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Look for quality:
You donít have to break the bank to buy quality garments. Just look for items within your price range that have excellent cuts and classic colors. Tip: when looking to buy a quality coat, make sure the inner lining is well constructed- if this finishing element is well made, you can rest assured that the rest of the garment is too.
Avoid looking like a fashion victim:
One crucial element to dressing chic is to avoid looking like a walking billboard. More than one initial display of a designer name in one outfit makes you a fashion victim. Prominently displayed logos- real or knock-off, look cheesy and cheap. If you want to emulate a celebrity, think Gwyneth Paltrow, not Paris Hilton.
Pay attention to details:
Looking chic doesnít have to be really expensive. Cheaper fabrics look more expensive if they are ironed. Change a cheap cardigan by replacing ugly plastic buttons with mother-of- pearl ones. Dressing chic is all about focusing on the details that make a garment stand out.
Pick clothes that flatter:
Chic clothes never bunch, hang, sag, or constrict your breathing. They should graze over your silhouette, highlighting and enhancing your figure. If it doesnít flatter your figure, leave it on the rack. If it doesnít fit well, it will NEVER look good.
Focus on fabrics:
There are lots of options for beautiful fabrics, even if you are on a budget. Rule of thumb: stick with fibers that can be found in nature. With proper maintenance they will keep their shape and wear beautifully. Keep an eye out for sales to get great deals on cashmere sweaters, and gorgeous silk tops for evening looks.
Update your shoe wardrobe:
A great pair of shoes really finishes an outfit, so make sure you appropriate footwear. A pair of black pumps is a staple that you canít live without- they work great with a suit for work or with dark denim and a sparkly top for evening. Some other great shoes to invest in: a pair of classic boots, an open toed pump, and flirty flats. A great pair of strappy sandals for evening, and a stack- heeled boot for walking in should round out your shoe wardrobe.
Invest in classic pieces:
If you are going to hand over your hard earned dollars for an expensive designer piece, make sure itís a classic that will transcend trends and last more than one season. Think Manolo Blahnik, Chanel, Ferragamo for shoes, Louis Vuitton, and Hermes for bags; Dior shades.
Itís all about the attitude:
Whether your outfit cost 100 dollars or 1,000 dollars, the trick to looking you spent a fortune is all in how you wear those duds. Focus on good taste, confidence, elegance, and maintain an air of mystery, and no matter what you wear, you will always have what the French call a certain, je ne sais quois.
About the Author: By Erica Salyi-Pannozzo, Assistant Editor of Think Fashion.com, an online shopping portal featuring over 60 designers including Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs and Roberto Cavalli.