My clients frequently ask this question, “When is the best time to shop and what should I look for?” Here are a few tips, month-by-month, to quell all your questions about spring-summer shopping!
Spring and summer are just around the corner, and before you know it you’ll be looking in your closet at last year’s clothes pondering what you can do to update them. It is something of a science to know when, exactly, is the best time to buy new clothes so here’s a breakdown for the next few months to help you make better decisions, stop wasting your time, and get more bang-for-your-buck.
JANUARY: Fizzled Out
The Good: Stores are liquidating their winter merchandise. This is a good time for bargain hunting if you don’t mind the time it takes to sift through for your size. There are good deals to be had (especially on coats and holiday cocktail dresses) but you need to have a clear vision of what you are looking for.
The Bad: January typically sees the lowest inventory of the year. New merchandise will barely fill the racks until early February so don’t go looking for inspiration just yet. However, stores will bring in a few new items to make sure we don’t stop shopping all together.
What to look for: Don’t buy things simply because they are on sale. Look for items you missed before the holiday like a new coat, a decorative scarf or leather boots and make sure they are still in good condition; otherwise it’s just not worth it! Also, look for items that can work double duty into spring. There are plenty of non-winter options on the sale racks. Visualize items you already own to help you make an informed decision as to whether or not an item will add depth to your wardrobe.
FEBRUARY: Heating Up
The Good: The first few weeks of the month will see new spring merchandise hitting the shelves. Find inspiration from all the new colors and silhouettes and start thinking ahead about what trends will suit you. Take a look around the internet or pick up a few fashion magazines for guidance. The February issues are typically the second biggest fashion issues of the year (September is biggest).
The Bad: You still can’t wrap your head around purchasing bathing suits, shorts and tank tops while there is still snow on the ground. Most of the merchandise on the shelves in February will be good transition pieces and perfect for layering for those days when it’s still a bit chilly but you don’t feel like wearing a coat.
What to look for: You don’t need to purchase your whole new spring wardrobe, but look for a couple items to infuse a feeling of spring into your wear-it-now wardrobe. Try airy cardigans to replace heavy winter sweaters, colorful rain jackets to replace wool overcoats and accessorize with bright and light scarves in lieu of grandmas hand-knitted version.
MARCH: Getting Warmer
The Good: March is full-swing into spring. All your favorite stores will be stocked with everything you need to get through to the next season. You will find the best assortment of offerings and sizes so if you see something you like, it is best not to wait; if you pass on an item now it could be long gone by the time the weather is warm enough to wear it.
The Bad: Be prepared to shell out some dough. You need to do an honest assessment of what is in your closet from last year and ask yourself two important questions: is it still in style and does it still fit?
What to look for: Fill in the necessary gaps (i.e. you don’t have a single pair of cropped pants or shorts). Also, buy a couple of ‘inspiration’ pieces that you know will make you happy when you wear them. Check out what is ‘in’ for spring and infuse those ideas into your current wardrobe. It’s not about sporting a head-to-toe trend though; it’s about wearing what suits you best. If floral is a big trend, then accent your outfit with a floral neck scarf over a white top and pair with colored accessories.
APRIL: Super Hot
The Good: You’ve felt the warmth of spring and have stocked up your wardrobe enough to get you through to the next chill in the air. Stores will be teeming with fun, colorful, got-to-have-it pieces. If something catches your eye, go for it!
The Bad: You probably don’t need any more warm weather clothing, but you still want it!
What to look for: Anything that catches your interest. When you are in buying mode, stop to think about the items already in your closet and mentally pair the new item with pieces you already own. This way you will get the most bang-for-your-buck!
Reprinted from The Huffington Post
By Michelle Konstantinovsky
During our chat last week for an article on eating disorders, she eloquently expressed something I’d been feeling but hadn’t been brave enough to articulate. "I think now I’m at the point where I’m just sick of feeling negative and feeling this way about my body," she said. "So I’ve just shifted my thinking to, ‘this becomes boring to always want to be thin.’"
I’d been feeling pretty bored with habitual body bashing myself, but I didn’t see a way out of it. Wasn’t self-deprecation just one of those unavoidable pitfalls of being a female human, like cramps or mascara-induced eye injuries?
"I was just immediately programmed to think the way my mother did and her family did. Now I have a choice," Margaret continued. "I have a total choice now whether I want to buy into something that never worked for them and never worked for me or just forget it and move on to other things."
And with that simple statement, Margaret Cho went a long way toward deprogramming my automatic tendency toward self-deprecation. She showed me that the anti-me autopilot switch could be flipped.
I was an absurdly overconfident child. That is, according to my mom’s recollection and to faded photos of a self-assured, sequin-sporting child of the early nineties. I’m well aware of the age-inappropriate Madonna lip synching routines I insistently performed for party guests. And I don’t remember modesty ever being an issue while unabashedly bragging to strangers about my straight-A-laden report cards. But my mom’s absolute favorite mortifying memory is of a chubby-cheeked, unfortunately self-styled four-year-old arrogantly admiring her reflection and definitively declaring to the mirror, "I’m so cute!"
While the dignified adult I pretend to be wishes she’d have kept that revelation under wraps, I can’t help but call upon that pre-adolescent version of myself to ask a couple of really pressing questions: When do we turn against ourselves? And when we do learn to engage in chronic, negative self-talk, are those really our voices we’re using to spew hateful, critical words? Or are someone else’s messages overpowering what we actually think, see, and believe?
Like most adolescents, I immediately buried any discernable shred of self-assurance deep beneath an armor of teen angst and awkwardness. Seemingly overnight I morphed from a cocky kid on the playground to a sullen, self-loathing pubescent nightmare.
But surrendering to what I believe to be a tragic trend in female self-esteem, I carried those adolescent anxieties about appearance and achievement into adulthood. It was completely natural to criticize every perceived flaw and automatically negate any incoming compliments. Every day was an exercise in ruthless comparison to friends and strangers, and every night a reflection on how and why I’d never measure up.
And then suddenly, that smug four-year-old refused to stay silent. I started to catch myself questioning every self-sabotaging thought. All those mechanical reactions toward my reflection of disgust and disdain suddenly seemed exhausting and, well, boring. Most importantly, those formerly instinctual, involuntary responses didn’t feel authentic or accurate. I realized it wasn’t my voice or my judgment at play in those moments of cruel criticism. I’d just become so accustomed to engaging in self-flagellation, it never occurred to me to question whether I believed I deserved it.
HuffPost Women shared a picture on Facebook the other day of a great t-shirt that reads, "YOUR BODY IS NOT WRONG / SOCIETY IS." Sure, it’s a sweeping generalization about "society," but it’s a novel idea, isn’t it? Imagine if we all got fed up, took a note from women like Margaret, and realized once and for all that we have a choice about how to feel in our bodies. I think I might choose to stop being bored and start feeling okay.
Follow Michelle Konstantinovsky on Twitter: www.twitter.com/MichelleKMedia
I have been inside a lot of peoples’ closets. Some are organized and well-edited and others are full and cluttered; mine is somewhere in-between (organized and full). I always like to pass along general wardrobe organization tips so that making outfits is easier for clients; my favorite tips include displaying belts and jewelry on thumb-tack push pins and replacing wire and plastic hangers with plush velvet non-slip hangers. Here is a peak into my own wardrobe…and yes, I know I have a lot of stuff (I swear I edit 3-times a year).
A color-coordinated wardrobe makes me happy! Non-slip hangers let me fit more clothes into the space and they won’t damage my knit pieces. Chunky sweaters, purses and pants hang out above the wardrobe for easy access.
A rainbow of decorative scarves is ready to accompany any outfit
A Jewelry station with mirror makes accessorizing quick and easy!
Belts and long necklaces hang on push-pin tacks; a simple and inexpensive way to display what you have!
An open jewelry box displays earrings and bracelets. When you can see what you have you’re more likely to use it!
Heels and sandals hang behind the closet door
Boots, flats and sneakers stack up under the wardrobe utilizing all available space in the closet
Cubbies hide undergarments and display evening shoes, clutches and hats
Dresses, skirts and trousers hang out in a separate closet because they don’t get as much wear
This article is reprinted from consumer reports Shop smart magazine
By Sandra Gordon on August 13, 2012 12:01:00 am
Forget Jan. 1. With the whole back to school thing in full swing, September has always been my month to take stock of where I’m at and what I want to change. Typically, my wardrobe is high on the list. With last year’s fall and winter outfits played out, I’m always tempted to overhaul my closet and start over. Still, that’s not the best strategy if you’re on a budget.
“Unless you’re going through a major life transition, such as working at a job you’ve never done before, updating your fall wardrobe doesn’t require a major investment,” says Lisa Tumbarello, a stylist in Columbia, MD, for StyleForHire.com, a network of personal stylists across the country hand-picked by Stacy London of TLC’s “What Not to Wear.” Here are small things she says you can do to revise your wardrobe for less.
Shop your closet first. First, take stock of what you’ve got from last year and what you can salvage. “Try things on, because fit is so important,” Tumbarello says. Once you have an idea of where the gaps exist in your wardrobe, you can map out your shopping list. “You have to have a plan,” Tumbarello says. Build from the pieces you already have, including summer stuff. “Don’t just automatically cast them aside,” Tumbarello says. Think about adding layers. If, for example, you’ve got a maxi dress from summer that isn’t a tropical print, think about adding layering pieces underneath, such as a long-sleeved T-shirt, tights, boots, or a pullover V-neck sweater.
Look for major multitaskers. When selecting clothes and shoes, think about what they’ll go with; you should be saying to yourself: “I can wear that with this and this with that.” “Everything you buy should have at least two options,” Tumbarello says. To pull that off, work in a common color palate, but not black. “Softer colors such as navy, burgundy, olive, and chocolate are easier to mix and match,” she says.
Shop at thrift stores. “They’re great for one-off things you won’t find at major retailers,” Tumbarello says, such as a funky jacket. “Even if you just end up wearing it once that’s OK, because it was $5, not $500,” she says. Keep your eyes peeled for classics, too, such as name-brand blazers, skirts, and boot-cut jeans. Look for durable fabrics, such as cotton, wool, and cashmere.
Shop in the middle of the week. Lots of stores these days are doing mid-week sales to generate traffic, so don’t wait until the weekend to shop, when stores are more crowded. Make sure you’re on the e-mail list of your favorite stores, too.
“Many stores are getting on the flash sale bandwagon,” Tumbarello says. The sale could be Wednesday, lunch time only, 50 percent off everything. Be ready. Flash sales can be addictive though. Whether you’re shopping during a flash sale at your favorite store or at a flash site on designer brands such as Gilt Groupe or Rue La La, watch for sales on items on your shopping list. Stick to the plan to avoid buying on impulse.
Pay less for trendy pieces. Some of the upcoming fall trends include shiny leather and brocade fabrics. Take advantage of these looks for less by buying the department store celebrity collaboration knock-off, such as the Kohl’s Jennifer Lopez version.
Still confused about what to buy/wear? If you don’t have a fashionable friend to bounce ideas off of—or in my case, two tween daughter divas—a personal stylist can help you get your act together. A stylist will help you inventory your closet and go shopping with you. You’ll typically pay around $115 per hour. The process takes roughly four hours. If it saves you from costly fashion mistakes, that could justify the investment. What fashion advice would you want, if you could hire a stylist like Lisa Tumbarello?
Next week: More of Lisa Tumbarello’s top saving secrets!
I know it’s not officially summer for another 2 weeks, but there’s no time like the present to gear up for the hot-sticky weather that is sure to come. Here are my must-have picks for the warm weather. When it’s 100 degrees out and you can’t fathom putting on any clothes, these options will make braving the heat a bit easier. We can all try to look cute while we glisten with sweat, can’t we?!
The High-Low Hem
High-Low Hemlines are the must-have silhouette of the summer. There are a million ways you can accessorize this breezy little number by Felicity & Coco available at Nordstrom. Here are a few suggestions…
When it’s super hot and you can’t fathom squeezing into your usual pair of heavy-duty SPANX instead slip on these super-light-weight Skinny Britches SPANX. You can layer them to achieve your desired level support, but wearing just one pair is enough to keep the VPL at bay and smooth out your rear under all those summer dresses you’ll be wearing.
Comfortable All-Purpose Wedges
These wedges by Clarks are the perfect balance of comfort and style. The metallic champagne color acts as a neutral to compliment whatever you are wearing. The cork wedge offers stability and comfort that allows all-day wear without foot fatigue. Better than flats or flip-flops any day!
Sunnies don’t have to cost a lot to look fab. For summer, experiment with colors and patterns that you might not otherwise choose. Keep your standby favorite black or tortoise-shell sunnies for everyday use, but indulge in some funky sunnies to kick any outfit up a notch. Sunnies add an instant-cool factor!
I don’t know about you, but I’m all for sun protection! It’s imperative to have a multi-layer approach keeping the sun off your face beyond your usual sunscreen routine (you’ll appreciate it 20-years from now, I promise!) So, to keep stylish while staving off sunburn on those cheeks, opt for a cute hat like this inexpensive fedora from Forever 21.
When it’s blazing outside the last thing I’m concerned about is putting on a full face up makeup in the morning. To remedy this situation I opt for makeup that can pull triple-duty (eyes-cheeks-lips). This is my summer makeup routine: NARS “The Multiple” in Orgasm, waterproof mascara and loose powder to set everything and keep shine at bay. Seriously, this is a 2-minute makeup routine!
Hi All! I want to share with you a colorful outfit which I wore while working a style event at the Montgomery Mall this past weekend. It was 90 degrees outside and definitely starting to feel like summer (my least favorite season for clothes), but in spite of the heat I found this dress to be breezy and comfortable and the bold blue color definitely lifted my spirits!
This Blue Ikat Dress is from Anthropologie and is still available now
The extra-long loop belt is Michael Kors taken off of another dress bought at MK Outlet in Leesburg
My wedges are a few years old from Target, similar to these wedges by Aerosoles
The Gold Hoop Earrings are by Amrita Singh which I bought on sale via Gilt Group