I am filling in for Holley today to show off her skills as a personal stylist. Disclaimer:  That is not a photo of my closet, but wouldn’t it be nice if it were?

First, before your stylist arrives you need to do two things:

  1.  Go through everything in your closet.  Try on every piece of clothing, and touch every accessory, shoe, scarf and handbag.  Clean anything out that doesn’t fit, is stained, yellowed, need repairs or doesn’t make you feel fabulous.  Be brutal and honest with yourself. Do you really need seven black t-shirts?  If you wish you could fit into the pants or dress again, and you don’t now, chances are when you finally lose those 10 pounds you will want something new to celebrate, not a five year old dress.  Donate or if you have nice things that just don’t work for you anymore take them to a resale shop to get some extra cash.  I have a Clothes Mentor near me and my church takes clothing donations. If it’s an item that just needs a repair or you want the sleeve length adjusted take it to the tailor, don’t put it back into the closet because it will never get done.  This process may require a few Saturdays or a day but it will be worth it to start with a clean slate of things you love. There is no sense in having a stylist work with clothes you don’t look good in or don’t plan to keep.
  2. Be thinking about what you need help with.  Do you want ideas for work, weekends or both? This will help your stylist to zero in on what exactly their job is when they arrive.

Okay, Holley is at my house and I have done my homework.  Since I wanted to photograph each of the outfits she put together for my blog post we used the top of my bed to lay everything out — clothes, accessories, handbag and shoes.  It might help you, too, to take photos of each of the outfits so you have them to refer to when getting ready in the morning.  You can just use your phone or print them from your computer and put the photos in a binder.

Holley asked me what my goals were for her visit:  1)  I wanted ideas for work attire.  I need to look professional but it’s a not a formal work environment.  I didn’t need help with weekends, because jeans are what I normally wear anyway.  2) I wanted an outfit I could start with in the morning and make a simple switch to take me into happy hour with friends or dinner out with Mr. Bee.

Then, Holley went “shopping” in my closet, pulling things out and we got started.

These were a few of my favorite outfits:

The top and skirt are last season from CABi.  I have worn their clothes for several years now.  My stylist from CABi Stacy Stoltz, brings her seasonal line to me and I get to shop from my own home.  CABi remind me of the kind of clothing my mother and I would shop for — well made, fun finishes on the interior, with retro touches.  The bracelet is from this season.  The handbag is from Draper James, one of my favorite retail stores.  The shoes are this season from Ann Taylor and come in black, too (40% off with code FALLFORITALL).

If you haven’t noticed this about me, I love graphic t-shirts.  Fun, uplifting quotes are my jam.  This cute foxy fella is from Draper James. Holley paired it with dark washed jeans, and an Ann Taylor frayed hem jacket (similar style here), an animal print belt with the same heels from above, but in black.  Here’s a similar Dana Buchman handbag here.

The great thing about the above two styles she created is they can be switched out.  The jackets could be switched or the tops.

Here’s another example of three ways to style a Camo jacket (similar here).

Remember, camo is neutral (hence, the reason it’s used to disguise you in the wildnerness), so it can go with anything.  Look how fab it is paired with red!  The bottoms are each different as well — dark washed jeans, distressed jeans and a denim pencil skirt.

Here’s an example of day to evening…

The raspberry colored trousers are from Ann Taylor.  For the daytime look Holley paired it with a cute t-shirt from Talbots and a black bomber style jacket.  Same earrings and purse.  For night time, we kept the pants but swapped them out for a jacket from H&M and a white tunic top.

The shoes in the top photo are from Kohls here.  The animal print D’Orsay shoes in the bottom pic are Sam and Libby from Target (similar here).

Here are some last few photos of more ideas.

Tip:  Whenever I am looking through a catalog, at first glance I see things I want.  But, then I go back through and look at what I already have in my closet.  It may not be exactly like the photo, but it’s possible you have some basics to work with.  Most people have a denim jacket and a pair a jeans. Maybe you just need to add an animal print jacket and pair of olive green jeans and already you have created four outfits from just purchasing two items.

Holley, left me with a very small shopping list of items I didn’t have that would be great to add to my closet:  Black skinny jeans, a few small mini or clutch bags in black, gold and neutral.  While she was out shopping the next day (which is another service she offers) she snapped a few pictures of some very affordable bags at Forever 21.

Visit my Pinterest board for Closet Organization tips including this guide for essential items you need in your closet, tips on what to wear and where to keep it in your closet.

All in all, Holley spent about 2 1/2 hours with me and helped me create 25 outfits.  We talked about trying to put together my wardrobe the night before with all the accessories and shoe choices so it makes it a time saver in the morning rush of getting to work and affords for a more pulled together look.  So, I have been trying to work on that.  Not only was my time with Holley fun, but I learned a lot and now feel confident with choices of outfits so my wardrobe feels new to me!

Be sure to visit with Holley via email to book your appointment for a closet inventory, style session or personal shopping experience.  Just for HWT readers – Holley is offering 25% off her services.  Offer expires 10/4/17.

Holley Williams is a personal stylist specializing in closet inventory, seasonal shopping, closet organization and wardrobe consultation.  Contact Holley at [email protected].