Rules To Live By Fashion

The Best Fashion Tips of 2023 From J. Smith-Cameron, Rachel Tashjian, and Other Style Icons

Fashion is more than just a collection of trends; it's a universal language that speaks volumes about how we see the world and how we want to be seen. In this special feature, we've gathered the crème de la crème of the fashion world—from best-dressed-list habitués like curator Kimberly Drew to industry insiders like PR guru Gia Kuan—to share their rules for living a stylish life. Read on for tips and tricks, gathered over the course of the year, that offer a window into the art of personal style. 

Portrait of Rachel Tashjian by Zoe Chait.

Rachel Tashjian, writer

“Never forget to develop an unhealthy obsession with a single designer, refuse to wear anything but their clothes for several years, enmesh your entire identity with the symbolism and semantics of their runway output, and then abruptly change your mind and move onto something else.”

Portrait of Helena Tejedor by Léon Prost.

Helena Tejedor, stylist

“Always wear nice lingerie, even if it’s underneath a hoodie. The key to feeling your best is dressing for yourself, not for others.”

Portrait of Kimberly Drew by Oluwaseye Olusa and courtesy of Drew.

Kimberly Drew, curator

“Always have a bag big enough to fit a protein bar. It’s actually such a New York thing.”

Portrait of Elena Mottola by Melissa de Araujo and courtesy of Mottola.

Elena Mottola, stylist

“Combine the uncombinable, but always stay chic.”

Images courtesy of Gia Kuan.

Gia Kuan, founder of PR firm Gia Kuan Consulting

“Never be a follower, period.”

Portrait of Jamian Juliano-Villani by Zoe Chait.

Jamian Juliano-Villani, artist

“Always combine black and navy.”

Portrait of J. Smith-Cameron by Stephanie Diani. Image courtesy of Smith-Cameron.

J. Smith-Cameron, actor

“Never ever get on an airplane without a sweater, and preferably a lap robe. Air travel costs a fortune and is bad for the environment, but on top of that, they keep you and your dinner frozen.”

Portrait of Lynette Nylander by Sophie Fabbri.

Lynette Nylander, editor

“Always believe in the power of poor taste! I don’t want anything too glitzy with no chaser. I consider myself a lover of the dichotomy of high and low. Vintage Saint Laurent dress to visit the dosa guy in Washington Square Park—perfect! Monkey Bar, then Drag Race reruns after—ideal! My new one: I dream of de Gournay wallpaper to frame the thrifted photo I got for no money.”

Photography by Adali Schell and courtesy of Emmanuel Olunkwa.

Emmanuel Olunkwa, editor and designer

“I dress for people who are in conversation with themselves, people who are self-possessed. I don't wake up being like, 'Oh my God, I want to walk out of my house and have someone compliment me.' I dress to execute an idea and then feel comfortable.”

A woman leaning against a wall next to a sculpture.
Portrait of Lizzie Grover Rad by Brad Torchia.

Lizzie Grover Rad, designer

“The information that you're giving off in the way that you're dressed is how we subconsciously read people. It's incredibly important in terms of how people interpret you.”

Image courtesy of Brock Colyar.

Brock Colyar, writer

“If you’re going to paint your nails, at least keep up with them. I always have a perfect manicure. I don’t remember the last time I stepped out in public without my nails done. I feel naked without them.”