How to dress like a Pro
It seems like a simple concept. Get up, get dressed, and leave the house! But getting dressed isn’t just about buying clothes and wearing it. It’s about buying the RIGHT pieces and wearing them!
The ‘right pieces of clothing’ means having the right color in the right material and paying the right price for it because let’s face it, you don’t want to spend hundreds (or in my case, tens) on one item only to have it last much less than something you paid 5 dollars for.
Keep this guide in mind when you do your shopping:
Know when to buy your clothes
Not everything worth having is worth paying full price. When you buy quantity, clothes last longer because you wear each piece sporadically. So, how do you buy a lot without spending too much? Buy CHEAP!
Best times to shop for clothes
Know how retail works.
The retail industry is guided by the fiscal calendar (the government calendar, the tax calendar… however you want to call it) which runs from February to January. The fiscal year is also divided into only two seasons; Spring (February – July) and Fall (August – January). This is important… Why? Keep reading.
The retail industries release their sales report during the first week of every month for the previous month. By January, retailers are already thinking about Spring merchandise and looking to close the year reporting as much revenue possible.
Because of the urge to make space for new products and to report as much profit possible (or least loss possible), EVERYTHING is marked for clearance. Although winter just began, you can find winter attire marked down, and clothes for every other season on clearance… Just in time for spring!
Retail stores report their monthly sales during the first week of the following month. To report the most sales, retailers will likely offer discounted prices during the last two weeks of each month, depending on how well they are performing in the beginning of the month.
What is a clearance sale?
A clearance is called a bargain, and it’s is exactly what it implies! The purpose of these sales is to clear space to make way for new merchandise, so clothes will be at their cheapest!
When to expect a clearance sale?
When you’re shopping a clearance sale, expect to buy clothes for the previous season or year (obviously). You’re essentially planning for the next year… and who doesn’t plan for the future?? The longer you wait, however, the less inventory you’ll find.
What to buy during a clearance sale?
Take advantage of clearance sales by buying quantity on essentials, like undershirts, shorts, sandals, throw overs, scarfs, hats, etc. These are small details in your wardrobe that can make an outfit look completely different!
Expect a clearance sale during the following periods:
- At the end of the two fiscal seasons
- July and August- which marks the end of the fiscal Spring season (for Spring and Summer clothes)
- January and February which marks the end of the Fall season (for Fall and Winter clothes)
- Immediately after a major festivity.
- Valentine’s Day
What is a promotion sale?
A promotion is called a good deal, and this sale is intended to prompt more spending! You won’t find those $80 jeans for $20, but if you purchase the $80 jeans, you may get the second one half off, or you can get $50 off a $200+ purchase.
When to expect a promotion sale?
The best promotion sales happen during the slow times; when retailers have to “fight” for customers’ attention. When you’re out looking for a grill and not a t-shirt, clothing stores will try to win your sale by offering a discount.
You can expect a promotion sale during the following periods:
- Valentine’s Day
- Presidents Day
- Martin Luther King Day
- Mother’s Day/ Father’s Day
- Memorial Day/ Independence Day/ Labor Day/ Veteran’s Day
- New Year
A guide on what to buy
A pop of color can make a big difference in an outfit. You don’t necessarily have to dress in all green, but mixing a silky white top with blue bottoms makes a bolder statement than pairing black on black.
Wearing bright colors (or colors other than black) improves overall moods. Color pieces are ALWAYS something you should invest in. The tricky part is to determine the worth of the piece. As I mentioned earlier, not everything is worth spending a bill on.
Buying the right pieces
It may seem easy to go out and shop. You can fall in love with a piece, so why not buy it? Well, if you’re only going to wear it twice out of the year, why spend $80 on it? Invest in pieces that you can wear year-round, and the higher the price you pay, the longer you should expect the shirt to last, otherwise pay the clearance price.
Fabric materials make a huge difference on whether I would purchase the outfit. Look at the material tag, and then make a mental note of how much you would pay for something that will only look new the first two times you wear it… If the price doesn’t match your expectations, move on.
Most clothes are made of these materials, so I gave you a breakdown on what to look out for when shopping for professional clothing (with cotton being the least recommended).
Top 4 everyday clothing fabrics
100% Cotton: Although cotton is one of the cheapest fabrics out there, it also has its purpose. Cotton colors fade faster and the material is very prone to wrinkles; two definite no’s for professional attire. For this reason, try buying only light colors or pastel colors. Cotton is also very absorbent and when it’s thick doesn’t dry as fast as other fabrics, so for the days when you know there’s a chance of breaking a sweat, a cotton shirt is the last thing you want to sport when you need to make an impression! Depending on how it was manufactured, cotton can stretch out or shrink in size but tends to rip easy regardless over time. For material that doesn’t maintain it’s new look very long, I wouldn’t pay full price for this.
Silk: Silk just screams sexy and elegant! It looks best when worn with bold colors and not faded fabrics. Because it retains color well, it can make faded clothes look even ashy-er… specially faded black. This fabric is a year-round material, and during the winter counts as the perfect second layer without the extra cushion.
Polyester: This is probably the only fabric that I would spend my savings on! This material never fades and depending on the thickness, doesn’t wrinkle! The clothes are light, easy to dry, and perfect for all seasons. Polyester is made with plastic which makes it a good wind-stopper for those windy winters, but won’t necessarily keep you warm.
Linen- wearing linen blazers helps make an outfit look professional without the added weight. Linen dresses and pants are ideal for summer because of how light they are. Shirts tend to be looser, so make sure not to look too comfortable when going for a professional look.
Air drying your clothes also makes it last much longer. In this case, use liquid detergent. Powdered detergent will leave your clothes looking a little faded, and tumble drying them can alter the texture of the material for the worst.
Don’t just get dressed in the morning- Be a pro!
Part seven of seven