Friday, April 3, 2009

P.S I Styled You ...

Adrienne D. Simmons, Creative Director/Image Consultant/Blogger of P.S I Love You, LLC most definitely gets major kudos from this end. Clicking through her blog,, I was intrigued by an article she penned on how to save your coins the right way during these harsh times. I'm posting it in full because I wanted to share it with you in hopes of you learning how to get a bang for your buck from the experts.

Read it below and don't forget to stop by her blog and website ...

Unless you have somehow managed to sleep through the past couple of years, this will not come as a surprise: we are indeed in a recession. Amidst talks of cutbacks, layoffs, expense reductions, budget cuts, and of course, store closings, fashion conscious women are scurrying to discover how they can continue to look good without breaking the bank. The fashion industry has even coined a term to describe these women: "recessionistas."

If you have been wondering how you can continue to look like you have just stepped out of the pages of Vogue without dipping into your depleting savings accounts, the following tips will help you cost-consciously spring into the upcoming season.

1. Shop Your Closet
Each of us has that one article of clothing that has been tucked away just waiting for the perfect piece to accompany it. Truth is, that perfect piece is likely already in your closet, along with many other items you have ignored. Before you make another move to the next sale, go straight to your closet and make some new winning combinations. Bought that lace cami because it was on the sale rack and you knew it might one day come in handy? Throw it on under a cute cropped jacket and pull on your favorite jeans. If you're not the most fashion savvy individual, here is where hiring a wardrobe stylist can really come in handy. A good stylist can put outfits together you have never even thought of, and leave you with photos so there's no guessing involved the next time you get dressed. If you're really on a budget, invite one of your fashionable friends to come over and lend you a hand.

2. Swap with Friends
Women these days are finding new and creative ways to spruce up their wardrobe and make new friends to boot. Why not host a party at your home and instead of it being a potluck dinner, make it a potluck shopping experience. Tell everyone to bring one article of clothing or an accessory in excellent condition that they no longer use, pile them up for selection, and may the best woman win! If there's anything left over that doesn't seem to work in anyone's closet, don't take it back home. Donate it to "Dress for Success," a wondeful organization dedicated to empowering women and giving them a second chance.

3. Accessorize to the Max
If you want to buy something new this season, start with accessories. A new scarf, purse, or piece of jewelry can add a pop of color and make that cute summer dress and strappy sandals look like an entirely new ensemble. And keep in mind: accessories don't have to break the bank. Stores like Forever 21 (no, you don't have to be 21 to shop there) have the best accessories and they're cheap! (I'm talking $3 - $5 for earrings and enameled bangles, and $8 - $10 for scarves.)

4. Switch it Up a Bit
So we all have that pair of slacks that we bought to where with that top, those shoes, and that purse, right? Stop right there. Do not pass go and do not collect $200 bucks unless you pick a different shirt out of your closet the next time around. Those black slacks with the white pinstripe can be worn with more colors than just white. Why not try pink, light blue, or grey? And if you're really feeling adventurous - knock their socks off with lime green. Watch how many compliments you get and how quickly you begin to believe that's a new pair of slacks!

5. Embrace the Blue Light Special
I may be showing my age a bit here, but do you remember the days of the K-Mart blue light special? (For those of you young-uns, yes, there was actually a swirling blue light highlighting the featured buy of the day.) Fast forward to the new age of mass market retailers like Target and Kohls. You can find some serious bargains here (even some "a la" designer labels like Vera Wang and Isaac Mizrahi). A few months ago I spotted an amazing gold and cream tweed boucle wool coat with 3/4 lengths sleeves on a clearance rack at Target for $15! Sure, it's not going to be the quality of Cinzia Rocca piece, but who the heck cares for $15??????? Stores like TJ Maxx, Ross, and Marshalls are also known for stocking designer duds at discount prices. So when it comes to minimizing the impact on your pocket, never, I mean never, underestimate the power of that blue light!

Great advice - Spoken like a true pro!