As a style editor, I'm often asked by women how they can dress more like the starlets they see gracing the red carpet and fashion magazines. I have a surprise to reveal: Most celebrities don't have perfect figures; rather they understand a few key secrets behind the art of dressing. Clothing is one of the most basic ways to create illusion and allure. Elegance can be overlooked (Snooki, Fergie, and Ke$ha) or carefully honed (Gwyneth Paltrow, Reece Witherspoon, and Kate Middleton). With these few tricks, you too can look and feel your best for all of life's occasions:
Play up your assets. Highlight what you love about your figure and downplay problem areas (celebrities have them too). If you have toned legs, like Jennifer Aniston, wear a short-cut dress with bold shoes to draw attention to your lower half. If you have strong facial features, take a tip from the late Elizabeth Taylor, who was a master at directing the focus upward by wearing daring jewelry. If you're like Michelle Obama and have strong, beautiful arms, wear what's become her signature: a sleeveless dress. Uncover what's uniquely lovely about yourself and craft your outfit in a way that shows it off. If you have several assets, pick one aspect to highlight per outfit.
Befriend a tailor. Even celebrities don't always fit sample sizes and so opt for clothing made specifically to fit their bodies. Any haute couture designer can tell you that made-to-measure clothing is a woman's best friend. Most women can't afford to have their attire made especially to fit their shape, but the majority can find and use a fantastic tailor in their neighborhood. A good tailor can transform your wardrobe. I've been surprised by what a little nip and tuck, fabric-wise, can do. Choose pieces off the rack that are a bit large and have your tailor take them in to fit like a glove. This is particularly helpful if you're not perfectly proportioned. For example, I have wide shoulders, long arms, and a petite rib cage. When something fits my shoulders and arms it tends to be baggy in the middle. My tailor brings in the bodice of most of my pieces for a custom fit. Don't be afraid to ask your tailor help you find the best fit for your shape.
Be elegant, not trendy. Just because something's a fad doesn't mean you should wear it! Tights are not pants, and even if the cool kids are wearing them it doesn't necessarily mean you should follow suit (even if you happen to have the body of Kim Kardashian). Choose elegant, timeless pieces that leave a bit to the imagination. Many young women don't understand the subtle power of mystery. Intrigue is one of the sexiest looks imaginable. When in doubt, go for simple classics. No woman has ever gone wrong in a well-fitting shift or wrap dress.
Achieving true celebrity style demands that the wearer exude confidence, something no designer dress will ever produce. Most importantly, a smile is a woman's best asset and should be worn liberally and unabashedly.
Now get out there and amaze the paparazzi, especially if the paparazzo is your lover snapping photos of you on a smart phone.