17/08/2016
You’ll be shutting it down in no time.

Words by

Alyce Cowell

Women are funny creatures. We like to follow people on social media we can’t stand, say we’re fine when we’re definitely not fine and think we look bloody terrible in absolutely anything we wear. 

As a stylist, I’ve heard at all. Women have told me they can’t go within 10ft of a horizontal stripe. Once, I asked a client what body shape she was and she said ‘refrigerator’. 

Point is, we all need to just chill for a sec on the self-hate. Chances are you’re rating yourself a six when you’re clearly an 11. You’re probably wearing an oversized knit right now that’s at least one size too big. (I know this because everyone does it and also because I’m standing at your window right now.)

To help you on the road to discovering your *best fashion self * I’m passing on a few pearls of wisdom that we stylists use on a daily basis. Don’t tell the other stylists though, or I’ll have to hand in my badge.

1. Roll up your sleeves, or else

Some days you’re just not feeling yourself. I get it. Even if most days you are loving your lumps and bumps, there are some days your insecurities will get the better of you. So I’m here to tell you that no matter what sort of day you’re having, your ankle and wrists will save you. They will always be the slimmest part of your body – the skinny little bitch your ass and hips hate. Stylists know this information, and they use it wisely. 

When wearing a jacket, always roll your sleeves. It will instantly make you look one dress size smaller, guaranteed, or your money back. 

This trick also comes in handy when the shop has sold out of your size but there’s no way in hell you’re leaving without that goddamn jacket, so you’re forced to buy the next size up.

2. Please stop looking at the tag…

... and start trying everything on in three sizes – the size you think you are, plus one smaller and one bigger. 

We don’t have standardised sizing in Australia, which means you could be a size 10 in one store and a size 14 in another store, equalling one big mindfuck for your self-esteem. 

Learn not to place so much emphasis on the number and you’ll be much happier in the long run (and wearing a much more flattering garment while you’re at it).

3. Master the half-tuck

Together, the draped jacket, backwards shirt and half-tuck form a really small, intimidating gang that makes you feel not ‘fashion’ enough to dress like that.

However, when isolated from the gang, the half-tuck does actually serve a purpose. While completely tucking in your shirt can feel a bit prim, and leaving it out can hide your shape and feel messy, the half-tuck is the perfect inbetweener. 

It highlights your waist and gives you more of a shape, while looking like you actually didn’t actually mean for that to happen.

(You did.)

4. Learn to love pink <3 

Once upon a time, we all avoided pink like the plague: it was for little girls and Wednesdays, and we were grown-ups. But then, the High Priestess of Fashion Trends decided we should all be wearing it, and all of a sudden it’s cool, not cute. 

Not only that, though – pink is a lot more flattering and versatile than you think, and can be just as chic as your fav all-black-everything combo. Don’t be so quick to dismiss it.

Try to avoid the velour tracksuit (at least in public – it’s hard, I know) and learn to love pink in shapes you’re comfortable with, whether it be oversized T-shirts, bomber jackets, denim overalls, wide-leg pants or slip dresses. Just own it and remember: you’re not a regular mom, you’re a cool mom.

5. Up your denim game  

Look, we can’t all afford to be going around buying jeans every time Kendall and Gigi step out in a new pair, so get crafty and give your current denim a little makeover instead. 

If you’re handy with a pair of scissors, try cutting a raw hem just above the ankle at a 7/8 length, or ask your grandma very nicely to do it for you. 

Sometimes, a cuffed hem is all you need – straight and boyfriend cuts look best with skinny cuffs, while skinny jeans can also work with a wide cuff. 

With all the money you save on the jeans, you can treat yo’ self to a new pair of mules or sock boots, which both just happen to go famously with raw hems and cuffed denim.

6. When in doubt, layer the same tone

It’s very common at fashion week to see women dressed head to toe in neutrals, denim or some whack shade of vomit green – and manage to pull it off. 

Are they really just that effortless, or is it something more sinister? 

Hey, they might just be like the rest of us: wearing their underwear and crying into a pile of clothes 30 minutes before the event starts, not being able to recall even one outfit they’ve ever worn… but it’s probably more likely they know this trick.

When it doubt, choose one colour and run with it. You may incorporate different shades, but always the same colour – think beige with camel, denim with cobalt blue and black with contrasting textures.   

7. Show off that waist, girl

I get it, belts are kind of mean. It’s like they tricked us into wearing them with the promise of an amazing hourglass figure, but now it’s on and we just feel like a sausage. Now the belt is laughing at us behind our back with her bitchy belt best friend.

Don’t stress though, there are countless other ways to highlight your waist: tie a knot in your tee or dress, leave a little sliver of skin between your crop top and high-waisted bottoms, or wear something that has a seam running horizontally across the waist. 

8. Designer bags and shoes can make a potato sack look like Gucci Pre-Fall

Someone once told me the big secret behind a bomb ass Christmas tree, is to buy a really cheap tree and decorate it with expensive baubles. It’s all an illusion. 

In this story, you’re the really cheap tree. You see, when you accessorise with an ‘investment’ bag or pair of shoes, it makes the rest of your outfit look expensive af, even if you found it on the ground at a music festival. 

It’s that old chestnut of mixing high end with high street, and it works a charm every time. 

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A few things to note here.
Get in loser, we’re going shopping.
You know it, I know it. So let’s do it.
Get ready to sweat in places you didn’t know you could sweat.
Friends rule and drinks are fun. So let’s do this.
Because avocado smash is expensive AF.
OMG I love your green juice, where did you get it?
For all you students who love to get turnt but #unistudentbudget.
NB: some of these lessons were learned the hard way.
“Do you prefer ‘fashion victim’ or ‘ensemble-y challenged?’”
Stevie Dance’s story is pretty much a fashion industry fairytale.