Everywhere we look, we are bombarded with advertising urging us to buy, buy, buy and spend, spend spend. We get brainwashed on a daily basis into acquiring more and more clothes, shoes and accessories. You cannot spend this winter without the latest It-Bag,
you will look so beautiful in this new dress, men will not be able to resist you in these sexy heels, they say.
Let me tell you something that we already know but choose to ignore. These are ploys to make us part with our hard-earned cash. The sad truth is that our life is not going to change because we have just spent £500.00 on a new handbag. We'll still have to find the money for this month's groceries, though.
Buying into the new trends every week does not make you better dressed. Quite the opposite. Trends are so varied these days that your wardrobe is filled to the rafters with clothes that do not go together and don't match your own style. Having too many clothes works against being able to create a great outfit. How so? Because these different trends do not work together and with what you already own, you have to buy more of each to make an outfit work. That is what the fashion industry counts on. They also try to brainwash us into believing that your clothes from last season should never be worn again.
However, this is what I believe and what I practice. I have been buying less clothes than ever before and believe me I feel so free! I buy mainly well made, good quality classic clothes that do not date. Now and again I buy new pieces that make the look more current. But that is it. I grew tired of seeing clothes in my wardrobe that were never worn. All this waste made me vow to make my clothes, shoes and accessories work harder for their keep.
These are the attributes I look for in each new piece that I buy:
- Has to look good with as many pieces as possible.
- Be of a good quality.
- Has to last for a few seasons.
- Has to be of a classic design, not too trendy.
- Has to be of a colour that will not be "so last year" next year.
- Not scream fashion victim.
- A navy & white striped top, a white shirt, dark denims, a pencil skirt, an LBD, a little black jacket and a trenchcoat: These are pure classics that never date and that I cannot do without.
What this philosophy has done is made me appreciate my clothes more by having less. I feel free because I look at those billboards with a cynical eye now, not with an air of envy. I feel great wearing my clothes, which always manage to gather compliments. My friends and acquaintances always seem surprised to hear that my clothes are a few years old. It is because their classic design makes them always current, timeless. That is the secret, if you can call it that. My favourite style icons, Coco Chanel, Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy, knew this and used it to their advantage. Their style is still current today. Need I say more?
For more advice and tips on style, check out my book How To Be Chic and Elegant.
Originally published on 22/9/13
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I'm Marie-Anne Lecoeur. I teach women how to upgrade their style and think, shop & dress like a French woman in my Ecourses and The French Chic Academy
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