Fashion Editors Swear By These 14 Easy, Chic Styling Hacks
If there's one thing that fashion editors and stylists do best, it's put together a really good outfit, one full of unexpected touches that, whilst easy to put together, pack a lot of punch sartorially. Whether it's the middle of a brutal NYC winter or the hottest day of the year, whenever I walk into a press event or even the Who What Wear offices, I know my fellow fashion people will be dressed in something worth copying. And it all comes down to styling.
Though many are prone to keeping their best styling secrets close to their chests, all it takes is one scroll through Instagram to visualize the hacks they use to take a look from good to great on a consistent basis, and oftentimes, they're far simpler than they look. From throwing a cool belt on top of an otherwise shapeless dress or coat to layering a tissue-thin turtleneck underneath a crew-neck sweater or button-down shirt for added dimension, the easiest and chicest looks are just a few creative tweaks to your dressing routine away. Well, that and perhaps one good shopping trip and some deep dives into your own wardrobe. Don't worry, I've handled that first part below.
Scroll down for 14 styling hacks that are sure to get you that effortless look that fashion editors are known for.
1. Pair a statement belt on top for added shape
One hack I'm always admiring about my editor friends is how they turn something as completely shapeless as a long winter coat or a sweaterdress into the most flattering item on the planet with the use of a stylish belt. I really need to start following their lead.
2. Break up denim on denim with contrasting colors and fabrics
The denim-on-denim look is everywhere right now, but sometimes it can be a bit too much if you're just doing denim and nothing else. To break it up like the pros, toss on a sweater underneath in a contrasting color.
3. Tuck wider-leg pants into boots for a more interesting proportion
This styling tip is certainly one that's on the newer side—and by that, I mean new for 2023, as it's been deemed "out" for years now—but that doesn't make it any less impactful. For an unexpected trousers-and-boots look, go ahead and tuck your wide-leg pants into the shaft of your boots. It might feel weird at first, but once you get used to it, you'll see just how chic it appears.
4. Layer with tissue-thin turtlenecks
During those transitional-weather months when a poplin shirt isn't enough but a chunky sweater is too much, compromise by tossing on a tissue-thin turtleneck underneath your button-down shirt. Not only will you feel just right temperature-wise, but you'll look effortlessly cool while you're at it.
5. Repurpose slip dresses into skirts by pairing them with tailored tops
A personal favorite styling hack is to take my go-to slip dresses and make them appear to be slip skirts by styling them with a corset-style top. It works well with any super-tailored silhouette really. You just need something that'll hold up the dress since it won't have a traditional waistband. I particularly love this because you can adjust the length of the skirt as you please.
6. Fold over waistbands for an immediate IYKYK touch
After folding over your waistbands went viral on Instagram and TikTok, brands started catching on and designing trousers that looked folded without the wearer actually having to mess with them. However, I'm still a bit biased toward a pair of folded-over twill Dickies (as shown above).
7. Around the shoulders is where your sweaters belong
If you have a sweater on you but don't want to wear it or simply need an additional piece added to your outfit to give it a stylized touch, casually tossing a knit around your shoulders, either tied or worn unknotted, is a favorite move among fashion editors.
8. Do like the runways and style a skirt with pants
It might feel odd at first, but everyone who's in the know in fashion is styling either mini or knee-length skirts on top of trousers right now. For further proof of its cool factor, check out runway collections from the likes of Maryam Nassir Zadeh, Fendi, Bevza, and Chloé from the past few seasons.
9. Spice up any button-down look with a jacket and tie
Ever since Louis Vuitton styled neckties with poplin shirts, trousers, and jackets for fall 2022, fashion girls have been obsessed with styling the menswear-inspired accessory. And while they may seem intimidating in the beginning, once you buy one and get the hang of tying it, ties instantly become approachable.
10. Match your tights to your dress or skirt to create visual length
Adding a pair of sheer tights is a hack many fashion editors swear by, but to get more specific, the act of matching your tights to your outfit—see above for brown tights paired with a matching brown dress—is a step that will really set your look apart.
11. Add an unexpected pop of color to amp up a neutral outfit
Neutrals are at the center of pretty much every fashion editor I know's closet, but one thing that sets them all apart is their ability to amp up a toned-down color palette with one or two bright touches that somehow feel unexpected and obvious at the same time.
12. Tuck in an unbuttoned shirt with a T-shirt underneath
Wearing a button-down shirt and jeans is a tried-and-true recipe for many fashion people, but it can get repetitive if worn too much. To wear these classic pieces but make them feel fresh, layer a T-shirt underneath your button-down shirt, unbutton the shirt almost completely, and then tuck it into jeans or trousers. I promise it'll make the outfit feel so out of the ordinary in a perfect way.
13. Play with contrasting proportions
As much as we all love a bias-cut slip dress, it's always a good time when you play a bit with proportions, balancing voluminous shapes with more fitted ones, as shown above. To get this look, in particular, style a corset top with a floofy, cotton skirt with enough stiffness in it that your hips are accentuated.
14. Double (or triple) up on belts
When a brand like Miu Miu tells the fashion community that wearing two belts at once is cool, we listen. And that's exactly what creative director Miuccia Prada did in her fall 2022 collection for the brand, thus sending fashion editors everywhere into a belt-buying frenzy so they could wear not one but two at a time.