Friday, 6 November 2009

STYLISA Shopping Tips - Part Three

Fashion Stylist, Lisa Maynard-Atem of STYLISA, gives us the final part of her low down on what to do when hitting the shops…

In terms of quality, look out for the following:

Hems – good hems should be double-stitched and invisible from the outside.

Seams – these should lie straight without puckering or pulling. There should be enough to let them out if required.

Stitching – This should be secure and straight.

Linings – Fabric should be smooth. If the lining is stiff or there is not enough fabric, then this will affect the way the garment hangs.

Buttons – These should match the garment and meet the holes perfectly. They should also be sewn on securely (on heavier fabrics, there should be disks to reinforce them). Make sure there are no loose threads.

Zips – These should be hidden and dyed to match the colour of the garment. Test them a few times, by running them up and down.

Patterns – These should match up on all seams.

There are those rare occasions when you come across the perfect pair of trousers or the perfect fitting t-shirt. If this is the case and you can afford it, buy these items in multiples, in a variety of colours. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

If you really don’t know what suits you and don’t feel comfortable having a personal styling session in a shop and going out shopping with a friend, then it might be an idea to have an image consultant come to your home and give you a consultation. Prices vary but this can prove to be an invaluable service as you are already in your comfort zone and there will only be you and the consultant present, so it’s more personal and less embarrassing. They will also provide you with a report, which you can always refer back to and take on a shopping trip. Personally, I find that shopping on my own is much better than shopping with a friend – I know exactly what I am looking for and there’s nothing to distract me.

If the idea of shopping really stresses you out and you cannot afford a personal stylist to do your shopping for you, then why not use the personal shopping service offered by the high street stores. It is a free service – all you have to do is book in advance and they will do all the work for you. It’s an excellent way to shop and you will have someone on hand to tell you what works and what doesn’t. Also, there is always internet shopping – but remember that you will not be able to try the garment on and it can be a pain as you will have to send the garment back and then re-order the correct size (if you didn’t order two different sizes at the same time).

The most important tip is to be comfortable and confident in whatever you wear. No matter what the outfit or occasion, your clothes should make you feel special and give you the confidence to step out knowing that you look good. If they don’t do this, then I’m afraid it’s time for you to go your separate ways. Style is the projection of your personality through your chosen style of dress.

Lisa Maynard-Atem.

Fashion Styling Consultancy

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