Most of the time, we learn style and how to dress from our closest female role model-our mother. While I fondly remember my mother having impeccable personal style and taste, she didn’t really teach me the nuts and bolts of truly great style, there’s a lot more to it than putting on nice clothes. As a personal stylist, I’ve gained invaluable knowledge into how I can better show off my best features and never again feel at sea when going clothes shopping, here’s five style basics that saved my sanity and my wallet that will do the same for you.

1. Ensure Proper Fit

A lot of women buy clothes that they love on the rack, and the number on the tag fits, but other areas don’t, like the hem of a jacket may sit in a awkward spot and cut your body up, arms and lengths may be too baggy or long, etc. If it’s a piece that you really love and you know you’ll wear (or have no idea of what to do with)-get it altered. Find your local seamstress or tailor (not the dry cleaners!) and get your clothes tailored to your body.

2. Know your colouring

Having the knowledge of what colours best suit your skin tone can be a hands down game changer in how you look in your clothes. Finding out whether you look best in cool or warm tones isn’t as complicated as it appears either. Go outside (this must be done in natural light or you may not get as accurate a result as you should) and take a look at the veins under your wrist-if they have a blue tinge, that means that cool shades suit you best-think rich jewel tones like ruby red, emerald green, ocean blues, etc. Do the veins have a green tinge? Then you’re probably warm toned. Think of the colours of a sunset or the earth-burnt, sharp yellows and oranges, crisp greens and blues,

3. Enlist outside help

and I’m not talking about your girlfriends. A personal stylist is the smart girl’s style saviour, and the talents of a good one can save you money and your sanity! Personal stylists have training in what works for what body shape, how and where pieces should sit on your body, what pieces to invest in and which ones to scrimp on, what colours best suit and of course the latest trends and how to make them individual to you. Google personal stylists in your area and you’re bound to find one to suit your needs.

4. Wear the correct underwear for your outfit

You may have the best outfit on for your shape and colouring, but if there’s a stray bra strap hanging out, or that much dreaded visible panty line it will ruin the entire outfit. Make sure that you get a bra fitting at least once a year and don’t be afraid to invest in some shape wear-especially if you’re going to an event, they’ll give you a nice, clean shape under that party frock and hold everything together nicely.

5. Learn to trust your eye and don’t be afraid to break the rules

We all know when we put something on and it just doesn’t look quite right. So take it off and wear what you’re comfortable with, its far more important to be physically and psychologically comfortable in your clothes than to be sitting at a party in four inch heels and a small dress and constantly adjusting bits and pieces all night in shoes that are killing your feet. Same goes with what’s supposedly appropriate for your shape-apparently skinny jeans are a no-no on my 5’0 hourglass frame, but I wear them religiously because they’re the only style that fit properly around my bottom! Wear what you love and what looks right, and there’s half your battle won.

About The Author

After ending a nine year career in hospitality in 2011, Davina started a new career as a personal stylist and took over running the WITI Agency in December of that year and has developed the agency into other areas such as fashion related workshops and raising funds for various women’s and charities and helping fashion based professionals expand and improve their professional networks. WITI has also supplied models for The Morning Show and for corporate events in Brisbane and Melbourne. Davina has a 7 year old daughter and lives in the South West of Sydney. See more of Davina on and follow her on Facebook

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  1. linda197

    March 22, 2014 at 7:59 pm,

    MoM Rewards: linda197 has a diamond MoM rewards level linda197 said:

    Oh I definately need help with colour my wardrobe is mainly black and shades of grey!

  2. jaimilayt

    March 03, 2014 at 10:42 am,

    MoM Rewards: jaimilayt has a diamond MoM rewards level jaimilayt said:

    Thank you for sharing, great article :)

  3. neenee

    January 28, 2014 at 12:56 pm,

    MoM Rewards: neenee has a diamond MoM rewards level neenee said:

    Good point on what colours suit you that was an excellent tip.

  4. ljsalomon

    January 23, 2014 at 8:25 pm,

    MoM Rewards: ljsalomon has a diamond MoM rewards level ljsalomon said:

    Interesting read -thanks for sharing

  5. bubble6369

    January 17, 2014 at 2:29 am,

    MoM Rewards: bubble6369 has a diamond MoM rewards level bubble6369 said:

    I am guilty I dress like my mum but she is rather stylish so that’s good enough for me

  6. vikram77

    January 11, 2014 at 5:26 am,

    MoM Rewards: vikram77 has a diamond MoM rewards level vikram77 said:

    Thanks for sharing this great article.

  7. yyon4699

    January 05, 2014 at 4:40 pm,

    MoM Rewards: yyon4699 has a diamond MoM rewards level yyon4699 said:

    My wardrobe is pretty much my mum’s idea. I have the best mum ever!

  8. stacey_max

    January 05, 2014 at 12:40 pm,

    MoM Rewards: stacey_max has a diamond MoM rewards level stacey_max said:

    This is something everybody should know not just the ladies

  9. bankstownbrats

    December 31, 2013 at 10:34 pm,

    MoM Rewards: bankstownbrats has a diamond MoM rewards level bankstownbrats said:

    Thanks for sharing these useful tips and ideas. :)

  10. December 31, 2013 at 9:47 pm,

    MoM Rewards: jadeeeee has a diamond MoM rewards level jadeeeee said:

    thanks for sharing this read

  11. December 30, 2013 at 10:50 pm,

    MoM Rewards: kathryn has a diamond MoM rewards level kathryn said:

    I have real trouble at finding what suits me – my husband is actually better at it than I am!

  12. misschriss

    December 30, 2013 at 7:58 pm,

    MoM Rewards: misschriss has a diamond MoM rewards level misschriss said:

    I love clothes shopping, but nothing is worse than falling in love with something on the hanger only to find it looks horrible on. After reading this I think I will try out skinny jeans next time I’m out shopping as I’ve never tried them as I’ve always been told they’re for other body shapes to mine.

  13. chicken83

    December 08, 2013 at 10:19 pm,

    MoM Rewards: chicken83 has a diamond MoM rewards level chicken83 said:

    I find shopping for clothes so hard. 90% of the time I walk away with nothing as I don’t like the fit of clothes. it’s so hard to find keepers.

  14. meimei

    December 07, 2013 at 4:00 pm,

    MoM Rewards: meimei has a diamond MoM rewards level meimei said:

    Thank you for sharing :)

  15. December 05, 2013 at 9:08 pm,

    MoM Rewards: sizzlingcool has a diamond MoM rewards level sizzlingcool said:

    I learned the hard way because I really didn’t get along with my mum during my teens. Surprise surprise! These 5 simple tips and tricks are so true, wish I had known these when I made all the above mistakes at awkward 16.

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