1. Read fashion/style magazines– Editors at these magazines are at the cutting edge of what’s available now and what’s coming next. They are literally the experts, and the best stuff goes into the magazines. While I don’t feel that all are equally useful, Lucky, Elle and Bazaar are the best (I would stay away from Vogue and W which are high on fashion, low on practicality). I get at least one idea every month from Lucky alone.
  2. Get a manicure– I can’t explain why, but short, painted nails are the perfect accessory. They make an already great outfit better. And if you’re like me and chip your nails just by looking at the wrong, I’m gonna say 3 words that will change your life: OPI Gel Manicure. It has all the benefits of acrylics (no chipping) without any of the cheesiness. Added bonuses: it looks good for weeks at a time, keep cuticles from growing in, and is bone dry (from UV machines) immediately.
  3. Stop matching– This requires the least amount of effort. If it matches, don’t wear it. Instead, try working within a framework of complementation.
  4. Light on the makeup– Fresh faced and natural never goes out of style. A good guideline is just enough makeup to cover and blend imperfections (concealer), make eyes pop (mascara applied conservatively and eyebrow pencil if necessary), and add color to the skin (lightly dusted bronzer and blush).
  5. Get on Gilt– is the pantheon for online designer shopping. New York Magazine recently published an article about Gilt. Apparently at 10am (when all sales for the day start), fashionable offices around New York City are silent as women intensely peruse the merchandise. People take Gilt very seriously. The reason? Top of the line designers (Michael Kors, Vera Wang, Calvin Klein, Donna Karen) so heavily discounted they’re practically free. The downside is that merchandise goes fast, and it’s an oddly competitive experience (you have 10 minutes to decide once something is added to your shopping bag, otherwise it goes back on the ‘floor’.) But, and this is a big but- when you score, you score BIG.
  6. Commit– like everything else, being good at something requires practice, dedication and effort. While I’d like to say that improving your style is effortless, this is not the case. Most of the work necessary is mental: thinking about what you’re gonna wear, how it looks, why it does or doesn’t work. Don’t be lazy. Be inspired!