Three things I DON’T do when Styling Clients

In your life, guidance and a formula for getting the desired results are important. I believe in learning a little bit and taking information from multiple sources and professionals you trust to develop your way of life. There are no ‘rules’; only what works best for you.

When styling clients, there are some rules that I break, too! I’m breaking down three things I don’t do when styling clients:

An In-Depth Color Analysis

An in-depth color analysis came into play years ago! I don’t get asked often if I offer this service anymore, but I know it’s still a thing. It sounds fun to get these colors picked out for you based on your skin, hair, and eye color. But I don’t dig it.

In fashion and design, every season, there’s a set of colors that come out called the Pantone colors. Most of the clothing you find at retailers is based on these colors. If you were to shop and some of your ‘colors’ aren’t at one store, I can guarantee most stores are in the same color boat. Next time you go shopping, look around at multiple stores’ colors and see a trend.

What I do instead:

If you’re feeling stuck and ‘safe’ in wearing neutrals and black, I put some color options into your virtual and in-person shopping sessions. I choose colors that would fit your palette and have multiple ways to wear with other colors that season and light you up.

Some clients don’t know the range of color options that would work for them. When I see what you’ve been safe in, I know how to take it up a notch without it being too wild or over the top.

Seeing someone try on something that lights them up, it’s memorable. The other day I was in a 4.5-hour closet edit with a client whose style is creative, funky, and fun. There was a lot of color and prints to choose from in her closet. But in the 4.5 hours, there was this one dress by DVF that was just jaw-dropping. Not only the fit but the white background of the dress with the large pink and orange print was one of the most beautiful color combinations on her.

I wrote in my notes how she could pull off many colors, but the slightly brighter ones were so good. But for casual, she also really enjoys more subdued colors and navies. The way she combines colors makes a huge difference.

During our session, we also realized that black was a huge no-go. Near her face, it was so overwhelming that it washed her out and almost made her disappear. We took out the bulky black sweaters, solid black dress, and her long black wool coat to make room for something lighter and brighter. Yet, on that same spectrum, she could pull off a lightweight sheer ruffle open V-neck black top that seemed lighter because of the material. She could also wear black pants with color on her top and a black top with a colorful print.

Following the ‘Rules’ To Dressing Your Body Type

Buying clothing that fits well goes deeper than your body type. Of course, as your stylist, I consider what works well. Your body type is something I keep in mind when I shop, but there are rules I also DON’T follow.

I just saw an Instagram post that caught my attention. A woman said you only looked good if you dressed a certain way. Your body limits how you want to look and feel.

Ohhh this got me thinking more about body types.

Here’s the breakdown, body types are helpful in how you shop. It gives you a guideline on what to look for. Dressing for your body type essentially makes clothing visually appealing on you and tucks in or accentuates what you like. It conceals or adds more fabric to create different proportions to your body that aren’t there.

In the end, what most people want is that hourglass figure.

If you’re a rectangle, you want to make the illusion of having a waist. This is my body type, so I always work with it. Mostly, I dress my body type based on this because I am self-conscious about not having hips and having such a straight athletic figure. I love a good slip-on dress and sweater look, but I feel too straight like a boy when I see myself. I love feminine features in clothes because they reveal more of my personality and how I want to dress.

There are a lot of rules I don’t follow on my body type as a petite person. I love a good turtleneck because it keeps me warm, and I look my best when I pair it the right way. I also love a good crew neck, it’s elegant, and I have many beautiful tops I love with this neckline.

An example of a client recently, she’s plus size, and there are so many rules for plus size women it’s ridiculous. There’s also less to choose from style-wise for plus-size women, so accessories and shoes become crucial to their outfits.

This client wanted statement pieces, faux leather, slip skirts, and cool boxy shirts. I was like, yes, girl! She looked and felt so hot.

The advice I use with clients as their personal stylist is that we get to make their own rules. If there are parts of their body they aren’t comfortable with or self-conscious about, we can do what we can to do some styling magic to conceal it. But with the parts you love or the clothing that makes you feel good, your confidence shines through regardless of your body type, and you aren’t breaking the rules by doing this. You are dressing to fit you.

Shopping For Pieces That ‘Fit’

Just because something fits you like a glove doesn’t mean it’s for you. When you shop at a store, you’ve probably experienced this with your girlfriends or mother-in-law, where you come out of the fitting room in a very ‘not you’ piece. Everyone yells, ” Oh my god! It fits you like a glove.” And you’re looking at yourself in the mirror, thinking I would NEVER wear this piece, even if it fits.

The big rule regarding personal style is knowing what you’re aiming for. You can try on many things that ‘fit your body type’ or fit you in general, but that doesn’t translate into what works for you, what you’ll pull out and wear.

I can’t even begin sharing all the stories of pieces people purchased because they fit. Men do this, and women do this. You find that one thing that fits, and you’re like, ok, let me get every color or print, so I have many new pieces and don’t have to worry about what to buy or wear.

It’s a big turn-off in your style to wear pieces that don’t align with how you want to look and feel. It doesn’t attract the right people or opportunities in your life. You want to dress in a way that says this is me.

I see this in real time while working with clients in person and online. I get photos of clients trying pieces at home and asking me for my opinion on whether to keep or return their items. As we shop in person, I see clients come out of the fitting room in the clothing I picked out, and there are times they try something that fits, but it doesn’t work for them. I’m honest about it and share with them what it is.

It could be the style, the color, or the overall look of it. Still, some things are it’s too preppy, too frilly, too boyish, too trendy, and other describing words that are the opposite of what a client is trying to achieve.

Moral of the story:

Play, discover, and try something new when you have time. Set rules for yourself when you are in a hurry and want to get something you know will work. But those moments where you’re feeling refreshed like you want to take your look outside of what you’ve been doing, break the rules you’ve had that have worked in the past, and try something different.

If you feel like you need a boost in your style and you’re tired of trying to figure it out alone, you don’t have to do that anymore! There are multiple ways to work together. Feel free to reach out to me at We can talk about your style goals and the resources I have to help you look and feel your best.

Click here for more information on Style Refresh and other programs to help you.

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Continue building a life and style that truly reflect you.

tannya bernadette

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