Trends on a Budget

Fashion trends for this year are made around spending and saving money money. Spend less of it, save more of it, and cut out waste. One of the best ways to save money is on your wardrobe. How many things are hanging in your closet right now with the tags still on them? Impulse buys? "Skinny" Clothes?

Sometimes just the sheer waste in a closet can give you the feeling that you don't have anything to wear, because nothing is working for you. Less to choose from is actually a better thing when it comes to a wardrobe.

We see these lists all the time, "Ten Closet Essentials you must have." Every fashion magazine prints their list year after year. But truthfully, how many of we everyday people even need a little black dress or three piece suit? If you work at home, or in a casual environment, those items are great investment pieces for the occasions in which you need them, but not really practical staples.

Here is a top ten item list for the everyday casual woman. Things real women wear each and every day. They are versatile, can be dressed up or down, and great foundations to build upon.

These items do not need to be expensive. When working on a budget, always strive to buy the best quality your can truly afford. You can find very high quality even at discount retailers such as Walmart and Target. Don't buy a label, buy what works.

How do you determine quality? Look at things like fabric feel, stitching, cut, and detail. For example, if you are buying a pair of $17 jeans from a discount chain, look for the following things:
Stitching is tight, uniform and there are no loose threads.
The dye is uniform throughout.
The fit is good. No gaping waistbands, puckers in the crotch area, no muffin tops, and it fits in the seat.
Do a couple of deep knee bends to make sure there isn't too much lira in the denim and it won't completely stretch out and lose its shape within a couple of hours.

It's that simple. And you can apply those tests to just about every garment.

Another thing to keep in mind, is to shop for what fits now. Not what's going to fit when the magical 15lbs disappears. Nobody can see the size on the tag except the person who rings them up, and they don't care. You will feel ten times more attractive wearing clothes that fit well rather than pulling them down all the time and having them ride up on you.

Keeping all of that in mind, here are the top ten essentials you need in your closet for 2010:


  • Black pants - A good pair of black trousers can take you far in life. They go dress or casual with the right top and shoe. Keep the cut a classic one that sits just below the navel, and allows room in the hip with a straight or boot cut leg.
  • White dress shirt- It should button comfortably, be cotton with a bit of stretch, and have long enough sleeves.
  • Plain black loafers/ballet flats/heels - whatever style you prefer, you need a good black pair that can go anywhere in a pinch. Make sure you purchase the appropriate buffer, sponge, or have them scotch guarded to make them last.
  • Great fitting jeans - nothing makes you feel good about life like a great pair of jeans. Do not settle for something that doesn't flatter you.
  • Neutral Cardigan or Crew Neck Sweater - A great cable knit cotton will get you far. Most people think "Cashmere" when they think of a good sweater. Cashmere is luxurious, pretty, and feels wonderful, but it doesn't hold up as a staple. It's a splurge.
  • 3 cotton stretch T's - Buy one in black, white, and your favorite color. Great for layering or on their own.
  • Large tote bag - think open with two handles. Sturdy, cleanable, in a trap style that works for you. Something that can transition from work, gym, home, weekend, whatever. Great colors that work year round are brown, gray, black and red.
  • Casual shoes - these can be the cute slip on sneakers, driving moccasins, ballet flats, and loafers. Fit is essential. They need to take you miles and miles.
  • Simple shape coat - Wool peacoats and a line coats are the best for this staple. Something that is versatile for almost any occasion and transitions you nicely from fall until spring.
  • Khaki's - get these in a similar cut and style as your black trousers. Be sure they are of a medium weight fabric that resists too much wrinkling while you wear them.

    There you have it. Real staples for real women.

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