A Fashion Editor's Easy Styling Tips to Elevate Your Look

Amanda Suarez/Culture Trip
Amanda Suarez/Culture Trip
Photo of Jill Di Donato
Fashion Editor27 October 2017

In the past, fashion editors were known for arbitrating rules: no white after Labor Day; don’t mix silver and gold or a smokey eye and a bold lip. Although these rules are not in my vernacular, from working with stylists, designers, photographers, models, and lots of beauty products, I’ve picked up a couple tips to keep you from committing fashion faux pas you’ll regret. These tips are broad enough to let you be yourself, which is when fashion really excels.

1. Get yourself a good tailor.

© I Still Love You NYC

You’ve heard it before, but it bears repeating. Because ill-fitting clothes are the worst. This is especially true of garments that almost fit, but don’t. You know, like when your blazer hits you at the wrong place in the shoulders, or the hems of your jeans are picking up dirt.

2. Or, use hemming tape and an iron.

An easy tip for those times when a trip to the tailor’s is out of the question is to use some fashion hemming tape and an iron.

3. Invest in a hand steamer.

Now that your clothes fit you properly, you must take precautions to keep them wrinkle-free. A hand steamer (what the pros use) is a cheap investment, and works quickly to rid your clothing of wrinkles.

4. Dress to be comfortable in your skin.

© Anne Li/Sext Pixels

When you feel awkward, you look awkward. Trust your comfort level, no matter how much you want to wear a trend or how persuasive a salesperson can be. If you’re uncomfortable, you might as well have stayed home.

5. Shop with outfits in mind.

To avoid excess spending, especially on items that will likely never live outside your closet, shop with outfits in mind. This also means that you keep a clean and organized closet, so that you have a sense of what you have before you hit the shops. Think about what garments you can pair with the item in question. This tip will also help your look feel cohesive.

6. Master the high-low mix.

Amanda Suarez/Culture Trip

You don’t have to shop fast fashion to master the high-low mix, which in 2017, has become an art. Find a balance of statement pieces (high) and nondescript basics (low).

7. Plan your outfit around a statement piece, like your shoes.

When reaching for your everyday ballet flats, ask yourself if you’ve forgotten about those funky Balenciaga wedges in your closet. Shoes are often an afterthought, but is that fair to those Balenciaga wedges?

8. Dress for the elements.

Some things don’t go well together ever: silk and humid weather in New Orleans is not a good idea. Leather in the tropics, forget about it. Uggs past early spring do not work. (Some would say Uggs never work.)

9. Have an emergency kit with you at all times.

Like the SATs, hope for the best, prepare for the worst. What’s in your emergency kit depends on your lifestyle — from red lipstick to a pair of foldable flats to a pair of pantyhose (stylists always have an extra pair on photoshoots, as they instantly create a smooth silhouette). Of course your emergency kit is also determined by the size of your go-to purse.

10. Revisit old trends.


Fashion tends to recycle trends every 20 years. However, mini-trends have a shorter life span, and thus come and go more frequently. Don’t discount a look that didn’t work for you the last time it was in fashion. For example, remember all denim-everything of the early aughts? It’s back, and this time the look is much more relaxed. Or how about blue eyeliner that was everywhere in the ’80s? Would you ever think that hue could look so chic?

11. When in doubt, upcycle.

© Pete Bellis/Unsplash

Upcycling requires a little creativity as you repurpose something that you haven’t worn in ages by adding a little flair. Sometimes this requires a hot glue gun; others, you might just need to add a skinny belt to breathe new life into your sack dress.

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