This is my motto: Don’t buy anything you can’t see yourself wearing in 10 years or later.
My rule is that if I can’t imagine myself in that outfit and if I cannot keep it until at least the age of 50, then I think really, REALLY hard before buying it these days.
I ONLY WANT CLASSIC, QUALITY ITEMS NOW, NOT FAST FASHION PIECES
I not only want quality in my items, I want them to last in terms of style as well.
This is not an easy thing to do (let alone find in fashion) unless you plan on wearing only plain sheath dresses, wrap dresses, or anything without any twist or personality to it.
Enduring the next few decades will mean they have to be special pieces that are interesting but not trendy, that stand the test of fashion time.
WHAT IT RULES OUT
On the negative side, this rules out these things I’d like to try but ultimately can’t buy because I cannot imagine wearing them at 50, and right now it’s stuff like leather pants, or sweaters that have this very cool look of sheer backs to them.
WHAT IT MEANS I CAN KEEP
On the positive side, things that some people might think are too young for a 50-year old, I can see myself wearing them when I am older as a stylish person.
Skinny pants/jeans fall into this category for instance, I can just tuck them into my boots, or blazers with a hint of a leather lapel or detail like this sweater I bought with leather sleeves, can still be worn when I am 50:
Things I would never wear when I am 50 (or even now) would be anything with a lot of glitter, pink, sparkles, logos, … or basically anything that would attract a 5-year old girl.
BUT WHO DO YOU SEE AS A ROLE MODEL FOR THIS CHIC 50-YEAR OLD YOU?
A great role model for this is Laura Bennett, a designer from Project Runway Season 3 who was born in 1963 and will be 51 years old this year (2014).
She is a mother with 5 boys (and was pregnant with the 6th while on the show!), and I always found her very elegant and polished.
She once wore this kind of riding outfit with these beige pants and knee-high boots, and looked simply fantastic.
She never wore a pair of sweatpants or even liked “mom” clothes on the show and I remember her saying something along the lines of:
It’s a slippery slope downhill once you put on a pair of sweatpants.
This is totally my mantra ever since I was younger so I felt a kindred spirit with her.
I have never really felt comfortable, owned or wore a pair of sweatpants outside the home.
They just feel too casual and comfortable to be “outside clothes” if that makes sense.
When I lounge, I lounge inside the house, and when I go out, I want stuff that feels a little polished so that I feel like I am not at home and I am outside.
The most “casual” I can get, is wearing a tank top with skinny jeans, knee high boots and a sweater over top of that.
Even wearing a dress, makes people think that I am dressed up, and it makes me a chuckle a little because I consider dresses to be staple casual items, it’s really just the fit and fabric that make them dressier or not.
Something shiny, very fitted or structured is more formal than something looser in a jersey fabric for instance, but our society has gotten so used to seeing super casual looks slapped together, that if you show up in some flats and a dress, you’re all gussied up!
MY 5 MAJOR STYLE RULES WHEN I SHOP
- Has to stand the classic fashion test of time
- Can’t be only a boring basic — this would be too easy to pass from rule #1, needs a twist!
- Has to be a quality item — No polyester, as natural of a fabric as possible, and well-fitted
- Has to not be made in China — If not for the principle, for their hit-and-miss workmanship!
- Has to fit and flatter my body type — Weight fluctuates, but your build doesn’t change
This cuts down on a lot of miscellaneous, extraneous shopping, and it has helped me focus on my wardrobe in terms of editing what goes in.
These days, barely anything comes out unless it has met its end of its life, or no longer fits for some legitimate reason and I cannot get it tailored or altered.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR STYLE RULES?