As we plowed through Dana's closet, I started to notice that there were a few key pieces missing. Dana didn't really have many true basic layering pieces, like white and black tanks and tees, jeans that go with everything, or shoes that could work for a variety of events. The saddest part to me was that she didn't have any pieces in the mod style that she loved so much and was so "her".
One of the things that she had told me in advance that she'd like to add to her wardrobe was a pair of stretchy, dark, skinny jeans. She warned me that she was a hard size to fit, but I picked up a couple of pairs of the Rock Star jean from Old Navy on my way over to her house, and they fit perfectly. These were important to have, because any top that had "interest" worked easily with them, instead of trying to match those tops to a pair of pants with a green and brown plaid, for example. She also had a great pair of wide leg lightweight denim that she just hadn't thought to pair with simpler tops and that became another important basic.
I'm not sure that I've ever met a girl with as few pairs of shoes as Dana. Her shoe wardrobe was sorely lacking - no real pair of dress shoes, one pair of flat sandals that were falling apart, no brown every day work shoes. She did have some flat black boots she loved and that went with lots of things and she had a cute pair of round-toe wedges that she never wore. The wedges worked well with all the dresses she loved and with her new skinny jeans.
As I mentioned, Dana's on a budget, so after the purchase of the jeans, we only had about $75 to work with. Luckily, I'm a thrift fanatic, so I thought I could still get what she needed.
Here's where knowing your personal style comes in handy - since Dana loved the 60's mod and 70's boho looks, everything going forward should fit into these styles. That way, there's more likelihood that everything will work together as a cohesive wardrobe.
These are the building blocks of Dana's style:
A-line minidresses and miniskirts (mod)
Wide leg jeans (boho)
Skinny pants/jeans (mod)
Ballet flats (mod)
Strappy metallic flat sandals (mod and boho)
Flat boots, black and brown (mod)
Tunic tops (boho)
Jackets to layer over dresses (just practical, I guess)
From this list, she had some things, but she still needed:
A-line minidresses and miniskirts
Strappy metallic flat sandals
Brown flat boots
Jackets to layer over dresses
Saturday morning, I set out to see what I could thrift (one of these days I'm going to write a thrifting guide to St. Louis). I had one of those super-successful days, and found lots of good stuff. I got her a black miniskirt, a denim miniskirt, a boho tunic, a pair of metallic strappy sandals, and two cropped trench jackets for about $21.
I also had a very mod graphic print shift dress in my closet that I had bought last summer and planned to wear all winter with black tights and boots. Since I wore it exactly once, and I knew that Dana would love it, it went to her. It made me so happy to see it on her and see how happy it made her. She wore it to a STL Symphony concert and said she "felt like a star". Much better than languishing in my closet.
So, for about $50, along with her edited down closet, Dana has a really great set of ingredients to work from. There are still a few more things she could use, but she (and I) will keep an eye out for the perfect options.