Let’s All Play: Style Advice in a Sentence!

I have read a dozen or two fashion and style books, countless articles, and a bajillion blog pages about style philosophy. I’ve created a highly valuable file on my PC with scraps of accumulated wisdom – you know, things I wish I’d said – about style.

I don’t have credits for many of these jottings, as they’re often done in the wee hours. I do have a grateful heart for all the witty writers and thinkers. Perhaps some of you reading this blog now are the very authors I am quoting here – thank you! And please don’t sic your attorneys on me.

Here are a few of my favorite mantras about style. It’s my fond hope that you will add some in the comments, and we’ll have a lovely collection. These can be any style-related sentence (one sentence only) that inspires you, clears your head, keeps you on the good path, or just makes you smile.

  • Your closet is a toolbox, not a junk drawer.
  • Wear your best clothes every day.
  • “Good enough” is not good enough.
  • Go outside in pajamas, and you’ll run into every ex you have. –Tim Gunn 
  • Buy less and choose well. –Vivienne Westwood
  • Corollary: Less can be more.
  • One is never over-dressed or under-dressed with a Little Black Dress. – Karl Lagerfeld
  • When in doubt, reach for the black tee and sunglasses (that’s my own!).
  • Darling, you don’t need that – you have enough already. –Halston

Over to you – do you have some advice to share? I love to hear from you!

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  1. I always like the philosophy that you should look at yourself before you leave the house, and take one piece of jewellery off, or maybe a scarf or something. this is good advice. I think it is Coco Chanel's. 

  2. As my dear friend Marqueta says, "Life is too short to dress ugly."


  3. Hi Patti,

    I love this post.  I also have a fashion mantra if you will.  It's from Oprah herself.  She said on one of her shows something to the effect of, "Whether it's men or [shopping for] shoes. . .Doubt means don't."  I've passed along this "Doubt means don't" advice to my teen daughter as well.  It's saved us lots of money and prevents (although not entirely) having a closet with items that remain unworn because they were "liked" and not "loved" when purchased. 

    ~ Robyn at Robyn's Nest

  4. I could add a hundred different ones from my beloved La Gunn, but here's just one: 
    “Ask yourself, ‘Am I wearing the clothes or are the clothes wearing me?’ If the answer is the latter, then you’re in the costume trap.”

  5. I don't know if this is owned by someone already, but I always tell myself that "just because it's in fashion, doesn't mean it works for you". I don't need to buy everything that is on trend just because it's on trend. I buy whatever I think works for me. That's all I can say! I am not really a fashion expert as well. hahaha… I can't go out of the house though without fixing my so out of shape brows and a bit of bronzer or blush and lip balm. 🙂

  6. "If you can't hide it-Decorate it"
    "All black doesn't make you look thinner-you just look big and black"
    "The words "juicy" really shouldn't be on anyone's butt"

    And my number one-
    "Will this outfit make me wind up a post on PeopleofWalmart.com??"

  7. At a time when I was struggling with image during my "raising kids" years, I came to the conclusion that looking funny was better than looking frumpy.  Big round glasses, wild hair etc.  Don't know if this could be considered advice or just…funny.

  8. Oops!!!  In the first sentence I meant, "the point ISN'T you can't afford a Coach but can afford a Birkin…"  Sorry; my typo above makes my argument rather stupid.  🙂

  9. Besides your on-point list and the comments of others, "I cannot afford to buy cheaply." — Genevieve Antoine Dariaux

    The point is that you can't afford a Coach bag but can buy a Birkin.  The point is to buy the best you can afford in each category and eschew the cheap imitations that fall apart quickly due to poor material and construction.  Better to have one gorgeous black dress that fits you and wears like iron and is appropriate in a 1,000 different circumstances, even though it costs $$$, than a closetful of cheap items that never quite hit the mark.  It takes a lifetime to curate a working wardrobe that is based on quality, your personality, your life circumstances, etc. It cannot be had for $9.99 each season.  

    But isn't that the fun of it?

  10. My grandmother's quote, "You'll never regret looking your best."  Does anyone know if Grandma was quoting someone else?  -Marci

  11. Dress better than the boss!  (It gives me confidence).

    Don't buy it unless you absolutely LOVE it!

  12. Patti you outdid yourself with this great post! Here is my advice 'Nothing is unwearable,you just have to style it the right way'

  13. Less IS more!  And that Tim Gunn quote is so funny. 

    Can't think of anything original of my own–but I do not personally believe that French women have the corner on style.  

  14. I used to reach for the black tee when we had black dogs.  Our boxers that we now have shed all over everything black so now I wear white tees instead!  I still use the sunglasses though.  LOL  These are all such fabulous quotes!!

  15. Great post! My advice is to always just be yourself when it comes to fashion and just because it's trendy doesn't mean it works for you, and that's ok!  Heather

  16. It is difficult to add anything here…so great quotes and comments!  I would love to run into the Fashion Booth…it would be a fun outing!!  I guess what I would add is: We are born to be strong, dignified, fun, and fabulous…let's dress as if we  believe it!

  17. How about 'Leggings are not Pants' – ok that is a little facetious but true non the less 🙂  I think most of the advice here is absolute gold.  I would add "Don't take yourself too seriously".  I think more people need to be brave and bold 🙂

  18. I wiil quote Helga Von Trollop – it goes something like this
    A day without dressing up is a day wasted!

    I have joined Visible Monday – yes i am a little late, sorry!

  19. I can actually agree only with the second sentence. it does not make sense to have beautifull dresses hanging only in the closet, never seeing the light.
    my share to your collection of sentences: no matter what you are wearing, always be yourself. for me that means i can combine an old jeans with an silk blouse or a lace dress with lace-up boots, the main thing is feeling good with my look.

  20. Always put your best foot forward.

    Skimp on trends, spend on good quality footwear!

    Wear what makes you feel fabulous!

    Being stylish is ignoring the trends and wearing what suits you – with flair!

    Sheila (Ephemera)

  21. Just had to pop in because the idea of street-booth style advice is kind of hilarious. It never fails that the one time you forget or can't do something for your appearance is when people come out of the woodwork. I was at the farmer's market one day when a stylist approached me and said that she could help me learn how to style my curly hair better. I found it very embarassing and started making excuses – my shoulder was immobilized, unable to use styling products, etc – when I really should have said no thank you and moved on. I guess I was already feeling kind of upset about my hair because I hadn't been able to do anything with it for a while.
    Anyway I don't have any constructive one-sentence advice to share. My mom always said "you have to suffer to be beautiful" but she was being entirely facetious, and even as a child I understood this. Although she placed value on presenting a professional appearance, "pretty" and "beautiful" were not things that were important in our house.

  22. Never leave the house without checking yourself in a  full length mirror.
    Always wear some lipstick to light up your face.
    Dress to impress even if you are running errands….

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