Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Top 10 Ways to Dress Like You "Own It!"

What’s a fashionista, you ask? Either a die-hard fashion fan or someone who works in the industry (designer, model, stylist), a fashionista is all about reflecting attitude in her personal style and appearance.

One huge misconception about the fashion industry is that you have to spend large to look large. While top editors, designers and models can easily bring in high-paying annual salaries, most fashionistas are crafty in scouting out alternative means to discover their must-have pieces. They scavenge flea markets, tailor second-hand garments themselves and flip through fashion mags for inspiration.

Another myth is that you have to dress like an over-the-top avant-garde designer to get noticed by the stylish in-crowd. A good sense of style, smart shopping and research are keys to your fashion success. Here are some tips to help you dress like a fashionista:

1. How you buy: If you’re a quantity buyer and tend to purchase a lot of pieces in bulk, then you’re not likely to wait for the classic tweed Chanel suit to go on sale. But if you like having a few high-quality garments, shopping at trendy discount fashion stores is probably a waste of your time. Determine what type of buyer you are, so you can budget for priority pieces or multiple fashions accordingly.

2. Do your homework: Make a seasonal wish list before you go shopping. Prep by reading magazines, fashion blogs and watching fashion show recaps to compile your must-haves list.

3. Ask the pros: If you spot someone sassy on the subway wearing the perfect outfit, why not ask where she got it? New boutiques and “it” spots sprout up quickly, so finding new shops from people on the street or new acquaintances helps to set you apart.

4. Don’t discriminate: Sometimes the best finds are those hidden gems you can find in bargain bins and sample sales. Don’t assume a high price tag dictates good fashion or you could overlook some fantastic frugal finds.

5. Bargain like mad: Who doesn’t love a bargain? Always ask for discounts on slightly damaged (but fixable) pieces, bulk purchases from boutiques. Even if you’re buying a day or two ahead of an upcoming storewide sale, it doesn’t hurt to ask.

6. Accessorize: Earrings, scarves, shoes, handbags and hair pins can change your entire look. When you’re getting dressed, be sure to save time for the important finishing touches that can make or break your entire outfit.

7. Build your wardrobe by season: There’s no saying last year’s spring trench coat can’t be worn with a new broach and shoes in this season’s hottest colours. Add classic pieces to your current collection each season. A clever fashionista adapts existing pieces for new occasions.

8. Don’t skimp on quality fabrics: Whether it’s chic cotton T-shirts at H&M or pantsuits at Banana Republic, high-quality fabrics are readily available. Be conscious of the fabric blends you’re buying, wash and care instructions and never settle for cheap clothing just because it’s, well, cheap.

9. Good hair and makeup: No celebrity walks the red carpet without a hair and makeup team following their every move. Take a cue from the experts and make your cosmetics and hair an integral part of your routine. It’s as important an asset as the clothes you’re showcasing.

10. Be Fabulous: Your disposition is the first impression people have when they see you. A friendly smile and confident attitude are the best accessories a girl can have.

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