I want to be taken seriously but people seem to think I still dress like a teenager, so they treat me like one. How do you dress on a budget but still transition your wardrobe out of high school and into to the adult life?
Before reading any further, do me – and you – a favor. Go stand in front of the mirror, take a good honest look, and ask yourself, “Am I dressed as if I’m meeting friends for lunch in the school cafeteria?
If the answer is yes, you can’t blame folks for doing what comes naturally. We live in a world going so fast we can’t help but judge books by their covers. Now, there is nothing wrong with looking cute as a button if your big goal in life being asked to the prom, but if it’s time to challenge the world, let’s get dressed to show the world attention must be paid. A simple jacket over your existing styles can have a dramatic effect.
2. Don’t toss your teen wardrobe. Edit it.
Hand over all shirts with cute slogans, shoes that could survive boot camp, adorable hair ornaments, and anything that comes in a color that can be seen from space to your kid sister. Keep your shortest skirts and most provocative tops if they are still flattering, but save them for dates, clubbing, and vacations.
With the exception of a school uniform, bring whatever is tailored to the front of the closet. Build on these pieces. There is no reason to dress older than your age, or fall back or neutrals, or – please don’t – black. While you have it, never forget that the dewy freshness of youth is the best accessory ever, but temper it and make it more intriguing buy cloaking it with an air reserve and even a bit of mystery. Think sensual rather than sexy. My favorite piece that comes to mind is our vibrant floral top paired with our pencil skirt or slim pant.
4. Accessories can reinvent your wardrobe
I’ve saved the best for last. Perhaps the best way to generate the respect you are looking for is with your accessories. Spend your money wisely on two handsome bags (banish the knapsack), a few pair of sleek heels and boots, jewelry more refined than trendy, and as for makeup, go for runway. It works every time.
There is no reason to go broke, not with so many places, chains, websites and outlets where you can shop smart on a budget. For starters check out HSN’s collections by Giuliana Rancic, Christos Garkinos, Byron Lars, RJ Graziano, or, oh yeah, The Hal Rubenstein Collection. Just promise me that once people do start taking you more seriously, you never take yourself too seriously. Enjoy becoming a grown up.
Have other questions? Share them with me in the comments below.