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September 2022

15 Fashion Commandments: My Personal Style Rules

By Stacey Mayesh


In my 15 years as a fashion stylist, I’ve seen a lot—people with closets full of clothes with the tags still on, clients who like to have me style all of their outfits and put them into a spreadsheet or photo book, celebs who insisted on wearing sneakers under their (very long) gowns, rap artists who hired me to choose, buy, then display hundreds of dollars worth of Christmas gifts under their trees. To create effortless personal fashion style, I advise following a set of 15 fashion commandments—they’re easy rules of fashion, and they make getting dressed a snap.

Fashion Trends Have a Role, Just Not a Starring One

1. Don’t be overly trendy, but do keep your wardrobe modern and fresh.
2. Cultivate a signature style, but remember that having style is a lot more than just following fashion trends.

Personal Style Is the Secret to Being Chic

3. Be true to who you are, even with fashion. Don’t buy something impulsively just because you love it if you don’t have anywhere to go in it. Think about what your lifestyle requires.
4. My motto is, “You, only better.” I transform my clients into better versions of themselves. I would never try to make them into people they’re not.
5. Push fashion and style boundaries—stay within your comfort zone but try to take it one step further.

Fashion for Dummies: Uniform Dressing for Busy Bodies

6. Uniform dressing is a no-fail approach to fashion. If you find a look that works for you, duplicate it with small tweaks. Great for work or life with kids—busy women don’t have to sacrifice style. I swear by this. As a stylist and mother of 2, I don’t have a lot of extra time to fuss. I choose a look each season, which becomes my de facto uniform, and then I tweak bits here and there. Tip: work around a general color palette, you’ll get more combos out of each item.

In the Fashion World, You Better Have a Fit

7. Focus on fit—fit is critical! Even the priciest designer clothes look bad if they don’t fit well.
8. Pay attention to what works on your body type. Just because your friend has a trendy piece you love, it doesn’t mean it will work on you.

Where to Spend & Where to Save: Your Fashion Budget

9. Go for quality over quantity.
10. Follow the 1-week rule. If you fall in love with something that’s a big splurge, don’t buy it. Wait 1 week. If you are still obsessing over it, go buy it. If you’ve forgotten about it, move on.
11. Fashion accessories are a great place to invest. Inexpensive fashionable clothing with quality accessories—you’ll look like a million bucks. Quality clothing with cheap accessories never looks as good. A great coat is also a “wardrobe changer” because you wear it every day. It’s the first thing someone sees.

What to Buy, What to Buy, What to Buy

12. A great pair of shoes is the best way to complete an outfit; bad shoes can make a whole outfit look wrong.
13. For that difficult-to-find item, great-fitting jeans, buy 2 pairs when you find 1 you love. Hem 1 for flats, the other for heels. This way, your denim choice is not dependent on your shoe choice. You can dress them up or down.

Closet Confidential: Keep, Store, Toss

14. Keep your closet organized with some system, such as categorizing by season or by fashion item. You’ll save a half hour every morning by not scrambling to find things.
15. Follow the 3-year rule. Haven’t worn something in 3 years? Toss it. Even if the style comes back 10 years later, it will come back in a different way.

Keep these basic rules of fashion and personal style in mind when you shop, and you will get more bang for your buck and make it a lot easier to get dressed—and dress well!

Stacey Mayesh, Fashion Contributing Editor
I am a NYC-based fashion stylist who has worked with top tier magazines (Marie Claire, InStyle, Elle, Lucky), and celebs (Selma Blair, Jessica Alba, Susan Sarandon, Sean Combs) for 15 years. I was recently featured in Vogue and on NBC Weekend Today. I now work with private clients bringing a fresh . . . Read more of her fashion secrets

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