1. Gather inspiration—‑from magazines, from friends, from your favorite fantasy stores, from the Internet, or from plain old people-watching. Ideas are everywhere!
2. When it's time to go for that first shopping spree or trip to the salon, bring along someone you trust, and whose taste you admire. She can help you navigate your new look.
3. Before you do anything irreversible (like plastic surgery) or really expensive, sleep on it...for a week!
4. DON'T FALL VICTIM TO TRENDS! "New" doesn't have to mean super-trendy, especially if it doesn't suit you, your life, your body. If you do want to test out a trend, try an inexpensive, “disposable” version: a piece that’s going to last about one season, just like the trend.
5. Above all, remember who you are, and what makes you feel comfortable. Picture yourself in three situations you find yourself in each week. If you can’t imagine wearing your new look in at least two of them, it probably isn’t for you.
Audrey Slater is the fashion director of REDBOOK, where she’s been since November 2003. Her first editorial job, ages and ages ago, was at Ladies’ Home Journal, as Assistant Beauty & Fashion Editor. She has also worked at Glamour as a fashion assistant and freelance stylist, and at Twist, as Fashion Editor, then Style Director, covering both the fashion and beauty beats. She has styled dozens of celebrities and countless real women of every age and shape.
Audrey has also costume-designed four short films, earned her M.F.A. in Fiction Writing from Sarah Lawrence College, and has closets full of clothes she can’t bear to part with in the homes of every one of her living relatives. In January of 2006, she became a mom to daughter Claire Elizabeth--her proudest accomplishment yet. Most recently, she appeared on All My Children opposite Susan Lucci, playing herself. Up next for Audrey: a yard sale.