Enhance - Don't Change Your Personal Style
My goal for this blog is to have at least one person to feel more inspired, more beautiful, and/or more confident. My passion is to enhance other women's style. The key word here is enhance. I don't want to change a woman's style/personality who asks for my help; I want to help her find her true style and bring her style to a more polished, professional level while staying true to herself. I've tried styles that were just for not me. I didn't feel confident; I felt like I was pretending to be someone I am not. It's an awful feeling! So, I've learned over many years in front of the camera and behind podiums (with, oh yes, many failures along the way!) it's important to know your style and learn what truly makes you feel great.
Enhancing Rose's Personal Style
Rose Gray is a beautiful and talented musician with a quick sense of humor and fun, quirky personality who grew up in Groveland, Mass., and now calls Chapel Hill, N.C. her home. She is the kind of person who can turn your day around if you're shattering your Ray Bans and losing your keys, as I have frequently done lately. You'll be laughing so hard at one of Rose's quick comments, you'll honestly forget what you even texted or called her to complain about. However, Rose describes her lifelong style as nerdy and frumpy. The words nerdy and frumpy do NOT fit Rose's lively, smart, fearless personality. I immediately knew we had to get her style and personality in line. Rose will also admit to you she has a problem with striped shirts. It seems every time she walks into a store, she ends up walking out with another navy and white striped shirt in the bag. I decided to use the power of my State Police Investigator husband to put a ban in place immediately on low quality striped shirts for Rose.
Our Strategy: A Quirky, Smart & Fearless Look
Rose said she struggles the most with putting outfits together. Her goal was to invest in some key pieces she could wear for her performances at coffee houses/outdoor venues, her personal life (finding the man of her dreams!) and work. Rose has such a bright future ahead of her and I really want her style to reflect that. In my opinion, she is unstoppable.
In the days before our shopping trip, we talked on the phone and I researched her two style icons - Tina Fey and Amy Poehler (I love them too!). Unlike Anne's style enhancement, Rose didn't want to build on her existing wardrobe too much. She was more interested in replacing the items in her closet with higher quality more stylish items. We came up with a list of must-haves: 1) A Great Pair of Straight Leg Dark Jeans 2) A Great Fitted Blazer (Black, Khaki or White) 3) Outfits/Dresses for Performances and Her Personal Life. I wanted to find some bright colors, fun florals and statement jewelry that would help Rose's style stand out as much as her personality does.
The Shopping Trip
It's a rare occasion for Rose to spend 5-plus hours shopping. She said the trips usually end badly - think: arguments and high emotions. I was hoping I wouldn't get hit with a flying clothes hanger :) Instead, Rose was thoughtful enough to buy me a necklace at J. Crew. We spent the bulk of our time at the Merrimack Premium Outlets in J. Crew, Banana Republic and Tahari. Then, we went to a mall and shopped Charming Charlie and Payless. And as you can see in the pictures above and below, we found more key items than we ever imagined - and all on sale and/or clearance. (I make it a rule to rarely pay full price for anything unless it's out of this world and there are only a few of them in my size. I love a great item for a good deal.) Starting tomorrow, I'll show you Rose's new looks. (Yes, there is a striped look - but as Rose called it, an "enhanced striped look." I successfully enforced my ban!
Look #1: Enhanced Stripes
This look is exactly what Rose and I wanted - it's smart, fun, quirky and confident - exactly like Rose's personality. It definitely channels this musician's style icons, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. There is nothing frumpy or nerdy about it. Bye bye, shapeless, faded striped tops :) Hello, stylish, gorgeous and confident Rose (the real Rose)!
|Top: J. Crew Factory|
Black Jacket: J. Crew Factory
Trouser Jeans: Banana Republic Factory
Sunglasses: Banana Republic Factory
Nautical Necklace: Charming Charlie
Shoes (below) : Payless
Rose Gray's Look #2: Lace, Lyrics & Leather
One of our key goals for this style enhancement was to find Rose some amazing outfits to wear for her music gigs. The Rose Gray Band currently plays at coffee houses in the Chapel Hill, N.C. area. Rose, who writes ALL of her own songs (amazing!), would also like to play at larger outdoor and indoor venues. I think Rose's calendar will both fill up with music gigs and also more dates :)
While we were on our marathon shopping spree, I spotted this ivory lace dress at J. Crew Factory on the clearance rack. I knew Rose had to try it on. Paired with a faux leather jacket or cargo jacket, I thought it would reflect her fun personality. Also, Rose really wants a pair of cowboy boots, so I thought this would go perfectly with them! Plus, this beautiful dress was already a great price and it was an extra 40 percent off.
Dress: J. Crew Factory
Necklace: J. Crew Factory
Earrings: J. Crew Factory
Sunglasses: Banana Republic Factory
Rose Gray's Look #3: Finding the Perfect Summer Dress
Rose really wanted a summer dress to wear for a few weddings and to also wear for her music gigs. We found this dress at the Tahari factory store within the first 30 minutes of our shopping trip. We love the print of it and it's a great style because it has an attached belt around the waist that is very smart looking and flattering. Tahari is by far one of my favorite stores because the quality is very good and the fabrics are beautiful. The prices are higher than Banana Republic Factory, for instance, but that being said, you can still find some great deals. The Tahari factory store this past week has ranged from 50 to 70 percent off the original prices.
Dress: Tahari Factory Store
Necklace: J. Crew Factory
Earrings (below): J. Crew Factory
Enhancing Anne's Personal Style
My beautiful "little" sister, Anne, immediately asked if she could be my first makeover on Sweet on Style. (She's a lot taller than I am even with heels on.) At that point, I honestly hadn't thought about doing a segment like this, but I loved the idea! After a few months of "getting my feet wet" and continuing to challenge my own personal style with the "One Sweet Find: 5 Ways to Wear It" segment, I now feel up to the task. It's a challenging task because I truly want to "get" someone's personal style and be able to bring it to a higher level and have them truly love it. Here, it's especially personal, so I really wanted to make sure Anne loved my suggestions.
Anne's style is much different than mine. While I love elegant, often classic, ladylike pieces, my sister loves funky, untraditional, comfortable clothing. She pushes my sense of style to be more eclectic, which I love!
Day 1: The Before & Searching Through Anne's Current Closet
I snapped this "before" photo of Anne the day we went through her closet. It's what she wears on a casual day. Anne is currently searching for a full-time permanent teaching job, which means that even on casual days out in public, she knows she needs to look professional and put together. You never know if you'll run into your future boss or a great connection just doing errands or getting lunch. She also wanted some more professional photos to put on her Facebook page when employers search it, so voila! She now has more than a hundred photos from our shoot.
As I looked through Anne's closet, I quickly realized we didn't need to go shopping for clothing to create our five looks; we needed to shop for accessories. She has a nice array of basics in her closet. Her complaint was that she just didn't know how to put them together into outfits. Again, my goal isn't to change her style, which is why I am much happier to have her wear her own clothes! Here are some similar basics we pulled from her closet:
Here is what we bought: Three necklaces, one clutch, (and one borrowed clutch), two pairs of earrings & one belt. We transformed these pieces into more than five looks. (We actually kept mixing them to get even more looks after the shoot.)
Stay tuned all week to see the accessories we purchased to make these pieces from Anne's closet come to life! Tomorrow, we'll reveal the first look!
Day 2: Enhancing Anne's Style: Accessorizing
Anne snapped pictures of the basics we chose from her wardrobe and we went on a shopping mission. We were short on time (we had about 45 minutes), so we needed to have a plan. We'd already discussed finding a bright yellow necklace since it's a great spring color and would add some life to her key pieces. I also thought some type of classic black necklace would work really well with everything in her wardrobe. Our first and only stop was Charming Charlie. The store is sectioned off by color, which makes finding accessories quick and easy.
Here is what we found in 45 minutes for $50 total:
-An aqua ombre-style necklace & earrings (Day 2)
-A mint clutch (Day 2)
-A yellow pendant (Day 3)
-A classic black necklace (Day 5)
-Yellow chandelier earrings (Day 2)
-A turquoise belt (Day 4)
Enhancing Her Features:
For the photos, Anne did her own hair at home and we applied her own makeup with the Kriss Cosmetics products she already owns. We both adore Kriss because she captures every woman incredibly well. Anne has beautiful soft toned products selected by Kriss (a ballet pink blush and light pink eye shadow). But she also has a bold, powdered eye liner that is incredible! (Kriss has done my makeup ever since I can remember and she did my wedding makeup, which I will write much more about this spring. She is a makeup genius!)
Anne's First New Look:
Anne bought this cute wrap shirt at Francesca's but she said she hadn't worn it because she had no idea what to pair it with. To give it more of a spring look, we paired it with her white jeans. To liven it up, we added the necklace. This top just begged for a necklace, especially one with a beautiful touch of color. Mint is one of the key colors for spring and it seemed the perfect complement to this look. I love the way it brings out her eyes!
Anne's Second New Look:
After we found the bright yellow pendant (you'll see it tomorrow), Anne fell in love with yellow and found these chandelier earrings. I thought they were the perfect way to create an elegant all-white outfit. We'd already discussed pairing her white sweater and white jeans together. I think the earrings help to bring the eye up to Anne's beautiful face with such a simple, elegant canvas of white. A daring color for an elementary teacher! Obviously a weekend outfit :)
Anne's Third New Look:
Anne and I absolutely love this striped ponte dress! Anne bought this INC dress at Macy's while we were Christmas shopping at around 2 in the morning this past December. I guess we are those crazy shoppers! I love the way the bright yellow brings this dress to life even more. This dress is incredibly versatile.
Anne could wear this in countless different ways: with a black fitted blazer to dress it up, a jean jacket to dress it down, with flip flops, with stilettos, etc. My only regret is that I didn't buy one of them too!
Anne's Fourth New Look:
Anne looks like a true professional in this look! The blue in the denim shirt brings out her eyes in such a beautiful way. It's a classic look she can wear for years to come. The belt was actually on the clearance rack at Charming Charlie for only $4.99, which is such an incredible deal! It gives the outfit a great pop of color, especially for spring (if it will ever come to the Northeast)!
Anne's Fifth New Look:
I didn't know until Anne I were chatting about this that she's had this black dress for 10 years! That is awesome. We breathed some new life into it just with accessories.