Gentle Reader, it’s no secret that I’m a little in love with clothes. Dressing oneself should be a pleasure; it should be a reflection of who you are – it should be High Art. With my instinct for trends and my timeless sense of fashion, I’m here to help, honey. Here are some of my best tips for creating a Look.
Tip 1: The Concept
Before you dress for the evening, for the day, for the event – whatever: stop and consider what you’re going to wear. You’ll want to select your show-stopping signature piece before you plan the rest. In some cases, it’ll be a dramatic hat – in others, a blazer with a fantastic plaid, or an enormous brooch that looks like a beetle. Pick the piece that you’re just dying to wear that night, and everything else should follow.
Tip 2: The Canvas
Before you get any further, you should don your base layer. Unless your accent piece is part of your base layer, you should stick to neutrals. I prefer black, myself, but a daytime look could use white, navy, khaki – you get the idea. You want an elegant but unremarkable background on which your accent piece will shine.
Tip 3: The Contours
While you’re dressing yourself, keep in mind the shape of the outfit you’re building. If you have large hips and are wearing a dress that hugs them and stops at the knee, be aware of that. Do you want to mirror the shape up top? How do you want to present your curves? When it comes time to accessorize, you’re going to need to know what silhouette you’re displaying – it’s all part of the finished outfit. You can direct attention away from problem areas by being conscious of shape; big shoulders, for example, give the illusion of a narrower waist.
Tip 4: The Conflict
It’s time now to begin to dress properly. Fetch your show-stopper, but don’t add it yet; you’ll want an additional layer between your base and it. The show-piece should be the last element added that draws everything together. For the moment, just have it handy so that you can refer to it while accessorizing. So: add a scarf, then take it away. What about the necklace over there? Not a chance. Or that bow-tie? Maybe. Play around, and see what works. Be mindful that the lines you’re creating with accessories and the cut of your clothes will direct the eye hither and yon. You want to direct attention to your best features, as well as to your accent piece.
Tip 5: The Crowning
Add that beautiful piece that’s been your real goal all along. Allow yourself a quick smile, and one last glance in the mirror. Does the whole outfit work? Do you feel confident as hell? Did your inspiration piece pull everything together? Good. Congratulations, honey; you know how to dress yourself.