Walking to my desk one morning, with my bagel and caramel cappuccino Starbucks coffee to spark up the day; next thing I heard from one of my team members was “Lynda, I’m sure you spend all your salary on clothes”…HAHAHAHAHA; I laughed so hard my coffee spilled. I turned again to look at her and in fact laughed even more. HELL NO…Who does that? I hardly even shop (for real).

As much as we want to look good, fashion and style is something you must possess on the inside before it can reflect outside. It is that thing in you that can transform any piece of clothing into a beautiful outfit, it is that charisma and poise that goes with you when you dress up; it’s about your inner self. Style is not seen in the number of clothes hanging in your wardrobe or how many designers clothes you have. Style is a definition of your inner self and how it is reflected on the outside. No matter how many clothes you have, you can still go wrong with body fitting, colour combination, wrong matching or poor accessories. Fashion is one of the easiest things to do; but yet kinda complicated. You have to understand its language in order to communicate effectively.

Having said that, so many people have the mindset of “dressing to kill” and this drives them to do crazy things just to fit into a particular class. So how do you dress to kill without killing your bank account???

Define Who You Are: This is the first thing you have to do. Ask yourself who you are, what you represent and how you want to be addressed. Who you are will be seen on how you dress, what image will you be portraying if you dress different from who you are? Let your dressing reflect your image.

Know Where To Shop: The bible said “My people perish for lack of knowledge”. Absolutely true because some people’s fashion sense has perished for lack of knowledge of where to shop. They have the money, but just don’t know the right shop for what they want. So they use the money on the wrong clothes and end up with fashion police, loll. As a young lady, you don’t go to a mama’s shop to buy clothes cos you will buy something that will make you look older than your age.

Shop According To The Size of Your Wallet: Yeah…this is where a lot of people get it WRONG. Watch confessions of a shopaholic. Why heap up debts for yourself all because you want to shop more than you can afford? You can admire Vicky Becks (Victoria Beckham) but sweetie, your pockets aint the same size so don’t get yourself in trouble. Refer to No 2… there are shops where you can get beautiful outfits that will not cost you a fortune. It’s no use buying a top for £575; then a skirt to go with it for £320 when your monthly salary is £1000. Who are you trying to impress? No one is going to stop you on the way and ask how much your outfit cost or how much your total look is worth. You don’t have to compare yourself with anyone; dress to impress yourself and be content with what you have. Best advice, shop when things are on sale and you still get quality for a good price not armed-robber salary price. With £50, I can buy 4 good looking clothes and still dazzle on the red carpet. Fashion is how you put the little pieces together to create a unique style, you don’t have to spend a fortune to look good.

Prioritize – Buy What You Need NOT What You Want: Sitting opposite me in the office is a wonderful colleague (a guy) who is a shopaholic. He goes out for lunch and comes back with new shoes, more than twice lolll. He has more shoes than a lady. One Thursday morning, he send me a text saying he’s shopping on Oxford Street (really??? Instead of coming to work) and then he strolls in late to work with this ah-may-zing blazers. In his words… “I just couldn’t let it go, it was originally £110 but on sale now £30”. He has so many blazers but just wanted to add that to his collection. This morning, I mentioned to another colleague that I haven’t bought anything for myself since December 2012 cos I’m trying to be discipline with shopping/spending so I can save money and she goes “What??? I can’t do that”. She said she does not earn as much as she wants to spend so she spends what she gets… sooo funny. This is what happens to so many people. If you don’t need it, save the money instead of putting yourself in unnecessay debt.

Put A Check On Yourself: You may be able to skip through step 3 above and decide to shop according to your wallet size but if you have friends who love shopping around you…then you need to keep a check on yourself. If you can’t win them, PLS don’t join them. Instead WEAN them. I fell into a trap sometime in 2010; went shopping with two friends and I ended up with 2 items for £110 and the worst part was that I did not even like these outfits myself but my friends thought it was “to-die-for”. Fortunately for me, there’s a refund and exchange policy in England (if say na naija I go just cry cos I was still a student then). I got back home feeling so unhappy…the next day I took them back cos I didn’t even need them in the first place. So how do you put a check on yourself? When they come knocking, give an excuse to go somewhere; leave your credit/debit card at home if you could not find a good excuse. Go with them, but when it’s time to pay just start searching your purse and say “ouch… I forgot my credit card” with a sad look L on your face. Tell them you’ll come pick it up the next day (lol). There’s always a way to put a check; you just need to know your friends and how to work with them. 

Recycling: Some people think it’s a crime to repeat a dress you’ve worn before; NO there’s absolutely nothing with wrong with that. What will be wrong is repeating it after 3 times in a week. I’ll tell you what I do; I have some clothes I’ve only worn once in 6 months. So I do not wear these clothes for a long time but when I wear them again, people admire it as though it is new. Whenever I am tempted to buy something new, I stand in front of my wardrobe and say to myself…”Lynda, there must be something here that you can wear and eventually I find something to wear after many trials in front of the mirror trying to pair outfits”. There’s always a way out.

Try Something Different: If you have a dress that you’ve always worn in one pattern; probably cos that’s how it was set on the mannequin when you bought it… It’s time to try something different. For example, I wore one of my dresses to work today but I usually wear it with a waist belt or a blazer but today I decided to do something different. I put a waist coat on it…I loved the outcome J. If you have a long sleeved shirt, try folding the sleeves to create a funky ¾ turn-up sleeve. If you’ve always used a white shirt for that blazers, try to add something colorful to the outlook. Spice up your look, let there be something new about your dressing every day, step out of the comfort zone.

There are more tips to give you, like knowing what kinda clothes best suit your body shape; what accessories to match your outfit; colour combination, how to pair your clothes, and finally your composure/poise/charisma. After all is said and done and you cannot compose yourself, your fashion sense would be incomplete.

I hope this was helpful, now you can dress to kill without killing your bank account. 

About the Author

There's more to Lynn than meets the eye; visit "ABOUT ME" page for more details. I hope you enjoyed the article.

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