These days there are a large variety of sources that provide fashion advice for women. There’s the well known women’s magazines such as Vogue, Elle, Marie Claire etc, celebrity magazines, numerous weekly magazines who mix celebrity news with fashions, newspapers, Sunday supplements and a large number of fashion blogs and online sites. It’s also common these days for large department stores or chains to have personal shoppers who will offer fashion advice for women of all ages and a lot of them are very good indeed. Of course you can always get fashion advice from friends or relatives, but their view is rarely impartial so I always think that unless they are experts in the field their views should be treated with caution.
Despite the amount of fashion advice for women that’s available in the public domain, so many women get it wrong. When I say about getting it wrong, I’m not necessarily talking about a women’s taste in clothing. I have seen plenty of women, who look elegant, or stylish or cool, where I personally don’t like their taste but can appreciate their appearance. The women I’m referring to are those that are so unaware of what constitutes good style and make basic clothing mistakes that spoil the entire way they look. It’s also not about money. You only to have to look at some of the styles of celebrity magazines to see frequently examples of money before taste.
1. Buy clothes that you love: It doesn’t matter whether you’re buying clothes for leisure, for work or for a special occasion, my first piece of fashion advice for women is make sure that whatever clothes you buy, make sure they’re one ones that you love.
2. Think before you shop: One of the reasons why so many women have unworn clothes in their wardrobes is because they don’t think before they buy. Think about what you want or need and how it will go in with the other clothes in your wardrobe.
3. Learn about your shape: There is a lot of fashion advice for women on body shape and what you should or shouldn’t wear. Read up on it by all means but don’t feel constrained by it. I’ve seen plenty of people break so called ‘fashion rules’ and look absolutely fabulous.
4. Don’t buy clothes to wear when you've lost weight. It’s a waste of money. The chances are you will never lose the weight to wear the clothes and if you do they may well be out of date or not fit your new shape.
5. Don’t buy clothes that are too big: Unless you’re trying to make a fashion statement for example buying a cardigan a couple of sizes too large to be worn with a slim belt you should buy clothes that fit your body. Women who have lost a lot of weight often find it difficult to adjust to their new size or there are others who think they are much larger than they really are. It won’t make you feel good about yourself.
6. Think about material vs lifestyle: You need to buy clothes made of fabrics that fit in with your lifestyle - eg Easy care if you can’t afford a huge dry cleaning bill or you loathe ironing. Non-crease if you have to travel a lot.
7. Ignore the label size. There is no consistent sizing in the UK, so there’s no point in getting hung up on whether you’re buying a size 6 or a size 12. Buy the clothes that fit and you like and then cut out the labels if the sizing worries you.
8. If in doubt don’t. Trust your own instincts. If you’re hesitating about whether you should buy a piece of clothing my advice is don’t.
9. Get fitted for a bra. Badly fitting bras can cause health problems including neck, shoulder and back problems. They will also spoil the line and fit of clothes. Most large stores will have a bra fitter, but their standard is variable. The fitters in specialist lingerie shops are generally far more experienced.
10. Shop in flats. This piece of advice is purely about comfort. If you’re buying clothes that are going to be worn with heels make sure you have a pair with you.
11. Set a budget and stick to it. There’s no point in going into debt because you love a piece of clothing.
12. Don’t buy clothes in a hurry. Buying new clothes can take time. Make sure that you spend the time trying them on properly and look in the mirror at all angles. Don’t be embarrassed to ask if you can take clothes into the daylight to check the colour. Colours look very different under artificial lighting.
13. Don’t buy clothes that aren’t perfect. I know some people are happy to repair clothes for a reduction (I’ve done it myself). However, stop and ask yourself why a zip needs replacing or buttons need sewing back on, or the fabric has started to pill.
14. Don’t be a fashion victim. There’s nothing wrong in buying the latest fashion, but make sure that you buy it because it suits you, not because you’ve seen it on someone famous, or because it’s been reported that it’s the in thing to have.
15. Shop alone: Okay I know that one of the lovely things about shopping is doing it with a friend, but honestly I really advise that you should do it alone when you’re intending to buy. Friends and relatives are rarely impartial.
16. Use a personal shopper (if you need one). There are some very good ones available. However I would always advise that you don’t just hand over your whole look to someone else without having your own strong feelings. It’s clear that some celebrities do this (and they really shouldn’t).
I hope you find this practical fashion advice for women useful. Thinking before you shop may take some of the spontaneity out of it, but it should ultimately save you money.