Remember back in June how we talked about about the similarities between making a great salad and creating great summer outfits? Well, the winner of our McDonald’s Salad Style contest, Stephanie from Ottawa, could not have been a better candidate to demonstrate the principles – get some great basics, toss in some fresh pieces and dress with whatever accessories take your fancy. The result, a fresh look or taste with minimal effort.
I met Stephanie at her Ottawa home to deliver her prize of a Wardrobe Workout and $500 to spend on new clothes and accessories. I was immediately impressed by both her cool, contemporary look, and her closet. Great jeans, pants, classic and trendy tops, leggings, funky but functional accessories and a few pairs of footwear – proving the Style File philosophy that a pared down closet helps save time and money, but what’s more – defines your style.
Stephanie works in an environment where the dresscode is business casual. However, she does have to attend meetings from time to time where a more professional look is necessary. Stephanie had the right idea in adding a jacket to create that more pulled together approach, but knew this military inspired cotton version was just not hitting the mark.
We found this more tailored version in RW and Co. Mid grey is very adaptable, working with black, brown and dark jeans (Stephanie’s staples). With its open neckline and oversized buttons, this piece is a little more edgy than a classic jacket, in keeping with her modern look.
While we had a patterned version in mind, (not a problem for Stephanie to wear over all her plain bascis), talking Stephanie into trying this black/violet design from Jacob proved a pleasant surprise. The piece will work just as well for evening events, over jeans and that little black dress, as over her office outfits.
You might have noticed that jeans, pants and leggings have been receiving multiple mentions. We added to Stephanie’s workplace wardrobe with this simple stretch dress (again from Jacob) and mid-height wedges from Aldo.
Finally, for Fall, we built on Stephanie’s basics with two new tops – a muted animal print and ruffled, dress it up or down tunic, in her favourite black, both from Smart Set.
Of course,shopping is hard work (it’s not called a Wardrobe Workout for nothing!). so rather than lose momentum, we re-charged our batteries with what else – a stop at McDonald’s for the new summer salads. Here’s Stephanie with her selection – fresh garden salad with grilled chicken and balsamic dressing.
1. Plan ahead, Figure out what you need, preview pics. in magazines or online of looks you like and even bring along other pieces you already have.
2. Wear an outfit that makes trekking the mall and trying on easy. Remember it’s a wardrobe workout!
3. Take a break. Don’t waste your trip by heading for home. Boost your energy over a snack or lunch and get right back in there.
4. Be prepared to try on something outside your comfort zone. Stephanie took this approach with the trench and was thilled with the result. Take a friend to tempt you into something new or take a the advice of associates or other shoppers in the store.
5. Now is a good time to shop. After our less than stellar summer across most of the country, the sales in store are superb. Stephanie’s grey jacket, for example, was reduced from $98 to $19.99!!