I've Been a Fashion Editor for 6 Years—5 Outfit Mistakes I'll Never Repeat

It's wild to think that I've been a fashion editor for almost six years, yet here we are. The memories of my first internship still feel as vivid as if they happened just yesterday, and with that are all of the valuable fashion lessons I've learned along the way. There's really no right or wrong when it comes to dressing—I consider style a highly individual and creative thing—but I've definitely had a few sartorial mishaps that I wish I didn't have to learn the hard way, especially on the topic of summer dressing.

From battling the heat to making smart wardrobe investments you won't completely regret in the fall, the summer season brings a whole set of specific elements to consider. After going through an entire month of basically sweating through my shirts and dresses during my morning commute, I've put certain fabrics and colors on the back burner. In that same vein, all of my "cute but too painful to wear" sandals have been banished from my closet too.

Now, you can learn from my "mistakes." Below, I've outlined all of my lessons learned as an editor when it comes to dressing optimally for the warm season ahead. Trust me—it's worth bookmarking for later. 

Mistake #1: Not Investing In Good Undergarments


(Image credit: @fakerstrom)

We talk a lot about capsule wardrobes and closet essentials as fashion editors, but really, a solid outfit all boils down to what you're wearing underneath. I've learned that the difference between a well-styled simple outfit and a sloppy-looking one is a matter of investing in the right bra and seamless underwear. You better believe my lingerie drawer has done a 180 since I started being an editor.

Shop undergarments:

Mistake #2: Not Layering Strategically


(Image credit: @pernilleteisbaek)

One thing is true once you've become an expert-level shopper: Layering is a science. My perspective? It's always better to have more layers than to not have enough—you can always take them off. During the summer, I rely on breezy button-downs and sleeveless jackets just in case I'm confronted with aggressive air-conditioning. 

Shop editor-approved layering pieces:

Mistake #3: Choosing Non-Sweatproof Materials


(Image credit: @thevisuelofgrace)

I've found nothing ruins an outfit more than an unexpected sweat stain, and when you're commuting in the muggy New York City weather, sweating is almost inevitable. As much as I enjoy lighter fabrics and the color gray, I've learned to avoid them if I plan on shuffling around in the summer heat. Instead, I like sticking with darker tones and fabrics, where sweat has a hard time visibly seeping through.

Shop sweatproof staples:

Mistake #4: Sacrificing Comfort for Style


(Image credit: @loweo)

Many a time have my evenings been ruined by the wrong choice of footwear, and as I grow older and take in all the experience of being in fashion, I realize it's absolutely possible to find a happy medium between chic and comfy. Not wincing in pain or agonizing about blisters makes you feel that much more confident in your outfit.

Shop foot-friendly shoes:

Mistake #5: Ignoring Designer Basics


(Image credit: @camillecharriere)

I'm the first person to save a buck, but even I can't ignore the power of real quality basics. It's become even more apparent to me as I've routinely cleared out my closet. My designer basics have stayed with me for years, while my fast-fashion pieces have come and gone.

Shop power basics:

Next up: I'm Basically a Professional Shopper—30 Shopbop Items I'm Obsessing Over Now

Fashion Market Editor

Indya Brown is a fashion editor, stylist, and writer living in Los Angeles. While going to school at Columbia University in New York City, she got her feet wet in the fashion industry interning at Elle magazine, Harper's Bazaar, and New York magazine's The Cut. After graduating in 2016, she joined The Cut as a fashion assistant, eventually working her way up to fashion editor. There, she worked on a multitude of projects, including styling inbook feature stories for New York magazine's print issue, writing and pitching market stories for The Cut, and serving as fashion lead for The Cut's branded content. While New York has been her home for over 10 years, she moved to Los Angeles in the midst of the pandemic in 2020 for a new chapter. Now she is a fashion market editor for Who What Wear, focusing on emerging designers, rising trends on and off the internet, interior design, and BIPOC creatives and brands. Aside from her duties as a fashion market editor, Brown is also a freelance stylist and writer, working on national print and video commercial campaigns for Sephora, The Independent, and Cadillac. Her bylines also include Harper's Bazaar, Vox, and The New York Times. But once the computer goes down and the emails turn off, she's likely eating her way through Koreatown, hunting down vintage furniture, scoping out new outrageous nail designs to try, or taking a hot cycling class.