51 Fashion Secrets Personal Stylists Won’t Tell You for Free

RD.COM Advice Saving Money

These secret tricks of the trade will have you looking like you’ve got the budget for a professional stylist every time you step out.

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Timeless staples instead of over-saturated trends

Before you rush out to buy new style essentials to add to your weekend look, business casual wardrobe, or date night ensembles, you’ll want to read what these professional stylists have to say about nailing the perfect look. Their suggestions might surprise you, and land you with more compliments than ever before. Read on to see which key pieces you really need, how to update and wear the looks you already own and try new things with the essentials you already love. You’ll also want to understand the basics of business casual for women.

Note: Prices listed were accurate as of press time; pricing fluctuations may occur.

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Having style doesn’t have to mean dresses and heels


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“Fashion doesn’t mean having to be super girly. I am a tomboy at heart, so I like to encourage women like me to experiment with menswear or more casual pieces. One tomboy trend I love is a trench coat with cute sneakers!” —Olivia Pierson, TipTalk fashion expert and star of WAGS

Try this: Try a slip-on sneaker with both comfort and attitude to nail the look like these snake print Newburgh shoes by Aerosoles.

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Don’t believe everything you see on Instagram


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“Social media doesn’t always show the whole picture. For instance, as glamorous as I appear on social media, I wish people knew that not only am I most comfortable in sweatpants and a sweatshirt but it’s when I feel the sexiest!” —Natalie Halcro, TipTalk fashion expert and star of WAGS

Try this: Opt for confidence-boosting athleisure that’s cute enough to wear out and comfortable enough to sleep in, like these Soma Sunday Pants. Here’s how you should be washing athleisure.

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Spending too much time choosing your outfit can ruin the rest of your day


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“Not enough people have heard of decision fatigue. Decision fatigue is the result of making too many decisions during the course of the day. All of these little decisions add up and actually drain the brain of decision-making power later on. So don’t waste your brainpower in the morning trying to get dressed. Get rid of things you can’t or don’t wear regularly and simplify your wardrobe to pieces you like. Keep your clothing simple, so you will have the energy to tackle life’s tougher problems.” —Dan Moyer Jr., stylist and national director of social media for Closet Factory

Try this: You should finally get rid of these articles of clothing and accessories in your closet, and then invest in core staples like this Helena Denim Jacket by Kut from the Kloth. You’ll find yourself wearing it with everything from flouncy skirts to colorful pants, and even over little black dresses for a polished weekend look.

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The hottest clothing item isn’t clothing


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“There are so many trend pieces, online articles, news snippets, and magazine blurbs about what the next ‘it’ things are or what things you ‘should never be seen in again.’ All that is propaganda. True personal style is that which looks great to the outside world but makes the wearer feel even greater inside. If you are confident in your style, it will project beauty no matter what you’re wearing.” —Stephen V Hernandez, a personal stylist based out of NYC

Try this: Try these figure-flattering I Love Tyler Madison cropped Sophie pants, that look tragically expensive but are actually affordable and just as comfortable as leggings.


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Save money by combining expensive items with sale-rack stuff


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“It’s perfectly OK to mix expensive items with cheaper pieces.” —Pierson In fact, try these fashion hacks that can make you look expensive.

Try this: This discounted side tie tee by Bobeau offers a twist on a core classic that can just as easily be paired with denim as a pencil skirt.


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Don’t be a slave to trends


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“Regardless of what’s trending at the moment, try to stay true to yourself. Know what you look good in and what you like and stick to that.” Halcro

Try this: Timeless basics like this Lulu Dharma scarf will are trend-resistant and always look elegant.

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Investment pieces are actually a good deal


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“Many people think they can’t afford high-end style. But you’ll get more value if you spend your money on one good investment piece that you’ll use for years, like a cool bag, instead of wasting money on multiple pieces that aren’t classic.” —Halcro. Here are 7 classic handbags to add to your wardrobe.

Try this: High-quality materials like genuine leather often cost more than fast fashion pieces, but will add sophistication to your wardrobe for years to come. Try this Clove and Revel Marlow shoulder bag in an eye-catching port color.


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Fashion rules exist for a reason


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“Your personal style should suit your lifestyle, mood, and resources but don’t feel like you have to break the rules to create a unique personal style. The classics are called ‘classic’ for good reason.” Kylen Moran, stylist and fashion blogger

Try this: Versatile pencil skirts stand the test of time and are easily paired with blazers, sweaters, button-downs, and even tees. Try this Esteez Charlotte pencil skirt with slimming panels, which offer a more comfortable solution to shapewear.

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Don’t forget who’s the boss! (Hint: It’s you, the one with the wallet)


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“The most important thing to remember about personal style and fashion is that you are the client. Fashion is here to work to fit you, not to make you work to fit fashion!” Hernandez

Try this: Don’t be afraid to make a bold style, print, or color part of your signature style. Try these animal print-accented Naot Helm booties for an updated, wearable take on a current trend.

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