15 Top Fashion Tips – Tried and True by Nan Napier

Scarves by Michael Kors

Scarves by Michael Kors

People always ask me for fashion advice and I love to share what I’ve learned from years of experience in this field. I actually collect fashion tips, writing them down with you, dear readers, in mind. This week I’m sharing my favorites, starting with the tried-and-true classics and ending with some for the current season.

• Stay healthy and fit. If I had to pick one tip for being fashionable, this would be it. It’s nigh on impossible to look chic and stylish if you are ill, weary, overweight or anorexic. Take care of yourself, keep up with your vitamins and good nutrition, and get enough sleep. If you aren’t physically fit, find an exercise that you enjoy and ease into it slowly.

• Be yourself. Style is as much about character and personality as it is about a specific look. Know who you are in each chapter of your life and use your clothes as a vehicle for self-expression.

• See the total picture. This includes makeup, clothing, accessories, hair and the way you carry yourself. One trendy item doesn’t make great style unless it is blended with the right elements.

• Change is good. Don’t stick with one look for a lifetime. Every season designers give us new looks and introduce new colors. You need only adopt a few of the many au-courant options available. Even a little change will make you look youthful and up-to-date.

• Wear clothes that fit. Proper fit is neither overly roomy nor too snug. You want clothes that have a really nice drape without tugging or bagging. In designer or couture circles, good fit is sometimes called “elegantly loose.” The alterations expert is your fashion assistant. Correct hems for pants and sleeves are a must.

• Take a cue from European women. They prefer quality over quantity. Look for quality in fabric, construction, design and fit.

• Throw on a scarf, the ultimate accessory. I know I get a lot of compliments every time I wear a scarf. I’m pretty sure I could wear a garbage sack and a scarf and I would still get compliments. Don’t try too hard to tie it in a cutesy way or you will look contrived.

• Leverage the power of color. Coco Chanel said, “The best color in the world is the one that looks best on you.” It’s not hard to figure out. It’s the color you’re wearing every time your friends say you look great.

• An organized closet is your friend. Many closets and chest of drawers are cluttered with clothes that haven’t been worn in years. Even though it’s a pain to constantly update, the benefits are huge. Working out of an in-shape closet means you are choosing only current items that you like and that fit. What would you rather face each morning: a great small assortment or an overstuffed closet of questionable garments?

• “There are no ugly women, just lazy ones.” This Helena Rubenstein quote reminds me of how some women say that they wish they could look more fashionable and more youthful, but they don’t do anything. It’s like the joke where a woman looks into the mirror and says, “Somebody needs to do something about this!” Spending time on ourselves is all a matter of priorities, whether it is getting just the right haircut or exercise regime or wearing sunscreen and a hat.

• Update your evening wardrobe. Don’t make the mistake of having one evening wear or black tie outfit that you pull from the back of the closet once or twice a year to wear to a gala. Just look around at the next big party or wedding: some women will be wearing their same old dated uniform. Yes, it’s impractical to buy a new dress that you will only wear a few times. However, it’s fun to dress up and feel like Cinderella! Remind yourself that you are worth it.

• Be open-minded. Take at least one thing into the fitting room that is a stretch for you. You never know until you try. At Tres Mariposas we have women who are astonished all the time.

• Know the universal colors. These colors go with all skin tones: they’re not too warm or too cool, too light or too deep, too muted or too bright. They include coral pink, violet, watermelon red, turquoise, teal and periwinkle blue.

• Pay attention to silhouettes. Right now, big on top and skinny on bottom is fashionable. However, you can’t wear a little cropped, tiny silhouette jacket without looking dated these days. Silhouettes, the overall shape and form of a garment or outfit, change. Even though you have 10 pairs of black pants in your closet, you need the current shape and silhouette.

• Accessorize with brights. All it takes this month is a yummy bright colored scarf in solid or pattern, and you have it made. A great scarf positively pumps up everything else to make a super look. What could be easier?

Looking for more quick tips? A couple of great sources in my library are In Style magazine’s list of “The 50 Best Fashion Tips of All Time” (“In Style/ Makeover 2011”) and Dorius Pooser’s book, “Always in Style” (Axo Press, 2010).

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