Most of the time, we learn style and how to dress from our closest female role model-our mother.

While I fondly remember my mother having impeccable personal style and taste, she didn’t really teach me the nuts and bolts of truly great style, there’s a lot more to it than putting on nice clothes.

As a personal stylist, I’ve gained invaluable knowledge into how I can better show off my best features and never again feel at sea when going clothes shopping, here’s five style basics that saved my sanity and my wallet that will do the same for you.

1. Ensure Proper Fit

A lot of women buy clothes that they love on the rack, and the number on the tag fits, but other areas don’t, like the hem of a jacket may sit in a awkward spot and cut your body up, arms and lengths may be too baggy or long, etc. If it’s a piece that you really love and you know you’ll wear (or have no idea of what to do with)-get it altered. Find your local seamstress or tailor (not the dry cleaners!) and get your clothes tailored to your body.

2. Know your colouring

Having the knowledge of what colours best suit your skin tone can be a hands down game changer in how you look in your clothes. Finding out whether you look best in cool or warm tones isn’t as complicated as it appears either. Go outside (this must be done in natural light or you may not get as accurate a result as you should) and take a look at the veins under your wrist-if they have a blue tinge, that means that cool shades suit you best-think rich jewel tones like ruby red, emerald green, ocean blues, etc. Do the veins have a green tinge? Then you’re probably warm toned. Think of the colours of a sunset or the earth-burnt, sharp yellows and oranges, crisp greens and blues,

3. Enlist outside help

and I’m not talking about your girlfriends. A personal stylist is the smart girl’s style saviour, and the talents of a good one can save you money and your sanity! Personal stylists have training in what works for what body shape, how and where pieces should sit on your body, what pieces to invest in and which ones to scrimp on, what colours best suit and of course the latest trends and how to make them individual to you. Google personal stylists in your area and you’re bound to find one to suit your needs.

4. Wear the correct underwear for your outfit

You may have the best outfit on for your shape and colouring, but if there’s a stray bra strap hanging out, or that much dreaded visible panty line it will ruin the entire outfit. Make sure that you get a bra fitting at least once a year and don’t be afraid to invest in some shape wear-especially if you’re going to an event, they’ll give you a nice, clean shape under that party frock and hold everything together nicely.

5. Learn to trust your eye and don’t be afraid to break the rules

We all know when we put something on and it just doesn’t look quite right. So take it off and wear what you’re comfortable with, its far more important to be physically and psychologically comfortable in your clothes than to be sitting at a party in four inch heels and a small dress and constantly adjusting bits and pieces all night in shoes that are killing your feet. Same goes with what’s supposedly appropriate for your shape-apparently skinny jeans are a no-no on my 5’0 hourglass frame, but I wear them religiously because they’re the only style that fit properly around my bottom! Wear what you love and what looks right, and there’s half your battle won.

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  • Lol my mum didn’t have any style tips to pass on. She didn’t bother with hair or make up or fancy clothes, so I was pretty clueless with my daughter and style tips. Fortunately, she taught herself and does just fine on her own


  • Oh wow what great tips. Never thought about getting g clothes altered to fit as would make such a massive different to how they look on you.


  • I am not good at fashion, I’m lucky to leave the house out of my pjs in the morning!


  • I have just gone through my wardrobe and chucked out everything that does not fit properly. Things I loved that looks like my big sisters hand me downs!


  • Thanks for sharing this article; always go for clothes that make you feel authentic and comfortable.


  • Thankfully my mum taught me a much more important lesson, which I live by to this day – how you act and treat others is way more important than how you look, so don’t waste too much time thinking about “style”!


  • I’m guilty of not getting a new bra fitting each year


  • these are really good ideas and great points
    thanks for sharing


  • I hope I can be a good style model for my daughter….


  • Love this article, I’m lucky I have one trendy mum, she knew all of this haha :) x


  • Interesting article!


  • It is a dream off mine to get my colours done, it is on the one day list. thank you for the great ideas


  • The best thing I had done was being colour coded. I only buy things that suit my complexion.


  • My Mumma — God love her — still loves sequins on everything, otherwise it’s not “dressy” enough……


  • I hope to pass on style tips to my sons…nothing wrong with a stylish man, eh hehe


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