Client Styling Session: Taking an Outfit Over the Goal Line

outfit styling

I was so happy when my client told me I could share her photos from our outfit styling session last week.  Readers tell me all the time how helpful and interesting they find these posts.  I was particularly thrilled to be able to share photos because I believe her wardrobe struggles are similar to what many women deal with.

Before I share the photos, I have to tell you a little about this client without revealing too much.  First, like usual, I need to give my client an alias because I never reveal their identities.  I decided to name this client Mrs. Delightful.  Originally, I was going to name her Mrs. Sharp because sharp is how I would describe her style, but, upon further thought, I remembered telling her in an email how delightful I found working with her.  I think delightful captures her personality quite nicely.

Mrs. Delightful and her husband are both professionals with children living in New York City.  When she reached out to me for help I was quite impressed by how well she knew her style.  I would definitely describe it as more tailored, classic and uncomplicated.  She identified Annette Benning as one of her style inspirations.  Yet, despite knowing what she liked, Mrs. Delightful fell into the trap that most women do when they prefer a clean, classic and tailored style– her outfits were flat.  Add to this, Mrs. Delightful seemed overwhelmed and intimidated by shopping.  I was really excited to change all of this.

Mrs. Delightful’s Styling Session

During a styling session, I work with a client to incorporate the old with the new purchases and create outfits while teaching them how to maximize their wardrobe pieces.  With such a simple style, I knew it was important to show Mrs. Delightful how easy it would be to add some flavor to her outfits without a lot of effort.

Below you will find some of the looks I put together with Mrs. Delightful along with some available shopping links of the new pieces we purchased.

Outfit #1

styling sessionMrs. Delightful and I started with this beige summer weight Akris Punto jacket.  It’s not an inexpensive piece so I knew we had to maximize its use.  I started with a pair of Theory pants in burgundy that she purchased because they fit like a dream.  Under it I added this already-owned cocoa brown tank and finished the look with two necklaces, one we bought and one she owned.  For shoes I added the three new pairs she purchased, a pair of tan loafers from Bass, a pair of slingback kitten heel pumps from Clarks and ankle strap sandals in blush from Naturalizer.

Outfit #2

styling session

Next, I styled the Akris Punto jacket with a new matte jersey dress from Lauren Ralph Lauren.  This dress is perfect for a summer day at work.  Keeping the look neutral, I added the Clarks slinkbacks, hoop earrings and bracelets she already had on hand.  The belt came with the dress.

Outfit #3

styling sessionA third look I created for Mrs. Delightful using the jacket was with navy.  I used the incredibly popular Piazza Sempione ankle pants in navy and added a sweater tee from Theory under the jacket.  Shoe choices included the Clarks slingbacks, Naturalizer sandals and Naturalizer block heel pumps in soft blue.  Mrs. delightful purchased the long gold necklace from Cole Haan and she had the blue necklace on hand.

Outfit #4

styling session

This is another Akris Punto jacket Mrs. Delightful purchased.  While a fashion color, it is incredibly versatile.  This is the funniest part of the outfit is the t-shirt. She bought it at…Warlmart!  I’m not kidding.  Yes, we styled a jacket priced over $1,000 with a t-shirt from Walmart.  The pants style also had on hand.  Finishing the outfit I used the Clarks slingbacks and Naturalizer block heel pumps.  We used the Cole Haan necklace and she could certainly use that blue style in the previous look, as well.

Outfit #5

styling session

Here the jacket is again.  This time I styled them with the slimmer the Piazza Sempione pants and added the Bass loafers and slingbacks.  The jewelry is mostly the same as previous looks except for the super cool coppery beaded style Mrs. Delightful already owned.

Outfit #6

styling session

For a more casual look, I styled the Audrey pants from Piazza Sempione that Mrs. Delightful also purchased in khaki with an orange t-shirt, denim jacket, polka dot scarf, long necklace and gold flat sandals that we bought on one of our shopping trips.

Outfit #7

styling session

This look is very Mrs. Delightful.  Well, they all are, of course, but the chic simplicity of the monochromatic Piazza Sempione pants and Lauren Ralph Lauren sweater is a fuss-free streamlined outfit she probably would have worn before meeting me.  What Mrs. Delightful was lacking, and what most women lack, is the knowledge of how to complete a look like this.  This is why having a variety of interesting shoes and some jewelry pieces on hand can make a huge difference.  Just adding the yellow Coach sandals, the block heel pumps or blush ankle strap sandals can make an outfit less bland.  This outfit proves you don’t need to be overdone to look done.

Outfit #8

styling session

This cool cardigan from Lord & Taylor was a bit of surprise when Mrs. Delightful purchased it.  It has this square shape and high side slits and looks great for dressy casual.  In this outfit I styled the outfit with that Walmart striped t-shirt again and Piazza Sempione pants.  For a pop, I added the yellow Coach sandals and flat sandals in gold from Sam Edelman.  The necklace in blue adds interest without going overboard.

Outfit #9

styling session

These white pants from Akris Punto are amazing.  It’s the Franca pant that they consistently run in a variety of colors.  It’s also a style I have rarely seen anyone not look good in.  If you have the budget for them I highly recommend checking them out.  Mrs. Delightful already owned the grey button down.  Before working with me she probably would have worn the pants and the top and walked out the door.  Acceptable, for sure, but not all that exciting.  It didn’t take much to make this look more exciting.  I just added the Bass loafers for work and the gold sandals for casual, added this Vince Camuto scarf and Cole Haan necklace.

Outfit #10

styling session

These pants from Peserico were purchased by several clients.  Like the other pants I featured, these also fit incredibly well on a variety of body shapes.  There are several different outfits going on here.  All the tops Mrs. Delightful owned already, in addition to the denim jacket.  I used the gold sandals and the orange Vince slides, along with jewelry I used in other looks, to give these outfits some finish.   The bottom outfit I styled with the white cardigan.

Outfit #11

styling session

This next outfit is another work/casual outfit.  Before meeting me Mrs. Delightful would have put on the sweater and Theory pants, nondescript shoes and left.  Again, nothing wrong but she definitely would have fallen into the acceptably dressed nobody category.  With just a few tweaks of the shoes we purchased and jewelry, the outfit remained easy while looking interesting.

Outfit #12

styling session

These last three looks I created using this dress that Mrs.  Delightful already owned.  It’s a lovely shirtdress that is basic enough to style different ways.  This first outfit I created using the Naturalizer sandals and beaded necklace we picked up.

Outfit #13

styling session

Next, I styled the dress with the block heel pumps from Naturlaizer, soft Vince Camuto scarf and navy necklace.

Outfit #14

styling session

For a pop, I styled this last look using this dress with the bright yellow sandals, navy necklace and a navy and white scarf that Mrs. Delightful already had on hand.

Outfit #15

styling sessionMrs. Delightful asked me to make this basic burgundy dress more interesting.  Using the pieces she purchased, I created a look using blue with the navy necklace and block heeled pumps.  I also created a tonal look using the pink and burgundy necklace and ankle strap sandals and finished it with the amazing ivory shrug from Theory.  For the blue look I suggested she purchase this inexpensive Calvin Klein shrug but she could also use the ivory Theory style as well.

If your outfits are acceptable but you are struggling to put the finishing touches on your outfits, I hope this styling session post shows you how easy it is to take those looks over the goal line.


  • Anna

    I love this post!! I feel like I have a classic style and am constantly trying to figure out how to spice up the chicken, if you know what I mean!

    • Well considering I coined the phrase “chicken outfits” I sure do!

  • Stacie Bussey

    Thank you to Mrs. Delightful for sharing her outfits with us! I, too, consider myself to have a classic style, so these were wonderful ideas!

    • I am so glad you found this helpful! Mrs. Delightful just told me how much more confident she feels and that she doesn’t have to worry about what she will wear any longer. That was music to my ears!

  • tgchi13

    This is wonderful! Even though I’m not as ‘sharp’ in dressing as Mrs D, I saw how to apply this to my style!

    • Definitely! There are definite ways to modify these looks for different lifestyles!

  • Pat

    Thanks, Bridgette, and Mrs. Delightful, for the wonderful reminder to invest in accessories, shop our wardrobe first, curate a wardrobe of mixable colors and most importantly, get in there and try them on!!

    This was wonderful, thank you both for sharing so generously.
    Faithful fan,

    • Absolutely! It only took two shopping trips to accomplish this. The key is to keep the basics versatile so that they can easily be changed up. These outfits don’t have to be boring if you have the right flavoring components on hand!

  • Keri

    Great post, thanks! I especially like the yellow sandals. With your help, I have more confidence now putting together work outfits, and I feel more comfortable in what I wear. I still get a little stuck with outfits for going out in the evenings to parties, dinner, etc- would love more of your tips on that topic.

    • LOVE the yellow sandals too. I just tried them on myself. Unfortunately, I didn’t look as good in them as she did. They are super pretty and Coach is typically very comfortable.

    • Oh and I know you are looking for a post on looks for nights out. I need to get on that.

  • cmatthews191

    This is so cool. Thank you Mrs Delightful for sharing. Your style is exactly like mine. Great ideas!

    • So many people have found Mrs. Delightful’s style to really resonate. I love her style too. It’s very simple but not boring at the same time!

  • Lindy Adams

    Wonderful ideas to finish off a classic look. I’m a classic person, too, and I’m petite so I always hesitate to accessorize too much. These looks are a great help!

    • I am glad they helped! Shoes make a HUGE difference in finishing a look!

  • Jen B

    Oh I could wear these outfits in an instant… love Mrs Delightful’s outfits and your styling.

    • Thanks, Jen! Mrs. Delightful’s style was very easy to interpret! Plus, she was just delightful to work with. 😀

  • Nooraini Yasin

    I love the outfits created. A handbag is not suggested though and as I am hopeless would appreciate some ideas. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Thanks! This particular client carries the same beige professional backpack to work everyday because she is a New Yorker and needs to carry a lot and walks everywhere. If I were to select good colors of bags for this client I would say beige or tan and navy would be great choices.