Frugal Clothes Shopping

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Some of us think it’s always clothes shopping season. We won’t argue that, but what we’re talking about here is clothes shopping by color season – spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Shopping by your color season accomplishes several wondrous things at the same time. It automatically coordinates wardrobes, of course, which saves money. Wearing your seasonal colors, also makes everyone – man, woman, teen, tween, boy, or girl — look vibrant, confident, and slimmer. For adults, wearing your seasonal colors also makes you look younger.

Which Is My Season to Shop?

You don’t need pay an image consultant to have your colors analyzed, although looking in a mirror while the swatches of colored fabric are draped and seeing the changes in your appearance creates a thoroughly convincing argument for always wearing your seasonal colors and no others.

The first step is to figure out whether you belong to one of the warm seasons – spring and autumn – or one of the cool seasons – summer or winter. Look at the veins on the inside of your wrist in natural light. If your veins look blue, then you belong to one of the cool seasons. If your veins look turquoise, then you belong to one of the warm seasons. Some winters do have a sallow cast to their skin, which may cause doubts. One way to alleviate those doubts is look at yourself in a mirror in natural light while draping yourself with or wearing first a vivid royal purple and then a bright orange. If you are a winter, you will look wonderful in the purple but sickly in the orange. If you’re an autumn or spring, you will look good in the orange, but ghostly gray in the purple.

Now, consider your eyes, eyebrows, and natural hair color. Springs and summers have lighter colored eyes and hair than autumns and summers. Autumns who try spring colors and winters who try summer colors look drab and less vibrant. Springs who try autumn colors and summers who try winter colors look overpowered instead of pulled together.

What Are My Season’s Colors?

Springs and autumns should look for golden browns and golden beiges; turquoise and aqua; olive, yellow-greens, and grass greens; salmon pinks; rusts, orange; and orange-reds and tomato red. Autumns should go with the darker, earthier shades of these colors while springs should go with bright, clear, lighter hues. Springs and autumns should avoid taupe shades of beige and brown, blue-greens, rose pink, fuchsia, burgundy, and true reds.

Taupe, blue-greens, rose pink, fuchsia, burgundy and true reds are the colors that summers and winters should look for along with true green, blue, navy, violet, purple, and gray. Only winters should wear black; it’s a cool color, not a warm color, and it’s too overpowering for summers. Instead of the little black dress, springs and autumns would look better in gold or golden brown while summers would look better in silver or gray. White is also a cool color, but summers look better in softer winter white. Summers should look for softened or lighter pastel versions of all the cool colors while winters should look for the strong, vivid, jewel-tones.

When faced with choosing colors for bridesmaids and groom’s men when some members of the bridal party belong to the warm seasons and some to cool, there are two colors to consider. Turquoise or aqua carries enough of the balance of the yellow and blue that make green that most people can wear it. Watermelon pink carries a little of the yellow that creates salmon pink with a little of the blue that creates rose pink so most people can wear it as well.

Frugal Seasons

You probably already have more of the right colors in your wardrobe than wrong ones because, since people look better in the colors for their season, most people  naturally like those colors better. You don’t need to immediately replace all of the clothes that are the wrong color, though. Women can wear a blouse or sweater with a jacket that’s the wrong color, while men can wear a shirt. If the blouse, sweater, or shirt is the wrong color, both men and women can wear a jacket that is the right color. Women can also accessorize a neckline with an inexpensive scarf.

Even among the colors for your season, you will probably find two or three that add even more of a “wow” factor to your look. When you discover those, consider building your wardrobe around them. If you are in a conservative line of work, stay with your season’s more conservative colors for your business wear. You might be able to use your “wow” colors for shirts or blouses, or for a tie, a pocket square, or a scarf. If you are in a less conservative line of work or an image conscious or creative one, you can make bolder choices. With two business suits in coordinated versions of your season colors, maybe even in your wow colors, you can mix and match the two suits as well as add sweaters and blouses or shirts that change the look. You can also add coordinating slacks or skirts as separates. Women can wear the suit jackets with dresses or with blouses and skirts coordinated to look like a dress. You will be able to create so many looks with so few pieces; you will feel your wardrobe has expanded when it may have shrunk.

For women, the same thing applies to makeup. Use your season colors to guide your choices in lipstick, lip liner, blush, eyeliner, and eye shadow colors. You will find you will need only one or two of each to coordinate your makeup with all of your wardrobe choices. That will not only save money, it will also save time. You will never again have worry, as you look at the collection in your makeup drawer, which is the right choice. You will simple be able to apply the right set and go.

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