How to Follow "What Not to Wear" Style Rules

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Fans of TLC's hit reality personal fashion show, "What Not to Wear" and/or the fashion forward hosts Stacy London and Clinton Kelly deserve to know the secrets of dressing your best. The hosts authored a book entitled "Dressing Your Best" that shares secrets for finding the best outfits for your body type and style. The integral style rules that Stacy and Clinton teach can have you looking your best no matter what the occasion.

  • Know your body type according to height and proportions. Are you relatively petite/short, average height or tall? Are you heavier on the bottom, heavier on the top or is your weight proportionately distributed? Stacy and Clinton instruct you to recognize your current body type (not what you want it to be) and to play up your best attributes (such as a smaller waist, longer legs, full bust, etc.) when you dress.

  • Choose colors that don't wash out or exaggerate your skin tone. Dark colored skin shouldn't wear colors that are of similar hues and pale colored skin looks extreme in dark colors. Try on brights, lights, darks and pay attention to the severity or the serenity of your skin's tone in matching these shades. You also want to find clothes in colors that don't clash with your hair.

  • Accessorize. The most simple, even boring outfit can make you shine with the right accessories. From handbags to shoes to earrings to scarves, the outfit extras can create a polished, attractive, stylish look. When purchasing accessories, evergreen is the key. You want to buy items that you will be able to wear with multiple outfits. When you dress, rather than trying to match, such as the dreaded matching your shoes to your purse fiasco, try to create one image. Choose pieces that have the same attitude, mood or tone, such as a chunky wedge heel and a studded belt and/or purse. Accessories are less about matching each other and more about matching your look, so make it your goal to top off an outfit with cohesively appropriate accessories.

  • Dress for the occasion. If you're going to work, don't wear ultra-casual items you would wear at lunch with friends. Equally true, don't dress to climb the corporate ladder at an outdoor picnic or barbecue. Dressing your best often means dressing appropriately for the occasion.

  • Express yourself. Personal fashion is just that: personal. Rather than robbing a mannequin or model's look, find inspiration in those looks and look inward for dressing direction. Dress for your body, dress for your color, dress for the occasion and dress for you. Create a personal image when you dress and choose pieces and accessories that meld to your personal message.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't feel that you have to wear the same style of clothing as your peers and as models. Wear what accentuates your unique body type, skin color and hair color and you'll look your personal best.

References

  • Dress Your Best: The Complete Guide to Finding the Style That's Right for Your Body; Stacy London and Clinton Kelly; 2005.
  • TLC's 'What Not to Wear'
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