The Best Fashion Advice You’ve Ever Received

by Leandra Medine
March 17, 2014
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sebastian-interview

That time of year has reared its indelibly blasé head again. The shows have showed, the peacocks have, erm, cocked and uninspiration is settling like dust on a kitchen countertop — my kitchen countertop — which hasn’t been used since I moved into my apartment nearly two years ago.

Yet here we stand, fighting to stay stimulated utilizing whatever the Internet will provide. Maybe it’s a Cats that Look Like Runway Samples story from Vogue.com, a necklace that resembles what I believe to be the physical manifestation of the word “inner-working,” from Net-a-Porter, Style.com’s new Model Walk Off feature or full, under $200 outfits as offered from the fiscally sensible wizards behind Asos.

And in one additional bout of contest, I’m also suggesting that we dole out all the advice we’ve either given or received to keep the wheels of creativity above ground, in motion, and moving fast. So, please take this moment to reflect on just that. I’ll get the ball rolling.

Advice received (from my mother): “Invest in shoes and bags – you can improvise the rest with meager means.”

Advice given (as influenced by Roxanne Assoulin, the founder of Lee Angel): “Don’t look at what she’s wearing, look at how she’s wearing it.”

Okay, you’re up. We’ll take everything we can get in an attempt to compile a roster of tips so good, you’ll wonder why you ever deigned to frost them. HEHE.

-Leandra Medine

Image shot by Sebastian Mader for Interview Magazine

REPLIES
  • http://thenouvelliste.com kate

    Best fashion advice I ever received was courtesy of the movie, “Annie”- you’re never fully dressed without a smile. Cheesy as fuck, but come on, don’t act like that doesn’t make your heart feel all warm and cozy!

    thenouvelliste.com

  • Rebekah

    Don’t wear it unless you can dance in it.

    • Ai-Ch’ng GB

      My own realisation of how l live, has extended this to, “Don’t buy it unless I can run in it (shoes), sit cross-legged on the floor in it (all my clothes) and throw it into the washing machine (any item of non-jacket/non-coat clothing)”.

  • http://adeliberateimagination.wordpress.com/ CJKEYS2

    always check your infinity scarf for crumbs after a meal, and when in doubt, go all black errrythin’

  • Savannah

    Do not ‘colour match’ items – cue the red belt/bag/shoes combo. Ick. Just don’t.

  • Life Sucks In A Strapless Bra

    Beauty is pain … advice given to me when I hit puberty and my hair turned into a curly, kinky, bush along with my eye brows.

    • http://channelspirits.bandcamp.com/ Josie Fillat

      When I was little, pre pubescent, I had long hair that would get VERY tangled. My mom would brush my hair and I would complain to which she would answer with “beauty is painful” and I would retort: “BOOBIES are painful.”

  • Samantha

    If you don’t absolutely love it in the store – you just won’t wear it. – from The Blind Side starring Sandra Bullock.

  • http://beccabarton.com Becca Barton

    Eschew the mirror in favor of going with your gut.

  • Reem

    You’ve got to mix and match with designer and high-street- you can’t have too much of both!

    http://www.wevoicefashion.com

  • Ellen

    If you can’t afford it, don’t worry zara will have the exact same shit.

    • http://madamecouture.blogspot.com/ Emma Hager

      amen

    • Arvin

      Hahha nice

    • http://caramellattekiss.com/ Georgina

      What if you can’t afford Zara?

      • Caroline Jackson

        A sense of humour is free

        • http://caramellattekiss.com/ Georgina

          My comment was intended as a joke. Apologies if it come off snarky!

  • Candice

    well dressed girls make hard decisions in the dressing room so they don’t have to make them in their closets.

    • Thamsa

      This is a great one! Where’d you hear/read this?

      • shab

        I think It’s from one of Scott Schuman’s subjects in ‘The Closer’

  • Liz

    Shop in the mens department.

  • JSchiff

    “Underthink it,” – The inimitable LB.

  • Modupe Oloruntoba

    join a style challenge, or make one for yourself, to get the juices flowing again. may I suggest the style me march challenge being hosted by Hilary Rushford of the Dean Street Society blog. I’m having so much fun with them on instagram :)

  • Quinn Halman

    “Denim and black go with anything” – Mom
    “Ms. Halman, if you don’t tuck in your shirt, you’ll receive a detention!” – head of school
    “The only person you need to think of when picking out an outfit is you” – mom
    “Only bitches use pins to do the saris” – Agalya

    • Modupe Oloruntoba

      a round of applause for ms. Halman :)

    • http://madamecouture.blogspot.com/ Emma Hager

      Loved these, Quinn! To go along with it, a few from my mom:

      1) “Find a really good pair of thrifted corduroys and wear them for the rest of the week!”

      2) “Pretty soon you will be stealing my wooden clogs” (true.)

      3) “polar fleece can be fun and kicky!”

      • Quinn Halman

        Kicky is my new favourite adjective

      • Amelia Diamond

        kicky!!!

  • Luisa Fernanda

    Several years ago my grampa gave me the most amazing advice I will never forget: “Always take care of your hair and nails. Why? Because those two are the hardest to take care of (in a girl). And, If you want to know if a guy looks after himself, look at his shoes. His watch to know if he has good taste, too” BOOM.

  • Modupe Oloruntoba

    ‘It’s got to look easy; it should never look laboured.’ Asanda Sizani – South African fashion editor & columnist

  • Jill S

    Ask yourself, “Do I LOVE it?” before buying. Completely changed my way of thinking about shopping. And saved me many a purchase…I no longer buy what I “just like”.

  • http://alcessa.wordpress.com/ alcessa

    Strong colors and contrasts are good for you but pastels or any yellowish tones are not – you are the Cold Winter Color Type, my dear, go for the drama – I read something similar in a book on color types and this is my translation of what I remember. The reason I have stuck to it ever since is rather simple: I actually do like the colors that are supposed to be appropriate for my type but eschew all the others …

  • Fishmonkey

    You can wear anything as long as you do so with conviction.

  • monkeyshines
  • http://www.fancyalterego.wordpress.com/ Heather P.

    Electric blue eyeshadow and red lipstick are both great things – but never together. :-)

  • @roselikes

    Love it and don’t give a damn

  • Sophia K

    Not really fashion but “Eternal nothingness is okay, if you’re dressed for it.” -Woody Allen :)

  • Amelia Diamond

    Always wear nice underwear to bed in case of a fire!

    • Quinn Halman

      Let me tell you a story. When I was 5 my brother was around 8 months old and had a really stuffy nose + cough. Close to bed time, he coughed so much he ended up passing out but luckily our nanny revived him. She still called 911 and they were at the house is maybe 20 seconds. Because it was nearing bedtime and I was 5, I was fully commando under the Tinkerbell nightgown. The police and paramedics notice these things. Don’t be stubborn, do what your nanny says and put on panties

      Always wear nice underwear to bed

    • pinkschmink

      My grandmother always used to tell me to wear nice underwear every day, ‘because you never know if today’s the day you’ll be hit by a bus’. She was cheery like that. But it made me think … and that one time I did get hauled into hospital unexpectedly (thankfully not because I was hit by a bus), I was wearing nice underwear and was treated by a hot junior doctor.

      Moral of the story: your grandmother is always right.

    • Aubrey Green

      We had an earthquake the other night (here in LA) and I wasn’t wearing underwear!! I kept thinking, OMG, what if I had to get out of bed!!!

      • Amelia Diamond

        hahaha you guys i’m crying laughing re-reading these

        • Aubrey Green

          :).

  • http://www.anativeblonde.com/ Jess H.

    “Accessories are necessities.” -Barbie

    • pinkschmink

      ‘When you’re in doubt, glitter it out’ is another piece of sage advice from a Barbie movie (what? I have a seven-year-old daughter …)

  • http://madamecouture.blogspot.com/ Emma Hager

    “Remember, if you’re in style you’re out of style.” – Stacey Nishimoto (ITG contributor and all-around fashion and Instagram genius)

  • http://fashionmusingsdiary.blogspot.fr/ Miss J.
  • Misha Lobo

    It doesn’t matter what you wear on the outside if your bra and underwear are in tatters.
    Marina Lobo aka. My always stylish Mum

  • Dandy,

    check the price tag before you fall in love with it.

  • Kristen

    I just spent like ten minutes watching models walking

  • The Provoker

    “If it feels wrong, it looks right” – Leandra Medine

    • http://madamecouture.blogspot.com/ Emma Hager

      Yes, Yes, Yes! #TBT on a Tuesday.

  • VR

    Wear whatever you want, however the hell you want, whenever you want to!

  • www.LydiaWho.com

    Everytime I’m looking at something in the store or online, I try to picture it in different outfits with the clothes I already have. First I check the price tag though..

    – L

  • pinkschmink

    “Only rich people can afford to buy cheap clothes.” – my grandmother told me this when I was quite young, and it was only many years (and many dreadful fast fashion purchases) later that I understood what she meant.

    “Look, it’s up to you if you wear that skirt, but you look like a prostitute.” – my friend. I wore the skirt. I looked like a prostitute. I regretted wearing the skirt. I threw it away. Lesson learned – honest friends are best friends.

  • ragssansriches

    ‘If you’re ever worried that you’ll get comments about what your wearing, wear it anyway. Just to prove that you can!’

    I guess this is to be taken in moderation as wearing a yellow pants suit to a funeral is probably not the best idea.

    http://www.ragssansriches.com/

  • jillsmithArtist

    From my past. Don’t wear a big hat they will think you have big knickers to match.

  • Simone

    Set fashion goals for yourself. I love to have fun looking for a specific item whether it’s the perfect midi-skirt one week or an interesting print on a top the next. This way you have intentional pieces in your closet and you’re always progressing with the trends!

  • http://www.gladracks.com Crystal Joy

    My best fashion advice came from Stacey and Clinton of What Not To Wear: fit is the most important thing. Tailor your clothes, get them hemmed, whatever you need to do. You can have the most amazing, designer jacket on the planet, but if it doesn’t fit, it’s not going to look good on you.

  • Lucy

    Try not to follow trends, and if you do only wear one trend at a time. (this especially when studs, zippers and glitter are in the picture)

  • Meredith

    “Everything matches if you like it.”

  • DMC

    Dress for your shape no matter how much you want to dress for Cara Delevingne’s shape.

  • Saakshi Kaushik

    Don’t wear your fleece pyjama suit despite it being die hard cold weather in case you get taken to hospital in an emergency and they need to stick round tape with wires snaking out of them on your boobs. They’ll see you in your baby pink, fleece suit with baby bears on it.

  • Anne

    totally disagree!! it’s better to make a statement than an understatement! :)

  • Alexandra Evanson

    When in doubt, buy it in black!

  • Silvestre

    Always think FRENCH.

  • Elle

    Helmut Lang ‘if something is good, it doesn’t go out of fashion every six months’. Avoiding fads makes my clothes creative, which inspires me to be creative….or at least to try ;)

  • Belén

    “Always buy leather, it’s sure more expensive but it will last forever.”

  • olya d.

    When you buy something, think of at least three things you can wear it with in your closet…. whether its shoes, bags, coats or even dresses! ( even if it is on super sale lol)

  • Lili daGraca

    “if your friends jumped off a bridge would you” , overly cliched advice yes however in my delusion adolescence my mother was trying to instill in me the breaking the sheep mentality towards trends. While trends today for adult sized ladies are in a different sphere than early millennial prepubescents , the song remains the same. Generally people will fall into trendoid patterns wearing the “style” de jour to death before ever contemplating whether the look works for them or very basically if they even like it. Though I can’t deny I have fallen victim to zombie like fashion phases even in adulthood this advice from my mother has stuck with me to critically think about a fashion idea before exeuctuting or at the very least trying to make it work for me, in my way

  • StefanieKristina

    Nothing says I have no guts like matchy-matchy. You can and should mix patterns/denims as long as you keep cohesion. I’m sendin’ out an Amen to you Savanah on the anti-color matching sentiment.

  • Rebeca

    Make it simple but significant