Timothy M. Gunn is an American fashion consultant and television personality. He was a department chair at Parsons the New School for Design from August 2000. He joined Liz Claiborne on March 2007 as its chief creative officer. He is an on-air mentor to designers on the reality television program Project Runway.
His popularity on Project Runway led to his spin-off show, Bravo's Tim Gunn's Guide to Style, a reality show in which he gives advice to the fashion-challenged.
Here are Tim Gunn’s lists of wardrobe must-haves:
Little Black Dress
TIM SAYS "When I'm asked, 'What's the one wardrobe must-have?' this is it. It's unbeatable."
HOW TO WEAR IT Wear it during the day with a jewel-toned cardigan and flats and accessorize it at night with a statement necklace and strappy heels.
TIM SAYS "This is the one item of outerwear that looks as appropriate at the grocery store as it does at the opera. Furthermore, it's crying out to be personalized. Yes, the khaki belted trench is, indeed, a classic. But if it suits you, then why not try a shrunken version in red patent?"
HOW TO WEAR IT The right trench can be worn with anything. Pull it over your little black dress for a night out or layer it over your T-shirt and jeans on the weekend.
PHILIPPINE VERSION A long trench like this is not suitable in the country’s humid climate. Look for one that is shorter. But if you can pull of wearing a long trench, why not?
Classic Dress Pants
TIM SAYS "Whether in black, navy, charcoal or chocolate, a wool or silk pant that falls straight from the widest part of your hip is a wardrobe must. It can be worn with a chic blouse or a cashmere sweater, and by adding a blazer you can wear this look anywhere."
HOW TO WEAR IT For the perfect night out pair a flowy silk or chiffon top with bright, high heels.
TIM SAYS "This is a skirt that you can dress up with a blazer or dress down with a denim jacket. The hem should be no longer than the bottom of your kneecap and no shorter than just above the knee."
HOW TO WEAR IT Dress it up with a tailored shirt or turtleneck or keep it casual with a t-shirt. Think about the skirt that looks best on your body and offers more options in your wardrobe.
TIM SAYS "No single item of apparel dresses up a look better than a blazer. You're doing Saturday catch-up at the office in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, when your boss calls to thank you with an invitation to lunch. Can you think of a better save?"
HOW TO WEAR IT Pull it over a feminine blouse and perfect-fit jeans for the weekend or a textured skirt for work.
Classic White Shirt
WHY IT WORKS "Whether paired with dress pants, a skirt, or jeans, this item is always polished and sophisticated. Just be mindful of the proper clothing maintenance!"
HOW TO WEAR IT Pair it with the other classics in your wardrobe like your versatile skirt or cashmere sweater for a clean polished look.
TIM SAYS "This is by definition a sportswear look, not a cocktail alternative. My style favorites are the classic shift (thank you, Michelle Obama), the never-fail shirt-dress, and the wrap (thank you DVF!)."
HOW TO WEAR IT Pair it with a statement necklace and basic pumps. Go for color with your shoes if the dress is a solid color, but stick with brown or black if the dress is printed.
TIM SAYS "This is the only clothing item to which I attribute a "luxury" textile, because cashmere has become very affordable and can last years in one's wardrobe if properly maintained. It can be a cardigan, v-neck, or turtleneck, but please be mindful of crews—very unflattering on many."
HOW TO WEAR IT Layer it with anything from your perfect-fit jeans and a classic white shirt to a versatile skirt.
TIM SAYS "Why is it so difficult to find the right fit in denim? I find that the most universally forgiving style is a dark wash (this offers more versatility, such as going out at night) with a lower rise (fit your hips, not your waist), and that falls straight from the widest part of the hip. But in any case, TRY IT ON!"
HOW TO WEAR IT The perfect jeans are flattering and work with all your wardrobe staples like a t-shirt and blazer for the weekend or a flowy blouse and sparkly jewelry for a night out.
Alternative to the Sweatsuit
TIM SAYS "This isn't gym-wear; it's a walking the dog outfit that's easy, feels comfortable, and looks great. It can be jeans and a crisp white tee and a cashmere cardigan or a cotton jersey day dress. It's whatever suits your lifestyle and says 'casual' with sophistication."
HOW TO WEAR IT Never wear a tracksuit or velour sweat suit (not even on the plane or at the gym). If you need a comfortable outfit try leggings with a detailed t-shirt, interesting hoodie and casual flats.
WHY IT WORKS "Indulge occasionally in a $20 something or other."
HOW TO WEAR IT Don't go overboard with trendy items. Pick one to spice up a classic outfit.