Class For Less

By Dora Tokai

About the author: Dora is an emerging fashion designer and holds an MBA in Luxury Goods & Services. She contributes regularly on the business fashion relates topics, giving readers some food for thought.


Recently more and more people ask how to look classy and up-to-date without spending a fortune on their wardrobe.

The best outfit mirrors your personality, improves your mood and matches the occasion. But how to look more for less?

The solution is layers. What does this mean?


Layers in terms of function, style, colours, seasons, pricing and relevance.


FUNCTION. Open your closet and most likely you will find pieces that range from super functional wind and water proof jacket to the evergreen all-occasions-matching black dress or a white shirt. Let’s not forget those uncomfi and useless trendy look-at-me pieces that have worked their way to the back of the wardrobe.

STYLE. Style is truly subjective. It depends on your personality, cultural context, profession and how you socialize. An English banker will surely have white and rose shirts, timeless brown shoes and a morning suit with a pretty hat. An Indian business woman will own black suits and a state-of-art sari. Whereas a male Japanese Creative Director would probably rock some iconic Comme des Garcon pieces and a traditional kimono.


COLOUR is cultural, personal and occasional. Black is the superhero of all colours. It’s dirt-proof, prestigious, serious, edgy, sexy, bold, classic and new. Plus it gives a strong statement or can just be perfectly complimentary and slimming..etc. Black continues to be the new black.dora tokai


SEASONS. It depends on geographically where you are. Whether in a four seasoned Central-European country that experiences -20C during the winter and +43C summer time or in a two-season South-East Asia with dry and wet summer and a stable daily average of +30C.


PRICE. Most of the time price can be explained by a product’s quality, rarity and the brand’s status. Usually our own culture defines which of these hold greater importance. In Europe quality and rarity rule while status is preferred in Asia.


dora tokai

To summarize, take a look at the diagram with 2 axes. Price ranges from low to high and function ranges from personal to social. To make the most of your wardrobe for less, I would suggest that the low price items to be your clothes as great verity is expected. The high price items should be your coats and accessories, as these items are often timeless and easily compliment the latest seasonal threads.


Happy Shopping :)


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