It's official, the Fashionista has been replaced by the Recessionista. The current economy has caused a dramatic shift in the way we spend our money, making it almost chic to be frugal. A closet brimming with designer handbags and overflowing with shoes is no longer the signature of a stylish woman. There's an emphasis now on personal style and a keenly edited wardrobe that stands the test of time. Here are 10 tips to help you create a recession-proof wardrobe:
1. Take stock of your closet
Imagine, a wardrobe filled with only your favorite pieces that fit well and look great on you! Most of us have a closet overflowing with long forgotten items we never wear, which makes getting dressed each day a chore. It's time to take stock of your wardrobe and look at everything with a fresh eye. This is your first step towards discovering your personal style and creating a recession-proof wardrobe.
First, set aside everything that you love, have worn recently and know you want to keep. Everything that is left should be tried on and examined with a discerning eye. Get rid of anything that doesn't fit, is in poor condition or is woefully out of style - there's no sense hanging on to things you'll never wear or waiting until something comes back into style. After eliminating the dead weight, what remains are old favorites that are ready to be rediscovered and added to your daily wardrobe.
2. Think like a fashion editor
Now it's time to act like a fashion editor: mix and match your pieces and see how they can be worn in new ways. Get creative or use magazines for inspiration, you'll be amazed at how many new outfits you can create with the pieces you already own. And if you're truly organized, take digital photos of your outfit ideas - it will make getting dressed easier and will ensure that items don't get lost in the back of your closet again.
Finally, organize your closet the best that you can and move your most versatile favorites front and center. Remember, if you can't see it, you won't wear it.
3. Shop for what you need, not what you want
Now that your closet is organized and you (hopefully) love everything that remains, it's time to rethink how you shop. Don't obsess over the latest must-have, focus on what you need to round out your wardrobe instead. Do you really need a 10th pair of black pumps or another little black dress? No, but perhaps that fabulous statement necklace is just the thing to make your little black dress or classic white shirt pop.
4. Stock up on timeless classics you'll wear for years to come
Savvy shoppers know that well-rounded wardrobes begin with a core set of basics that easily ride the fickle fashion waves from season to season. These investment pieces help to create a strong foundation upon which seasonal trendy items can be mixed in for a fresh update. In these tough economic times, having a timeless wardrobe you can count on is more important than ever. This means investing in quality fabrics, flattering cuts and simple, yet stylish, silhouettes that will last for years. And when it comes to your core wardrobe, think quality rather than quantity; just a few well-chosen pieces are all that's necessary.
Read our list of 10 timeless pieces that should be in every well-dressed woman's wardrobe.
5. Focus on seasonless pieces that can be layered and worn year round
Try not to think in terms of winter and summer clothes; instead, invest in seasonless items that ensure you will get the most out of every piece you buy. Fabrics like silk, cotton and lightweight wool or cashmere can be worn virtually all year. Sleeveless or short sleeve pieces can be easily layered under little jackets and cardigans or over thin turtlenecks and long sleeve shirts when the temperature dips. Skirts and dresses can be paired with tights and boots in the winter or bare legs and sandals in the summer.
Check out these seasonless wardrobe additions
6. Invest in multifunction pieces that can be worn day or night, to casual or dressy affairs
Every time you buy something, you should think about what you will wear it with and where. Something that can be worn with many items in your closet and easily transitions from work to weekend or a night out is a wise investment.
Check out these multifunction pieces that transition from day to night
7. Think quality, not quantity
In recent years, we have become so accustomed to fast fashion and the trend of the moment, that often times we sacrifice quality in order to own "the next big thing". Is it better to spend $200 on 5 cheap but chic shirts you'll wear just for the season, or should you spend that money on a great fitting dress you'll wear for years? A disposable wardrobe just doesn't make sense in this economy. The recession-proof wardrobe is well-edited and consists mainly of quality pieces that are made well and will last.
8. Round out your wardrobe with cheap chic trendy pieces
As mentioned above, the large majority of your wardrobe should consist of quality pieces that fit you well and stand the test of time. However, it takes a few trendy items each season to keep your classics looking current. Don't spend a lot on trends you'll only wear for one season, a few well-chosen additions from stores like forever21, wetseal, oldnavy, H&M and target are perfect for quick updates to mix in with your core wardrobe.
9. Discover the power of accessories
Whether it's a fantastic necklace, a chic belt, a colorful scarf, textured tights, a luxe handbag or oversized sunglasses, a well-chosen accessory has the power to instantly upgrade or completely transform your look. A few high-impact accessories can do wonders for your wardrobe.
10. Take care of your clothes
Take good care of your clothes and you'll wear them for years.
Walnut & Platinum elfa freestanding™ Closet shown above, containerstore.com