It's easy to lose your personality when your wardrobe is void of color, and you are dressing in basics. Lisa needed separates and dresses with texture and pattern that would easily distinguish her as the one in charge.
She is a feisty 29 year old who is taking on new roles at her family's bistro with her parents approaching retirement. The catering and events expansion that was only a dream two years ago is really starting to take off. Lisa and her brother are working together to continue their parents legacy.
The bistro offers an upscale casual dining experience, and with that the staff has always worn all black. Lisa has worked at the restaurant since she was 16 so her closet is overflowing with simple black pieces. The problem is she feels like she dresses like she is still a member of the serving staff. Her daily work look consists of black boot cut pants and a black or white button up shirt.
Lisa is the face of the catering/events division and the staff manager of the restaurant she needs her wardrobe to distinguish her as an authority with patrons and catering clients.
When I ask her what her ideal wardrobe feels like, this was her answer.
"I like the way an all black or black and white look feels as a manager. It makes me feel sleek and in authority. But, I don't know how to do that without wearing a suit everyday like my mother. Everything I buy is the same as what I have always worn since I was waiting tables, or went the other direction and looked too sexy. I like the idea of not being dull and standing out, but not begging for attention."
My goal for Lisa's Edit, Shop, & Style was to give her interest and dimension in with a black and white color palette. It's easy to lose your personality when your wardrobe is void of color, and you are dressing in basics. Lisa needed separates and dresses with texture and pattern that would easily distinguish her at an event or in the restaurant as the one in charge.
Lisa is petite with a hint of curves like her style icons. She chose both of these ladies as her work wardrobe inspiration for the fun they have with their clothing while still staying covered. Because of her small frame her skirts and dresses needed to hit at or just above the knee, her patterns needed to be smaller in size not to overwhelm her, and shoes needed to be a pointed toe to lengthen her legs.
Eva Longoria & Gina Rodriguez
What she loves:
"Both of these women play up their feminine side in a playful way. But they still look like strong ladies."
Eva & Gina's Style Elements:
Feminine silhouettes that hug curves or float away from the body
Completer pieces that make an outfit
Simple prints that don't overwhelm her frame
Overall look creates long lean line to the eye
Lisa's Style Strategy Summary:
Mix of black and white pieces that command respect with a hint of fun to keep it age appropriate. Geometric prints and patterns that don't overwhelm her petite frame Pieces with varying degrees of formality for meeting with clients, over seeing events at the bistro and offsite, and for working in the restaurant office.
-Tops-Crew neck line blouses in 3/4 sleeve length.
-Bottoms-A line skirts that hit at or just above the knee, trousers with a slight wide leg
-Dresses-Skirts that flow away from the body, hit at or below the knee in solids and patterns.
-Completers-Blazers, Jackets, and Cardigans that add texture
-Shoes-Pointed toe flats and kitten heels
-Jewelry-Delicate statement makers
Look One:Bold Pattern Wrap Dress
A wrap dress is an essential in the busy woman's wardrobe for its versatility and ease of wear. Lisa's is paired with these booties to give an over all soft look more edge. She can also put leggings under this for fall and winter.
Look Two: Texture and Architectural Detail
Tip the style scale of a basic black wide leg trouser with the sophistication of architectural detail of the top that is also reflected in the circle cutouts of the shoe. Topped of with a work appropriate statement earring. The top works with the wider pant because it hits above the hip bone, and the mini wedge on the shoe gives a little lift to leg created a longer leaner line.
Look Three:Color Blocking + Animal Print
This look is professional but young and fresh. The animal print is great in a creative work environment, and the dress is a staple because of how it can be dressed up or down. The conservative kitten heel anchors the appropriateness for work.
Look Four:Abstract Business Casual
The pants are the statement in this look. Pairing a simple top with delicate detail keeps the look from being overwhelming. Dainty jewelry and a pointed toe micro heel are great for a day in the office for Lisa.
Whether your black and white wardrobe is self induced or a side effect of your chosen career path. You have no excuse for your look to be boring. You can still show your personality in your clothing. Here are 5 ways to do just that.
1. Pattern- There is a world of possibilities out there when it comes to choosing pattern. Stick with your style elements to easily work it in to what you already own..
2. Texture through fabric- -Faux Leather, Lace, velvet, tweed,and satin are all great choices to add depth and create visual interest for your look.
3 .Architectural Shapes- Peplum, cut outs, wrap style, and bold shoulders are just a few of the ways to take what could be a ho-hum top and make it stand out.
4. Let your shoes do the talking-No matter how simple the outfit an interesting shoe is a easy way to elevate your style.
5. Blend it with Blush-This season's hottest color is a neutral, and if your dress code allows mix it in with black for a dramatic pop or with white for a clean, modern look.
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