In Nina Garcia's new book, Look Book: What to Wear for Every Occasion, out now, Marie Claire's fashion director outlines what to wear to every imaginable occasion. Here, she shares her rules to live — and dress — by.
Always prepare for the unexpected.
Many of my friends and colleagues are in the public eye, so they have to pay close attention to what they wear. But every woman needs to stay on her toes in this era of cell-phone cameras and Facebook. When in doubt about your look for an errand extravaganza, ask yourself, If someone takes a photo of me, will I be OK with it hitting the Internet? If the answer is no, then redo your look.
When dressing for dramatic effect, do something surprising.
Don't be afraid to mix things up by pairing a military-style jacket with a velvet skirt, vintage with modern, off-the-rack with couture, formal with casual. If you wear all black, add striking color with shoes or a bib necklace. Try to create an unusual silhouette with high-waisted, narrow trousers and a blousy top, or loose trousers with a fitted top and a bolero. As always, work with your figure; draping, pleats, and proportion can work miracles when it comes to hiding flaws and enhancing assets.
Style is like a muscle: You have to exercise it regularly or you'll lose it.
Working from home or going on maternity leave is no excuse to let go of your look. The more you schlep around in drawstring pants and tees, the less you're going to be able to pull yourself together when necessary. Likewise, the more you walk out of the house feeling like a cool million bucks, the more you are going to want to get out and make an impression. Think about dressing up, even for days spent around the house.