As regular readers know I recently was fortunate enough to go on a short trip with a long term friend. We had a fabulous trip. While shopping one day she said "I don't care about fashion...well, I want to look nice but not enough to spend much time or thought on it". That statement got me thinking because I might be someone who spends too much time thinking about it and most likely the effort never justifies the final result. So where is the middle ground? How can we look our best and stylish without spending a fortune nor a majority of our time? In an earlier blog post I reflected on taking a risk vs playing it safe in our wardrobe choices http://fancynancysfashionsafari.blogspot.com/2013/05/over-top-vs-being-safe.html I think there are some basic guidelines to consider:
1. HAIR-If you have been wearing the same style for awhile (lets say 2 years or longer as a marginal guideline) it might be time for a bit of a change. Its important to be honest with yourself about the time and effort you are willing to put forth;. that said tho, don't be lazy and justify an unflattering style/length/color because you convince yourself you don't care or do not have the time. Anyone can learn to use a blow dryer, a round brush and styling products. Also look at the color of your hair; if you have decided to go natural, be proud of it and make it look the best it can. If you choose to color your hair, then have it done professionally. No one's hair is ever all one color, have a color consult and make sure the color is flattering to your skin color and age.
2. HANDBAGS- One quality handbag in a basic color is a necessity. It doesn't need to be a designer handbag. Look for real leather in basic colors such as brown or black with little adornment (details like oversized zippers and pockets can date a bag) in a size that meets your daily needs.
3. SHOES- We have all been the victim of the clearance rack at our local department store offering 75% off the last markdown. Be honest with yourself about why after 3 markdowns these shoes are still left. If its because you are an unusual size and are lucky enough to find bargains on a regular basis, that is a great reason to buy them. However if they are not comfortable or in a color that you cannot see fitting into your wardrobe or are super trendy then they are a pass. Again, like handbags a good pair of shoes can make or break your outfit.
4. CLOTHING-Look for classic styles like a cardigan, white button down shirt (with shirt tails so it can be worn out or tucked in), sheath dresses, fitted blazer, pencil skirt. Decide on a few basic colors that can be intermixed such as black/tan and white, navy/white and green or blue/brown and white. You can start with the basics and add in additional colors with your accessories.
5. ACCESSORIES-I think a pair of pearls or small diamonds (real or faux depending on your budget), a simple watch without any adornment like crystals, etc, and a simple gold or silver chair necklace and/or a pearl necklace depending on your style can carry your through most days and nights.
In closing I think its important to look at the people around you who you see and think are stylish. On more than one occasion I have stopped a stranger to ask her where she gets her hair done and by which stylist. I have always thought of pairing my black clothing items with silver; last week I saw a woman in a simple black sheath dress who wore gold jewelry and it looked amazing. Looking stylish doesn't mean spending a lot of money nor does it mean totally revamping yourself. Small changes can make a large impact. If you aren't sure if you need to change your hair or your wardrobe, etc ask a friend who you trust to be honest. Have fun with fashion and DO NOT BE AFRAID OF CHANGE!