The Rise of the ‘How-To Stylist’



It’s the eve of Paris Fashion Week and the founder of fashion brand Tibi Amy Smilovic is standing in front of her mirror snapping photos of the outfits she’s packed for the occasion.  There’s a tan cotton trench, a cosy grey knit and an oversized blazer – all paired with black pants. “The stirrup pant is the extra here,” she writes in the caption of an Instagram post, before revealing that she often wears pantyhose under her jeans for added warmth and “extra stomach coverage”.

It’s straight-talking fashion tips like these, along with her singular sense of style, that have earned Smilovic an audience of more than 160,000 followers on Instagram. There, the Tibi founder regularly dissects her outfits, revealing not only what to wear but, crucially, how to wear it. A cuffed sleeve here. A sweater tied around the waist there. These are the styling decisions that can transform an outfit, according to Smilovic, who is emblematic of a new kind of stylist – one who is candid and relatable, and favours practical instruction over the lofty inspiration traditionally served up by fashion magazines.

"It’s the details that make the difference. It’s a revelation to me that people don’t know this stuff. To me, it’s common sense – like, surely everybody knows that if you’re wearing a high-waisted pant, you’ve got to have a shorter sweater – but actually they don’t."

– Nicole Bonython-Hines, stylist

Melbourne personal stylist Sally Mackinnon agrees. “My followers love all the little stylist hacks – like tucking my shirt into my undies, which I’ve done for years, but never thought to share.” It was during the pandemic that Mackinnon began experimenting with instructional videos that decoded trends and offered tips on how to wear key pieces. Since then, her Instagram account has grown to 230,000 followers.

Meet The Women Making Thousands From Their Wardrobes



Forget lavish photo shoots in far-flung locations. The stylists finding success right now are opting for instruction and advice over inspiration. Read the full piece at PRIMER.


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