From wasting money on clothes we don’t really need to picking up a poorly fitting piece just because it’s on sale, there are some style mistakes that we’re all guilty of from time to time…
In fact, it’s fair to say we could all do with some expert advice on streamlining our wardrobes, while avoiding costly and confidence-knocking fashion faux pas.
So, if you’ve ever wanted to know the secret to looking stylish at all times and side-stepping avoidable wardrobe mistakes, then listen up.
We asked Good Housekeeping’s editors and top fashion experts to run through the 10 wardrobe pitfalls that every woman should avoid if she wants to feel her best every single day…
Ever looked in your wardrobe and realised you own countless black jumpers but have absolutely nothing to wear them with? Then you’ve probably fallen victim to the mistake of repeat buying.
“Repeat buying is my fashion downfall,” Executive Fashion director Fiona Collins tells us. “I’m a sucker for certain styles – white cotton shirts, Breton T-shirts, grey cashmere crew necks, camel trench coats, the list of style classics goes on…
“But how many does a girl need at one time? Each time I’m a seduced by a fresh version of one of the above-mentioned items, I have to mentally take stock of how many I already own, what state they’re in, and how this new version will update my wardrobe.”
Consider investing in classic iterations that should stand the test of time in your wardrobe.
“A while back, I thought I needed to buy clothes in a size larger, and then I realised that this actually made me look bigger, as things didn’t hang well and everything was much less fitted,” she tells us. “Now, if something in my usual size doesn’t fit, I just don’t buy it!”
Style expert Cyrine Allani Joaristi of designer clothing rental service Nothing-To-Wear agrees that buying the wrong size should be avoided at all costs, particularly during the sales, when the temptation to pick up a bargain that doesn’t quite fit is much higher.
“A common fashion faux pas committed by even the savviest of shoppers is buying sale items that aren’t exactly the right size or fit but are such a bargain that you can’t resist,” she says. Better to walk away and spend your money on something that fits properly and you’ll actually wear.
Not accentuating your waist
One of the biggest style mistakes you can make is forgetting to highlight your waist, argues stylist Cyrine. “Not cinching your waist is a missed opportunity to accentuate your figure,” she says. “Doing it can make it look like you’ve shed five pounds instantly!”
Personal Stylist and Image Consultant Keren Beaumont agrees, noting that many of us make the mistake of hiding our curves.
“Don’t hide yourself under shapeless or loose clothing,” she says. “This type of clothing hangs off the widest points of your body, including your chest, hips and stomach, which can be far from flattering.
“If your waistline is smaller than your hips, then it’s likely that your waist is the narrowest part of your body. So, by wearing clothes that give a little definition at the waistline, you’ll instantly appear slimmer.
“Remember, it’s not about wearing tight-fitting clothing; the important thing is to have shape rather than a straight fit over the waist.”
Looking for a spring-ready piece to help accentuate your waist? Then consider investing in a belted dress – a key style this season.
Whether you recycle old pieces, donate them to charity or organise a clothes swap with friends, clearing space for the pieces you wear regularly will make putting outfits together so much easier, and should also help you see what’s missing from your wardrobe.
“A common style mistake we all make is convincing ourselves we’ll wear a piece again – one day…” says Cyrine. “But, usually, if you haven’t even thought about wearing it – let alone actually worn it – in the last year, it’s probably time to say thank you, but goodbye!”
Wearing the wrong underwear
Has it been a while since you were fitted for a bra or bought some new underwear? Then it may be time for a top drawer refresh…
“One of the most common wardrobe mistakes I see is ill-fitting underwear,” says Cyrine. “Whether it’s loose knickers, or a bra that’s just a little too tight, even the most flattering clothes won’t look their best if you’re wearing the wrong underwear. Think of a beautiful house built on shaky foundations, and you’ll get the picture.”
She continues: “Wearing appropriately fitted underwear is vital to emphasise your natural body shape, and to give you extra support and comfort. And, if you want to avoid VPL, then consider buying seamless knickers.”
“The wrong colours can drain you, but assessing your colouring isn’t easy, which is why so many people get this wrong,” Keren says. “Most people will look significantly better in either warm or cool colours, but have no idea which ones to go for.
“An easy way to find out is by trying on both silver and gold earrings, and then checking which shade looks more ‘in harmony’ with your complexion.” If silver suits, go for cooler shades but, if gold’s the one for you, embrace warmer hues.
Nothing will cause buyer’s remorse more than impulse shopping, argues Keren – whether that’s panic-buying right before a big event or picking something up on the spur of the moment without stopping to consider how you’ll actually style it…
“Building the ideal wardrobe takes planning and research,” she tells us. “The key is to create a list of the items that will serve you well, based on your lifestyle and image. Stick to this list as closely as possible, and start seeking out of the best versions of each item that you can afford, considering quality, colour and fit.”
Not only is this a more sustainable way to shop, but it should help your finances, too. “If you love and care for your items, prolonging their lifespan, then you will save money over time by buying fewer things – it’s that simple,” says Keren.
Want some capsule wardrobe inspiration? Here are the 5 items our Fashion Director Amanda Marcantanio wears all year round…
“The number-one wardrobe pitfall is going out without an umbrella!” she tells us. “However the day starts, it can always end in rain and nothing looks worse than wet, disheveled hair or rain-splattered clothes. I love a birdcage umbrella, as it gives proper protection but it’s possible to see through, too.”
Saving “special” pieces for evening
If you’ve splurged on a statement piece for a special event, don’t make the common mistake of letting it waste away at the back of your wardrobe. “When the party’s over, dress down your dress-up pieces,” advises Fashion Director Amanda Marcantonio.