There are too many days where I feel like one of those little old ladies with the shapeless sweater and orthopedic shoes.
I'm not there yet, but I - like many others - occasionally I find myself desperate for something really cute or sexy or trendy or just plain new to make me feel fashion fantastic.
Recently, I got a chance to test drive the syn Sofia-developed Style Savvy for the Nintendo DS and DSi. The game retails for $29.99.
For once, I got to shop until I dropped and someone else picked up the tab. Nothing like a little retail therapy to soothe the frugalista.
With 10,000 pieces that change as the seasons do as well as downloadable styles from designer Charlotte Ronson - pieces you can actually add to your real wardrobe - you'll never wonder what to wear again.
But before I got started playing this super-addictive game, I got a chance to speak with LA-based stylist and lifestyle expert, Alison Deyette. Deyette, who appears regularly on Today, The View, Tyra and more, gave
me some great tips for my new favorite retail therapy game as well as a
few I can use in the real world.
"Fashion is cyclical. Everything comes around again," she says, when I lament having tossed a great pair of Frye boots that now seem to be fashionable again - only this time at three times what I paid way back when. "Trendy items you toss. Good things you keep."
I vow to do just that when I go on another one of my mad de-cluttering rampages. I only hope I can follow through since it is so much easier to purge than sanely consider the long term possibilities, especially when space or rather lack of space is an issue.
Deyette's biggest tip for turning heads this holiday season is to shop for the bargains at discount shops like T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, Daffy's, Filene's and Loehmann's. "I love the hunt," she says.
Other great places to pick up terrific style at budget prices are H&M, Banana Republic (even cheaper are GAP and Old Navy), Sears and JC Penney.
She also recommends online shopping for deep discounts on sites like Bluefly.com, HauteLook.com, etc. There are loads more, specializing in everything from shoes (Zappos.com) to vintage (Kittygirlvintage.com)
Load on chunky bracelets, layer several strands of multi-length necklaces, opt for a bold bib necklace or pile on the dramatic cocktail rings. Costume jewelry is a perfect wardrobe pick-me-up, Deyette adds.
It's cheap, it's dazzling and no one knows if it's real or if it's fake. Some great places to find these bargain jewelry pieces are Kohl's, Forever 21, and Target.
"I'm loving the belt," she says. "i"m a big fan of belts." Everyone has a waist and it's time women started cinching it.
She suggests investing in a skinny patent leather belt, a wide braided belt and a wide stretch belt to belt over jackets, nip the waist on dresses, and draw attention to natural curves.
The big bold color for fall is purple, Deyette says, adding that bold is essential to pulling off a wardrobe update. "Stay away from
the safety of black...Choose colors. It gets you noticed when you walk into a room," she says.