Viewing entries tagged

boho girl

boho girl

The other day I met my friend Dana for lunch. As I was waiting, I saw this cool boho girl walking down the street. Then I realized the cool boho girl was  Dana!


I'd say we did a pretty good job defining her style! I'll take credit for half of this outfit (I thrifted the top and skirt for her) and Dana gets the credit for the other half (Target hat and Born sandals via Nordstrom Rack).

Doesn't she look great? 

closet case study: dana (final thoughts)

I asked Dana to write a few words about how she felt through this process and was so touched by what she said.

during our styling session - I love how happy she looks!

during our styling session - I love how happy she looks!

"For most of my life I've tried to ignore fashion. I wasn't very confident about my choices and clothes were a source of stress for me. I am generally a very open person, and have a positive body image, but it turns out that opening up the deep dark recesses of my closet to someone was nerve wracking! Dacy's thoughtful, caring, and sensitive approach eased me into the process and I ended up having a great time. She gently listened to everything I had to say and asked thoughtful questions as I dug through years of clothes I'd been hanging onto. Now I open my closet in the morning and it makes me smile because I no longer have to reject half of the things in it, which is awesome because I am not a morning person. I had no idea how much stress all that extra stuff was causing me.

The best part was having Dacy get so excited about me and my wardrobe. She helped me focus my tight budget on the key items that will help pull everything together and guidance on what not to spend my money on. It was a big lesson on keeping it simple and not holding onto things unless you really love them and they work easily for you. It seems so obvious now, but I would've never figured this out without Dacy's help, and the perfect pair of skinny jeans that she found for me! Really, in just 2 weeks, I feel this huge shift in this part of my life. It's awesome. Looking forward to more!"

(See dana's closet case study part 1 and part 2)

closet case study: dana (part 2)

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.

a little inspiration from jackie

a little inspiration from jackie

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.

(click image to see sources)

(click image to see sources)

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
Ballet flats
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. 

old navy cropped trench - $7.50, gap denim skirt - $3, (another) old navy cropped trench - $4, ann taylor black skirt - $3, aerosoles sandals - $3, vintage tunic - $1.50

old navy cropped trench - $7.50, gap denim skirt - $3, (another) old navy cropped trench - $4, ann taylor black skirt - $3, aerosoles sandals - $3, vintage tunic - $1.50

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.

(See dana's closet case study part 3 and part 1)

closet case study: dana

Recently, my friend Dana asked for some help with her spring wardrobe. She told me that she had a few pieces that she wasn’t sure how to wear and that she had a few things she needed to buy. I didn't go into the day thinking we'd have too much to do. We started by having a lovely lunch, and then paged through the Lucky Guide to Mastering Any Style. I wanted to get an idea of styles she really loved so that we could judge pieces she already owned by that standard. Dana was very “meh” about all the styles in the book, to the point that I was getting a little worried, until we got to “mod”. “I like THAT, and I like that, and I like that…” Ok, done. If you know Dana, you know that she has a good boho vibe going on already, but I would have never guessed that she was so into 60’s and mod looks.


We headed into the bedroom. Dana has a small closet, your typical 80-year-old-house-sized closet, but I'm telling you, it was like one of those clown cars. I couldn't believe how much she actually had packed in there once it started coming out. "I never know what to do with this, this I wear with this one other thing, this I need something with this exact shade of green to go with, this was a gift..." And so on. For a long time. I was getting overwhelmed. Just when she would tell me, "ok, I think that's it", I'd ask, "What about those storage bins on the top shelf?", and she'd remember that, oh yeah, those were also full of sweaters she didn't wear. Finally, I said, "Dana, the problem is not that you can't make these things work. No one could make them work. Plus, you don't even like them that much to begin with!" The low-key-only-need-help-with-a-few-options session was clearly going to be more than that.


Dana has had an interesting style evolution. At some point, she had decided that she wanted to upgrade her self-described "t-shirt and jeans" style, so she started trying to add pieces with more interest into her closet. By the time I saw her wardrobe, almost everything had "interest", and therefore nothing worked with anything else. She's also on a tight budget, so she felt bound to all these pieces because they "might work" and she'd have them "just in case" she needed an option without spending money.

After her bed was covered in clothing, we started with the obvious decisions. Things that didn't fit, things that were a gift, things that were worn out all went in the donate pile. I pulled everything to one side that she really loved, that she was excited about when she talked about them to me. This was maybe ten or twelve pieces.

Then we started the long process of evaluating all the "maybe" pieces. It's hard to let go of something that you've held onto with the hope of making it work. It's hard to accept that, actually, it's not going to work. Out went the mud colored pants, out went the awkward-length skirts, out went the tops that only worked with one specific cardigan over them. 

Happily, there were also many pieces that did work. Dana just needed an outside pair of eyes to tell her that it was ok to wear x shirt with x pants, and that x dress didn't have to be relegated to dressy events, but could actually be worn to work as well.







I wasn't kidding when I said long process. We worked on Dana's closet for 5 hours. By the end of our session, she had gotten rid of three or four large storage bins of clothes, but more importantly, she had a new perspective on her closet. She realized that hanging on to all of these one-hit-wonder pieces in her closet was actually making getting dressed harder, not easier. She was able to accept that sometimes things just don't work and that you shouldn't beat yourself up about trying to make them work. She realized that, actually, you can have most things in your closet work with most other things, and if that's the case, getting dressed in the morning becomes much easier.

out of the house.JPG

Stay tuned for Part 2, in which we put together outfits and add a few new pieces.

(See dana's closet case study part 2 and part 3)