Fashion Secrets Personal Stylists Won’t Tell You for Free

We asked stylists to the stars to tell us their secret weapons for having great style.

People are totally judging you by your clothing

“Sadly, if I’ve learned one thing as the owner of a PR firm in LA, the reality is that people do judge a book by its cover. If you are slovenly or unkempt, most likely you will not be taken as seriously as one who is put together.” —Michelle Czernin von Chudenitz Morzin, founder and CEO of Popular Press Media Group Don’t make these fashion mistakes that make you look messy.


Having style doesn’t have to mean dresses and heels

“Fashion doesn’t mean having to be super girly. I am a tomboy at heart so I like to encourage women like me to experiment with menswear or more casual pieces. One tomboy trend I love is a trench coat with cute sneakers!” —Olivia Pierson, TipTalk fashion expert and star of WAGS

Don’t believe everything you see on Instagram

“Social media doesn’t always show the whole picture. For instance, as glamorous as I appear on social media, I wish people knew that not only am I most comfortable in sweatpants and a sweatshirt but it’s when I feel the sexiest!” —Natalie Halcro, TipTalk fashion expert and star of WAGS


Spending too much time choosing your outfit can ruin the rest of your day

“Not enough people have heard of decision fatigue. Decision fatigue is the result of making too many decisions during the course of the day. All of these little decisions add up and actually drain the brain of decision-making power later on. So don’t waste your brainpower in the morning trying to get dressed. Instead get rid of things you can’t or don’t wear regularly and simplify your wardrobe to pieces you like. Keep your clothing simple, so you will have the energy to tackle life’s tougher problems.” —Dan Moyer Jr., stylist and national director of social media for Closet Factory You should finally get rid of these articles of clothing and accessories in your closet.


The hottest clothing item isn’t clothing

“There are so many trend pieces, online articles, news snippets, and magazine blurbs about what the next ‘it’ things are or what things you ‘should never be seen in again.’ All that is propaganda. True personal style is that which looks great to the outside world but makes the wearer feel even greater inside. If you are confident in your style, it will project beauty no matter what you’re wearing.” —Stephen V Hernandez, a personal stylist based out of NYC


Save money by combining expensive items with sale-rack stuff

“It’s perfectly okay to mix expensive items with cheaper pieces.” —Ms. Pierson In fact, try these fashion hacks that can make you look expensive.


Don’t be a slave to trends

“Regardless of what’s trending at the moment, try to stay true to yourself. Know what you look good in and what you like and stick to that.” —Ms. Halcro


Investment pieces are actually a good deal

“Many people think they can’t afford high-end style. But you’ll get more value if you spend your money on one good investment piece that you’ll use for years, like a cool bag, instead of wasting money on multiple pieces that aren’t classic.” —Ms. Halcro Here are 7 classic handbags to add to your wardrobe.


Fashion rules exist for a reason

“Your personal style should suit your lifestyle, mood, and resources but don’t feel like you have to break the rules to create a unique personal style. The classics are called ‘classic’ for good reason.” —Kylen Moran, stylist and fashion blogger


Don’t forget who’s the boss! (Hint: It’s you, the one with the wallet)

“The most important thing to remember about personal style and fashion is that you are the client. Fashion is here to work to fit you, not to make you work to fit fashion!” —Mr. Hernandez


You are not too good for second-hand stores

“Whether you’re buying or selling, consignment shops can be your best friend. Sell last season’s key pieces and you’ll have a bigger budget to pick up some fun pieces for next season!” —Ms. Halcro Check out these shopping tips for finding hidden gems at thrift stores.


Stop trying so hard

“When people are constantly chasing the next trend, they can look like they’re trying too hard. It’s better to have a true, individual sense of style and for those of us who are navigating between work, family, friends, and a social life, it comes down to balance. Dress simply and have great accent pieces.” —Ms. Morzin Watch out for the things your boss wishes you’d stop wearing to work.


Some people really should stick to the basics

“For most people it helps to stick to a basic color palate, like black, grey, white, oatmeal and tan. Then you can get a little crazy—think metal, wood, bright patterns—with outstanding accent pieces.” —Ms. Morzin


Turtlenecks are not for busty babes

“If you have an hourglass body type, look for styles and fabrics that reduce bulk and showcase your waist. Tailored pieces and stretchy fabrics that hug and accentuate your frame will bring out the natural lines of your hourglass shape. Look for blended knit fabrics and slimming neckline styles such as v-necks and scoop necks. A simple wrap dress is the one go to piece a woman with an hourglass frame should have in her closet.” —Kristina Michniak, stylist and global apparel manager for Spreadshirt Here’s how to dress to look ten pounds thinner.


Some women just shouldn’t wear skinny jeans

“If you have a pear body type, look for styles that elongate your figure to take the emphasis away from your lower body. You want to draw attention to your upper torso, and the best ways to do that are with pairing dark colored bottom pieces with lighter shades and patterns up top. Think of bold patterns and necklines that have detailing like embellishments or ruffles. You should avoid skinny jeans and instead opt for boot cut or those with a slight flare. Showing your shoulders also helps in drawing attention upwards and balancing your top half with your bottom half proportions.” —Ms. Michniak Here are other denim mistakes you make that could ruin your outfit.


Don’t have a waist? Fake one.

“If you have a boxy (or apple) body type, the goal is to create curves and elongate your silhouette. Stay away from boxy loose fitting shapes and monotone colors on both top and bottom. Instead select wardrobe pieces that have a strong emphasis on the waist and when in doubt wear a belt to give the illusion of a natural waist. An ordinary boxy sweater when paired with a thick belt can add instant curves to your body.” —Ms. Michniak


Knowing what clothes you hate is just as important as knowing what you love

“Don’t be intimidated by fashion! Fashion is supposed to be fun and happy, not to cause stress. The key to finding personal style is to list—yes, write them down—items that make you feel comfortable and confident and the things that make you feel uncomfortable or just not yourself. The latter group? Don’t wear them! Not matter how trendy they are.” —Mr. Hernandez


This season’s must-have is next season’s fashion must-never

“I don’t recommend buying a highly trendy item for a lot of money because in just a few months it’s almost guaranteed to be on the ‘OUT’ list next year. One example this season are the embellished handbags. These fun bags with stars, hearts, moons, and beading can be super fun for some nights out but really shouldn’t be a big part of your fashion budget. I’d look to stores like Zara or Topshop for great versions at an affordable price.” —Mr. Hernandez


You have to try stuff on. Have. To.

“Whenever you think something looks good but you think you couldn’t pull it off, take it to the dressing room and try it on. Some of my most successful styling jobs started with a client saying to me ‘forget it, it’s not my cut, or color, or length’ only for them to end up loving it after they tried it on. What do you have to lose?” Mr. Hernandez Watch out for these dressing room mistakes it’s time to stop making.


Only runway models look good in head-to-toe trends

“Most people should do trends in small doses. For instance this season is all about velvet but you don’t have to go full goth or pimp to embrace it. Try it out on a small scale, like a velvet pump, a velvet skirt, or even a velvet corded necklace. Find a way to work it in in a way that is right for you.” —Mr. Hernandez


Expensive clothing makes you act better

“You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to look fantastic, however, we do tend to feel and act a little different when we wear things that are expensive. We treat those things differently too; with more care. We tell ourselves that they are special and that we are special when we wear them. But really it’s the mental story we assign to those items that make them special. Expensive things might trigger those feelings more easily but you can shine just as bright every day with ordinary things, just by acting as you would if they were expensive.” —Jennifer Lowe, stylist and designer for Water Vixen Swim Learn some more ways you can use clothing to influence your mood.


Designer clothing online is often cheaper than generic clothing in stores

“Online shops like eBay and Poshmark allow you to get high-end brands at pennies on the dollar. There are so many people selling brand new or almost new items, that you can literally buy designer items at less than you would spend at a discount or big-box store for generic items.” —Ms. Lowe

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