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Design & Style

Tan France’s 9 Tips for Finding Your Personal Style

Written by MasterClass

Last updated: Sep 21, 2020 • 5 min read

MasterClass Video Lessons

Tan France Teaches Style for Everyone

Style is not one-size-fits-all. It's something that you develop, and that is something very personal. It’s not about picking the hottest fashion trends or buying T-shirts and skinny jeans that cost a lot of money—your sense of style is about wearing something you’re comfortable in that reflects who you are and makes you feel like your best self.

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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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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 9 Tips for Finding Your Style

If you want to find your own unique style, world-class fashion stylist Tan France has some tips you can use to figure out your own personal look:

  1. Look to those you admire. If you have no idea of where you truly want to go with your personal style, you need to pull in your most basic resources: your family and friends. Who do you admire at home? Who do you admire at work? What are they wearing that makes you think they look nice? Does your cousin pull off floral prints in a way you like? Do you have a friend that can make leggings look good with everything? Use that as a reference point. You don't have to go for a certain genre. You don't have to replicate a celebrity’s look. Everybody has somebody in their life that they look to and think, "They look nice.”
  2. Search online. Use your search engine to find your aesthetic. If you are a man, key in men's style. If you're a woman, key in women's style. If you're non-binary, then key in non-binary style. There are many options available to you. Start to click through those and ask yourself, "Could that be me? Does that feel like me? Would I like to feel like that person?" You don’t have to pick the most trendy, latest fashion styles, but you should choose things that will make you feel like you.
  3. Reference public figures. Pick out a few celebrities or influencers with styles that you admire. Look at what they’re wearing. Think about who they are when they're not in the spotlight. See what they are posting as their outfit of the day. Start to use that as your reference point when you're piecing together your own style.
  4. Look to the runway. Runway shows are a great resource for inspiration—but you don’t need to worry about buying those designer pieces. The looks that are put together on the runway are not ready to wear. They are runway looks. There is a separate collection that designers produce that is called "ready to wear." What you see on a runway is something that will help build the brand, and encourage people to see the beauty and art of that brand. It is not necessarily suggesting you wear it in this way.
  5. Use everyday life. When looking for inspiration for your own style, you don’t have to focus on fashion. You can pull inspiration from botanicals, art, the ocean, or birds. Let your surroundings inspire your style. To find your personal style, you just have to be open to trying new things and possess a real passion for changing the way you look. You're taking this journey to find your true style. Set an agenda.
  6. Create a mood board. Start screenshotting or pinning pictures of different styles to create a mood board of the aesthetic you want to achieve. If you think you might be into boho-chic trends or an even more easy-going, laid-back style personality, collect images, look for themes, and narrow down your options to pinpoint your look. You can create multiple boards for different seasons or trends you want to try.
  7. Take risks. You can have good style without taking risks. However, if you want to be a standout with your style, you have to take some risks. Start slow, and integrate smaller fashion risks into your attire. Play with accessories first. Add in color in a very subtle way, like to your handbag, socks, or ties. Work with different color palettes. Add a color that ties into your shirt and your bag. Ease into these risks.
  8. Take inspiration. There is a big difference between copying someone’s style and pulling inspiration from someone’s style. Copying is literally taking on someone else's aesthetic. You're never going to feel like you if you dress as somebody else. Instead, take inspiration from their look. Is it a vibe or a mood that they've gone for that you can incorporate into your style? Be inspired. Don't copy.
  9. Bring your style everywhere. You do not have to limit your style to meet the dress code for your corporate office job. There are ways of incorporating your style into your office look. You can change everything from your choice of shoe, the fit of your suit, the fit of your shirt, or the length of your dress to reflect your personal style. Incorporate your own classic style into your work dress code.
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Want to Learn More About Unleashing Your Inner Fashionista?

Get a MasterClass All-Access Pass 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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