Gearing up for his new show, "Closet Cases," to air on the Fine Living Network in April, America's favorite "Style Guy" Lloyd Boston is ready to clean your closet out. Giving women fashionable tips on how to renew, reuse and lose what is not need in their wardrobe, ESSENCE.com reached out to Boston to help us keep our style tight and looking right in 2009.
ESSENCE.COM: Many women struggle with dressing for their body type. How does one get the right look for their shape and size?
LLOYD BOSTON: We all have one body part that we love the most—so why not let it shine? Embrace and accentuate your best asset(s), and hide the areas that might need some hiding. And of course, we all know darker colors have a slimming effect. What's more, buy the size that fits, not the size you hope to be. Smart, stylish women know that you are a different size in almost every label. So pay NO attention to the numbers. They might trip you up.
ESSENCE.COM: What are your top three fashion faux paus?
BOSTON: Over-accessorizing; wearing trends that don't work for your body style; and dressing closer to your size rather than your age
ESSENCE.COM: How do you still look fabulous, yet still feel comfortable?
BOSTON: Feeling comfortable with your look is extremely important. Make sure you're wearing the correct size, for squeezing into a too-small but fabulous dress won't look or make you feel great, so remember to choose your look with your true size in mind. Also, choosing loose, beachy themes like Bohemian Coast (big white shirt, white jeans, tan driving moc) for any spring season is always fit, flatter, and forgive.
ESSENCE.COM: What stylish rules do you live by?
BOSTON: Confidence in yourself and your style is—and always will be—your signature look. Embrace the classics, and pepper in trends.
ESSENCE.COM: In your opinion, what does it take to look fabulous at the office? What corporate attire do you feel will be must-haves in 2009?
BOSTON: Looking great at the office is important, especially in a corporate environment. Try adding a chic scarf in a fun color to spice up your pant or skirt suit. I love the long, gauzy, Bohemian scarves by Love Notes. A not-so-high heel is best, but a great pair of patent flats can work just as well these days. This year, the blazer will make a triumphant return, but in a more relaxed, slouchier way than in the past. Think pushed-up sleeves and a bit oversized.
ESSENCE.COM: Your style philosophy is less is more. Describe what a "less is more" outfit looks like?
BOSTON: A classic example of a "less is more" look is a perfect-fitting little black dress, a great pair of pumps, and beautiful, simple jewelry, and weather permitting, a chic knee-length trench coat in a pop color. Using restraint adds so much elegance, when most women think junking up a look is the way to go. I believe it is the opposite.
ESSENCE.COM: In this current economic climate, what tips do you have for women looking to update their look without spending too much?
BOSTON: Try shopping in your own closet! Many women think they need to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe in order to update their look, when a trip to their own closet might surprise them. Take note of great pieces you already own, and invest in a few key items to give your look a boost for the new year. Buy only what you really need. An easy way to mix up your look is to dress in reverse. Start with a belt, shoe, or earring to inspire the rest of your outfit.
ESSENCE.COM: What does it take to be on trend without looking like you tired too hard?
BOSTON: Following new trends can be fun, but not always the best idea to try them all at the same time. For instance, this spring's headgear trend won't work for everyone. Experiment with new trends, but keep your own sense of style. I say skip the trend if you are nervous or unsure about it working for you. Pick one and try it around close friends and family for a loving reveal—and honesty.