20 Style Moves Only Fashion People "Get"

Everyone who wears clothes knows the basic function of garments: To protect your body and to keep you from being naked. Those who understand fashion take it a step further: Clothes can elongate and slim down, and make you look "cuter" and "sexier." But, those who understand style go somewhere else altogether: The real point of clothes is to look as interesting and creative as you are interesting and creative (which is to say, a whole lot).
So, the next time people attempt to throw shade at your new (vintage) overalls because they think they make you look like The Old Man and the Sea's Santiago — if Santiago lived in the Bronx in 1993 and had a side gig as a sushi chef? Well — you know what level they're on. Ahead, find 20 style moves that have nothing to do with "flattering shapes" or "cute combinations," but are — for some of you — your tried-and-true go-tos that help you give your outfits that magical next-level something.
1 of 20
Photo: Joe Schildhorn/BFA.
Style Move: Wearing gold with silver (and bronze, and metallic green, and...) at the same time
Fashion Insider: Chioma Nnadi
What's Hard To "Get": Wearing a silver necklace with gold earrings might feel wrong, but that's why it's so much fun to do. Go for broke with your metallics, and wear head-to-toe shimmer.
2 of 20
Photo: Joe Schildhorn /BFA.
Style Move: The "unsexy" minidress
Fashion Insider: Aimee Song
What's Hard To "Get": It's an unofficial rule among fashion insiders: Out of the four big assets in night-out dressing — tight, short, shiny, and low-cut — you pick one or two, never more than that. For Song, short and shiny are the two (but also, cute, quirky, and perfectly accessorized).
3 of 20
Photo: Neil Rasmus/BFA.
Style Move: Not layering from smallest to largest
Fashion Insider: Leandra Medine
What's Hard To "Get": Most people wear their shortest, slimmest layer on the bottom and then build outward, but that really limits your opportunities for getting weird. Here, Medine flips the script by wearing a long shirtdress unbuttoned from the waist, semi-tucked into a pair of black skinnies, and peeking out from underneath an oversized blazer.
4 of 20
Photo: Joe Schildhorn /BFA.
Style Move: "Ruining" the leg with a sock
Fashion Insider: Kate Foley
What's Hard To "Get": One of the most foolproof ways to ensure that your leg looks long and lean is to keep your ankle exposed by wearing a shoe with a low profile. But, if you throw a pair of black ankle socks on to make it more schoolgirl? Forget model legs — we like ours to look more like Marni legs.
5 of 20
Photo: Joe Schildhorn /BFA.
Style Move: The toy handbag
Fashion Insider: Alexa Chung
What's Hard To "Get": If non-fashion folks can't tell whether you got your evening clutch at Barneys or Babies"R"Us, that's not necessarily a bad thing. There's nothing better for taking the stuffiness out of a formal evening than a bag everyone wants to pet.
6 of 20
Photo: Madison/BFA.
Style Move: Going almost monochrome
Fashion Insider: Cleo Wade
What's Hard To "Get": By now, it's no big thing to pull off a head-to-toe all-black look, but most people still stand by the idea that the blacks need to match. For fashion people, not matching is the whole point. Here, different shades (and textures!) of copper become a totally compelling medley that extends even to Wade's hair and makeup.
7 of 20
Photo: Aria Isadora/BFA.
Style Move: The intentional boo-boo
Fashion Insider: Lauren Santo Domingo
What's Hard To "Get": Why ruin a turtleneck sweater by cutting a hole out on the shoulder? Well — your version of ruin is our version of upgrading. Embrace the mistake!
8 of 20
Photo: Joe Schildhorn /BFA.
Style Move: Not sticking with one "statement" piece
Fashion Insider: Shiona Turini
What's Hard To "Get": There's an assumption that if you're going to wear a statement piece, you should wear it by itself. One loud skirt. One wild print. One crazy coat. Or, you could just turn all the burners on at once, and show that your closet consists entirely of special pieces...because why wouldn't it be?
9 of 20
Photo: Sam Deitch/BFA.
Style Move: Not doing up the buttons correctly
Fashion Insider: Olivia Palermo
What's Hard To "Get": The most creative that folks typically get with buttoning their shirts is to do them up all the way, or wear them totally unbuttoned as a cardigan. For fashion folks, the options are endless. Wear just the top buttoned, à la Alex Wang Spring '14, or unbutton the bottom to show off a stunning pair of shorts.
10 of 20
Photo: Billy Farrell/BFA.
Style Move: Covering up a body-con dress
Fashion Insider: Langley Fox
What's Hard To "Get": When you choose to wear something short and tight, it might seem counterintuitive to cover it up with a fitted blazer or oversized cardigan. But, opting for a juxtaposition actually helps highlight just how slick that dress really is — it's less obvious at first, but way more interesting.
11 of 20
Photo: Joe Schildhorn /BFA.
Style Move: Going for full matchy-match
Fashion Insider: Caitlin Fitzgerald
What's Hard To "Get": The furthest most people will go for full-on matching is a suit, but we think the possibilities for coordinating outfits are super-high. The matching set from last year became a huge trend, and we'd love to see things like the matching leather shirt-skirt suit, the matching silk formal pjs, and the matching patterned modern leisure suit take hold.
12 of 20
Photo: Sam Deitch/BFA.
Style Move: Wearing the "wrong" shoes with gowns
Fashion Insider: Zanna Roberts Rassi
What's Hard To "Get": If you're wearing a dress that's fancy or fussier than your typical fare, it's normal to reach for a shoe that's fancier (and pinchier), too. But, fashion girls will just as often go for a sneaker or boot to stand out from the crowd. Plus, making the skirt of your dress go whoosh is a whole lot easier when you can actually stand in your shoes.
13 of 20
Photo: Leandro Justen/BFA.
Style Move: Leaving your coat on all night
Fashion Insider: Shala Monroque
What's Hard To "Get": Coat check is usually stop #1 for most people, but if you're as thrilled with your topper as you are with what's going on underneath, you might want to keep it on all night long. Perfect for party-hoppers, this trick also gives you a reason to actually take the plunge on a truly special piece of outerwear.
14 of 20
Photo: Joe Schildhorn/BFA.
Style Move: Cruella-style faux fur
Fashion Insider: Kaelen Haworth
What's Hard To "Get": When it comes to faux fur, we're of the opinion that the bigger, weirder, faux-ier it looks, the better. A Pepto-colored coat or two-toned stole is cartoonish, in a good way.
15 of 20
Photo: Neil Rasmus/BFA.
Style Move: Dad pants
Fashion Insider: Laura Love
What's Hard To "Get": Pants that have a high rise and a slightly baggy leg are the most repulsive things around to some. To us, they're cool in a Lauren Hutton sort of way. Plus, you can get away with wearing your wackiest crop tops and high, high heels that otherwise wouldn't work.
16 of 20
Photo: Billy Farrell/BFA.
Style Move: Embracing the sack dress
Fashion Insider: Margot
What's Hard To "Get": The sack dress is usually the punchline to a joke about bad fashion, but leave it to us to take up the challenge. In fact, an oversized sack dress that doesn't cling or hug your body can be a dramatic statement. Wear it like Margot — by making sure your sleeves are on the slimmer side, and pairing it with modern, structured accessories.
17 of 20
Photo: Neil Rasmus/BFA.
Style Move: Forgetting that underwear is supposed to go on the inside
Fashion Insider: Danielle Prescod
What's Hard To "Get": One of the first things you learned about getting dressed (aside from "the bunny goes around the tree and then through the hole," back when you learned to tie your shoelaces) was that your underwear should always go inside your clothes. But, when your bralettes and bustiers are so pretty, it's a shame to keep them just to yourself.
18 of 20
Photo: Billy Farrell/BFA.
Style Move: Showing off your skin in a long-sleeved dress
Fashion Insider: Athena Calderone
What's Hard To "Get": Usually, cutouts and slits are reserved for dresses that are already on the sexier side. But, a long-sleeved frock with peekaboos feels off-kilter in a compelling way, and alluring, too.
19 of 20
Photo: Matteo Prandoni/BFA.
Style Move: Creating your own theme party
Fashion Insider: Sofia Sanchez Barrenechea
What's Hard To "Get": The invite might say "black tie," but that's no reason you can't interpret that as "Frida Kahlo meets Yayoi Kusama." Don't worry — as long as you're wearing it with confidence, others will also understand that you're not wearing an outfit. You're in a look.
20 of 20
Photo:Joe Schildhorn /BFA.
Style Move: Confusing the seasons
Fashion Insider: Brandee Brown
What's Hard To "Get": Wearing spring prints in winter or fall tweeds in summer can seem totally off, but those who know fashion know that there should always be an element of fantasy. A tropical crop top when most people have already swapped in their knit turtlenecks? Yes, please.

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