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Shop smart. Look smart. Part Deux. Like Hot Shots-but not at all

February 2, 2011

So I got some pretty positive feedback on Shop smart. Look smart. Wait? You didn’t read it? Go now. Please?

Back? Okay, let’s plow.

7. Cost per wear. A lot of fashion experts will tell you that the best buy is something that you can get the lowest cost per wear. You know-if it’s $100 but you wear it 50 times, that’s $2 a wear. If it’s a $100 and you wear it twice, that’s $50 a wear. I agree with that to an extent. But if you buy something you hate or doesn’t fit you and you wear it all the time and don’t feel good about yourself-is that really a value? Sometimes you may need to spend a little more for better quality and fit. Goes back to the whole don’t buy something just because it’s cheap. If it’s $10 and you never wear it, that’s money you could have used for something else.

8. Accessories. Sometimes you need to spend money on these, sometimes you don’t. Belts, often shoes you can get away with a less expensive, even really cheap version. But I think handbags are where the difference stands out. You can look perfectly put together but a cheap handbag? Can ruin it all. And yes, nice bags are expensive. So save your money. Don’t buy 10 $40 bags, they’re going to wear out and are more likely than not trendy. Buy one or two CLASSIC bags. A nice brown or black leather in a classic hobo or classic structured shape. The exception is evening bags. Fabulous evening bags can be found cheap lots of places; Steinmart, TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, etc.

9. Proper undergarments are ALMOST as important as alterations. It drives me nuts when I see people have taken so much care with their appearance and all you can see is the puckering leg bands of granny panties. Listen, I love granny panties, much to my husband’s dismay. (He always says I’ve got my man so I can let myself go-thanks?)  There are VERY few fabrics under which you can wear granny panties. Denim. Ummm…that may be it. Dresses, dress pants, skirts, thin fabrics ALL need seamless no-show underwear. And yes, many things require Spanx (or the cheaper Assets version.) But please buy the high-waisted version, otherwise you have the fat squeeze happen. Proper bras are key as well-straps should not be exposed. I don’t care how SJP dressed on “Sex & The City,” it’s a no. And shiny clear plastic straps? Don’t fool anyone.

10. In addition to making friends with salespeople, it also pays to sign up for emails, follow brands and stores on Facebook and even twitter. LOTS of stores run specials that are only open to Facebook fans. Stores are trying out all this new media to see what works and the consumer can reap the benefits.

11. Trends. I avoid them. I don’t like lace, or tights with open toe shoes or floral stuff (except for some Lilly prints). I also don’t care for neon or safari looks. So I don’t spend money on trends. Some trends routinely come around. Animal print is one but if you buy it in a classic cardigan, pencil skirt or handbag? You can wear it forever. As long as it’s not lime green leopard print. In the end, you will save money by investing in classics. If you WANT to follow trends, pick them up at Old Navy or Forever 21 or somewhere else cheap. Me? I pretty much wear Ann Taylor or Lilly. Lots of black, lots of clean lines, lots of classic shift shapes. And one shoulder anything-that’s kind of my thing. My Tarzan look as J calls it. But you know what? One shoulder looks good on me. Find what looks good on YOU.

12. You know the phrase, never a borrower nor a lender be? Live by it. Once your scour stores and websites and work your own look and find super awesome deals-why do you want to provide your look to someone else? If you loan out clothes, be prepared to not get them back or have them ruined. Who doesn’t spill wine and fall down-often at the same time? Raise your hand if this happens to you. Why am I the only one raising my hand? Borrowers-if you borrow something, you need to be prepared to replace it. And keep in mind-if someone finds a $500 gown for $50-it’s not going to cost them $50 to replace it. It most likely won’t be available any more and they may need to replace it with a full price version.

13. Camouflage. NO, I don’t mean things you wear for hunting deer and crouching in the woods. I mean camouflaging parts you may love less than others. Me? As I mentioned I am ridiculously short-waisted. Honestly? I’m pretty sure my waist is somewhere under my nipples, which are pretty perky. So I use lots of thin belts worn where a normal person’s waist would be to look longer. Knee-length skirts and nude pumps? Your best friend if you want your legs to look longer. We all know I love the sparkles but keep in mind-they will draw attention to whatever part of your body you have them on.

What are your best tips? What outfit makes you feel the best? What would you NEVER wear again?

I do feel like I should admit I’m sitting here typing in fuzzy pj pants, fleece lined slipper socks and a big sweatshirt.

Oh, before I forget two other things: 1. PLEASE vote for me by clicking on the brown box with the juggling lady and 2. my radio show is on tomorrow and we’re still trying to narrow down a name. Taking suggestions!

© Amy Lloyd Mayfield and Amy’s Blam, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Amy Lloyd Mayfield and Amy’s Blam with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. February 2, 2011 7:36 AM

    Love love love these tips! And by the way, just received my prize package and I am in love with you, and those chocolate caramels! Seriously, you rock adn I promise to give you a shout out on my blog in a day or two when I get all cought up. Good luck with the radio show, wish I was in your area so i could hear it!

  2. February 2, 2011 9:53 AM

    I think these are all great tips. I’ve also learned over the years to spend a bit more $ on things I’ll use a lot more often (a good pair of winter boots, for example, which have really been getting a lot of use this season). And when money happens to be a bit tight, I’ll go for a cute pair of earrings or a shiny belt to spruce up an older outfit.

    Last night I spent $40 on two pairs of leggings, a pair of legwarmers (also essential this time of year), funky earrings, and a pair of trendy gray boots that were drastically reduced (post season).

    And I totally hear you on the panty lines. Pet peeve of mine as well!

    Good luck with your radio show! That’s sooo exciting!

  3. February 2, 2011 2:54 PM

    Good advice girl! I like Ann Taylor and have become a BIG fan of Talbot’s ever since they contemporized their clothing line about a year ago. Here’s the thing, Talbots is expensive, but their stuff goes on sale quickly while they still have plenty of stock left.

    I’m not big on animal prints either, however I do have leopard print ballet flats that really make jeans and a tee shirt special.

    Oh, and I’m incredibly short waisted too. In fact, I’m doing a fashion related post on that and one of the trends in jeans next week. Come by and see!

  4. February 2, 2011 8:58 PM

    Tip 1 applies to so many things you buy in life: groceries, clothes, you name it. No matter how cheap something is it’s not a value if you never use it!!!

  5. February 2, 2011 11:55 PM

    I think I have my cost per wear on my granny panties down to a nickel, I better up my game!

  6. February 6, 2011 1:06 AM

    I have ten thousand sisters, a mother, MIL and have been married for 15 years- yet I still don’t understand the female fascination with shoes.

  7. amberpagewrites permalink
    February 7, 2011 9:34 AM

    Great advice. Although I am guilty of buying $40 (or $20) bags. Most important for me is buying things that make me feel good.

  8. February 19, 2011 5:53 AM

    I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I don’t know who you are but certainly you’re going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

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