I've Written 1341 Fashion Stories—Here Are the Crucial Tips I've Learned

I’ve worked at Who What Wear for over six years now. During this time, I’ve gone to international fashion weeks; I’ve interviewed stylists, fashion designers, and celebrities; and I’ve spent every single day looking at photos of stylish people and reviewing products. We engage a lot of experts on Who What Wear to provide a well-rounded, researched perspective, but we have a lot of know-how from our own in-house experiences too. With several hundred style stories under my byline belt, it’s a fine time to share the fashion tips that I think are most important. Here we go!

Clashing is actually key for an advanced outfit. 

Fashion Tips - How to Put Together a Balanced Outfit


Paley Fairman

There’s one woman who illustrates the power clash more distinctly than anyone: Leandra Medine. From tracking street style photos and seeing her in person at fashion weeks, it’s become clear that she’s mastered the art. Take this outfit, as we’ve got a classic-style denim shirt, a dramatic evening tuxedo blazer, quirky color-blocked jean shorts, and sophisticated bow wedges. No one style genre is dominating, and the result is a buffet that’s a delight for the eyes. However, she’s absolutely at the edge of the clash spectrum.

I approach the clash in a decidedly more tempered way. Take my look above. A daytime twill trench would make more “sense” with classic jeans and tee, but when paired with a rich velvet cocktail dress and satin kitten heels, it keeps the look balanced. The addition of a vaguely Southwestern-style silver belt introduces a top note if you will.

If you’re asking if something “goes together,” you may be asking the wrong question. Often outfits that wholly commit to one style genre end up feeling one note. I’ve learned from experience that there will inevitably be some missteps resulting from following this “wackier” approach, but it will also lend itself to some of the most brilliant nuanced looks of your life. This philosophy also applies to jewelry: Mix metals and styles with abandon!

You should be earning money off your online shopping.

Fashion Tips - How to Treat Blisters



Ask anyone in the office, as I’m really annoying about this. If you’re shopping without making a small percentage back on your purchases, I’m sorry, but you’re doing it wrong. I earn about $60 a quarter from using eBates. Don’t be scared of its branding, as it is legit. All you have to do is sign up for an account, and then when you want to buy something online, go to eBates and click its link to the retailer, purchase like normal, and that’s it. eBates has different commission rate deals with different retailers that fluctuate, so I always also check my credit card’s shop with my rewards program (I have a Chase Freedom credit card) to see if its rate is higher with whatever retailer I want to buy something from. Lastly, you should use RetailMeNot.com or a similar coupon site to check if the retailer is offering any promotions not advertised on its homepage. A lot of people use Honey (a Google plug-in) that automatically applies coupons to your cart at checkout, and while you get the coupons, Honey is taking the commission, so from my point of view, that’s losing out. We talk about how to get the best of both worlds (commission and coupons) in this article on Honey vs. eBates.

With eBates, you'd get $35 back on this bag
Angelou tote
With eBates, you'd get $20 back on these shoes
x Lucy Williams Moa ballerina shoes

There are some magic things that look good on everyone.

Fashion Tips - Cropped Blazer



1. A well-cut blazer
Tailoring looks great on everyone, and there’s something that’s just smart about a blazer. I’m wearing a cropped Lanvin one from vintage site Lucia Zolea here, but well-cut blazers come in all shapes or sizes. Find one that makes you feel polished and don’t look back.

2. Anything with a wrap style
Wrap topswrap skirts, and wrap dresses—here’s why they work: Your body is beautiful, and anything cut in a wrap style helps show it off. Trust me.

3. A smile
I know you’re rolling your eyes at me, but actually. People are tired of pouty. We wrote about here: Is it cool to smile now in fashion? We’ve even seen that photos on our social platforms perform way better when the subject is smiling.

Available in UK sizes 6 to 12.

Compeed = cheap shoe blister savior.

Fashion Tips - How to Care for Blisters from Shoes



Our fashion editor Aemilia Madden told me about Compeed as I was gearing up for fashion week, which is also known as miserable feet week. If you’ve already submitted your toes to torture and have some blisters to show for it, there’s nothing better than Blister Cushions. The product creates a magical little healing pod around your blister. We also have preventative measures if you’re really an overachiever.

Everyone responds to color.

Fashion Tips - Bold Color Pairings


& Other Stories

Some people only wear black or neutrals. This is fine, and you can continue to do that, but if you’re open to wearing color, may I suggest leaning into some brights as well as some funky color combinations? Color is emotional. It is happy. It is memorable. And if you’re interested in garnering more Instagram likes (who isn’t?), bright colors totally overperform.

What you wear really does affect your happiness.

Blue Boots and White Skirt Outfit



When you feel like yourself in an outfit, like your very best, most you-like self, it’s a powerful feeling. It translates to happiness and confidence. Dressing like you mean it is an investment in yourself and your self-worth. It’s setting yourself up for success, and that’s always a worthwhile pursuit.

Cheap jeans are usually not worth it.

Fashion Tips - The Best Jeans



I have two words to say about cheap jeans: baggy butt. The elastane gives out easier in inexpensive jeans, making them lose shape even with just a couple hours of wear. The good news is the solution is not necessarily expensive jeans, although those are good too, and I’m wearing a Goldsign pair in the picture above. For affordable options, I wholeheartedly recommend vintage Levi’s, and if you are going to shop fast-fashion stores for jeans, stick to 100% cotton.

Available in sizes 24 to 30.

Your style doesn't have to get safer as you age.

Linda Rodin for Who What Wear


Paley Fairman

I have this unfounded fear that fast-forward 15 years I’ll have morphed into a style that I don’t recognize today. I imagine that as life gets busier and priorities shift, it can seem like there isn’t time or value in cultivating your style. The good news: My experiences at Who What Wear have proved this dead wrong. Take our shoot with Linda Rodin or Maye Musk.

Calvin Klein makes the best no-show underwear.

Fashion is not vapid.

Rosie Assoulin Spring 2018



Let me guess two things about you: 1. You probably have a healthy interest in fashion and 2. You’ve probably encountered some level of intellectual snobbery about this at some point. Fashion? That’s cute. Well, actually, it’s a fascinating part of our culture that is intrinsic to being a human and deeply intertwined with identity. Sure, it’s also fun, but that doesn’t take away any of the deeper meaning.

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