1. Never wear something that doesn’t feel true to you in the hopes of pleasing someone else.
2. …Unless it’s your friend’s wedding day and you’re the maid of honor, in which case, this day is more about your friend than your magenta taffeta living nightmare.
3. Buy a crop top if you want to try out a crop top. Buy a miniskirt if you feel like wearing a miniskirt. But never let someone shame you into thinking that you don’t have the “right” body for whatever article of clothing you want to wear.
4. Always keep an outfit paired together in your closet in case that interview of your dreams comes knocking tomorrow.
5. And have at least one underwear set that makes you feel equal parts sexy, supported, capable, put together, and able to kick anyone’s butt at anything.
6. Those sweatpants that have seen more pints of ice cream than anyone should ever admit? Never throw them out. Ever.
7. Don’t keep yourself from buying something nice if you have no place to wear it. Find a reason to wear it. Clothes can help prepare you for the direction you want your life to take.
8. Never apologize for being overdressed. (Unless, of course, you’re trying to hike in high heels.)
9. Never try to change anyone else’s style — if you buy something for them, it’s under the pretense that you think they’d like it, not that you think it’s better for them.
10. Once a year, go through your closet and donate anything you haven’t worn in a few months. Don’t try to replace these pieces, but see if you can function with a smaller, more edited wardrobe. (You can.)
11. Ask yourself if you can think up three different outfits to go with whatever piece you’re contemplating buying. If you can’t, put it back on the rack for now.
12. Until every clothing brand comes together and decides on one universal sizing metric, the tag in the back of your jeans is meaningless. Ignore it. Cut it out if the number bugs you so much.
13. When in doubt, black on black on black.
14. How to earn the right to wear white jeans, or a bikini, or a backless dress, or anything else you might ever want to wear: decide you want to wear it. The end.
15. Always remember that people will care that you put time and effort into your appearance. The right people will not care about how much money you put in along with that time and effort.
16. When someone lets you know they like something you’re wearing, tell them where you got it. Even if it was from Forever 21 and you feel like one of “those assholes” by breezily saying, “oh, this old thing?” Don’t be stingy with style — chances are it’ll look completely different on them than it does on you.
17. Always try on that one thing you have reservations about. It doesn’t hurt to prove yourself right, and if you’re wrong, well, chances are good that thing that you think looks so godawful on the hanger is going to look phenomenal on your body.
18. Have one thing (a signature scent or color, a ring, a favorite pair of shoes, a tattoo, a shade of lipstick — literally whatever works for you) to ground you on days when you feel like you need that extra oomph. Lucky charms aren’t silly. Sometimes, they’re the boost you need.
19. If you don’t already, every once in a while, venture into the men’s and children’s departments. You never know what you might find, and love.
20. If you’re not the kind of woman who wants to wear a white wedding dress, don’t wear one. If you’re the kind of woman who wants to look like a princess, get the biggest Cinderella dress you can. Sometimes, you just have to look exactly how you want to look.
21. And at least one day a month, stay in, kick off your pants, and dance around to whatever your favorite song of the moment is. Let everything — muscle, skin, fat, whatever you’re working with – jiggle and wiggle around, because no matter how you dress it up, being confident in every bit of your body that you’re given is the best thing you could ever wear.