Thirteen years and thousands of blog posts later, there’s a lot of content about fashion and style on YLF. If I had to narrow it down and choose my thirteen favourite style tips, these would be them. 

1. Dress Your Body in Clothes that Fit Today

Embrace your size and shape. That means acquiring clothes that fit well and make you feel attractive, because your body deserves to be stylishly adorned right now. Not several pounds up or down from now. If you’re on a long weight loss or gain journey, purchase items that fit well along the way. Keep purchases to a minimum, but don’t spend months and years in ill-fitting and drab clothes while your body changes.

2. Assess Undergarments, Hairstyle & Eyewear Upfront

Address the fit of your bra and knickers, the look of your hairstyle, and the shape and colour of your eyewear before you address your clothes, footwear and accessories. Having these aspects in place gives you an effective head start and the rest will fall into place more easily.

3. Dress According to Your Figure Flattering Priorities

Your figure flattering priorities are beyond trends and completely personal. So pinpoint and prioritize the types of proportions that make you feel great about how you look and confident in your outfits — and run with it. They might be conventional forms of figure flattery, or shift into avant-garde unconventional territory. Or perhaps you’re a mixture of the two depending on the occasion, setting, your lifestyle, your audience, and the season. It’s all good as long as you’re wearing outfit proportions that make you feel fab.

4. Don’t Leave Wardrobe Items for Good

Wardrobe items are there to be worn. So WEAR IT and don’t stare at it. Be the dressiest, boldest, edgiest, trendiest or most sensual person in the room and enjoy it. There is no time like the present, and if not now, when? Life is too short to leave wardrobe items for good.

5. Assess How You Feel in an Outfit

Sometimes an outfit looks great in the mirror or to others, but doesn’t make you feel fabulous. Style starts from within, so listen to these feelings because it’s YOU wearing the outfit. Wear outfits with a high happiness factor because they are the ones that will make you the most confident and stylish version of yourself.

6. Milk Your Signature Looks

The most important trend of our fashion era is Individualism. Fashion is a melting pot of sartorial choices, trends are no longer seasonal, and fads no longer exist. Fashion is more diverse, and more accepting than ever of all sorts of styles. Trends are becoming harder to define, and at some point they will be irrelevant. That’s why developing and milking the signature components of your style is as current, modern and hip as it gets.

7. Create Brow, Lash & Lip Definition and Look After Your Skin

Cleanse, moisturize and use sunscreen daily because healthy skin makes your style shine more brightly. A workout and a walking lifestyle does wonders for your skin too.

You don’t need to wear lots of make-up, but a little goes a long way to accentuate your lovely features making you look brighter and more alive. Create eyebrow definition by grooming your brows. If they are light, use eyebrow dye or eyebrow pencil. Mascara makes your eyes pop. And a little lippy, whether it’s gloss, lipstick or tinted balm, for the final polished touch.

8. Ask Yourself 4 Questions to Troubleshoot Problem Outfits

You can often identify the problem with an outfit that is “not quite right” by asking these four questions.

  1. Is it the length of an item that will make the difference?
  2. Is it the level of contrast between the items and your skin tone?
  3. Is it the colour or pattern?
  4. Do you need to add heels to the outfit?

In some instances you’ll solve the problem by actioning one fast tweak.

9. Edit and Review Your Wardrobe Regularly

Edit and review your wardrobe monthly so that you know exactly what you have, how it works together, and how you feel about the items as your style evolves. This process sharpens your wardrobe planning, shopping and outfit creation skills more than you think, If monthly edits and reviews are excessive, stick to a seasonal strategy. As with most things, practice makes perfect. The more regularly you edit your closet, the less time-consuming and easier the subsequent edits become.

10. Leave No Retail Stone Unturned

Each retailer has its good and bad points, and should be awarded a clean slate at the start of the season. Budget permitting, shop all price points from posh department stores, boutiques, chain stores and fast fashion, right through to thrift stores, Goodwill, garage sales, flea markets, and your friend’s closet. Shop the kids and menswear sections if you have to, and don’t forget the sporting goods store. It doesn’t matter where you shop as long as what you buy fits the bill and makes you happy.

11. Keep Poison Eye to a Minimum

We can’t help our “poison eyes” (items or combinations that we don’t like on anyone, ever), but try to keep them to a minimum. Fashion and style is very subjective, which makes keeping an open mind very important. Your own style preferences might be narrow, but try to appreciate items and styles that are outside your personal preferences on someone else. Doing so reflects a love for fashion and style that goes beyond your own appearance.

12. Be Patient With Your Style

It takes time and resources to build a baseline wardrobe and refresh your style seasonally. It also takes time to accurately identify your needs and refine your style preferences. And just when you think you have it all figured out, your lifestyle will change and so will your preferences. Be patient and don’t expect everything to fall into place after one season. If you’re frustrated with shopping or another aspect of your style, take a break, and revisit things later. Style is an ongoing journey with many paths and temporary destinations. Enjoy the process as much as the end result, and learn from each leg of the journey.

13. Have Fun with Fashion at Every Age

We need a wardrobe that suits our needs and style preferences throughout our adult lives so it’s never too early or too late to have fun with fashion and style. Dressing daily is an opportunity for self expression, creativity and FUN. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about enjoying fashion and the way you put your style together. Wear your style with intention, confidence and verve, and spread good energy to those around you.