The other day a dear friend was in town for dinner. As we made the rounds through our regular catch-up we got to talking about our latest clothing scores. I was feeling pretty great about my recent retail outlet splurge. I was about to dish on my latest purchases until she said she only shops the online sample sales, and rarely spends more than $100 per item for designer pieces.
I pride myself on being a pretty savvy shopper who seldom pays full price, but my outlet purchases didn’t quite make the under $100 cut. Also– handbags, shoes and jewelry are one thing, but what about the rest of a wardrobe? How will a pair of jeans hold up on the journey from cyberspace to your closet?
So I put my stylist brain onto the case, and came up with 3 hard rules to abide by before clicking complete purchase.
1. Your frame and what silhouette works best for you.
Petite people need to stay away from maxi lengths that’ll overpower a small body. Choose knee length or above hemlines. Just add leggings underneath if you want more coverage.
Curvy women can look fantastic in a V-neck…try to keep the collar bone area out in the open at all times. For the naturally hour glassed figure, accentuate this asset with nipped in waists and belts. Pear shapes, or those heavier on the bottom can opt for an A-line cut to create a graceful line of symmetry.
For tall ladies, it’s all about balancing the proportion. Super long legs look amazing in most everything so go for high waisted pieces to bring attention to the curves. Full silhouettes are also a great choice for those 5’9 and above.
2. Your size, but adjust according to brand or designer.
If you’re an 8 you may be a 6 at the Gap but a 10 in Catherine Malandrino. American designers tend to cut generous while Europeans keep it slim.
3. Your style.
Check out what’s in your closet and notice which pieces feel fabulous, and are the ones you wear most. These are the styles to stick with. If you see something online that looks kind of cool and interesting, make sure there’s a good return policy –exchange only is a big bummer when you’re not happy with your pick.
As for a pair of jeans, if you know the brand and how it works for you–then go for it. (I’ve found from styling photo shoots that 7 For All Mankind and Paige Denim work really well for most women.) Otherwise, I’d save your trousers for the fitting room.
Would you shop the online sample sales, or do you prefer to stay in the stores?