Carson Kressly’s Guide to Dressing with Confidence—at Any Age

Although most of us can only dream of a full wardrobe makeover from Carson Kressly, we can all benefit from his style savvy. On a recent trip to Toronto, Queer Eye’s original fashion expert sat down with Reader’s Digest Canada to share his top five tips on how to dress with confidence at any age.

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Carson Kressly shares tips on how to dress
Photo: Courtesy Carson Kressly

1. Start with a firm foundation.

“It all starts with your foundation garments. I think every woman has something that she’s not proud of, or that’s a “trouble-spot”—whether it’s real or perceived. You want to take care of that right off the bat. If you feel like you have a bit of a puffy stomach because you’ve just had a baby, get a body-shaper. It’s not a big deal, and you don’t have to wear it every day; only when you want that extra confidence boost. If “the girls” are two different sizes, and you need a pad in one side of your bra, get the right undergarments that make you look and feel fabulous.” – Carson Kressly

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Carson Kressly's wardrobe basics
Photo: ShutterStock

2. Build up the basics.

“The second step is to build up a wardrobe of great basics, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every season—or break the bank, either. Those basics are going to be different for everyone, but no woman should be without a great pair of jeans. We all live in jeans, and you can get amazing denim at any price range, whether it’s Joe Fresh for $25 or couture denim from Dior for $800. You need a great dress, too—something like a black wrap dress, which is season-less. You can wear it in the summer with flats or a strappy sandal; you can wear it in the fall with boots; and you can wear it in the winter with a faux-fur vest overtop of it. It’s going to be a real workhorse piece, and it’s super-easy for busy women: you put it on, and you’re done!” – Carson Kressly

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Denim tips from Carson Kressly
Photo: ShutterStock

3. Don’t hide inside of your clothes.

“No matter what your size, clothes that fit properly and hug your curves are always going to look better than things that try to camouflage. One piece of your ensemble should always be tailored. Whether it’s the top or the bottom, choose one. That will give us an idea of where your curves are and your what your true size is, and you’ll look great.” – Carson Kressly

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Tips for buying outfits from Carson Kressly
Photo: ShutterStock

4. Don’t try to buy whole outfits in a day.

“When it comes to shopping, you either have time or money. If you have a lot of money, you don’t need much time—you can just go to your favourite store and get it all in one stop. For me (and for most women), it’s about taking your time and surveying what’s out there. I don’t expect to go out with a list and come back with every item checked off; instead, I build a wardrobe gradually. When I see a good deal or something that’s one-of-a-kind, I’ll get it.” – Carson Kressly

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Carson Kressly on how to accessorize
Photo: ShutterStock

5. Add statement accessories.

“The final step is to pepper your outfit with accessories and statement pieces—those little touches that speak to the trends of the season and make you feel fresh and new. Shoes and bags are where you can feel good about investing money, because you can get four or five seasons out of them. Sometimes they’re all it takes to put that extra bounce in your step. And that’s the power of clothing.” – Carson Kressly

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