Shopping for New Additions to Your Wardrobe

Is this woman you or someone you know?

I cannot singlehandedly change the cramming. I can give you some tips to help you find your treasures amongst the haystack of store clothes.

Here is my system for finding new additions to my winter wardrobe. They are three modern dressing skills you can apply and adapt when shopping for clothes.

Colour and Pattern

It is usually the colour or the material pattern that first attracts your attention. This is great when searching for a colour you like and that looks good on you. The downside is that you can end up with a wardrobe of one colour only. Purple looks good on me and I own lots of purple clothes. I do not get bored with them because they are all slightly different shades of purple and I have both plain and patterned items. This is the secret to wearing a ‘looks great on you’, signature colour – not just different shades but also pattern variations.

Wear only one shade of colour and one pattern style and you will be lamenting ‘I have nothing to wear’. Your colour swatch gives you your variety of colour shades as well as telling you which pattern types are in harmony with your colour season. This knowledge gives you the confidence to wear patterns beyond the usual ‘safe’ striped or check patterns.

I am always looking for a new colour or new pattern. Medium shades are best if you are not sure of the colour. Try it on. Trust your intuition rather than a pushy salesperson. Do listen to their advice for ways to wear it.

Necklines and Hemlines

You have found a colour or pattern. Now look at the neckline and hemline. The best necklines leave some space for your accessories and face to shine. Classic necklines like V, U, round, square and boat necklines are fine if you can add your favourite or special accessory that attracts people to you. An unadorned classic neckline or a centre-buttoned plain shirt will do little to make you feel good about yourself. Keep your wardrobe modern and interesting to you by looking for different variations on basic shapes eg centre or side twists, off centre V shape, crossovers or an embellished neckline.

Different or interesting hemlines are often an easily overlooked feature that can lift a simple top, jacket or dress. Asymmetrical, slightly curved, peplums, frills and pleats are all features that cover or enhance your arms, waist, hips or thighs. Today’s fashions, like this Simplicity 2148 pattern, are exploring all these options. Go window shopping on http://www/, or


Winter is most definitely the season for texture that keeps you warm. Texture, though, is not confined just to winter.

Our first association with texture is in the materials we wear. When shopping, look for something that has texture rather than a smooth, flat, matt look and feel. Embossed fabrics, velvet, faux fur, some knits and corduroy are obvious ones. Then go beyond that and search for pintucks, embellished necklines or decorations, ribbon or bias strips, pleats, ruching or decorative buttons. This Debenham’s top with centre front ruching is an example of this principle. Fabric has to feel comfortable against your skin. If it passes that test, then something with texture can feel great and stand out in a sea of women wearing matt clothing.

Winter is a great season for finding and wearing a lovely soft, warm, textured, winter scarf.

There you have it – colour, pattern, neckline, hemline and texture. This is how I choose new clothes for winter or any season.

(Article sent to subscribers of The Fashion Translator eZine’ on 26 July  2012. Click here to sign up for The Fashion Translator eZine.)


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