When there’s an economic recession, the focus is on saving and spending less. The fashion tips below will not only teach you how to dress better for less, but also how to maintain your existing wardrobe.
- Print Mix
You make the rule, don’t be afraid to mix prints. Who says you can’t wear a dog tooth pattern with African tribal pattern/motif. Nobody, you did. So experiment with your style, don’t just follow trends. Take a cue from Rihanna in Stella jean, whose collection is about mixing patterns.
- Fabric Care
Don’t wash your clothes every time you wear it especially denim which has the tendency of stretching. You should use night dew to air them out. Dipping in water all the time will not only fade it away but might also affect their fitting on you. Before purchasing or washing, do read the fabric care label. If it says hand wash, dry clean only or wash at low temperature. In a hot climate like Nigeria, some fabrics should be air dried and not under direct sunlight. Also use fabric conditioners and colour catchers in your washing machine.
3. LBD – Little Black Dress
Every wardrobe needs a little Black Dress. The magical thing is that it can be dressed up or dressed down depending on the occasion. To dress it up, all you need is a show stopping accessory such as dropping earrings. To dress it down for a corporate drape look, just wear a long sleeve white shirt under paired with a smart shoe, sneaker or slip on.
- Brighten Your Outfit
Do wear bold and vivid colours like secondary colours such as orange, green, pink and others on the colour wheel. Even the most boring outfit can be spiced up and updated with bright coloured accessories. For example, a colourful shoe, bag, jewellery, belt or even scarf. So instead of buying new outfits, just learn to mix up existing. You can also layer up them up like a colourful scarf tied around a plain colour bag. Wear the colours you love. Be brave with fashion, don’t let trends dictate to you.
5. Perfect Tailor
Having a tailor who understands your silhouette and can advise you on the best outfits to make will save you a fortune. A good tailor will actually create a pattern for you, so your outfits are always on point. Don’t compromise on quality. If you go make or mend your clothes with an amateur tailor, you are probably not going to wear the particular outfit more than once.
- Multiple buys
Like most women, it’s a struggle to find outfits which suits and flatters our silhouette. Embrace your shape and dress for it. When I find styles that suit me, I show loyalty by buying them in different fabrics and styles. As an apple shape who is also of petite height, I found out Skater / peplum styles brings out my figure because their waist is defined and the hem is just above the knee. So in my wardrobe, you will find them in various fabrics including cotton, denim and leather in skirts and dresses. Stay away from cute outfits which are not flattering for your figure because there is a higher tendency it will not be worn. It will just be sitting in your wardrobe gathering dust.
7. Made in Nigeria – MIN or MaIN
With the current recession and exchange rate, buying trendy pieces from outside Nigeria has been a struggle. So why not patronise homegrown brands who are not only delivering on quality now but also on style? They understand the need for value for money. Stores like Shopmaju sells affordable pieces, which can easily be compared to Zara or Mango clothes. If you don’t believe, go and check Zara’s latest summer collection. The recent MaIN (Made in Nigeria) Festival reaffirms the Government’s efforts towards encouraging citizens to buy from indigenous brands.
- Bargain Hunter
If you can afford to still buy from outside of Nigeria, look out for sale especially now that summer just ended. Most brands are already emptying their warehouse to make room for Autumn/Winter 2016 stock. Even Nigeria brands do black Friday and sample sale. Look out for their promotional activities. Don’t buy things just because they are cheap, only buy things you really love.
9. BDS – Bend Down Select
With the economic downturn, don’t shy away from buying second-hand clothes also known as Okirika (OK). Fashion outside of Nigeria is at least 6 months ahead, so you might still find trendy pieces or sample by top designers which were initially donated to charities in the UK etc for cheap.
10. MDS – Masculine Wardrobe Steal
Menswear is trendy right now and fortunately flattering on women. Why not borrow from the male in your family’s wardrobe? Imagine rocking your brother, father or even partners Shirt as a dress. Why not ask them for their oversized suit, get your tailor to cut off the sleeves to turn it into a jacket.