Quick! True or false pop quiz:

T/F: Your idea of dressing up is wearing Gap rather than Old Navy.
T/F: You own the same "safe" V-neck in five different colors.
T/F: People think you are colorblind.

If you answered "true" to any of the above questions, you are in the midst of a fashion emergency. Don't worry, though, we promise we won't sic Joan Rivers, Leon Hall or the infamous Mr. Blackwell on you. Yet. Instead, we'll adopt the carer-nurturer role, as we guide you through the wacky, wonderful world of fashion with tips suitable for every lifestyle and budget. Then we'll sic Joan on your ass.

Why, you ask, should you heed our advice above all the rest? Simple: we went straight to the source, nagging editors, writers, and stylists at a few of the most well-respected fashion publications in New York. Good connections, eh? So pack up your dime-a-dozen duds and prepare to add some pizzazz to your sorry little wardrobe.

If you're on the verge of a fashion breakdown and need immediate assistance, don't waste any more time. Check out this video, so you don't get a visit from the fashion police.



While there are no hard-and-fast rules of fashion (after all, Kate Moss is the supposed ideal), most style authorities agree on a few basic principles. These hold true, no matter how cheap and tacky your clothes are. In other words, these are the 5 commandments of the fashion Bible:

Always look neat and clean
Make sure your clothes fit
Don't overdo trends
Keep ultra-bright colors away from the face
Ignore lame clichs

Always look neat and clean

This just makes sense. Unless you're going for the just-rolled-out-of-bed rocker look, it's best to keep your jeans unfrayed, your shirt unstained and your shoes unscuffed. Grunge is over, so live with it. Take good care of your clothes, making sure you follow directions like, "Dry clean only" and "Wash with like colors." Polish your boots. De-fuzz your sweaters. Even if you can't transform yourself into the world's snappiest dresser, you can always improve your appearance by looking well-kept. Go on, make your mama proud.

Make sure your clothes fit

It's known as the "quadruple breast" syndrome, and we hear it's highly contagious. Never heard of it? It occurs when a woman chooses to wear a bra that is at least one size too small, resulting in cups that, well runneth over. Ill-fitting clothes are a fashion no-no, whether it's pants that are too long, skirts that are too tight or jackets that are too short. Resist the temptation to forgo buying one size larger simply because it's not the size you "usually" wear. Sizes vary from designer to designer, so stick to what lays nicely on your body. Repeat it like a mantra: Smooth lines, smooth lines, smooth lines. . .

Don't overdo trends

Let's say leopard print is "in." In an effort to look oh-so chic, you go out and buy a hat, blouse, skirt, bag and shoes-all in leopard print. Bad move. Experimenting with fads is fun, but head-to-toe isn't the way to go. Similarly, don't saturate your wardrobe with any single style or silhouette. Cargo pants are cool, but not if they're the only kind of pants you own. Moderation is key.

Keep ultra-bright colors away from the face

No matter what your skin tone, you won't look good (trust us) in a neon green sweater. This doesn't mean that you have to skip the loud hues all together. Simply incorporate bright items into your look as low on the body as possible. Remember: Florescent yellow shoes, not a florescent yellow top. A hot pink clutch, not a hot pink scarf. Let your face star in its own show.

Ignore lame clichs

Chances are, you've heard them all: "Don't wear white after Labor Day." "Make sure your shoes match your bag." "Never pair stripes with plaid." Well, we're here to say that it's all a bunch of hogwash. In today's "anything goes" fashion arena, it's important to be creative and open to new ideas. If this means ignoring old adages and overstepping traditional bounds, so be it.

Now we're going to directly contradict ourselves: even though we just told you to avoid clichs, there are some fashion mistakes that are always wrong. Take our word for it.

  • Never wear head-to-toe denim. (Silly, maybe, but true nonetheless. You'll look like a convict or a cowboy.)
  • Never wear sneakers with hose.
  • Never tuck your shirt into belted jeans.
  • Never wear pleated jeans.
  • Never match your makeup with your outfit.
  • Never wear black velvet in the summertime.
  • Never overdose on a single fabric (don't wear nylon bottoms with a nylon top). Never wear large costume jewelry.
  • Never wear a coat that has big, gold buttons.
  • Never let your panty lines show.

Got that? Good.