The Porch Light copyright by Revka (2006-2010). All rights reserved.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Personal Style - Part 2

Welcome to Personal Style - Part 2. Today's tips discuss recognizing your individual style and developing your style without breaking the bank.

The individual posts in this series are:
Part 1 - know your shape and "your" colors
Part 2 - know your individual style, and develop it without breaking the bank
Part 3 - use accessories, and be selective in what you buy
Part 4 - don't get stuck in a rut, and cut your losses
Part 5 - learn by observing, and be patient

Now, on with today's tips.

3. Recognize your style preference – your lifestyle and your individual style.

Your lifestyle will in some measure affect your individual style. For example, if you are in business, you will need more business clothing than someone who lives a more casual life.

Three basic lifestyles are Metropolitan, Middle American, and Casual. The Metropolitan family lives more formally, the Middle American family is neither excessively formal nor excessively casual, and the Casual family is perpetually casual in life and dress (think California stereotype). Your individual style will generally fall into one or more of the following classifications

You enjoy comfort, gravitate to natural fabrics, and use simple accessories. You don’t care much about trends and like everything to be low-maintenance.

The Classic
You favor styles that are timeless, meaning your wardrobe will last for years. You are more concerned about quality than quantity. You stick with the same style for years, occasionally making small adjustments.

The Romantic
You enjoy beautiful clothing and are drawn to very feminine attire which often features ruffles, lace, silk, flowery prints, and fancy jewelry. You like to accessorize with antique or nice imitation jewelry.

The High Fashion-Dramatic
Your strong personality is displayed in your attire. You like bold colors and accessories. The latest fashion trends are important to you, and you are always changing your look to make a statement.

The Artsy-Creative< style="font-weight: bold;">Adapted from Dress like a Million Bucks without Spending It – by Jo Ann Janssen and Gwen Ellis

4. Develop your style without breaking the bank.
You should never go in debt to buy clothing. You do not have to spend a lot of money to get the look you want. When you buy clothes, consider the following ideas:
  • Never pay full price. Everything will go on sale at some point in it's life. We are coming up on some of the greatest sales of the year. You've waited this long, and it won't hurt to wait a little longer, especially if you can save money by waiting.
  • Outlet malls are not necessarily any cheaper than regular malls, but catch their sales, and you will probably end up with some great deals.
  • Actual outlets are different from outlet malls. An outlet is where a manufacturer sells excess and second quality products. If you are purchasing an item labeled as a second, ask the clerk to show you what is wrong with the item. I once purchased a Winnie-the-Pooh bathing suit for my little girl for $.99. The only thing wrong was that part of a seam had not been sewn together properly. That was very easily fixed. At another outlet, I purchased 4 and 5 yard lengths of khaki and denim fabric for $1.00 per yard. You definitely can't beat that!
  • Consignment stores usually offer good quality clothing that have passed high standards. Most consignment stores require that the clothing be no more than one or two years old and be in good condition. While I am not aware that they will only accept certain brands, I do know that good brands are very likely to end up here at great prices.
  • Thrift stores can be great places to shop, but you usually have to search to find what you want. Examine everything very carefully before you buy it. My favorite thrift stores have been the ones that benefit battered and homeless women and children. If there is a thrift store located near an upscale neighborhood, chances are good that you are likely to find upscale clothing there.
  • Garage sales are an adventure in serendipity. You never know when you will stumble across that perfect article of clothing. I don't often go to yard sales simply because I hate to get up early, but my children have been well-outfitted because their grandma and great-grandma love to go to yard sales. I certainly appreciate the fruit of their efforts!
Coming tomorrow: Personal Style - Part 3

I'll develop the following tips:

5. Accessories are important.
6. Be selective.