Have you ever wondered what the process of working with a personal fashion stylist is like? I work one-on-one with real women throughout San Diego to take the stress out of getting dressed. I help my clients sort out their closets, define their style, and shop with intention. Read on to go behind the scenes and learn how my process works.
We have a chat.
All Photos By Dayley Photography
Whether it's by email, text, phone, or in the middle of your living room, we'll talk about your wardrobe, budget and lifestyle. I send all of my new clients "Style Homework" to complete before our first appointment. This assignment helps me determine the best way to serve them. I don't put all my clients in the same clothes. Each woman has her own unique style. My clients range from bohemian to buttoned-up. You can view an example of one of the worksheets I send my personal styling clients here.
We get measurements.
While this is usually everyone's least favorite part, accurate measurements allow me to make appropriate sizing recommendations and determine your correct body type. As you'll notice if you read any of my blog posts where I recommend specific garments, the same woman can be a size 4 in one brand and a size 8 in another. Even at the same store, she can be a 6 in a dress and a 10 in a pair of trousers. For those of you who love shopping online, a simple yellow tape measure (like the one pictured) is ideal for figuring out what size to order from a new retailer. As stated, proper measurements also allow us to figure out your true body type. Many women think they are "bigger in the middle" because they have a little pooch, but in reality they are actually bigger on the bottom or on top. Nearly all of us have a slightly protruding stomach, especially after kids and/or age 35. However, having a "larger in the middle" body type is quite rare.
I give feedback.
After I receive your style homework, and we've taken your measurements, the fun begins. During a closet edit or outfit creation appointment, we go through your existing wardrobe to find your hero pieces and discard items that are no longer serving you.
We create outfits.
With the treasures found in your closet, we work together to create "new" outfits from your existing wardrobe. I photograph these and send them to you via email in Digital Look Book PDF format. These images are easily viewed on mobile and tablet devices.
We find hidden treasures.
Typically, when working in your closet, I will find hidden treasure. There is usually a fabulous but forgotten statement necklace, a charming vintage scarf, or a fantastic pair of boots. We revive these discoveries by creating new outfits around them. That feeling of "having nothing to wear" will be long gone.
I follow up.
About 24-48 hours after our appointment, I email photos of the outfits we created. In the body of the email, I will also include specific item suggestions, along with brands and stores that work for your personal taste, budget, and lifestyle. You can see examples of a digital Look Book here.
I hear wonderful things from you.
You may send me an email saying you've never received so many compliments on your wardrobe. You may get a promotion at work. You might be flying high for days on your newfound confidence. Friends and family members may tell you that you've never looked better. These are actual results my clients have seen after our time together.
We work together again (and again).
Maybe you've finally launched your own business and you want my help preparing for head shots? Or, you need to look even more like a boss now that you've snagged the corner office? Or you want to look amazing for your engagement party? Perhaps you just bought your dream house and need help organizing that dream closet? Or, your a super-successful woman who wants her own Fashion Fairy Godmother to plan her outfits for the next two weeks every two weeks? I help with all of that. Take the stress out of getting dressed and hire me today.
If you're one of my email subscribers, you already know last month was quite busy for me. If you're not on the list, sign up here for style tips, behind the scenes stories, and notifications about availability for in-person styling services. As usual, many things have since sold out. Don't worry though, there are still many good finds in this post. So, what did my clients buy in May? Let's dig in.
Lucky Floral Print Cold Shoulder Top, $49.50
While cold shoulder tops are not my personal favorite (see why here), I have a few clients who love them. These tops work best on those with broad shoulders. This flirty number from Lucky is comfy-chic and perfect for a casual summer day.
Equipment Leema Button-Down, $278
While this silk Equipment top is styled a bit weird in the photo above, it looks gorgeous with black skinny jeans or red dress shorts (think Petra from Jane the Virgin).
Theory Silk Zabetha Top, $102
Nearly every career woman needs a few nice shells in her work wardrobe. This silky number from Theory is the perfect fit. With the interesting back detail, this top also looks great with leather pants or skinny jeans and heel for a night out.
Vince Camuto Ruffle Sleeve Top, $49
I'm always on the hunt for tees with a little something extra. This style from Vince Camuto offers ruffle sleeves and a unique hem. Wear it with jeans and earrings and you'll feel completely put together with minimal effort.
Splendid V-Neck Slub Tee, $48
I have a real soft spot for Splendid's basic tees. I wear a heather gray one all the time. They're soft, flattering, and hold up for years. I've yet to see anyone look bad in this V-neck slub tee.
Free People Uptown Girl Blazer, $100.80
It wasn't all t-shirts and tanks last month. One of my clients picked up this fun boyfriend blazer from Free People. Wear it open with the sleeves rolled up. I like it over a funky band tee and distressed light-wash jeans.
Theory Treeca 2 Good Stretch Wool Suit Pants, $275
Back to classic workwear pieces, these pants from Theory are a lightweight stretch wool that works all year in San Diego. The fit on pants from theory continues to be superb.
Alice + Olivia Cady Shorts, $195
Taking a turn toward summer fun, these adorable shorts from Alice + Olivia can go anywhere with you. Wear with a button down and nude wedges for a sophisticated look or opt for a graphic tee and flip flops for casual comfort.
Lafayette 148 Waxed Denim Slim Leg Jeans, $248
Note that the "white" of these Lafayette 148 pants is more of a beige. Also, they run large so order a size down. The waxed denim is a bit thicker (and thus more flattering) than most other light to white pants out there. While they're a slim cut, they're not skinny jeans so legs get a little breathing room. Tip: if you can see the outline of pockets in your white jeans, you can have the pockets removed by your tailor. Problem solved!
Leith Wide Leg Crop Pants, $59
If you really want to free your legs from the tyranny of skinny pants, try these wide leg crop pants by Leith. They look a bit silly above, but trust me; they are actually quite flattering. I prefer them styled more casually, think sandals and a white tee. Add a straw hat and you're good to go. Since these pants are quite voluminous, it's important to wear something more fitted on top. See my previous post on how to wear wide leg pants here.
NYDJ Pull-On Ankle Jeans, $99
The pull-on jeans from NYDJ are always a hit. They look very nice, but they're pretty much leggings in disguise. For those of you who can't stand zippers, buttons, and hardware, give these a try.
NYDJ Tummy Control Capris, $59.99
If you're bored of blue and white denim, you might be surprised by the versatility of an olive pair of jeans. I recommend sizing down; NYDJ runs large.
Dresses and Skirts
Ted Baker Highgrove Bodycon Dress, $188.98
This is one of those dresses I *almost* picked up for myself. I love the whimsical print and the bold graphic stripe on the bottom. Pattern mixing in one garment? Sign me up. Ted Baker has its own sizing, so look up the chart before you buy. For example, I am usually a size 6, but in Ted Baker, I'm a 2.
Tommy Hilfiger Floral-Print Maxi Dress, $149
This pretty dress works best on women who are 5'6" or taller and rocking a "C" cup or smaller. Wear to a wedding, on a date, or at the grocery store, especially if you're trying to get a date.
Bobeau Ruched Waist Maxi Skirt, $29.80
I love maxi skirts for my traveling clients, especially if they're planning visits to conservative countries or religious sites. This style from Bobeau packs well and is nearly always on sale for less than $30.
Kut from the Kloth Annie Belted Chambray Dress, $98
It is difficult to find a chambray dress that doesn't scream "Farmer's Daughter", yet Kut from the Kloth has managed to create one that is casually chic and flattering on most body types. It's perfect for all your backyard summer activities.
After striking out at Torrid and Nordstrom with a client shopping for a guest-of-the-wedding dress, we fell in love with this pretty printed number at Target. She'll be wearing this with gold layered necklaces, gold earrings, and olive espadrilles. Note: if you're ever invited to a wedding at the Martin-Johnson House, wear flats or wedges. The terrain is not friendly to thin heels.
Bailey 44 Lai Mirch Dress, $188
I use a series of "style types" to help determine the pieces, brands, and stores that will suit my individual client's best. One of them is "Sexy Sophisticate". This dress embodies that concept perfectly. There is no hint of cleavage or thigh, yet the silhouette is undoubtedly sexy.
Steve Madden Irenee Block Heel Sandals, $79
These block heels from Steve Madden are another perennial favorite. They look great with all your dresses and skirts and are short enough for all-day wear.
Michael Kors Platform Wedge, $98.95
If you're more of a wedge lover, this pair from Michael Kors is also quite popular. They are available in a variety of colors. I like the denim/navy color way because of its versatility.
The Flexx Band Together Sandals, $114.95
My love of metallic shoes is well documented on this blog. This comfort sandal from Flexx is another great travel option.
Tory Burch Miller Flip Flop, $198
While I don't recommend these Tory Burch flip flops for travel, many of my clients have 1-2 pairs of these and buy replacements when they wear out. They're certainly another favorite.
Paul Green Nicolette Pointy Toe Pump, $319
My favorite thing about these heels from Paul Green is the hidden velcro at the top--no fussing around with a tiny buckle! Also, Paul Green heels are typically so well-made even my clients with serious foot issues can wear them. If you find heels extremely uncomfortable, and want to find a pair you can wear for my than five minutes, check these out.
Gucci Ophelia Floral Sandal, $940
These whimsical Gucci heels do have a tiny buckle on the top, but they're so gorgeous, they're worth the fuss.
Argento Vivo Front Hoop Earrings, $58
I have these earrings in silver and I wear them often, probably too much. The gold version is just as pretty and versatile.
Tory Burch Fleming Shoulder Bag, $498
One of my clients grew tired of her larger tote bags and sought smaller options. This bright shoulder bag fit the bill. And, it adds a pop of color to any neutral outfit.
Baublebar Mixed Media Necklace, $58
Lately, I've been getting into tortoise shell jewelry as a way to pull together outfits that feature black and brown. This necklace is a great completer piece for those types of looks.
Eric Javits Bella Floppy Hat, $225
With summer just around the corner, why not try out a chic hat that can be worn to the beach, the races, and dining al fresco? Put on this one from Eric Javits and you'll feel like a glamorous old Hollywood star.
Moon & Meadow 14K Gold Layered Necklace, $360
For those of you who prefer fine jewelry and dainty options, this pretty set from Bloomingdale's is a treat. It's one of those necklaces you'll love wearing everyday.
BP Contrast Lining Faux Leather Contrast Lining Tote, $49
We'll end on this faux leather bag from Nordstrom, which is another crowd favorite. The price can't be beat and the color goes with everything, unlike black. It's great for work, travel, and/or Mom life.
I'm Jaquelyn Wahidi. I'm a personal fashion stylist, writer, and entrepreneur in San Diego. I help women organize their closets, define their style, and shop with intention. My style blog features practical style advice for women everywhere. I've been addicted to blazers since 2004.