Why Classic Styles Offer the Best Clothing Value

This question - or variations thereof - regularly hits my inbox from readers all over the world. While we may not all speak the same language, there are a few things upon which we can all agree that make...

So what's a gal to do, particularly when she's been saddledwith champagne tastes on a beer budget?

First, set down those glossy fashion magazines and backaway from them slowly. They can be dangerous, particularlyif you don't know how to use them. $700 pants? $500 shoes? Who can afford to buy these things? Not many! Look at what's popular, swipe some styling ideas, then goreplicate the looks in prices that you can afford.

Secondly, start viewing any “must have” list with healthyskepticism. These are the latest trends that the designersare showing that will be dated by this time next year. Some will be cute, true, but others will only be cute onthe models that show them. Once you learn what looks goodon you and what doesn't, you'll be a lot less susceptibleto buying what others say you “must have” each season.

Finally, invest in classic pieces that work well on yourbody. It's the single best way to get the most mileage outof your clothing budget, because you can wear classicstyles for several years without ever looking dated. Top aclassic base with a trendy accessory, and you'll look “aucourant” without going in the red.

So what exactly ARE classic styles, and how do you know onewhen you see it?

Classics are styles that have been popular for yearsbecause of their clean lines and utilitarian features. While trends are instantly recognizable by length, pattern, or decoration, classics transcend time with their cut, style, and fabric. They can be worn alone, layered, dressed up or dressed down, and can be made to look currentby adding something trendy.

Examples of classics include: Jeans, turtleneck, cardigan, T-shirt, sleeveless Sheath, tailored Jacket, crisp shirt, trench Coat, kelly bag, penny loafer

There are some years when these styles are more popular andsome years when they're less, but they continue to sellwell because they fit a variety of body types and offer asimple, unfussy silhouette. Get them in basic, solidcolors, and you can wear them for years to come.

But won't you get bored with the “same old thing?”

Only if you have no imagination.

The neat thing about classics is that they not only lookgreat all by themselves, they serve as a wonderful backdropto flashier pieces. Add a snazzy jacket, funky hosiery, ora great pair of shoes, and you'll be able to brilliantlyshowcase the new piece using your classic staples as abackdrop.

Your friends, family, and coworkers will think you spend afortune on your clothes, when in reality you're merelyadding a few “to die for” pieces each year. It's a cleverway to expand your wardrobe choices without overspendingyour budget or over-cramming your closet.

So the next time you're in a quandary as to what to add toyour wardrobe, opt for classics. They're clean, versatile,easy-to-wear and make the most of your budget. Dressing well just doesn't get any easier than this!

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