Femme Fatale - What to buy to instantly glam an ordinary look

It’s so easy to fall into the same boring look each day. That might suffice most of the year but we are dangerously close to holiday time! Everything should feel sparkly, chic and just a bit sassy. Who wouldn’t want to add a piece here and there to their wardrobe to step up the glam?

Here are some great pieces and accents to sub into ordinary looks to transform them. Concentrate on texture, high shine, and metallics. It’s really easy to pop into a simple look to transform it. You can think plush furs too! Anything that feels luxe you can certainly try.


And if you want to add the ‘Femme Fatale’ feeling into your space, I added a few ideas for quick touches to add to update your accents.

 
 
 

SHOP THESE PIECES AND MORE HERE


 

 

How To Make Your Fall Outfits More Feminine

This is something I struggle with consistently. I love clean looks and menswear inspired pieces which tends to be VERY androgynous and not at all girly.

When tailoring is too masculine, I incorporate my feminine touches in small details. Whether its adding a lace silk shell in a pop of color, like I’ve been doing this fall, making shine a big deal or touching on a pretty print’s - it’s all in the details ;)

Here are a few of my fav’s to add a to your looks this fall. The key here is shine, pops of color, and soft/flowing silhouettes! I also added in some fun home decor to refresh your space this season in great prints and a whole lot of chic texture. WINK!

 
 

shop these pieces and more here


 

 


5 Reasons Hiring A Virtual Stylist Is A Good Investment

How many of you wake up each morning and stair blankly into a full closet thinking “how can I still have nothing I want to wear?”.

Maybe it’s because you don’t know where to shop, so you constantly shop at the same places over and over again buying all the same things. Pieces you’re “fine with” but don’t love. Your style doesn’t evolve with you, your career, your personal life and you feel stuck.

Maybe you’ve simple become so sick of wearing what you have that you dread getting dressed because it always feels like the same outfit. I lovingly call this ‘Style Groundhogs Day’.

You’ve finally decided to take this into your own hands and work with a professional. This might be the best decision you’ve made this year - or in the past few years - or even as an adult. Now what? Weighing the pro’s and con’s of how to wisely invest your money into a virtual styling program can be scary. I know, because I’ve taken that blind leap of faith myself (for a different virtual program) and till this day don’t regret it.

Here are 5 of the biggest reasons to work with a Virtual Stylist.

  1. We are…

Efficient. You just don’t have the time. It takes a lot of time to figure out where to go for what you need. Not too mention the trail and error you go through ordering things blindly from brands you’ve googled. We know it all and it’s our job to do the leg work for you. We’ve likely done the same thing for someone else successfully- and if not, we have the resources to find out how to get there.

2. We are…

Convenient. You don’t have to go anywhere. Time in transit is a thing of the past. In fact, you don’t have to make the time to meet us. All you need if wifi and a computer and you can get styled from anywhere. In my opinion, going anywhere requires at least an hour if not more no matter where you are. You don’t have to deal with the act of shopping and all the stress that comes with it. You don’t have to worrying about parking, driving, schlepping things around or blocking out a few hours in your already busy schedule. No more getting overwhelmed with choices in stores or having a sales associates who doesn’t know you, hasn’t seen your current wardrobe convince you to buy something you won’t wear.

3. We know where to go….

If you’re looking to refine your style but don’t know where to start. WE DO. The sheer amount of choices today can be overwhelming and we know the right brands to introduce to you for what you need and we aren’t limited to what you have in your area. We aren’t limited by inventory in one place. The world is our oyster.

4. We will fill in what’s missing….

Without the guesswork and stress. I have a very heavily curated virtual styling process based on the success of my in person styling program. I hit all the same touch points and milestones you would get in the in person program. I believe this makes the virtual process more successful than other subscription services you’ve tried in the past.

And last but certainly not least…

5. We have YOU in mind.

We get to know you, your lifestyle, wants, needs and budget. If you are open and ready to make this leap then we are right here to help you.

xx yours in style,

Allie

{To learn more about me click Here}

Mind The Gaps

Shopping is NOT easy. That's why people like me, do what we do and have jobs. Not everyone can have the luxury of working with a wardrobe stylist or maybe you just don't want to. Which is totally fine by me, to each their own!

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Throughout my career as a stylist and just shopping in my life in general, I have come across a huge amount of frustration. When speaking with clients it's amazing how many of them get suckered into clothing they don't love. Those pieces never get worn and are total wastes of money.

I spent some time working in retail growing up and then very recently here in NYC. I used to think it was the sales associates' fault and that they would talk someone into buying something. Unfortunately, sometimes that is the case. Other times it's not. It's the person that comes in store not being clear with their communication.

This 1 very simple tip will insure you get exactly what you need if you don't know your gaps. I've found many many times that it's not always an 'exact piece' that a client is missing. It's so hard to explain but sometimes it's just a feeling. Which is the hardest way to shop.

I send all my clients a questionnaire asking them a million and one questions to get to know them and their ideal style. I also ALWAYS have them pull images together to show me what they want.

A lot of the times the words people use to describe what they like might not be exactly correct in describing a particular style. The images my clients use are like gold to me. With that said, they should be to you too! When you go into a store and someone asks you if you need anything pull them aside and show them some images you like. Pull up pics on your phone(we all have one!) and walk them through a few of them describing what you like about those images. If you're looking for a specific outfit that person will quickly understand what you need by the images you show them. It's extremely likely that you will leave with exactly what you intended, not something you didn't.

Yours in style,

Allie

Build Your Personal Brand In 3 Easy Steps

If you're wondering what to wear tomorrow and are bored of your closet I have some fun tips for you.

#1. Take inventory of your closet. Be honest and look with fresh eyes. Pretend you aren’t looking at your own closet. I believe that if you step back, remove the emotions you will totally be able to see the raw pieces for what they are and then you will see potential.

#2. Get inspired from your favorite stores. Just taking a quick peek at how brands style things is really helpful. Add a belt that you’ve had for YEARS to that! OR pair a ankle boot vs. a flat type of quick change can really elevate your whole look but doing it with your own pieces.

#3. Note the few pieces you need to complete these new looks and target those. Stay on task and shop with intention. Have a friend help you go shopping and tell them the goal.

It doesn’t take much to make a few tweaks to how you style your own pieces. Most already have what they need it’s just how re-org and find new ways to wear what you have. Building your confidence that you can up level your look with minimal effort in 3 steps.

If you are in desperate need of a wardrobe audit and have a weekend free. Take my style challenge http://bit.ly/2Lm6NE0 and learn the exact steps to take to successfully perform your own wardrobe audit like a stylist.

xx Yours in style,

Allie

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How To Break The Rules and break out of your shell

I've spent years working with professionals trying to figure out WHY exactly THEY spend so much time and money on clothing but never seem to have anything to wear. Most, if not all come to me during a certain transitions in their lives forcing them to delve into this particular topic(and their closets) looking for some relief.

With each client comes a different set of circumstances that always circle back to the same underlying cause. Lack of knowledge. Whether they are trying to climb the corporate ladder or date after divorce they all want to polish their profiles and learn to put the best version of themselves forward.

I try my best to teach all of my clients along the way. I never just tell someone to wear something without giving them a full explanation best I can. One of the topics that come up over and over again is me showing them how to break the rules they are following and break out of their shell.

I certainly can’t be with in everyones closet, but what I can do is go through the most common rules I know and find a common thread between all my clients and show you how to break them with understandable explanations and fun visuals.

Join me Thurs 27th at 12pm est for my free masterclass where I go over all the rules that you are likely following and how to break them. Register here {http://bit.ly/2DbeI4g}. Watch it live and be able to ask Q’s OR register catch the replay.

xx yours in style,

Allie

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{Photo by j-kelly-brito-256889-unsplash-2.jpg}

Follow your gut and practice I.O.A.

I can guarantee that to get to where you are in your career you had to do your due diligence and I.O.A. Identify-Outline-Act. Identify what you want. Create a reasonable and totally feasible outline to follow. Then you certainly acted on that to get to where you are. Now what? You've built a solid career, have wonderful friends and family but still kinda feel unsettled in social settings or when you walk into a room with a lower level of confidence then others above you. I've found one reason(of course it's not THE ONLY reason) is confidence that stems from what you're wearing. 

You've had to navigate your way up your career latter these past many years. Now you're up there, with people you admire but don't feel on par. I've seen it, been there myself. You want to dress for the job and life you deserve but it's overwhelming. Just thinking about tackling a niche that isn't your forte scares you.

Here is what I've learned about style these past 15 years and why it's so effing complicated!

Let’s discuss - #1 there are a lot of options in the world. Between in person and e-commerce there is just too much room for error. B: Everyone is different. What looks good on YOU and what YOU like may not be what your best friend or co-worker likes or looks good on them. It’s important to really do the work getting to know yourself your body and try different fits. Sometimes it takes trial and error to get it right. Like I said there are so many options in the world you have to have patience and dedication. When I work with each client we always start with a similar formula but NOTHING is ever the same. 

It’s not that complicated but it does take work. If you are buying a house or an apartment you don't just order one online. You have to see it in person, walk through, crunch the numbers and emotionally connect. Some people go years and years without realizing what the right fit is for them or know of brands that they will eventually love. In the past 5 years I've worked with lots of different people, shapes and sizes. Where some of the conversations are the same and some are very different. You have to be open and willing try almost anything. I myself learn about new brands every day. Some I end up really liking and some fall to the wayside because they are not for me. It’s an emotional process but there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. 

If you're not ready to invest in help then you definitely need to invest in the TIME  and work through on your own. I laid out the beginning of the process the 'wardrobe audit' in this challenge. Click this link and take a weekend to try it on your own. I promise it will be worth the time ---> { http://bit.ly/2Lm6NE0}

xx yours in style,

Allie

The FASHION cycle

In true fashion everything comes back around. “They” say roughly every 7 years. Who would’ve thought I would own and freaking L.O.V.E. my new @champion sweatsuit. That is right! Not only do I have these awesome comfortable joggers I bought the matching sweatshirt - just to fulfill the urge of the teenager inside me that used to rock a full Juicy velour suit. Oh that’s right I had the 🌎 supply. Of course there’s a few updates as the world turns. The leg is slimmer - longer and some of the details are different like a great high-rise. I definitely could never have kept an old pair if I even had ☝🏼. I really love the updated details. Yes, most things do come back in style but never the same way you had the first time around. So, NO. You shouldn't keep something just because it might come back in style. There are always exceptions to the rule for vintage investment pieces. So like I always say "let it go - Move on" and there’s always going to be a new version of that something you love that’s updated and probably more flattering! I try my best to really stress this over and over again during the wardrobe audit and style sessions. We look at each piece and evaluate. I've taken many fashion history courses throughout my time in school so I think that was a bit helpful in being able to gauge what has potential to be a "to hold onto" piece and what doesn't.  

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xx yours in style, 

AB

 

#lifeofastylist  #lovewhatido #stylist #selfie #style #styletips #inspiration #nyc #professional #business #champion #entrepreneurlife #blogger_de #ootd #wiwt #inspiration  #wardrobestylist #personalstylist  #styledbyallie #brandweingroup

Do you Cross-Pollinate?

I feel like I should touch upon mixing refined pieces into your off duty style #crosspollination at it’s finest. When you don’t have mounds of clothing (and if you do it’s totes fine by me) then the pieces you have should really be multi-functional. Remember that one time I spoke about shopping with intention? And by one, I really mean like millions! If we look at my outfit here: jean shorts, white sneakers and what looks like a casual merino pullover. ✅ I bought this Zadig & Voltaire sweater (sample sale talent!) with the intention that I will wear it super casual and then dress it up in the A/W with leather pants and heels.

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Yes, I've already decided how I would wear something 4 months later. That's exactly what you should all be doing before you spend you money on anything. I've trained myself, before I spend money on anything to ask myself how I see myself utilizing that piece. I really have to be able to visualize the complete outfit before I invest. It takes a bit more thought but because I know what I have, and understand how to put things together I end up making good decisions. It’s simple enough yet has a cool asymmetrical jacquard detail that leans a bit rocker(which is kinda a portion of my A/W style). I already wear these sneakers 👟 all year round so really the only part of this outfit that’s seasonal(obvi) is the short. Point here is - you can style your pieces that seem so specific throughout the year at different levels of style. You just have to step back and take the time to see ALLLLLL the potential in your current closet and what you are looking to bring in. Like I keep saying - If it's going to take up prime real estate in a space with only so much room it really needs to make a huge impact(same for your dresser drawers). However you need to train your brain to stop and think through how you are going to use something(hopefully multiple ways) before you buy it DO THAT! It's totally weird at first but you'll thank me in the end. 

xoxo

Yours in style,

Allie

#lifeofastylist  #lovewhatido #stylist #selfie #style #styletips #inspiration #nyc #professional #business #entrepreneurlife #blogger_de #ootd #wiwt #inspiration  #wardrobestylist #personalstylist  #styledbyallie #brandweingroup

What Is Your HERO

I believe that everyone should have statement pieces. I lovingly call them your “HERO” piece. To me - it’s defined by what your ideal style is like tenfold. It’s something that you don’t wear much but when you wear it you style it with classic staples.

Example—> this emerald green tool Rochas skirt. I styled it with a classic button down from zara (btw) and my go-to dolce vita cap toe perforated oxford’s. Obviously, the hero in this look is the skirt. The supporting players are the button down and the shirt. Both neutral, both extremely reasonably priced (the shoes cost all of $20 at Bloomingdales on deep deep discount YEARS ago).

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For menswear I always believe in a GREAT piece of outerwear, shoe and pattern. If you wear suits everyday mix up your solid navy with a pop of (insert something you like here) in your tie or pocket square. If you're in tech and like to be casual then a cool sneaker or awesome hoodie with a graphic will do the trick (check out my last post to find your hero sweatshirt ---> (http://brandweingroup.com/menswear-inspiration/2018/7/22/up-your-sweatshirt-game-menswear-mensstyle-sweatshirt-techstyle-menswearstylist ) . I can't tell you what your hero because everyone's is different. But I will say this -- never wear multiple hero pieces at once. Stay true to the statement you're making and let the piece speak for itself. 

xx yours in style,

Allie

Real Life STYLE

Oh, my Hair looks really nice today??? Oh thank you so much it’s because I washed - dried - straightened and then waved it!” Two hours of my life spent on my hair. I am lucky enough that I do not have to do this every single day—-> I’d probably shave my head if that was the case! Life isn’t perfect. It’s not an edited Instagram photo. I’m always surprised when I hear people say things like “I can’t wear that again can I?” Let me tell y’all something (who’s southern accent is that?) NOBODY expects a real person to have endless amounts of clothing. You can wear the same blazer multiple times — it’s not a problem to re-wear the same pattern trousers. It’s all about how you style something- but at the same time if you re-wear the same exact look a few weeks from now “SO WHAT!?” Nobody expects you to show up at the office in the stiletto heels - it would be a bloody mess - carry them in a little bag or keep them at work and put them on when you get there. If I could show you what my desk looked like in my office years and years ago .... it was merely a place to keep my fancy heels. We are not celebrities — we are REAL people and this is exactly what I look like 20 minutes in to waving my hair. #reallife Chip clip and all😂 & yes I am in a 20-year-old t-shirt from one of my fav fraternities from college sitting, on two pillows in my living room so I can be near sleeping Bendels - that’s how I role.

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Did I Do That?

I do most things with intention. It just makes complete sense. I spent most of my early 20’s buying every piece of fast fashion I thought was “cute”. I would spend the weekends brunching with my friends and then stopping in to Forever21 to get a “super cute outfit” for whatever random bar or club we were going to that night.

All of this mindless shopping led to multiple closets filled with stuff. Each morning, I would go to my closet and still spend so much time trying to weed through and find ‘the perfect outfit’ for work. Not too mention, we had a nice little discount at my last job which caused even more problems. The brands style wasn’t at all ‘ME’ but I thought “well, it’s so cheap why not!”. I would buy things weekly on impulse.

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In 2014 when I left my corporate life behind I stood in front of my overstuffed closets and went crazy. I think I spent two or three days locked in my apartment doing a huge purge. I hated what I’d done. How could I have wasted so much money!? I was always pretty frugal so the thought that I’d spent thousands of dollars on crap I didn’t like was infuriating. I had spent so much money on stuff that didn’t feel like me just because it was there and I “needed” something.

At that moment I couldn’t even tally up the money I’d spent through the years and was about to be donated. All that time spent and effort really was wasted. At this time all of these re-sale companies were forming – Threadflip was actually the first one I used (that company is no longer around). I thought I’d at least get a few hundred dollars back on my ‘investment’. When they sent my bag of crap back to me only accepting a handful of pieces maybe $40, I nearly threw up.

I promised myself-moving forward that I’d invest in classic pieces that I loved- and are ME- and I would take care of them. Pairing back on the investment I make going forward in fast fashion. Yes, I do love zara and forever 21 for the pieces that I still have till this day. But, I was “investing” in the wrong pieces and was not investing in myself. This is something I drive home to each and every client I work with. I’m lucky enough now to really take my time and purchase things with intention—and that’s exactly what I teach my clients. Like I mentioned in my challenge, if you’re going to bring something into your closet and have it take up prime real estate you need to really love it.

And that my friends is why I ‘shop with intention’.

xx yours in style,

Allie

The nitty gritty of building YOUR BRAND #stylist #entrepreneur #wardrobeconsultant #styleconsultant #menswear #womenswear

I had spent a decade in the fashion industry and most of it was spent in the corporate design world. In the beginning that was great! Coming from a small private label company where I was picking buttons, linings and thread colors all day to being a part of a small but mighty division in a huge company where I worked with almost every function to get the product from inspiration to inception. Towards the end (seven years in) I just didn’t want this life anymore. It was draining.

I’ll never forget the night I decided enough was enough. Yes, night it was almost 11pm. I looked out the window at the glow of Times Square while sitting in a dark cubicle with only the light coming from the elevator bank and thought, “I am not dying here. I’m not going out this way.”

I wasn’t about to die in Times Square!

Not for that job.

A feeling of absolute certainty came over me at that moment. I stopped what I was doing, packed up my bag (and desk) and headed home.

There’s always more to a story then just looking out a window and deciding enough is enough, but for the sake of this article I’ll leave that information to a minimum and share in depth what I think is actually important to speak to, with you below.

So now that I had left my corporate job, which paid very well for a fashion design job I might add, I found myself for the 2nd time in my life as an adult in NYC without income. The first time was when I was 25, my rent was $850 and unemployment was $400 a week! I spent that summer laying in Central Park between sending out 5-7 resumes a day. My corporate fashion design job came right as I was planning my move back to Chicago so timing was perfection. I was convinced that New York did not like me and that I was better off in my home town of Chicago.

 

Ok fast back forward 8 years..

Now at the age of 31 I had a tiny savings account that was my emergency Bendels-fund (that’s my dog not to spend at the store Henri Bendels). Exorbitant rent (still under market value for NYC and the space I had) that was going to eat through that quiet quickly. I had this vision of how I wanted my new life to be and what it would look like - me helping people shop and organize they’re closets. Working on my own terms not for a huge corporation.

I had gotten a tiny taste of what styling was like towards the end of my corporate life working on our seasonal in-store marketing campaigns along with staying up late with one of my friends helping her clean her closet filled with pieces that she had tucked away in every crevice of her studio from the past 20 years. We did what I now call a wardrobe audit, clothing purge and gap assessment. We then shopped with intention (before I even know what a wardrobe consultant was or did).

I did a few sessions with different friends and I loved it. I had one friend that was moving to Africa for a few months and needed my help because she was going to store what she kept and also wasn’t working so her money was tight. She needed a 3rd party to help her figure out what to store and I happily agreed.

This was a dream come true. Now how to make this dream come true.

I had a ton of time on my hands but a sense of urgency that I’d never felt in my entire life. Knowing now that feeling was ambition and drive (and sheer panic because I didn’t have any money coming in).

I sat down and thought, I know how to describe what I would do, but really didn’t know what it was. I just wanted to help people feel better about themselves and my specialty was doing that through clothing.

I was fantastic at problem-solving and knew that was one of my strengths. Knowing that, I’d need to put that to use.

I definitely was never the most fashionable of my friends and wasn’t really interested in that crowd. Having dinner at the coolest spots or going to fashion parties like I should have. I would just wear what I felt comfortable in and style the pieces in different ways that made me happy. I never could afford a ton of full price designer pieces so I had to get creative.

I liked the challenge of mixing a great shoe with affordable brands and throwing in something cool I got once at a sample sale or vintage shop.

I had a lot of friends that each had their niche and luckily could utilize them for advice on a lot of things but none had built their own company. I took what I thought made sense, worked on those ideas and suggestions and let the rest go. Most were in marketing, visual and branding. Even some in real estate and finance. I found inspiration and really good information from many different places and knew that even if it wasn’t someone that was doing exactly what I did it was doing, it was business and I could apply it thoughtfully to my process.

Back in 2014- Blogging was the thing to do at the time but I really didn’t want to be a writer. I also really didn’t know how to blog. Just write my thoughts down on a website and tweet? Sure. I’ll try that. I thought that would be how I’d get clients for this new venture. That was very short lived as all my interesting stories surrounded dating in NYC and I wasn’t trying to be a dating coach. I couldn’t figure out how to blend dating and style advice very well. As you could see in some of my early blogs- that really never panned out.

Late one night I drafted my own version of the business model. It was basically what I wanted to do, what I saw in the future, and who my client was. I had no idea what a business plan was and didn’t really think I need one because I certainly didn’t need any capital. I wasn’t hiring anyone or looking for a space to do the work - I just needed to write down what I wanted my future to look like so I can work backwards and get there.

I remember sitting in my apt thinking, OK I need to figure out how to get this company going without knowing exactly what or how. 

Google became my best friend. Talking to my mom I remember her saying “you want to be a wardrobe consultant “ I was like “OK, that’s what I’ll call it”. And quickly wrote that down in my notes.

From googling “what is a wardrobe consultant?“ to “how to make a website” I sat in my apartment or in the lobby of my gym (so I could get myself around other people in the cafe) doing hours of research. I knew that there was absolutely no possibility of going back into the corporate world because each job description is read gave me hives. Not having 1 single client or any real idea of how I was going to grow this empire I had crafter in my mind - I just did. I read the sell (which to this day is my favorite book that really gave me great ideas) and every article about starting your own company.

I soaked up a ton of information - none of which was actually about styling. I would follow my gut for that, I wanted to know how to build and run a company.

My sister in law, at the time a new mom, mentioned seeing a 2 week trial for this thing called Squarespace. “I think maybe try to build it on that?” I remember her texting me. “Ok” I text her back.

I sat for hours and hours on my laptop with my free 2 week trial of Squarespace seeing if I could make my own website. I could. I sent a beautiful mock up to a friend of mine and she said; “it’s great but you need to use original images”. I had used pictures that I’d pulled from Pinterest thinking that’s what one does. Quickly googled and found that using non-original content on my site could be a huge law suit, soooo I hid my site and re-worked it. Using things I had in my apartment for the pictures using my silver small Sony something to take pictures quickly seeing that my I phone 5 took better pictures and was easier to edit.

I don’t think I slept for days, but I set up what I found appropriate as a ‘wardrobe consultant’ site. I also put myself on a website that came up when I was doing my google searches for ‘wardrobe consultant NYC’. It was a version of Angie’s list (till this day that is how I describe it). I had my friends who I’d worked with put their reviews on the site so I actually had a few reviews to start. I had drafted my list of services and landed on an appropriate rate (based on my over a decade experience in the industry).

I had become really great at writing bios for myself! And quickly saw that running a company took up way more time then the actual work I would do. But I loved every second of what I was doing.

Between building my own website and setting up my profile on third-party sites I felt like a star. I was certainly impressed with myself not even knowing anything about technology. I was a quick learner and what I didn’t understand I asked one of the many people I knew for help. If I didn’t have anyone in my circle - I kid you not - I’d find some random person on the street. That’s a whole different story for another time “The things I’ve learned about business (what to do and what NOT to do) from randoms on the streets of NYC’’.

This 3rd party website was an integral part of building the business. When people Google ‘wardrobe consultant’ this website would come up. I would get the ability to correspond with these potential clients. I was attached to my phone and was able to craft thoughtful original responses less than one minute.

I decided in order to get real, non-friend clients I would have to offer my services for free for the first few clients. It wasn’t so much having the actual clients it was more getting to test out the process on real people. I also wanted to make sure that the rate I was charging was reflected in my process.

It wasn’t long before I started getting clients here and there. I was hopeful. Still, no solid steady income coming in I had long said goodbye to luxuries I was accustomed to like subway passes, food that cost more then $20 a day, my frozen gym membership (down to $34 from the actual $200), coffee from anywhere that wasn’t home brewed. I had become a bit of a shut in because, as we all know, just leaving you’re apartment in Manhattan you’re required to hand the city $20.

I was poor and struggling. The most well dress poor person I thought! It was hard on me mentally. I spent many days and nights stressed out and in tears. I felt like I wasn’t allowing myself to take a breathe and relax until this company was successful. The one thing that kept me going was my vision.

I was quite adept at setting my business up on different websites to be more visible and maybe get more clients - I also had to set Bendels and our apartment up so we could try make ends meet. We hosted dogs on dogvacay and would Airbnb every few months when we went back to Chicago. I no longer needed any of the clothing from my prior life so I saw an opportunity to make a few dollars and I started selling it. I sold a lot. I also had to donate a ton.

This is when I realized that I had wasted thousands of dollars on fast fashion over the years. Yes, it was cute but had almost no re-sale value if it lasted a year. I also realized that taking care of clothing in a city like NYC was difficult. Colors faded quickly and fabrics wore based in the everyday life of a hard city like New York.

Going through this huge purge changed how I’d shop forever. I would only invest in quality pieces and keep the fast fashion to a minimum but take care of them. This became my new mantra for when I could finally afford to buy anything other then food for my dog and myself.

Those few things were helping but not that much. I did EVERYTHING under the sun on the side to stay afloat.

Besides watching other people’s dogs and having strangers stay in our home I babysat, tried a short lived YouTube series with a friend, I had virtually styled for a company while I was still working so I knew that non of these subscription services were something I wanted to be a part of/worth any time or really even make me any money.

I tried my hand at a customs men’s clothing company, which I quickly parlayed into a friend and I doing pop-up shops at a Park Avenue co-working space. I didn’t have any clients for this custom company either so I now had to figure out how to get those too. I had watched my friend throw jewelry parties so why can’t I throw custom shirt parties? I set up my fabrics and she set up her jewelry in the lobby. We then expanded to ALL the co-working spaces they had through NYC and Brooklyn over the span of a year. We had mad hustle to get that opportunity because this particular space only let members do things like this and I didn’t have any money to become a member.

My goal was to be known. I would speak too as many people as possible-not really selling my services just letting them know what I did. I would introduce the brand and then explain what MY business was. I was using the custom shirting to get in but I had hoped to actually sign wardrobe clients. I rarely walked away with any new clients. One or two for a custom shirt but people knew who I was and what I did, and that would one day translate into referrals(hopefully). Although these events were fun and gave us this place to be, nothing was really coming from it so we made the decision to stop at the end of the year. It’s very important in life and business to try something and if it’s not working it’s ok to stop.

Something I knew from the begging referral business ain’t easy. 99% of the clients I’ve worked with have had NOTHING but positive things to say about their experience with me. I’d create offer after offer announcing a referral special for my clients. No one really jumped on a lowered rate to refer friends and co-workers. They’re either going to do it or not. Plain and simple.

As I’ve experienced in the past couple years referrals come organically in discussion versus you offering a referral bonus and someone desperately want to take a vantage of it. It’s not a flash sale type of thing. Sometimes you offer something at the same time you’re in discussion with a new client, and when you’ll speak to them they’ll want to jump on that offer before it ends. However, they’re already in the place mentally to work with you it’s just a nice perk for them. The stars align perfectly.

It takes a long time to work with enough people to sustain a simply referral based business. I knew that I had to keep working with clients, thinking out of the box when it came to growing my business because nothing was really panning out in terms of connections. I had tried networking events-groups-offering deals to current and past clients. It’s really just a matter of time and experience.

Since day one Google had been a friend. It was a great tool that helped journalists and reporters find me to quote me in articles and helped my SEO along with other sites linking to my website. I had finagled someone I was kinda sorta not really dating help me with the back end of my site. I set up a meeting with him and kept it professional. He looked at the codes, keywords, and by the end of a few hours we had submitted my site map. Weeks went by and my site was successfully crawling the web. Brands were starting to see how working with style consultants can help bring clients to their stores and they were all reaching out to me. I wasn’t agreeing to meet or work with all of them just the companies that made sense for my personal brand.

Year after year the business grew. Little by little I positive comped each year. Not exactly sure how my clients that weren’t referred to me found me - in my mind it was written in the stars. Years of hard work and hustle(absolutely no patience) was paying off.

I’ve learned that you can’t convince someone that they need help with style. They need to come to this decision themselves and that is when they reach out to you. No Google ad words, Facebook ad, will convince someone to all the sudden shell out thousands of dollars. It’s a process in their mind and they have to be in a space that they’re ready to hire you. THEN being visible and having quality content, glowing testimonials that inspire will grab them.

I knew it would take time and it did.

Lots of blood sweat and tears went into building this business and it’s certainly was not easy. There were days where I’d think “what in the world did I do?” and then had to check myself because I was doing everything I could and eventually it would all pan out because there wasn’t any other option.

You need drive. I’ll always need to find more clients and each client that signs on with me is a whole new experience. My brand is a partnership and that’s what I believe sets me apart from other consultants. I run my business how I see fit. I don’t plaster before and after photos all over my site. I don’t think it’s even really appropriate to tell someone during your first session “hey, let me get a quick picture of what you look like now, before working with me because this is crazy!” I would feel so uncomfortable. I want to make my clients feel good about themselves and that, to me, is off brand. Also none of them really look that bad. I don’t think that has ever hindered getting clients. When someone asks me for before and after then I point them to my testimonial page and the photos of clients looking great and I open the discussion from there.

There’s no easy solve for the number one struggle in building your business-client acquisition. All consultants deal with this daily. You just have to get out there-however you’re comfortable and sell yourself without actually selling. Be picky with the relationships you decide to cultivate. Everyone will say, “let’s connect and see how we can build a mutually beneficial partnership”. Connect for sure and if you see potential in them, then stay connected because it will pay off in time. Write down every out of the box idea you get. If you work on something that you think is literally the best idea ever and it doesn’t work out. Pause. Work on something else but always be open to re-opening that and try again in another way with new people. I have had great ideas over the years and most hadn’t panned out initially but I never forgot about them. Certain ones come back around and take on a new life the more experienced you get.

This was my personal path to growing a successful style consultancy. How I got to where I am now (certainly not done). I hope my story helps at least one person that sees anything relatable in my experiences, know that it was a struggle with a capital S to get where I am today. If you have talent and drive you’ll succeed. Pinky swear!

Yours in style,

Allie

 

Uncomplicate your style #stylist #womenswear #menswear #nyc

I’m so excited to announce the launch of UNCOMPLICATE YOUR STYLE, my all new 1:1 styling package designed to empower professional men and women like you curate your perfectly unique wardrobe and space so you can finally start feeling like your true badass self! (3 and 6 month options available.)

To celebrate my launch, if you book your 6-month styling package before July 4th, you'll receive a 7th month free!

4 of 6 spaces remaining, with availability starting July 9th.

If you're ready to uncomplicate YOUR style, come on over and learn more here: 

<http://bit.ly/uncomplicate-style>

xx yours in style, Allie

A Lot Of Leopard

Leopard can work into any outfit. Small ways, big ways, and multiple ways! Don't be afraid of it. Leopard prints are your friend. Here are some simple ways to wear your leopard print. 

  • Try a leopard bag with black leggings, a grey oversized sweater tunic and warm neutral casual booties with a stack heel.
  • Find a leopard print coat, layer a chambray button down top under a red and neutral stripe sweater. Red will be your accent color here so carry a red bag or wear a red shoe. Then style a multi-strand pearl necklace.
  • How about leopard pump or flat with a slim pant! Try a deep berry pant.
  • If you have a midi length full leopard print skirt and don't know how to wear it. You should keep the rest of the look super sophisticated. Try a black mock-neck sweater or knit and just a simple black sandal. 

#fashion #style #leopardprint 

Fashion doesn't have to be painful

I'm 100% guilty of buying extremely uncomfortable shoes and saying things like "Oh, I'll break them in" or " I'll just stay seated the whole time". Well, that isn't reality is it ladies? Once a shoe is on my foot all bets are off. I can potentially have a very painful and uncomfortable situation on my hands(or feet!). Throughout my years of wearing heels I've found some easy ways to keep your feet pain free! 

Tip #1-

Get Dr. Scholl's messaging gel insoles and put them in every high heel you have. They work wonders. They extend the time you are able to wear your high heels. 

Tip #2-

The thinner the heel the more uncomfortable they are so opt for a chunkier heel to give you more support. 

Now read this article to find out how you can stretch your shoes from the comfort of your own freezer!  13 Ways to make your high heels more comfortable.

#shoes #heels #fashion #styletips #howto