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Why Cheap Clothes are Not an Option

Vogue Cover Woman wearing white op-art sunglasses putting on lipstick

There is a certain age when you can no longer wear inexpensive high street clothing and achieve the look of sophistication that is required.

The saying ,’dress for the job you want not the job you have’ which means looking composed and pulled together is a must. I was recently working with a woman in her mid-thirties that would wear very short, as in mid thigh, little dresses to the office. The company was casual but her style was still in-congruent with her high managerial position. I think this immediately lost her respect among the staff she was managing.

As we get older we need to think more about how we present ourselves and how we want to be perceived. To achieve this polished look we need to be more considerate of where we shop and the quality of the clothing we buy.

There are many reasons to be careful when shopping in the lower prices stores on the high street such as H&M, Top Shop and Zara.  I don’t mention Primark because I don’t think anyone should shop there if they can avoid it. The clothing is so cheap, it brings a whole host of other concerns including political and environmental ones.

The problem is that the high street caters mostly for the younger woman from about 17 – 30 years old. These are the ladies that want fast fashion and are happy with skirt lengths and sleeves being a bit on the short side and prints being a bit ‘look at me’ loud.

When we are beyond this age group, we need to be extra careful of buying items that will look too skimpy on us – either too short or too tight. I am not saying that we need to avoid shopping on the high street but if we want look sophisticated, we need to put a little more thought into what we buy.

These are my rules for shopping

  1. Try to buy the absolute best you can afford, even if is just a t-shirt make sure that it fits well and has a good neckline.
  2. I avoid prints since my wardrobe is small it is easier to give the illusion of a large wardrobe with solid colours and good accessories.
  3. I spend my money on great accessories because they will never not fit you and can transform an outfit.
  4. A good handbag is an essential, perhaps even more important than expensive shoes.
  5. Stay away from very trendy, of this season items, they can make it look like you are trying too hard.
  6. Know what colours work for you and stick to it.

Shopping can be a minefield especially if you are on a budget and trying to look sophisticated. Less is usually more and simple is better than fussy. I find that the high street likes to embellish to distract from not the best workmanship. Beware of magpie syndrome – always looking for the next shiny thing.


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