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Don't fall for these fashion traps

Elizabeth Mitchell is a freelance fashion and beauty writer living in Los Angeles. A graduate of New York University, she regularly contributes to The Fashion Spot, The Luxury Spot and authors the Star Style column for StyleBakery Teen. ...

A stint in style rehab

Maybe you’re the type of girl who can’t pass up a good deal or perhaps you just have a hard time saying no to any and every fashion trend. Sound familiar? If so, it’s time to check yourself into style rehab.
Happy woman reading price tag

Rule #1: Blindly copying a celebrity's style isn't cool

Just because it looks good on a celebrity doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you. Women especially tend to fall for this trap because we have a "heard" mentality when it comes to heavily promoted product, points out fashion designer Galina Sobolev of SINGLE dress. "Keep in mind that an item, whether it be a dress or a pair of jeans, that is worn by a few celebs may not be the right item for you at all." Network and celebrity stylist Jeni Elizabeth also strongly advises against buying a star’s entire look if you don’t have the money for it. You should never spend your very last dime on an outfit you can’t afford.

Rule #2: If you wouldn’t buy it full price, don’t buy it at all

"Remember: It’s not a bargain unless you actually wear it," cautions author and professor in fashion design Sharyne Wolfe. "Sure, that $1,500 Moschino dress marked down to $100 is a steal, but if you're not the 1 percent of the population that looks good in chartreuse, it's not a smart buy," she notes. Um, we couldn’t agree more.

Rule #3: Closet candy is always a major no-no

Unfortunately, we’ve all fallen victim to this one. You love the dress — it’s to die for and the price is unreal. You buy it and it sits in your closet taking up room, which most of us don't have to spare, explains Wolfe. "There was something about it that just didn't work. Maybe you had nowhere you could wear it or you couldn't get the look together, but this garment turned into closet candy (eye candy for your closet). You may as well frame it and hang it on your wall." Yep, seriously… it’s that useless.

Rule #4: Never (ever, ever) buy "goal" clothing

You’ve vowed to lose 10 pounds by summer. So what’s the very first thing you do? You go out and purchase a cute mini dress or skirt a size too small as motivation to finally drop the weight. Sadly, buying "goal" clothing will only end up making you feel worse about yourself if you can't or don’t lose the weight to wear it, warns Jeni Elizabeth.

Rule #5: Stop being so darn trendy

Sure, buying a few trendy pieces here and there is all fine and dandy, but many women aren’t sure of what their style is so they adopt trends just because they're trends (never mind that they're unflattering, make them feel silly or just plain don't look good), says StyleFinder mentor, coach and speaker Mary Michele Nidiffer. "When women are confused about what to wear, they lose all sense of perspective and they sacrifice their own personal style for what's 'in style.'" Get to know what looks good on you and experiment with those trends instead.

Rule #6: Start branching out of your comfort zone

A lot of women aren't very confident in who they are or in their personal style. They don't want to draw attention to themselves, so from an early age they begin to hide their style little by little to fit in. "What you resist persists, and you can only ignore it for so long," points out Mary Michele. "I teach my clients to honor and celebrate their own unique style, and it has been so incredibly liberating for them to see what it feels like to connect who they are on the inside to how they show up on the outside." Take risks and don’t be afraid to be you. Confidence can make or break an outfit — seriously.

Rule #7: Too many basics is a total bore

The main fashion trap many clients fall into is buying too many basics, says virtual wardrobe stylist Nicole Longstreath. "They're an important wardrobe staple, but you can't fill up your entire wardrobe with them or you'll look really bland. A good ratio is 20-30 percent basics; the rest should be garments you love which communicate your unique personality," she suggests.

Tell us

Which fashion traps are you most guilty of falling into? Share in the comments below.

More fashion advice

How to spot quality clothing
Outfits that look good in pictures
Accessories worth investing in

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