Monica’s New Style

During my consultation with Monica Simpson, our spring makeover winner, our conversation turned to the recent exposé TV programs on how ‘fast fashion’ is adding to the world’s clothing waste problem. It’s a huge global issue and we’re all contributing to it with our insatiable appetite to have the latest, greatest and cheapest clothes constantly.

THAT conversation and our joint concern over wardrobe waste was the catalyst for our makeover direction! Together, our goal was to create a super functional, mix-and-match wardrobe module where everything co-ordinates, conveys Monica’s personality, feels good on AND will take her to work, casual outings and dressy-casual functions using only seven garments plus footwear and minimal accessories. And since this is EXACTLY my plan when I do a Shop Your Closet session for a client, I couldn’t wait to get started!

Here’s the breakdown of what items are included in a wardrobe module: two jackets/cardigans/vests; two bottoms; three tops; footwear and accessories; plus undergarments and outerwear.

The concept is that any of these pieces can be combined together to create totally put-together, fantastic-looking outfits. The key is that each item needs to co-ordinate with the others.

How many outfits can you see in these seven pieces? I count 21 when the tops are layered over one another; 21 outfits from just seven garments!! YES, it’s totally possible!

For Monica, I used the colors of olive, ivory and pink.

Before I dive into our adventure and the pieces we selected, you need to meet Monica. She is a mom of two teens; a wife; and a busy and caring professional where communicating warmth and approachability through her appearance is important.

Monica stressed that comfort is key as is feeling classy and understated. She prefers easy, uncluttered, versatile style. And through her style discovery homework, I saw a delightfully surprising little kick of vintage feminine showing up in all its airy yet earthy splendour.

Shopping for this spring makeover was scheduled for the end of January (magazine production schedules are always months in advance). Were there even going to be spring clothes in the stores yet? We lucked out and then supplemented with a few of my own items.

Our first stop was Lucky Brand to see if we could find that feminine vintage vibe that was key in Monica’s style discovery. Bingo! Found it!
We scooped a pretty silky ivory blouse with embroidery details (super hot for spring 2018), a pair of olive skinny step-hem jeans, a pair of stone and tassel drop earrings and two bracelets.

Cleo provided us with a pretty floral-print sleeveless blouse, an olive knit cardigan and coral-beaded tassel necklace. We lucked out at Melanie Lyne for the dressier bottoms (ivory trousers) we needed to round out Monica’s wardrobe options.

Despite much searching, we were stumped for another jacket/cardi and top – so the pink leather jacket and olive deep-V tee were provided by me.

Town Shoes had the footwear and handbag we needed: a pair of cognac western-style kicks pair nicely with a leopard-print cross-body bag. A metallic sneaker added a fun feel to Monica’s work and play outfits and a pretty pair of pointy metallic flats were a lovely complement to her work and dressy-casual options.
(The gold metallic handbag and pink scarf were provided by me.)

Of course, no makeover is EVER complete without hair, makeup, brows and lashes!

Wendy Bates-Wiebe from The Hair Lounge warmed up Monica’s bob with a rich, deep auburn shade running through her natural colour. The day of the shoot, flirty curls were added.

Sarika M. brought out Monica’s olive eyes with rich tones of earthy browns and added a pop of warm pink on her lips and cheeks. Ashley from Byoode Bar gave Monica flirtatious, fringy lashes and perfectly defined brows with a lash-tint service.

Special thanks to the merchants of CrossIron Mills and our makeover partners: The Hair Lounge; Byoode Bar; Leslie Davies, The Stylish Insider; and Kristy Reimer of Kristy Reimer Photography.


Leslie Davies of The Stylish Insider helps clients use items they ALREADY own to create their own super-functional, affordable and versatile wardrobes

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