New to /fa/? Here's where to find some wardrobe essentials on the cheap.
This introduction is a strongly recommended read for both genders.
The first step to buying clothes is getting all of the essentials. Then you can start to discover your own style and how you want to dress.
This means tank tops, camis, t-shirts, etc in variety of colors. This way you can layer them with other pieces like cardigans and jackets.
Then try different patterns and collars. For example maybe pair a cute patterned shirt with a simple black skater skirt. Don't over-do color and prints.
If you have a bigger chest, avoid tops with high necklines and/or ruffles. You will appear too top-heavy. If you are more curvy, choose tops with accentuated waists to highlight your curves. Tops with a scoop-neck or v-neck adds to the hourglass-effect. Avoid large patterns. For those with larger stomachs, avoid tight or close-fitting tops. Look for flowy, loose tops. Not too loose that your figure is lost. Horizontal shirring is good at hiding whatever it is you've got stored around there. If you've got bigger arms, wear tops with sleeves that aren't too tight, but flowy like butterfly sleeves.
Mixing prints and patterns. Before you start doing this you need to have a good understanding and sense of fashion. No plaid and stripes.
Animal print. Ratchet
Your beginner dress should be a simple black dress. This can be worn up or worn down, and is appropriate for almost all occasions. You can wear a cardigan over it or pair it with a belt in a bright color.
From there you can move on to different colors, patterns and style of dresses:
- Sundresses are comfortable and versatile, especially in warmer climates.
- Maxi dresses are classic and elegant but are best pulled off by long and sleek people.
- Shirtdresses, provided they are well made (see 'DRESSES TO AVOID' below).
- Skater/fit and flare dresses, often look good as they accentuate the waist and can make you appear thinner than you really are.
- Bodycon (short for body conscious) dresses adhere to the body and are best worn by those who are thin or do not have excessive weight.
DRESSES TO AVOID:
- Dresses with ruffles. They will look out of place and create an unflattering silhouette.
- High-low dresses. These are a fleeting trend and will only look outdated soon.
- Shirtdresses can go terribly wrong. Avoid ones with plaid and those made of inferior materials.
- Avoid showy patterns and prints, because they will make your body look stretched out.
- Be careful of strapless dresses. They can easily lead to a nip slip.
Of course with all things, exceptions can be made. Use your judgement when considering if a dress is an exception.
Jeans are essential to a new wardrobe, and it's important to buy the right pair that suits you. When buying jeans dark washed and black are usually what you want to look for. Make sure there is no gap in the back of your pants when you sit down. If you must wear pants with a gap, sew some elastic to the band so it fits more snugly around your waist.
- Straight Leg Jeans can be worn by practically anyone. These are great for curvy ("plus sized"), boyish figures, really anyone can wear these.
- Skinny Jeans - Should ONLY be worn by skinny people. If you're curvy, they will not flatter.
- Flare Jeans - Flattering if you're more curvy. The flare balances out wideness in the thighs or hips.
- Boyfriend/Boy-fit Jeans - Most flattering if you are tall and skinny. Balance the boyish cut with feminine accessories, heels to add to height.
Make sure there is no ass-cheek showing. I mean, unless you're like that.
- Denim Shorts - Very casual. You can cut off the legs of old jeans and hem the edges if you have a lot of them laying around. Don't over-do the rips/cut-off style.
- Bermuda Shorts - A more preppy look, or for those more conscious about their thighs. They end above the knee.
- Capris - Capris end below the knee. Choose some that aren't too baggy around the leg, with a more slim fit. Roll up some jeans or pants to get a capri-effect.
Wear for business/semi-formal occasions. Choose dark, neutral colors as you probably won't have that many pairs. Wide-leg and flare style works best here. Make sure they are not too tight. Make sure the length is tailored to your heel or flat height because there's nothing worse than getting your heel caught in your pants. For a quick fix, try hemming tape. Make sure the outline of your pockets cannot be seen through your pants.
Many women are most comfortable in a t-shirt and jeans. But skirts and flattering and major in fashion.
- Flare/A-line skirt - These basic skirts are very flattering and are a staple in every women's wardrobe. These skirts have a lot of volume, so it's important to pair it with a simple shirt. Something like a plain white tank-top or a basic patterned t-shirt would pull the look together.
- Pencil skirt - These can be used for almost any event, from work to going out. They are very form fitting.
- Maxi skirt - Only young, skinny tall girls should wear these (or short girls in heels). However, they are perfect for summer and days on the beach.
There are two kinds of outerwear, a lighter outerwear that you would wear in spring and fall, and the heavier outerwear that you would wear during the winter season. Outerwear should not be flashy or have embellishments all over. Outerwear should be minimal and keep you warm while looking good.
- Denim jacket- Should hit at the waist and should not be the same color as your jeans unless you are aiming for a Canadian Tuxedo. Use this to create a casual look.
- Bomber jacket- This style is usually in either a cotton or leather (faux-leather) and can be used for a casual look.
- Utility jacket/light parka- This is usually a cotton, twill, or another light and durable fabric. This jacket usually has a lot of pockets and can make you look bulky up top if you are not careful.
- Trenchcoat- This classic style should hit the middle of your hip to your knee and should be made from a water-repelling fabric. This coat is versatile and can be casual or dressed up. Trenchcoat are traditionally tan or black (look best and easiest to pull off), but other colors are available as well (harder to pull off).
- Anorak/Parka- Made of a heavier fabric and should hit at mid-thigh. Some parkas/anoraks also have a removable lining thus making them versatile to use in fall and spring. This is a very casual coat.
- Peacoat- This is a standard and somewhat dressy coat as they are typically made of wool. A peacoat should hit the hip to the mid-thigh.
Make sure your feet are moisturized and your toe nails are done if they are showing. No need to paint all of them if not all of them are showing.
Flats - Flats are usually half to a full size smaller than your normal shoe size. If they're too big, they'll slip off at the heel. This can also be fixed with inserts or sticking cotton in the toe of the shoe. When trying them on, the fit is comfortable, especially across your toes and that the heel does not rub. Essentials are black flats and roll-up ballet flats to switch in/out of if you're wearing heels.
Heels - Do not buy heels higher than 4 1/2 in heels. Any higher and you're in drag queen/high school attention whore territory. Lower heels for the day, higher for going out at night. You can't go wrong with blacks, nudes and other neutral colors. Shiny heels are fancier than matte textures, so keep in mind the occasion. Make sure the sides of the heel fit flush with the sides of your feet and make sure than you can walk properly in them. Walk around the store a bit to get a feel of how the heels fit. As with flats, make sure the fit is as comfortable as you can find.
Sandals - Sandals come in a variety of styles, from flat to heeled to wedge. Choose whatever style you like best. If you have a narrower foot, choose sandals with thinner straps. If your foot is wider, choose sandals with wider straps. Sometimes thong sandals can rub between toes, so be wary of that. They also tend to have little to no arch support so they aren't the best shoe to wear for long periods of time.
Boots - Come in many styles, including cowboy, combat, heeled, riding, etc. Make sure you get a height that works best with your leg shape. If you're tall with slim legs you can probably wear most styles. If your calves are wider, choose mid-calf length. If you're short, choose shorter boots as tall boots will make you appear shorter. Black and brown boots are best to start with. If you'd like, get some with a little heel for femininity and/or height.
Choose either silver or gold accessories, depending on your skin tone. If your tones are cooler, choose silver. If they're warmer, then gold.
On deciding between earrings, bracelets or necklaces, you can only pick 2.
Statement jewelry is an easy way to spruce up an outfit, though they can go out of style rather quickly.
Mens' style watches are a classic style, make sure that they aren't too big to not appear too masculine. Stick with either gold or silver. Bracelets come in a variety of styles. Don't get carried away. Try to match them to each other.
You can't go wrong with simple diamond studs. Pearl earrings dress up an outfit easily.
Thin necklaces draw attention to your collar bones, if you've got nice ones. No big charms or anything too chunky. A safe and simple way to dress up an outfit is with a pearl necklace. Necklaces look best with bare shoulders or deeper necklines.
Scarves, Hats, Gloves, Glasses, etc.
Scarves made of lighter material such as linen, cotton or chiffon can be worn in the summer. Choose lighter colors and patterns. Heavier materials such as wool and any of its artificial bastardizations are for cold weather, fall or winter seasons. Their main function is for warmth. If your wardrobe lacks pattern, scarves are an easy way to add something different to your daily wear.
When picking out your hair, it's important to know your face type. This will help you understand what haircut will flatter you best. But remember this is just a general guide line, and don't forget your other facial features that your hair cut will effect.
You can find this out here:
OR here:  (The picture on the right)
Round Face Type
Diamond Face Type 
Heart Face Type 
Rectangle Face Type
Oblong Face Type
Pear Face Type
Oval Face Type
Try to avoid bright rainbow colors like blues and bleach blondes. It can come off as trashy VERY easily. Read these guides to haircolor to help find what colors interest you:
Make-up can be a great way to express yourself and can accentuate your outfits.
thebeautydepartment.com has some great guides (here's their list of best buys: , i highly suggest you visit it), but here are some basics:
- Mascara - Mascara is a basic makeup, used to thicken and lengthen eyelashes. It comes in a tube, with a "wand" inside that you use to apply. If you're looking for an easy, affordable mascara then L'Oreal Voluminous Original is cheap and a good starter. For daytime makeup, try to match your eyelash color to the mascara color (blondes and redheads can wear brown, black suits brunettes well). Black mascara gives a dramatic look. When you are testing mascaras make.sure the formula doesn't clump (resulting in spidery lashes) or run (raccoon eyes). If you're short on time, apply mascara vertically to create a natural line without eyeliner. If you curl your lashes, do so before applying mascara.
Great mascaras to purchase
- Eye-Liner- Eye-liner does exactly what you think it does - you apply it on the contours of your eye and it can dramatically change your appearance. Many people are intimidated by eye-liner but all it requires is a steady hand. Soft pencils are the easiest eye-liner for beginners. There are dozens of tutorials on Youtube that can teach you how to apply eyeliner - don't be afraid to try different styles and see which ones you like!
- Eye Shadow - Eye shadow is applied on the eyelids and comes in a variety of colors. Brands like NYC have cheap "starter packs" of primer, brush and eyeshadows that accentuate your eye color. Don't be afraid to experiment, but save the truly out-there colors for when you have a firm grasp on color theory and can properly match your eyeshadow to your skin tone, eye color and outfit.
- Lip balm - Lip balm is typically used to help people with chapped lips and is your basic. It makes your lips smooth and hydrated - without this, your lipstick would look terrible. It can come in various flavors, colors and with all sorts of shit added. If possible, look for something with an SPF of 15-30. If it's your thing, buy one with some color, but keep in mind it's going to be very faint.
- Lip gloss - Lip gloss gives you sheen and color. It's essentially the middle of the lip color spectrum, with lip balm being the lowest and lipstick being the higher, and lip stains being the highest.
- Lipstick - Lipstick comes in a shitton of colors, so stick with basic neutrals for the mean time. Make sure to not smear it everywhere (the simple hand or napkin test works well).
- Lip Liner - Lip liner is applied to your lips after lipstick to fill uneven areas. Make sure to match your line color to your lipstick color, or better yet, buy an invisible lip liner.
- Lip stain - Basically a more intense lipstick. It stains your lips, so make sure you don't smear it everywhere. On the plus side, it lasts longer and doesn't fade away.
Remember if you're going to do something bold with your eye make-up, keep the lips simple.
- Foundation-Foundation's perfect for those wanting to conceal redness, dark spots, and other imperfections. Go for something light and not to thick. When using liquid use a sponge, they're cheap and help a lot. Be careful with powder, it can cake on so add carefully.
When buying foundation you should test it on the back of your hand or against your cheek-bone. Don't order online. If you can't find your shade ask someone at the store, Sephora and Ulta always have someone willing to help.
- Concealer-People on /fa/ love under-eye circles, but if you want to cover them up, go for it. This is perfect for concealing embarrassing blemishes and pimples.
- Blush/Bronzer-BE CAREFUL! You don't want to look like a clown. Make sure to find the right shade for you, because It's all dependent on your skin tone.
- Ideal nails are ones that look healthy, whether they are long or short. Obviously don't go to the extremes - very long nails are obnoxious, nails bit to their stubs are gross. Above all, just keep your nails healthy See this guide if you need help with this.
Youtube channels to check out
- [Lisa Eldridge] - Professional makeup artist of celebrities featuring mostly beauty makeup
- [Wayne Goss] - Very helpful and simple tips/tricks on application for men and women
- [Charlotte Tilbury] - Professional makeup artist of celebrities featuring mostly trendy and high fashion beauty makeup