2. Understand your body type, proportions, best silhouettes and colors, textures and scale. Whatever your shape, know that there are clothes out there that can really flatter you, and you should never settle for less.
3. Don't go on fishing expeditions. Know what you are shopping for.Be specific but not rigid.
4. Go to the right store -- not necessarily where the sales are, but where they have clothes in your style. Go rested and alone. Bring shoes.
5. Look for color and fabric first, then silhouette, then size.
6. Think outfit, not item. Put each piece in the context of your wardrobe. If you fall in love with a piece that can't be worn with other pieces you own, or that you'll probably never have an occasion to wear, pass it up.
7. Get help. Make your wishes known to the salesperson. Get her (or him) to check back with you. A store with unresponsive sales help is not your store.
8. Love it or leave it! If you're not absolutely in love with a garment, don't commit.
9. Insist on fit. Get alterations then and there if possible. If not, get thee to a fitter. The most wonderful garment ever created won't look good if it doesn't fit.
10. Buy the best you can bring yourself to afford, especially in core items. You don't need a lot of stuff when you have the right stuff. Concentrate on fewer, better pieces.
The Association of Image Consultants International lists certified image consultants at their Web site, AICI.org. Annie Brumbaugh can bereached at ABWardrobeWorks.com.