Rosana Posted by Rosana
Chief Stylist
February 8th, 2016

Spreading the Style Love

vday2016_2

Rosana Posted by Rosana
Chief Stylist
February 6th, 2016

Styling from Afar

I started taking remote clients several years ago, but really honed and fine-tuned the process in late 2014. When I started developing the process, I wanted to make sure our faraway clients would feel special and taken care of — just as our in-person local clients do. I also wanted to make sure that they received the same tangible takeaways. How would we audit a client’s closet without actually be there? How would we shop? How would we create outfits?

After months of trial and error, I finally felt confident I had a remote personal styling service that would provide the value and DC Style Factory experience that all our clients have come to know and love. We used Skype or FaceTime, Pinterest and Polyvore in a detailed, strategic, step-by-step process to help clients all over the country discover and enhance their personal style.

This past fall, we started to actively promote our remote styling and offered a giveaway to one lucky Wardrobe Oxygen reader. Terry Cole of Ocala, Florida, was the winner. I was thrilled to connect with Terry who was warm and full of humor. She also was committed to the process, which made our time together that much more productive and useful. We worked with her over a couple of months, auditing her closet, building her a list of closet essentials missing from her wardrobe, shopping for her, and finally, creating complete looks.

The first step was to get to know Terry — her life, her closet, her likes and dislikes, any wardrobe problem areas, and more. I found out Terry is an artist. Most of her time during the week is spent in a pottery studio in jeans and a t-shirt. Still, she enjoys fashion, style and a closet full of options. She is style savvy with of-the-moment pieces. Still something was missing. Although it was second nature for her to explore “creativity in my art work…I tended to dress in a uniform, always wearing the same pieces, the same way.”

Terry’s personal style is casual classic with a little rocker edge and a bohemian flair. Her goal working with DC Style Factory was to feel more pulled together on a daily basis, and to discover new ways to wear her clothing. We were off to the style races!

The Closet Audit

After our initial phone consult,  we needed to get to know Terry’s closet —  what should go, what would stay, and what she should consider adding. Because Terry is not local, we used a detailed worksheet with specific guidelines that helped her go through her closet with a critical, unbiased eye — as if I was standing next to her. I also asked her to pull out five “orphan garments” to discuss during our second, longer FaceTime session.

10460675_10153897082846495_5170207648574721748_o

The result of this first phase is that Terry purged two bags of clothing that no longer worked for her, and she gained some knowledge on how to organize her closet to create outfits with more ease. We also came up a list of wardrobe essentials that were missing, and would help her get more mileage out of the pieces already in her closet.

Finally we worked on her orphan garments — those pieces she never could quite figure out how to wear. There was a lot of experimenting, asking questions and laughter!

12633533_10153996328886495_3019275766516342958_oTerry pulled out this pink pleated skirt that just never felt quite right when she put it on with pumps (left). We reworked the skirt to feel more relaxed with an ankle boot and pullover sweater (right). She loved the results so much, she wore to a neighborhood holiday party!

Shopping

The next step was to get Terry her Style Memo —  what we call a style roadmap. This would include a quick snapshot of her style goals, and a budgeted and prioritized shopping list. Once she reviewed, we got to shopping, providing online shopping recommendations based her Style Memo. We sent her our easy-to-use, clickable spreadsheet of online options. She purchased her favorite options. I asked Terry to take selfies of her new purchases  so we could review at our next FaceTime appointment.

Over the next week, the selfies came fast and furious, and I already knew we had some winners from the online shopping.

Fitting

The purpose of our next FaceTime session was to review Terry’s new purchases — what worked and what should be returned. I could feel Terry’s excitement over her new purchases and the prospect of seeing her existing clothing in a new light. Terry added mostly really staple “workhorse” pieces to her wardrobe that would help ground the many special, flashier pieces in her closet.  One important factor when reviewing her new purchases: make sure any new piece  would be able to be worn at least five different ways.

Creating Outfits

Now that we had new items added to Terry’s closet that would update and pull together her look, it was time to hit Polyvore to create outfits. Terry added a number of pieces from her wardrobe to Polyvore,  and I added the new pieces we purchased together. We had a great virtual closet to work with!

I got to work creating daytime casual looks and weekend going out  – the two areas that she really wanted guidance. I also wanted to get her versatile pieces that could work for casual and dressier occasions. Many of the looks I created utilized the same pieces over and over again (that lariat!), but in very different ways.

Terry now has these outfits to keep and reference. She also can use them as inspiration to create her own looks!

She had this to say about the DC Style Factory remote styling experience:

I was the winner of the Wardrobe Oxygen Remote Styling Giveaway and prior to this experience I don’t think it would have ever occurred to me to consult with a stylist. But after the experience I can speak to the value of a professional looking at your wardrobe with fresh eyes.

Working remotely was surprisingly effective.  FaceTime does a good job of simulating the in-person styling experience. Pinterest and Polyvore do a very good job in their roles. I found the experience to be very valuable in defining and refining my personal style as much for what happened outside of our interactions as during our sessions.

Discussing clothing pieces and creating looks was a kickstarter for me to come up with my own looks. The online shopping recommendations supply the tools to create. Those recommendations also gave me ideas about pieces that are likely to be flattering.

I have always developed creativity in my art work but for some reason I tended to dress in a uniform, always wearing the same pieces in the same way. It occurred to me that I could and should be exercising creativity in my wardrobe to expand my creative thinking into a new arena. This revelation came directly from seeing the way that Rosana used pieces in my wardrobe in ways that had never occurred to me. I have since been much more creative in experimenting and combining items! I would not hesitate to recommend remote styling with DC Style Factory. It works!

Look 1

Terry Cole 4

image1-2“The Echo Artist Leopard Wrap is beautiful. It seems to go with everything and always feel right when I put it on. And it has a very painterly look which I ,of course, love.”

Look 2

Terry Cole 5

Terry Cole 2“The white jacket, red top ,DL 1961 jeans and gold heels is rocking!”

Look 3 c600x646

image9

Look 4

Terry Cole 10

Terry Cole 1

Look 5

Terry Cole 15

image5

Look 6

Terry Cole 2

image2-2

 Look 7

c600x535

image8

Look 8

 

 

Rosana Posted by Rosana
Chief Stylist
February 1st, 2016

Here Comes the Groom

weddingmoodstudio-526In personal styling, we are asked to get sh&^ done…and make it look good. Sometimes we are given ample time to get it done, but  sometimes clients  call us at the nth hour, panicked. We never back down…I mean never. Most recently, I had a groom contact me about finding him a wedding day suit. Peter was getting married in Thailand. One ceremony would be a traditional Thai ceremony and the other a Western one. His mother-in-law had him set for the traditional Thai ceremony, but after looking and looking and looking some more, he was still at a loss for his wedding suit look.

When he contacted me, we had less than a month.

He had some ideas. He knew he wanted a lightweight suit (hello, tropical temps in Thailand) and he wanted a festive  blue — like a light, bright  blue. Paisley prints scared him in general. He liked pretty traditional, classic style.  He sent over some pics of suits that he liked. I mulled it over and decided we would need to take this show both online and in person. Finding a warm-weather, bright blue suit in the middle of winter was going to be…challenging. We would need to scour sale sites and racks. But, as I have said (and written) before: there is no crying in styling. Or giving up. We looked high and low — Brooks Brothers, J.Crew, Neiman Marcus, Hugo Boss, Billy Reid, Band of Outsiders, Rag & Bone…the list goes on. We looked at off-season sale websites, called retailers to scour racks. We came up with some pretty good options for him to try. We also scheduled an in-person shopping appointment at Nordstrom, Tyson’s Corner.

Although cotton and linen are great fabrics for warm weather, I knew right away that those fabrics wrinkle the second you put them on and would not feel dressy enough for the formal wedding. Still, I never discount anything 100 percent until I see it in person. We ordered a few on sale to try and as backup in case we did not find anything during our shopping trip together.

I arrived at Nordstrom and started pulling suits, shirts, ties, pocket squares and shoes. I found a beautiful deep blue Hugo Boss suit that I immediately sensed was the one. The blue was classic enough for work, but bright enough that with the right accessories would feel perfect for his wedding day. It was a lightweight three-season wool that would be fine for the slightly cooler temps in Bangkok in December-January. Plus — this suit would be in his closet well beyond his wedding day. I wasn’t interested in getting him something he would wear only one time. I also knew I wanted to do a rich cognac for his shoes and accessories to keep his look youthful and modern,  instead of black, which also would feel to heavy for the climate.

I pulled a few other suits besides the Hugo Boss, set up a fitting room, and crossed my fingers until he arrived.

He arrived right on time and we hit the ground running. We tried on some of the cotton suits and, as I suspected, they just didn’t feel dressy enough. So on to the Hugo Boss. We held our breaths. He came out of the fitting room, and N’jeri and I squealed. Yes! This was our groom!

We pushed him a bit out of his comfort zone too, getting him a pair of gorgeous gradient-style To Boot dress shoes (“I am not sure about how the color gets dark to light on the shoe.” “Um, you are going to have to trust me on this. DO IT.”). We also decided to get him that bright, light blue — for his tie — and  a fun, yellow paisley (yes, paisley!) pocket square that popped against the blue, and tied in the rich warm tones of his shoe and belt.

The tailor came up to make adjustments. The suit would be ready in plenty of time. Our groom was ready!

Fast-forward a month from his wedding day. I received two amazing thank you notes from Pete and his wife,  plus pictures from the couple’s gorgeous wedding (hello there berry-colored pumps!) Man.  I just love when it all comes together so beautifully. And special congratulations to the newlyweds! xxx

I had 18 months to get a wedding suit, and I blew it. Finding a great looking suit in November in DC that is appropriate for a tropical climate a month out from your wedding is no easy task. After doing the headless chicken thing, I contacted Rosana, who asked for some details of what I was looking for, and she then got the process started right away. What we ended up with was not exactly what I had envisioned, and I couldn’t be happier for it. Rosana pushed my comfort zone, which allowed me to stand out at my wedding, rather than simply looking like another day at the office.I received a lot of compliments and I felt like $28 million. Rosana was efficient, personal, and a pleasure to work with. I would recommend Rosana to anyone who is considering doing anything different with their wardrobe/fashion sense.  - Peter Tantisuthorn

BP-Day2-657

BP-Day2-663

weddingmoodstudio-185

weddingmoodstudio-1157

 

Rosana Posted by Rosana
Chief Stylist
January 23rd, 2016

What I Learned from My Personal Stylist: Try Something New

I love getting selfies from my clients and seeing how their new look/wardrobe pieces have  had an impact on their daily lives. Most recently, I asked my client Amanda — who is an attorney at a DC law  firm — if I could share some of her selfies from this past fall along with a few thoughts on what she has learned from working DC Style Factory.

When I met Amanda, she had just lost a significant amount of weight — 50 pounds during the span of a year. She was getting used to buying and dressing for her new body, and also figuring out what she wanted for herself in terms of personal style. She was wearing a yellow pencil skirt, dark blouse and heels when we met. Honestly, she looked really, quite pulled together. But, as we chatted more, I realized that what she was bored. She wanted to step up her work and casual wear, injecting some edgier, stylish quality pieces. Because she is a DC attorney, though, she still wanted her work look to be classic, polished and pulled together.  I knew right away what we were going to try — richer color, pattern, texture that did not exist in her current wardrobe. We wanted Amanda to look the part of DC Attorney — but with a playful spin.  We also wanted to  incorporate some unexpected, out-of-the-box pieces/silhouettes that would speak to her inner Carrie Bradshaw. The name of the game with Amanda? Try something new.

I enjoy clothing and style now more than ever.  My style has not only evolved with Rosana, but I truly believe it has become more ‘me’ because I feel more confident in the choices I am making based on what I am learning from Rosana.  I am more open to trying new things now because I understand myself and my style more. The most important thing that Rosana taught me is that a great piece of clothing (the right piece of clothing for you) can do more than just affect the way you look physically—it can change the way you feel.”

photo 4

We got Amanda a sleeveless turtleneck sweater. It feels a little different, but can still be paired with classic pieces for a polished office look. Amanda wore it  with rolled jeans here for a casual look. But, it could also be layered over a tissue black turtleneck, pumps and pencil skirt for a dressier look.

photo 1

 This blue sheath dress is beautiful classic all the way. The color was so stunning on Amanda. Paired with  animal print pumps up the style ante more than if she did black pumps.

photo 3

Amanda need a winter coat that could be dressed up and down. Right away, I knew I wanted to get her a collarless 3/4-length coat. This minimal Theory cashmere coat  fit the bill perfectly.  Its asymmetric buttoning at the collar  gives it an modern, edgy feel, but the lux cashmere and soft heather grey color are classic ladylike all the way.

photo 2 This look is actually NOT a dress, but two pieces — a sleeveless sweater shell that can be layered under a denim jacket, blazer, etc. We love doing monochromatic looks, though. So for this office look, we had Amanda pair the sweater with a Reiss neoprene pencil skirt.

IMG_0747 When Amanda tried this Halogen dress on, we squealed. It just hit the mark — playful with a drop waist, tie-front and print. But, also totally work-appropriate with black tights and classic pumps.

Rosana Posted by Rosana
Chief Stylist
January 4th, 2016

Wrap It Up

Temps have finally dropped! And I am READY. Bethesda Magazine caught up with me and one of my favorite cold-weather staples: the blanket scarf. What I love about this cozy accessory is it makes a style statement and serves a functional purpose. Pick up your copy of Bethesda today and check out my tips on rocking a blanket scarf this season!

 

bethesdamag cover

bethesda mag2016bethesda mag2016