Ten Tips from Tim Gunn

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Mindy, Tim Gunn, and me. The fashion show was outside which is why we have our sunglasses on. I am sure this is yet another of my fashion faux pas for the day!

I am Megan’s sister, Kara, and she has asked me to write today.  I live in Kansas City, and one of the advantages of living in a smaller city (as compared to Seattle) is that when fun things come to town, it is easy to get up close and take full advantage of them!  Case in point: one of our local and upscale shopping districts, The Country Club Plaza, hosted a fashion show yesterday featuring clothes from Kate Spade and Lucky Jeans, and it was hosted by Tim Gunn!  I was invited to the show, and I brought my good friend Mindy (who’s fashion sense if off the hook and totally inspiring!).  We made a girls’ day of it and had so much fun listening to what Tim Gunn had to say (if you are unfamiliar with who he is – he is the fashion mentor for Project Runway and writes for People Style Watch among other things).  He was very honest and funny, and had lots of great tips. (He also filled us in on great insider gossip with all sorts of fascinating insider tidbits about Project Runway and what Michael and Nina are really like as judges.  Such fun!!!) I frantically tried to memorize everything he said so I could avoid future fashion disasters (the horror!  what if I wore the cropped cargos he said were the worst mistake in the entire history of fashion??).  I was later telling this all to my sister, and thus here I am – sharing it with whoever wants to hear it.  Hopefully I am fairly representing what all he said.  So without further ado, here are the tips I took away from this fun experience.

1) Don’t try to overmatch accessories (purse, shoes, belts, etc), but go for complimentary colors. (note: I was wearing cork ballet flats and a matching cork clutch and was horrified when he said this, and spent the rest of the fashion show trying to hide my new purse that I had been so excited about 5 minutes earlier)

2) Only tall(er) and thin people should wear cropped pants as they make you look shorter. By tall, I think he means around 5′ 5″ or taller.  He reiterated that the short length just visually cuts off your leg. (note: I of course was wearing cropped pants as well.  Gee whiz – what more could I do wrong?)

3) Never wear cropped cargos as they make you look shorter and wider.

4) When mixing prints (which he loves!), keep the color scheme the same (as in every item is navy and white) and make sure the patterns are on much different scales (i.e. a small print on the top and a huge print on bottom).  When you squint to look at it you should not think it is all the same pattern.

5) A wrap dress is almost universally flattering. (they had a darling Kate Spade one in the show which was navy, Kelly green and white, and it was worn by a plus size model who looked absolutely amazing!)

6) If you have a lot of detail around your neckline, such as ruffles or a really intricate color, you don’t need a necklace as it will only compete.

7) Horizontal stripes are OK to wear as long as they are not too large or dominating.  You don’t want them to overwhelm you.

8) If you are petite, avoid big patterns as they will swallow you up.

9) Unexpected punches of color are always fun and playful, like bright pink shoes or purse, especially if paired with a neutral or conservative (like all black and white) outfit.

10) Always dress down a maxi dress – use a big hobo purse or something big and casual and always wear sandals.  Don’t try to dress it up.  A jean jacket is a great layer for over a maxi dress.

11) A great white shirt is a must have for every closet.  He showed several options – long sleeve, short sleeved, casual and dressy.  It goes with anything and can be dressed up and down.

12) When dressing, visually split your body in thirds.  He is an advocate of tucking in a shirt as a long shirt makes your body get split in half rather than thirds.  It is OK to have a shirt tucked in with a long cardigan or open shirt over it, as the inside, tucked in shirt will do the visual “thirds” trick while the outer and longer layer just adds interest.

13) Belts are the greatest accessory as they are versatile and can accentuate your shape.  He put belts on almost everything.

14) Anyone can wear skinny jeans!  Just make sure they fit right (and aren’t too tight or too big).  Their plus size model wore skinny jeans from Lucky and they were fabulous.  They made her legs look great as they didn’t add too much bulk, but just skimmed the shape of her leg.  He emphasized going somewhere where the sales clerks really know how to fit you.

I realize that Megan has mentioned a lot of these tips before (go megan!), and think it is fun to hear them again straight from the fashion icon himself!  Hope you are all having a great Sunday!

Kara

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5 thoughts on “Ten Tips from Tim Gunn

  1. All of these make perfect sense to me EXCEPT about the accessories not matching. I’m not sure that’s not just preference vs. actually helping a woman look her best in her clothes. I bucked the no cropped pants thing for such a long time, but I’m coming around to Tim’s point of view and steering clear of them, myself. Great run-down. I’m a fan of quick lists like this!

    • Thanks for commenting! I think the whole thing with the accessories not matching is the idea that you don’t want to look like you tried to hard. Having a purse and shoes in similar colors and styles- but not a matching set- is a more effortless look. (In my humble opinion). I’m still mad at my sister (JK) for not inviting me to be her guest. I would have flown to KC in a heartbeat. Alas- it wasn’t meant to be. Maybe next time.

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