The holiday season is often a marathon of events, parties & get-togethers–a challenge to test the mettle of even the most die-hard of fashionistas with the most flexible of credit card limits.  But binge shopping is not a fashion cure-all, and in fact, having too many clothes in your closet, and spilling out of it, can make dressing up harder instead of easier.

Clean out your closet

First things first…throw out everything that is worn out and doesn’t fit.  Then give away everything that is still in good condition but that you haven’t worn for the last six months.  The more clothes you have cluttering your closet, the more likely it is that you’re going to throw up your hands and cry “I have nothing to wear!”.  That’s because having too many clothes is like having an unedited collection…messy, sloppy, and with an unfocused fashion vision.  (Personally I’ve been streamlining my closet for a while now, but I still have some ways to go!)

Raid your boyfriend’s or husband’s closet

Men’s dress shirts (including their barongs!) look great on women, so stretch your own wardrobe by occasionally borrowing from the men in your life.  Mix masculine and feminine, so wear their dress shirt with your lacy skirt, or wear one of their printed silk ties with your simple shift instead of a necklace…the options are endless.  An oversized v-neck cardigan would also make a great backless mini dress if worn backwards.

Check out trends & put together looks before buying them

While veteran fashion sites like StyleBible show the hottest looks and latest local trends, new style sites like Miss-match feature locally available clothes that you can mix ‘n match yourself into an endless array of ensembles and then store in your ‘closet’.  Checking out your favorite fashion sites is a great way to browse for clothes and try them out in different combinations before you decide on the key pieces you actually want to go out and purchase.  There are also lots of helpful tips from fashion industry insiders on how to combine clothes to make the most of your fashion budget.

Have special pieces custom-made and designed just for you

There is nothing quite like having a piece designed for you and no one else.  In a world of fast-fashion, convenience shopping and one-stop supermalls, having something created and crafted just for you is a modern-day luxury that’s well worth having.  Whether it’s a sleek evening gown, an eye-catching cocktail dress or a specially-fitted suit, having handcrafted pieces that make you feel good, and that you know is unlike any other, is an investment that will last well beyond the holiday season.

*Photo by Ito Ocampo

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