20 Timeless Shopping and Styling Tips from an Expert

  While going shopping might be fun for some ladies, it is brutal for others

Photo: Unsplash/@cbarbalis

Photo: Unsplash/@cbarbalis

While going shopping might be fun for some ladies, it is brutal for others. No one likes to open up the door(s) to their closet, only to stare inside for what seems like forever, wondering what to wear.

We often find ourselves with a full closet, yet nothing seems to work when it’s time to throw something on. It’s can be so frustrating. With so many things to chose from, we revert to the same, tried-and-true, old faithfuls in our wardrobe.

Would you rejoice if we told you there is a solution to this? How about we share some solid, timeless shopping tips. And while we’re at it, throw in some tips on what will look great on your fabulous figure, and how to style the clothes you already have. Let’s get started!


There is a difference between fashion and style


Our first fashion styling tip is a classic one — there is a big difference between fashion and style. Fashion is what’s hot right now, the latest trends, and the biggest buzz in la moda. It’s fun to keep on top of what will be the biggest trends each season, but don’t think you have to partake in them all — or any at all! This is where style comes in. Style is your own personal look, what clothing and accessories you like to wear, what colors are your go-tos, and how you put it all together. Even if you try a new trend, chances are, you’ll put your own stylish spin on them. Your own style will far outlive what is happening on the runways now, so cultivate it with care. Don’t wear a trend if it is not consistent with your style, and steer clear of trends that you know are not going to look flattering on you.


Don’t buy it until you know what it will go with

Our next styling tip will reduce the amount of time you spend staring at your clothes, wondering why you don’t have anything to wear when you actually have a lot of clothes. Although it is fun to buy individual garments or accessories simply because they speak to you (buy me!) or look cute, try this suggestion. Think about what you could pair that shirt/necklace/pair of shoes/bag/pants with, in your wardrobe. If it doesn’t go with anything, put it back. If it only goes with one thing, think about whether you really need the item now (or at all). If it goes with a bunch of stuff in your closet, you have a style winner!


Tips for the hourglass-shaped body

No matter what clothing you do buy, you want to make sure it will work with your figure, and not against it. Wearing the wrong clothes could hide the areas you should be highlighting, add bulk or width where you may not want it (or vice versa), and can even age you. There are several different body types, but here we will talk about the hourglass shape. If you have this shape, your shoulder and hips are pretty much even in width, and your waist is smaller than both. These curvy gals should wear clothes that nip in at the waist, like wrap dresses, peplum tops, pencil skirts, and jackets that end at the waist.


Using the color wheel to combine colors

When you study fashion, one of the things you get familiar with is the color wheel. Color theory (although it seems very ’80s) is a good way to find out what colors look great on you, and also what colors you can get away with wearing together. If you want to be daring, and wear two rich colors together, try colors that are directly across from each other, which are called complementary colors (this explains why red and green work well together, i.e. Christmas). Colors next to each other are known as analogous colors, and when paired together, look good without too much of a contrast.


If you never wear it, donate or sell it!

Some stylists believe that if you haven’t worn something in your closet for a year, you should get rid of it. I don’t like to be that drastic, since some items in your closet you know you’re saving for a specific occasion. Or maybe, you didn’t implement the tip about pairing possible purchases in your head with what you already have, and thus need to buy something to go with it. Whatever the case, if you know you haven’t worn an item in your closet at all or for a long time, just let it go girl! There’s probably a reason you’re not wearing it, and why let it take up space in your closet and your life?! Donate it or sell it online to someone who will actually love it.


Have a Fashion Greatest Hits List


I like to think of the outfits, types of clothing and accessories, colors, prints, etc. that make you look incredible as part of a greatest hits collection. You know when you wear it, you are going to shut it down. Perfect example? J-Lo. She will try maybe a new color or idea here or there, but her and her stylists know what she looks the best in. This includes clothing that nips in at the waist, body-con silhouettes, and warm colors. You randomly see her in cooler colors (note that there are warm and cool versions of every color!), or baggy or loose clothing. Once you find out what your greatest hits are, stick with them. This will make shopping so much easier, as you will know what to get and what to avoid.


Tips for the apple-shaped body


The next body type we’re going to look at is known as the apple shape. Women with this type of figure are usually broader at the shoulders than the hips, have a waistline that is not as defined as, let’s say an hourglass, and a fuller bust. Your legs are probably more slender, which makes them great to highlight! You want to gravitate towards flowy, looser tops and v-necks, which you can pair with skinny jeans. Dresses that have volume on the bottom half, such as A-line dresses look fab on you.


Invest in staple pieces

Trends come and go, but there are some style classics that you should have in your wardrobe (if it’s your style, of course!) These include the perfect black sweater, nude heels, a neutral coat, the perfect white blouse, a little black dress, and more. Since you will get a lot of use out of these closet staples, it is a good idea to invest in these — don’t be afraid to spend a little more. This will ensure better quality, will still look great after several wears.


Do you know your best background color?

With styling, you will always learn new tips from other stylists and fashion experts, which is great! I learned this pointer while searching on Instagram. Ann Reinten of Image Innovators shared that what background color you wear with your prints should be based on how dark or light your hair and/or skin tone is. “If you have DARK hair and/or skin your best in prints will have a medium to high contrast on a medium-dark to a dark background,” she shares. “If you have MEDIUM depth hair your best in prints will be a medium-contrast on a medium depth background. If you have LIGHT hair and skin, your best prints will be those with medium contrast colors on a light to medium depth background.”


Be frugal when it comes to trends

Not all trends are created equal. Some come back again and again, to the point that they then become timeless classics. Others are so of-the-moment that when the moment passes, you’re stuck with something that was once hot, that perhaps you paid too much for. If you spent a good amount of money on an item which is no longer in style, the guilt will keep you from getting rid of it. Save the guilt, and your money, by purchasing trendy items on the cheap.


Tips for the pear-shaped body

A pear-shaped body looks like a pear, curvier on the bottom, and more narrow on top. A flattering way to dress for this body type is to balance out the proportions. This can be done by adding some volume, print, and/or interest on top, i.e. blazers with bold shoulders. Bottoms which skim the hips, while balancing out the hip-to-rest-of-the-leg ratio are great; think wide-leg and bootcut pants. On the flip side, if you want to show off your curves, then do that with a great pencil skirt or skinny jeans. We don’t have to hide our curves!


Are you cool or warm-toned?


As we previously mentioned, knowing the right colors for you can help you find the colors which will really make your hair, skin, and eyes pop. The wrong colors (or rather tone, since there are warm and cool tones for every color) can make you look sallow, tired, and unhealthy. This handy test will help you identify whether your skin has warm or cool undertones to it. Once you find out which you are, use a corresponding color chart (there are tons on Google) to aid you while shopping.


How to use color and print to draw the eye

If you know a bit about color and patterns when it comes to how you dress, you can control the eyes of everyone around you (well, sort of). When you want to draw the eye up, towards your face, wear color and print on top, and keep the bottom half neutral (i.e. a polka dot top and solid colored pants). When you want the opposite effect, put the color and print on the bottom.


Tips for the inverted triangle-shaped body


The inverted triangle the opposite of the pear shape. In this instance, the shoulders are broader than the hips. A great way to dress for this body type is to keep the top simple and without much volume, and add volume to the lower half, i.e. full skirts, wide-leg pants.


Buy off-season


A great way to shop while saving money is to buy off-season. Buy your coats, and other fall and winter items during the summer, and snag those bathing suits and shorts during the winter. Chances are, these items will be super discounted, as retailers will be trying to move them out as quickly as possible. It’s a win-win for everyone!


How to be super stylish yet comfy


There is nothing more glamorous than looking stylish and being comfortable. Then you can really own it! A great way to be comfy is to look for natural fibers, clothes with stretch, and silhouettes which are easy to wear. Perfect examples? A voluminous jumpsuit, wide-leg pants, or a drapey dress have all the drama but are easy to wear, move in, and are comfortable. Dress them up with some great accessories, and shoes, and you’re set!


Wear these shoes for longer-looking legs

We all want our legs to look miles long. A great way to achieve this is by wearing nude (what is nude for your skin tone) pumps. The shoes will blend in with your legs, instantly making them look longer. If the pumps are pointed, this contributes to making your gams look longer. Added bonus? They are a great investment since nude shoes will go with practically anything in your closet!


Tips for a rectangle-shaped body

A rectangular body shape is athletic, lean and straight up and down. Longer jackets and cardigans will highlight the leanness of your body. If you want to add curves to your figure, you can add volume on top, bottom, or both, by adding volume via ruffles, an A-line skirt, belting outfits, etc.


Have fun!


Fashion is all about and celebrating your own personal style and having fun. Wear clothing that makes you happy or like Marie Kondo would say — brings you joy. Take chances, don’t feel shy about dressing up in a growing sea of yoga pants. Be bold in bright colors or elegant in pretty pastels. Treat the world like your personal runway and dress accordingly!


Do whatever you want

This might seem like the exact opposite of all the other points made in this article, but at the end of the day, do whatever you want. Wear whatever you want. I will suggest that you wear certain things so the look is the most flattering on you, but you can do the contrary. Feel free to take risks and see what results from trying different looks. That is how you have fun with fashion and that’s also how you help to determine your personal style.

In this Article

closet tips fashion shopping style styling tips stylist Volvo wardrobe
More on this topic