Thursday, October 20, 2016


As many of you know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  There are so many causes our family supports, and so many worthy organizations, but breast cancer is one disease that hits particularly close to our home.  In my opinion, the best way to give to any organization is to do your research, choose a charity, and write a check!  Having said that, there are plenty of other ways to give.

Each year, loads of businesses partner with breast cancer charities to donate a portion of their proceeds to help fund research.  I've rounded up just a small sampling of beauty products, accessories, and other gifts that will allow you to shop and give at the same time.  Treat yoself...or get a jump on your holiday shopping!

Aveda Hand Relief - $4 per purchase to BCRF through 9/23/17

Alex and Ani Spiral Sun Charm Bangle - 20% of purchase to BCRF through 12/31/16

Bobbi Brown Art Stick Duo - $10 of each purchase to BCRF (and there is a link
on the Bobbi Brown website to donate directly to BCRF)

White and Warren Cashmere Travel Wrap - 20% of select colors to Susan G. Komen
through 10/31/16

EOS Berry Blossom Body Lotion - 100% of net proceeds to
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center!!!

Tory Burch Ivy Hobo - 20% to BCRF through 10/31/16
Swell Water Bottle in Bikini Pink - 20% to BCRF through 10/31/16

How will you Think Pink this month?

As a personal stylist in Richmond, VA, I strive to make wardrobe choices clear and easy for women who are short on time, overwhelmed by their closets, or transitioning from one period of life to another.  Let's connect! 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016


If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you've read my hints about this post, which was initially going to be a "Fall Wardrobe Essentials" post.  But, as I was thinking about my must-have list, it dawned on me that the list hasn't changed much from 2 years ago, when I wrote this post.  Here it is, in a nutshell:

Sure, I there are a few new trends that I'm loving, but for the most part, I think this is pretty spot on! No need to reinvent the wheel.  Looking at this picture got me thinking that I could probably do a whole lot with just a handful of pieces.  I decided to see just how far I could stretch my wardrobe.

My daughter and I (God love her for keeping me company and helping me out) set out in the hotter'n summer weather to see how many different head-to-toe looks we could create with 18 of my current fall essentials.  You'll see that I've made some changes from the above list (added a few tops and a sleeveless vest for a trendy flair, changed up some colors, and left out a couple of things).  I wanted to incorporate a few of the trendy, but versatile, pieces I have in my closet that I think I will wear a lot this Fall.  I still like the original list, though (and would never EVER give up my tailored blazer)!

As you can see, this wardrobe consists of:
-3 jackets
-1 duster-length sweater vest
-1 dress
-5 tops
-1 pair black pants
-1 pair jeans
-1 hat
-1 purse
-4 pairs of shoes

Count 'em with me:

1.  Started simple with the striped top, jeans, and booties.  
2.  Added a jacket, which gives it a totally different vibe.
3.  Same jeans, jacket, boots, but I'm wearing the blush silk top.
4.  I love this one!  Silk top, black pants, and blush pumps.  So sharp.
5.  Cuter model in a similar look, but totally toughening it up with a leather jacket.
6.  Same leather jacket, girly floral top, jeans, black booties, and a hat.

7.  I ain't 'fraid of no hat!  Jeans and blush with the sweater vest.  I love the cream and blush combo here.
8.  Same sweater with the floral top and black booties (but I took off the silver embellishment...versatile!)
9.  Here's a closer look at the outfit my daughter's wearing above.  Black pants, leopard ballet flats, chambray top, hat.
10.  Another look simple look - denim on denim (and I put the silver fringe back on the booties).
11. Everybody's fave - the velvet jacket - pairs nicely with the floral top and brown boots.
12.  It's hard to see in our long grass, but I loved pairing the leopard flats with this buffalo check top.
13.  The top easily converts into a topper for an LBD.  
14.  Another way to change up the black dress.  Chambray top for the win!  (The belt is part of the dress.)
15.  My daughter said I look tall in this one.  Wanna know why?  The shoes are about the same color as my skin, so it's very leg-lengthening.
16.  We honestly didn't think this one would look great, but it was quite cute!  I like this dress best with the animal print flats.   At my age, I think that the shorter the dress, the flatter the shoes. 

SIXTEEN!!  And that doesn't even count the other 3 that I was too tired to photograph:  black dress on its own, black dress with black leather jacket, and brown velvet jacket with blush silk top (soooo gorgeous)!  So maybe 16, maybe 19, but you get the idea.

This is what I do with my Wardrobe Revival clients.  Most of them believe they have very little to wear, but mixing and matching in unexpected ways will take a small wardrobe a long way!  You really don't need to have an overflowing closet to have style, you just have to experiment.  If you're not up for it, though, give me a call.  I'm always happy to help.  

Do you have a favorite look from this post?  Can you think of other ways to mix it up?  

As a personal stylist in Richmond, VA, I strive to make wardrobe choices clear and easy for women who are short on time, overwhelmed by their closets, or transitioning from one period of life to another.  Let's connect! 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016


By now, you've read about my experiences (here and here) with two online styling services, Stitch Fix and Trunk Club.  You may have even had your own experiences with one of these companies (or another similar one).  If you've ever thought you might benefit from hiring a personal stylist, you might wonder why--or if--you should hire a local stylist over one of these online services.  After all, a local stylist will generally charge you per hour, and an online service will cost you nothing but the clothes you buy.  I'm admittedly biased, but in my opinion, these two types of services are totally different animals, meant to serve totally different purposes, both having to do with clothing.  I'm going to attempt to outline my thoughts.

Photo by Sandy Swagger Photography

Who should use an online styling service?

  • Are you a person who loves getting new clothes every now and then, who is comfortable describing her personal style likes and dislikes, and who loves surprises?  This service is for you!
  • Do you love trying on new items and mixing and matching them with things you have in your closet to get the most bang for your buck?  This service is for you!
  • When you try on clothes, do you know what cuts and fabrics flatter your figure most?  Are you generally comfortable making a decision about whether or not to keep something without consulting a friend or expert?  This service is for you!
  • Do you need just a few things to spice up your wardrobe, but otherwise feel pretty good about what's in your closet?  This service is for you!

Photo by Sandy Swagger Photography

Who should hire a local personal stylist?

  • Do you look in your closet most mornings feeling like you have very little from which to choose, even though you may have lots in there?  Is creating head-to-toe looks a challenge for you?  Hire a local stylist!
  • Are you in a bit of a slump because you've gained or lost weight or because your body has changed with age?  Could you benefit from working with someone who can help you learn how to dress this new body to its full potential?  Hire a local stylist!
  • Have you recently had a "life shift" (new baby, kids back to school, new job, retirement) and need some helping learning how to dress the part?  Hire a local stylist!
  • Do you need someone to give you some suggestions on whether to keep or toss items in your closet that you've been hanging on to?  Would you like someone to take it to a consignment store or donation bin for you when it's all over?  Hire a local stylist!
  • Do you hate shopping and/or have no time for it and want to establish a relationship with a person who knows your measurements, sizes, preferences, budget, personality, job, and who can go multiple places to find great additions to your wardrobe?  Hire a local stylist!  (OK, this one sounds like a horn tooter, and it is.  But it's also true.)

I'm sure you're catching my drift.  Even with a detailed questionnaire and a phone call ahead of time, it's hard for someone to understand your needs and preferences from afar.  A local stylist will take time to get to know what you're looking for.  Her proximity will usually allow her to come to your house and spend time with you looking at the things you have.  Any new pieces she suggests or purchases for you will work in the wardrobe you already have.  And perhaps the biggest difference is that a local stylist may determine you don't need to add much of anything to your current wardrobe.  My clients are always shocked by all of the combinations and "new" outfits we create during a Wardrobe Revival.

Having said that, I have recommended, and will continue to recommend online styling services to clients after the Wardrobe Revival.  Once they've gotten a grasp on their personal style, sometimes they are excited to branch out and get a few new pieces, with or without my help.

Finally, I imagine that lots of folks who read fashion blogs are into fashion and feel confident enough in their personal style to enjoy an online service.  It's always fun to find a package at your door, isn't it?!

So, are these two types of services similar?  In my opinion, they are not.  Are they mutually exclusive?  Absolutely not!  Have FUN with fashion!!

Do you agree with my thoughts?  Disagree?  Let me know in the comments.

As a personal stylist in Richmond, VA, I strive to make wardrobe choices clear and easy for women who are short on time, overwhelmed by their closets, or transitioning from one period of life to another.  Let's connect!