Makeover Takeaways

Over Thanksgiving, I was talking with my brother-in-law’s mom, who happens to have a great name, Beth. She was asking me all about the article in the Washingtonian, what it was like to have a stylist (mine was THE BEST), and what the main takeaways from the style makeover were. I’ve talked about the whole experience in several posts on the blog:

But I thought it would be fun to share the top takeaways from my style makeover, which are some tips and tricks you can use yourself!

1.) You Should Love Everything in Your Closet.

While this probably seems really intuitive to most people, it took me a little while to get my head around it. I have a lot of things in my closet that are OK or that I’ll wear, and only a few pieces that I LOVE. Kaarin helped me realize that the goal eventually is for me to love everything in my closet. When I think about the few pieces that I actually love, the idea of having a closet FULL of stuff I love is exciting, but will take a lot of time (and $$).

2.) The 80-20 Rule

The 80-20 rule applies not only to eating, but to style as well! The basic premise is that 80% of your outfit should be basics, with 20% “icing” (or flair, as I like to say). Before my style makeover, I’d say I was about 95-100% basic, with little to no icing. Icing basically means jewelry, accessories, or anything fancy that makes your outfit stand out a bit. If you have a funky shirt or skirt, that can count as your icing, and the rest of your outfit should be toned down so the 20% really stands out. Too much more than 20% icing just makes you look a little over-the-top and not as put together.

3.) Weekly Activity Chart

One of the exercises that Kaarin had me do was to make a chart of how I spend my waking hours during the week between working, exercising, going out, hanging out, etc. The percentage of waking hours spent doing any activity is the percentage of those types of clothes that your wardrobe should have. For example, if you spend 60% of your waking hours working, 60% of your wardrobe should be work clothes. If you spend 10% working out, 10% should be exercise clothes, etc. I’d never thought about that before!

4.) Layering

I always knew that you could layer collared shirts underneath sweaters, but that was where my layering experimentation started and ended. Kaarin showed me how you can layer just about everything, and especially dresses. When you wear collared shirts or sweaters over dresses, it gives the whole dress a totally different look and makes it seem more like a skirt/top combo. She said the biggest thing to consider when layering is to make sure the neck lines match up or compliment each other. I have some summer maxi dresses that I’ve been wearing lately with sweaters over them, and it goes from summer to winter just like that!

5.) Belts

While I’ve always loved the way that belts looked, I never in a million years thought that I could actually wear a belt. I hated how they would dig in and felt like they made me look chubbier rather than defined my waist. Kaarin helped me to realize that belts CAN actually make you look thinner, you just have to know how to use them and make sure you have belts of different colors and thicknesses, from skinny ones to thick ones. Adding a belt to an outfit can change the whole look and give you much more leverage with your clothes. I have a black skirt that I wear with different tops tucked in, and I wear a thick black belt over the top of the skirt and it makes it look like a dress. Just changing the top but keeping the belt/skirt combo means I can make as many “dresses” as I have tops from just that one thing!

What is your FAVORITE piece of clothing in your closet?

10 Comments on Makeover Takeaways

  1. The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh
    December 2, 2011 at 8:50 am (9 years ago)

    Great tips! Thanks so much for sharing!

    Hmm, my favorite piece right now is this grey cowl neck sweater with a black and white argyle print. It was completely out of my comfort zone but it looks really great and slimming on me and I can’t say that about many things because I’m tall and hard to fit.

  2. Jennifer
    December 2, 2011 at 9:07 am (9 years ago)

    I love these tips, they totally make sense.

    My favorite piece is probably a pair of sandals that I’ve had for years and have had to take into the cobbler several times for repairs because I refuse to give them up. They are black and strappy but are great because they are versatile enought to wear with something dressy or more casual.

  3. Jenny
    December 2, 2011 at 9:17 am (9 years ago)

    Um, I don’t have a favorite piece right now. I’ve gained some weight but REFUSE to buy new clothes because I know how to lose it, I’ve just been lazy, so nothing really fits right. So, that makes me not like anything. I did get a really awesome pair of booties(? I think that’s what they’re called. I lost all fashion sense after highschool apparently) that I need to find something to wear with though! But they have a 4 or 5 inch heel (with a 1″ platform at the front) so I also need to learn how to walk in them too! ha

  4. Kimberly
    December 2, 2011 at 10:11 am (9 years ago)

    Awesome tips, thanks for sharing! Maybe this will motivate me to clean out my closet. Favorite item right now would be my ugg-like boots…so warm. Have a great weekend Beth!

  5. Carly D. @ CarlyBananas
    December 2, 2011 at 11:19 am (9 years ago)

    I feel like 95-100% of my clothes are basic. I have no idea how to accessorize!

  6. Hilary
    December 2, 2011 at 11:50 am (9 years ago)

    All great tips…LOVE this, especially the belt one, since I tend to be a belt-avoider too. My favourite thing in my closet?? Probably any of my cute mini dresses (which I am acquiring more and more of) that I can wear over tights or skinny jeans with boots or flats.

  7. Megan C.
    December 2, 2011 at 1:54 pm (9 years ago)

    I love the 80-20 concept applied to your wardrobe that is brilliant!! I also like the Weekly Activity chart concept I never thought of it that way but it makes sense!!

  8. Laura @ Joyful Shimmy
    December 2, 2011 at 2:56 pm (9 years ago)

    I love this! I started to work with a stylist (actually various in different levels) over this past couple of months and I had similar epiphanies. One of my favorite things is that my closet is now color-coded and OMG makes such a huge difference. I am having fun layering different combos of clothes and having what it feels like “new outfits”

    I love the time charting and what you should be investing on- such an amazing idea. Thank you Beth this is great!

  9. Erin @ A Girl & Her Mutt
    December 2, 2011 at 4:37 pm (9 years ago)

    I love the 80/20 rule. I tend to run that but its the opposite for me. I own 80% accessories and 20% basics. I need to work on that!

  10. Lili
    December 2, 2011 at 6:10 pm (9 years ago)

    I’ve been obsessed with leggings paired with a long buttoned shirt or a long sweater and a belt. It’s so comfortable and I love the way it looks.

    Thanks for the tips of wearing a sweater over a dress! I’ve never thought about it and will def try it soon!


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