1.

Never buy the smallest size you can squeeze into. It will always look awful. And make you feel awful. Much better to tell your size demon (that fascist) to park it and buy something that fits.

2. The perfect white shirt will find you one day. But you won't find it. Go floppy and allow the universe to deliver it. The other way, madness lies.

3. Easy on the leather. Double lace? Why not? Double leopard? Grrrrrrrrrr. Double denim? Perhaps. Double leather? Double trouble.

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4.

Pencil skirts. Are never not foxy. But they have to go in at the knee. Otherwise you are just a battleaxe.

5. Slip dresses are a no-no. Whatever Courtney Love or fashion editors might tell you, slip dresses make you look like you've been locked out of your house while putting out the rubbish.

6. Comfort is elegance. But be careful. There is a fine line between comfortable, meaning 'you look like a sofa', and comfortable that doesn't look comfortable (but is). Hold on to this comfortable whenever you can. The good kind. Because trussed-up and in pain is less sexy than it sounds.

7. Thigh-high boots make you look like you are in panto. Hot panto, perhaps, but panto nonetheless. You can try this trend whenever it comes up but you will inevitably give up on it because of the inner chorus of, 'Oh, no, she shouldn't have…'

8.

If a bra hurts… It probably bulges.

9. There is such a thing as too many zips. In fact, it is easily done. One zip is probably enough.

10. If you find the perfect trousers, buy three pairs. If we know anything, we know two things: perfect trousers – like those Joseph ones you had 10 years ago that were the ideal blend of crêpe and swish – do exist, but they go out of production. So if you find a pair that make your heart sing every time you put them on, buy bulk. Ditto T-shirts. Times 10.

11.

Support underwear is not always the solution. It can make you look like a vacuum-packed sausage. It all has to spill out somewhere. Or just spread out. Nice.

12. It's humiliating when your uniform goes out of fashion. You know that moment when you look down at your Stan Smiths – yes, the ones that have been your most stable relationship of late – and you realise that they are over. Of course, you will keep wearing them. But they won't give you joy. Remember when that happened to ballet flats? The memory still hurts – even though they gave us bunions. *howls*

13. Distressed clothing actually makes you look distressed. That directional, oversized holey jumper: MOTHS. The skirt with the frayed hem: CAUGHT IN THE CAR DOOR. Those jeans with the rips: DERELICT.

14.

Straight men don't understand smock dresses. You think 'winsome hippie'. They think 'maternity'.

15. A good polo-neck is the fashion equivalent of eight hours' sleep. Hides all manner of chins – sorry, sins.

16. There is nothing better than a successful internet purchase. It makes you feel like you have won the lottery. You have defied the size gods, the delivery devils and the fabric fakers and got something that fits and feels nice through your letter box. #winging

17. You can get through the winter with one posh coat. And three cheap dresses. This is a fact.

18.

You shouldn't throw away everything you haven't worn for a year. That's a silly rule. Throw away everything you don't like. Keep anything that gives you joy. Now that's a proper 'edit'.

19. White winter coats. Make you look rich if they are clean… and insane if they are dirty.

20. And finally… Head-to-toe black is back. Praise be.