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Tan France’s 9 Tips for Dressing With Style

Written by MasterClass

Last updated: Nov 9, 2020 • 4 min read

MasterClass Video Lessons

Tan France Teaches Style for Everyone

Queer Eye star and master personal stylist Tan France shares some simple, reliable fashion advice.



Tan France Teaches Style for EveryoneTan France Teaches Style for Everyone

Queer Eye cohost Tan France breaks down the principles of great style, from building a capsule wardrobe to looking pulled together every day.

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Tan France’s 9 Tips for Dressing With Style

Next time you step into your favorite boutique's dressing room or visit a new online shopping site, keep Tan France’s fashion tips in mind.

  1. Know yourself and follow your own rules. “A basic style rule is learn who you are or who you want to be,” Tan says. “I wanna be able to look at myself and know I'm representing who I am completely.” Adhering to your personal style allows you to resist fashion trends and instead select your own aesthetic. Sometimes the best fashion advice is to follow your own intuition.
  2. Keep it classic. Some trends stand the test of time and remain stylish for years—like a great suit, button-up, white T-shirt, pair of jeans, or loafer. When shopping for new clothes, Tan encourages you to ask yourself, "Could I see myself wearing that in 15 years?" If you think you might look back in a few years and find your clothes laughable, then it probably isn't the look for you.
  3. Create a capsule wardrobe. “A capsule wardrobe is a collection of pieces that work together with versatility where you can create look after look after look,” Tan says. These wardrobe essentials serve as the building blocks of your closet. You can create entire outfits with just the capsule wardrobe, and you can also layer capsule pieces with seasonal pieces and trendy, fast-fashion items. The clothing you want in your capsule wardrobe includes outerwear, button-up shirts, knitwear, T-shirts, denim, belts, and a black suit or black dress.
  4. Put thought into your hairstyle. Tan's iconic hairdo is one of his most identifiable features, but it doesn't come easy. He has his routine down pat—he washes every day, uses a pre-styling spray, blows it out and up with a round brush, then applies argan oil and a pomade to hold it in place. And, most important, he owns it fully. If you’re on a journey to figure out your own signature hairstyle, take into account your hair texture and face shape, your lifestyle, and your personal style.
  5. Dress for your proportions. “Learn your proportions before you even start to click online for something you might be looking for,” Tan says. He stresses the importance of knowing your body type in order to choose new clothing that is most flattering for you.
  6. Tailor your way to perfection. “The key to looking refined and sophisticated on a budget is choosing the right clothing and having it tailored to perfection,” Tan says. If you go to a high-end tailor with celebrity clientele, it will probably still be pricey, but it's a misconception that good tailors are always expensive. Your local tailor or dry cleaner can make minor adjustments for a few dollars, guaranteeing that your clothing fits you perfectly.
  7. Use texture to spruce up your outfit. "Go for options that you haven't worn before, but are very similar to the silhouettes you already own," Tan says. "You're just changing out the fabric, so it's still very much your outfit." For example, instead of a cotton button-down shirt you could wear a linen button-down. One of Tan's favorite items in his capsule wardrobe is his moto leather jacket. Layering a leather jacket on top of a cotton shirt is a simple way to add texture to your look. When it comes to leather, Tan emphasizes that your leather items don't have to be real; some of the biggest designers in the world use faux leather, and it's still just as chic.
  8. Shop creatively within your budget. "A common misconception is that you can't find decent clothes at supermarkets," Tan says. "You could not be more wrong." The key is to be selective about your outfit ideas. Decide in advance what type of style you want to achieve, and shop specifically for those items. For Tan, as long as an item of clothing makes you look and feel good, it doesn't matter if it cost $9 instead of $270.
  9. Embrace new colors. According to Tan, the color wheel is one of the best tools at your disposal for choosing colors to add to your wardrobe. Analogous colors are next to each other on the color wheel and share a common hue. When incorporating new colors into your wardrobe, find a color that's still in your comfort zone—for example, light blue. On the color wheel, blue falls between teal and blue-violet. If you feel comfortable with light blue, add on a teal or blue-violet for a subtle, two-color palette. Complementary colors are opposite each other on the color wheel and can make for a beautiful power clash: Think fuchsia and chartreuse, or burgundy and forest green. When you make bold color choices, both colors stand out.

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.

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