Clothing Tips

Read these 41 Clothing Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Beautify tips and hundreds of other topics.

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How can I tell which hem length is best for me?

Skirt length

Hems should not hit at the widest part of your calf. Go longer or shorter for the most attractive look.

   
How should I get my wardrobe ready for the new season?

Closet Inventory

To do a closet inventory, sort through and try on outfits, identifying which items need repair, alterations, updated accessories, etc. Make a list of any new items and accessories you'll need to complete your wardrobe for the season.

   
How can I make myself appear taller and slimmer?

Slimming Colors

Wearing solid, dark colors from head to toe will slim and elongate the body. Avoid horizontal stripes that would broaden your figure.

   
How snugly should my jacket fit across my bustline?

Jacket too tight

If your jacket gaps when buttoned it's too tight!

   
How can I avoid a closet full of shopping "mistakes?"

Shopping for Bargains

If a garment does not fit well or harmonize with your personal color scheme it's not a bargain.

   
What fabric should I look for in a summer suit?

Linen for Summer

Linen is a super cool summer fabric since it absorbs moisture and dries incredibly fast.

   
What is the best skirt length?

Best Skirt Length

Skirt length should never hit at the widest part of calves - either above or below.

   
How can I emphasize my small bustline?

Visually enlarge

You can visually enlarge an area with bright, light colors.

   
What should I avoid when buying a jacket?

Jacket hemlines

Jacket hemlines should never stop at the widest part of the hips or thighs.

   
Which style swimsuit should I wear for my wedge figure?

Best Swimsuit for Wedge Figures

If your shoulders are broader than your hips, you will look best in halter-style swimsuits with bust support, bi-color suits and blouson styles. Avoid skirted suits, ruffles at the bust and strapless or skimpy tops wihtout support.

   
How should I care for my linen suit?

Linen Care

Linen can be hand-washed in Woolite and lukewarm water. Iron linen when wet.

   
What should I wear when I go shopping?

What to wear

Wear hosiery and removable shoulder pads when you shop for versatility when trying on clothes.

   
How can I de-emphasize a rear that is too flat?

Rear Too Flat

You can de-emphasize a rear that is too flat by wearing a tunic top and avoiding rear pockets on skirts and slacks.

   
Is it ok to dry-clean my favorite cotton shirt?

Cotton

Cotton is the ideal fabric for summer. It's comfortable, affordable, washable, durable, absorbent and great looking. Avoid dry-cleaning cottons since they tend to get dingy in the process.

   
When is a bargain not a bargain?

Consider all costs

Consider the cost of having a garment altered or tailored. Additional costs can sometimes add up to more than a garment is worth.

   
How can I update an old jacket?

Update buttons

Give any outfit a fresh new look just by changing the buttons. You'll be surprised that such a small change can give your clothes a well needed face lift.

   
How should I organize my closet?

Closet Organization

Organize your closet by color and then by piece. Separate suits into "jacket" and "skirts" categories for more versatility in creating outfits.

   
How do I determine good fit in a jacket?

Jacket Fit

Jackets should allow ample room in the shoulders, back and sleeves. Arms should be able to move and bend comfortably.

   
Where should shoulder seams fall?

Shoulder Seams

Shoulder seams should extend 1/4 to 1/2 inch over the natural shoulder line unless the garment is cut with an intentional dropped shoulder.

   
Should I store my silk suit in a protective plastic bag?

Silk Needs to Breathe

Take silks out of their plastic bags when they've come back from the cleaners. They need to breathe.

   
How should I store my sweaters?

Sweater Storage

To store sweaters: 1) Lay sweater flat to smooth out wrinkles. 2) Fold in half - shoulder to shoulder - aligning sleeves and the bottom of the sweater. 3) Place a plastic hanger (uncoated wire hangers may cause creases) at the armpit. 4) Drape the sleeves and body of the sweater over the hanger, like a shawl, to prevent shoulders from pulling out of shape.

   
Can I wear black fishnet hose to a black-tie event?

Holiday Hosiery

For evening, sheer black hosiery is appropriate. Fishnet hose are NOT appropriate for formal events.

   
What colors should I wear for fall?

Fall Fashion Colors

Black is the color of the season, but other hot fashion colors are camel, caramel, shades of red ranging from fuschia to oxblood.

   
How can I easily update my wardrobe?

Update for the Season

Update your wardrobe by adding one of the season's hottest pieces.

   
What can I do for a spot on silk until I can get to the cleaners?

Spot Care on Silk

Apply cold water to spot immediately if possible. Try to keep the stain damp until you can get it to the cleaners.

   
What steps should I take to clean out my closet?

Closet Clean-out

When cleaning out your closet, sort all items into three categories: 1) items that flatter your figure and items in your best colors, 2) items that you never feel good wearing and garments that can't be altered to fit, 3) not your most flattering but which you feel can be adapted by adding scarves, etc. Make a shopping list of items to add to #1 & #3...get rid of #2.

   
How can I get the most out of my holiday fashion purchases?

Holiday Colors

To get the most out of your holiday fashion purchases, choose red or black. They are THE colors of the season.

   
Should I buy a long evening dress for holiday parties?

Holiday Hemlines

For the most versatility, choose short cocktail dresses or pantsuits for holiday parties.

   
Should I limit wearing silk to formal occasions?

Silk

Silk is the most luxurious natural fiber. It is sophisticated and feminine without looking overdressed.

   
How do I start the process of building my wardrobe?

Core Wardrobe First

Shop for your core wardrobe first then fill in with coordinating items and accessories.

   
How should I care for my silk blouses?

Silk Care

Many silks must be dry cleaned, but crepe de chines and shantungs can be hand washed using baby shampoo. Machine dry on delicate cycle at cool temperature. When garment is slightly damp, shake out and hang on padded hanger.

   
Which swimsuit style should I wear for my hourglass figure?

Best Swimsuit for Hourglass Figures

Hourglass figures look best in swimsuits with highcut legs and asymmetrical or diagonal lines. Avoid strapless styles and low-cut legs.

   
Should I wear shoulder pads?

Shoulder pads

Shoulder pads are out!! The 80's are over, thank goodness. Some suits still have shoulder pads sewn in, therefore, you'll want to choose suits with smaller, rounded more natural looking shoulder pads. Ladies, there's no need to look like a linebacker.

   
Which fabrics should I look for when shopping?

Fabric Savvy

The best fabric blends for clothing are 70% natural and 30% synthetic; much easier wear and care. The exception would be 100% polyester blouses. The good ones look and feel like silk and are easy to care for.

   
How can I look 10 lbs thinner?

Look 10 lbs. thinner!

To look 10 pounds thinner, peg your skirts. Pegging means tapering the side seams of the skirt to follow the outline of the body.

   
Which fabrics should I look for when shopping for a garment?

Year-round fabrics

Year-round fabrics like wool, crepe, rayon, rayon blends, wool gabardine, cotton and polyester add greater versatility to your wardrobe.

   
Should I choose 100% linen or a blend?

Linen Blends

Linen is the one fabric where a blend is better than 100% linen. Blends give the look of linen without the wrinkles.

   
How can I get the most from my wardrobe?

Core Wardrobing with just 9 pieces

You can actually put together 20 outfits using these nine pieces: 2 suits with matching blouses, a neutral jacket or cardigan, a neutral skirt of pair of pants, a neutral blouse. For more versatility, build wardrobe around 2 primary colors, 2 neutral colors and 2 accent colors.

   
Which swimsuit style should I wear from my rectangle figure?

Best Swimsuit for Rectangle Figure

If your weight is evenly distributed with few curves, the best swimsuit for you has wrapped and twisted panels, shirring or gathering at the bust and hips, and contrasting color or detailing at the bust. Avoid skimpy bikinis, boxy tanks and vertical patterns.

   
What is the best jacket length?

Jacket Hemlines

Jacket hemlines should stop above or below the widest part of hips or thighs.

   
Which swimsuit should I wear from my triangle figure?

Best Swimsuit for Triangle Figures

If you have pear-shaped proportions, you will look best in a one-piece swimsuit with light colors on top and darker colors on bottom, ruffles or a draped bust and wide-set straps. Avoid low-cut legs, v-necks and halter styles.

   
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Guru Spotlight
Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.