Most Versatile Item in Your Closet for Fall

There is something about Fall fashion that seems very refreshing. I love seeing all the big September issues of Vogue, Elle, and InStyle and checking out the colors, the prints, and the cuts for the upcoming year. As much as I love a new item in my wardrobe, I also keep thinking about how to wear my current clothing more. Year after year, I have realized that the most versatile item for fall is a neutral colored cardigan about hip length. Over the years, I have collected quite a few cardigans, but a black, gray, and nude are my go to-s. They are so easy to throw in the bag for the cooler evenings and work well with many outfits. Below are just some ways to wear them. 

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If you have a cardigan outfit, you'd like to get shared on PracticallyFashion Instagram. Please tag me. 

Do you have a favorite brand for good quality cardigans that don't break the bank? My favorite currently is this Madewell sweater for $98.

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How to Bridge the Gap Between Your Pinterest and Your Real Closet

We all have this problem: Our Pinterest closet is much more stylish than our real life closet. Not only more stylish, but those clothes are perfectly clean and pressed and do not need any tailoring. 

I've spent a lot of time on Pinterest collecting looks, only to later return to those boards for inspiration and couldn't find anything to wear that looked as good as it did in that virtual closet. Then I spent some time editing my searches and boards and edited my closet to make that more realistic. 

1. Create specific boards

My Closet - Outfits you can actually copy now with what you have in your closet.

Future Buys - Potential things you might add to your closet. For instance, a denim jacket. Do a search on denim jackets and find out how many looks you have now that you can wear with that item. Find the best length, sleeve style, color variation etc through those examples, which will help you when you actually shop. Then re-pin the looks you now have in My Closet once you buy the jacket.  Here are all the denim jacket looks I found when I was shopping for a jacket: Denim Jacket

Inspiration - These are looks that are similar to something you already have. Not exact, but something to try out. Once you try it out and it looks good with your clothes, keep the look. If it doesn't look good, delete it. For instance, if you have leopard loafers in your closet and you find a look like the one below, however, you don't have a red bag or that same coat, but the black pants, striped shirt are good starting points. Then add an interesting color to the look via the bag or coat with some big bracelets and a watch.  

2. Follow Bloggers who are more realistic to your size and shape

It's really hard to tell how tall or big someone is from photos, but you can look for their Q and A and see if they have those listed. It's very important to follow bloggers of your size and shape. There are so many blogs out there and I can guarantee you that there is someone out there with your height, weight, and boob size blogging and inspiring. I've purchased something so many times because it looked great on someone else, only to find out that it either looks like a cheap rag, a tent, or completely retarded on me. Camera does add a few pounds, so if the blogger looks skinny in the photo, they are even smaller in real life. I've seen bloggers in person who I have followed whose legs are the size of my arms. 

3. Be realistic about your lifestyle and how you spend your time

For instance, it's not practical to chase a toddler in 4 inch heels. This is a very real lifestyle example for me, which took a while to sink in. Below is an example of my go to style when I am with my daughter. Since I have a two year old, I go to the playground a lot, so I have an entire board dedicated for those looks. Playground Looks

4. Pay attention to the details in the outfits

Bloggers and stylists are very clever with their styling tricks and most of the time they do something that might not be very obvious to you. For instance, pay attention to the pant rolls on the bottom, to the sleeve rolls, to the tucks of the top, to how their hair is styled for the specific top and what type of shoes they are wearing in the outfit. Shoes make a big difference. Size of handbag can also make a big difference for the overall outfit. The weight/size of the accessories is important to consider as well to copy the look better. 

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How To Buy Designer Clothes For Under $200

Have you met women who don't make that much money to afford luxury items, yet they keep posting them on their Instagram or bringing to your girls night out? - I have! I always wondered how they did it and while some have so much credit card debt, others have some smart shopping habits.

In my experience, I always feel better about buying something that I know I can afford and that didn't cause me to exceed my monthly budget. I have also noticed that my clothes that are designer (higher quality) tend to stay in my closet for years and I get much better cost per wear ratio from them. 

So how do you buy high quality designer items on a normal salary? Here are my secrets:

1. Find items on eBay

This is one of the best resources for designer items that won't break the bank. You just have to know how to find the right pieces. Depending on what you are looking for, eBay does have a great way to filter for items. If you search for designer, I recommend using a designer name like Gucci or Prada in the search and then item type like "lace dress". You can use NWT (new with tags) if you are only interested in new items. There is also a filter for only new or used. If you just want to search for any designer without typing in a specific name each time, you can use "auth" in the search. This will pull up mostly designer names. Always put in the maximum price you are willing to pay and your size. I just did a search for a Prada dress for under $200 in a size small or extra small and the dress below came up. While I was checking it out, I went to the store of missvlane and looked at other items they have in my size and my budget. I found the Bottega Veneta dress below. 

I've found many great stores that sell new designer shoes with the box and storage bag for under $300. Here are a couple of items from one of my favorite places, the lenkainbe

Keep following my blog posts as I will be sharing many more great finds from eBay.

2. Buy one item every 3 months

This one is hard to do, but believe me, it's one of the most liberating 'smart shopping' habits I have mastered. I will buy one nice item every few months or every month depending on how much it is and what my monthly shopping budget is set at. It's better to have one versatile, good quality item that you can pair with new accessories than 4 or 5 items that are cheap. You'll get rid of the cheap things quickly and will forget you ever had them, but nice clothes are there to stay and even pass on to your kids. This is how many of our grandmas used to shop. 

Investing in classic and versatile pieces you can keep wearing is worth the wait. Keep the colors neutral and basic on the items that you splurge on. You only need one pair of black slacks, but buy the perfect pair that you'll still love in 3 years. 

3. Find a good discount store near you

I have a great Marshall's near my house now. I used to have a great Nordstrom Rack where I used to live. The secret is not to get overwhelmed with these stores. If you go more frequently and only check one or two sections, that shouldn't take you long. I give myself 20 min max. Find the best section where you can find designer items and only check those when you pop into the store. Don't get discouraged and keep going back, you will eventually find the perfect item that makes it worth it and fun. At the Rack, I would go through the designer rack only and look through all the items. Most items were still expensive, but every now and then, I will find something that is deeply discounted. You want to check for rips or tears and if there are any, make sure your tailor can fix them. At Marshall's I have two sections, one is the discount rack and the other women's tops. The discount rack seems to have the better brands and the discounts are great. I recently found a Vince shirt, retailing for $298, for $23 at Marshall's. I often buy these even if they are not my size and gift them. 

Now that I have told you my secrets of how to get designer clothes for less, please share some of yours in the comments. 

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