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We know the difference between Valentino and Vetements. We can spot a fake Birkin from a mile away. But, as we’ve recently realized, some of our most tried-and-true fashion tips have come from our friends, family, coworkers and random women on the subway. Here, nine of the best fashion and style tips we’ve ever heard.

RELATED: The 10 Best Beauty Tips We’ve Ever Heard

woman wearing slingback heels and black gucci bag
Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

Spend on Staples, Save on Trends

Trends come and go, but a timeless bag or coat is forever. In other words, go ahead and test out sock booties, just try not to spend an entire paycheck doing so. 

RELATED: 19 Investment Bags That Will Never Go Out of Style

woman wearing cream wrap dress and black loafers
Timur Emek/Getty Images

When in Doubt, Go Fancier

This one’s pretty simple, but it's better to be overdressed than underdressed. If you’re not sure whether everyone else will be wearing jeans or ball gowns, err on the side of dressy.

woman wearing fringe skirt and floral booties
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Test Trends with Accessories

You saw a supremely stylish woman rocking head-to-toe florals and you loved the look, but you’re wary to go all in. Test it out little by little (via boots, handbags or jewelry) before committing to actual clothing.

woman wearing black sweatshirt blue jeans and red caot
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Always Add a Third Element

Here’s the deal: If your pants and a top qualify as a first and second element, a third jazzes things up and makes the final look more interesting. For example, if you’re wearing jeans and a sweater, top it off with a fun coat, a statement bag or a pair of showstopping shoes. It’s a super-simple way to spice up a basic outfit.

woman wearing ponytail diamond earrings and sunglasses
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

No One Will Know Your Diamond Studs Are Cubic Zirconia

OK, if you can splurge on the real thing, go forth and sparkle. But it really isn’t the end of the world if your studs are—gasp—fake. Plus, on the off chance you lose one, you’ll feel a lot better if they cost 50 bucks as opposed to hundreds.

woman wearing midi skirt and black booties
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Pair Flats with Short Hemlines and Heels with Anything Longer

Not sure what shoes to wear with your skirts and dresses? Here’s our rule of thumb: Wear flats when the skirt hits above your knee, and heels with longer hemlines. You can, of course, make exceptions, but in general, these proportions will keep you looking polished without erring trashy (short skirt) or dowdy (long).

woman wearing long camel coat and purple loafers
Timur Emek/Getty Images

Remove THE ’X’ FROM Coats and Blazers

Psst...You know the little "X" that’s stitched in the back of blazers, jackets and coats? Did you know you’re supposed to cut it off when you take your topper home from the store? Well, you are. Snip before wearing to avoid a faux pas.

laundy basket on bathroom sink
Twenty20

Read Washing and Drying Instructions

Cleaning instructions are on your clothes for a reason—they matter. Sure, sending clothes to the dry cleaner or hand washing (or drying) them can be a hassle, but ruining your favorite jeans or cashmere sweater is worse.

woman wearing leopard skirt orange sweater and black leather jacket
Christian Vierig/Getty Images

Leopard Is a Neutral

Consider it a swap for solid black, white, navy, blush or camel. It goes with everything, from bright hues and metallics to other (subtle) prints. A stylish no-brainer.

RELATED: The Shy Gal’s Guide to Wearing Bold Prints

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