Hal Rubenstein

4 Ways to Mature Your Wardrobe on a Budget

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If you look in the mirror and honestly think you look like you’re dressed to meet your friends for lunch in the school cafeteria, you need a wardrobe upgrade. A wardrobe upgrade doesn’t mean throwing everything away – it can be done on a budget, as long as you have a plan.

1. It’s time to graduate your wardrobe.

If the answer is yes, you can’t blame folks for doing what comes naturally. We live in a world going so fast we can’t help but judge books by their covers. Now, there is nothing wrong with looking cute as a button if your big goal in life being asked to the prom, but if it’s time to challenge the world, let’s get dressed to show the world attention must be paid.

2. Don’t toss your teen wardrobe. Edit it.

Hand over all shirts with cute slogans, shoes that could survive boot camp, adorable hair ornaments, and anything that comes in a color that can be seen from space to your kid sister. Keep your shortest skirts and most provocative tops if they are still flattering, but save them for dates, clubbing, and vacations.

3. Prioritize your tailored pieces

With the exception of a school uniform, bring whatever is tailored to the front of the closet.  Build on these pieces. There is no reason to dress older than your age, or fall back or neutrals, or – please don’t – black. While you have it, never forget that the dewy freshness of youth is the best accessory ever, but temper it and make it more intriguing buy cloaking it with an air reserve and even a bit of mystery. Think sensual rather than sexy.

4. Accessories can reinvent your wardrobe

I’ve saved the best for last.  Perhaps the best way to generate the respect you are looking for is with your accessories. Spend your money wisely on two handsome bags (banish the knapsack), a few pair each of sleek heels and boots, jewelry more refined than trendy (including a good watch), and as for makeup, opt for Ralph Lauren runway. Great accessories work magic every time.

There is no reason to go broke, not with so many places, chains, websites and outlets where you can shop smart on a budget. For starters check out HSN’s collections by Giuliana Rancic, Christos Garkinos, Byron Lars, RJ Graziano, or, oh yeah, The Hal Rubenstein Collection.   Just promise me that once people do start taking you more seriously, you never take yourself too seriously. Enjoy becoming a grown up.