DO Always Take One Thing Off
Ok, I may have stolen this one from Coco Chanel, but that only gives it more credibility, right? There’s nothing worse than looking like you’ve tried too hard, and sometimes it’s that last, extra detail that tips your edit into not-quite-working territory. Give yourself one final look over before you leave the house, and whether it’s those glitzy earrings or that fussy scarf, ditch the last thing you added.
DO Find A Good Talior
I challenge you to find a fashion editor who doesn’t share the same advice. It’s not just investment pieces that deserve a nip and tuck here and there – it’s high street purchases which stand to gain the most. Cinching in that H&M dress or getting those Zara blazer sleeves just the right length will make them look more expensive; I have some £30 faux leather trousers which have had £60 of alterations over the years, and are always mistaken for designer.
DO Have Regular Clear Outs
I’m not a hoarder, and I’m not sentimental about my clothes – so I suggest if you are either of these things, you take a leaf out of my book, stat. How else can you fit new season purchases into your limited wardrobe space, or fully assess what gaps you have? I make regular, ruthless edits, taking inspiration from good old Marie Kondo and only hanging onto pieces that ‘spark joy’.
DO Size Up On Practically Everything
There are some obvious caveats to this one – trousers being the stand out exception. But jeans and tailored pants aside, I size up on everything – it’s my absolute failsafe for looking cool. Nothing is less stylish or will date your look more quickly than a fitted blazer, too-tight coat or slim-fit tee.
DO Wait Before Buying
I have really had to learn the art of delayed gratification, but I can finally admit it pays to hold out, particularly when it’s a sizable investment. Waiting before taking the plunge is the only way to guarantee it’s really worth the money; if you’re lying awake thinking about it, you know it’s the one. Keep an eye on stock levels – I’ve learnt the hard way – and if you’re lucky, it may even hit the sales.
DON'T Buy Just Because It's On Sale
We’ve all been there – snapping up a rash purchase just because the discount is great, only to wonder how on earth to make it work. A patent pair of Gucci boots at a killer price on Vestiaire Collective spring to mind; they cut into my calves – great on Kaia Gerber’s legs, less great on mine – and sat in my cupboard for a few years until I sold them at a loss. Do not get seduced by price tags.
DON'T Expect To Look Good If You've Rushed
I truly believe (unless you have flawless skin, impeccable body and perfect hair) that looking good takes time. This means applying your make up diligently, putting careful consideration into your wardrobe, planning outfits the night before, washing your hair when it’s greasy and making small comfort sacrifices for style. It doesn’t happen overnight for the people you envy on Instagram, and it probably won’t for you either. Do not roll out of bed, do your makeup on the train, and then expect miracles.
DON'T Scrimp On Accessories
This doesn’t mean go out tomorrow and buy a Chanel handbag. It means look for quality pieces that last and look good because – it’s cliché because it’s true – accessories really can elevate an outfit. There are so many amazing, more affordable designer bag brands out there now, like Danse Lente and Elleme. Buy the smartest one you can afford and really look after it.
DON'T Shop After Work
You’re hot. You’re hungry. You’re tired. Nothing is less productive than hitting the shops after a long hard day at the office – making wise purchases can only be done in a relaxed, rational setting. Go home, make your dinner and pour over NET-A-PORTER instead.
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