We love this look by the always fabulous Harlem born Cicely Tyson. Who doesn’t want to look fabulous, classy and wealthy in an understated way? The good news is that you can look fabulous too if you know what to buy and where to buy it – oooh!
1) Ignore trends.
They change almost by the hour so it will be costly. Instead, focus on defining your own personal style. Being unique is hotter than being a carbon copy of a fashion magazine. Search the web to find out what products are available that you like. Just because it’s not heavily advertised doesn’t mean it’s not something that’s you.
2) Only wear what looks good on you.
If you’re long-waisted with a soft tummy, don’t wear low-waisted pants. Instead, go for a pencil skirt – classic, and thus always in fashion, plus (bonus!) you get the illusion of a perfectly proportioned figure. A mix of trendy pieces and classics always looks classier and more elegant than an entire wardrobe of fashion-magazine items
3) Go to the drugstore for beauty and hygiene products.
The options there are better and greater than that of most other places, and cheaper than that of most specialty stores. Search the web to find out what products are available. Just because it’s not heavily advertised doesn’t mean it’s not good. Download beauty apps and tutorials for only a dollar or two for an affordable way to get instructions on how to look hot.
4) Be thrifty with hair products.
If you must splurge, do so on conditioner. Never use any more shampoo or conditioner than a dime-sized amount unless you have long hair. And be sure to also cut off split ends.
5) Check out thrift stores.
Harlem Thrift stores can be a huge, mostly untapped resource. Go to ones in college towns where young people move often and may get rid of clothing only a year or two old. Also look for outlet stores. Again, even though the clothing is cheap, look for things that look great on you, not just things that “fit ok.”
6) Buy the basic things.
Get some basic items like white t-shirts, skinny jeans, things that you can pair with other accessories and clothes to make them look new and different every time you wear them. Don’t buy a shirt if it only goes with one outfit.
7) Be creative.
Altering and mending old clothes/clothes from the thrift store can be great fun. If you can sew (and even if you can’t) don’t be afraid to alter clothing. If you have an old pair of jeans that are beaten up on the bottom but the waist still fits then rip out the inseam and make a mini skirt. Got a pair of pants that are too long? Hem them yourself. If you can’t sew use those iron-on strips or (for a temporary fix) use duct tape to tape them up on the inside. Also, try rolling them up so that the cuff is on the inside.
8) Don’t buy super-expensive jeans.
Others will never see a difference between a $25 pair and a $125 pair. However, be aware that sometimes you do get what you pay for: at least some of the price of designer jeans reflects the quality of the cut, the stitching, and the fabric.
9) Invest in timeless gear.
Splurging on your favorite jeans or boots can be an investment for years. Be careful many ‘bargains’ are never worn because the motivation was the sale prize, not the suitability.
10) Don’t worry about where you shop.
The important thing is whether the item fits, is flattering and a good color. Even low-priced bargain stores (like Target!) can accidentally-on-purpose make something good, so always have an eye out.
11) Shop for off-season clothing.
Look for end of the season clearance sales. Also look for before and after Christmas sales but be aware that, even at a deep discount, some clothes may not be worth the price. Know ahead of time how much you intend to spend on something and stick with it.
12) Look for versatility.
For example, look for a button down shirt that looks good open over a t-shirt or buttoned under a sweater. Extra points if it also looks good tucked into dress pants or a skirt for fancy occasions!
13) Make sure your new clothes are machine washable.
Trips to the dry-cleaners can eat up money for gas and service, and no one likes doing their laundry by hand.
14) Go to a discount chain for your trendy shoes.
You can get cheap, fun stuff there, because you don’t need it to last more than a season or two. But for basics you’ll wear every season (basic pumps, black boots that you can wear and look good in the winter, simple strappy sandals), buy good-to-excellent models that are seriously comfortable, in real leather rather than fake, and buy the oils and polishes too so you can keep them in good condition. Try remnant department stores like Macy’s for good-quality shoes at discount prices.
15) Stick with the basics for makeup.
Mascara, lip gloss, blush, concealer, and maybe some liner and shadow. Especially if you have problems with acne or dry skin, a good-quality foundation for sensitive skin (applied with a very light hand on the sponge) is a worthy place to splurge, and really contributes to a polished look. Bad foundation makes the prettiest woman look trashy and tired, and good foundation lifts your whole look.
16) Use men’s shaving cream.
It’s much cheaper than women’s lotion and gels. Shaving with shampoo or conditioner also does the trick.
17) Use more versatile colors.
Have a black, a brown, and some summery shade (white is classic, but a pale gray or a subtle metallic can actually be more optional) of a purse – they don’t need to match your shoes.
That’s all folks, please share any tips you may have in the Comment section below.
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