A shopping diet. Great idea, I love it! “The Shopping Diet: Spend Less & Get More” is the name of the new book by Hollywood stylist Phillip Bloch, who has worked with everybody from Drew Barrymore to Jennifer Lopez to Halle Berry and Michael Jackson. We’re a nation obsessed with diets, in general, and a financial diet is one that many of us could use, especially in these economic times! In the following excerpts, Phillip shares some of his “BlochBuster” tips, which your wallet will love.
“I want you to apply three questions to all of the clothing you own: How does it fit in my life? How does this fit on my body? How does this fit with my personal style?
It’s a process I like to call Fashion Fanatics Mathematics and it adds up for any item.”
“Have a swap-meet party with friends who are also in the same clothing overload predicament as you. Set aside one weekend where you will each clean out your closets and then bring all your extras to one friend’s garage or basement. Go through each other’s items and see if there’s anything you would like to trade. This is a win-win situation, as you’ll get rid of stuff you don’t want, but also get a bunch of new things you will appreciate and you haven’t even spent a penny! (One man’s garbage is another man’s treasure!) Don’t take clothes just because they are free. They have to look good on you and fit with your lifestyle. Otherwise, you’ll just end up with a closet filled with even more clothes you’ll never wear. (No Hoarding… after all, gluttony IS one of the 7 [deadly] Sins!)”
“Become your own stylist! Does it always seem like you never have enough time in the morning to down a glass of juice let alone pick out a great outfit? Well then, set aside a rainy Saturday or Sunday and play stylist! Create a photo log of different outfits and ensembles. Pairing perfect separates is tough to figure out at 5 AM when you’re still half asleep! A great idea I use with all of the celebrities I style is to tape the photos onto a board on the inside of the closet door so they have easy visual access to them. Or, place them in a clothing photo album to hang from a string on a hook or the doorknob on the inside of the closet. It doesn’t matter where, as long as it’s easily visible for your early morning curtain call.”
“No one knows you better than you, so if you feel too weak to go out into the field of dreams (the mall) without succumbing to spending, an easy money-saving solution is to leave your wallet (or at least your credit cards) at home… it can save you from a NOT so self-satisfying splurge or retail temptation. But remember to take your driver’s license and any other IDs you need (because a ticket will just be another unnecessary expense you can’t afford on your new and more effective budget since you’re on “The Shopping Diet”). Nothing will help you curb your appetite for shopping like having no access to your usual spending tools.”
“When it comes to shopping over the Internet, television or via catalogs, be aware of inevitable shipping and handling charges. Often items will be shipped separately and you will incur each individual charge. That can add up to a big and surprising dollar amount. Make sure to ask about shipping and handling before you make your purchase and feel free to negotiate alternative shipping solutions.”
“There’s no need to scream when you can whisper. This is a trick the old studio execs used to teach young Hollywood ingenues and silver screen starlets. People will find you much more captivating if you don’t overpower them with your presence, or presents, whether if it’s the way you speak or the way you dress, there’s just no need to be too loud! No one wants to see anyone overburdened with too many labels, each screaming for center stage. The same goes for animal prints and patterns… or bold colors bold jewelry. Too much is just too much, less can definitely be best. Look at your favorite style stars, chic and elegant, Halle Berry, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Sandra Bullock, Jennifer Aniston, Julia Roberts, Lea Michele or even Beyonce and J.Lo. These women have exquisite style and undeniable class -you never see them bogged down in too much of too many good things. They always look camera ready and picture perfect.”
“The Shopping Diet: Spend Less & Get More,” by Phillip Bloch is available at www.amazon.com.
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