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How to make your outfit work in front of Tim Gunn

So you think you're worthy of strutting your stuff in front of fashion guru Tim Gunn?

The host of Bravo's Project Runway is speaking at the University of South Florida's Marshall Student Center on Wednesday.

Gunn definitely has strong opinions on what's in and what's a fashion "no-no." So when you're putting together the perfect outfit to present yourself in front of the austere mastermind, be sure to keep these tips in mind:

Tip 1: Don't do drama. Gunn goes bananas over frivolous feathers and too many ruffles! Now, this doesn't mean you shouldn't include some pizazz in your outfit, because Gunn surely has an eye for some va-va-voom and a little unique spice.

Tip 2: Put your best foot forward. Tim goes nuts over a great pair of shoes. Don't waste your time with flats or sandals. Go all out with some cute and quality heels.

FASHION NO-NO ALERT: Don't even think about walking into the MSC Ballroom wearing — dare I say it ... SNEAKERS! That is, unless they are some special, custom, designer sneaks. It would be truly insulting to present yourself in front of Tim Gunn wearing Nikes or Converse.

Tip 3: Coloring is key. As long as you're not wearing a tie-dye tee or orange sweats with a purple hoodie, you won't have to worry about getting the sarcastic "All right ... " look from Gunn. Colors are a plus in Gunn's book, especially when they blend well. Just please, please, don't walk into that room looking "matchy-matchy." The foot is always a great place to add a stronger splash of color.

Tip 4: Boost the volume in more than your hair. Great looks start with tank tops, blouses, shirts, polos, dress shirts or really any low layer, also known as a base top. To impress Tim, add layers: Throw on a "cardi" or cute jacket, maybe even a suit top. Just make sure that cardigan isn't too frumpy!

Tip 5: Accessorize to specialize. Accessories can add SO MUCH to a look, and give one that special something to really kick it off. Jewelry is the most commonly worn accessory today, but always feel inspired to slip on some cute tights, warm up in a pattered scarf or add a rocker-chic or New York-style hat. Word on the street is that Tim loves to peek and poke for unusual accessories too. Wanna impress the guy? Try on some peace scarves, or maybe some Demi Lovato- inspired fedora hats.

FASHION NO-NO ALERT: Don't go overboard with the accessories. Keep your look fresh and simple. Gunn goes cross-eyed over too many beads and sunglasses, and he's always on the look for fashion overloads. There's a fine line between a naked Christmas tree and one with too many ornaments.

So if you're brave enough to strut your stuff in front of Tim Gunn, you better start piecing an outfit together now. As Tim says, "Well, you've got a lot of work to do ... "

Tucker DeGregory, 11, is an aspiring fashion designer and a sixth-grader at Thurgood Marshall Fundamental Middle School in St. Petersburg. A devotee of Project Runway, he owns the game, the design kit, and Season 3 on DVD.

An Evening with Tim Gunn

The fashion guru will speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the University of South Florida's Marshall Student Center Ballroom and Oval Theater, 4202 E Fowler Ave., Tampa. The event is free and open to the public. Call (813) 974-9837 or go to uls.usf.edu.

How to make your outfit work in front of Tim Gunn 10/29/09 [Last modified: Thursday, October 29, 2009 4:30am]

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