Friday, April 29, 2011

Southern Rehearsal

I have been working as a personal stylist for eight years. I shop with people, I shop for them, I do wardrobe consulting, closet overhauls, and I've even been known to pack for my clients. I am currently styling a client for her wedding rehearsal dinner in rural Virginia at the end of May. This particular client presented a new challenge. I met this young woman once about five years ago and now I am styling her via Skype, emails with lots of photos, and some of my favorite online stores. I thought you might enjoy the process.

Her event is outdoors under a tent and fairly laid back. She wears cowboy boots a lot and wanted options that would allow her to wear her favorite pair to the rehearsal dinner. I asked her to send me a current photo of herself, and then answer these questions. 

Q. Who are the three celebrities whose style you admire most?
A. Rachel Bilson for her edginess. Katie Holmes because she has mastered the chic girl next door. And Taylor Swift for her country style.

Q. What do you feel are your best physical attributes?
A. My butt and my stomach.

Q. Any areas that you are less comfortable with? 
A. I am probably least comfortable with my legs. Though I am not at all
opposed to wearing a skirt or dress for the rehearsal dinner.

My client has beautiful bright blue eyes and medium brown hair. Her complexion is fair and she has a very slim silhouette. Next, I asked her to send me photos of her three favorite outfits and tell me why. This is the first outfit that my client sent to me:

"I like this dress because I love the way it fits. It hugs my body but it's not too tight." She wears this with her favorite pair of flat sandals. The second outfit she sent:

"I love wearing jeans and cowboy boots. And I like the shirt because I like puff sleeves and plaid." And, of course, don't forget her beloved chocolate brown Lucchese cowboy boots that may make an appearance at her rehearsal dinner.

The third outfit she sent me looked like this:

My client's dress had the addition of a flower pin (in the same color as the dress) and her shoes were a matte snakeskin. "I like the puffy sleeves, the color, and the flower of the dress. I like the shoes because I think they are understated and classy."

Style Analysis: Clearly my client has very feminine taste. Pink, puff sleeves, and form fitting silhouettes are part of her favorite outfits. She leans toward cute pieces that are subtly sexy and she is not afraid of prints. Judging by her answers to my celebrity question, she is somewhat conservative but not afraid to take fashion risks. I can see Taylor Swift's romantic country style and Katie Holmes' embodiment of simple classic style in all of her outfits. Rachel Bilson and her fearless approach to fashion is what my client aspires to. This is the short version of what came next.

I decided to email my client a handful of options via site links. She gave me her feedback in between each option so I was able to judge what she was feeling and adjust where I directed her. 

Option #1
This is the most casual look. It would look great with her cowboy boots (or a pretty espadrille) and has a definite sexy country feel. The eyelet and sweetheart neckline are cute and feminine, the silhouette is classic. The cut will highlight her small waist and flat stomach while the slightly flared skirt will give her thin body some nice curves. It has Taylor Swift written all over it. 

Option #2
This dress is feminine, romantic, and dramatic. The dark color will be unexpected in the southern sea of pastels, Lilly Pulitzer, and seersucker while playing off of her rich brown hair. My client's cowboy boots will also look great with it. It has a beautiful tiny floral print, and the belt could be tighter to accent her waist. Plus the lightweight fabric will outline her butt perfectly. I can see Rachel Bilson rocking this dress with a pair of motorcycle boots.

Option #3
The last look is fashionable and modern. The silhouette is casual and airy while the subtle sparkle makes it special. The color will remind people that she is the bride and the silk will show off her slim figure as she moves. (Plus, no one will notice the attribute that she is least comfortable with!) The billowy sleeves and floor length silhouette add a hint of drama and elegance. It's perfect for a casual evening in the spring. Katie Holmes (or any other girl next door) would certainly wear this on a special occasion.

So readers, which dress would you choose? Stay tuned and I will update you on her final choice! [Click on any of the dresses to purchase.]

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