We can't live in denial, however -- it's a time of national and international economic turmoil. While looking and feeling our best are good for morale, we're looking for minor, affordable ways to make a big splash.
This is a trend we just can't get away from for winter 2010. They could possibly be the season's must-have item -- whether you go for something wild like these hot pink super-high suede boots (from Zappos.com) or a more classic black, you'll want to wear these everywhere. Consider pairing them with a mini and colored or patterned tights.
Texture is huge this season, and details show the intricacies of style -- and take the drab right out of winter.
Blame it on MJ, or on the need for women to grab control of a style that could have gone dour. Features like bow blouses, ruffles and tailored waistcoats that feminize "masculine" styles.
Millions are flocking to private sale sites. Much like at the sample sales of the brick-and-mortar stores, you can get designer duds for up to 90 percent off retail at invite-only sites like ideeli, Rue La La, Gilt Groupe and more.
To make your wardrobe last for the next season or so, consider your color choices carefully. According to the winter 2010 color trend report from Pantone (one of the major color trend predictors for designers), there's a major return to classic camel, as well as menswear-inspired gray and black. These muted tones are a great neutral backdrop that you can dress up with seasonally inspired accessories.
"In this current retail climate, thoughtful and creative uses of color are that much more important. Now more than ever, designers need to come up with new ways to attract the consumer's attention," says Laurie Pressman, vice president of fashion, home and interiors at Pantone.
And what about investment versus savings when it comes to wardrobes? People are looking for trendy styles at a price point under $100 more than ever before. Many of us, however, are still willing to invest in a select few key higher-end items that can transform our wardrobes instantly. (Get yourself that hot pair of over-the-knee boots or that new military jacket!) One key item can update your wardrobe completely and keep you on-trend the whole season through.
Cost-per-wear is an important factor this season, too. If you are buying an LBD, you may not want to spend a few hundred dollars on it unless you know you will wear it to dozens of occasions. But if you find that IT bag, one you'll wear every single day to work -- then perhaps that is worth a more significant investment.
Buying key pieces you truly covet is, in the long run, more affordable than buying a bunch of inexpensive things you will replace each season. Shoes also fall into this category. Invest in a great pair of shoes that are super stylish and feel great so they'll take you the distance. (Quite literally!)
This winter, take that thought process into consideration when buying your winter coat. A good winter coat will last years -- at least through several seasons -- and that means you won't have to figure in the cost of purchasing a new one annually. Besides, with so many of us pounding the pavement looking for a new job this winter, don't we want to be fashionably toasty?
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