If there's someone out there who knows what will make or break a wardrobe better than Tim Gunn, we want to meet him or her.
Known, most popularly, for his role as a host of Project Runway and Bravo's Tim Gunn's Guide To Style, Gunn has quickly become a mentor to wannabe designers and fashionistas the world over.
And now he's dolling out advice on how we, the "common" folk, can increase the sartorial savviness of our wardrobe in his new book Tim Gunn's Fashion Bible.
"It's rare that people think about what their own clothes signify about their place in the world or their priorities. Clothes are self-expression," says Gunn. "If you have a limited range of outfits -- say, only capri pants and T-shirts -- it's as though you have a limited range of words in your vocabulary."
The book is full of common sense advice on how to dress your best -- from what belt works for your body shape to how to know if your pants fit. Gunn also gives -- what we think is -- one of the best retrospectives of the history of fashion (because you can't know why you're wearing what you are unless you know where it came from).
One of our favourite parts of the book is an appendix at the back where Gunn walks us through culling our closet to ensure it's filled with only the brightest and best pieces. The questions he gives are meant to help readers analyze their wardrobe and style.
"Does anything in your closet need to be cleaned, ironed or mended? If so, take it off the hanger and put it in a pile to launder or tend to. No use keeping it in plain sight until it's actually something you can wear!"
What are the 10 things you should be doing/buying/tossing now to ensure your wardrobe and style stay smart? Read on to find out.
"How are your sweaters doing? Are any of them stretched out? Never put a knit on a hanger. That's a quick way to ruin a sweater. Do you have enough sweaters for the winter? Cardigans? Pullovers? What could you use more of?"
"Are you a handbag cultist? You do know that you don't need to spend tons of money on a purse, right? Good. Now, do you have a large bag for day that meets all your needs and a small bag for night for keys, lipstick and whatever else you need? Men, do you have a messenger bag, tote or briefcase? Then you're all set."
"Do you have shoes to match every dress or suit in your closet? If you have a brown dress and no brown or other matching shoes, why do you still have that brown dress?"
"Throw out or mend all your ratty, pilled, holey socks and tights. Do you have socks or tights that match all your shoes? Meaning: white socks for white sneakers, black socks for black dress shoes, black tights for black heels to be worn with dresses?"
"Do you have a dress to wear to a funeral? To a wedding? To a business interview? Do you have shoes and purses to match every dress? Do you have anything on a hanger that is getting stretched out? Jersey dresses need to be folded. Which of your dresses are day? Night? Day to night?"
"Do you have pants for all your suits? Do you prefer cuffs or no cuffs, pleats or no pleats? Does the waistline fall in the right place for you? Does anything need to be let out or taken in?"
Coats And Jackets
"You know I am not a fan of fur, so we won't talk about that here. Do you have a trench with a removable lining? That's really all you need, unless you live in a cold climate, in which case, do you have a warm-enough coat?"
Ties And Scarves
"Do you have at least one tie? Think of funerals! Even if you don't want to consider the possibility that you might have to attend one at some point, you have to be sartorially prepared for these things. Have you considered a pocket square?"
"Get rid of all the jeans that don't fit you. What do all your jeans look like on? Do they show off too much when you bend over? If so, could this be fixed by a belt or a leotard-like undershirt? Consider investing in some flattering dark-wash jeans if you don't already have some."
"Throw away all the T-shirts you have that are falling apart or stained. If it's really special to you, put it in storage. Of the remaining shirts, which ones fit you well in the shoulders, bust and waist. What size are you? What is the best neckline for you? What is the best length? Get some simple cotton T-shirts of whatever style looks best on your and consider wearing them as undershirts (under jackets or button-down shirts) more often than on their own."