You know your wardrobe needs an update, but where do you begin? First of all, don’t jump the gun. Shopping can be the most fun process, but doing your homework can help you to make the best decisions and not become tempted by things you don’t need. Here are my suggestions to prepare you:

1/ Make a list – Start by going through your closet to determine where there are “holes” in your wardrobe. Do you need the basics – a new suit, a few pairs of pants, great tee shirts – or do you need colorful accessories that will make our core items pop?

2/ Think Twice – If you find yourself tempted by something that’s a great deal, ask yourself if you truly love how it looks on your body and if it’s something you’d pay full price for. If the answer is yes, and it works with at least 3 items in your closet, then go for it!

3/ Get the Munchies – Grab an energy bar or some trail mix and a bottle of water. You’ll need sustenance and don’t want to risk making a wardrobe decision if you’re feeling light-headed.

4/ Know Thyself – Know what styles flatter your body best and stick with them. Don’t be afraid to try something new, but if you’ve learned that a certain cut doesn’t work on your body type, steer clear of it and stick with cuts that enhance your assets.

5/ Color is Key
– Know what colors are your most flattering tones. These will make you look your best and enhance your natural coloring. If you have had your colors done, take your palette with you.

6/ Mix high-end and low-end
– Shopping can be a fun game and shopping in a variety of stores helps you to create a look that’s all your own. You can mix investment items with something you found at a consignment shop to great effect and no one will ever guess how much (or, rather, how little) you paid for it when the overall effect is nothing short of fabulous! Plus your look will have your personal stamp on it rather than looking like it’s right off the rack. The most fashionable ladies shop this way and it makes for a much more interesting effect overall!

7/ Have a Strategy
Your core pieces are the ones you want to invest in, but seasonal trends are where you can get away with going budget. Trendy items won’t have the longevity of the classic items in your closet. Do a cost per wear analysis – divide the price by the number of times you think you’ll wear an item. For example, if you pay $30 for a dress, but only wear it twice, that’s $15 per wear. If you pay $300 for a suit and wear it 100 times over the course of 5 years, that’s $3 per wear. Which is a better bargain in the long run?

8/ Three is the Magic Number
-When you buy something it should go with at least 3 items you already have in your closet. “ Fashion can be bought, style one must possess.” Edna W. Chase