BASICS – If you are challenged by building outfits and can’t find anything to wear in a full wardrobe, you’re probably missing the basics! I can’t stress enough how important it is to have quality basics within your wardrobe.
As a personal stylist I schedule to meet clients twice a year. (Spring/Summer & Fall/Winter) The first shop, regardless of the season is almost always focused on building basics into their wardrobe. Why? If you’re trying to create a capsule wardrobe or put together outfits and you don’t have that perfect T to layer, a great fitting jean, a classic blazer for day-to-night, then you probably will be unable to pair any of your non-basics pieces with. This happens because of impulse buys or discount and sale items, clothing that you may think you love but never know how to wear it. Check out my must-have basics for your wardrobe below…. for both the men and the ladies!
Style Tip 1: I’m a firm believer in quality over quantity, especially for basics. These are items that you will be wearing most often! You don’t need to break-the-bank account, just be mindful to invest a bit more in quality to ensure they last. Think ‘price-per-wear’
Style Tip 2: Stick to neutral colours for basics, white, navy, black, gray, beige etc.
What does it mean to have a capsule collection for your wardrobe? As we become more progressive with the way we shop, focusing on sustainability, needs vs wants & ‘Maria Kondoing’ are closets. I hear a common question that ties back to these changes with fashion & style. ‘I want a capsule collection’ with-in my wardrobe. I think that could mean many different things for different people depending on what their personal goals are. I want to share 3 style tips on what a capsule collection means to me as a fashion stylist and how I tie it back to my clients wardrobes.
Tip 1: Minimalist, owning fewer pieces in your wardrobe. Quality over quantity and most importantly you need the basics. Once you’ve got those you can then layer a few needs/wants each season to keep your wardrobe fresh & updated but still staying with-in the minimalist boundaries. You want to be able to see and love what’s in your closet. A future post will be solely talking ‘the basics’ as that is a huge component to having a manageable wardrobe.
Tip 2: Multi-functional outfits, paring down your wardrobe and creating outfits vs random items can streamline your closet. I’ve had clients that have asked for a two week rotation of outfits for work, which is great example of a capsule collection wardrobe. Once you have simplified your outfits and can learn (from a stylist!) numerous ways to wear individual items you will begin to avoid & understand impulse buys. Check out how many looks I’ve put together with this one piece (not a basic I might add) below – The snake print skirt!
Tip 3: Time to declutter, downsize and remove the items you don’t wear. You can either donate or consign, we have some great spots in Vancouver! Once you start with that step you can then edit your wardrobe by learning to shop for items you need & love.
Whether shopping in stores or shopping online I’ve noticed a consistent trend from multiple brands, the sweater dress. It has been styled as either a two piece (like the one I’m wearing in this post) or a one piece item. What I love about this particular look is that it keeps us cozy during the winter days with some high boots and a puffer coat or you could also carry it forward to those transitional months (March & April) where it isn’t quite warm enough for spring / summer fashions.
Style Tip: replace the boots with a cute sneaker; replace your winter coat with a leather jacket; and now you have a few more months to wear this winter look!
Check out some of my favorite sweater dresses of the season!
Do you get overwhelmed when you head into the stores to look for holiday gifts? Since I spend the majority of my time in the malls and shopping for the latest fashion styles I thought I should share some of the most common items loved by my clients (falling under a reasonable price point.) Click the images to shop away!
This first option, created in partnership with Jillian Harris continues to be a favorite with women, The Melanie Auld (local designer) Adorned Necklace. You can choose any letter in either sterling silver, gold vermeil, 14k gold and add on pave diamonds!
The second gift giving option is the perfect black jean. Who doesn’t love a jean that feels like a legging, but is actually a jean! This Citizen of Humanity Style Rocket comes in mid rise or high rise and you want the colour plush black. They can be found at Nordstroms, The Bay or Aritzia. The ‘plush’ is what makes them so soft with lots of stretch!
The third option, cashmere at the right price! I find cashmere can be overpriced at times, I finally found a perfect fit cashmere sweater at Nordstroms under their house line Halogen for $118. The fit is a bit looser but not to lose and they offer a ton of fabulous colour options and most importantly its sooo soft. <link not available need to shop in your local Nordstrom>
Most clients of mine end up with at least a couple of options from the Vancouver based brand Aritzia. It doesn’t matter the age or size, they always seem to have something. Could be a basic knit or a full workwear wardrobe. You can’t go wrong with a gift certificate to this store but if you really want to pick-up an item vs giving a gift card I would suggest the Botanie Puffer in short or long. It’s a flat puffer so it doesn’t feel overly thick but it keeps you warm with it’s goose down. They come in a bunch of colour options!
Knowing a shoe is going to be comfortable, especially when giving it as a gift can be tricky. I have yet to hear anything but positive feedback on how comfortable these Vince sneakers are from clients. They have a classic style that can be paired with casual looks or dress them up with a fun dress or even a blazer! They come in neutral colours perfect for year round.
Wallet on a chain can be a great option for use from day to evening. It will be a smaller size handbag with a crossbody strap and have all the wallet inserts so you don’t need to carry both a handbag and a wallet in one. I’ve linked a style from Coach, it will be quality leather! They have many different styles and price ranges as well.
Lastly, if you’re looking for a splurge item for the holidays Louis Vuitton seems to be the one! Whenever I have a client wanting to make a splurge or get that first designer piece they usually ask for the Neverful handbag. I’m not sure if it’s the heritage (being a staple bag for years!) or what exactly it is but this bag has definitely been a fan favorite. I recommend the MM size (middle size) for everyday use.
It’s that ‘special season’ time of year again! Whether a holiday office party, a big Christmas dinner or a glamorous New Years Eve event, it’s time to begin the search … look through your wardrobe or trek through the stores to find that perfect look. I personally have styled two holiday looks using my favorite satin pant from Aritzia. It is not necessary to wear your best dress to feel holiday ready!
Tip 1 – Save time on finding that perfect item – reach out to a local personal stylist to do the hunting for you! For a few tips and some of my personal fave holiday looks of the season, see below.
Tip 2 – Review and take a closer look at your own wardrobe. I have noticed during my wardrobe consults that a number of clients have one or ten dresses (or special pieces) that have only been worn once. They feel uncomfortable wearing it a second time because they tend to be with some of the same people at different gatherings. My recommendations for this dilema are two things; first, consider accessorizing by giving each outfit a new look. This could be achieved by adding a belt or velvet blazer, head piece or jewelry. The second option is to take the dresses to consignment and then use those earnings towards a store credit within the same store and find a vintage piece or put the extra $ towards something new.
Tip 3 – Search online for special brands and styles that you prefer before you start the hunt. This will save you time and costly mistakes as you can narrow down your shopping by going to the specific stores that have that item or a favorite brand you love. Remember, you don’t have to spend a lot of money. There are stores like H&M and Aritzia that carry several great options that are cost efficient and can easily be styled to wear on future occasions after the holidays.
Tip 4 – The number one option is to accessorize! There are times you can find a low price item or a simple style which you love, but need to spice it up for the holidays. Search for that perfect accessory. Could be a headband, statement earrings, necklace, clutch, fabulous shoes etc. So many options in the accessory area when you keep it simple!!
A large amount of online shoppers have been very satisfied with Mabelle Style services, but there are others who may wonder how it would work to have their own personal stylist for online shopping! Do you find yourself searching and searching online for the right pieces and latest trends to order? Do you dislike heading off to a mall in search of new items, but still don’t know where to start when looking online? Then it is time to consider having your own personal stylist for online shopping.
With this type of service… working with a personal stylist for online shopping will save you hours of time and costly mistakes. The stylist will create a profile and shopping list with you beforehand, and then I (the stylist) would begin searching your requests… different sites, different brands where there are so many options that fall into your shopping list & budget!
What would you receive from Mabelle Style? A moodboard with images (for a visual idea) and links to more than enough options for you to just do a quick click – all on your own time. You get to make the official decision on your orders and click the purchase button. If an item or two happen to not be the perfect fit all you have to do is slap on the return label and send it right back (still avoiding the malls.)
If you like the idea of having your own personal stylist for online, another quick note about how this service can be beneficial is if you’re needing gift ideas. Not sure what to purchase for upcoming holidays? (which are just around the corner) Have your personal stylist search and source gift ideas and then send you a simple easy-to-understand mood board with links to lots of options. You will then be able to click and view numerous links and make the final decision on that perfect gift!
Mabelle Style is known for its flexibility. This service follows the motto: Age is just a number, size is just a number, personal stylists work with everyone.
There is a need for everyone, at some time or other, to look put-together, polished and have a little style in your outfits. A great stylist will find the perfect pieces, fit and age appropriate items for each individual, no matter the age.
I recently styled a client who falls into the 65+ category… from the baby boomer generation, fitting into the definition of ‘retired senior’. I asked if she would let me style her in a couple of outfits to share, so you could see a visual on what a ‘senior’ looks like when working with a local personal shopper. Brands range from Aritzia to H&M, stores that several 65+ believe are too youthful and are past-the-age of checking them out. But, that is not the case! It’s about the search, discovering the right items with-in the brands & stores.
First Look: Can’t go wrong with a blazer. This cream double breasted corduroy blazer was $60 from H&M layered with a cream turtleneck from Dynamite. Jeans from Nordstrom (Mother brand) and boots we recycled from the closet, from Browns circa 2010.
Second Look: Fun plaid pants on trend this fall from Aritzia with a mustard yellow knit top. Who doesn’t love an oxford lace-up which we discovered at Aldo and I happened to fall upon the perfect mustard yellow shades to wear on a sunny day.
Casual wear, age appropriate, comfort fit… it’s a great look for any senior wanting a little trend in their wardrobe. Mabelle Style can do this for all ages.
Yes! Mabelle Style does a personal shop for men. The client ratio currently is approximately 40% male. I am aware that a lot of my blog posts happen to be geared to women’s fashion & outfit posts. I want to make sure that I include a mens blog whenever I can .
Last week I wrapped up three mens shops & two had lookbooks created for Fall; I’ll share some photos below. Each one had very different styles. The first shop being geared toward business casual/professional, wanted a more polished & conservative look sticking to a sports coat & denim with a focus on the colours navy, charcoal, a burgundy. I did add a pop of print with a fun but stylish pocket square for the sports coat.
The second shop client looked for an eclectic style with fun prints and colours, as he says “I like my clothes to be a conversation piece.” I went with the theme of burnt red for fall, tying the colour together with a fun floral print blazer from Etro & a floral shirt. Perfect looks for fall and great pieces to add to his ever evolving, captivating wardrobe. (We have shopped together for a very long time!)
For my third client, who flew into Vancouver from Victoria, BC knew exactly what he needed. He was in need of 3 suits for work and one sports coat for casual Fridays. Since he wears a suit daily, we wanted to make sure we found lasting brands, going with Canali & Armani. This client is a perfect example of showing why a personal shopper can be so important for a busy business professional. Because I select the merchandise ahead of time, he saves himself a great deal of time, as we took only one-and-a-half hours for fitting, tailoring and finalizing our 4 selections. He also saved money by making sure he got the perfect fits and correct purchases on a one-stop-shop while avoiding any wrong/bad purchases. Costly mistakes are nothing more than poor decisions – look sharp, use a professional!
Do you have a summer dress you just love and aren’t ready to put it at the back of your closet quite yet? (Even with the wind and rain that literally arrived the first day of September!)
Mabelle Style recommends a lot of summer dresses (not all!) that would be great transitional pieces for September / October. When I say ‘not all’ dresses, what I mean is don’t wear a dress full of spring & summer colours / prints. Try to stick to dresses that have neutrals, camels, blacks, grays, pinks, browns, reds … think fall colours.
What do you need to take summer dresses into fall, successfully? Transitional coats are a must when I personal shop for clients. These are what make so many outfits work season to season. Layering a leather jacket, bomber style coat or blazer over a dress with an appropriate scarf, if need be, does the trick. Take a closer look through your existing fall outer apparel and enhance something you love into the next season. This will give you a few more weeks to wear that favorite dress from your spring / summer collection.
How to complete this look? It’s always in the shoes… for the fall/autumn season, the perfect addition would be to go for the ankle booties or cool sneakers. Check out my personal style below… I fell in love with this smock Ganni dress for day & night this summer. To carry it into fall I wanted to give it some edge by wearing my moto leather jacket and some cool boots … I also felt this gave the dress an entirely different look from a feminine girly-vibe to edgy.
I am far from ever being a Mommy Blogger. As my knowledge and strength has always been in Fashion, that’s what I stick to, with blogging, social media and most importantly, my work. With that being said, while this is a mom blog, it is focused on talking about styling your body after baby!
Over the years I have received numerous inquiries from women needing a personal shop for a new wardrobe as their body had changed since having a baby. This is something I can relate to since having a baby two years ago. Not every mom is going to have the same challenges in styling. You may have become smaller after baby, stayed the same size but different shape, or have become curvier. It doesn’t matter what has changed, my goal is to make you feel great and comfortable which means finding that perfect fit for your body type.
Talking from personal experience, I was the same size but nothing fit the same! All my pants were too low and uncomfortable against my stomach. My back felt wider (how on earth did that happen?) and well lets be real, does anyone have the same upper body after babies? Here are some style tips that worked for me and my problem areas …
First off, I had to buy a lot of new pants … they don’t call them Mom jeans for nothing! It doesn’t matter how hard I work out, it seems the shape of the tummy will never be the same. The higher the waist the better, in both jeans and dress pants. Thankfully, they are easy to find and feel soooo good on. Tip – Aritzia has amazing dress pant options with an elastic hidden in the back, even better than a high waist. Comfortable, cool & flattering!
I also found that tops had become too fitted or body hugging and I did not feel comfortable wearing them. When shopping I looked for tailored at the waist-line. Tip – blazers layered with any style of shirt can give you a tailored waist, and a dress-up a look. Loose fitted shirts work well, but keep in mind this style should be half-tucked or full-tucked into the front of your high waisted pant so you don’t lose your waistline and end up looking bigger than you actually are.
With dresses, it’s either find your waist with a wrap or a belted look or go for the loose fitting tunic. Tip – The loose fitting tunic with no belt needs some leg or heel showing to keep the style slim and streamlined.
Lastly, the accessory that has saved me is the belt. I’m talking all sorts of styles for belts. With a high waisted pant, cinched at the waist of a dress, shirt or blazer, a belt is a must or any wardrobe!
Overall the key to styling is to find your waist again and make sure your showing it! If that’s not an option or you don’t feel comfortable with that look, then I recommend lots of tunics, flowy blouses that sit just below the waist line. Tip – Flowy tops need a skinny pant to complete the look. Why? the look can make a body look bigger than it actually is, but if you have a bottom that is skinny-pant, it will elongate your legs and show slim features (like ankles) – Nude heels can do this too:)