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Revamping your spring wardrobe

By Staff | Apr 17, 2009

Spring is in the air – finally.

I just love the change of seasons.

Well, I must admit that what I really love about it is the change in fashion that it brings about.

I’m a big fan of fashion. I’m also an admitted shop-aholic, so the change in wardrobe brought about by a change in season is a tempting excuse to revamp my closet.

I’m no fashion expert. I just love clothes and try to learn about new fashion tips and trends every chance I get. A lot of people say they hate shopping, I think it’s because they have had too many frustrating trips to the dressing room.

Maybe I can help with my list of spring fashion do’s and don’ts:

Spend money on great shoes because they can make or break an outfit. You can wear them with just about anything – from that great little black dress to your favorite pair of jeans – and look like a million bucks! However, beware of buying shoes simply because you love them or they follow the most recent trend. Nothing good will come from buying uncomfortable shoes, regardless of how fabulous they are.

Buy items that fit your lifestyle. If you know you are going to live in your jeans, then it is okay to spend $80 to $100 a pair, especially if you had to try on dozens to find the right fit.

Wear clothes that fit. Contrary to what many people think, baggy clothes will not make you look slimmer. Body-conscious clothes that hint at your curves, without being clingy or tight, are the most flattering.

Invest in good-quality undergarments because the right foundation garments can make everything you wear look better. Invest in a good bra and make sure “the girls” are up where they should be. You will be sorry if you skimp on undergarments. Mark my words.

Because sometimes, what you don’t wear is as important as what you do wear.

Here are a few more of my favorite important fashion don’ts:

Don’t wear a skimpy dress unless you’re sure that you look good in it – absolutely sure.

Don’t overaccessorize. A little goes a long way when it comes to jewelry. Wearing one statement piece is very trendy right now, but stick with one only. Try a chunky cocktail ring, a fashionable necklace or a high-waist belt.

Adults should not wear graphic T-shirts or sweatshirts with any kind of cutesy or funny sayings on them. Just in case this isn’t clear enough, don’t wear a shirt with words on it. There are four exceptions to this rule. They are: college T-shirts or sweatshirts of yours or your child’s alma mater, vacation spots were you have actually visited, your company logo, or a noteable charity event you took part in.

Sweatshirts with a pouch are a big no-no, especially if you already have a natural pouch (tummy) that you’d rather hide than draw attention to. Why add bulk when you don’t have to?

My number one all-time fashion don’t is wearing pajamas in public. It will never, ever, be acceptable to wear pajama pants in public. I see offenders commit this fashion faux pas all the time at the grocery store, at the gas station, and the halls of the local schools. I know retailers call them lounge pants or comfort wear and try to convince people that they are versatile enough to wear anywhere, but pajama pants are not to be worn outside the house. Period.

I realize that many of us have parts of our body that we aren’t pleased with or that we’d like to change. Oftentimes we try to hide or minimize those flaws with clever fashion tricks. Mine, for instance, is my leftover baby belly. I have a built-in excuse since I just had a baby five months ago, but the statute of limitations is going to run out on that excuse pretty soon, so I’m learning to dress to disguise it. Sometimes it works and sometimes it fails.

My “All-Time, Best-Ever, Never-Fail, A-Number-One Fashion Do” is: Learn to love your body, flaws and all. Once you learn to dress the body you have, you will love shopping as much as I do. I promise. No more dreaded trips to the dressing room.

Let me leave you with the Seven Deadly Shopping Sins every girl should avoid.

Wearing lace-up shoes – you’ll double your time in the changing room.

Spending more than you should on trendy items. If you absolutely must have that faux crocodile pattern handbag, set a limit before you get to the store.

Buying on impulse just because something is on sale.

Using a credit card when you can spare the cash.

Shopping without a list, even if it’s just in your head.

Looking like a schlump when you shop. If you don’t put some effort into your hair and makeup, you’ll feel like nothing looks good on you.

Shopping with your husband. Why torture one another?

Mullally is a Tribune writer.

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