Sometimes, as much as you love your outfit, you don't necessarily want to take a photo of yourself —whether it's an #OOTD, mirror shot, or traditional front-camera selfie. That's where the fashion flat lay comes in. Having blown up on Instagram over the past few years, this particular shot is a great way to showcase clothing, shoes, and accessories without actually having to wear them.
Whether two items or seven, all it takes to nail the perfect picture is laying your thoughtful pick of pieces on a flat surface, arranging them nicely, and snapping a photo. Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong. If you've ever attempted to style one of these images, you know it's actually a lot tougher than it looks. That's the funny thing about flat lays: they look totally effortless, but the truth is, everything in the idealistic, aspirational photos you see on your feed was picked and placed just so to create a pleasing-to-the-eye vignette — and often, it takes about 50 bad shots before you get "The One."
For a double-tap-worthy flat lay, we're zooming in on some Insta-stars and breaking the formula down, step-by-step. Click on for 17 tried-and-true tips that will help get you snap the 'gram of your dreams.