As we navigate the stormy waters of early adulthood, we learn a lot about who we are as people. It’s not just our values that change, but also our taste in fashion and our sense of personal style. Cementing your aesthetic isn’t easy and we all slip up along the way.
From flaunting mismatched patterns to experimenting with scrunchies, I definitely made my share of fashion faux pas during adolescence. Now that’s I’m older and (hopefully) wiser, I’ve put together a list of seven fashion tips I wish I could tell my 20-year-old self.
Read on if you don’t want to make the same mistakes I did!
- Luxury labels aren’t just for the wealthy
Two words: flash sales. When I was young, I thought that designer brands were for women who earned triple what I did. Not anymore! As Daniel Eckler points out in his Huffington Post article on Beyond the Rack, flash sales have completely revolutionized the way we shop for luxury fashion. To fill your wardrobe with designer pieces at deep discounts, always keep your finger on the pulse of flash sales.
- Start with staples
“But staples are boring,” I hear you groan. OK, so buying a pair of tailored jeans and a versatile white tee isn’t as exciting as shopping for that amazing bodycon dress you saw Kim Kardashian wearing last week. However, a wardrobe stocked with staples is the key to keeping your outfits on trend. Choose staples that can be dressed up or down to maximize your options and pair them with your favorite designer finds to stay stylish on a budget.
- Confidence is the hottest thing you can wear
It doesn’t matter whether you’re wearing Chanel or a sack—if you don’t have the confidence to pull it off, your outfit will never look as amazing as it could. Loving your body and styling it in a way that makes you feel good about yourself is the key to rocking any look, whether or not it’s on trend.
- Some fashion rules are made to be broken
Once you know the basic rules of fashion, you can break them. Fashion shouldn’t be completely prescriptive, and a lot of guidelines we think we should be following are totally irrelevant in the 21st century (no white after Labor Day, anyone?). Knowing when to push the boundaries with bold patterns and edgy combinations is a huge part of being a fashionista.
- Don’t buy cheap shoes
There are plenty of places you can cut corners in your wardrobe, but shoes shouldn’t be one of them. It might be tempting to buy a pair of cheap sandals or heels to save cash, but you’ll regret it in the long run. Not only will you have to replace them sooner (false economy!), but low-priced shoes are often poorly made and can do serious damage to your feet and posture. Drop a little more money on a few decent pairs upfront to save your wallet and your body from problems down the line.
- Statement pieces make all the difference
Looking for ways to stretch your wardrobe? Think statement pieces. A vintage necklace or smart black handbag can transform an average outfit into a runway-worthy ensemble. Having a few bold accessories on hand will help you look fabulous and in control even if you’re down to your last clean tee and haven’t slept in two days straight.
- Balance comfort and style
The older I get, the more I value comfort. That doesn’t mean eschewing fashion for the same pair of black leggings every day, but it does mean compromise. If your outfit is uncomfortable, it’ll show all over your face. Even if your dress is to die for, it won’t look hot if you’re constantly shifting and squirming. Just can’t do without that excruciatingly tight dress? Minimize your discomfort by pairing it with comfortable shoes and packing a sensible change of clothes just in case.
Whether you’re 20 or 40, constantly evolving fashion rules can be stressful to follow. Use these seven timeless tips to stay on top of the trends!