We Asked Celebrity Stylists for Their Top Tips on How to Put Outfits Together

Follow these six simple rules.

<p>Getty Images</p>

Getty Images

If you’ve ever wondered how celebrities manage to get every detail of their outfits just right, whether it’s on the red carpet or when they're spotted out on the street, the answer is most likely that they have a stylist. Behind almost all of your favorite style icons, there’s a fashion wizard known as a celebrity stylist helping to craft their street style and create red-carpet magic. So we spoke to two prominent stylists to get their inside takes on the nuances of celebrity styling and how you can apply their methods to everyday dressing.

Meet Our Expert

  • Britt Theodora is a stylist based in New York City who has worked with clients like Pete Davidson, Elliot Page, and Justine Skye.

  • Roberto Johnson is a stylist and former fashion editor born in Honduras and currently based in New York City.

Both stylists point out that it’s not just a matter of picking clothes. It’s a process of collaboration, vision, and storytelling.

For Theodora, it always starts with the clients. “I love working with people who are so uniquely themselves and who have a vision. I really love working with people who understand what works best for them, but are also open to collaborating.” She describes several of her clients as “visionaries in their own right,” adding, “I just want to elevate that and help them feel and look their best.“ For Robert, he tends to start with a feeling. He might ask questions like, “Who are you today? How are you feeling and what do you want to emote?” Whether he’s styling a campaign, an editorial, or a client, he says he always wants to know the backstory. “From there, it makes my choices so much easier,” he says.

If you're looking to bridge the gap between Hollywood and your own closet, read on for their specific tips on how to create looks that might just add some high-end styling to your everyday wardrobe.

Know Yourself and Your Body

Both Johnson and Theodora stressed the importance of looking at proportions and how they work on different body types. But forget about any so-called rules around what’s “flattering,” and instead focus on what you like and what makes you feel great. “I think the beautiful thing about clothing is that it looks different on everybody,” Johnson says. He points out that even for those of similar heights, their body proportions may differ. That will affect how clothing looks and feels on their bodies. To help his clients figure things out, he advises them to highlight the things they love about their bodies and to focus on dressing that part first.

Similarly, Theodora says she has clients ranging from under 5-foot-3 to over 6-foot-2, and each of them has their own formula for what works for them but might not work for other people. One of the first things she asks her clients is: “What do you hate?” She says that listening to her clients and what they don’t like is a good starting point for figuring out what they’ll like on their own bodies.

<p>Getty Images</p>

Getty Images

Tailor Your Clothes

Yes, tailoring is another cost associated with building your wardrobe, but stylists know it’s so worth it. “It's amazing how slightly altering the items you buy can make such a difference,” says Johnson. “It also feels great knowing something was tailored just for you.”

Play With Color

It can be intimidating to experiment with color when an all-black outfit is just so easy, but Theodora encourages it. “I love color, I love unusual color,” she says. “I’m always going to be an advocate for that.” First, look around for inspiration—and not just at other people’s outfits. She herself gets a lot of inspiration from interiors, citing the Bergdorf Goodman restaurant designed by Kit Kemp as an example of amazing use of color. She also mentioned Gigi Hadid’s knitwear brand Guest in Residence, where cashmere is styled with one sweater wrapped around the shoulder of another one in a totally contrasting color. “It’s such a wonderful way to play with color, especially in the winter months,” she noted.


Here’s an easy trick to steal when putting your own outfits together: When Theodora is thinking about color in outfits, she’ll pull up an actual color wheel on the internet, look at a color she really likes, and then find the complete opposite color on the wheel for a perfect contrast.

Balance Personality and the Basics

Working with a stylist clearly has a lot of advantages, but the goal is never to look overdone. “My clients don’t necessarily want to look ‘styled’ per se,” says Theodora. One of the best ways to do that, she advises, is to pick one major focal piece but keep the rest simple. “If I’m going to do a really interesting, fashionable pair of boots, I’m going to keep the rest low-key,” she advises. Keeping one statement piece as the main draw of an outfit is an easy tip for us all.

<p>John Shearer/Getty Images</p>

John Shearer/Getty Images

Mix It Up With Textures

Another Theodora tip for keeping outfits interesting without going over the top is to consider mixing textures like denim, cashmere, and wool. “Layering those sorts of things always looks really beautiful,” she says, citing Ralph Lauren as a great example of layering colors and textures while still looking super polished. The key, she says, is to not overwhelm while keeping things interesting. “If we’re gonna do a velour tracksuit, I’m gonna tone it down with a cotton t-shirt,” she says. But on the other hand, "If we’re doing denim, is there an interesting belt we can add to elevate the look?” It’s all about that balance.

Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment

Johnson advises that we should all take risks and experiment when it comes to our outfits. “Trends are only born from those brave enough to try something new,” he notes. While social media can be a great tool for finding inspiration and tracking the styles of others you like, Johnson also cautions that it can lead us all into thinking one aesthetic is better than another. The truth is that it’s really individuality that turns heads, so he encourages trying new shapes and silhouettes. “Explore things you like that you might not necessarily wear; you'd be surprised,” Johnson advises. “An outfit only needs to be loved by the person wearing it, and once you tune out the insecurities, you're usually left with a look you absolutely love.” Love that for us all!

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