Ask Belle Roundup: March 12, 2012
Mar 12, 2012
I receive a lot of reader mail. Some of it I respond to directly, some of it I respond to on the blog, some of it gets deleted and some of it sits in my inbox forever, unanswered. What can I say? I’m a fickle bitch.
Some of the mail I receive isn’t suited for a blog post because the responses are so easy/short, that there’s not enough to fill a whole post. So I thought that today, I’d do a series of quick questions just to make some room in the inbox.
I read quite a few different style blogs including yours, and I am quite envious of the pieces that many have and would like to add them to my own closet. But growing up in the Midwest and living on a limited income, I still can’t get over the “sticker shock” of spending $100 on a pair of pants or shirt. What’s your best advice to over come the shock but still being a responsible shopper?
While no one has ever called me a math wiz, I subscribe to the theory that fashion is about simple division. If I plan to wear a dress for one season, then I’m not going to spend more than $180 on that dress. If I buy a $180 dress, I want to get a minimum of 10 wears out of it. 10 wears over four-six months is pretty easy to do. Bringing my cost down to $18 per wear. (I like to stay under $20 per wear.)
If I need a new, basic suit, that’ll set me back about $500. I’ll wear the skirt at least once per week, the full suit at least once per week and the blazer once every two weeks. That means I’m getting 10 wears per month out of it. Multiply 10 by 12 and you reach 120 wears per year. Divide that into $500, and you reach just over $4 per wear for the year.
The mistake that most women make is they spend the most money on clothes for special occasions. They drop three bills on a dress for a wedding that they will wear two maybe three times. They spend $200 on a pair of going out shoes that they’ll wear maybe ten times. And then, they turn around and buy their every day clothes, the clothes that actually matter, at Forever 21 and Gap.
Spend your money on the clothes you wear the most, not the ones for special occasions. Then, factor in how much you plan to wear an item. Look for a $5-$20 per wear average, if you don’t think you can get that out of a piece, it’s not worth it.
I have a question for you. I work in an office that requires very conservative attire. We wear suits Monday through Thursday and dress down a bit on Fridays (i.e. the men leave their ties at home; I wear a dress or skirt and blouse/sweater). I just bought a DVF dress (the New Jeanne dress in navy) to wear on Fridays, and maybe even in lieu of a suit on days I don’t have to attend meetings outside of the office. My question is: how do I accessorize it? Do you have any ideas for how to give this basic dress “something”?
The DvF wrap dress is certainly a classic. To spruce it up, you need to choose accessories that compliment the dress. A scarf is out to do the collar, and a long necklace won’t work either. Here are some accessories that can give the dress a little something extra.
I would wear the chunky bangle one of two ways, I would either wear it over the sleeve or I would push up the sleeves and wear it on my wrist. As for the belt, I would wrap the ties so that they lay flat and then secure them with safety pins. This way you can wear the belt over the ties without having a tail hanging down. Lastly, the bib necklace is the ideal choice for this outfit because it complements the neckline but has more forcefulness than a simple pendant.
I was wondering if you had any thoughts on lipstick. I feel like I ought to wear a lip color and not just lip glass to work but I hate lipstick. Do you have any recommendations?
I’m currently in love with the tinted lip treatments from Fresh ($22.50). They have just the right amount of color and the right amount of shine. They’re not too glossy, not too prissy, and they wear off evenly, so you don’t wind up with that “I was wearing lipstick but now, I’m just wearing lipliner” look halfway through the day. They also come in a lot of wonderful colors, I definitely recommend them.