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A Brief Introduction to Tan France
While some were first introduced to fashion expert Tan France on the Primetime Emmy-nominated Netflix show Queer Eye in 2018, the prolific stylist has been in the fashion and styling business for over 20 years. Before the fashion guru appeared in the hit makeover show reboot along with the rest of “The Fab Five,” co-stars Bobby Berk, Antoni Porowski, Karamo Brown, and Jonathan Van Ness (JVN), he had helped thousands of people find their personal style and find a look that makes them feel like the very best version of themselves. Since the breakout success of Queer Eye, Tan has become one of the most visible, sought-after personal stylists in the world—making history as the first openly gay South Asian man on television. In 2019, he published his memoir, Naturally Tan, which became an instant New York Times bestseller. In 2020, Tan co-hosted the fun and fast-paced 2020 Netflix fashion design competition series, Next in Fashion, with Alexa Chung.
Tan France’s 5 Tips for Accessorizing
You can use accessories to elevate a basic outfit, like a T-shirt and denim jeans. You can jazz up a little black dress with a few pieces from your jewelry box or add a colorful hair accessory to round out a look. You can use accessories to emphasize a neckline or complete a layered look. The right accessories can make all the difference. Check out some fashion tips from style icon Tan France:
- Start with color. Add in color in a very subtle way—choose a colorful handbag, pair of socks, or tie. Next, start layering the colors. Don’t be afraid to experiment with color, but ease into it, especially if you’re accessorizing a work look. Focus on incorporating accessories into your work outfit that are more conservative than gaudy.
- Wear what makes you feel comfortable. When it comes to accessorizing, a popular rule of thumb is that you should take a look in the mirror and remove the last thing you put on, before you leave the house. Tan prefers a less-stringent approach that focuses on whether or not the look makes him feel amazing. For example, if a chunky statement piece like a bangle or a pendant doesn’t make you feel good, remove it. If adding a statement necklace will complete your outfit, then add it. If bangles are too distracting, you can remove them to create a more dressy casual look. Your jewelry can be a point of interest, something you can wear to draw attention to a body part, like your décolletage.
- Belts are for fashion, not function. Now and then, you'll want to jazz up your outfit. A statement belt is a great way to take your outfit to the next level. “If you need the belt to hold up your pants, you've got the wrong pants on. You’re wearing the wrong size. Do not wear it for function, wear it for fashion,” Tan says. If you're the kind of person that likes a black belt with a gold buckle, buy one. If you like silver or want a belt with a pop of color, that also works. A slim belt is also a great accessory to add to your wardrobe. When considering belts, select one that you can wear for years and years. Keep it simple.
- Your footwear is important. A white sneaker will never go out of style—it goes with everything from leather jackets to crop tops to button-ups. Canvas sneakers are also stylish, and you can throw them in the wash when they get dirty. White sneakers are a great everyday shoe for everything from brunch with friends to shopping. Having a pair in your closet means you've always got something casual and comfortable to wear. If you like to wear heels, a nude heel can dress up a casual look. If you prefer to wear flats, a neutral or black tone will go with nearly anything in your closet. For menswear, in addition to the white sneaker, you can’t go wrong with a pair of black shoes like brogues or Oxfords, or a pair of black boots. Select a shoe that you know you'll be able to wear regularly. Don't go for a super pointy or a super square shoe. That's trendy. Rounder shapes are timeless. A brown suede boot is also useful, as you never know when you’ll need to deviate from your standard black shoes.
- Mix metals. If you're looking to accessorize, but you don't know how to incorporate colors into the mix, opt for mixed metals. Mixed metals go with everything. You don't have to wear just one type of metal at a time—mix and match classic gold, silver, bronze, and rose gold. Wear your silver hoop earrings with your gold watch. Wear your bronze necklace with a silver ring. Mixing metals works for any age and any occasion.
Want to Learn More About Unleashing Your Inner Fashionista?
Get a MasterClass Annual Membership and let Tan France be your very own style spirit guide. Queer Eye’s fashion guru spills everything he knows about building a capsule collection, finding a signature look, understanding proportions, and more (including why it’s important to wear underwear to bed)—all in a soothing British accent, no less.