The Number One Lesson I Learned From “What Not to Wear”



Happy Valentine’s Day! I’m talking about two of the greats today…Stacy London and Clinton Kelly. If you’ve been following me for a while, then you’ve probably heard me mention this dynamic duo and their TLC makeover show “What Not to Wear.” Unfortunately, the show ended a few years ago, but its memory goes on (and, more importantly, the style lessons it taught us). While I learned a great deal about fashion and fit from this show, Stacy and Clinton have one tip in particular that will always help create more interesting outfits.


“Color, pattern, texture, shine!” That’s right—Stacy and Clinton would always tell the women on the show to elevate their style game by including all four of those elements in an outfit. Of course, not every outfit has to have each one of those, but together they make a really stylish look. I know there’s some sort of quote out there that says fashion is the clothing and fit, but style is what you do with it. In this case, I completely agree. You can buy cute items straight from a store, but it’s how you pair them together that makes you either stylish or not.

So often, I try to match my outfits perfectly. Every accessory has to be the same shade and the shoes have to match my top, or whatever the case may be. I especially feel this way with purses—if I don’t have one that goes exactly with my outfit, then I just won’t carry one. What?! Why do I do this? Matching is just part of my personality; even my bedroom has all turquoise and green accessories. I realize though—and often forget—that my style could be elevated a lot if I let go of my matchy-matchy tendencies. As Stacy would always say, “Things don’t have to match, they just have to go.” Moving forward, I really want to incorporate their lesson of color, pattern, texture, and shine into my outfits. Those four elements remind me to mix it up a bit and pair items together that I wouldn’t usually think to wear.

So how did I apply this manifesto to today’s look? I started with the base outfit—this burgundy mock neck top and plaid mini skirt. The colors worked nicely together, but overall, the look was pretty boring. For warmth, I went for some sort of additional layer and ended up with this black pleather jacket to get some texture (texture can be anything, from ruffles/3D elements to a different kind of fabric, like leather or suede). For the shoes, I went for sassy leopard and black boots—usually I would opt for plain shoes, but the leopard detailing paired with the plaid skirt adds interest in pattern. Last but certainly not least, I added shine with this pretty pearl necklace and beaded purse. The purse isn’t something I would generally pair this with because it doesn’t match exactly, but the color goes really well with my burgundy top and the shine adds that extra va-va-voom to the outfit. I loved how this look turned out, and I definitely seemed a little more stylish than usual.


What do you think of today’s look? Did you ever watch “What Not to Wear”? Do you prefer dressing matchy-matchy or spicing things up? I’d absolutely love to know! Also, I hope you have a super awesome Valentine’s Day and get to celebrate yourself a little. 🙂


Miles of smiles,



Burgundy Mock-Neck Top: Arizona via JCPenney, $11 // Black Pleather Jacket: A.N.A. via JCPenney, $62 // Burgundy Plaid Skirt: Stylus via JCPenney // Black Leopard Booties: DSW, $35 // Beaded Purse: borrowed from my mom

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