Thursday, May 23, 2013

16 Ways To Dress More Stylish This Spring

A change in seasons is a great excuse to make some changes to your life.

Now that we've officially welcomed spring and seem to have the weather to match, I want to share some easy ways you can use all that spring cleaning momentum to boost your style this season. 

1. Go window-shopping in stores to borrow styling ideas that you can try out this week. Don't be afraid to snap a quick pic for reference. I'll admit I've gotten in trouble for my paparazzi skills in stores so you'll want to be discreet. 

2. Start a special savings fund for investment purchases only and treat yourself to a well-planned splurge. If you take your latte money and put it in a savings account, you'll be on your way to a pair of Louboutin's in no time flat. 

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3. Create a plan to keep track of what you actually wear with a goal of dressing in 80% of your wardrobe over the next 3 months. Studies show we actually only wear 20% of the clothing we have.Try turning the hangers around or creating a hang tag to put on the hanger every time you wear a piece of clothing to help you remember what's been worn and what hasn't. 

4. Go to a store you’ve never visited before and let a sales associate suggest pieces for you. Remember, it's okay if you don't buy. LOFT, J.Crew and TopShop all have in-store stylist programs at no extra charge. 

5. Host a clothing swap with your friends to get rid of pieces you don't love in exchange for pieces you do. If you don't want to take on the swap planning role on your own, join one that's already pre-organized.

6. Create a style inspiration board to guide your shopping experiences for Spring. All you need are some magazines, scissors and glue, or a few hours on Pinterest. 

7. Try to recreate a look you love from a magazine. Don't get hung up on having every single element match, instead work with what you have and see how close you can get to the essence of what you loved about the original look.

8. Redecorate your closet so it’s your new favourite room in the house. Since it's a small area, add a bold coat of paint or some cute wallpaper that you might not attempt in a larger space. If you'd rather keep it simple just treat yourself to a few great storage and organization items. Loving how your closet looks will inspire you to play with its contents just a little bit more. 
9. Give away every single piece of clothing that doesn’t fit -- no exceptions! After the initial shock wears off, you'll be amazed at how great it feels to stare only at clothes that fit you right now.

10. Add at least 1 style magazine or personal style book into your monthly reading list with a goal of incorporating a few new style tips you pick up each month. We only get good at what we practice so use this as a way to continually practice your personal styling skills. 

11. Schedule time in your calendar (complete with alarm) to tidy your closet every week to keep it clutter-free. It's way easier to pull together looks when everything is hung up or put in it's place. 

12. Play dress up! Pull out your clothing and try your best to create a few new looks using pieces you have in your closet right now. Then, have a mini photo shoot to capture all the new outfits you create. When we're stuck in the day to day, we gravitate to the same pieces with little creativity. Taking time to experiment is how fab new looks are born. 

13. Set a shopping date with a friend whose style you admire to pick up some tips. Trust me, your stylish friends love nothing more than to have someone to play dress up with. Treat them to lunch or dinner if you feel guilty about taking advantage of their generosity or offer to barter a gift of your own. 

14. Try on a new silhouette or trend that's outside of your comfort zone just to see how it feels. It costs nothing to try so just give it a whirl for fun. You might actually love the way it looks. 

15. Purposely overdress for your next big meeting or social gathering to practice getting comfortable with more attention. Making changes to your look will get noticed. Start practicing to graciously accept compliments by taking the plunge. 

16. Spend some time planning your outfits for the next week this weekend so you can wake up and get dressed in less than 5 minutes on Monday morning. This way you can hit snooze and still look amazing all week. 

-- Tamika Auwai is our resident Style Editor, Shopping Enthusiast and Wardrobe Expert

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