Ten Wardrobe Essentials

Today Studio 5 Beauty and Style Expert Holly Stone has a top ten list that will completely do away with the phrase “I have nothing to wear.”

Whether you are on a tight budget or have some extra money to spare, according to the law of fashion, there are some basic essentials that every true stylish woman needs to have You don’t have to run out and buy everything all at once. Make a plan. List what you need and stick to it when you shop. Don’t buy too many of anything. You can add pieces or replace things when they wear out or don’t fit any longer. Buy the best quality that you can afford or go without. As these items are the core of your wardrobe, you will be wearing them frequently and want them to hold up as long as possible.

The following list makes up the key ingredients of a workable wardrobe and woman’s fashion essentials. It will ensure that you never have the proverbial panic attack of “I have nothing to wear” and always walk out of the door looking good.

1. A Black Dress

Whether you are a “fashionista” or a jeans-and-tee gal, you knew this would be on the list, didn’t you? The little black dress is famous for its versatility. For winter, choose a style in a light wool or synthetic fabric without a lot of detailing. This will allow you to use the power of accessories to give it a variety of unique looks. The ways you can accessorize a black dress are endless. Try pairing it with a classy blazer, an unusual scarf, a pair of black leggings, ribbed stockings, an eye catching belt, a stunning necklace, or a fashionable pair of boots. It can go from day to evening just by changing accessories.

2. Statement Blazer or Jacket

A statement blazer or jacket is stylish and adds personality to your wardrobe. Women’s blazers should follow the silhouette of a woman’s body and accent the hourglass curve at her waist. It should be versatile enough to look good over a pair of jeans, or paired with a skirt or dress pants on a day to the office or an evening out. Women 5′ 4″ and under look best in short jackets or waist length. Taller women can wear longer jackets.

3. Classic Dress Pants

Whether your style is sporty, classic, trendy or professional, a good quality, great fitting pair of dress pants is a must. Choose a neutral color that best accommodates your lifestyle and can coordinate with the majority of your tops. (Black is flattering on all figures and goes with everything.) Wool blends are sturdier while cotton blends are more relaxed. The fit is everything and if you have one pair of pants that fits your body perfectly, you will always look put together no matter the occasion.

4. Sweat Suit Alternative

The woman of today has taken casual to a new level and some spend days on end in sweat suits. It is possible to be casual and comfortable without looking like a slob. Find a comfortable material (that’s why this doesn’t say jeans again – denim is not as comfortable as a nice soft cotton) that you would want to wear every day. It could be khakis, cords, a cotton dress, or much more. If you must wear a sweat suit, baggy separates are NOT the way to go. Buy a coordinating pant and hoodie combo that fits nicely and is long enough. Rotate these items more frequently as the fabric wears out and stretches faster.

5. White Shirt

The white shirt is a definite classic. But it can also come in many different styles to make it look trendy and not dated or like a man’s piece of clothing. Find one that accentuates your best attributes and minimizes trouble spots. For example, if you have wide shoulders, stay away from large collars. Find a shirt with princess seams to flatter the waistline. Make sure it is long enough to be belted, or tuck in your pants and stay tucked. Once you find that the basic white shirt is no longer as attractive as it once was, use it to wear over your swimsuit or bikini by making it a sexy accessory. You could also tie the corners in a knot at your waist and wear with a sarong or pareo.

6. Jeans

Jeans are worn more and more places these days and can be dressed up or down. Pair with a tee shirt and ballet flats for a more casual look, or a blouse and jacket with accessories or cashmere sweater and boots for a more dressy look. The key is having a pair that fits your figure type and makes you feel like a million bucks! Anything less will make you feel frumpy and can detract from your overall appearance. Jeans that are too baggy or too tight in the wrong areas can make those areas look bigger. Jeans worn too short will make you appear shorter and outdated. Dark denim is more classic and can transcend trend. Where jeans a staple item make sure you have a pair that fits like they were made for you and feel good against your skin. This is an investment that will pay off over and over again.

7. A Scarf

This accessory can function as an accent to a jacket, a necklace, a belt or a head band. Have a couple on hand, one in a neutral color and one to add the punch of color to step your outfit up a notch.

8. Leather Shoes or Boots

No matter the trend in heel, color, or toe shape, a great pair of leather shoes that you LOVE and that are comfortable will complete any outfit and take you just about anywhere. Make sure you polish them and keep them looking nice. Weather protecting them will get more mileage as well. (Hint, a small amount of baby oil on a soft rag can rejuvenate leather and make it look like new. Be careful not to douse your shoes as oil is quickly absorbed. And be sure to spot treat an area before you coat the entire shoe.)

9. Spanx

This is a must-have to hide bulges under shirts and pants. This Nylon/Lycra spandex body-shaping garment contours curves while minimizing the look of problem areas. If you must choose just one, choose the “Higher Power” which slims, smoothes and shapes the figure from the lower thighs up through the midriff. Spanx are incredibly comfortable and are thin enough so as to not add extra bulk. They also breathe nicely so you don’t get hot. Buy in nude or neutral for most versatility.

10. A “Perfect-Fit” Bra

If you are wondering if you are wearing the right bra, ask yourself these questions:

a. Does the back ride up or do you fill your cup? If yes, the bra is too small.

b. Are there wrinkles or do the cups sag? If yes, the cup size is too big.

c. Are you spilling out of your bra? Your cup size is too small.

Bra cups should be filled out so they fit smoothly. The band should fit but not cut into your skin and should not ride up in the back. If it rides up, try adjusting the straps. If this does not work you probably need a smaller band size.

Bra straps should be adjusted to give support to the bust without cutting into your shoulders. A good support bra will be large enough to support your breasts and have shoulder straps that have extra width, which is gentler on the skin. Choose a style that has under wiring and is well designed, lifts and separates.

Finding the perfect bra means finding the perfect fit. It starts by measuring to find your size and then re-measuring every few years to accommodate for changes in breasts from dieting, pregnancy, breast-feeding and aging. How do you find the perfect fit? Follow these guidelines:

Start with the band size and measure around your ribcage, just below your bust. Add 5 inches to the measurement. A rib cage measurement of 30″ + 5″ equals a 35″ band size.
<>Find your cup size by measuring loosely around the fullest part of your bust.

Subtract your band size from the cup size. A difference of 1″ = A cup, 2″= B cup, 3″=C cup, 4″ = D cup 5″= DD Cup, 6″= E Cup, 7″ = F cup. 8″ = G cup, 9″ = H cup. For example, a cup measurement of 36″ – 35″ band size equals 1″ or an A cup.

If after you’ve measured yourself, you realize that you have been wearing the wrong size bra, your next step is to seek out an expert. An expert will be able to help you choose the right bra for your size and advise you on the look you want to achieve.

All of the clothing items featured on this segment were provided by Valley Fair Mall. Valley Fair Mall has more than 100 different stores for all of your summer shopping needs and if you would like to start receiving exclusive store coupons and mall event updates from Valley Fair Mall on your cell phone, simply text “VFM” to “91011”. You’ll receive one text each week with special offers and information.

For more information, visit www.shopvalleyfairmall.com.

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