Have you ever wondered what a fashion expert might make of your wardrobe? Which pieces would they suggest you toss immediately and which would they praise you for having the impressive fashion sense to purchase in the first place? Of course, you could hire a personal wardrobe stylist to walk you through the specifics of your individual clothing collection, but we thought it might be a good idea to cut to the chase and find out generally what items a fashion stylist would never buy for themselves, or their clients. So we turned to Jamie Frankel, a professional stylist who’s worked with the likes of Harper’s Bazaar, Elle and Net-a-Porter to weigh in. Here’s what she had to say.
1. Lots of Fast Fashion
“Try to limit your consumption of fast fashion which is mostly made of synthetic materials which are extremely damaging to the environment,” says Frankel. Indeed, most inexpensive brands use a ton of chemicals and produce lots of harmful waste when constructing their cheap but trendy designs. It’s much better to invest in fewer, better-made pieces than to blow your fall shopping budget on a series of $25 dresses. You don’t even need to spend a ton in order to shop smarter. Brands like Madewell, American Eagle Outfitters and Outerknown all have sustainably made options, and Nordstrom now allows shoppers to limit their search to only sustainable brands. As for Frankel, she suggests checking out Mother of Pearl for more high-end eco-friendly designs.
2. White Skinny Jeans
“Don't get me wrong, I love a wide leg or slouchy white jean, especially an off white bone color, but as a skinny they just give me Real Housewives of New Jersey vibes,” says Frankel. And while we would never knock Teresa or Danielle and those with similar fashion sense for sporting skin-tight white denim, we agree that a looser silhouette is often much more flattering. (And less likely to require specific underwear.)
3. The same thing in every color
Have you ever purchased a dress you loved so much you considered going back and stocking up on one in every color or print the brand has to offer? It may be tempting, but Frankel thinks you’re better off trying something new. “You’ll most likely wear the original color the most,” she notes, suggesting there’s a reason you selected that particular dress over the other options in the first place. “It may be acceptable with things like T-shirts and tanks, but otherwise stay creative with your purchases.”
4. Every Hot New Trend
Not every trend works for every person. Despite all my best efforts, and the fact that they’ve been one of the biggest warm-weather trends of the past two years, I just could not find a way to make bike shorts work for my sense of style. You may still be wondering why people are so enamored with chunky dad sneakers or how anyone could be enticed to wear puffy sleeves outside of an ‘80s theme party. According to Frankel, that’s absolutely a-OK. “Don’t buy into trends too heavily,” she advises. Instead, invest your money and closet space in foundational pieces that can be dressed up with accessories or the occasional trendy top.
5. uncomfortable shoes
This should probably go without saying, but if your feet hurt after wearing your new shoes for a quick spin around your living room, there’s basically zero chance you’ll ever really leave the house in them. Frankel knows it’s hard to say no to a pretty pair of pumps, “but just because you love them so much, never give in to the little voice inside that tells you, I'll break them in,” because realistically you won’t. There’s also a strong chance not even breaking them in would improve you comfort level. “If they are uncomfortable from the start, there's no reason to buy them.”
6. Overly Delicate Materials
We love a good lace frock or super-lightweight knit as much as the next gal, but we’re also constantly paranoid about slipping them into our closets just right so they won’t catch on a stray zipper or button. “Truth be told, delicate materials will inevitably get ruined and you will be pissed,” says Frankel. Especially if you spent a decent amount of money on said delicate garment. If you’re going to be so precious with an item as to basically be afraid to wear it, it’s just not worth buying, no matter how pretty.