AM Northwest producer Tammy Hernandez was in a wardrobe rut, so she asked Fashion Stylist Elizabeth Teater to look through her closet. In a matter of minutes, she created three outfits Tammy had never worn before. Here is how she did it, plus tips to help you do the same. When you work with what you have, you feel creative and resourceful, look better, and save money.
Remix: go shopping in your closet
1. Casual Friday and dinner with friends
WHAT WAS WRONG:
- Tammy’s “before” look was a bit frumpy for the workplace. The soft jacket was too big and looked like a sweatshirt. The jeans were so predictable for a Friday.
FOR A MORE POLISHED LOOK, ELIZABETH:
- Moved the denim upward with a close-fitting jean jacket that brought out her blue eyes.
- Added brown trousers that coordinated with her hair. The trousers also elongated her legs by partially covering her wedge-heel sandals.
- Put an ivory camisole under a gray sweater vest, creating a look that was structured but also felt comfortable and didn’t require ironing.
- Accessorized with a chunky gold necklace and metallic-flecked belt.
- Match your clothes to your natural coloring to quickly find new combinations and look effortlessly polished.
- Luxe accessories make a casual outfit look grown-up enough for the office. And, they add sparkle for going out after work.
- Tucking in your shirt is usually the best choice for work, even on Fridays.
2. Running errands on the weekend
WHAT WAS WRONG:
- There was nothing wrong with Tammy’s bright green sweater and jeans… except that she’s tired of them, and it shows. When your uniform makes you feel "blah," it's time for a change.
FOR A PRETTY, PREPPY LOOK, ELIZABETH:
- Popped up the collar and cuffs of a pale pink button-down shirt, for an on-the-go feel. No need to iron when the collar, cuffs and untucked hem signal “casual.”
- Rolled up the cuffs of her favorite jeans, which she normally only wears with high heels since they’re long. Because they are boot cut -- tapering in at the knee and flaring slightly at the ankle -- a trendy four-inch single roll doesn’t hang right. (Save that for straight leg or skinny jeans.) So, I did smaller double rolls for an at-the-beach feel.
- Added pink open-toe flats. They’re easy to run around in, and she can kick them off when she gets home.
- Found two options for keeping warm: the green sweater for a pop of color, or a sand-colored cardigan that complements the other soft colors.
- Accessorized with a pink stone pendant and medium gold hoop earrings: subtle, casual and pretty.
- Don't ruin a cute look with unflattering jeans. The notion that "jeans go with everything" is only true if you put them on and think, "I look pretty good in these." Your favorite jeans go with almost everything. The outdated jeans that make your hips look strange are for painting the house in.
- If you are Tammy’s size or smaller, you can tie the sweater around either your waist or shoulders. If you are heavier in the hips, stick with the shoulder tie.
3. Coffee with her husband
WHAT WAS WRONG:
- Jeans, t-shirt and a cardigan are just not romantic and feminine. This outfit says “convenient,” not “hello, you, let’s go have fun.”
FOR A FUN, FEMININE LOOK, ELIZABETH:
- Paired a black wrap dress (tied in a bow) with sexy, shiny red peep-toe high heels.
- Accessorized with a bright yellow necklace, glass bracelet made by her sister, and black and gold earrings. Because they are all made of round pieces, they went together nicely.
- Added a shawl, which she could wear as she usually does: covering her back and shoulders and held in front. Or, she could toss it loosely and dramatically around her neck multiple time like a huge a scarf until a regal look is achieved. Bonus: Her hands are now free. She can hold her handbag with one, and her husband's hand with the other.
- A dress seems fancy, but it is often more comfortable than a skirt and top. And because it’s one piece, you have fewer decisions to make.
- Wear something newer – like the shoes, which Tammy purchased within the past few months -- with something old. The new item puts the old items in a "current" context, and livens them up. The old items add an attractive "lived in" layer.
- You can participate in a trend without running out and buying something new. Many people are craving and wearing bold yellow right now. Her necklace isn't new, but when it's worn with a solid black dress it really stands out and looks on-trend.
MORE REMIXING TIPS:
- Neutrals are: white, ivory, beige, taupe, gray and black. They go together really well. When in doubt (or in a hurry) wear a mix of neutrals. Navy blue isn't officially a neutral, but it works well with all of these.
- You can also pick one neutral. For example, wearing all beige looks sophisticated.
- To look a little more interesting, add one bright color to a neutral outfit. For example, a beige outfit with bright red shoes.
- Mix small patterns of the same color palette. You'll look stylish and daring, definitely not dull. For example, a small-print green plaid shirt with a small-polka-dot green scarf. Or a small-print taupe floral blouse with pinstriped brown skirt. The colors don't need to be exactly the same, just in the same family.
- Clothes can lose their shape over time. Put a belt over a sweater or dress you're tired of, and see if you like it again.
- Wear casual fabrics with casual fabrics, and dressy fabrics with dressy fabrics. This gives you an even, cohesive look.
- Look through current issues of fashion magazines for an hour, then go over to your closet. You may find that new combinations jump out at you.
You can reach Fashion Stylist Elizabeth Teater by going to her website.