Remember: You Make the Clothes, the Clothes Don’t Make You

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Each season, we’re faced with the same conundrum: what to keep, what to toss, and what to buy. If you’re like me, when you go through your closet and drawers, you run across jeans from two seasons ago, denim skirts, raggedy T-shirts, and cargo shorts that are oh-so-out. For the coming fashion season, it’s out with the old and in with the new – particularly for casual wear.

When it’s time to shop, though, what should you look for?

Denim is still central to the casual wardrobe, but some of the more severe denim treatments of years past are out of date. Slubbing is still in fashion, but the thing to look for is embellishment. This season, the story isn’t so much rhinestones as it is embroidery. Look for women’s jeans and men’s jeans with geometric designs stitched on – the more the better. For example, look for jeans with triangles going down one leg, or designer jeans with the designer logo prominently placed on the front, just below the pocket. Black men’s jeans are also back, so keep an eye out for the sleek look of black denim.

Denim shorts are also showing up in the season’s offerings, but look beyond the short-shorts and go with a knee-length style. It’s a bit of a throwback to the pedal pusher era, but shorts length is definitely longer than in seasons past. This is true for both plus sizes and missy sizes.fashion

Now, what about tops? The color story is season is solids, but solids are ranging from bright marina blue to coral to the more subdued khaki. Look for T-shirts in a variety of styles, from tanks to polos to plain round-neck tees. Again, designer logos are prominent, either to make a bold statement on the front of T-shirts, or a more subtle statement just below the neckline in the back.

Before you dash off to the mall, you should know that some newer designers are making a splash. Check out the online offerings of the new kids on the block. You’ll get both a price break and the ability to stand out from the crowd by being among the first to “discover” the next hip label.

In addition, remember that while you do want to be in fashion this season, you don’t want to look like everyone else. Always keep in mind that you make the clothes, the clothes don’t make you. Here are five tips to make fashion your own:

1. Accessorize – Your accessories make a statement about who you are. Don’t go overboard, but choose pieces that are unique and that make you shine.

2. Attitude is Everything – You can be dressed in a mega-bucks designer gown, but you’ll look dowdy unless you have the confidence to carry it off. No matter what you wear – even a pair of women’s jeans and a T-shirt – hold your head high and know that you belong.

3. Don’t Forget the Shoes – The wrong shoes can ruin an otherwise spectacular outfit. Make sure your shoe style is in sync with the style of your clothes.

4. Have Fun – Don’t be a slave to fashion. Have fun with it and don’t fret too much about every little thing. Experiment. Be bold. You may even surprise yourself.

5. Share the Joy – Remember those old clothes from last season or last year? Give them to a deserving charity. Your castoffs are sure to make someone else’s day.