Published by: Julia
Learn from Tan France how to choose clothes that fit and make you look your best. Tan is the genius behind the style transformations of the Queer Eye show.
About your instructor Tan France
Tan France has had a passion for fashion all of his life. At the age of 7, he visited his grandfather´s denim factory and whiled away many a happy hour trying on all the different clothes. It was this that first made him realize that clothes could have a transformational effect.
He learned to sew at the age of 9 and worked in his grandfather´s denim factory in his early teens. So it was only natural for him to study fashion.
When he graduated he worked first as a designer for the European clothing retailers Zara, Selfridges and Bershka. Then for Chanel where his interest in becoming a stylist first developed.
He moved to America and founded several successful fashion labels. Including, Kingdom & State and two smaller brands. That clothing was bought and sold by ModCloth and Forever 21. Later, he co-founded Rachel Parcell Inc. A few years ago, he sold all of his businesses and was planning to start a family with his husband.
But, that all changed when Netflix invited him to co-host Queer Eye – a fashion-themed reality show which saw Tan and 4 other experts transforming the wardrobes of ordinary people. It turned out to be the start of a prolific TV career.
Style is for everyone
Tan starts his course out by addressing some of the reasons people feel that style is not for them. I know this sounds a bit weird. You would think that everyone would want to look their best. In reality, that is not the case. Many of us are too shy to want to stand out, even in a good way.
We worry about coming across as a bit of a wallflower, or if you are a straight man as gay. Others want to dress stylishly but feel that they cannot afford to do so. Tan addresses all of these thought patterns and dispels any worries or fears you may have.
Styling rules that work for everyone and how to break them
Anyone can look good – provided they follow the simple style rules that Tan outlines in this online fashion Masterclass. In this section, Tan explains what they are and teaches you how to identify what your proportions are.
He also explains that sometimes you need to experiment, which weirdly means breaking some of the rules. I know that this does not make sense, but when you watch the course everything will become clear.
Here is an overview of the style rules that Tan French shares with his students.
- Dress for your proportions
- Know who you are
- Don´t follow trends unless you actually like them
- Let go of the archaic rules that no longer apply
- Let go of internal rules – e.g that is not modest, my skin tone is wrong for that color
- Learn to self edit your wardrobe
- Let go of dressing your age
- Keep it classic
By the way, don´t worry about the fact that Tan does not go into detail about things like how to understand what your proportions are. He covers all of this, later in the course.
How to build a capsule wardrobe
Most people assume that to stand any chance of looking good they need a huge wardrobe. In reality, this is not the case.
I was a bit worried his focus would be on men, this is not the case. Plus, as he said, the basic rules apply whether you are male, female or non-binary.
His tip about including a suit in your collection even if you do not need to wear one for work was particularly good. His take on belts made a great deal of sense. As did his view that certain fabrics never go out of fashion. I liked the fact that he encouraged people to buy clothes that they could wear for many, many years.
It was great to see him using his capsule wardrobe to demonstrate the men´s. I honestly think any man would feel comfortable with the base garments that he picked out.
I had not realized that a capsule wardrobe is just a base. They are go-to garments that you can wear forever, but that is not all you should be wearing. Each year, you swap in a few items to bring everything up to date.
How to create different looks using your capsule wardrobe
This lesson was packed full of great strategies and tips that anyone can use. In particular, the section that shows you the many different ways to split up and wear a suit. I went out and added one back into my wardrobe after watching this.
Style is for literally every person. If you are not a nudist, style is for you.Tan France – Fashion Masterclass
How to develop your style
Now, Tan shows you how to take things one step further and add to your capsule wardrobe to develop your style. Tan´s tip to use people around you that you think look good as inspiration is a good one.
There is a big difference between being inspired by someone and copying someone. Being inspired is taking on someone else´s aesthetic. You are never going to feel like you are you if you are dressed as somebody else.Tan France – Masterclass Stylist
I also found the idea of creating a mood board for yourself to be an unusual suggestion, but one that I can see working for many people. Collecting images of looks that you like is a good way to narrow down what it is that you really like. If virtually every image incorporates someone wearing denim with a formal shirt, that means you really like that combination. So, incorporate that into your wardrobe.
Getting the fit right
This is where Tan covers the importance of recognizing what your proportions are and dressing accordingly. He does this by looking at the body in two halves – top and bottom. His advice is straightforward and easy to understand.
He also covers the subject of tailoring. Starting by dealing with the myth that getting something to fit means using an expensive tailoring service.
Understanding and using color
I am guilty of not wearing a lot of colors. So, I did the assignment that is included in this lesson. Then found it surprisingly easy to add some fairly bright items to my wardrobe. His tip to simply try different shades of the colors you are already wearing to gradually ease yourself out of your comfort zone and mix things up a bit is a good one.
Knowing that I can take someone from feeling so low to looking at themselves in the mirror to feeling confident, is amazing.Tan France – Teaches Style for Everyone Masterclass
Experimenting with prints and textures
Tan has a lovely warm way about him and manages to incorporate a little humor into this course. His plaid joke made me smile as well as teaching me a lesson about prints and textures.
- What are the classic prints?
- How to mix prints without them clashing
- Change up your wardrobe using texture
- Experiment with mixing your textures
- Using leather and suede as a base
The right way to shop for clothes
Initially, I could not see the point of this lesson, so nearly skipped over it. I am really glad I didn´t because I learned a lot.
In particular about how to shop online, which is something I find hard to do. Around 50% of what I buy that way ends up being given to the charity shop with the tags still on them. So, I found Tan´s online clothes buying tips to be invaluable.
He explained how to quickly edit down the options. As well as how to get past the sizing issue many people struggle with when buying online.
Refreshingly, he also explains how to shop at the mall or on the High Street. As well as shopping in discount stores and supermarkets for clothes.
Oddly, buried in this lesson was how to buy a pair of jeans.
How to keep your style fresh
We all get in a rut when it comes to what we wear. This leaves us looking dated. Or, worse, continuing to wear clothes that no longer suit us. In this section of the course, Tan shows you how to ensure that does not happen to you. He explains how to do the following :
- Review the way you dress often enough
- Resist the temptaion to automatically follow the latest trends, even if they do not really work for you
- Continue to experiment
- Learn how to adapt what you already own to change things up
How to enhance your look using body language
The way you dress is only half the story. You need to learn to exude confidence. Simple things like standing up straight can make a huge difference.
Who is Tan France´s how to dress masterclass for?
I really enjoyed this masterclass and learned a massive amount from it. This is not really surprising because I have never seen any of his shows. And quite frankly I am a terrible dresser. If you are anything like me you will learn a lot. It inspired me to go out and buy some new clothes.
However, if you already dress well or are a fashion student you are not likely to pick up many new tips. But, in all likelihood, you will still enjoy taking the course. Tan is a really good presenter and he covers a lot of ground in a short period. Plus, it never hurts to be reminded of the basics.
If you are a fan of Tan and his shows this course is a must. It gives you the chance to learn more about Tan and his life. What makes him tick and how he lives. You also get to look behind the scenes of the Queer Eye show.
Tan France´s fashion Masterclass PDF
Every Masterclass includes a workbook in the form of a PDF. Tan´s was really good, I enjoyed reading it as a standalone book. It was bright, colorful, well laid out and best of all briefly outlined everything that I learned in the course. A great way to remind me of what I had learned.
All in all, I would recommend this course. It would also make a nice present for practically anyone. If you want to dive deeper into the subject of fashion, you can, simply by signing up to the Masterclass platform. As you can see here, they already offer several fantastic fashion-related courses and I am sure more will be added as the year progresses.