How to “Make it Work” Everyday

[ 3 ] September 28, 2010 |

Whenever I look in my closet, and I’m at a loss of what to wear, I think to myself – WWTGD?

Tim Gunn is the mentor to the designers of the hit television series Project Runway. He’s a key personality in the fashion industry and is famous for giving his educated and honest style opinion.

On the show, Gunn’s favorite phrase for struggling designers is, “Make it work” – meaning do anything and everything to look fabulous.

It’s important to look and feel your best each day, so, as you read further, we’ll give you tips on applying this phrase to your daily life.

So let’s get started. It’s time to make it work!


Clothes that fit and flatter:

It is important to know what works for your body shape. For example, a v-neck sweater may be more flattering on you than a boat neck. If you know what looks best before you go shopping, picking out clothes that work will be easier, and your experience will be much less frustrating.

Also, what looks great on someone else might not look good on you. It’s all about trying different things and being open to change. That top that you immediately dismissed? It might just flatter you perfectly. So try, and try again!

Giving trends a chance:

Trying out new trends is a great idea. Choose one or two of your favorite trends of the season and add them to your wardrobe. It’s easiest to start with accessories such as bags, scarves and shoes. But, if you’re really into a particular trend, buy yourself a statement piece and match it with basics from your wardrobe.

Mixing trends can be tricky, but, if you do it right, it can look very polished and chic. Here’s an example outfit combining two fall 2010 trends - animal print and lace:

From top left to right: ‘Tribute Too 105′ Platform Pumps, $704, Bluefly; Knitted Slouchy Cocoon Jumper, $80, TopShop; Megan Cat Eye Sunglasses, $98, bebe; Plain Jane Satchel, $69.99, Nine West; Legging jeans (True Black Wash), $69.50, Gap; Full Tilt Lace Heart Ring, $3.99, Tilly’s.

Coupons to use before you shop: Gap, bebe, Bluefly, Tilly’s.

Keeping it appropriate for the occasion:

Always remember the taste level of an outfit. You don’t want to show up to a children’s event wearing a low-cut top. We all know where that got Katy Perry

So, it’s important to keep in mind where you’re going and with whom you’re going to be interacting. Always err on the side of caution; if you find yourself questioning the appropriateness of an outfit, skip it. If you’re really not sure, remember this rule: if you’re showing some skin on the bottom, keep it covered on top (and vice versa). When all else fails, just ask an honest friend!


Clothes that don’t fit and flatter:

Frumpy, baggy clothes may be comfortable, but wearing oversized clothing makes you look oversized. That being said, wearing clothes that are too tight will make you look bigger, too.

It’s all about balance and playing up your best features. Don’t be strict about size, either. Take a few sizes in your range to the fitting room to make sure you head home with the perfect fit – not what size you think you should be.

Trying out too many trends at once:

Pulling off a combination of trendy bold prints, fabrics and colors isn’t easy – unless you’re as fashionable as Rachel Zoe or Olivia Palermo. If you insist on trying, keep it understated as seen with the animal print/lace combo above.

When fashion disasters happen…

We try to look our best everyday, but sometimes we’re faced with a “make it work” moment.

For those times, be prepared with a fashion emergency kit. Here are the basic items you should always keep nearby:

These tools will give you what you need to “carry on:”

  1. Double Sided Tape: To hold everything in place.
  2. Clear Nail Polish: To stop a pantyhose run.
  3. Hair Elastics: In case of a bad hair day.
  4. Needle and Thread: To sew on any buttons that pop off.
  5. Bobby Pins: To fix any hair problems.
  6. Safety Pins: For quick fixes.
  7. Scissors: To cut off any loose strings.
  8. Stain Pen: In case of any food accidents.

Do you have any “make it work” tips to share? We’d love to hear ‘em!

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Category: fashion shopping tips

About Shannon: Shannon is a savvy saver and lover of all things fashion and beauty. As a lover of pop-culture, she'll keep you up-to-date on all the hottest news and trends. You can find her tweeting on @FabulousSavings. View author profile.

Comments (3)

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  2. Shayna says:

    You know it.

  3. Cristina says:

    Great tips! And I pretty much checked everything off the fashion emergency kit list… minus the stain pen. Shayna always has one haha!

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