Cake or Frosting: The Deliciously Simple Fashion Fix

When I meet with wardrobe clients, they’re often looking for a fashion fix or some easy-to-apply style tips to take their style up a notch. In the 15 years that I have been privately styling women (and some men) in NE, Ohio, I’ve discovered a few common themes that tend to come up over and over again.

When talking about clothes, fashion, and styling, some concerns are individual for each client. And I need to consider their taste, body shape, budget, and lifestyle. Those specifics are addressed more deeply with my one-on-one wardrobe consulting clients.

But regardless of age, gender, size, or socioeconomic status, I see overarching patterns in people’s wardrobe frustrations. The good news is that many of these pain points can be easily resolved with a fashion fix. All it takes are some specific helpful hints and style tips.

So that’s my goal. To take questions that arise with my one-on-one styling clients and provide answers that can help make getting dressed that much easier and more fun for all of you. 

Why Your Outfits Aren’t Quite Hitting the Mark

I liken it to when people realize the layout of a room isn’t working, and they hire an interior designer.  Or read magazines like Martha Stewart Living to help figure out what’s not quite right. One often knows something is off with their outfit, but putting their finger on the reason or finding the fix is challenging. If you’ve ever watched the TV show Scandal, the main character, Olivia Pope, considers herself and her crisis management firm “fixers.” 

In a much less glamorous and also less scandalous way, I’m a fixer too, albeit a wardrobe fixer.

The first step of the personal wardrobing process, aka the long-term fashion fix, is an analysis of what the client has in their closet and the style that best represents their aesthetic. If you’ve been a blog reader for a while, you probably already know this, but I use food analogies A LOT! Maybe it’s because we all eat and we all need to get dressed. Or perhaps it’s because I’m always hungry! I don’t know, but the food parallels seem to get the point across.

So, What Are You: a Cake Person or a Frosting Person?

I’ve found that when getting dressed and shopping for clothes, people usually fall into one of two camps –  you’re either a frosting person or a cake person.

Just knowing what camp you fall into is the first step of the fashion fix. Frosting people tend towards items with lots of interest (this can be great, but if you have too many things with details and not enough basics to balance out those hero pieces, your wardrobe can become too overdone and sugary). 

On the flip side, cake people are really into basics, they shy away from details, patterns, and color, and their wardrobes can feel kind of boring.

Frosting People

Frosting people like to have exciting, interesting elements in the pieces of clothing they own. It’s almost as if an item needs to have some wow factor to be worthy to come home from the store. A print, a cut out, ruffle, fringe – if you’re a frosting person, you’re nodding now and smiling because you know it’s true!! And the cake folks are like what? I don’t get this at all.

Cake People

Cake people, however, like practical basics. Nothing too showy or flashy. Barely an accessory in sight. Think, black, grey, navy. No details or lace or “hangy things” (yes, this is an actual term a client used!!) For the cake crowd, an item needs to be useful to come home from the store.

What’s the Fashion Fix?

The beauty of this particular style dilemma is that the fashion fix is relatively easy. Whatever camp you fall in, you just need to add a little from the other, and you’re all balanced out. 

If you lean more cake, add a bit of somethin’ somethin’. And if you’re all glitz and glam, tone it down with some “boring” basics. It’s the yin and yang of fashion; you need both for an outfit to truly work.

And just like with real cake, the cake to frosting ratio is incredibly important. Too much cake is blah, and too much frosting is cavity city.

Fashion Fix – Pieces that are More Cake than Frosting

These pieces still have some type of interest so the frosting folks might want to bring them home.

Fashion Fix – Pieces that are More Frosting than Cake

These all have something interesting going on. Like if you made an outfit only from these pieces your eyes would feel assaulted. Frosting is fantastic but must be used sparingly.

Big News! 1-Hour Mini-Styling Sessions NOW AVAILABLE

One of the good things to come out of COVID is that we’ve all gotten more accustomed to doing things virtually. Myself included. Pre-COVID I only saw clients in person and with a 2-hour minimum (because of travel etc.). But the pandemic made me, and a lot of other people pivot. And sometimes pivoting can be good.

I found that virtual styling can have its benefits – reaching people outside of Ohio, allowing clients that worried about the state of their closet, unmade bed, or unshaven legs to no longer have that be a barrier. And to also be able to offer MINI STYLING SESSIONS.

A mini styling session is a 1-hour zoom where new or existing clients can ask me all of their styling questions. It can be rapid-fire covering a myriad of questions. Or it can be a deep dive into a personal fashion dilemma. It’s completely up to you. Have questions about specific outfits or pieces? Want to know what shoes or jewelry to wear with your outfit? Just did a big shop and want advice about what to keep? Let’s spend an hour together on zoom and I’ll answer all the questions.

That’s it. No obligation or packages – just an hour with a pro, answering all of your style questions.

I have a client in San Francisco that’s booking an hour, once a month (she called it fashion therapy)!

How Do Mini-Styling Sessions Work?

It’s honestly, pretty easy. Sign up for a virtual session using this link. There’s a prompt for you to fill me in on specific questions you have, so I can come prepared. And we’ll spend an hour upping your wardrobe confidence. A few days prior, I’ll send you a link for payment (the cost is $150). And after the session, I’ll send you a recording of the hour so you can review any tips shared and also see the outfits we put together.

In fact, these mini-sessions may be the easiest fashion fix of them all!


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Since the purpose of this blog is to take the stress out of getting dressed, we try to make it easy on you by sharing shoppable links (accessed by clicking the PINK words or the actual photo) with awesome readers like you. We want to let you know, some of those contain affiliate links for products. There is absolutely no additional cost to you if you take action (click, purchase, subscribe) with one of these links. As a result, we will earn some coffee money from your click.  But we promise to drink it while creating more ad-free, helpful content like this.

Photos: Becky Cormell


Cleveland-based personal stylist and fashion blogger.

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