Updating Your Wardrobe: Growing Up

The time comes in every woman’s life where she puts away her funky fashions and starts dressing like a grownup. If you are still wearing the same clothes that you did when you were 19, it’s time for a fashion intervention.

Whether you just graduated from college and got your first new job, or you recently changed careers, you may want to overhaul your wardrobe. Don’t worry if you don’t have the big bucks to spend. Dressing like a grownup doesn’t have to cost a bundle. You just need to shop smart.

Buy a Suit
Even if you don’t have to wear a suit to the office every single day, you should own one. A classic suit is a necessity for job interviews, business meetings and other important events. Stick to classic neutral colors such as black, grey or cream. Make a statement with the blouse you wear underneath. Red is a great color for a power lunch, while ruffled blouses in pastel shades are classic yet on trend. Stores such as JC Penney, Carson Pirie Scott and even Walmart offer suits at discounted prices.

Image: Armitron

Image: Armitron

Wear a Wristwatch
Sure, you can tell time on your cell phone but that doesn’t mean that you should. Invest in an actual watch. Armitron watches are top-notch in my book. They are well-made, stylish and affordable. They offer a range of women’s watches in all shapes, sizes and styles. You might have seen their “boyfriend” watch featured in Lucky magazine (among others) lately. It has strong, masculine qualities with a feminine touch.

Invest in a Leather Bag
Toss your canvas and vinyl bags aside and invest in a top-quality leather bag that is versatile enough for the office and weekend wear. A satchel is a great bet — it’s roomy, chic and you can carry it anywhere. Your handbag is the place you can show a little of your personality and some color without going wild. From rich cranberry to subtle mustard and bold turquoise to pretty pink, you are sure to find the perfect shade just for you. Sign up for email alerts from your favorite department stores and online retailers in order to find a leather handbag on sale. Also, consider the sample sale sites such as ideeli, Haute Look, Gilt Groupe and others.

Shop Vintage
For jewelry and other accessories, head to thrift stores, vintage shops, flea markets and estate sales where you can find gently used items at a significant discount. Jeweled treasures and designer handbags can be had at a fraction of the retail cost. Be prepared, you might have to search through a lot of junk to uncover your treasure.

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    • anonymoose

      Great tips! Thanks! However, since I cannot bear to part from my funky fashions, I save them for weekends and punk rock shows. :)

    • http://www.amberjewelry.com mineola

      A great handbag is really key. For me, I just dislike wearing a watch & would tend to have one clipped to my bag rather than wearing one, but, in some worlds one should wear a watch to communicate any number of things.

      With the recession – which I think represents just the first wave of a permanent downgrade of certain things- I think people are re-disovering or in some cases discovering the joys of consignment & thrift shops- I know several new ones have opened near me in the last year from furniture to clothing, etc.

      For me, I enjoy the look of costume & vintage jewelry but I can’t wear base metals. I love the fanciful designs, which would not be affordable for the artists to create with precious materials. So for me, those are just going to end up in a junk drawer, I avoid them.

      Instead I gravitate towards semi-precious jewelry like amber & turquoise, which are both affordable & artistic & have the advantage of usually being set in sterling silver. Good quality pieces of this type have staying power that transcends vintage baubles & to me they are the equivalent of buying a good leather bag rather than a scatter of cute trendy canvas bags, etc.

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