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Ask Avery: Updating your wardrobe, made easy

Photo courtesy of Flickr / shaire productions

blog by Avery Hartmans  • 

I used to consider myself pretty stylish, but I think I’m in a fashion funk. I recently moved, and while packing my clothes I suddenly realized that most of them were bought around the year 2006. I don’t want to spend a bunch of money on a whole new wardrobe, but I can you recommend a few key pieces to bring me into 2012? It’s pretty likely that whatever I buy will stay in my closet for a long (long) time, so I want to avoid anything super trendy while still looking fashion-forward.

It’s all too easy to fall into a rut when you haven’t had anything new in your closet in a while (which is how I justify my recent online shopping spree). But you’re right, blowing a couple hundred dollars at the Galleria on a whole new wardrobe is not the answer. Instead, I’ve come up with a few stylish — but not too trendy — pieces that you can easily incorporate into your closet without breaking the bank.

1. Something leopard print
This doesn’t have to be a shirt or dress or skirt (in fact, I’d prefer that it wasn’t), but one accessory can liven up your whole outfit. I recently got a pair of leopard print loafers that instantly add style to my uniform of skinny jeans and a white v-neck. You don’t need to go crazy — a chic accessory like a belt, a pair of shoes or even a winter scarf will do the trick.

2. Sheer chiffon button-downs
I’ve been seeing these everywhere lately and they look polished and chic with nearly anything. These tops are a modern take on a wardrobe staple, so you know they won’t really go out of style. You can find them in a variety of colors and they look great with high-waisted skirts or shorts, under blazers or just loosely knotted at the bottom with a pair of your favorite jeans. And a top like this doesn’t have to cost you a fortune: Urban Outfitters and H&M have a ton of these types of blouses, usually for $50 or less.

3. Sweaters
I know this may seem really general, but I firmly believe you can never have too many sweaters. Designers seem to agree with me as sweaters in every style imaginable have been popping up everywhere. From cropped to oversized, chunky to cashmere, knits are, and will always be, in style. I’m willing to bet your sweater selection could use an update before the cold weather hits, so invest in some of the great options in stores this winter.

4. One statement piece
It doesn’t matter what this is — a sequined skirt, a classic party dress or a fabulous piece of jewelry. One item that will make people stop and stare will bring a fantastic variety to your wardrobe.

I love wearing sequins, especially during the holiday season, but I don’t know how to pull them off without looking like a disco ball. Any suggestions?

Sequins can be really fun and stylish for the holiday party season — as long you don’t overdo it. An overload of sparkle can make you look like a Vegas showgirl, which I highly doubt is the look you’re going for at your company Christmas party or family gathering.

If you’re unafraid of shimmer and you’re opting for something like a sequined skirt or dress, the rest of your outfit should be very, very understated. J. Crew pairs their silver sequined skirt with a loose-fitting denim button-down and red heels, which is cute and fashion forward without being over the top. If you’re wearing a sequined dress, try it with a pair of opaque tights, ballet flats and very minimal jewelry. Remember to always keep it simple — if your sequined outfit is sending off a glare, you should probably tone it down.

TAGGED: ask avery, fashion, style

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