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.
The statement top can be an intimidating garment. Like the statement skirt, shoe, or necklace, it works best when everything else is kept simple. Here are a few tips to help you wear your statement top with confidence.
Top: La Vie Rebecca Taylor / Jeans: Universal Thread for Target / Clutch: Rebecca Minkoff, Similar Here / Pumps: Michael Kors / Sunglasses: Persol, Similar Here / Earrings: Argento Vivo
Find a style that flatters you.
Fit is the most important element of any piece of clothing. Find a statement top that flatters you. For women who are broader on top, a cold shoulder statement blouse is wonderful. For women with narrow shoulders, a puff sleeve works well. Fun fact: the technical term for the type of sleeve I'm wearing here is "Leg of Mutton" or gigot in French. The gigot sleeve has been going in and out of style since the 1820s.
Choose a top rendered in a casual fabric.
Statement tops have a lot going on. You are more likely to wear one if you find it comfortable. A blouse rendered in cotton, poplin, or rayon will be appropriate for everyday life. These casual fabrics ensure your look is 2018 rather than 1820.
Keep everything else simple and sleek.
Let your top be the star of the show. Your pants, shoes, and accessories are all supporting players. This is a key reason to have nice basics in your wardrobe, even if they are a bit boring. They allow your statement pieces to shine. With my outfit, I paired my top with light wash skinny jeans, silver hoops, and blue suede pumps. I chose to add a Chevron Stripe clutch. Stripes and florals are nearly always friends. A solid navy or tan bag would also work fabulously.
Make it yours.
I've said it before and I'll say it again--you can alter your clothing to your needs. Taking up shoulder straps and hemming sleeves are simple fixes that make a big difference. Additionally, wrap tops can be adjusted to your liking without visiting the tailor. For this one, I sometimes wear the wrap tied neatly in a bow, and sometimes I let the excess fabric hang down. And, I nearly always scrunch up the sleeves. Tip: if your scrunched sleeves won't stay that way, secure them with an elastic hairband.
Prepare for the stare.
In a world accustomed to t-shirts and gym clothes, wearing a statement top is bound to get you noticed. People will comment on it. Every time I wear this blouse, it starts a conversation with a few random strangers. While waiting for my photographer, I ordered a coffee. The barista complimented my shirt and said she loved how Early 90's it was. I told her, I affectionately call it my Fresh Prince of Bel Air shirt for the same reason. Go into the world knowing you're bound to start a conversation.
If you find a top that is flattering and comfortable, and keep everything else simple, you can rock a crazy shirt with ease. When you know why something works, you'll have the confidence to wear it.
Ready to make a statement?
Shop my favorite statement tops below.
La Vie Rebecca Taylor Pansies Top, $195, Pictured Above
Lauren Ralph Lauren Plus Convertible OTS Top, $89.50
Free People Beneath the Sea Top, $98
Lucky Brand Plus Cold Shoulder Paisley Top, On Sale for $38.96
Wayf Beckett Top, $69
Vince Camuto Ruffled Tiered Top, $89
BCBG Veronika Top, $138
Aqua Striped Cold Shoulder Top, $68
Aqua One Shoulder Floral Print Top, $58
Vince Camuto Striped Ruffle Top, $89
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.