After seeing Emily’s post on how to look ‘runway ready,’ as she put it, or in other words, polish up to take outfit pictures, I was inspired to compile my own list on the same topic. Although this is a hotly pondered topic in the fashion blogging world, it also applies to those few people nowadays who don’t have a blog. This, in my most humble opinion, is a good guide to cleaning up the loose ends in your outfit.

portraiture

DON’Ts

1. Wear sunglasses indoors. When you’re taking an outfit picture in your house before you go out and want to indicate that your outfit also includes a pair of glasses, take your sunnies off of your face and either hold them casually in one hand or slip them onto the front of your shirt (if appropriate). Covering your eyes with them or setting them on your head is amateur.

2. Advertise your wet hair. That’s just tasteless, no one wants to see your soggy locks dampening your probably otherwise perfectly decent outfit. If you’re in a hurry, run the blow-dryer over the fronts of your hair and pin it up with a banana clip: it’ll look sophisticated & runway-esque.

3. Pose with cigarettes or alcohol. No, however great you may look in your photos, you’re not a model and that means that you’re not getting paid to endorse smoking and drinking. It looks contrived and you end up looking desperate.

4. Fasten up your outer-wear all the way. What you’re wearing underneath (unless you’re a flasher) is important also. Leave your coat/jacket open in the front, hang it off your shoulders, or carry it in the crook of your elbow.

5. Hide your shoes under your trousers. Even though skinny jeans are en vogue, people are still wearing wide-leg pants which leaves them at risk for ‘eclipsing’ the shoes they’re wearing and giving the effect of having no feet at all, and seriously, who wants to look like they have no feet? Bear in mind that skinny jeans are still a risk factor.

6. Wear flip-flops. I know this is a popular VICE commandment and I just have to agree. It shouldn’t take too much effort for you to put on real shoes, now, should it.

7. Have a hairband on your wrist. I know I often fall victim to this one rookie error, but I’ve realized it make so much of a difference and makes you look polished if you don’t have bobby-pins clipped to your collar or a hair-tie on your arm, you don’t want people to think that you have a ‘back-up plan’ for your hair or whatever.

DOs

1. Keep your sock situation in order. Keep your little socks hidden and your long socks unbunched. If they’re too thick to fit in your shoes, they’re not supposed to go there in the first place.

2. Dress weather-appropriately. When it’s August and you’re wearing a fur hat and a scarf because it looks great with some jacket, you know you’re going to end up taking off some of the add-ons. Posting this as an outfit you’re wearing is only half-true because you only really wore part of it. Plus, wouldn’t you rather be comfortable?

3. Pay attention to non-clothing aspects of your ‘look’. For example, keep your nails trimmed and painted (clear gloss or colour), skin healthy, and teeth clean.

4. Explore the versatility of each garment individually. Look at what you are wearing right now. Do you see how much you could do with it? Even a simple blazer or oxford shirt has innumerable ways of wearing the lengths of the sleeves, your trousers could be cuffed inwards or outwards, your shirt tucked in or out. Don’t go overboard with the combos but don’t neglect the alternative possibilities.

5. Play with accessories, but don’t go overboard. Moderation is the key element, so pick a statement piece like a bold necklace that will complement your neckline or a notable bracelet for exposed wrists.

6. Be bold and shy away from the nude lip. Red lipstick has been one of the key elements of high-fashion for decades, so why is it suddenly fading away in favor of clear gloss? Fight the norm and go with a red or even orange lip colour.

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