Work with what you have in your closet by layering, accessorizing, mixing and matching. When you do buy new pieces, shop in outfits since you can always take off a layer when it warms up. Look for mid-weight, three-season fabrics. You get more bang for your buck with a capsule wardrobe.
Layering isn't just about keeping you warm, it also adds visual interest. Try putting a long sleeve tee under a shorter sleeve version in neutral shades. This works best with fitted, semi-sheer cotton shirts. Cardigans are another way to add color and depth to an outfit. It's a casual alternative to a jacket, pulling together an ensemble. ''Almost every outfit looks more put together and tailored when you throw on a layer," says What Not to Wear's Stacy London.
Invest in a trench since it works year round. Give this classic coat a twist by pairing it with different accessories like scarves or boots. Tired of your basic black or beige? Colorful versions offer a fresh take on this timeless piece. A belted waistline creates an attractive silhouette.
Jeans are seasonless, but don't get caught up in the latest trends and hottest brands. Instead, find a cut that's right for your body. "The most universally flattering shape is a straight leg or a small boot-cut with a mid rise—about two finger widths under the belly button," says Stacy. For the longest, leanest leg line, look for a uniformly dark wash.
Care tip: Always turn your jeans inside out and wash with a gentle detergent, such as Woolite For All Darks, to keep from fading.
A blazer works as a transition piece that can take you from season to season and day to night. Look for a structured cut that accentuates your waistline. It can turn a casual outfit like T-shirt and jeans into a dressier look.
Wrap it up
The wrap dress is a stylish and versatile piece that every woman should have in her closet. Wear a cami under styles with deep v-necks during the day, then take it off for a night out. "Look for a dress that wraps at the smallest part of your waistline for the most flattering shape," says Stacy. "You want to create an hourglass shape, even if it's not your body type."
Accessories are a smart way to update your wardrobe because they're available at any price point. You can't go wrong with a chunky necklace, oversized sunglasses or gladiator sandals.