Recently, I had the pleasure of catching up with special friend and Atlanta stylist Erin Jelinek. After graduating from Wake Forest University, Erin worked in the fashion industry in New York where her extensive experience working one-on-one with clients led her to creating her own style business Twin City Style. Her degree in business and her keen eye for developing personal style have helped Erin’s clients create a great wardrobe, perfect for their own lifestyle and tastes, while staying within their budget. Erin continues her sought after skills as a personal stylist in Atlanta where she also writes for magazines and gives style advice on TV.
Erin lives in Atlanta with her husband and 3 kids. She wants you to feel so good about your closet that you never have to worry about what you are going to wear!
Today, as my guest blogger, Erin shares with us advice on one of my favorite topics….
One of the most asked fashion questions is how much should you spend on a particular piece of clothing. Everyone has a budget of what they like to spend on clothes, so it’s hard to give a specific amount. What we do tell women is to think about their cost per wear. If you are planning to buy something that will be a staple in your wardrobe, then it is better to invest in something that is well made because it will last a long time, have a better fit, and hold up through many washings or dry cleanings. A balanced wardrobe has several well-made classic foundational pieces, supplemented by less expensive, trendier items. The key is to know what pieces to invest a little more in and what pieces you do not have to spend as much money on. You will have a great wardrobe if you can master this skill.
Think about the $200 pair of jeans you have always wanted to buy, but which price tag you didn’t think you could justify. But, if you wear that pair of jeans 3 times a week just for the first two months, you are already at $8.33 per wear, and you will certainly wear them more than that. And if you wore those jeans twice a week for a year, the cost per wear is less than $2.00. Two dollars! The same can be said for the basic black pants that every woman should have in her wardrobe. It’s worth it to spend the money on those pants because if you buy the right pair you can have them in your closet for years. Even if you are someone who does not have to dress up each day, chances are you would have an occasion to wear the pants at least once a month. Each person will have different pieces that they invest more in because this decision is very personal and is largely based on lifestyle.
We know it can be hard to work up the courage to try something on that has a little higher price tag, but there is usually a reason that some clothes are more expensive. It is all about the quality of fabric, the construction of the seams, and the overall fit. There has typically been more time put into each garment to make sure the fit is consistent. Have you ever tried on two pairs of pants in the exact same style and size and there was a noticeable difference in fit? That’s an example of why something may have a lower price tag or may be on sale. Don’t misunderstand us, just because something is on sale or well priced does not mean there is something wrong with it. Sometimes you can get a great deal, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that!
A great white blouse is something you can wear for seasons. Think about all the possibilities—with jeans, with a skirt, under a sleeveless dress, even dressed up with a skirt and a fabulous necklace. We love this one from Ann Mashburn because we think it has the prefect cut.
We think every woman should have at least 10 staples in her wardrobe that will last for years. You do not need to buy these things all at one time. In fact, it is better to buy these pieces over time. Even just adding 1-2 nice pieces per year to your wardrobe is fine. Also, many times you find these types of clothing when you are not even looking. If you see something you like and it fits well, is good quality, and will be worn a lot, you should buy it, even if you don’t need it right at the moment. If you don’t buy it when you see it, when you really need that particular piece, the likelihood is that you will not be able to find it.
Both of these pieces are great staples for a wardrobe that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion.
Some of your staple pieces can also have interest to them. In fact we always encourage this because, again, this is what will make your wardrobe more fun! Here’s an example from Charlotte Brody. The silhouette is simple, but the tie detail adds style and interest.