Have you ever felt insecure while flipping through the pages of a magazine? Celebrities and models look so beautiful and stylish, they can make the rest of us feel as attractive as a wet dishrag.
But don’t be fooled by what you see. Without the makeup and the designer clothes, celebrities just look like everybody else. They just have professional stylists whose sole job is to make their clients gorgeous. Here are a few of their fashion tricks.
1. Know your body type
Nobody has a perfect body. Stylists just camouflage a celebrity’s flaws, and highlight her strengths. If you scrutinize magazine photos, you’ll see how a brightly placed accessory (like a belt or a necklace) draws your eye to a particular body part. The cut of a dress or the drape of a particular fabric can also add the illusion of curves, or hide the unwanted bumps and bulges.
There are many guides on the best cuts for particular body shapes, but the simplest (and fastest) way to get the right look is to find a celebrity who shares your body type: tall and lanky, petite, big-boned, bottom-heavy, top-heavy. Then, Google for her images. Watch for details like how long she wears her skirts, the type of fabrics she wears, the cut of her gowns, or the type of necklines. Print thumbnails of these photos and compile your own ‘style book.’
2. Choose the right underwear.
A poor-fitting undergarment can ruin the line of a dress, but a good bra or girdle can flatten bulges and create gorgeous curves and cleavage. That’s why celebrities pay as much attention to their underclothing. In fact, during magazine shoots, stylists and fashion editors will often instruct the celebities on what type of underwear to bring—just to guarantee that they bring the right one.
Your arsenal of underwear should include a good strapless bra, a seamless bra that won’t show through tight-fitting shirts, a pretty lacy bra that can be worn under a semi-transparent blouse, a sports bra, and a nude-colored bra that you should wear with white shirts (find one that closely matches your skin color). Invest in a good girdle that doesn’t bunch up when you bend. Another stylist secret: magic tape! It has prevented many a ‘wardrobe malfunction.’ After all, it’s called ‘underwear’ for a reason—unless you’re Paris Hilton, you don’t want the rest of the world to see what’s going on underneath your shirt.
3. Get creative with accessories.
When stylists go to a magazine shoot, they often arrive with entire luggages filled with accessories. By changing a necklace or adding a pair of shades, they can transform simple black dress from ‘glamour’ to ‘grunge.’ But they don’t just stop there. Very often, they’ll use a scarf, necklace or even a cool tie as a belt.
That’s a great way for you to expand a wardrobe without spending a small fortune on clothes. It’s better to buy a few well-tailored, perfectly-fitting classics (like a white shirt, a black dress, a good jacket, a skirt, and slacks) and dress these up with accessories, than to own a closet-full of ‘bargain buys’ that will go out of style by the end of the year.
4. Dress for your age and personality.
The problem with blindly following trends is that instead of wearing the clothes, the clothes wear you. Stylists who create looks for celebrities often build a wardrobe around a star’s personality or image. They’d never make Sandra Bullock squeeze into the outfits of Miley Cyrus. In fact, one of the most fashion-forward people in the world—Vogue editor Anna Wintour—has an iconic look that she’s never changed despite all the trends she reports every month.
So before you go shopping, think about your lifestyle and the kind of image you want to project, and build your entire wardrobe around that look. You won’t waste money on clothes you rarely wear, your pieces are easy to coordinate, and you’ll feel more comfortable in your outfit because it expresses your personal style.
5. Add a touch of a trend.
Finding a personal style doesn’t mean you’re trapped in it. You can still add a ‘touch’ of a trend. Stylists normally look out for the year’s colors or fabrics, or one or two ‘fashion statements.’ However, they try to tone down the runway looks into something more wearable. For example, if New York’s fashion week was all about gem-encrusted gowns and peacock feathers, they’ll translate that into tanks with a beaded detail along the collar, or a brightly colored handbag.