Fashion Trends, Quick Tips and Style Solutions
Designer’s Tips for Fashion Styling
Posted on July 14th, 2008
Mix and Match Your Way to Chic

Designer's Tips Styles

As a fashion designer, when I meet someone for the first time, she automatically assumes three things about me. The first is that I design my own clothes or I shop big brands, the second is that I have a particular fashion style, and the third is that I spend a lot of money shopping for clothes. The fact is that none of these impressions are true.

To the first idea: I don’t have time to design for myself, much less to sew anything. And I’ve been in the fashion industry too long (and I know too much) to become a slave to brands. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the brands; they’ve worked very hard to get where they are; I’m just too familiar with the cost of production to buy into the hype.

As for the other belief, I don’t have a defined style. My clothing style depends greatly on occasion, location, season, current trends, time of the day, and my mood. In fact, I often use fashion styling to get myself in a certain mood. When people ask me for styling advice, the first thing I ask them is “How do you want to feel?” I think fashion and styling have a certain magic that can make you feel a certain way. Here, I’m going to share with you a few “Designer Tips” on fashion styling. I’ll begin with some very important fashion advice- how to shop for clothes.

Since I’m not a boring dresser, people usually assume that my outfits are really expensive – not true at all. That doesn’t mean I won’t buy something expensive occasionally; I just appreciate a good bargain when I shop for clothes. The only time I’ll overpay for something is when I LOVE the item and I know I won’t be able to find it anywhere else. Like my Diesel jacket. It was exactly what I had been looking for and I knew that no one else would make something even remotely similar. It’s casual, but chic; sporty, but girly – and it will last for a few seasons. That’s actually one of my fashion shopping rules: if I pay more than $150 for something, it has to last for a few seasons. If I’m shopping for something very edgy that will probably be “in” for only one season, I won’t spend more than $100, preferably no more than $50 on such an item.

So how do I manage to look expensive? Designer tip number one is good fit. I’m a stickler for a good fit. If something doesn’t fit right, no matter how cheap it is – I won’t buy it. Why would I wear something that looks awkward on my body that pulls and gathers in the wrong places? It doesn’t matter how much salespeople try to give me fashion “help”, telling me that it’s my imagination or it’s not noticeable. I notice, and others will too. They might not be able to pinpoint exactly what bothers them, but they’ll notice something’s off. This brings me to my next point: details and accents. They make a huge difference in an outfit for the same reason fit does. Many people think they don’t notice little details, but they do. Some details may not stand out on their own, but they definitely contribute to overall appearance.

Once I went on a blind date wearing a plain black jersey skirt slightly below the knee that I bought for $20. I paired it with a black tank with touch of lace ($15), and killer looking shoes! They were pointy high heels in faded metallic pink, which created a vintage look ($55, a lucky bargain buy!). Two men accused me of trying to cause a traffic accident while I was crossing the street! Men and (more remarkably) women were turning their heads. Needless to say, my blind date was more then relieved! The first thing he said to me was that he “loved stylish women”. Bottom line: my outfit was totally chic – and all under $100.

Another shopping tip: to make an ordinary outfit look chic, I’ll add something expensive, like an accessory. Once, I went to a party wearing a black jersey dress with bishop sleeves ($25), and accented it with a hip shaped beaded belt I bought in London for almost $250. I know it may sound pricey, but that belt breathed new life into a lot of older outdated outfits that I loved dearly. I had this gorgeous chiffon dress that I bought 7 years ago. I loved it for the way the skirt flared and the mysterious color effect created by layers of different color fabrics. Even after the silhouette went out of style, I just couldn’t part with that dress! By adding my beaded belt, I successfully reshaped the dress, creating a low waist retro kind of look, and wore it to my best friend’s wedding – with compliments!

Those were just a few designer tips, but I have full intentions to disclose all of my style secrets one by one. The truth is that I love fashion, and I love women. It makes me happy when I can make a difference in their often complicated, yet extraordinary lives. Ladies, keep in mind when it comes to fashion, nothing is written in stone. What is a fashion disaster today may be on the runway tomorrow, and vice versa. For some final fashion styling tips I want to cover two key looks that dominate current trends: “Street-hip” and “rock glam.” And of course it wouldn’t be a complete guide to fashion without putting together a head-turning outfit for that hot night out. Following are some personal faves that I plan on adding to my closet.

(click on images for larger views, details and links)


Baggy Jeans ($44.50): Wide leg, ripped, and washed out – a great street hip look. Wide leg styles are in full effect right now to counterbalance those hot skinnies that are everywhere. To add a twist, buy them a size bigger for a slightly baggy look. Similar to the 80’s paper bag look, but the low waist cut keeps it in the 21st century.

Alternative options for similar styling

Sequined tube top: This multipurpose classic piece doesn’t go out of style. Getting it in red is always hot and always in style. Fitted like a corset, it will add a sexy angle to the baggy jeans. Staying away from a real corset will prevent you from going overboard, which will keep the look younger. Layer it over a fitted white tee or cami for a more casual look, or wear it under a jacket in the evening.

Keep in mind that this tube top is really shiny and probably not the best choice to wear in bright daylight, unless you can handle a lot of attention. My advice is to tuck it in your bag for that drink or movie after work. Or chose something from the list of alternative options.

Cropped Knit Jacket: OK, this one was love at first site! It’s super trendy! I selected it for the street hip ensemble to take that hot red number down a notch, but it can totally be used in a number of ways to create other unique looks. Wear it with traditional black pants to make the “office look” fashionable or throw in on over a classic cocktail dress for a really hip look. Great for summer, this knit jacket wont wrinkle or lose form so you can always keep it in your bag for occasional use in air-conditioned area.

If you prefer to look less “street” and more “glam”, you can always go for a more traditional jacket. Check out these alternatives.

Glam Rock

Skinny Jeans: If you don’t have them yet – you’ve got to get a pair. They’ll be around for at least another season, if not more. Personally, I have 3 pairs, in light, medium, and dark washes. Pair them with oversized draped knits for balance. And if you really want to be edgy and take the glam rock look a step further, top it with a men’s classic one button blazer that’s one size too big.

If skinny jeans don’t look good on you, or you don’t like them for whatever reason, then classic low waist straight leg will do just fine.

Men’s Blazer: OK, by itself, a man’s suit jacket is seriously boring, but it all depends how you wear it. It’s hard to find a real men’s cut blazer that is “happening” right now. They will probably hit the market on a large scale in a year or two. I couldn’t find one that was reasonable priced through regular channels so I got mine from a Boy’s department. So if you want to be a trend-setter on budget, you can do the same. Warning – this style will look quirky. If you don’t think you can pull it off, try this one (a little pricey, but super edgy and chic) paired with skinnies and an oversized draped knit top.

Alternative options for similar styling

Oversized Knit Tops: These are going to be around for a while. Not only are they very comfortable, but they’re also very sexy. The long, draped, oversized shape creates a baggy look to balance the skinnies, and this particular style has a super sexy neckline. It’s the perfect addition to that “glam rock” look that is so popular right now. If you want a less provocative look, or want to cover your bra, wear it over a cami or racer-back tank top.

Alternative options for similar styling

Head-turner for that Night Out

Trapeze Dress: I Love this dress! It has a young silhouette, a trendy print, and a mesh hemline that brings you a step closer to high fashion and a step away from traditional cocktail dresses.

Alternative options for similar styling

Gladiator Sandals: Over the top HOT! But be careful – if you pair these with something too sexy, it will create an X-rated look. But coupled with this sweet printed dress will give it a sexy edge. No question – this one is an attention grabber, but some of it might be negative, so you’ll need to add a dose of attitude to pull it off.

Alternative options for similar styling

1 Comment

hi.. i love your blog.. mind to check out mine…
we can exchange link

Comment by shirley — July 24, 2008 @ 11:59 pm

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