"Life will always be to a large extent what we ourselves make it."
- Samuel Smiles

Now more than ever, the economy is calling for a tightening of your budget. Keeping a few classic pieces in your closet is a smart move, and you will not go wrong. Think plain and simple. Add accessories to make them elegant, and your little black dress becomes chic and perfect.

Sometimes all you need to make a plain dress into an elegant fashion statement is to accessorize it with a stunning piece of jewelry. Even adding an inexpensive bit of sparkle to the neckline of a dress transforms it into an eye catching outfit. So, pull out that simple little black dress and make it perfect for your evening or special celebration party with a stunning sparkle of jewelry.

Another trick when you want a handbag worthy of taking to the party, but need it to carry more than a clutch can handle, try a small tote bag made in a luxurious, but washable fabric. Those sparkling style totes that come in metallic colors are often classy and go with everything from basic black to the classic earthy browns and navy blues and greens of the changing seasons.

When the occasion calls for a more eye-catching bag, go for a beaded look. You can save on the cost of a ready-made beaded bag by purchasing an inexpensive solid color clutch bag and change it yourself. Make sure it is in fabric or leather, then carefully glue an assortment of beads or rhinestones on it.

Beads and rhinestones can be found at any fabric outlet, or a general bead store. Or, if you are handy with a needle, there are lots of beaded appliqués already made that can either be gently sewn on to a fabric bag, or glued to a leather bag. And, as I think of it, a ready-made, beaded appliqué can also be sewn, not glued, for easy removal, to the shoulder of your little black dress. Makes for quite an elegant and unique touch!

Pulling together another elegant outfit that works beautifully for a holiday or special occasion look is to dress up a pair of black pants by pairing them with a colorful satin or glossy silk blouse. Adding a glittery necklace or a jeweled belt at the waist makes a look that is totally attractive. This look can serve you well for any last minute celebration, and for any special occasion.

A plain sleeveless tunic worn with high-heeled sandals and a jeweled handbag commands eye catching attention. Or, pair a colorful tunic with glittery jewelry, skinny black pants, and high-heeled boots for a trendy look for your office party or a special social event.

For a more glamorous look, try a long, full length classy hip hugging skirt, and pair it with a beaded top, or a lacy camisole, or a sleeveless satin blouse and a long chiffon scarf wrap. Wear either look with or without sparkling jewelry, or add a wide gold or silver belt. You can also express multiple looks just by adding a scarf or a layer of necklaces to a simple black dress or to a solid color suit.

When adjusting your budget to meet hard times today, classics are a good bet. They will last you through many occasions, and save you from having to shop as often for an item to wear for holidays, or for a special evening. They can be dressed up or down for any occasion.

Classics are a must for any closet. Buy pieces that are well-made and in quality fabrics. They will always feel better when you wear them, and look better on you. Look for fabrics in lightweight wool gabardine, silk, cotton, linen, cashmere, and textured man-made fibers. Before leaving the store, go the extra mile and make sure each item fits by trying them on first. If something needs to be altered, have it professionally tailored. Your money will be well spent.

A few of the tried and true classics that make up any wardrobe may include:

1. The little Black Dress -- High praise for this one that can go from the office to a cocktail party.

2. A two-Piece Suit -- Make it a jacket and skirt, or jacket and pants in a solid color.

3. A Navy Blazer --This one makes an impression.

4. A long sleeve White Shirt with or without buttoned cuffs -- very versatile.

5. An All-Weather Coat - Takes you from warm and sunny to cool, rainy days.

6. Jeans -- Go for the classy, well fitting ones. Keep them clean and pressed.

7. Formal Wear -- Dramatic coordinates can be mixed and matched to make several different outfits.

No matter what you decide to wear or put together, inner beauty is free. Make sure your attitude is positive and your spiritual gratitude is in harmony with your look. Inner beauty and elegance shines through and is more appealing than anything you may wear. So, pay special attention to your health, fitness and grooming. Not only will you look and feel great, your elegance becomes attractive.

Author's Bio: 

Gerri D Smith apparel designer and creative writer helps women look and feel good. Fashion tips, wardrobe basics, inspirational lessons. Subscribe to monthly newsletter and get a Free Special Fashion Report at, http://www.distinctive-elegance.com

Gerri also motivates others with inspirational words offering comfort that heals the spirit, and triggers positive emotions. Free Special Report at, http://www.inspirationalconnections.com