Sometimes the difference between someone who looks stylish, and someone who looks so-so, is down to the way they’ve rolled their shirt cuff or the precise cut of their jeans.
No one knows this better than Lill Jenner, who has been a stylist and fashion editor at magazines such as marie claire and InStyle for several decades. We asked Lill to share the tips and tricks she’s learned during her career.
1. Cuff Your Sleeves
This is an old stylists’ hack, and one that I learnt years ago as a fashion assistant. Don’t just roll your sleeves up your arm. Instead, undo the buttons, fold your sleeve halfway up the arm and then roll once or twice depending on how you want it to sit. Take a close look at fashion photography and street style influencers and you’ll see that lots of editors do this. T-shirt sleeves can also be rolled, as it adds detail to an otherwise plain T-shirt).
2. Tailor Jeans
Ever since I was a teenager, I’ve altered my clothes, and I’ve been having my jeans tailored since my early twenties. Having styled so many different body types on photo shoots over the years, and pinned, tucked and cut garments to make the photo look good, I realised that it’s worth having your own clothes tailored to get a similarly perfect fit.
I take all my jeans to a local seamstress (you don’t need a fancy one) and ask them to tailor them so they are perfect for me. Sometimes they might cinch in the waist so the band doesn’t gape at the back or it might be as simple as cutting a hem slightly above the ankle (which exposes the slimmest part of your leg and is therefore more flattering). We wear jeans so often and you feel so much better when they fit properly. I’ve also had pants, jackets and dresses tailored (and I’ve actually even self-tailored swim suits).
3. Make Jackets Work
Rather than flinging a jacket over your clothes, it’s worth styling it in a way that enhances your outfit and doesn’t swamp you. It might be as simple as rolling up the sleeves of your jacket (which exposes your wrists and can be really flattering as they are the slimmest part of your arm); or it might be turning up the collar on your jacket or cinching in the waist with a belt.
Lots of editors and influencers throw their coats or jackets over their shoulders without putting their arms through the sleeves. It’s a strong silhouette – and it means you can still see your outfit under your coat – but every time I do this my husband makes fun of me!
4. Be Flexible With Sizes
Never look at the size of a garment and think I ‘should’ or ‘should not’ fit this. Sizing varies a lot in Australia, and feeling as though you need to be a certain size is a dangerous headspace to be in. Forget about what’s on the tag and go with the actual fit of the garment. In my wardrobe I have pieces that range from size 8-14, and I never think twice about it.
5. Get A Steamer
Steamers are no longer just for stylists on photo shoots. These days they are really tiny and cheap – and they instantly make your outfit look more polished. I have this one by Kambrook (it’s only $48) and I even take it on holiday with me!
6. Own a Black Bodysuit
A black bodysuit is a style saviour. It goes with everything and can be worn under an open white shirt or blazer, or under a shirt that feels a little sheer or tight. It can work with denim jeans or a ballgown skirt. I love Wolford’s bodysuits but there are so many out there (sometimes I just wear a black swimsuit as a bodysuit).
A single accessory can transform your look from ‘meh’ to memorable or make your outfit look expensive, even when it’s anything but. Personally, I love oversized statement earrings or an embellished evening shoe worn with jeans and a t-shirt during the day. Instantly, your outfit looks more fun.
I also think that a couple of great belts can really help any outfit. A black blazer or simple dress worn with an interesting or ornate waist belt gives it new life.
And accessories don’t have to be expensive – they’re more about adding sparkle to an otherwise ordinary outfit.