Monday, February 02, 2009

Inside Business (2/2009)

Changing Your Business Life: Spruce Up Your Wardrobe
by Eric Broder

In an economic downturn, your wardrobe may have to take a hit. That belt you’re tightening ... you didn’t pay full price, right? “It’s not so much about scaling back what you buy and how you shop, but being smarter and more conscious about where your wardrobe dollars are going,” says image consultant Kristen Kaleal.

Buying new. Take it down a notch from the pricey stores. Hit Nordstrom Rack rather than the mothership, or try Filene’s Basement. Invest first in the basics — “nothing too hip or trendy” — based on your industry. Suits, jackets, pants and skirts should be in timeless colors: black, navy, brown, gray. Then come the accessories, which include shirts and blouses. “I’ll only buy something if it goes with three other pieces in my wardrobe,” says Kaleal. And if you’ve got to have your designer wear, get it at the outlet store or on eBay.

Make ’em last. You’ll extend the life of your suits by only dry cleaning them every three or four wearings. Invest $15 in cedar shoe trees, which can double the life of your shoes. When they do finally wear out, take them to a shoe repair shop —they’ll live anew.

Look in your own closet. You’ll be surprised at how much more you have, Kaleal says. Mix and match pieces for a new look. Women can quickly update an older outfit with accessories from a discount store — earrings, necklaces, scarves and bags. It’s change on the cheap.


Allison M. said...

very cool. I'll have to look at it.

thebackstorycafe said...

Great info, Kristen! I found you on Twitter and linked on over.

I worked for Nordstrom for several years and we were lucky enough to have to study wardrobe consultation as part of the job-kept me looking "current" without breaking the bank. After that I worked directly for some of the designers I met through my time at Nordys, doing fashion shows in LA and NY.

Fast forward five years-I'm no longer attached to the fashion industry and I've been a freelance writer wearing pretty much whatever she felt like (yanno, comfy). But now I'm pitching a novel, networking at writer's conferences, and begining a small speaking tour. What advice do you have for those of us who need to look professional again but forgot HOW? Any major fashion "don'ts" out there that people like me commonly make? Um, and I can't figure out if wide belts are coming into fashion, or going out. Help!

Windy Lynn Harris