Category

Helpful Hints

Category

Girls Night Out (GNO!!)

A few weeks ago I had my first, in ages, thanks to Covid, girls night out dinner with friends. We sat outside, under heaters, and next to a fire. We ate, drank, and laughed It felt amazing and normal, and amazingly normal. Boy, did I need it! And as we were discussing getting our homes ready for us to have the “night off”, the consensus was the thing that caused the most stress was deciding on what to wear for a GNO. Under normal circumstances, night out outfits can be stressful. But after 8 months of sweatpants, it’s downright exasperating.

Then with a virtual client last week we needed to focus on what to wear when she goes out with her girlfriends or on date night. She struggled with her going out looks feeling different than a typical daytime outfit, but not so overly fancy (or hoochie – her words) that it seemed she was trying too hard.

And today I received this message in my Instagram dm’s.

Hey Hallie! I am so glad I found you! Your style is everything I hope for 👏🏼 a group of friends and I are headed to Vegas in 2 weeks. And I don’t know what to wear?!?!? Do you have any posted looks that can help inspire me? I want to feel currant and sexy but not trashy 🙊

And that’s the slippery slope – wanting to look different than every day yet still appropriate for your age and environment. And I might add, also not feel dowdy.

Whenever a question comes up three times, I know it’s time to write a blog post about it!

My Simple GNO Formula…

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…

A Simple Trick to Look More Stylish

When I’m working with styling clients, I like to create fashion rules, like the third piece rule, to make the process more manageable. Looking put together and polished can feel overwhelming at times. There are societal norms, fashion trends, and on top of that, everyone has their own mishegoss (long legs, short legs, big bum, not a big enough bum, loves to wear heels, can’t wear heels…you get the picture).

My job description may be that of a wardrobe consultant. But in some ways, I am more of a coach or tutor, maybe even a quasi therapist. My mission is to take what may seem like fashion babble and help translate it in an understandable and easy to execute way.

I equate fashion rules to the study tricks teachers would create to help us remember subject matter in school. To this day, when I hear HOMES, I recall the names of the Great Lakes: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior. It’s ingrained in my brain, which means the acronym rule works!!

The Third Piece Rule

Do you know those people that always look put together? It can be kind of annoying, right? Well, next time you see one of them, check. I bet they’re using the third piece rule…

 The “Classic” White Shirt

A white shirt is on about every wardrobe must-have list ever created. It’s perennial, it’s classic, it never goes out of style…Well, that’s kind of true, but also, not.

Yes, a white button-up shirt is a time-honored piece of clothing. Partly because it’s so versatile. It can be worn in so many ways and works regardless of one’s body type or personal style aesthetic. The basic elements of the shirt remain the same,  white cotton, with a collar and buttons up the front – generally unassuming and at the same time quite functional.

BUT and this is a big ol’ but…
The shape, silhouette, and fit of a white shirt that is considered “modern” versus “dated” has changed.

In the past (think J. Crew, Brooks Brothers, and Banana Republic circa 2000) a classic white shirt would have a very slim fit. So much so, that women sporting any sort of bust would have issues with the area between the buttons flaring open. I know there are a bunch of you nodding your head in recognition right now!! It was/is a real problem…

The Search for Comfortable Face Masks

Back in March, I wrote a post about fashionable facemasks and how to stylishly add a mask to your outfits. And while I do think that’s important, the ACTUAL comfort of said masks is equally if not more important. The mandate to wear masks, especially for long periods of time, makes finding comfortable face masks even more important.

Getting back to “normal”, in some way, means wearing a mask these days. And typically for long periods of time too. So while I’m all about how things look, I also believe comfort usually trumps pure aesthetics. In my perfect world, it’s a happy marriage of both.

I wish I could try everything I recommend on this blog or even to clients when I give them shopping links, but that’s not realistic. However, I do thoroughly read reviews and use that as a guide for my recommendations. All of these have phenomenal reviews, so I’m feeling pretty confident in this round-up comfortable face masks. Of course, each person is unique and what might be comfortable for one person, might not be for another.

Pro Tip: Try to…

The Dyson Air Wrap Complete. Expensive, yes. But Worth it.

For the last month, I’ve been using the Dyson Air Wrap Complete to dry and style my own hair. While some people learned to make sourdough bread during quarantine, I learned (finally) how to do my own hair. But only because the Dyson Air Wrap practically drys and curls your hair for you. It’s like idiot-proof, which is what I need. I bought this fancy blowdry kit as a 50th bday gift for myself,  honestly thinking there was no way it was worth the hefty price tag ($549). And fully expecting to return it with the 30-day money-back guarantee. But I was SOOOOO wrong! This thing is pure magic and 100% worth every penny. 

Renting my clothes?? Really?

YUP! You read it right. Before Covid-19 and quarantine, I was trying out various clothing rental programs! Not just special occasion rentals either, I was renting my everyday clothes! In other words, my jeans, sweaters, blouses, blazers, handbags – the clothes I was wearing on the regular, many of them were rentals. In fact, I rented the dress pictured above in October 2019 and wore it 3 times before returning it.

At first, I wasn’t sure. I had hesitation and questions…

Would the items feel clean and fresh?

How would the clothes fit? 

Could it actually save me money?

Would the clothes be age-appropriate?

The answers to those questions have generally been…

All You Needed to Know About Bras, You DIDN’T Learn in Middle School.

This weekend, we had our first socially distanced get together with friends. First of all, it was AWESOME!! Boy, did I miss people!  And, second, I was totally inspired to write this blog post. The women were saying our get together was the first time in MONTHS that they’ve actually worn a real bra!! Ummm, raise your hand if it’s me too for you…

And that it felt weird, because their bras were uncomfortable, and pinched and didn’t perk the girls up enough. Amen to that! And sorry if it’s TMI.

But it got me thinking… I’ve not really addressed the whole bra issue here before. I talk about it with my one on one wardrobe clients. And we talked about it a lot in the virtual closet class I’ve been teaching. Which, btw, I’m going to run again… I’ll tell you more about that at the end… But back to bras. So many women just don’t really know about proper fitting bras and how to care for them.

The Girlfriend’s Guide to Bras

So why should you care about bras? Because, in case no one ever told you,  if your undergarments don’t fit properly, your whole outfit will look crappy. I’m being harsh, but it’s true. There’s a reason they’re called foundation pieces. Your undergarments are LITERALLY the foundation of your outfit. And if your foundation is ill-fitting, your clothes will look lumpy and droopy and sloppy.

And, as we age and the elasticity of our skin declines, undergarments become even more important…

A Perfect White Tee, Basic, But Hard to Find.

It’s funny that something as seemingly basic as a perfect white tee could be that hard to find. But it is!! Of the thousands of women I’ve styled over the past 15 years, it’s always on their list and always elusive. It’s a holy grail of the closet kind of item.

Keep the White Tee’s White

The good and the bad of white tee’s is that they need to be replaced fairly often. The simplicity and crispness of white is why it’s such a wardrobe staple. But when your white tee becomes stained or yellow, it’s gotta go.  I recommend replacing them every few years depending on how often they’re worn. And how sloppy an eater you are (spills down the front are totally my nemesis) or how much you sweat (yellow pit stains, anyone?). My hypothesis is that the need to replace them is part of what feeds the perpetual hunt.

What Makes a Perfect White Tee?

And btw, what makes a white tee PERFECT changes and evolves over time…