Here Are 14 Fashion Tips To Keep You Looking Sharp
As it turns out, a little bit of fashion sense goes a long way. Are there any tips you would add to this list?
Ryan Aliapoulios

Does fashion come naturally to you? For some people, being well-dressed isn’t difficult—it’s just something they’ve internalized over time and that now comes naturally to them. Still, others of us probably could use a basic crash course on fashion tips and how to dress well. We don’t all have to be runway ready but a little bit of self-presentation can go a long way.

With that in mind, here are 14 important tips on how to look sharp and dress well.

1. When you’re wearing a jacket, always button the middle button.

Different jackets come with different numbers of buttons. The basic rule of thumb is you should always button the middle one. On a two-button jacket, do the top one always but never the bottom! On the other hand, you always button the middle of a three-button jacket and can sometimes button the top one—but again, never the bottom!

2. If you’re wearing a shirt or a blouse, unbutton up to two buttons but no more than that.

For guys, you may want to unbutton the shirt a little to let the chest hair breathe a little, and that’s understandable. For girls, you may want a little more exposure every now and then. Still, in either case, unbuttoning more than that looks like a mistake (or like you picked a shirt with a bad fit).

3. For jewelry pairings, wear earrings that match your bracelet or a necklace that goes well with a ring, but not both.

As far as jewelry goes, the earring and bracelet pair is a good one and the necklace and ring pair is a good one. Over-accessorizing can make your outfit look a little too busy, so try to choose between one or the other. We know that all rules are made to be broken but be careful when breaking this one.

4. If you’re wearing a tie, aim for the tip of it to reach your belt line and cross it just slightly.

Wearing a tie that’s well above your waistline is a no-no. Similarly, wearing a tie that’s way too long makes you look like a little kid who’s playing dress-up. For the perfect fit, make sure your tie reaches just a little over your belt so that you look like a well-proportioned adult.

5. If you’re wearing a shirt without a jacket, there’s no need to wear a tie.

If we’re trying to be formal, wearing nice slacks, a belt and a buttoned shirt are all essentials—but then there’s the question of whether or not to add a tie. The general rule here is that ties are only essential when there’s a jacket included in the outfit. If not, leave the tie at home.

6. For professional ladies, office shirts should show cleavage only about four inches from the collarbone.

Obviously, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to cleavage. Essentially, the key is context. Office setting are typically more conservative environments—though this doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t show any cleavage. Ideally, keeping it to four inches below the collar is a good guideline.

7. Wear a belt if you have your shirt tucked in.

There’s not much to say on this one. You can wear a nice shirt untucked with no belt in some contexts, or you can wear a nice shirt tucked in with a belt. Wearing a tucked in shirt with no belt really just makes no sense.

8. Wear a belt that matches your shoes.

Though a belt can help dress up any outfit, it’s the details that make or break an outfit. When it comes to a dressing up, its important to pick nice slacks, a shirt and shoes. To tie it all together though, make sure your belt matches your shoes for a fully coordinated look.

9. Make sure any visible tags on your clothing are cut off.

In some circumstances, you may want to leave the tags on expensive clothing in case it doesn’t fit or you fully intend to return it later. Still, if you’ve owned your clothes for a while and the tags are still on, get a pair of scissors and fix that situation. Even if you keep the tags on, at least tuck them out of sight!

10. Try not to wear too many different prints.

Some of us like stripes, some of us like polka dots, others like floral prints. Still, wearing all three at once can sometimes make for a chaotic outfit. As a general rule, you can wear two different prints if they match by color or two coordinated prints that are different sizes. Again, all rules are made to be broken… just be aware of the risk.

11. Make sure your socks are long enough to cover your legs when you’re sitting down.

Guys especially struggle with getting the details right when they’re dressing up. Maybe they have nice shoes, they’ve matched the belt, they picked a great outfit… but then they sit down and they look like they’re little kids. Go through the extra effort and pick out some longer socks. On top of that, make sure your slacks don’t ride up too high when you sit down!

12. Finally, office blouses should cover the shoulders.

As another office environment guideline, office blouses can show off your arms but they should cover your shoulders. This is mainly aimed at discouraging wearing spaghetti strap tops in a formal environment. Although these are a convenient option in many cases, they’re not always ideal at work.

13. Wear a miniskirt or a cleavage look rather than both.

This is definitely an old-fashioned view of women’s fashion but it holds true in semi-formal environments. If you’re going to go out dancing or you’re with your friends, you should be able to wear whatever you want. If you’re going to work or you’re meeting people you don’t know well yet, this conservative guideline is at least worth consulting.

14. In General, You Shouldn’t Show Skin Between A Cardigan And Your Jeans.

If necessary, just wear a top to cover the skin in between.

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