Getting dressed everyday doesn't have to be scary. With a few tricks up those fluttery sleeves, you can treat yourself to a wardrobe that conjures up fashion magic in your closet no matter what the occasion. Leave all the hocus pocus behind and give these style tips a try.
—Understand proportion. When you know how to dress to flatter your own individual body shape, then you are way ahead of the fashion game. It's best to keep things simple and think about how opposites attract. If you wear a top that has some volume or length to it, then keep it slim on the bottom. And if your skirt or pants are fuller, then opt for a top that's more fitted. Many women like the skinny jean/legging and tunic or long jacket combination. It works for most body types and gives you plenty of ways to dress this silhouette up or down with accessories.
—Develop a uniform. It may not sound so creative, but when you find a "look" that works for you and your lifestyle, then embrace it. It can make your life and shopping for clothes much easier. Hillary Clinton has made the colorful tailored pantsuit her signature uniform. Michelle Obama has adopted the sleek shift dress. Find out what you feel comfortable wearing and makes you feel good. Then build your wardrobe to reflect what works best for you.
—Play with color. Wearing one color from head to toe is and always has been a sophisticated way to dress. It's a no brainer, and one reason that many fashion industry insiders have long been addicted to wearing all black. But winter white, camel and gray are other ways to pull together a monochromatic palette that is updated by pairing different textures and tones to avoid a matchy matchy look and keep it interesting. The newest hue to build a wardrobe around this season? Burgundy wines, cabernets, merlots, grapes... drink up!
—Don't be afraid of prints. Even if you may be scared of mixing and matching prints, which is a big trend right now, you can still incorporate patterns into your wardrobe to give it a fresh twist. Yes, stripes can be paired with florals. Just stick to one color scheme that ties the prints together. Also make sure the patterns are not all the same size: If one is bold, team it with a smaller pattern.
—Keep it modern. If you do tend to wear a "uniform" most of the time, make sure you throw your wardrobe a curve every once in a while. Give it a modern touch by mixing a casual piece with a dressy piece: the sequin skirt with a white button down shirt; the cocktail dress with a denim jacket; the combat boots with a silk jumpsuit; distressed jeans with a tuxedo jacket. Remember, except for possibly the most formal of occasions, day and night dressing is now very interchangeable.
—Make a statement. None of us wants to wear boring clothes. You may not want to necessarily stand out from the crowd, but it's refreshing to put some punch into the routine of what we wear day after day. It's easy to do with just one statement piece. Whether it's a knock-out jacket or an incredible pair of earrings or pair of bejeweled mules, add a little dazzle to the basics and have some fun with your clothes and accessories.
—Yes, you can have style on a budget. You don't have to spend thousands of dollars to look great. Just do a little more research. Scour vintage flea markets for unique jewelry. Check out designer websites to see new trends, then put them on your wish list and buy them on sale. Or visit your favorite boutiques that specialize in new talent. Or keep your eyes open for special treasures when you travel. After all the tricks, it's nice to have a few treats...especially at affordable prices.
To find out more about Sharon Mosley, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.