Quality Counts

When purchasing clothing, do you check the quality of the garment? If you don’t, you should. Stores today are bursting with fast fashion (recent trends from the runway already in stores at a more reasonable pricepoint) and huge sales, but there’s also a downside: a lower price can often mean a lower standard of quality. Less experienced seamstresses, garment construction shortcuts, and cheaper, less durable materials are all common ways manufacturers cut costs. However, a lower price doesn’t always mean lower quality- here are some ways you can inspect the quality while you’re still in the store:

 

1. Hold the garment up to a light, or gently stretch it against your hand. Is it see-through? Think about whether or not you want to have to wear layers every time you wear this.

2. Look at the care instructions. Is it hand wash only? Assuming this is a lower-priced garment, it’s probably marked hand wash only because the garment can’t withstand a regular machine wash cycle, hot or cold. Think about if you’re willing to hand wash it each time it gets dirty.

3. Look at the material contents. Rayon and polyester are commonly used, cheaper materials that don’t typically hold up well after several washes. Think about whether this garment will maintain its original shape after you’ve had it for awhile.

Recently, I admit it, I purchased a top that was lower quality. It was missing topstitching along the front neckline along the bottom of the mesh. I wore it a few times and noticed that the raw seam underneath kept flipping up because there was no stitching to hold it down.

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Topstitching is a simple step and there’s no good reason why the manufacturer didn’t have it on this top – other than to cut out a step and maybe a few cents. So, I finished it myself.

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Now the top lies flat when I wear it! If you have clothing you already own that’s not quite right, don’t be afraid to attempt to fix it yourself. You’ll never know how much better it could look if you don’t try!

Your Style

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What does your style say about you?

Every single person, whether they consider themselves “stylish” or not, has their own personal style. Some people are more aware of theirs than others, some styles are more distinct than others, but regardless, everyone has their own style. Once you really determine what your style is and what you’d like it to say about who you are, it will make future shopping trips as well as closet weed-out sessions go more smoothly. Why? Because you’ll know what your style is and what you like to wear. Here’s one way I would suggest to help you achieve your best personal sense of style:

 

1) Choose 5 attributes that are most important to you when purchasing clothing or picking out an outfit. For example, mine are: feminine, edgy, flattering, modest, and comfortable. Together, these 5 (or 4, or 6) comprise your personal style. Not every outfit you wear is going to reflect all five of these attributes – in fact, it’s likely that most of the time what you wear will only have a few of those attributes. That’s completely fine. However, if you choose your top five attributes and realize that the majority of your clothing doesn’t reflect any of them, then you might need to re-evaluate how you’re dressing.

2) Have fun with your style. Now that you’ve determined what your style is, put it to good use! This week, pick one way that you’re going to incorporate each specific attribute into how you dress. This shouldn’t be hard- in fact, it should be really easy because you didn’t reinvent your style, you just defined it.

3) Think about how you’d like to evolve your style in the future. It’s natural that, as each year passes, your style changes a little bit with how you change as a person as well as that year’s trends. What is something new that you’d like to add to how you dress?

4) Be lenient with yourself. Those five attributes are not rules, only loose guidelines designed to help you. For example, even though some of my attributes are “feminine” and “flattering,” I wear gym clothes most nights.. because I work out most nights.  Personally, I am completely fine with this because it still fits my “comfortable” and “modest” attributes and it shows that fitness is an important part of my life. Clothing is a reflection of who you are as a person – so enjoy defining your style and stay true to who you are.

2015 Golden Globes Best Dressed

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Above are some of my favorite gowns from the red carpet at the Golden Globes this year.  They feature diamond accents, jewel tones, classic silhouettes, structure, and flattering style lines.

Boldest: Emma Stone

She made pants, a surprising choice, look dressy and classy

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Oddest: Keira Knightley

Understandably, being pregnant on the red carpet is not the easiest thing. But there must be better choices out there than this strange butterflies and ruffles combination.

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Best Dressed: Diane Kruger

Her elegant gown featured structured texture while also flattering her figure. It also had a low back for added detail (not pictured)

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5 Winter Style Tips

I’m going to be honest here: I had a solid half of a new post written about how to get out of the rut of wearing heavy sweaters and boots every single day during the winter, as I have been known to do. However, due to the fact that we haven’t seen double digits around here since the beginning of the week and the windchill is well below zero, I decided to write something different. Because if it’s going to be so bitter, bitter cold outside, then I’m going to wear sweaters and boots. And you probably should too. That aside, here are 5 ways to make your winter outfit just a little more trendy. Each reason is specific to cold weather, which I did intentionally because winter happens to be my least favorite season and I’m trying to look at the bright side (ironic when the sun never comes out?). Anyways! Here they are:

1. Boot socks. These keep your toes warm while adding a touch of cuteness to your boots. Choose a textured pair that is a couple inches taller than your boots. If they’re longer than that, fold or scrunch them down so that they don’t go too high.

2. Blanket scarves. I didn’t specifically mention these in my last post about scarves, but they deserve a mention. They are a hot commodity this season – especially in plaid and worn more like a blanket than a scarf. Like boot socks, these are also practical and help to keep you warm. Choose a bright plaid print and drape it loosely over your coat.

3. Dark nail polish. I love to wear deep, dark polish in the winter because it’s trendy but still professional. Deep purples, browns, and reds are alternatives if you’d rather not go straight black.

4. Leather gloves. Ironic that I choose gloves to be right after nail polish? Well, for when you need to wear gloves outside and don’t want a whole lot of bulk, leather gloves are the best option. They give off a polished look and can easily be worn with both dressy and casual outfits. For added warmth, choose a pair that’s lined.

5. Oversized handbags. Lately, I’ve been wearing my heavy snow boots to work and bringing a pair of flats to wear while I’m inside. And, it’s given me a reason to use some of my larger bags that I don’t use as often as purses. Whether your reason is the same as mine or you have other winter accessories to tote around, winter is the perfect time to break out bigger bags.

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