Five Simple Ways to Look Amazing Every Day

I’m a thief. I would never have known about this little list if it hadn’t been for the indisputably goddesslike Angie over at You Look Fab. But it was just too good not to pilfer.

Although I frequently profess my undying love for Trinny and Susannah, I have never followed “What Not to Wear.” This is mainly because I don’t have cable, but also because the name of the show just rankles me. It’s so negative and catty sounding! I am ashamed to report that I can be quite catty at times, but I fight it with every fiber of my being. And I’ve decided – using the logic of a seven-year-old – that not watching a show with a catty title and which involves a certain amount of catty stylist commentary will help reduce my own catty tendencies.

Good gravy, what a gigantic tangent. But now to the point:

Yesterday Angie called my attention to this list of tips from Stacy London, hostess of the U.S. version of “What Not to Wear.” And since I found myself silently saying, “Yes, YES, YESSSS” after reading each, I felt compelled to bogart and share.

1. Know yourself: “Accept your body type for what it is.” Even if you gain or lose a few, your basic shape will remain the same. Learn which styles suit your body’s natural curves and contours, and chuck the rest. Trends be damned if they make you look like crap on toast.

2. Fit is key: After investigating and settling upon the cuts and styles that flatter your unique figure, befriend your local tailor. Alter pants to the proper length, and have skirts that hit your calves at an unflattering spot shortened to proportions of loveliness. Try to buy only items that are amazing right off the rack, but if something is high quality and close to perfect, consider alterations. And, of course, closet lurkers that you can’t bear to part with may be injected with new life after a trip to the tailor for a fit makeover.

3. Don’t fall back on black: We all do it. Black is – supposedly – eternally chic and elegant. But it can also get dull as hell, and does nothing to bring out the best in OTHER colors. If you’re concerned about ass-smallening, navy, charcoal gray, and dark brown are also slimming. Try to pair color with color, and black with white, gray, and brown only. A guideline, not a rule, but still.

4. Ignore labels: If the size listed on your trouser tag causes you woe, CUT IT OUT. No one in the world will ever see it but you, and it is far better to wear a size 14 that fits you flawlessly than a size 10 that gives you cameltoe. Brand is dicey, as some brand names do indicate higher quality. But that is not always the case, so consider brand secondary to fit.

5. Good posture is essential: “Stand with your shoulders back, boobs out, and tummy in.” Word. I don’t care what shape you are or where you jiggle. If you hold your body up proudly, you’ll look strong and sexy. It’s a fact.

As Angie sagely points out, the missing 6th tip is to BE CONFIDENT. This one doesn’t qualify as “simple,” since confidence is an elusive beastie. But it is also a beautifier second only to love, and well worth persuing.

Perfect example of the power of confidence: Dreamecho. I adore her style, which is clever and experimental and truly unique. And I firmly believe that the primary reason her bold, imaginative combinations work is that she oozes confidence. In shot after shot, you see her looking saucy and cool and utterly fearless. My taste in clothes couldn’t be more different from hers, yet she is one of my stylistic heroines solely because the girl could throw on clown shoes, a gunnysack, and a a set of head boppers and just WORK IT. It helps that she’s a knockout with great taste. But styles that would look downright foolish on me are dazzling on her, and the key to it all is her attitude.

Confidence alone is powerful enough to transform a mousy little nebish into a goddess of sass. So once you’ve nailed the first five “simple” tips, focus your energy on numero seis.

And please do visit You Look Fab for the original post, and gobs of equally helpful advice!

(Image courtesy

  • Imelda Matt

    I’ve also found carrying around a bottle of beer helps you (and everyone else) look amazing…just a tip!

  • Sal

    We’ll make that #7. ;)

  • Middle Aged woman

    I have a friend who is a natural at this stuff. Have decided to take her shopping with me as I am hopeless at style in general. You have inspired me!

  • drwende

    Love every word of it except #3, which is strongly affected by a person’s coloring.

    Both black-and-white and most color-with-color combos look horrible on me, while black with certain colors is fabulous. You look like a high-contrast Winter — which would make both b&w and vibrant colors together doable for you.

    I'd also lean toward choosing one neutral and sticking to it; people who look genuinely good in black often look terrible in navy.

    But that provides an excellent reason to question black, as plenty of people who grab it might be better off in some other neutral.

    #5 (posture) is GOSPEL. Preach the posture, girl!

  • Sharon Rose

    I love this great list of yours and the best bit is the confidence-definitely key! I’ve got more self confident as I’ve got older and dress now totally for myself, regardless of what others say, haha!!

  • Make Do and Mend

    I like Imelda Matt’s advice – honestly have a beer and have fun.
    confidence and fun is much underrated when it comes to clothes and style.
    Sharon Rose is right – don’t care what others think.

    Plus who can’t help but think mean thoughts sometimes – it really hard not to!

  • WendyB

    My “wear what you want” philosophy is the exact opposite of “what not to wear.” I want people to feel happier, not insecure!

  • skgillespie

    I so need a stylist – everyone says Know your shape and what suits you – I wouldn’t have a clue!! I am fashionably inept. I just know what I like and I wear that, but sometimes I’m well aware of the fact that it should have been left on the mannequin for me to admire, not try to wear.
    One day I’ll be rich and famous and be able to hire someone to show me what to wear :)

  • enc

    I loved this post so much. My favorite part was when you wrote “Word.”

    Dang, that made me laugh and laugh.

  • Annie

    Yes, confidence is so important!

  • Pamcasso

    fabulous advice indeed.