1. Browse local stores
Local stores (both chains and independent boutiques) have great finds that you would normally not find back home. Boutiques tend to have unique pieces that have not been mass-produced and therefore it’s unlikely you will run into someone wearing the same outfit. For example, I got a beautiful floral dress from a Chinese boutique that is admired by everyone wherever I go!
2. Set a budget
Whenever you go shopping, set a budget before you leave home. Money tends to go fairly quickly, especially abroad. It may sound like a boring task but if you buy within your budget, you will avoid the post-buyers remorse that usually ruins that otherwise great shopping trip.
3. Fit is key
Fit is everything, especially as people’s general builds are different in each country. I was in Japan once and their coat sleeves run slightly shorter because of Japanese women’s arm length. I loved one of the coats so I ended up buying it anyways and it looks great when I wear it with long-sleeved shirts!
Have you ever found yourself sizing up or down because they don’t have your size? I must admit I’m guilty of this as well but it’s best to avoid it. If you’re unsure how it fits, ask a friend to take a photo of you to see yourself objectively. Another good alternative is to get those pieces you absolutely love slightly tailored. Bear in mind some items will be easier to tailor, i.e. hems but taking a blazer in, for example, will be slightly trickier.
4. Dress to impress…
… Yourself! Is your outfit too daring? Too boring? You can never please everyone so dress in what makes you feel amazing. Living abroad you most likely will have a different style than that of locals. Adopt what you like and mix it with your own sense of style. Living in Argentina, I used to wear my favorite LBD from London to go out in the evening. It is a one shoulder dress with a fan-like detail on the other shoulder. Very Lady Gaga – but less riské (by about 10x!). I feel GREAT in it! I turned heads (in a good way) by being true to my sense of style.
5. Don’t be afraid to experiment
Fashion is like art, undefined. Don’t be afraid to use different patterns, materials and layers in one outfit. I was pleasantly surprised to see one of my inspirations mix leopard print with polka dots. Fashion rules are there to be broken!
6. Style can be learned
Use celebrities, Instagram and Pinterest for inspiration on style. Check out @alescloset on Instagram for inspiration on how to style your everyday favorites and buy gently worn clothes from all over the world. Alternatively, hire a personal stylist to help you re-vamp your wardrobe! Costly, you say? Check out my Facebook for an affordable personal stylist service. Style and creativity can be exercised every day – it’s never too late to start!
7. Fashion is fun!
All in all, fashion should be fun! Experiment, explore and be true to yourself!
My next move is to New York City – the fashion capital of the world. Stay tuned! What fashion lessons have you learned so far?