Recently, I logged onto my Facebook account and was served up with a photo of me at 20. I'm wearing a bandage dress, stilettos, a statement necklace… Let's just say it's an ensemble you wouldn't find in my closet today. And while my instant reaction was to cringe at my former sense of style (if we can even call it that), as a fashion editor, it also offered a moment of reflection.
I've come a long way since my college days, through internships, a cross-country move, and more. Accordingly, the way I shop, dress, and even think about clothing has changed. From learning my lessons after a few too many blisters to reining in my love for sale shopping, let's just say I've come a long way. Below, I'm highlighting six fashion mistakes I made back at 20 that I can gladly say I steer clear of now—just note that these things that were simply mistakes to me, but could work for others.
See them below, and then shop pieces that you'll never consider a mistake.
Holding Onto (and Wearing) Cute But Uncomfortable Clothing and Shoes
There was once a time when I'd grin and bear the blisters I'd get from uncomfortable shoes or willingly spend an entire evening pulling down a skirt that just doesn't fit right (because it's just so cute), but no longer. Making sure to factor in comfort means I'll actually be able to enjoy myself without the distraction of fussing with whatever I'm wearing.
Buying Sale Items That were Almost What I wanted
You'd think it would take just one disappointing sale purchase to teach me my lesson, but sadly that was not the case. It took years of being lured by discounted shoes that were almost my size, or a dress that was "maybe, kind of cute" by a brand that I love. But finally, after spending too much on items I almost adored (which usually just ended up sitting in my closet), I learned that holding out for what I really want will always be worth it.
Wearing Anything and Everything to the Office
No two offices are alike when it comes to the dress code, but there are still certain style etiquettes that we should all abide by. Having gone a little too casual on more than one occasion, I've learned is that when it comes to interviews or first days on the job, it's always better to be overdressed than under.
Never giving clothes enough care
Between tailoring, laundering, and dry-cleaning, caring for clothes can be expensive, especially for a young 20-something on a shoestring budget. But it's my humble opinion that fewer, better things are the ultimate style solution. Investing in (and taking care of) pieces that fit well and will last is always superior to having to start over again season after season.
Going Heavy-Handed On Trend Pieces
At 20, I was eager to embrace everything fashion had to offer, but sometimes I took things too far, I lost myself in what I was wearing. Now I'm inclined to cherry-pick the trends that fit my look instead of simply regurgitating what's popular from head to toe.
wearing too many "Sexy" pieces All At Once
I'm all for dressing in what make you feel your best, but for me, that has meant learning a bit of moderation. Sure, I could wear high-heels, a barely there skirt, and low-cut top all at once, but picking and choosing what to show, and when, has come to be a skill I'm happy to employ.
shop pieces that work for all ages
Elevate casual pants with contrasting side stripes.
Statement sleeves are the silhouette of the spring season.
Everyone will be wearing punchy floral prints this summer.
Clean white shoes makes any outfit look more expensive.
The romantic, warm-weather dress you've been looking for.
Renew your go-to office look with this ruffled top.
Lace-up heels work well with cropped denim.
These trousers will prove to be one of the most versatile pieces you own.
Chic loafers that you'll want to wear every day of the week.
Deconstructed classics are an easy way to achieve effortless chic at the office.
Give into florals for spring.
Every woman needs a crisp black blazer.
Pair this fun jumpsuit with colorful mules.
Found: a top for both work and play.
Curious to learn more? Here's why one editor stopped wearing certain shoes!