HOW TO DRESS WELL: 20 FASHION TIPS FOR WOMEN
If you’re having a fashion meltdown, then we’re here to get you out of it! We’ve gathered 20 women’s fashion tips that guarantee a whole new you. You’ll learn how to dress better, understand your body, and other advice to make that fashion magic happen. Trust us; your “out with the old, in with the new” attitude will start right after reading this page’s last sentence.
- Understand how you like to dress
- Know your body type
- Know the colors that suit your skin tone
- Go through your closet
- Find a good tailor to fix your clothes
- Plan your shopping
- High-low dressing
- Learn about brands
- Don’t prioritize fashion
- Show enough skin
- Select your outfits and accessories the day before
- Balance your outfits from top to bottom
- Care for your clothes
- Proper undergarments
- Accessorize your look with bold colors
- Upgrade your shoes and socks
- Take a few fashion risks
- Wear outfits with printed patterns
- Always follow a daily care routine
- Doubtful? Overdress
1. Understand how you like to dress up
Get to know yourself and your fashion taste. Seek some inspiration from magazines, social media, or Google.
Think about yourself. Explore your fashion taste, your go-to clothes, and how you create a look out of them. But more importantly, be confident with your choices. You can pull off any look if you show some comfort and happiness in what you wear.
If you’re clueless about your fashion taste, find some inspiration that's waiting for you right around the corner. Grab a magazine or your cell phone and begin browsing. Go through articles, social media, or Google. Who knows, Kylie Jenner might be your next fashion goddess for makeup and outfit ideas!
2. know your body type
When you’re picking out an outfit, make sure it fits nicely on your body. Oversized, undersized, or tight clothes will make your body disfigured or bulky. If you have no idea what clothes suit your shape, we’ve got you covered with 5 body types.
Wear the right clothes that work well with your body shape.
For those with apple body shapes, stomach and bust are prominent, and the waist is less visible. Focus on your waist, cleavage, legs, and vertical lines. Add a belt above your stomach to define the waist. Wear shorts and v necks to draw eyes on your legs and upper body. Go for drape clothes to avoid unwanted bumps on your sides.
Women with pear-shaped bodies have hips wider than shoulders, round thighs, legs shorter than the upper body, and a visible waist. Make clothes work for you by focusing on your upper body. A bright-colored top with dark denim jeans makes your hips absent. Wear dresses where the top half is tight and the bottom half is loose on your thighs. Wear long cardigans or coats that don’t hug your hips.
The inverted triangle body shape has small hips, great legs, the top half bigger than the bottom, and shoulders wider than hips. Unlike the pear-shaped, inverted triangle requires you to focus on your body’s bottom half. Wear bright-colored pants, attractive shoes, jackets that add structure to your shoulders, and belts to structure your waist.
Those with the hourglass body shape have well-formed waists and big hips and busts. Wear clothes that hug your figure to display its exemplary shape. Go for fitting dresses for night-outs. Go for belted coats to show off your waist. Wear tops with v necks or scoops to show your collar bone’s curves that mirror your curves.
Rectangular body shapes have hips and shoulders similar in width, small busts, a flat-bottom half, and less curves. Find clothes that shape your body. Create curves by wearing wide pants and a belt around the waist to resemble the hourglass. To add some volume to your busts, wear shirts with halter necks. This adds volume and elegance to your back and shoulders. If you have a specific body part that you admire so much, then show it off with pride! Go for sleeveless and backless tops if you love your arms and back. Be edgy in an open-front skirt if you find your legs attractive. More on that later.
3. know the colors that suit your skin tone
Pick accessories that coordinate with your skin tone.
When picking out outfits and jewelry, think of the colors that work well with your skin tone. If you have no clue about your skin tone and which colors go with it, let’s jump right in.
There are 3 kinds of skin tones: warm, cool, and neutral. For warm-colored skin, dress in red, orange, honey gold, amber, and golden yellow. Cool-colored skin should aim for bright blue, deep shades of purple, lavender, and sapphire outfits. For neutrals, soft rose, placid blue, light peach, and dusty pink are your go-to colors to wear. The color wheel is a lifesaver when picking colors to match together.
Now, how can you figure out your skin tone? Good question. There are 3 ways to do this.
First, look at your veins. If your veins appear green, then you’re warm-toned. If they’re blue or purple, you’re cool-toned. If you can’t tell your veins’ colors apart, you’re neutral. You can verify this if your complexion (your skin’s natural color) is olive.
Second, try the white paper test if you got nowhere with your veins. Hold a paper right next to your skin. If your skin is yellow next to the white paper, you’re warm. If your skin appears rosy, bluish-red, or pink, then you’re cool. If none of the above, then you’re neutral.
Third, determine your skin undertone with jewelry. Grab silver and gold and see which one complements your skin. Gold always works with warm-toned, and silver with cool and neutral-toned.
4. go through your closet
Once you've assessed the first 3 points, go through your closet. Pick items that complement your style, body shape, and skin tone. If your wardrobe is packed, it’ll be too messy to find the pieces you need in your life. Not only that but you’re wasting space on clothes you don’t need in your wardrobe.
Here are a couple of tips to organize your closet.
First, clean out your closet if your clothes don’t suit a particular season. If it’s summer, you don’t want your wool sweater to take up half the space for your summer clothes. Pack out-of-season clothes in another closet and keep the current ones for the time being.
Second, keep the pieces that you love. Don’t keep items that you barely touch or remember. Make enough room in your wardrobe for those that mean a lot to you.
Third, pick a number to limit the number of clothes you want to keep. If you picked 10 out of your 35,912 pieces of clothing, choose your top 10 go-to outfits that you love. You have to kiss the 35,902 you didn’t select goodbye. Well, not entirely. More on that in a bit.
Fourth, reduce your need to buy so many clothes. We get that the latest items in stores attract you, but you need to control your shopping urges. Remember that you have to pick out clothes that work for you. On top of that, your wardrobe might explode with excessive shirts and pants coming out of it!
And finally, give your 35,902 pieces of clothes a second life. Refer to NGOs or second-hand stores to make your clothes useful again to others.
If you own clothes that you no longer wear, sort them out in piles and donate them to NGOs or second-hand stores.
If you’re residing in Lebanon, donate your preloved items to Arcenciel and Fabric Aid. They are NGOs that pass your clothes down to the less fortunate. As long as they’re not damaged or stained, you should have no problem donating them.
If you want to contribute internationally, refer to Dress For Success and Goodwill NGOs.
Dress For Success is an international NGO that helps women get formal attires for job interviews. It collects professional apparel, bags, shoes, and jewelry. If you have some that you don’t wear anymore, give them a second life to those who can’t afford their own. Goodwill recycles and avoids your clothes from going to landfills. They accept them in gentle conditions. You can also donate other items, like books and furniture, if your room’s running out of space.
Some of our handpicked local second-hand stores can help you resell your preloved items.
Thriftiz.lb follows retro fashion and buys clothes in very good condition.
PinkAttik is a second-hand store co-founded by Elsa O (check our collaboration with her and Loolia Closet on Suis Moi Je Suis Là Socks). It accepts fast fashion clothes (cheap clothes made at a fast rate) in good condition. Make sure to have them washed and prepared before donating. They also collect shoes, accessories, and bags.
Souk Okaz welcomes branded clothes like Zara and H&M in good condition. If you sell them a more prominent name, you’ll be paid handsomely.
If you own vintage pieces in good condition, refer to Vintage Soul 101 for donations. It decides whether or not to buy your clothes for its store or donate them to other charities.
5. find a good tailor to fix your clothes
Find a good tailor who can make you fit in your clothes again.
To know how to dress well, you must consider good tailoring. Your outfits should take on your body shape and look perfect on you. Avoid clothes that are too big, too small, or too tight.
If you picked out pieces that need some adjustments, find a good tailor who will make them fit on you again. Let them measure your body and your pieces to know the right fit. For example, if your pants are too big on you, tailors will adjust them to your size.
If you want to upgrade your clothing, ask your tailor to add cute designs on them that mirror your taste. How about adding some cute pearl buttons to your denim jacket? Trust us; you’ll be giving it a stylish new look!
6. plan your shopping
Once you get rid of your old outfits, start planning on buying new key items.
Before you head out, visualize yourself in outfits, footwear, and accessories, including socks, jewelry, nail polish, bags, and how to dress well if you’re in a hurry. Remember to keep your style, body, and skin tone in mind.
After following Point 4, organize a wardrobe that allows you to mix and match items without any effort. If you don’t have attires that easily go together, you’ll never get out of the having-a-hard-time-to-put-an-outfit-together loop. Do you want to end up with a very long hyphenated adjective to describe your misery? We don’t think so.
When you’re shopping, take as much time as you need to browse and make a decision. Take a thorough look at a piece and see it from all angles. If it doesn’t suit any of your 3 goals (style, body type, and skin tone), then move to the next piece. Even if takes 7 hours to find what you're looking for, remember to search for pieces that are right for you.
Don’t forget to consider your budget. Set up a budget you want to spend on and see if the shop is offering discounts. If there are classic-themed pieces on display, get one for your wardrobe and let it last. The classics are usually cheaper than the latest releases, and they work great when accessorizing.
7. high-low dressing
An essential rule of thumb in Shopping 101: Don’t spend a fortune on an entire high-end brand outfit. Instead, mix high-end and low-end brands. Wear an affordable outfit with a few high-quality statement pieces. Let these expensive accessories last a long while in your closet.
8. learn about brands
Every time you shop, keep a good memory the brands you visit and what they sell. Understand which brands fit your body shape and style better by experience. If these boutiques link to your 3 goals, go straight to them. You’ll be saving a lot of time and effort from browsing in other stores that may not have what you’re looking for.
9. Don’t prioritize fashion
Many people get mesmerized by an item’s outer appeal over its inner craftsmanship and comfort. DON’T BE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE. Always focus on comfort over fashion, and NEVER the other way round. For instance, don’t buy high heels if they don’t do any good to your feet. Get pieces that don’t make you scream every time you put them on. Try the wet test, measure your feet if you don't know your exact shoe size, and get the right shoes.
10. show ENOUGH skin
In Point 2, we encouraged you to show off the body parts that you’re proud of. Make sure to show them with the right amount of skin exposure, one body part at a time. Too much skin is just too much.
11. select outfits and accessories the day before
Dressing well involves choosing your outfits and accessories the day before.
Do you always put off picking out your outfits and accessories till the last minute? Not only does procrastination make you late to your rendezvous but also a fashion hazard. You can’t just put on the first pieces you see and run to your car. Your clothes may look odd or inappropriate for the setting you’re going to.
To dress well for anything, select your outfits and accessories the day before. That way, you get to have plenty of time to choose items. You’ll also get to kick back and have breakfast rather than rush in the morning!
12. balance your outfits from top to bottom
Go for a balanced look by picking loose shirts with tight pants and vice versa.
If you’re going for a loose shirt, go for tight pants to even out the style. If you want to rock a pair of loose pants, then wear a tight top.
13. care for your clothes
When it’s laundry day, don’t just toss your outfits in the washing machine. Make sure to know your outfits and the treatments they need to get them clean again. Check your clothes’ labels, and they’ll tell you how to wash and iron them.
If you’re new at caring for your socks, we have some 101 tips right here.
14. proper undergarments
For bras, choose a size that fits your breasts. Bigger bras can’t keep them in position, while smaller bras can interfere with circulation. Also, avoid wearing underwear that causes unwanted panty lines in your trousers. Opt for no-show underwear that is seamless and design-free.
Consider your garments’ fabrics too. Go for cotton and elastane together. Cotton alone can stretch out and rip very easily. Consider bras and underwear with 80% cotton and 20% elastane. Seek medical advice on proper fabrics for your skin.
15. accessorize your look with bold colors
Go with bold colors, statement pieces, and funky socks to boost your whole look!
If you want to catapult your look to a whole new level, then accessorize it with bold colors. Have a solid statement piece that you can claim as your signature style. Add pops of colors to classic outfits, such as jewelry, bags, hats, and nails. Or better yet, put on a pair of funky socks and let it trigger a conversation! Choose other accessories and decide on item(s) that can revolutionize what you're wearing.
16. upgrade your SHOES AND SOCKS
Don't forget to go through your shoes and socks too when you're cleaning out your closet.
17. take a few fashion risks
Choose your own styles and colors that say a lot about you.
Step out of your comfort zone and take a few fashion risks. Experiment with styles and colors that represent your fashion taste and lifestyle. If you want new color combinations that you never tried before, try the color wheel.
Don’t worry too much about trends and picking what's authentic and comforting to you. Trends evolve every time our needs and choices change. As women took on different societal roles with time, fashion trends changed to help them adjust accordingly. For example, heels gave way to comfortable shoes and sneakers in the last 40 years.
18. wear outfits with printed patterns
Take your fashion to a whole new level with printed clothes.
Go the extra mile with printed patterns instead of plain colors. Add polka dots, stripes, roses, or other designs that give a different feel to your overall look. If you don’t like patterns on your clothes, let them be elsewhere in your look. You can have them on your accessories, scarves, or even socks!
19. Always FOLLOW a daily care routine
A daily routine guarantees a well-rested and happier version of you.
Self-care is just as important as knowing how to dress well. If your body’s well-rested on the inside, then it’ll be well-rested on the outside too. Drink plenty of water, sleep well enough, and apply creams on your skin. If you follow a care routine, you’ll guarantee a glowing skin and a happier version of yourself. If your feet need some improvement, try some of these daily foot care routines.
20. DOUBTFUL? overdress
Vivienne Westwood once said, "When in doubt, overdress." She’s right; if you’re doubtful of what to wear for an occasion, overdress to stay on the safe side.
We hope our 20 women’s fashion tips inspired you to boost your style. Post photos of you and use #SikasokFashion so we can see your changes!
Elio is a content creator at Sikasok. He enjoys writing, reading, binge-watching, and jogging. Elio loves being creative and staying updated with the latest news and trends.