How to dress for fashion week: 8 smart ways to make outfit planning simple

teresa yoo style panel
teresa yoo style panel

As fashion week kicks off in Toronto, the streets begin to flood with hoards of Canada’s best dressed. But even for fashion regulars, selecting what to wear to the shows can be a slightly overwhelming process. You don’t ever want to appear like you’re trying too hard but you also want to be stylish. Plus trying to avoid the inevitable “I have nothing to wear” freakout is always a challenge. So before you start tearing your closet apart in a panic, let our Style Panel offer you a few tips on how they plan their fashion week outfits.

Flip through to see how our Style Panel creates their own looks for the shows.

Question 146: What is your go-to outfit for hitting the shows at fashion week?  Read the answers now! »

becky kung style panel

Becky Kung, 30
Calgary | Velvet & Vino

I most often attend New York Fashion Week seasons and although it’s never easy selecting looks for seven days and multiple outfit changes, my preference is to with pieces that are unique and special for my own personal style.

For this look, the pinafore dress is a big fave of mine. I love how it can give a completely different feel when swapping out my shoes for flats or boots. I also enjoy playing with different layers using the dress as the base and then alternating my tops and overcoats for a variety of looks.

Becky’s wearing: Pinafore dress, Topshop. Turtleneck, Topshop. Backpack, Pinkstix. Boots, Le Chateau.

claire liu style panel

Claire Liu, 26
Vancouver | Von Vogue

The key thing on what to wear to show is to stay stylish and feel comfortable at the same time. A pair of wide trousers would be my ideal go-to piece for a classic minimalist style. Since the goal to wear these pants is to elongate the legs, I would choose a pair of heels or heeled booties. Opt for a pair of vivid printed or billowing wide pants to get some attention from street photographers.

Claire’s wearing: Cropped top, Tibi. Pants, Asos. Heels, Alexander Wang.

kira paran style panel

Kira Paran, 29
Edmonton | Northern Style Exposure

Whenever I have the pleasure of attending fashion shows I always struggle to find a look. I have one of those, “I have nothing to wear” moments. Until I give my head a shake on focus on the basics. I love fitted pieces that look like they were made for me. An easy rule, keep your outfit palette neutral, adding pops of colour with statement accessories like handbags, scarves, or jewellery. I’m always an advocate for being yourself, don’t shoos a look because you feel it’s fashion forward. Pick a look that looks amazing on and you’ll get the added bonus of radiating confidence. I love this scarf! Because of the pattern, size and pops of bright colours it is a stand out piece for me, completely show attending material in my books.

Blanket Scarf, ZARA. Pant, J.Crew. Sweater, Banana Republic. Calf Hair Belt, J.Crew. Boots, Frye. Lips, Tatcha.

Rhiannon Berthelot style panel

Rhiannon Berthelot, 31
Calgary | File It Under Style

Go big or go home comes to mind when imagining the street styles at various fashion weeks around the world. Geography is not on my side but imagination is. For this look I go BOLD with big and colourful, cut and lines, and texture and volume! To me the shows are all about colour, texture and movement. This look evokes that with wide-legged silk pants, a striped gold tube top and a flashy multi-coloured scarf. It’s my way of getting snapped by the photographers while rushing down the street onto the next show! Until geography becomes an ally, I will continue to dream.

Scarf, Hermes. Pants, Miss Sixty. Top, Thrift. Shoes, BeBe. Sunglasses, Dolce & Gabbana. Jewellery, Thrift.

teresa yoo style panel

Teresa Yoo, 24
Toronto | What T Loves

Whether I’m chilling out with my buds or I’m attending a fancy event, I must feel like myself in clothes that I’m wearing. Therefore, I don’t necessarily dress up in attempts to receive a compliment from a friend or to be noticed by photographers on the street during Toronto Fashion Week. I would just rock clothes that expresses me as who I am. You would probably spot me at shows and events in my everyday simple and minimalistic look with a few elevated details like changing my sneakers to pumps or adding a statement lip colour.

Teresa’s wearing: Jumpsuit, Club Monaco. Fringe Cardigan, Zara. Bag, Zara. Heels, Zara. Necklace, Rocking Vibe.

amanda montgomery style panel

Amanda Montgomery, 29
Toronto | {Latest Wrinkle}

I will be playing with some fun print mixing and colour blocking this year at WMCFW! I know a lot of people who are apprehensive about mixing different prints, but as fun as it looks, there is a little bit of science to it, with a splash of creativity. I like experimenting and pushing the boundaries with my style, and WMCFW is such a great place to try things out!

Amanda’s wearing: Skirt, Mo Handahu.

Laura Mitbrodt style panel

Laura Mitbrodt, 31
Victoria | Laura Jane Atelier

If I was going to WMCFW I would dress in an edgy street style look with an asymmetrical plaid skirt, black leather bomber jacket and motorcycle boots to complete the look. As a statement piece I would mix prints and wear a leopard print bag in contrast to the plaid skirt.

Laura’s wearing: Blouse, Club Monaco. Jacket, Marshall’s. Skirt, Marshall’s. Boots, Harley Davidson. Bag, Sam Edelman.

lee vosburgh style panel

Lee Vosburgh, 28
Guelph | Style Bee

Sadly, I live a little too far from the city to make it in for Fashion Week but if I was in town I’d probably dress to fly under the street style radar. I’d keep my looks unfussy, comfortable and warm to combat these chilly Fall days and play around with proportions and classic chic pieces like a boxy bag and oversize knits. I’ll be living vicariously through FASHION’s coverage of all the shows and events.

Lee’s wearing: Sweater, Ganni. Flares, Madewell. Bag, J.Crew. Shirt, Madewell. Boots, Rag & Bone.