Clothes shopping masterclass

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Too many of us are encouraged to see shopping  as a leisure activity in its right, which when you think about it, is a very strange state of affairs indeed, and could even be seen as  somewhat spiritually improverished. While nobody wants to go back to the days of post-war queuing and jostling in order to buy the smallest items, if your only experience each week apart from the workplace and the home is trailing around a overheated, packed shopping centre with umpteen plastic bags in pursuit of the elusive, then it might be worth asking yourself if you really find this truly satisfying. That having been said, all of us need to acquire various things at regular intervals, and if you plan it carefully, as a military campaign, you will be able to carry out your errands a great deal more efficiently and cheaply than if you just wandered around with your credit card burning  a hole in your pocket.

So when out and about, given that money is tight and time a luxury, what should you be buying on the clothes and fashion front? First of all, before you even think about buying clothes, you should have done two things. You should always clear out your wardrobe of any redundant or unused  garments, on the ‘one in, one out’ principle. Secondly, while doing this, you need to carry out an audit of what remains, so you can judge any gaps in your wardrobe that might bring other outfits to life. The next rule is to make sure you have a few stylish items that you have spent a bit more money on. In this respect, less is more. This will probably include:

  • a good coat or jacket
  • a best dress that can work for day and evening
  • a couple of skirts
  • a couple of pairs of trousers
  • a couple of really stylish, fashionable tops that do you real justice.
  • If you can afford a good quality merino wool or even cheaper supermarket cashmere sweater or two, you will appreciate this as well.

These can be supplemented with well cut, long and short sleeved t-shirts (look for good quality jersey if you can, and double stitching), jeans (classic dark indigo ones tend to look flattering on most women, and try to pick a well fitting waist and boot leg if you are pear shaped), cheaper day-to-day blouses and tops in brighter colours, and accessories such as large beads, scarves and big rings that bring together the look. Do it right, and you will wear your clothes rather than them wearing you. That’s all you need.

Image: Carlos Porto /


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