Stacy London, Co-Founder and Stylist-in-Chief, Style for Hire
Jessica Shea, Stylist, Style for Hire, Alexandria, VA
Lauren Messiah, Stylist, Style for Hire, Los Angeles
What's the fashion faux pas you see most often?
SL: "The biggest issue I see with women is not having their own sense of style. They are so overwhelmed with choices in the marketplace, from magazines to TV ads, that they dont know how, or dont have the time to make educated choices."
"Women do not have the right bra! I cannot say this enough: it is essential to wear a good bra, and if you dont have one, go get yourself fitted! You cannot see the proper fit of any item of clothing without the proper undergarments."
What's one way to look a dress size thinner?
JS: "Structured fabrics are keythey help suck you in and hide bulges. Heels always help too."
LM: "Wearing a dress with a defined waist is the best way to dress thinner. It highlights the smallest part of a womans body, which makes 10 pounds disappear like magic."
What's one thing that every woman should have in her wardrobe?
JS: "A tailored black blazer. It can be worn over a dress, paired with a basic t-shirt and jeans, or to work with a colored slack."
LM: "A classic leather jacket should be in every womans closet. It can toughen up a look or make it more casual."
What's in your bag; gym bag; makeup bag?
SL: "I dont own a gym bag! But in my makeup bag you'll find NARS Orgasm liquid blush, Smashbox O gloss, and Laura Mercier concealer number 3."
How often should you purge your closet?
JS: "Before both the spring and fall seasons."
LM: "Your closet should be purged at least twice a year or when the contents of your closet start pushing the closet doors open!"
What are five season-less items everyone should own?
JS: "Only 5?! OK...Nude heels, black blazer, metallic pointy flats, colorful scarf, and a comfortable pair of ankle length dark denim jeans. A little black dress is pretty important too."
LM: "Every woman should own a quality 'non-it bag,' a pair of statement shoes that make you feel like a million bucks, a great fitting pair of jeans, a stylish pair of sunglasses, and a denim jacket."
Should I organize my clothing by color? Style?
JS: "Both, but this depends on the space available. Color firstif theres room, separate your professional from your casual wardrobe."
LM: "The more organized, the better! Start organizing by type and then by color. An organized closet makes it that much easier to get dressed in the morning."
Is there a trend you were glad to see go?
SL: "If I never see another 80s primary colored 'power suit' with enormous shoulder pads, and dowdy shapes, I'd be a happy woman. If you dont have the right fit, you can never have the right style."
Should I go shopping alone or bring a friend?
JS: "Shopping is personal and intimate because we all do it very differently. If you have a friend with a similar shopping style to yours, absolutely bring her with youa second opinion is always helpful."
LM: "If you are an indecisive shopperdefinitely bring a friend. A friend can give you her honest opinion and can keep you from making tragic shopping mistakes."
Most people hold on to clothing they never wearwhat's one easy way to part with your clothes?
JS: "Take the clothes you dont wear, put them in boxes and get them out of site for the season. When you realize that you didnt miss them, youll have an easier time saying goodbye."
LM: "It can be bard to part with clothes when you are going at it alone. Have a friend or a professional help you purge your closet."
I always either overdo it with accessoriesor don't wear enough. Is there any rule for this?
JS: "Pick one piece that makes a statementthe rest should be simple. Also, pay attention to your body type. Petite woman look best in petite-sized jewelry. Average to plus size women look best in with a larger earring or necklace."
LM: "Pick two accessory hot spots that arent right next to each other. For example, earring + necklace = bad. Earrings + bracelet = good!"
How can I make casual clothes appropriate for work, and turn boring work clothes into weekend wear?
JS: "Casual clothes can be dressed up by throwing on a blazer, adding heels, and accessorizing so the look is more pulled together. Layering in general can take a casual top and transform it into something more."
LM: "A fitted blazer can make almost any casual outfit office ready."
What colors, other than black, are slimming?
JS: "Navy is the new black. Its just as dark, so the color is just as slimming."
LM: "Black isnt the only color that can slim you down. Try other dark neutrals like navy, eggplant, or forest green."
What's your golden rule for looking your best?
SL: "Personal style is about self expression and authenticity. Its a tool you can use to gain confidence, achieve goals and project the version of yourself that you want people to see. Be true to yourself. If you are wearing clothes that suit your body, age, lifestyle, and personality then it doesnt matter if youre wearing the latest trend. You will always look good because you will look like the best version of yourself."