by: Andrea Frascione

Clothes allow you to see yourself in a different light. They can transform you instantly and have a very real, visceral impact. Clothes become symbolic of who we are. – Stacy London 

Contrary to what many of us think, confidence does not solely belong to those who appear outwardly confident. Like many other things in life, appearing confident is something that can be learned, cultivated and improved upon day by day as we live through new and challenging experiences. And like anything else, planning, preparation and knowledge are essential to becoming confident: the more we polish our look, playing that part becomes easy. It manifests itself inwardly, instilling in us actual self-confidence over time.

That’s why, amid the flurry of “dressed-to-unimpress” television stars out there, Stacy is the light, offering up wisdom from years of transforming young women’s looks – and lives. Her new show on TLC, Love, Lust or Run, is the culmination of a career spent honing her craft, which reaches far beyond styling her clients physically: she changes the way they feel about themselves.

Through her decade of work on What Not to Wear, she instilled confidence and fostered self-respect in her guests, while ensuring that they stayed true to themselves and allowed their unique personalities to shine through. She engages her guests and viewers in awkward conversations about those parts of our bodies that we tend to reveal a little too much. “The girls”, as she calls them, are often a hot topic on her shows!

Stacy’s philosophy is simple: wearing clothing that is appropriate, flattering and fits your body type is always stylish, beautiful and relatively easy to achieve. Understanding our body’s unique curves (or sometimes, lack thereof) can take time, so don’t worry if it isn’t a talent you can master right away. The important thing is to recognize your value as a human being and that the message you communicate through your fashion choices will either carry you through or impede your progress in life.

Here are some of Stacy’s simple rules:

  • Wear prints according to your shape: if you’re bigger on top, wear pattern on the bottom instead. This will create the illusion of a proportioned figure.
  • Shape is key: use a belt to create a waist if there isn’t one already built into the garment’s design.
  • Layering: not only adds interest to an outfit, but is also practical when going from a day to night time look.
  • Metallics: are neutrals, just like grey and beige, and can be paired together or with other colours…in moderation.
  • Of course, most of Stacy’s television segments feature extremes – people who often require ‘make-unders’. But many of her observations hold true for the average woman. Helping us all to understand the impact of fashion personally and professionally, Stacy is like that caring, loveable and pushy aunt we sometimes need to yell at us to get us going in the right direction!

    Bio: Stacy London was born in New York, studied 20th century philosophy and German literature at Vassar College and got her start in the fashion industry by interning in the Christian Dior PR department in Paris, France. She is the founder of Style for Hire and has published two books, having co-written several others and also regularly writes and edits for a variety of fashion magazines. (Photo reference: