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RESOLUTION: "I Will Dress Myself Better"

EXPERT: Mila Franovic, Stylist, Art Director and Fashion Editor of Color

Sometimes choosing what to wear can be a vicious war between woman and clothing. How many times have you stared into your closet, hating everything you own, then hating yourself for hating everything you own? How many times have you purchased something, just because you could, and then found that item with the price tag still on months later? How many times have you left the house wearing something unsure and spent the rest of the day feeling uncomfortable to the point that it distracts you from your work? Everyone goes through these closet issues, even Beyonce. Okay, maybe not Beyonce, but the rest of us suffer through it. First World problems, right? Yeah, maybe but sometimes we need a little kick in the ass and a hand full of tricks from a pro to feel good about our style choices.

Serbian-born stylist Mila Franovic knows how to put together an effortless look on almost anybody. Besides being the Fashion Editor for Color and freelancing for magazines like Montecristo, VICE and Contributor, Mila also works closely with brands like Aritzia, Norse Project and Herschel Supply Co. to manifest the looks that make you want that amazing sweater. Working on album covers to press photos to music videos, Mila not only masters the craft of making the weirdest clothing combinations look smart, but by designing and hand-crafting props as well. Fresh from styling a Lifetime Collective shoot in Iceland, I caught up with Mila to find out what kind of tricks she had for those days when getting dressed seems stupidly impossible.

Read our Help with 12 Resolutions for 2012: Q + A with Mila Franovic about dressing yourself better below.

Montecristo styled by Mila Franovic, photography by Michelle Ford

How do you get dressed in the morning?

I always start with pants and the jacket--while thinking about what I am going to be doing that day. If I'm working with a client I haven't worked with before I'm going to dress it up with a tailored shirt and jeans that are not ripped [Laughs]. If it's another day at the office, I go for comfort. Simple stuff. If you have a really good pair of jeans you can wear those almost any way.

Some days I wake up and I look at my closet and I think, "I hate everything." How does one overcome this without buying a bunch of new stuff?

Since I'm a stylist I am constantly shopping for other people which means I don't spend a lot of money on myself. The most expensive thing I own is my Chloe bag and these shoes from Amsterdam and they weren't that expensive. Sometimes I give myself a long ass time to get ready. I go with what strikes my eye first and build from there. It doesn't matter what you look like leaving the house as long as you feel good. Sometimes I'm over-patterned and look crazy, but I feel good.

What's the difference between styling a shoot and styling yourself?

I can't possibly do what I do on set to myself at home. My goal on set is to feel comfortable and not sloppy.

Sometimes I really hate shopping. I get overwhelmed, intimidated and annoyed. How do you approach shopping? How can someone like me shop without wanting to punch something?

It's fun to go shopping with a bunch of your girlfriends, and be all, "Hey, let's go shopping!" But you just are not going to get stuff done that way. I have a hit list right now. I need good jeans, Clarks and a black cardigan. You have to go shopping with an idea of what you want, unless of course you're doing "retail therapy" but it's important to think ahead. You need to go by yourself, ask for help, go to environments and stores that you trust and you know the sales people will not lie to you. And if you don't feel like you can do that, ask one trusted friend to come with you or a professional for help.

Photo of Mila, well the back of her

Do you have any rules to follow when getting dressed?

I don't really follow "The Rules" you know? I wear black with navy and I don't care about matching my purse to my shoes. That's old school mom stuff.

Do you have any tips for 2012?

Well, I'll tell you what I am going to do...

Because style is really about yourself and feeling good by your own standards.

Yeah! Everybody wants to start fresh and that is what spring cleaning is about but I suggest we all try to eliminate half our closets now because when spring actually comes you will have this anxiety to get rid of all your winter stuff but it will be too late to consign any of it because it will be out of season. Clear out half of your stuff that you do not wear. Keep the stuff you love and try to replace or tailor it in the new year so it doesn't fall apart. I mean, we all thrift so much and we wear that item three times and we don't need it anymore! It costs $3! Get rid of it! That is why thrifting is so great. You can wear the fuck out of something for a month and then ditch it without guilt.

I have dresses and sweaters in my closet that I have not worn in 5 years, but I can not get rid of them. It's so insane. What do you suggest?

Swap Meets with your friends are really good. You can all switch up items, trade and even if you miss that bag, your girl will give it back. The older we get the more we realize we don't need a ton of stuff but more so that we should invest in a few really good things and that is a good thing to keep in mind.

Lifetime Collective styled by Mila Franovic, photography by Alana Patterson

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