Many of my clients are working moms, dealing with the struggle of balancing career, home, husband and kids, while trying to maintain a sense of self - and part of this 'sense of self' is feeling good about how they look for every aspect of their lives. One of my clients, Laura, (who is also a great friend) has been dealing with this since she became a mom three years ago, and also since she moved to the Bay Area from New York.
Laura has a great wardrobe, with items picked up from NY sample sales, classic suiting from when she worked a corporate job in Manhattan, and newer items perfect for a busy mom working in a 'business casual' office in the fashion industry. Her style is pretty minimalist, based in solid neutrals and timeless pieces that mix and match seamlessly - but she's found herself in a bit of a rut, wearing the same outfits over and over, while select styles stay at the back of the closet untouched. So that's where I came in.
A few weeks ago, I descended upon Laura's closet with my friend Kim (an amazing fashion blogger with incredible style, who took all the photos), with the purpose of creating looks out of Laura's forgotten items.
Laura's had this sequined skirt for about a year (a gift from a friend) and hadn't worn it yet - so we created a look that works when she wants to dress it down for the office or wear it to a casual party. Sticking with a navy palette helps play down the inherent dressiness of the skirt, while leggings and booties transition it to daytime status.
Laura's comfort zone colors are grey, black and blue - so she wasn't grabbing this brown leather jacket very often. And Laura was among the many thinking that grey only worked with black accessories - so I pulled together an outfit that pairs a cozy grey turtleneck with the brown jacket and khaki suede booties. The moto details on the pants add some interest, and an ivory cabled scarf and patterned bag add texture and print to this neutral look.
IVORY SILK SKIRT
This ivory silk skirt is a no-brainer for a dressy night out - but it requires a little more thought to take it down a notch. We decided to partner it with the same turtleneck and leather jacket - and now Laura has the previous casual look (ideal for a day at the office) with a simple way to transition it to date night with her husband.
This long black cardigan was in the 'toss' pile in Laura's closet - but I rescued it since it's such a versatile staple. The thin knit makes it super layer-able without adding bulk, and it's ideal for variable Bay Area weather. I showed Laura a few ways to work this cardigan back into her rotation - with animal-print flats for running around with her son; with black boots to add a touch of edge; and with the same sequined mini-skirt - which makes the mini a bit more wearable, since the length of the sweater provides some coverage over bare legs.
I can't wait to get into Laura's closet again to give her options for how to wear what she already owns - it's truly enlightening for clients to see the treasures that exist in their own wardrobes. If you want to check out more looks I've created for clients - see what I recently did for another young mom, Katharine, who needed everyday work outfits and options to wear to speaking engagements.