I Asked Our Style Director for a Fall Fashion Makeover—See the Pics!
Everyone who knows me well knows that I’m a creature of habit to the nth degree. I eat the same breakfast every morning, run the same number of miles every week, revisit the same stores over and over again, and so on. I find comfort in the repetition, and yet, it’s pretty boring. As a result, I’m constantly looking for ways to subvert my same old, same old ways, and matters of style are no exception.
Though I’m no uniform dresser, I do tend to fall back on a similar rotation of outfits that are usually heavy on black, white, and gray pieces—extra emphasis on black. I could live in a pair of dark-wash skinny jeans, leather ankle boots, and a beige trench coat—but what’s the fun in that? As an editor who’s constantly surrounded by the coolest fashion, I’ve begun to wonder if I’m missing out.
Interestingly, I wasn’t always this way—in fact, I was pretty much the opposite. I was an early arbiter of the skirt-over-pants trend, and there may or may not have been bikini-over-T-shirt moments in middle school. Not to mention the Dr. Martens I wore like armor in high school. Somewhere beneath all the dull adult layers, that girl is itching to get out.
So, with a new season upon us, I decided it was time to put the proverbial spark back into my wardrobe. “Put me in ALL the things I don’t wear,” I begged our savvy style director, Nicole Kliest, quickly adding, “But don’t go too overboard. Baby steps!” Lucky for me, she was more than game.
Scroll down to see how she changed up my look!
This look felt very “modern Peggy from Mad Men” to me—and that’s a good thing. The Ganni top is something I would normally live in, and I’ve even played around with the gold choker trend, but Nicole spiced it up by adding the trendy suede jacket (over the shoulders, of course) and the cropped knit pants. It was a good lesson in keeping things simple yet cool, without just opting for jeans.
I promise I won’t attach every outfit to a person—real or fictional—but this one gave me total Jenna Lyons vibes. I’ve always admired her style but have never considered it for myself, so it was fun to give her trendy-prep look a spin. When Nicole handed me the pieces, I was honestly dreading it—how could this possibly look good together? I wondered. But I felt pretty darn B-O-S-S-Y in the end and vowed to experiment more with layers going forward.
Here I’m giving you my best “Ha-ha, I’m modeling?” face. But jokes aside, this was one of my favorite looks—and okay, okay, maybe that’s because it was so simple, but the long skirt made it completely out of my norm. I always go for miniskirts because I’m pretty short at 5’5” and have always assumed that a longer skirt would just emphasize that. However, Nicole worked her magic and proved me wrong once more. We tried a bunch of different shoes for this but ended up settling with my trusty Madewell mules (the only piece we used that’s actually from my closet). These babies are some of the most versatile shoes I’ve ever owned.
This look is probably the closest I’ll ever come to being a Céline ad and/or Pernille Teisbaek, in that I’m not Daria Werbowy or a stylish Dane. Almost everything about it is new for me: I haven’t worn anything other than diamond stud earrings for years, I tend toward dark denim, I don’t get this creative with layering, and all of my shoes are black. It was another “scary” look for me, but I’m totally into the result. Moral of the story? Do the opposite of everything listed above more often!
I would probably wear all of these individual items already, but it’s unlikely that I’d pair them together. Even though I like the way it looks on other people, I rarely layer thicker pieces under thin ones for fear of bulking up too much. But Nicole’s styling here proves that it can work really, really well, so consider me a convert. The yellow sunglasses were the one totally different item for me, and as someone who lives in tortoiseshell Ray-Ban wayfarers, I was convinced they wouldn’t work. Instead, I loved them and felt a twinge of regret for letting so many non-basic sunglasses pass me by (#wherearetheynow).
When Nicole handed me this dress for our final look, I loved it right away but was also concerned that it was so tightly knit. I’ve just never felt comfortable in anything too body-hugging. Lucky for me, she took the sexiness down a notch with this masculine blazer and these awesome loafers that—I’ll admit it—we had a little quarrel over. As the item furthest from my style that we tried, I couldn’t fathom how I’d pull off their cute boyishness without looking like, well, a cute boy. But pairing them with the fringed slit dress gave the look that perfect unexpected quality that makes any outfit ten times cooler. You win, Nicole, you win. ☺
Which look is your favorite? Sound off in the comments!