Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Meet Jillian!

Meet Jillian!

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 Suits

Jillian 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 Jewel

She 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 Monochrome

Here, 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, looking down at the adorable dog, I piled on the pink, playing around with texture and pattern. You can spot the growing pile of "to-be-altered" items hanging on the door behind her!

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 Details

Speaking 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 Suits

Above, 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!

 Similarly, after so much color, I thought this all-black outfit could be a fun change!

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.


  1. Love her outfits and how you mixed them up. Looks like y'all had fun!

    1. Thank you! We did! She's a sweetheart.

  2. Love the look of the jewel tones and all the outfits look great. A fund day for all.

    1. She is not afraid of color! What an inspiration to me with my black/white/gray clothing!

  3. LOOK at that adorable little military jacket outfit on adorable little Jillian!!!! She's so cute and put together!

  4. Jillian has some great pieces! I really like how y'all mixed them up. Congratulations to her for losing weight.. :)

    1. She really does! It was so fun to help her narrow down her closet to just things she loves and that fit her!