7 Style Lessons Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen Can Learn From Their Little Sister Elizabeth

As a '90s child who grew up watching Full House and practically every Mary-Kate and Ashley movie in existence (Passport to Paris was a particular favorite, naturally), I have nothing but love for the wildly popular and ever-elusive Olsen twins. And the fact that the ladies have left their acting lives behind in favor of an astoundingly successful career in the world of fashion just makes me admire them more. After all, they haven’t earned style icon status and major street cred as designers behind fashion labels The Row and Elizabeth and James for nothing.

But while the twins have been making a new name for themselves with their vintage-chic, boho-obsessed fashion sense over the last decade, they’re not the only Olsens who have been earning their time in the style spotlight. In fact, at this weekend’s Godzilla premiere in London, sister Elizabeth proved once again that she’s a fashion force to be reckoned with, thanks to the stunning, strapless Elie Saab Couture gown the younger Olsen sister sported on the red carpet. With its deep, navy blue hue, delicate head-to-toe beading; and flowing, sheer skirt, the couture creation was fit for a fashion pro, which is exactly what the newly engaged actress has become over the years.

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Though she does take a few cues from the twins’ distinct style sense — including their love of dark hues and full-length ensembles — Elizabeth has developed her very own fashion personality that stands apart from her older sisters. What’s more, at times I think the twins could stand to learn a lesson or two from the youngest Olsen when it comes to fashion. Here are seven of them.

1. All black doesn't have to look depressing

Like her sisters, Elizabeth loves a good black ensemble. Unlike her sisters, however, the actress often tends to make the dark outfits look cheery, not brooding, thanks to details like floral-embellished necklines, tailored shapes, and little hints of skin.

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2. But a little color never hurts

Black may be chic, but a color-drenched number — like the embellished Emilio Pucci mini dress Olsen wore to the 2012 Critics’ Choice Awards — is a great way to switch things up every now and again.

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3. It's OK to mix leather and lace

Mary-Kate and Ashley rarely wear leather or lace, but sister Elizabeth knows that the two fabrics — especially when paired together — are the perfect way to create a rocker-chic, edgy-meets-femme look on the red carpet.

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4. Short is sweet

Oversized caftans are a veritable staple in the twins’ wardrobes, but the younger Olsen knows that showing a little skin — like she did with this color-blocked Antonio Berardi dress at a Swarovski event in 2012 — is the key to looking sweet and chic.

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5. Crop tops shouldn't be off limits

Think you’ll never see the Olsen twins in a crop top? You’re probably right. But if they followed Elizabeth’s lead and paired an embroidered crop top over a chic sheath dress, they’d quickly realize that the results can be ravishing.

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6. A good braid makes everything better

Remember a few weeks ago when everyone freaked out after Mary-Kate said she had only just learned how to use a hairbrush? Then she, for one, could definitely stand to replicate Elizabeth’s fabulous hairstyles — especially this gorgeous, casual braid the actress wore to the 2012 LAFCA Awards.

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7. Prints keep a full-length outfit feeling light

Like the twins, Elizabeth wears her fair share of floor-sweeping ensembles, but she’s learned that breaking up the sometimes heavy outfits can be as simple as choosing a head-to-toe print, like the floral pattern on this spring-ready Erdem maxi.

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