Flare jeans are "so last year," according to today's fashion experts. Sometimes, though, finding the right clothing means going beyond looking through the racks of the most popular clothing stores. Decide what you like, whether it's designer jeans or vintage clothing, and develop your own look. Soon your friends will look to you to be the latest fashion trend-setter.
Sometimes, finding clothing, shoes, and accessories to match is an adventure that would interest even Indiana Jones. Finding the perfect handbag can mean miles of walking, sorting through the latest items or discount rack at store after store, and even shopping through thrift shops or secondhand stores for a stylish purse to complement new wardrobe items.
Many designer handbags and sturdy totes are widely sold at online shopping stores or auction sites as well. True fashionistas who need the right handbag for every occasion are dedicated to their search, and won't be deterred from locating the perfect find.
Most fashion experts consider jeans to beone of the hottest topics for casual wear. Jeans aren't merely a sloppy pair of pants to be worn for yard work or casual lounging at home. Today, designer jeans are critical to a dating wardrobe; add a sequined top, the right sneakers, or stiletto heels, and become the femme fatale for a night about town. Many guys also prefer to hit the scene wearing the "right" designer jeans.
For those who prefer vintage clothing, an elegant, old-style cocktail dress can get the right person's attention. Going to a party? Show an appreciation for classic rock with a vintage concert T-shirt featuring one of the best 70's rock bands.
No fall or winter wardrobe is complete without a jacket. Choose from casual athletic jackets to faux furs depending on the day's - or evening's dress. For extremely cold weather, add a wool overcoat, or spell sophistication with leather or suede jackets instead.
Don't forget the shoes. One doesn't have to be Imelda Marcos to own shoes for every occasion. Go casual with an old pair of sneakers, or dress in the newest pair to hit the fashion scenes. The most important rule for shoe shopping: if they make the wearer feel classy or exotic, and they don't clash with his or her clothing ensemble, the shoes are safe to wear.
Top off any wardrobe with the right pair of sunglasses. Many fashion-conscious shoppers buy several pairs: one for driving, one for serious sports, and a few to match the most important outfits in their clothing repertoire. Shop smart: buy a couple of all-purpose pairs that will go well with most casual outfits, then splurge on one or two that go best with a favorite dress or jacket.
Knowing when - and how - to shop
It's ok to splurge on a new costume now and then, but most shoppers don't have unlimited clothing allowances. Keep an eye on favorite stores to determine when they are running promotions to avoid missing out on a good deal. Browse by brand at online stores. See what's new or what's hot, and keep an eye open for deals.
When shopping for clothes, shoes, and accessories, read descriptions and clothing tags carefully to check sizes and identify fabrics. Some people prefer not to buy "dry clean only" items because, over time, the dry cleaning cost adds considerably to the purchase price.
When purchasing irregulars at a discount store, or while shopping for vintage clothing, keep in mind that many of the items contain flaws. Some may have missing buttons, broken zippers, nonfunctioning snaps, or small holes. Others may have spots or stains that may or may not be washable. Many of these items are not returnable, so check them carefully before purchasing.
Vintage clothing stores often grade their items or offer information about possible problems with a particular costume. Check with the store manager before shopping about an item's quality and any return policy. Be sure to try on the clothing; clothes are sized differently today than they were 100 years ago.
Finally, be careful about buying designer clothing or accessories from secondhand clothing shops or online sellers. Some handbags or accessories may claim to be the authentic designer version, but are actually carefully manufactured fakes. If having the real thing is important, take time to authenticate the claim, or save up and pay full price from a licensed retailer.
Remember, even if some people consider a particular clothing style "last year," if it is comfortable for you and what you prefer, enjoy it! Poodle skirts, tie-dye clothing, leg warmers - they've all gone in - and out of fashion - and back in again. Don't let someone else dictate what you wear - let your dress reflect your individuality and your own personal preferences - not someone else's.