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Jeans with sloppy cuffs. A sloppy-fitting blazer. A dress that reveals a little too much to be called “tastefully sheer.” Fashion editors and stylists can spot these things from a million miles away. The proper proportions of a crop top may be obvious to those in the industry, but for those seeing the trends in a magazine or online, it can be a little trickier to know exactly how to wear everything.

“How can I tell if my jeans are properly fitting?” “Which shoe is the most flattering?” Both are perfectly reasonable questions. With. Answers.

You’ll find tips that I developed during my fashion experiments that will solve all of your fashion conundrums ahead. And I’ve taken cues from some of my favourite style icons—Jackie O, Bianca Jagger—and drawn some conclusions for myself. Here are 15 fashion hacks that have stood the test of time.

1. Show skin strategically

To look truly sexy, you must know what to expose and what to conceal. Where is the mystery then? Choose just one body part and flaunt it. Don’t expose your legs if it’s your midriff. Stay covered on top if it’s your legs.

2. Round-up white button downs

Take a cue from Marilyn Monroe’s book! She dresses up in jeans and keeps ball skirts from becoming too frilly. All that mileage, however, comes at a cost: a short shelf life. So buy three, avoid over bleaching (which can cause yellowing), and refresh on a regular basis.

3. Accessorise with brights

If you have a closet full of neutrals—whether navy, black, camel, or grey—add vibrancy with brightly coloured shoes and bags. A ruby red satchel is not only more vibrant than boring black, but it’s also surprisingly versatile. Are you feeling particularly daring? Wear neutral shoes and a bag in two complementary colours.

4. Hem your pants for a shoe height

The most common mistake women make is wearing pants that are not the right length for their shoes. Hems should generally graze the tops of your shoes and be 1/2 to 3/4 inch off the floor. 

5. Go hands free for the evening

Carry a dressy bag with a chain that can hold crudités and a cocktail while also adding a cool edge to evening wear. For the best effect, wear the chain diagonally across your body.

6. Know your stretch

The secret to a soft but form fitting T-shirt is 95 percent cotton and 5 percent Lycra spandex. Jeans must contain at least 2% Lycra to retain their shape.

7. Throw on a scarf

Scarves are the ultimate accessory. Keep one in your purse or carry-on to convert simple Ts in the time it takes to tie a knot. For various ways to drape a scarf click on the heading to be directed to the blog.

8. Consider the wear and care

Before you buy, consider how a piece will hold up after a few washes. And don’t pay for clothes that you can’t or won’t take to the dry cleaners. Walk away if you know you’ll never hand-wash that embroidered sweater or the fancy bra you have your eyes on. 

9. Embrace your shape 

Once you’ve determined which silhouettes flatter you, filter trends ruthlessly. For example, if you’re petite and shapely, avoid tall columns and billowy maxis, even if you adore them. Choose a dress with a defined waist and a hem that falls just above the knee.

10. Make a shopping list

Not of what you want to buy, but of your top ten closet items. This will assist you in focusing on pieces that complement what you already own (or remind you that you never actually wear big floral prints).

11. Hit the dressing room prepared

Bring your Spanx with you when shopping for that all-important dress to get a true feel for the fit. Bring heels, lipstick, and a hairbrush while you’re at it. These will give you a better idea of the end result.

12. Round down in Denim

When in doubt, choose a smaller size of jeans. They always stretch, and nothing looks worse than an unintentionally baggy derrière.

13.  Edit your closet

Clothes require air circulation! You should be able to see every item without having to rummage. Donate anything you haven’t worn in the last year.

14. Always check out the rear view

Also, don’t leave the house until you’re satisfied with what you see in the mirror. Every angle is important. Believe me. 

15. Layer your necklaces

Coco Chanel’s more-is-more approach is still relevant today. You can use multiples of the same material or, even better, contrast: Consider a feminine piece with edgy chains, feathers and beads, or pearls and diamantés.

I have a lot more fashion tips up my sleeves. So, if you guys give me a good response for this blog I will definitely come back with a chapter 2 (wink, wink). The ball’s in your court. Use it wisely. 

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Shweta Modi

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