Client Outfit Styling: Maximizing New Purchases

outfit styling

It feels great to be back from my hiatus, and I mean really back.  My return was postponed a week due to my horrendous cold and and throwing out my back.  During my time off this August I still saw clients.  One appointment was with my client, Ms. Chic; a longtime client whom I have blogged about many times before.  We had an outfit styling session to create looks using some of her new pieces.  Knowing how much you love these posts, I decided to kick off the fall season with this one.

There are a lot of looks that came from our outfit styling session to get through so I am going to get right into it.

Client Outfit Styling: Maximizing New Purchases

As you will see in the outfits, I am using Ms. Chic’s new purchases multiple times to the value of this exercise for yourself.  If I can still find the items Ms. Chic purchased online I will share them.

Look #1

outfit styling

I started with the Oshima pants from MM. Lafleur.  While most of my clients have looked good in MM. Lafleur’s Foster pants (my personal fave too), Ms. Chic looked better in the Oshima style.  I styled them for dressy casual using a Vince top and two necklace options that Ms. Chic already owned along a new pair of strappy sandals from Louise et Cie.

Look #2

outfit stylingUsing the Oshima pants, I styled this look using a burgundy Theory top that Ms. Chic purchased last year.  All of the earrings options Ms. Chic already owned.  The shoes, however, were new.  I styled this look for different occasions using Splendid wedge sandals, Vince slides and strappy heels from Sigerson Morrison.  These shoe options gave Ms. Chic the ability to dress the outfit up and down.

Look #3

outfit styling

This is another outfit using the Oshima pants from MM. Lafleur.  I styled a softer look using pieces in Ms. Chic’s closet.  Nothing here was new.  With just a shoe and accessories change this outfit can be changed for different occasions.

Look #4

outfit styling

There weren’t many clients who were interested in the cold shoulder trend, but Ms. Chic was open to it when it looked good, which was, admittedly, rarely.  This top from BCBG was one of the few times this top looks great.  It worked with the Oshima pants for a night out weekend look.  Not wanting to overdo the neckline, I added several jewelry options and shoe options, some new and some old.

Look #5

outfit styling

This is another look I styled with the Oshima pants using a top that Ms. Chic already owned.  I believe it was by MICHAEL Michael Kors.  I gave them several shoe options and earrings to choose from to finish the outfit different ways.

Look #6

outfit styling

I’m now moving to the popular Greenpoint skirt from MM. Lafleur.  I styled several looks using this style.  It’s such a comfortable, easy and versatile skirt that I wanted to make sure Ms. Chic got the most from it.  This first look I styled with a Max Mara jacket that Ms. Chic recently acquired.  Underneath the jacket, I used a T. Tahari top from several seasons ago, a variety of pumps that were already in Ms. Chic’s closet and a long gold necklace.

Look #7

outfit styling

This next outfit with the Greenpoint skirt was styled with all existing pieces in Ms. Chic’s wardrobe.  To make the classic seersucker blazer look updated, I added several colorful shoe options and suggested the novelty burgundy necklace when wearing the two burgundy colored shoes.

Outfit #8

outfit styling

For a non-jacketed look for work, I styled the Greenpoint skirt with this peackock printed top that Ms. Chic already owned.  With such a bold top, I kept the shoes simple using a pair of navy and deep teal pumps.  I gave Ms. Chic several necklace options.

Outfit #9

outfit styling

All of these pieces I paired with this skirt have been in Ms. Chic’s closet for some time.  The top was purchased one of the first years we worked together, which is at least five years ago.  The shrug is the style that we call the World’s Dumbest Cardigan because it is simple but not cheap.  Thankfully, it gets a lot of wear.  This particular color is several seasons old.

Outfit #10

outfit styling

With such a simple base as the Greenpoint skirt and BOSS Hugo Boss top that Ms. Chic purchased last year, I gave her plenty of shoes and accessories options to select.  Clearly, it’s hard to get bored with the pieces in this outfit when there are so many ways to finish it.

Outfit #11

outfit styling

This purple jacket is an Akris Punto style that is several seasons old.  Like this jacket, the rest of this components are existing pieces from Ms. Chic’s wardrobe.

Outfit #12

outfit stylingUsing another Michael Kors shrug that Ms. Chic has, I created this outfit.  Underneath the top, as in Look #6 and gave Ms. Chic several shoe and jewelry options.

Outfit #13

outfit stylingUsing a mint green top that has been in Ms. Chic’s closet long enough for me to forget who it is by.  It might be Banana Republic.  I layered a round neck shrug in navy from T. Tahari over the top and finished the look with blush shades.

Outfit #14

outfit styling

This last look using the Greenpoint skirt I created using an orange Vince Camuto top and white blazer from Peserico that Ms. Chic bought last year.  I have no idea when we purchased that top together.  I have Ms. Chic several shoe options and a statement necklace to finish the outfit.

Outfit #15

outfit stylingMoving on to this grey sheath dress from Peserico (ignore the fact that the website says it’s navy, it’s a deep grey), which was probably one of the most popular pieces purchased by my clients last season.  It must have been a popular style for the line in general because they are running it again.  Using a Reiss blazer that Ms. Chic purchased last year, I created this understated work look and gave Ms. Chic the option to add burgundy pumps and necklace for a pop.

Outfit #16

outfit styling

Using the very popular Morandi cardigan from MM. Lafleur, I created this soft work look that I popped with soft blush tones.  The color combination is so soft while still looking powerful.

Outfit #17

outfit stylingThis is the same outfit with just an accessories change.  I used a necklace that Ms. Chic has had in her closet for some time and a pair of Sam Edelman Hazel pumps in a perforated oatmeal suede.

Outfit #18

outfit styling

This is another option where the outfit stayed the same but the accessories were changed.  This is a gorgeous Anthropologie necklace from last year that I styled with two shoe options, the nude Sam Edelman pair and two tone burgundy and orange pumps.

Outfit #19

outfit styling

This was a relatively inexpensive little white jacket that I styled with the Peserico dress.  I kept it understated with the shoe choices and burgundy earrings.

Outfit #20

outfit styling

I warmed up the dress using a khaki Akris Punto jacket that Ms. Chic purchased last year.  Sticking with the soft, warm theme, I added the blush pumps and necklace.

Outfit #21

outfit styling

To work  with the blues and greens in the BCBG necklace, I added two shoe options that Ms. Chic could consider.  If you haven’t checked out BCBG necklaces, I have been pretty impressed by them.  Many of the styles Ms. Chic purchases come from there.  Over the jacket is the Peserico blazer.

Outfit #23

outfit styling

This last outfit I styled with the Peserico dress I styled with the Michael Kors shrug, another BCBG necklace and several shoe options, all which work with the outfit.

Whew, that was 23 outfits (more, actually, if you count all the multiple shoe and accessories options) and I created all of them using just three core pieces, the MM. Lafleur Oshima pants and the Greenpoint skirt and the Peserico dress.  This is why it is so important to take time to mix and match to make sure you are getting the most from your new purchases.  Thanks Ms. Chic for allowing me to share photos from your outfit styling session.

  • Carol

    Bridgette, you are a genius! These outfits are great. Your client will get so much use out of her new clothes. Her enviable shoe and jewelry collection give her a lot of variety! Thanks to both of you for sharing this. I do have a question about cropped pants. What shoes/hosiery would you pair with them as the weather gets colder?

    • Thanks Carole! Well, knowing Ms. Chic, she will probably ankle pants with booties in the cold weather and heels with bare ankles in the fall with pumps or flats. Once it gets super cold the ankle length pants are probably going into storage.

  • Kelly

    I am seriously jealous over Ms Chic’s shoe collection – they are all amazing and very versatile. Just out of cursoity – when you put these items together, does your client try them on to ensure lengths/volumes work together or is this something that your skill and experience knows will work without having to do that?

    • It’s take some time to curate all this. She has a great wardrobe. As far as trying things on. Sometimes I do and other times it’s just faster to do it this way. I know Ms Chic so well and I know the fit of her clothes that we don’t try much on anymore. Most clients opt for it this way so we can get more done.

  • Lauren A

    These posts REALLY hammer home my need for brighter accessories. I’ve been adding bright shoes in but need to add more colorful necklaces and earrings- as I find them I’ll add them! Statement necklaces used to be an everyday thing, but the feel and weight have started to bother me- I’m trying to use scarves instead, but that’s easier in fall and winter here in Texas… it’s just too dang hot for scarves so much of the year!

    Thank you so much for your blog- it has helped me immensely in how I feel about my style and my ability to start looking on the outside how I feel on the inside!

    • Hi Lauren! Thanks! Yes, accessories make such a difference and living in a hotter climate I definitely think you are right on adding colorful shoes. In the winter here shoes definitely make less of a statement in color. I always used to say that you could tell someone was a client of mine because they wore nude shoes, and then everyone got on that bandwagon. Now I say that you can tell someone is a client because they wear colorful shoes.

  • Patricia

    Classic well made basics with colorful accessories; simple formula but it works. I noticed two white jackets; do you consider them different enough she’s not splitting her wears?
    This styling session is for work / socializing and far more dressy than I need in my life, but it illustrates your basic points that work on all levels.

    • Thanks Patricia! It is a simple formula and a realistic one for the lives that most live. Regarding the white jackets and splitting wears, it’s truly all relative to the person. For some, having both those jackets would be splitting wears, but for this client it’s definitely not. If they were two notch collared classic white blazers, perhaps, but these look very different and, for Ms. Chic, create two very different looks, which is important for someone like her who needs to dress professionally everyday. I hope that makes sense.
      These outfits can definitely be translated into more casual looks quite easily. I am glad they helped for the lifestyle you lead.

  • Pat

    Welcome back, Bridgette! We missed you, so happy you’re feeling better.
    You continue to reinforce our need for more accessories and fewer clothing items. I love how you’ve incorporated patterned shoes……so trendy and chic!!

    Thanks Ms. Chic for giving us a peek into your fabulous wardrobe style, and thanks to you Bridgette for helping us do a better job planning future purchases.

    Happy you’re back,
    Faithful fan,

    • Ugh, what a rough couple of weeks. That cold and back issue at the same time was painful. THEN, a week later, I threw out my back again and, TMI, got my period. Between the cramps and the back pain my entire mid-section felt like it was on fire. I NEVER get sick. I think my last cold was 4 years ago, so it wasn’t a good few weeks to be me.

  • tgchi13

    After reading this, this morning, I did something a little different. I wore what I wore yesterday but added a very colorful necklace and switched out my shoes for flat red patent leather caged sandals. It was fun!

  • Renee Augustine Mathis

    Welcome back! I know I’m not the only one who envies Ms. Chic’s closet (and stylist!) 🙂 Thinking about shoes – could you comment on the “rule” that shoes should always be the same color as your hem or darker? Is this outdated now? Or would you add “match a color somewhere else in the outfit”?

    • Oh no, Ms. Chic has a very enviable closet. Although, many do wonder how she teeters around in all these pumps, but she totally does. I am not familiar with the shoe matching rule. I definitely do not abide by that one. Are you talking about with skirts, pants or both? Either way, it doesn’t matter. Personally, I love a pair of nude pumps with black or navy pants. I think that is a stupid rule that should go away. 😀 I don’t even think you need to add a match color somewhere else in an outfit. Sometimes it looks good but I don’t think it is necessary.

  • trace

    Hi, great tips, thanks. One question: How do you wear the Oshima ankle pant when it gets colder and sandals are no longer appropriate? One online site featured that style with cute socks sticking out above sandals or booties. That’s fine for artsy workplaces, and I could do that in days I don’t have to go to court. But for a slightly more conservative situation, what do you suggest? Thanks

  • trace

    Sorry, I see now that you answered a similar question. But what about the socks idea? Too juvenile? Also, maybe you could do a post on this. Because when u say ankle boots/booties, what kind? Dressy ones that go pretty high up the shin, or more casual ones? What about the Western booties thing? ALSO, what do u think generally of the Western/Native American/Indian trend? I’m seeing a lot of novelty jewelry like that as well as booties. Is there a way to wear that without looking foolish? Yesterday I wore a navy pencil skirt, camel cotton cardigan worn all buttoned up with a long necklace with a medium size hammered brass/dark gold pendant on a dark brown ” leather” chain – I liked it but I’m not sure it worked. Also, how long should pendant necklaces be? Thanks!

    • No problem, Trace! You can definitely try socks. Sometimes that can look super cute with booties. I was going to suggest booties that sit up slimmer on the ankles too. I think if you like the western Native American trend then go for it. This is definitely all personal. Sometimes I like to throw a little in, in a rugged Ralph Lauren sort of way. I think your outfit sounds great. I think a good rule of thumb for pendants is the solar plexus point is a nice range to consider