If you have more black-tie dresses than you do events to attend and a shoe closet packed with shelves of never-worn stilletos, now’s a good time to start taking notes. Because Rachel Zoe has some seriously revolutionary tips to make you a smarter shopper.
While we’re going to dive into what’s worth the splurge versus the save and all that good stuff in a hot minute, the 50-year-old fashion designer’s number one piece of advice is actually pretty simple.
“I really believe that you have to think about your life. There’s nothing that upsets me more than when women buy for this make believe life that they don’t live and then sit there staring at their clothes and then they get into their workout clothes and they stay in them all day,” she exclusive said to Us Weekly. “You have to think about what life presents every day. Where are you going? What are you doing? Are you traveling? Are you working? Are you going to business dinners?”
Because when all is said and done, there’s no “right or wrong in terms of the way you choose to live your life,” but there is a pretty hard and fast recipe when it comes to building a wardrobe you’ll actually wear.
So don’t just go gung-ho with the add to cart button or drag everything and then some into your dressing room — no, no. Plan out your purchases. “You have to say, ‘I need classic black trousers. I need classic camel trousers. This is the cut that looks best on me. I need two basic blouses that I can rotate. I need clean, polished-looking t-shirts that I can layer,’” the celebrity stylist explained about her approach.
After all, shopping sans a solid strategy is the equivalent of “going through a supermarket hungry,” Zoe joked. “You leave there with 700 things.”
The same mentality goes for deciding what items are going to be worth a bit more money. Take a great handbag for instance. “If you have no way to use a nice bag, then don’t get it. If you’re someone who’s active, you’re a trainer, you’re running around all the time — get a great crossbody that fits a lot of stuff.”
While she says purses, coats and shoes can be “life changing,” saving on “underpinnings” (think: t-shirts, classic black dresses, fun jewelry, trendy pieces) don’t have to break the bank. “It’s all about how you style things,” she added.
If you’re looking to take this advice to heart and give your closet a little refresh — you’re going to want to make sure you save some room. Because get this: The Rachel Zoe Project alum, who has her own ready-to-wear line, is teaming up with Express for a Spring collection (!!).
“It will be a really nice combination where you’ll know that I had my hand in it, but it was still catered to the core Express customer,” she told Us. While the specific styles and silhouettes have yet to be released, Zoe teases that the drop is filled with “special pieces that will transcend time,” items that can be dressed up or down and staples that’ll “go from day to night.”
In addition to her joint line with Express, Zoe is also coming on board as the lead style expert and mentor for the company’s Community Commerce Program, which gives fashion lovers the opportunity to style and promote Express clothes on their personal platforms for commission.
“The first time I heard about this from the team, I was like, ‘This is the dream.’ I wish someone had created something like this when I was growing up,” she told Us. “It’s incredible because it allows for anyone who dreams of becoming a stylist — or anyone who is a stylist in their own right, in their community — to really get paid for doing so and build their experience.”