When it comes to fashion, whether you follow the trends or your own style, you can look runway-ready without spending a fortune. Here are our Top 10 Tips for being fashionably savvy.
1. Know your fashion icons
Getting to know the person behind the designer can be a fascinating journey. Recent documentary “McQueen” covers the extraordinary brilliance of Alexander McQueen. Then there is “Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards” including interviews with Manolo Blahnik and his adoring celebrity fans and “The First Monday in May” which gives you a front row seat to Anna Wintour’s annual Met Gala. The subjects are interesting and the designs are dazzling.
2. Brands on a budget
Do you covet couture but don’t have the coins (or credit)? You can still own those labels for less by visiting consignment stores like Carey’s Karma Closet, shopping gently used items online at sites like Rue La La or browsing shops like Last Call at Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th. Unless you tell people where you bought your swag, who will know you didn’t pay full retail?
3. Perfect Pantone
Each season the team at the Pantone Color Institute creates the Pantone Fashion Color Trend Report; a color overview highlighting the top colors fashion designers showing at NY Fashion Week will be featuring in their collections for the upcoming season. What are the colors for fall/winter? (Drum roll, please) Red Pear, Valiant Poppy, Nebulas Blue, Ceylon Yellow, Martini Olive, Russet Orange, Ultra Violet, Crocus Petal, Limelight and Quetzal Green. Now you know.
4. Local boutiques
Before you book that ticket to Miami or elsewhere, check out all the clothes and shoe stores in Cayman. From stylish casual wear to designer names, you can find it all here on the rock, as well as high-end jeans and heels that make a statement. Don’t forget the gents! There are shirts, shorts, suits and pants along with leather belts and silk ties to be found. Take a drive around Seven Mile, George Town and further afield to discover what’s on your doorstep.
5. Fashion mags
Are you a bit stuck in a rut and looking for some ways to shake up your style? Thumbing through a fashion magazine could be just the ticket to give you some new ideas. You’ve started the right way – picking up this What’s Hot – and you can add to your stash by grabbing a Vogue, Glamour and a couple of other digests focused on fashion.
Yes, you can buy through an app and have them on your device, but there is no substitute for having an armful of magazines and going through them, glass of wine in hand.
6. Get a stylist
Who knew that there were people dedicated to creating a look just for you? Personal stylists take into account everything from your skin tone to your body shape and recommend outfits, accessories, and even hair and makeup. They don’t cost as much as you might think and they could lead you to consider ensembles you might not have looked at twice without them. A couple of appointments later and you’ll be rockin’ the red carpet.
It is really easy to shop at a boutique and pick out clothes on the rack, but if you have the time, why not have an outfit or suit made specifically to your measurements? There is nothing quite like wearing a custom-made piece and you’ll be the only one with it. There are a few dressmakers and tailors on the island who have made dresses for local galas and events. Ask anyone in the know – this is the way forward.
8. Runway cities
If you are a real follower of fashion, you really must visit the big four cities that host spring/summer and fall/winter runway shows each year. New York, London, Paris and Milan are always the names that drop from the lips of fashion aficionados, although Los Angeles and Rome are threatening to take the spotlight away. The big designers may be difficult to get tickets for, or at the least, you’ll be in the nosebleeds, but don’t pooh-pooh up-and-coming creative geniuses where perhaps you’ll have a closer seat.
9. Personal shopper
Did you know that almost all major department stores in the U.S. have a personal shopper facility and it is absolutely free to book? We discovered this at Macy’s only recently, and it turns out that Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and other stores of this caliber also offer the service. You are not under any obligation to buy and they can do all the running and curating for you. Just not having to carry an armful of clothes to the fitting rooms alone makes this worth it.
What you wear underneath is as important as what you are sporting on the outside. Ill-fitting bras or panties held together with safety pins are not only uncomfortable – they can affect the shape of your outfit and your attitude. Have yourself measured properly at places like Vy’s Closet and you will probably find that your size isn’t actually what you’ve thought it is all these years. It’s amazing what a difference nice underwear can make.