v-neck blouses,, ruffly tops, and skirts with pleats.Try wearing a wide belt around your waist.
Choose flattering colors to complement your skin tone. If your skin is tan or if you're African-American,try warm colors, like orange, yellow, and red. If your skin is light you should go with cooler colors like blue, green, or purple. Don't worry though, even if you have light skin it doesn't mean you'll never wear orange again. If you'd like to wear warm colors and you're cool (or vice versa) then look for a different shade of that color; i.e.,f you're warm and you want to wear green, look for a deep, forest green. If you're cool and want to wear red, go for a cherry red.
The Internet is a very stylish place. You can find extremely cute clothes online as well! It's perfect because if you buy your clothes from sites that don't have stores, it's very unlikely that someone will have the same piece as you. Some great sites are:
The only downside to online shopping is that you can't try on anything. Be sure to take a look at the sizing charts and return policies and you should be fine.
Shoes rule!! Shoes are a very important part of an outfit. Be sure to keep in mind your style and the season while shoe shopping.
Sandals are good for spring.
Flip flops are great for summer (buy lots of cheap, solid color pairs so you can mix and match).
Ballet flats are perfect for fall.Boots and clogs are best for winter. Sneakers are also good options for cooler months. But if you are going to chose to wear sneakers, don't pick out just plain old athletic shoes: save those for the gym. Instead get stylish ones, such as Converses or Vans. Another fabulous option is to personalize your own! You can design your own Nike, Converses, or Vans at each of their respective websites. (Beware, though, this can be expensive.) A cheaper way to personalize is to buy different laces. One more option could even be to buy a cheap pair in a light color and draw on them in Sharpie! I recently bought these tan sneakers for $15 at Kohls and I took them home and drew all over them! I get so many compliments on them now. You could draw anything you like on them, from song lyrics to cartoons to patterns! The choice is yours.
Accessories can turn a blah outfit into a wow outfit! Just like shoes, accessories like jewelry, belts, purses, hats, and sunglasses can make or break your style. The best place in the world for jewelry is Claire's! Their necklaces, earrings, and bracelets are super cute and very affordable. They even offer ear piercings from professionals! Get some basic hoop and stud earrings that will go with anything, and it would also be a good idea to get a cute, versatile charm necklace too. Bangle bracelets look great with loads of things. For belts, don't spend a whole lot of money on them. Just get two or three. Target has loads of belts and they're pretty affordable. Studded or braided belts look nice with pretty much everything. Also, at some stores a belt comes with a pair of jeans, so look out for that too. (I know Kohl's juniors does this.) Chunky belts that go around your waist look fabulous with a slouchy-neck or cashmere sweater. It really gives you an hourglass figure. Target is a great place to get cheap purses, too. I know, most articles will tell you that a designer purse is essential, but really, not all of them are that great and a lot of people don't like spending $200 that a purse that will barely hold their keys and their cell phone. (I know I don't!) Get something that's a medium-ish size, so you're not lugging around this giant thing wherever you go. (Unless you're into tote bags! American Eagle has some great ones, and it's one of the few times you should buy something from one of those teeny-bopper stores.) But whether or not you're into large purses, be sure it isn't too big. Put it over your shoulder in the store. If it's way longer than your waist, or way thicker than your side, it's too big. You don't want to look ridiculous lugging around something that looks like you could fit a body in. As for sunglasses, find out your face shape and what shape of sunglasses would look best on you. Round shaped faces should get square shaped sunglasses, and square shaped faces should get round-ish sunglasses, or aviators. They should be big, but not huge like Nicole Richie or Paris Hilton's. It looks ridiculous. But over all, for accessories, the general rule is don't over accessorize. If you're wearing five necklaces, a stack of bangles up your arms, a belt, big earrings, big sunglasses, and carrying a purse the size of a small elephant, you're not going to be able to walk. If you think it looks like too much (if you need to ask, it probably is) then take off one item before you leave the house.
A good way to keep up on current trends and find new outfits you like is to subscribe to a fashion magazine. Seventeen is a very good one, as it has quite a lot about fashion and the clothes are affordable for the most part. But don't rely on trends too much, because trend means something everyone wears, and like I mentioned early, you do not want to look like everyone else.
A cool thing to do is to keep a fashion scrapbook! Take an old, empty notebook (like one you'd use for school) cut out clothes you like from a fashion magazine you're subscribed to, and glue them into the notebook! It's really fun and it's cool to look back and see how your style has changed or stayed the same through the years.
If you really like something, but it's too long, don't be afraid to get it tailored! Find a tailor nearby your neighborhood and have him or her change it to what you'd like. Most of the time it isn't too expensive, roughly $20 I think. But it will be worth it to have that dress altered to the perfect height to make you look like a goddess!
Don't be afraid to take risks in the dressing rooms! If you see something you like but are hesitant to buy it because you aren't sure if it would flatter your body type, then try it on. For example, if you really like those shorts but have curvier legs, then why not take it to the dressing room? You'll never know until you actually put it on! And if it does look bad, who cares? It's not like anybody has to see you.
Always flatter your favorite body parts! If you love your long, beautiful legs, show them off in miniskirts and short-shorts with flats! If you adore your skinny, tanned arms, flaunt them with halter and tank tops! You like your curvy butt? Proudly display it to the world with capri pants and jeans with designs on the pockets! Like they say, if you've got it, flaunt it.
Dress respectably. In other words, don't look like a slut. There's nothing wrong with drawing attention to certain parts of your body, but know where to draw the line. The rule of thumb is that if you're going to show off your legs, wear a modest shirt. If you're wearing a low cut top, then replace your shorts with jeans. Never do it all at once. Don't wear skin tight, low riding jeans (especially with thongs!). Don't wear paper thin, super low cut tops either. Be sure you're bra isn't showing. (Straps are okay most of the time, only if it's a little bit. Like with tank tops it might even look good if it's colored.) You don't want that sort of attention.
Never, ever change your style for somebody else! Now that you have a new style, a new wardrobe, some people will love it and some won't. Some may even be jealous! Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Ignore the dirty looks you might get. Who cares what those other people think? You're dressing for you, not for some living Barbie doll in your geography class. Accept compliments you get with a smile, and simply ignore the icy ones. What matters is reflecting yourself as a person through you're clothes, not the opinion of some jealous female dog. :)
Posted by Jane at Wednesday, November 19, 2008 |