Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A new you for the new year

(ARA) - With the New Year just around the corner, could it be time for a new you? Have you been wearing the same outfits, in the same order? Has your hair and make-up regimen remained unchanged for the last decade? Reinventing your style can give you a new attitude and outlook. And with a few simple updates, you shouldn't have to worry about breaking your budget.

A new style does not mean a whole new wardrobe. "You can start with garments you already have in your closet," says Anne Hankey Forman, fashion marketing and management instructor at The Illinois Institute of Art - Chicago.

"Mix up the way you wear your pieces," suggests Art Institute of Philadelphia fashion instructor Karen Karuza. "If you always wear a white blouse with a black skirt, try wearing a lavender sweater."

Adding new accessories can bring last year's - or last decade's - outfit back to life. Mary Jo Miller, department chair of fashion and retail management at The Art Institute of Atlanta, says: "Scarves, hats and gloves make your current wardrobe more up-to-date." Shoppers may want to consider getting those accessories in purple, the hot color this season.

Karuza agrees: "Accessorize! Accessorize! Accessorize!" She recommends costume jewelry, belts and colored tights as well.

A new pair of trendy shoes is another simple way to update your look. "They're a fun and easy item that makes you look trend forward," says Forman. And what is the hottest foot trend this season? Both Forman and Miller agree you can't go wrong with the over-the-knee boot. Miller suggests, "Wear them with your skinny jeans, dresses, jackets and leggings from last year's trends and have an instant update."

What about getting professional help to update some older garments? "Make sure the garment is worth it," cautions Forman. Karuza agrees that the garment has to be a high enough quality to justify the cost of a great tailor.

If you can spend a few extra dollars on some new garments, Miller offer this advice, "It's critical that you remain true to your own style and remember that not every trend works on every body." Forman adds: "Dress for your body type, invest in classics, think about what makes sense for your lifestyle and dress for the life that you have."

And instead of looking just to your closet for a new look, take a look in the mirror. Both Miller and Forman agree that a different hairstyle and new make-up can dramatically change and update your style.

When reinventing your style, what's the top "don't"? All three fashionistas agree - do not overspend.

They suggest you create a budget and stick to it. Make sure the trends you buy today are still wearable tomorrow. And don't sacrifice quality for quantity. Karuza cautions, "Don't spend a lot or over-invest until you've test driven your reinvention!"

If you're a fashionista looking for a career in style, learn more about options at The Art Institutes schools by visiting

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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