by Nancy Hogan Neill, DRES System wordsmith & marketing assistant

Over the last few years, I have been drawn back into fashion with my renewed interest in creativity and design of every stripe. My shopping patience, however, has only diminished! To save time and energy in efforts to look my best, I’ve done what most people do when they shop for groceries: We all have our few, favorite stores where we restock the family larder with bread, fruits and veggies, or the ingredients (or boxes) to make our favorite mac and cheese. And we don’t go anywhere else–period.

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So, armed with my newly discovered DRES System body shape, best style and colors info, plus measurements, I’ve used that grocery-shopping strategy to look my best without overspending time or money. I hope this idea will help you too.

You probably already know where you like to shop for your favorite looks. I just took that a step farther by deciding that I would shop only at my favorite three or four stores and just skip the rest! I used my laptop to compare my measurements (which works well) and survey those few stores’ total offerings to make sure it was a brand or merchant that would best serve a wide range of my needs–which already I knew from answering the DRES System survey. This is also where the Organize portion of the DRES System comes in handy: Not only do you find out what’s needed, you get a clue about the things you’re wearing the most and what that says about your lifestyle.

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Then you can do more of the same! Limiting your fashion buys to just a few retailers can also offer benefits with their loyalty or points programs. Nordstrom and Eddie Bauer have good ones, and send early notices for sales. Many apparel retailers are offshoots of each other (or owned by the same corporation), and share loyalty programs too.

My favorite mid-range fashion spot is the Loft, and is a branch of Ann Taylor. The Loft offers more casual, less structured clothing, more pants and fewer dresses of the two. I’m all over that! Both retailers offer looks that are tailored but still feminine, and of reasonable quality and price. I’ve now bought three of these shirts from the Loft and have worn them all summer!

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Next week, look for more information about the particulars of making these choices: price, quality, whether the buy local concept is important to you, and learn some benefits to this strategy. Have a great weekend!

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