Fashion crunch

By LIZ GRIFFITHS [email protected]

Liz Griffiths, 22, is a freelance journalist currently based in England. She has previously worked in the Algarve and hopes to return soon. Her main passions are fashion, travel and vinho verde!

Is it just me or do you feel guilty spending money on clothes during this time of economic downfall?  

The pull of the bargain can lead us to buy clothing that we don’t need. How many times do you think you will wear those leather leggings? And how long do you think this trend will last? (Until women realise they make one’s legs look like two overcooked sausages – that’s when!)

There was a time not so long ago when women only bought what they really needed. My grandmother would buy one coat and make it last a good few years. She would also spend a decent amount on it to ensure it would last and continue to look good. Today you can spend a ‘tenner’ and come away with a fabulous new coat or dress. So why not?

Recent scientific research has proven that women only wear 30 per cent of their wardrobe. So it’s time to start being fashion smart – but what are these ‘pieces’ that you need in your wardrobe? Here is my suggested ‘capsule wardrobe’.

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Black trousers – wide-leg fit are a favourite. They are trendy, look elegant and go with blouses or sweaters. Avoid teaming with wishy-washy colours – it just looks tired. Instead opt for vibrant prints or colours. You can’t go wrong with classic monochrome which will probably never date. Choose a material that wears well and don’t feel guilty for spending a bit extra – these trousers will never date!

White Blouse – officially a classic. The white blouse can be worn on its own, under a suit, with a skirt or could be a backdrop for your new statement necklace.  The blouse can also be layered in winter with jumpers or underneath a dress. Make sure it is 100 per cent cotton or any other good quality material that will wear well.

Smart dress – This is a dress you wouldn’t wear to go clubbing! One that instantly makes you feel elegant and smart is the shift, which can be layered in the winter or can go solo in the summer. Grey or black would be the most wearable but if you’re brave, choose a bold colour. If you want to feel comfortable and less ‘pulled in’, a dress made of jersey is what you need. A jersey wrap dress is another classic thanks to its creator Diane Von Furstenberg and it looks fabulous teamed with knee high boots in winter.

Pencil skirt – The pencil skirt is very versatile and can be glammed up to go straight from the office to the bar! It looks great with the white blouse. In the evening, unbutton a few of those buttons, add a dazzling necklace and red lipstick and voila, you’re ready for a glamorous night.

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Little Black Dress – We have Coco Chanel to thank for the creation that is a constant life saver among women. The LBD is like a loyal old friend – it’s always there when you need it. So when buying a LBD, invest in one with a style you know suits you. Go for a fabric that is wearable throughout the year.

Statement necklace – Accessorising can instantly make a glamorous outfit. That black vest top hidden in your wardrobe would look sensational against a sparkling pearl necklace. Invest in a necklace that will have impact. If you’re brave, opt for a bold coloured beaded necklace or pearls for instant chic.

Red shoes – Every woman should own a pair of red shoes. It is surprisingly versatile and they are very sexy. If you’re not in the mood for your party dress, wear a pair of red heels with your jeans to instantly feel glamorous and sexy without feeling like you’ve tried too hard.

Liz Griffiths can be contacted by emailing [email protected]