Dressing In Style Doesn’t Require A Bunch of Clothes

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I prefer to be well dressed, but doing so doesn’t require a room full of clothes, shoes, and accessories. Here’s 2 tips on how:

1.Quality Over Quantity

Quality over Quantity: this principle is something I’ve learned from Parisian fashion tips in books and eyeing street styles in Paris (summer 2014). This means having investment pieces that are timeless and can be worn for many years to come.

When someone’s closet is made up of high-quality classics, there is LESS OF A NEED TO GO OUT AND BUY MORE CLOTHES. In a ten-year span, I would rather spend $150 on a classic wool sweater from a fair trade brand than from a fast fashion chain, adding up to  $200+ for replacing each sweater that went out of season. Instead of owning 30 dresses, 25 cheap tees, and other frilly things I don’t need, my closet consists of key basics and a few trends.

Minimize your closet to something like this: 4 basic tops (white button up, black blouse, striped cotton tee, navy blue cotton v-neck etc.), 2 business casual coats (one cardigan, one blazer), 3 dresses (little black dress, red dress, and one sun dress), and 4 bottoms (jeans, black pants, pencil skirt, A-line skirt). Of course basics can be switched out in cooler and warmer seasons. For example, long sleeves can replace short sleeves when the weather is warm.

Below is another example of key pieces to always have in your closet from my favorite stylists book, Parisian Chic. There are various ways individuals can organize their simple wardrobe that best fit their lifestyle.  I would suggest to own no more than 18 articles of clothing.

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Currently, my small wardrobe is not made up of all high-quality clothing. I still wear some of my cheap fashion clothing from three years ago (or more). I don’t demand everyone to trash their cheap clothes immediately; it’s a process. I recommend replacing poor quality basics with high-quality basics one piece at a time. For now, Individuals should dress well with what they have. If people can’t wear what they have well, who says they can with new clothes? Only give away items that never flatter you or never see the light of day (the kind that sits and rots in the bottom of your dresser).

  A small closet means repeating outfits, but a small closet also means expanding creativity by mixing and matching. My philosophy? Fewer Trends, More Classics!

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I accessorize the same top and bottoms in different ways (pardon the iPhone quality)

2.For Trends: Buy Less & Make It Special                                                                        

Trends are not annihilated out of my life entirely. I think one must buy less of it. Trends become quickly dated, more so than the upgrades in our technological devices!  But if I do want something trendy, it must hold  significance other than what’s in season. shop in thrift stores or Grandma’s closet. Chances are vintage looks influence trends. It would be more special if an item belonged to a family member from the 60’s or 80’s!  However, there’s no guarantee that the fashionista will find every item on Harper’s Bazaar’s In/Out List. Secondhand stores can be a hit or miss.

If one is fortunate enough to travel the world, the traveler can buy trends inspired from another country. Instead of buying bangles from Icing or Forever 21, why not buy bangles from India? Why buy acrylic oversized cardigans from TJ Max when you can find one made from the herds of Northern England? Fashion pieces from around the world are wonderful souvenirs and will carry memories of your trip every time you wear them.

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I bought a polka-dotted dress in a little vintage shop my first day in Paris. It has served me well for two years! I wear this little sun dress in  eventful and uneventful moments.

It’s up to travelers whether or not they’re focused on looking for globally inspired trends. Personally, I would rather run into something that catches my eye than go out looking for it. Tourism should be about experiencing a place, not focusing on stuff (unless it’s the purpose of your trip). If no one has the time or money to travel now, they can still buy trends from across the globe in middlemen websites like eBay (no, not plastic jewelry  from Wal Mart that’s labeled ‘made in Vietnam’ ). Even when globally inspired trends go out of fashion for the moment, you can store it until it comes back around!

In a Nutshell..

Invest in good quality classics; purchase trends only when they have meaning outside of fashion. I know this advice is not for everyone, but it has helped me in the last two years of shopping sweatshop-free and simplifying my life to be about ideas & people rather than fitting in the fashion industry’s standard(s) of being in style.

I would discuss ethical reasons why having a small wardrobe is best for the planet and taking a stance against labor exploitation in the fast fashion supply chain. Nevertheless, there are credible sources readers can look up on their own. I would start off with an informative yet entertaining documentary, The True Cost (on Netflix!).

 

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