Just the other day I was looking at old photo albums when something caught my eye. There was this picture of my mother standing next to my father who was wearing a stern look, baggy denim jeans and a jersey T-shirt. He held her waist while my mom extended her leg outwards, to show off her black mid heel pumps, the kind that nowadays go by the name; Duffy pumps.
But that’s not what caught my attention. What did was the two-piece of African attire that my mother was wearing. As I recall, she had the outfit until recently, when she gave it out because no one in the house could – in lack of other words – recognize its worth. The skirt and jacket were in perfect form, but if I didn’t claim that both were too big, (do you know how hectic it is to find a good tailor) my sister said the outfit wasn’t her style.
Nonetheless, after the dress was gone is when I realized what an opportunity I had missed. Further perusing the five albums that lay in front of me, I realized key simple facts that you probably heard from your mother once upon a time.
Invest in basics
Rather than buying accessories or items that you can only wear once or only on a certain occasion, invest in basics that you can wear daily or more frequently. A good core piece won’t require constant replacement, which will save you time and money.
In light of this, if you are having a dress tailored for a specific themed occasion, try to use natural materials such as silk, cotton or linen. Stay away from artificial fabrics such as nylon and polyester for the reasons provided in the last point.
Have you wondered why clothes made by brands such as Zara, H&M, Forever 21 or any other fast fashion retail store have complicated designs and yet they do not make it to the high-end category of fashion?
They might look cool, fashionable and trendy but yet they’re still dubbed as cheap clothing, why?
That’s because the more complicated a design and concentrated a garment is say, prints on fishnet on plaids the faster it is likely to go out of fashion and the quicker it loses its value. We cannot forget that these clothes are second hand and most come in synthetic dyes which end up looking cheaper as days go by.
On the other hand, clean, simple designs are not limited to trends or time. This is probably one of the reasons pieces from the ’90s are coming back in fashion since they were timeless. Try looking at what the actresses in those old 90 movies wore or that leather jacket and hat your uncle had on while he was getting photographed near his friends. Authentic right?
You want to look effortlessly elegant in 2020, go for monochrome themed outfits. What if you take a peek at old photos from 10 years ago, do you notice something similar?
Solid colours are simple, affordable, sophisticated and they come in good quality. They make you look chic, classy, and they are the easiest way you could structure your wardrobe to a more cohesive state. They are also good bases for layering.
Case in point, then, people used to match solid colours with different shades of the same colour. Now, it is the same concept matched with modern accessories to create style and added personality. Nonetheless, the idea stems from the need to create that simple yet classy tonal look. Therefore, when looking for timeless pieces, invest in solid neutral colours instead of synthetic colours.
Something about simple screams sophisticated. Don’t you think? Old folks knew it too.
You have probably looked at those old photos to notice that your uncle, mom or any other relative wore a certain garment one time too many. Did you wonder why? Well apart from it being their favourite piece, obviously, it must have been an easy item to layer. Some cuts enable you to play around with different looks and outfits. In addition, they are so versatile that you end up getting more use from them than what you paid for. Find out the 7 essentials every woman should have in her wardrobe.
That’s why you need to factor in cuts as you buy clothes. Invest in pieces that fit well and those that accentuate your features.
A rule of thumb; try to stay away from restrictive pieces that can only be worn in a certain way or with a certain shoe to work. Especially if you’re shopping on a budget.
Hues and shades
Do you get compliments when you are in a shade of grey more than when you’re in black? Is navy blue the colour you tend to look for when shopping for outfits? Well, it’s no brainer that certain colours and pallettes will look good on you than others. Are you warm-toned, cool or neutral? This will serve as a basis when you are choosing colours that work well with your skin tone.
Textures/fabrics like wool, cashmere or cotton, do not crease as compared to artificial fabrics. In addition, they do not bulge or fold at unwanted areas. Instead, they drape well taking the shape of your body while concealing any flaws. That is one concept that old folks implemented and hence, why you should always consider quality over quantity.
Natural fabrics are breathable which makes you feel comfortable. They are durable, dirt and mould repellent, but above all, they are biodegradable and good for the environment.
Therefore a crafty way to ensure that you wear every piece in your wardrobe is to add textures more than you do colours.
If your favourite shades are nude, black or purple, do not introduce orange to the mix. This is to avoid accumulating bulk, which can happen when you introduce pieces of colours that don’t work with what’s existing in your wardrobe. Instead – if you want to add pieces in your wardrobe – opt for variant textures such as corduroy, flannel or silk but in the existing shade already in your wardrobe. Or you could also use accessories to make your clothes pop – Ageless Fashion: You’ll Never Go Wrong With These Accessories
A good tip my mother always mentions is, “Buy for the long run, not short term. You will thank me after out-growing trends,” now I see why.
I am a writer with interest in hair, beauty and fashion. I also like telling stories, but most of all I enjoy listening and reading them. If I'm not doing any of the above, I will be trying to crack a game of chess or monopoly. My biggest fear is being ordinary.