It takes just seven seconds for people to sum you up from a first impression.

Stylist Salem Moussallam has spent almost his entire adult life working in the fashion industry, first as a model and then as a stylist. He works with clients always with a question in his mind: “What message do we want to convey?” Beautiful, bold, classic, tasteful, exotic, romantic, edgy: there are so many ways for people to define their style for life or for a given day.

A decade into honing his craft, he has styled celebrities like Serinda Swan, Bella Thorne, and GiGi Hadid and had his artistry land on the covers of Forbes and Rolling Stone.

Salem Moussallam finds inspiration everywhere and has selected a few styling tips to share:

What’s your color?

There are so many different tricks to use, from gazing at the palms of your hands to holding gold or silver fabric up to your face and even determining if you are more likely to wear gold or silver jewelry. Some lucky few are fortunate to be able to look amazing when they don warm or cool colors. 

“I think it can be even simpler than that. Select a few bold colored blouses or jackets and see which ones get you the most compliments from friends and strangers,” Salem Moussallam said.

Or, another fun possibility would be to meet up with friends, each select your top five favorite outfits, and get honest feedback from each other. One pro tip: Do not forget the compliment sandwich in this scenario: i.e. compliment, constructive criticism, compliment. Here is an example: “The cut of that jacket is incredibly flattering. The color makes you a little like a vampire, but the buttons are lovely and bring out the sparkle in your eyes.”

“This sounds more complicated and like it takes more effort than it actually should. This question can be addressed pretty quickly and easily if you don’t want to find silver or gold fabric or have a fashion night with your friends: Which kind of jewelry do you naturally gravitate towards: silver or gold? That is your answer. We often know things without realizing it,” Salem Moussallam said.

Back to basics, but make them pop

Sometimes it can be fun to mix and match outfits: an edgy jacket with a sweet, romantic dress. Motorcycle boots with a Bohemian skirt. Fashion is all about personal choice and expression.

“Do not feel limited – embrace the creativity that naturally exists within you. Try it out and if it doesn’t work? Change it up next time,” said Salem. “Be bold, radically accept who you are and find your style.”

Find that one piece that makes you feel like $1 million

Some items are worth the price because they really do feel like a solid investment in yourself.

“I like to call them ‘Power pieces.’ Nervous about that first date or a job interview? Find that jacket, shirt, watch, necklace, pair of pants, pair of socks – whatever it is – and make the purchase. You will know when you find it,” Salem said.

Don’t be afraid to change the buttons

“I’m just going to say it: I love switching buttons. I keep a jar of them in my studio that I remove from clothes so they can be rehomed on something else,” Salem said.

Anyone can change buttons around. It is one of the easiest ways to alter the appearance of an article of clothing. That boring shirt can suddenly have some kick with sparkly buttons. One way to test out how new buttons will work on a shirt is to simply place them over the existing buttons, take a photo and then look at the photo. It’s that easy.

Look at old clothing you love and try to make it fresh:

“Okay, a lot of people function with the idea that you have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on fashion. I come from a different school of thought. I’m a big fan of breathing new life into old beloved items in your closet,” Salem Moussallam said.

He explained that there are so many easy ways to switch something up and make it more appealing and modern. Look to Youtube for inspiration. Scroll through Google images of the latest fashions and figure out if you have something hiding in the back of the closet that should resurface.

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