Friday, August 16, 2013

UPDATE Closet Re-Do: Erika

I am beyond excited to share with you some of what I love to do: style regular people. I think of "styling" as a way of helping people to show themselves to the world. I love to dig through closets and find new and interesting ways to wear clothes together, both well-loved and new clothes. The  end result is incredible because people usually look more like the best versions of themselves. This time was no different.

And be sure to contact me if you'd like to let me into your closet for a few hours.

Closet Re-Do: Erika

Last week, I had the pleasure of spending a few hours with my dear friend, Erika. Some of my favorite things about her are her incredible sense of humor, her kindness, and her jam. That's right, jam. This girl has never met or grown something she can't pickle or can, and the results are always delicious. We share a daydream where we move somewhere remote and grow our own food and raise our own animals.

I was itching to get inside Erika's closet because she is just so striking. She has a great eye for color and unique clothing, and she's not afraid to try something new. We agreed that the end of summer was the perfect time because Erika loves dressing for fall with its cozy layers and colorful tights.

The Pinterest Inspiration Board

She pinned this redheaded beauty for inspiration.
After we talked in broad terms about Erika's current style and what she would like to dress like (in her words below), I created a Pinterest board for us to share. She surprised me with some sexy pin-up styles that I instantly knew we'd have to incorporate!
It helps me to think about personal style in words. I decided to think of Erika's style as classic, tomboy, pin up. The contrast between pin up and tomboy (by which I mean classic Susan Sarandon or Katharine Hepburn) is what leads to her quirky, unique look that I love. With that in mind, I tried to look at each item of her clothing to see if it fits within any one (or more!) of those words.

Sometimes this is helpful when trying to figure out why a certain piece might be good on paper but just not getting any rotation in your closet. Maybe it's just not you, or maybe you could try adding an element of your style (like a classic blazer) to bring it into your style.

In her own words...

Start Close In: What were you hoping to get out of our time together?
Erika: I was hoping to be able to feel a little more put-together, as I often just end up wearing pants + top or shirt + top.  Also, it's just nice to be able to get a second opinion of something you're wearing, whether shape or color or whatever!

What was the experience like for you?
I had a great time!  It was nice to be fussed over a little - I don't often do the whole girl-time clothes-time (I do a LOT of my shopping online) so it was fun.  I felt (in a good way) like Cher in Clueless while we put together all the outfits.  

That's so funny! I'm thrilled that you enjoyed being fussed over. I love this and was so happy to work with you. I felt like we were in "What Not to Wear," minus the mean parts of that show!
Did anything surprise you?
That's a cardigan!
The biggest surprise is how different and more 'together' things looked in photos as compared to the image in a mirror.  I would have never thought to take photos of outfits, but the difference is really striking.  Also, I'm a pretty straight-laced person, so some of the suggestions (wearing a cardigan backwards?!?!!?) seemed out there, but worked out nicely in practice!  Never would have done it on my own!

That's so true! It feels silly to take pictures of your own outfits, but it does provide such a nice perspective to stand back and see how the whole thing looks together to someone who is not scrutinizing every single thing. I'm always happy to be on the receiving end of any outfit photos you want to send! I had so much fun with that cardigan idea with you. It's always fun to look at pieces of clothing differently, like wearing a cardigan backwards to show off your great neck or looping two necklaces together to try out the "statement necklace" look. It makes me feel like a whole new wardrobe! 
We layered necklaces and patterns but stayed within the same colors to create a look that is cohesive, unique, and still professional.

What are you most excited about that came out of our time together?
It's nice to jazz up my clothes closet without having to spend any money!  I'm really excited to wear the new outfits!

I'm so glad! You have to send us an update with your cute wedding outfit for this weekend! You do an amazing job of picking out interesting pieces (I'm serious, I'm going to steal that black skirt with the white crosses!), and it was so much fun to layer them with you! You are just beautiful, through and through.  

The Closet Consultation

Erika really likes clothes and was so much fun to work with! As you see, we went through a lot of her clothing one by one (and then threw them on the bed!), looking for different ways for her to wear the same things as well as for holes where we might fill in the gaps with new clothing. Some of my favorite looks for Erika were inspired by her love for all things vintage. She has great patterned pieces and beautiful skirts, but she said that she felt stuck in that old, familiar pattern of wearing the same things. We had a lot of fun taking a dress (above left) and layering a sweater on top so that it functioned as a skirt. That alone would be adorable, but then we imagined that it was cold outside and layered on a cardigan. Then, we connected two necklaces and looped them on together. The addition of the sash from the dress worn as a belt tied the whole look together and accentuated the narrowness of her waist.

We joked that she became comfortable with mixing two patterns during our time together instead of relying on one pattern paired with solids, but three patterns all together was still a bit too much. So, of course, I chose three patterns for her to wear to dinner (above right)! She was the one who added the white and black polka dotted sash, which I loved. I could see it becoming her signature item.

Then, we put together a look that was far more edgy than she would normally wear, just for fun (left). You can't see them in this shot, but the blazer was accompanied by a killer pair of pink heels. This look was her boyfriend's favorite! (Predictable).

Virtual Shopping Session

While we went through her clothes, we talked a lot about specific items that Erika might want to add to round out her closet. One thing that I love about re-doing a closet is that it changes the thought process from "I have no clothes" to "OK, so I need X, Y, and Z."  Here are a few things that Erika could add to her closet that would be versatile and span the season shift to fall.

Slim black pants-purchased!

That lipstick!

Some extra long belts to wrap around in fun ways-and some wide belts!


Erika delivered on her promise to send me pictures of the cute outfits we put together for the wedding she attended last weekend. I love how her personality is showing through her clothes. She looks stunning!


Erika's cute belted looks inspired Tahira to belt a favorite cardigan. She looks gorgeous!

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