How to Dress

Three Parts:Choosing Clothes that Look GoodCreating a Versatile WardrobeGetting Extra Advice

Dressing to look good or even just look appropriate for particular situations can be really complex. Let wikiHow be your personal shopper, as we walk you through choosing clothes that will make you look like a supermodel, no matter your shape. Below you'll find advice on choosing good cuts and colors for your body, as well as advice on creating a wardrobe that works for all seasons and reasons on a minimal budget. Just get started with Step 1 below!

Part 1
Choosing Clothes that Look Good

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    Find good tops. The items that you wear on the top of your body, whether they're a tank top or button down blouse, all conform to a certain set of rules about what makes your body look best. As with all clothing items, the most important rule is to wear something that fits!
    • Wear clothes to flatter your neck. If you have a short neck, you want to avoid turtlenecks, or anything that cuts off your neck. Instead go for low plunging tops or tops with items that draw the eyes down (necktie or button down shirt, for guys).
    • Wear clothes to flatter your shoulders. If you have narrow shoulders, you can wear items that make your shoulders look more broad. Good examples include shirts that puff slightly at the shoulder or include a small amount of padding or structure to the shoulder. Avoid these same things if you want to play down your shoulders.
    • Use stripes. You can also use stripes to your advantage, to make you look taller, thinner, or to make your shoulders look more narrow or more broad. Wider stripes will make your shoulders look more broad, while thinner ones will make you look narrower. Similarly, narrow stripes make you look taller and thinner, while wider stripes or horizontal stripes will make you look wider and shorter.
    • Wear clothes to flatter your waist. Generally, you want to wear clothes that are fitted at your natural waist. Covering up a tummy with baggy clothes tends to make women look pregnant. Men can get away with it a bit more. Use contrasting belts to draw attention to a small waist. Both genders will also want to avoid large prints if they've got extra space in the stomach region, as this just adds imaginary weight.
    • Wear clothes to flatter your hips. Men: if you're pretty bootylicious, you're going to want to skip double vented coats and suit jackets.[1] If you want to make narrow hips look more round, go for cuts that flow out at the hip. Those with too much hip should instead wear darker colors on the bottom and bright colors with bold prints on top.
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    Find good bottoms. The items that you wear on the bottom of your body, whether it's a skirt or slacks, also conform to a certain set of rules about what makes your body look best. As with all clothing items, the most important rule is to wear something that fits!
    • Flatter your bottom. Rule number one is definitely to wear pants that fit, no matter the but size. If you want yours to look more shapely and you're a person of a lady-like persuasion, go for full shirts (either short or long). Either gender can go jeans with very structured and thick pockets, to create the illusion of shape. For those with a little too much bum, go for dark pants. Many of these same rules apply for flattering your hips.[2]
    • Wear clothes that fit your height. Narrow, thin stripes will make you look taller, so avoid these if you're already towering over your peers. Wider stripes or horizontal stripes, however, will make you look shorter and fatter. Play with either stripe in order to achieve a look that works for you.
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    Find a color palette. Colors can make a huge difference in how we look. Wearing a bad color can make you look washed out and sickly, or draw attention to blemishes in your skin. Good colors can draw attention to your best features and make you look fresh and awake. What colors are good or bad for you, however, depend on a lot of factors but the general rule of thumb is that high contrast is your friend.
    • Warm skin tones (naturally look better in gold): wear colors like reds, yellows, and olive greens.
    • Cool skin tones (naturally look better in silver): wear colors like purples, blues, and teals.
    • Try to highlight your best features. If you have a bright eye color, such as blue or green, where colors that are similar in order to draw that color out.
    • Try to downplay bad features. If your skin is naturally ashy, avoid washed out colors like pastels. If you have blemishes or a red face, avoid reds and pinks, as they will make the problem look worse.

Part 2
Creating a Versatile Wardrobe

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    Choose classic styles. You want to generally make your base wardrobe using pieces of clothing that don't go out of style. This will keep you looking good (you won't be embarrassed 20 years from now, when you look back on pictures with your kids). It will also help you save money and reduce waste. Mix in trendy pieces and swap them out for the newer fads as time passes, but keep the main bulk of your wardrobe classic.
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    Choose your color palette. With your color palette chosen using the advice in the previous section, you're now going to apply that as you create your wardrobe. By keeping all of the colors in your minimalist wardrobe in the same family (warm or cool), you'll be able to ensure that every piece matches with almost every other piece, and they can freely be switched around to create tons of different outfits.
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    Get some tops. A few standard tops can be mixed and matched to work in any season, in any regions. You can also mix and match for more or less formal occasions. This means just a few pieces will get you through almost any given day!
    • Get a few basic tees and tanks. Get tee shirts and tank tops (or other warm-weather shirts) that look good on you. You'll want some in neutral colors and some in more interesting colors.
    • Get some fancy tops. You'll then want to get some fancier shirts. These are the kinds of shirts that you might wear to a nice bar or to a cocktail party. Choose these in sensual or dark colors.
    • Get some basic button-downs. You'll want several pairs of basic button down shirts. Depending on the weather in your area, these can be long or short sleeve, or a mix of the two. Have most in white, but a few can be colored or black.
    • Get some sweaters. Now you'll want some sweaters. How heavy duty these are and how many you get will depend on the weather in your area. Have at least one cardigan (button down sweater) and one full sweater. More than one of each is a good idea, so that you can have one of each in a neutral color and one of each in a brighter color.
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    Get some bottoms. Just like the tops, a few standard bottoms can be mixed and matched to work just about anywhere.
    • Get a few pairs of jeans. Get several pairs of jeans that fit well. At least 3 is a good number, more if you wear jeans every day. Try to err on the side of darker blue jeans with similarly dark seams. This are less prone to going out of style and they make just about everyone look thinner. At least one of these pairs might need to be shorts if your weather gets warm enough to ever need shorts.
    • Get a pair of slacks. Now you'll want a pair or two of slacks. The best bet is one pair of black (thinly pinstriped, if you want to look taller and thinner) slacks and one pair of grey or brown slacks (depending on your chosen color scheme).
    • Get a pair of khakis. You'll also want one pair of khakis. These are useful for weddings and spring or summer events (like Easter gatherings). They're also great for interviews. Khakis are easy to dress up or down, so having one pair will make your life easier.
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    Get some dresses. If you're a guy, just get one suit that fits you well. Girls, however, will probably want a couple of dresses for certain occasions.
    • Get a formal dress. One formal dress, usually a nice cocktail dress in black, will be useful for semi-formal events. With the right jewelry and the right dress, it may even be able to pass for more formal situations, depending on the particulars.
    • Get a day dress. Now get a dress that is more casual but still pretty. This one will be used for both nice summer days but also for events like weddings and garden parties.
    • Get a short dress. If you want to, you can get one short dress. This can be worn over jeans or leggings for a cute look to go to the mall, or it can be worn on it's own to go clubbing.
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    Get some accessories. Accessories are a great area to let your own personality shine through. You can get sunglasses, scarves, hats, purses, watches, and other items that show who you are.
    • Don't forget, ladies, to get some jewelry. Adding fancy jewelry can help make a more casual outfit look super dressed up. Use this to your advantage!
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    Get some shoes. You'll want a few pair of shoes to make sure you're ready for any situation you encounter. Be careful with colored shoes: they can be your friend or your enemy. You just have to get them to match!
    • Get two pairs of casual shoes. Get these in either brown or black/white, depending on the color palette you chose. You can also get them in colors, but be aware that they might now match as well.
    • Get two pairs of formal shoes. Get one pair in either brown or black, depending on the color palette you chose. Get a second pair in a more interesting color or just get more of the brown/black.
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    Mix and match. Now you can mix and match these pieces to get tons of different outfits for different situations. Of course, you will have to supplement with clothes for workouts or lounging, but these should cover most of your "going outside" situations.
    • For example, for a spring/semi-formal outfit, women can wear the day dress, fancy shoes, cardigan as needed, and nice jewelry. Men can wear nice shoes, khakis, and a tee shirt or tank with the cardigan on top.
    • Another example would be a summer/casual outfit. Men can wear jeans, and a tank top or tee with casual shoes. Women can wear the short dress with shorts underneath and casual shoes.
    • Women can wear slacks, the fancy top, and the cardigan on top. Men can wear a button-down top and slacks. Both would wear form shoes and accessories.

Part 3
Getting Extra Advice

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    Get help dressing semi-formal. Semi-formal attire can be confusing, since these days it generally means formal. Basically think of full formal as being ball gowns and your nicest tux (with cuff links!). Semi-formal, then, becomes cocktail dresses and suits with colorful button down shirts (tie optional).
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    Get help dressing business casual. It's business...but it's casual? Seems like it would be a huge contradiction, right? It's not as complex as it sounds. Generally, you take one half of your outfit and make it more casual, while maintaining business attire on the other.
    • For example, jeans, formal shoes, a button down shirt (no tie), and suit jacket.
    • Another example would be wearing formal pants and shoes but a more party-friendly blouse (as long as it's not revealing).
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    Dress for a party. Of course, dressing for a party is a bit complicated. It really depends on what kind of party it is! Know ahead of time whether it's a costume or not. Beyond that, always err on the side of too-formal. Dressing slightly nicer than what you expect everyone else will be dressed as. If you're over-dressed, just say that you so rarely get an excuse to dress nice, you wanted to take the chance.
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    Learn how to dress for a wedding. You can probably guess that it would be in bad form to dress in all black for a wedding, unless you're one of the guys putting on a tux....but beyond that, you're clueless. The best advice is to dress semi-formal and in pastel, happy colors. Woman should avoid going to bright and should never wear mostly white, as this is seen as trying to draw attention away from the bride.
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    Get help dressing for an interview. Dressing like a pro for an interview is one of the most important things you can do to land a job. But how exactly do you dress? Like with a party, it's a good idea to dress just a little bit nicer than is maybe necessary. Dress not like how you would expect to dress in that position, but rather dress how you would expect to if you were going to have your new boss' job.


  • The right kind of store has a couple of characteristics. It has fashionable clothes, in a variety of sizes. It is well lit. It is in a price range that you can afford, although you may not be happy about it.
  • You also need to go to stores that have the kind of clothes you want to buy. If you're not sure, look at the other shoppers in the store. Do you like the way they are dressed? Do they look like the kind of person you'd like people to recognize you as? If not, are you sure you are in the right store?

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Categories: Fashion