Apr 20, 2011

Wardrobe Cluster – What To Buy

By: Daria Akhten

Legend has it that European women only buy about three clothing pieces per season. How do they do this? And more importantly, what is already in their wardrobe to buy just a few trends every year?

Every season, new styles emerge interspersed with well-established trends. Women with a complete wardrobe can purchase as little as one or two pieces of the trendiest items for the season. For me, this not only eliminates unnecessary expense as I rush to buy everything in sight, but it also allows for creativity. You can really establish your personal style when going through the clothes you already have, and seeing how they can be worn this season.

A traditional wardrobe cluster consists of pieces that can be mixed and matched to create a multitude of looks. It must include:

- jackets in solid colors
- dress shirts
- sweaters
- casual tops, like tanks and tees

- dress slacks or skirts
- denim
- pants or skirts in bright colors or patterns

- evening dress
- day dress

- coat, jacket, or trench coat (depending on climate)

- neutral color shoes and matching belts
- handbags
- various occasion jewelry

The trick is to create the wardrobe using garments made of excellent fabrics, and perfect construction. This way, it can be ensured that these pieces will last a long time. Once that is done, you can buy just the garments necessary to spice up your wardrobe.

There are several designers known for creating classic wardrobe staples. Carolina Herrera epitomizes class and elegance, and you can never find a better blouse than one of hers. Yves Saint Laurent is known for setting the standard in women’s’ fashion. Any piece from his collection is a great addition to a wardrobe. Of course, the most famous designer known for her jackets and suits is Chanel. If the clothing is out of your budget, go for a scarf or a pair of earrings to complete your looks.

It is important to understand how certain elements of an ensemble can change it completely. A blouse tucked in or out can make a big difference in an outfit. Having five tops and five bottoms instantly gives you twenty-five distinct looks. Changing the layering of these items allows for even more versatility. Accessories go a long way as well. A dress can be worn with a belt for a daytime look, with a statement necklace for a nighttime look. A pair of Christian Louboutin shoes can change any outfit from day to night, instantly.

Once your wardrobe cluster is complete, it becomes very easy to see what you need. When shopping, stay away from impulse buys, and choose garments that can be worn year round. Most importantly, have fun with it. Deciding on a personal style and look for yourself can be a great experience!

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