Online styling service VS. Personal Stylist

Online style services offer a convenience factor and fill a void that many women have (and men, too) when it comes to their wardrobe.

Most online stylists offer the same basic service. You create an account, fill out and submit an online profile telling them about yourself and your budget, the company assigns you a virtual stylist and then the stylist selects and ships you items which show up on your doorstep about a week later. You have 5 or so days to keep only the items you like and ship back the rest. It often takes a few shipments to “train” your stylist so expect more returns in the beginning until your virtual stylist figures out your preferences. There are mixed reviews on the quality of merchandise with any online service. Just know that there is a broad range of brands these online services promote and sometimes you might get the low-end even if you set a higher budget. It often simply takes more communication with your virtual stylist to narrow down your expectations.

The real difference between online services and a Personal Stylist lies in the fact that the online services don’t know what you’ve already got in your closet or what you need to replace or donate. Which leaves YOU to purge your current wardrobe, create stylish outfits and choose new pieces that can be integrated into your current wardrobe, which many of us are unable to do or simply not very good at. Even though they are offering a service of convenience, the online stylists are still there to sell clothes.

A professional Personal Stylist will offer a complete package. I start with a free consultation whether it be at your home, a nearby coffee shop or a phone call. We’ll determine what your needs are and how I can best help move you toward having an organized and appealing wardrobe for work, school, date night, travel, special occasions, etc.

We then will do a closet edit (clean out), reorganization, style session, create outfits and finally I’ll suggest items if needed that would compliment and complete your wardrobe.

One of my favorite things about working with a client is helping them discover that often times they don’t need to shop for ANYTHING. They just need to revamp, re-organize and get creative with what they’ve already got hanging in their closet. Most of us already have too much STUFF and I’m not here to sell you more; I simply want to help you build a purposeful and well-curated wardrobe that works with your lifestyle.

Bottom line, it’s a very personal choice…and each one of us should do what works best for our own self. I’m somewhat biased I know but I truly enjoy developing relationships with my clients. I love when a client texts me a picture for “approval” of something they want to wear or purchase. That’s hard to get with an online service.

I’d be happy to answer additional questions; just leave me a comment at the bottom of this post or reach out on social media.

Below is a quick rundown on a couple popular online services if you’d like to give them a try. There are many more out there!

Stitch Fix–no subscription, $20 styling fee applied to purchase, order anytime or schedule auto shipments, free shipping both ways.

Trunk Club–a Nordstrom Co. (so guess where your clothes are coming from?)–$25 styling fee applied toward purchase, review your “trunk” online before it ships to approve stylist picks, order anytime or schedule set shipments, free shipping and returns.

Finery–Free app and cool concept but takes a significant amount of time to set up. You link your email address to the app so when you place an order online it saves the order to your digital closet. Ideally you would have pictures of your entire wardrobe on the app. Then Finery suggests how to wear your pieces according to season, style and even local weather. It also gives you links to items it recommends you purchase to enhance your wardrobe.

~xoxo

Are Boots & Scarves Boring You?

Do you feel like the popular boots and scarves look needs an update? Just so happens…I agree!

If you’re feeling like each time you get dressed you’re wearing your boots & scarf “uniform”, read on.

Get creative with your options! So many boots & booties on the market, combined with a million ways to wear and tie a scarf make it easy peasy to update this classic look.

If you don’t have it already, you might want to invest in at least 2 colorful patterned scarves and 1 solid. You also want a variety of boots that suit your body type including, short, tall and OTK .

The photo below is your classic (some might call it boring) look.

photo of woman standing on the shore
Photo by J carter on Pexels.com

Let’s look at a few ways to update this look in 2018…

  1. Choose a colorful, patterned scarf and wear it off one shoulder.
  2. Switch up the boots: OTK, classic tall and booties.
  3. Ditch the sweater for a long sleeve tee and biker jacket or blazer with a lighter weight scarf.
  4. Wear a sweater dress with tall or over the knee boots and a blanket scarf.
  5. Think layers: Skirt, long sleeves, open cardigan, untied scarf and tall boots.

Bottom line…mix it up and have some fun with your boots and scarves. Don’t settle for boring! There are so many options when it comes to this classic combination.

If you’re not sure about a look or how to wear a scarf, snap a pic and send it to me. I’m happy to give you some feedback and suggestions! I love hearing from you so leave me a comment here or follow me and DM on Instagram @itsmekristenford ~xoxo

Organization is key

 

The first thing I suggest when I consult with a client is a closet edit. Some of us are better than others at keeping our closets fresh and up to date so this could be a quick and easy thing or a huge undertaking. Editing your closet involves removing and repurposing the old, out of style, out-dated, never worn clothing and organizing what’s left in a way that makes getting dressed every morning easy breezy. How we organize your closet is up to you. It’s a project we’ll do together because it has to make sense and be functional for you and your lifestyle.

Think of your closet as a store. Every day you wake up and walk into your store and wonder what you want to pull of the rack for whatever is happening that day. You want to be able to quickly get your hands on something that will be appropriate. You really want to love and get your moneys worth from everything in your store! If your “store” is clean, fresh, updated with all the right pieces and well organized it will save you time and frustration in the mornings and get your day off to a smooth start. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t want a closet that feels like you’re walking in to Madewell or Anthropologie even if you can’t own all of their clothing!

close up of shoes and bag
Photo by Alexandra Maria on Pexels.com

I’m partnering with Leslie Marshall, owner of The Marshall Concept. After completing your closet edit, Leslie will be available to come to your home and recommend all things pretty as far as organization and storage are concerned such as hangers, bins, boxes and labels to keep your things neat and tidy and in all the right places. Visit her website and follow her on social media. She can organize everything from your closet, pantry, cabinets and drawers, to your entire home.

Most asked question…

With kids back in school and summer nearing its end, I’m beginning to be presented with my most popular question…Can I wear white after Labor Day?

The fashion rules have changed on this favored subject and wearing white is absolutely acceptable year round. White is no longer seasonal. The old rule ‘not after Labor Day or before Easter’ is antiquated and I personally couldn’t be happier about it. I love the crisp, clean look of white any time of the year! Even Emily Post approves: http://emilypost.com/advice/wearing-white-after-labor-day/

For me, wearing white is a day-to-day decision. Take a look outside or at your favorite weather app and forget the date or time of year. If the sun is out and the weather is nice, you can bet I’ll have some white on. I choose not to wear white on dreary, rainy days simply because I don’t want my white shoes or jeans muddy. On these days, I wear yellow or hot pink to cheer me up! That’s basically my only rule of thumb. Comment below if you have your own white “rule”.

If you live in the South like I do, our weather stays warm through the fall (and sometimes winter) so the white rule never made sense to me. When the weather starts turning cooler where you live, you can start easing into your fall colors and bring out more ivory and winter-white but don’t put your true whites away. Truly, there’s no reason not to wear a white sweater, jeans or boots or layer your white tees on a crisp, sunny winter day.

Some people can’t get past the traditional guideline and that’s okay too. Your style and image is a personal decision so if you’re not comfortable wearing white September-April then there is no pressure to do so! Your wardrobe should be a reflection of your personality and lifestyle so always, first and foremost wear what makes you happy 🙂

Styling Family Photos

Another one of my FAVORITE things to do…choosing what colors & style to wear for family portraits.

First of all, matching is not a requirement; however, coordinating is. You don’t want too many colors involved as it takes away from the subjects and faces that you’re trying to document and remember. Two or three colors is usually most pleasing. It’s great to mix patterns although you don’t want to ALL be wearing a different pattern; depending on the number of people in your family, one person could wear plaid, another stripes and the others a solid color.

Begin by setting your sights on a location (beach, historical district, park, open fields). Next, choose a color that compliments your location and lastly, decide on 2 additional colors that coordinate with your main color.

A good example is the beach: Your surroundings are hues of blue and beige in the water, skies and sand. You don’t want to dress in blue and beige and blend in to your surroundings. Rather, choose navy, white or black with orange, pink or green, all of which would complement your surroundings. Another example is the park: You’re likely to have a lot of green in the grass and trees, so avoid shades of green when selecting your clothing.

Wear clothing that fits well, is appropriate for the season and shoes that aren’t ratty; fresh haircuts, LIGHT makeup and smaller jewelry typically look the best. Remember you are documenting today for the future. You don’t want to look back and wonder why you wore that “awful dress” or had “that” hair color or style.

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As always, let me know if I can help you with anything related to style, color and wardrobe ~ Kristen

Closet Wardrobe Edit

A well planned, up-to-date and organized closet can be your best friend!

In order to take the frustration out of your mornings and make getting dressed a breeze, only keep current pieces within arms reach. Donate items that no longer fit and consider your local or online resale shop for items no longer worn but still in style and like new. Out of season and formal pieces can be moved to an alternate closet or stored in tubs.

Then organize your clothes by hanging like items and colors together. Leave plenty of space between hangers. If you can’t see and easily access all your clothes, you won’t know what you have, you won’t wear them as often, and it’s usually a sign you have too much.

It’s a good idea to do this with every change of season or at least twice a year. As you put away sweaters and replace them with tees and tank tops, look over each piece. If you didn’t wear it this past season, maybe it’s time to pass it on to someone who will enjoy it.

If this sounds overwhelming or too time-consuming, contact me…It’s what I love to do. I can help you clean out, clean up and update your wardrobe.

photo of black clothes on hangers
Photo by Artem Bali on Pexels.com
white and black floral cap sleeved shirt
Photo by Artem Bali on Pexels.com

Off to the beach!

I’m packing for the beach today and wanted to quickly share with you some tips if you too might be planning a beach trip soon.

  1. First of all, less is more (I need this reminder myself every time I travel!).
  2. All you really need are your swimmy & coverup, sunnies, hat/cap, jean shorts, tank tops, sandals and sunscreen. Whatever you do…don’t forget your sunscreen! You might also throw in a sundress and a light sweater or jacket for evening.
  3. Always check your favorite weather app for your destination. Even warm locations can have cooler, rainy days/nights depending on the time of year.
  4. Research your place of stay. Some resorts may have a dress code for certain restaurants or parts of the property.
  5. If you’re a planner, check out what else your destination offers beforehand and find some interesting things to do (in case of a rainy beach day) and pack an outfit for that, i.e. museum, theatre or shopping.

It’s rainy & dreary here at home, so sunshine and sand are REALLY calling my name! Shout out to Hallie B.’s in Rockwall, Tx for the More Love tank, 972 cap & Just Black denim shorts, and Copper Well Retreat in Little Rock, Ar for the Kind tank. PSA: I love to shop and support local!

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Nothing to wear?

Every woman (and man) should be excited to enter her closet!

I can help you transform your clothes into outfits, pair pieces together that you may not have thought about & assist with finding closet staples that you might be missing in order to make more outfits with what you’ve already got.

It doesn’t always take a lot of money, just organization and a set of fresh ideas!

Who can benefit from a personal stylist?

Do you stare blankly into your closet full clothes yet can’t find anything to wear?

Do you struggle to put outfits together that make you feel good about yourself?

Do you have clothes in your closet that never leave their hangers?

Do you dislike shopping for clothes and shoes?

If yes, a wardrobe consultant/personal stylist might be right for you. I get great pleasure out of helping women and men update their wardrobes and build confidence through a well-planned closet.