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What to Wear

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Spring 2021

Spring 2021 it’s here, and I’m ready for it, sort of. I have to be honest, in normal years I’d have spent weeks, even months getting my thoughts together about the upcoming season. It’s historically a process I love and one that energizes me. I look at all of the runway shows and read up on fashion editors’ trend reports.  Taking note of what retailers are showing for the season. I then scour street style to see it in action, off the runway. And I observe people, on the street, at the airport, at restaurants – like creatures in their native habitats, lol!  And THEN, I compile my lists – what is speaking to me, what I saw showing up in multiple places, what’s looking modern, and what I think real people (not models or influencers) would and could actually wear.

But this last year has been anything but normal. Some days it takes all of my reserves just to get dressed and to be pleasant (note I didn’t say nice or happy, just pleasant, as, in not a raging B word) to my family. Fashion, style, and pretty things in general, traditionally lift my spirits. But, this last year has been a challenge for all of us, and hitting the pandemic 12-month mark, leaves spring 2021 feeling like a conundrum to me…

Feeling Hopeful, but Confused for Spring 2021

On one hand, I’m hopeful. The days are longer. The weather a bit milder, at least this week. And the vaccines are providing optimism. A glimmer. We can go out and get dressed in the near future!

Yet, on the other hand, it’s confusing. When we go out, what will going out look like? Will the clothes I have even still fit? Have styles kept evolving this past year even though we’ve all been wearing lounge sets? Will I even remember how to get dressed?

To put it in perspective, these are questions some my clients have shared. And if I’m being authentic, they’ve crossed my mind as well. Dressing up is a happy place for me, not typically one of worry. So for those that have a complicated relationship with clothes and getting dressed, this season can feel like getting dressed stress, on steroids!

Don’t Worry, I’ve Got You

Another Easy Outfit Formula

The feedback I’m receiving from all of you, dear readers (did you catch the Bridgerton allusion there?) is that you LOVE these fashion rules! And I couldn’t be happier! However, there is a chance I may eventually run out of formulas to share. But until that time comes, I’ll keep cranking them out as fast as my mind can process.

The truth is that these fashion rules are somewhat intuitive to me. They’re second nature. I see the various elements of an outfit and what needs to be added or taken away. I don’t think a lot about it; it just IS until I’m working with a client and need to step back and explain. 

When I take that step back, out of my very active brain (it works kind of like a slot machine as I’m searching for outfit combos – a great outfit is like three cherries) and simplify the steps or reasons, I’m able to create the rules. No, I’m not saying this is fashion for dummies (I hate that name, it’s so condescending) – but the breakdown often makes it easier to digest. 

Dressing is Just an Optical Illusion

As I’ve said before and will probably repeat a zillion times, dressing is the ultimate optical illusion. No one, NO ONE, not even Jennifer Aniston, has a perfect figure. But what people that seem to have an ideal figure do, is use clothes to their advantage to create the appearance of balance and proportion.

These outfit formulas are the foundations for creating visual harmony and making most looks work. They’re the infrastructure of the ensemble. Once these basic formulas feel comfortable, and if you’re in the mood to step it up, you can build upon them to make outfits even more multifaceted and exciting.

When working with clients, I often refer to outfits as mild, medium, and spicy. The same elements and ingredients apply – but just like in a recipe, you are more heavy handed with some aspects if you want to get really spicy. The 2 out of 3 rule is a foundational outfit formula. Consider it mild in the clothing/food analogy. But once this principle is mastered, it’s easy-peasy to add some spice.

What to Wear for the Holidays at Home – Outfit Inspiration

I mean, who the F knows that the holidays are going to be like this year. Thanksgiving was waaaaaay intimate over here (hello 3 people and a 15 lb turkey!). But it was still a holiday and I think there is something to be said for getting out of my grungy sweats and putting on my “dress up” sweats, or even a pair of jeans to make it feel like a day that’s more special than others. Holiday outfit inspiration is desperately needed this year to help make the holidays feel like, well, holidays.

So, whatever holiday(s) you’re celebrating – Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, New Years’. And however many people you’re celebrating it with. I’m sharing a few outfit ideas to help make the days feel a little out of the ordinary.

It’s About the Outfit Inspiration, Not About Having to Buy New Things

I also want to keep in mind that while all of the items I’m showing and linking are available in stores, I never want people to feel pressured to buy. Hopefully, these serve as holiday outfit inspiration and you can re-create similar looks from pieces you already have in your closet. I mean, I do that all the time when I’m feeling uninspired. In fact, I keep a folder on my phone of screenshots from outfits that appeal to me. And I encourage my clients (especially new clients) to do the same.

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…

The Conundrum of Fall Fashion This Year

I can’t believe it’s already October, and I still haven’t posted about fall fashion trends. Scratch that, I can believe it because nothing in this year has gone as planned, So, this is just par for the 2020 course.

When thinking about fall fashion, there’s a balance to strike, and right now, I feel like I’m walking a tightrope. Historically, when working with my one on one styling clients, I look at what they have on their calendars for the season, specifically the next 30-90 days. Then I help them purchase items strategically and plan their outfits according to what’s on the docket. But in 2020, that’s kind of a joke, right? How are we to plan when we don’t know if kids are going to school? If we can attend weddings or bar mitzvahs? Or even if we can eat inside restaurants and feel comfortable doing so?

In a Typical Fashion Cycle…

The Vest-a Common Conundrum Piece.

When we meet with a client for the first time we always ask about their conundrum pieces. And lately, the vest seems to be the conundrum culprit for quite a few clients. A conundrum piece as we call it is one of those pieces that every time you put it on it makes you say, “how am I supposed to wear this” or “what am I supposed to do with this”. Oh, and by the way, we aren’t talking about a sporty, Eddie Bauer type, fly fishing vest. There’s a place for those but that’s not the topic today.

We’re talking about a longer wool/cashmere, sweater, or fur vest. And the challenge of how to wear them for effortless style. But the answer isn’t as easy as a quick explanation. It’s more of a visual thing. So, instead of giving a quick answer, we’re offering up some quick style inspiration and how to’s…