Thursday, March 27, 2008

You Gotta Have Friends

Tip Of The Day: This tip will require you to grab a bunch of friends, hit the stores, and SHOP ALL WEEKEND. However, and this is the kicker, the end result will be this: you will spend less money to look more fabulous. Fabulouser. More fabulouser. Whatever.

Tip For Tomorrow: Beauty reviews, author reviews, even a restaurant review – in short, stuff to do and try this weekend.

Further Elucidation Of My Cheap Deal: In keeping with the theme I started with yesterday’s post – saving money on clothes – today’s post is about saving money AND looking even better in the stuff you buy. A two-fer, if you will.

There are only three steps, and they sound deceptively simple. However, like everything else in life (home repair, child rearing, getting in shape), they will take time and effort on your part. However part two, unlike home repair/child rearing/getting in shape, these steps can be fun! And include your friends! And, possibly, alcohol and snacks!

Step One: Determine which clothing shapes, styles and colors look best on you.

This will require you to grab a bunch of your painfully honest friends and invite them over for AT LEAST the day, if not the whole weekend. Because if you’ve never really looked at what looks best on your bod, this will take time. Also? If your figure has changed in any way, what used to look good probably doesn’t anymore.

(Note to self – now that my boobs have grown to a full B cup, double-breasted coats no longer look that hot on me. Thanks, Larue!)

First, try on everything you own, including your bras. Allow your friends to veto what looks bad and donate those items to the Goodwill or Saver’s. If you have a fragile ego, you may want to liberally apply booze here.

Second, hit the stores – and I mean EVERY STORE. Including the ones you’ve never stepped foot in because you thought they were too expensive, or too young, or too loud (I mean you, Abercrombie and Fitch). Whatever your excuse, get over it. You’re not going to buy anything; you’re just going to try everything on.

By everything, I mean every shape. For example, pants: boot cut, boyfriend cut, straight leg, skinny, pegged, cropped, wide-leg, and stove-pipe. DO NOT look at the price tag. The idea is to determine which shapes work the best for your body.

This is where your friends come in handy. They’ll tell you what works, and what looks like crappola. However, you should bring along at least two friends. Why? Because one might lie to you about how something looks because she is jealous. It’s sad, but true. And the other friend can vote her down and tell her to stop being such a beeyotch.

Manners Tip: DO NOT trash your dressing room with all that stuff you are not going to buy. Hang everything back up neatly (or have a friend do it), remove it from the dressing room, and put it on the rack they provide for such things.

Third, take notes. Write down all the stuff that works AND the stuff that doesn’t. Don’t rely on your memory – we’re all getting older, and if you are anything like me, whole chunks of stuff are falling out of your head.

Last, take notes on the colors that do and don’t work. For example, taupe looks bad on basically everyone and black is fabulous for all. However, don’t just assume a color won’t work, like red on a redhead. As my redheaded friend Larue has proven, deep true red looks awesome on her.

Step Two: Determine which brands and designers work for your body – and feet.

While you’re trying on all that stuff, take note of WHO you are wearing. For example, jeans. I look best in The Gap’s Long and Lean and most everything by Lucky Brand (which sucks, because their jeans are $100 a pop). However, I look bad in anything made by Express and New York and Co., and Calvin Klein jeans are too short.

You want know what works for you with as many different store brands and designers as possible, even the expensive ones. And do this for shoes, too. You need to know what size you wear with various brands, because they all run a little different. I’m a 6.5 in Nine West, and a 7 with Isaac Mizrahi. In case you were wondering.

Step Three: Use these notes to help you shop for less.

Now that you know what works for you, you are ready to hit all those money-saving places I’ve mentioned before. And instead of wandering around, wondering where to begin, you can attack the racks armed and dangerous.

Go to your local consignment store and hunt down all the boot cut jeans, dark rinse, in size 8 Long. Hit Saver’s or the Goodwill and search for every pair of Nine West sling-backs, size 7.5, that they have. Go online to, and bid with confidence on those Express Editor pants in size 10, because you already know that’s what you wear, and you wear it well.

Knowing what shapes and colors work for your body will save you time when your shop. It will save you money, because you aren’t wasting it on clothes that look bad – which end up hanging in your closet, mocking you with their wrongness. All that for just a weekend’s worth of work and friend-bonding.

I’m also going to throw in a Step Four. After shopping all friggin’ day with your pals, bring them home and feed them. They’ve worked hard for you, and deserve a snack.


standing still said...

I'm first, LaRue.

And, I want the two of you to do this exercise for me. In about 5 - 8 pounds lost. K? Thanks. Kisses!!!

LaRue said...

Drats, foiled again.

You make me feel bad about the double breasted jacket. I personally think that jacket is not fitted enough to be blazer like and TV ready. It is, after all, a winter coat and meant for layers to be underneath it. Once again, that is my opinion ONLY. And I did think the color was fabulous on you.

Having been the recipient of said closet purging with my two closest friends telling me, "Larue, those pants really DO make you look fat," I can honestly say it is an excellent exercise in finding what really fits and looks nice. And then, you can have a clothing swap with all of your friends and get rid of your clothing. Its a win-win, really.

And I happen to think both Standing Still and the Chick are beautiful exactly as they are. (Insert Helen Reddy singing "I am Woman" here.)

Michelle said...

Thanks for the great post! I think this is something everyone should do once a year--especially the cleaning out the closet with your honest friends part. I agree that knowing what fits your body is key, too. And it makes shopping so much easier.

Tundrababe said...

Wow. That sounds exhausting! I'm too lazy for this, I'm all about catalog shopping. More power to you though!

(yes, I'm back! Sorry I've been away for so long. I went on vacation and then I needed a vacation!)