Five helpful hints from Rachel Roy’s new book ‘Design Your Life’

April 25, 2016

At first blush, fashion designer Rachel Roy’s book, "Design Your Life: Creating Success Through Personal Style" (Dey Street Books, $26.99), which hit bookstores March 15, feels like another in a long line of motivational "dream it and you can do it" self-help guides — the kind that suggest getting where you want in life begins with dressing like you’re already there.

While there is some of that here (one of Roy’s suggestions, for example, involves creating a "vision board" full of images that speak to you), it’s mostly confined to the first chapter, where the author lays out how what she chooses to wear affects not just her self-esteem but also the energy she puts out into the universe.

The remainder of the 199-page book is crammed with helpful — and specific — tips, tricks and wardrobe hacks for women to use as they build a closet full of clothes (or maximize the one they already have) on the way to becoming the best version of themselves.

Here are five of our favorites:

1. Consider the cost perwear: Roy suggests that potential big-ticket purchases be evaluated by dividing the price tag by the number of expected wearings. "There are no right-or-wrong answers," she writes. "(Y)ou have to decide for yourself ahead of time what makes sense for your budget, your lifestyle and your wardrobe."

2. Balance is best: Whether you’re thinking about mixing patterns, applying makeup, sporting logo-wear or showing a little skin, keeping things in check is a good rule of thumb. "(If) you’re showing off your legs, keep it covered on top, and vice versa. Too much is simply that."

3. Tap a tailor: In Roy’s estimation, a skilled tailor is the secret weapon behind a perfect-fitting pair of off-the-rack pants. She writes: "You’ll look, and more important, you’ll feel your best knowing that material has been altered to hug you in the most flattering way possible." (And, for women who want trousers with a more traditional menswear silhouette, she suggests buying actual menswear — which is less expensive — and have them tailored to fit.)

4. Buy a blazer: "I will play favorites," Roy writes about the value of a well-tailored blazer. "It is one of the most important items in a woman’s closet." She describes it as a timeless piece that "can transform any outfit, wardrobe, and overall aesthetic."

5. Take along a turtleneck: To get more mileage out of a strapless dress, Roy suggests wearing it with a thin, tight turtleneck underneath. "It tones down most strapless dresses and makes them instantly more work appropriate," she writes, adding that once the workday is in the rearview mirror "the strapless dress can easily be transformed by simply removing the turtleneck and swapping accessories."



McClatchy Tribune Information Services