I know a lot of you will identify with Jillian. She called me to her home because she has a closet full of great clothes, but many of them didn't fit her. She's recently met her goal of losing a significant amount of weight, and she found herself wearing the same things, the same way. We spent about half of our time together figuring out what was too big and needed to be donated and what should be altered and the other half putting together outfits that reflected her polished, professional, beautiful look.
Fake Your SuitsJillian likes to feel "put together," and she works in an environment that allows her to show off her personality, but she also needs to look polished. I loved the way she looked in what I think of as a faux suit: a black blazer (in this case it's velvet, but you can't see that very well in my not-great iPhone photos) with a black bottom and a pattern breaking the two up instead of wearing a traditional suit, which can feel more stuffy.
It's not as formal as a suit, but the eye reads it as cohesive and put together. I also played around with a black sweater on top and jewel tone on the bottom.
Do Jewel on JewelShe has a lot of beautiful, rich, jewel tones, and I loved the look of them together! Once I got going with the jewel tone on jewel tone, I found several other ways to do the same, just with different combinations. It's easy for her to put on a pair of pants or a skirt with either of these combinations, and she can just as easily swap in jeans for a more casual feel on the weekend or in the evening.
In my own home, I also find it easiest to put together outfits on the bed first. It lets me play with colors and shapes before getting them on my body. I'm more creative about color and texture when I'm not thinking about how I look in something.
Go with MonochromeHere, I had Jillian put on several blue tones together. She was nervous to try on blues that didn't "match" exactly, but I think the result is beautiful, don't you? I took her snapping a picture of herself in one to remember later as a good sign!
Here's how it ended up! We chose items that were well-made and worth altering.
I could tell she was enjoying it when she ran off and came back with a favorite necklace to add to this pink outfit!
Play with DetailsSpeaking of necklaces, we had a lot of fun with details like this gorgeous necklace against the pattern of the shirt. I love this outfit!
Break Up Those SuitsAbove, I suggested creating a "faux suit" from a blazer and pants. On the other hand, you can also break up a suit for a modern, polished look. From years of wearing them, Jillian has lots of suits. But, in her current position she doesn't need to wear them as suits. Since they fit her well, we had her break them up and wear them as blazers over black pants, skinny jeans (with a sweater underneath!), and even dresses.
Know Your Limits
There were a few outfits I tried that were just not working. This one looked good on the bed, but the proportions were clearly off. Instead, Jillian could wear the top with jeans or other long pants. But, I loved that she was willing to play!
But, once she had it on, the boots felt far too stiff for her, and we nixed it! We had a good laugh, though!
Thanks, Jillian, for being so open to trying new things! I'd love to see which of your new outfits you're wearing most!
Here's how I left Jillian's closet: full outfits hanging together on the left, individual pieces on the right.