Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Stylish Dressing On A Budget

Winter 2015 Outfit Picks


Today I'm sharing my top 3 outfits for day-to-day activities, featuring current items available at my favourite (affordable) stores like H&M, Joe Fresh, Zara, Nine West and Gap. I wanted to throw some looks together with a spending limit of around $200 to show how easy it is to stay trendy on a budget. 

For date night, I grabbed a few great staples from H&M like a cute graphic tee, faux leather jacket and boyfriend jeans. Smoking flats in a pretty red suede paired with an army green bag makes this look really current and effortless.

Workwear is challenging since dress code varies from place to place. I love tweed textures, and this skirt sits at the hips for optimal comfort. A silky blue blouse, opaque tights and snazzy black booties will bring on the chic while still looking professional. I also love this nude Zara bag, it reminds me of my Longchamp fave featured here.

On the weekend, cozy sweaters in rich gemstone tones work perfectly with skinny jeans. I'm also a big fan of subtle leopard print scarves and burgundy accessories. Bonus, these boots look really similar to Frye's but are only $50 (on sale). Don't forget about the jewels that can be paired with all three looks. Gold is my go-to for costume jewellery since the simple pieces can look super expensive.

All the items in these sets are current and should be in stock. You can find them online through clicking on the image above and accessing the sites through Polyvore's app or website. 

Resorting to an expensive designer when trying to "look stylish" isn't always the best idea. Roopal Patel, a luxury fashion consultant agrees: 
“[High fashion] makes the consumer feel like they’re part of this club,” she says. “These items have a seal of approval on them. The designers have said, 'Yes, if you wear this, consider yourself fashionable.’ And in turn, magazines and editors are delivering the same message.” -StyleList

Sadly, this is painstakingly false. Before selling your soul to a high-end luxury brand, read through The 7 Habits of Highly Stylish People and start curating your own wardrobe of favourites, whether $10 second hand or $100 investments.

Here are some tips on "looking stylish" and feeling confident in your day-to-day outfit choices


1. Look for inspiration through blogs and magazines to identify your personal style. I love making Pinterest boards, and my current favourite is Looks (linked here)

2. Find those classic, key pieces for your wardrobe that will stick with you for years. Here are my picks for women, and for men. These are items that you should feel comfortable splurging on here and there since they'll get so much wear

3. Take care of your clothing. Keep sweaters free from fuzz and unsightly pills with a sweater shaver, and avoid dark clothing in 100% cotton since it will attract lint like none other. Also, I love the sleek, crisp feel of 100% Viscose tees ($15 at H&M, here). Keep your darks looking fresh by washing them infrequently and properly (according to the tag symbols). But be cautious with dark-wash jeans: the colour can rub off on light coloured items, and will stain leather and suede (bags! Shoes!). Test dye transfer in-store by rubbing the back of your hand on the fabric and seeing if any blue shows up

P.s. I've even seen dye transfer from a red "leather" bag I picked up at a market in Italy. You definitely have to be careful when wearing a coloured accessory with light coloured clothing, or vice versa

4. Avoid unnecessary details like added gems, studs or other embellishment that will immediately make an item look cheap and tacky. Instead, add the bling with jewellery. I'm looking at you, sequins and crystal letters

5. Have fun with accessories. It's always great to have a really unique conversation starter when you're out on a date, at a party, or even at a work interview. Wear your favourite handmade necklace, a unique thrifted tie or a fun leather bag and wait for the complements and questions to start pouring in

Like always, the most important thing is giving yourself time to reflect and plan, which will leave you feeling comfortable and confident in your outfit choice. Aim to impress yourself, not someone else. Because if you're feelin' good in that date night outfit, you've succeeded.

xx
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