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A Suitcase Study: Packing in Style. A Creativepreneur Shares Her Story.

Traveling is a love for many. Packing for it isn’t typically part of the romance. This is when clients, like Tracy, call on me.  She’s a creativepreneur, active in her community, loving spouse and pet owner. On occasion this can mean limited time for stylish and efficient packing. Here’s her story.

Tracy’s Packing in Style Dilemma

I often joke that I need Garanimals for Adults, for those old enough to remember the matching tags to help kids, er, parents put together outfits. I’ve been working with Amy Juneau (Owner/Stylist of GenuINe STYLE) for over a year now, and while I admit I’ve gotten more fashion sense just from having her work with me in my closet and in stores, when it comes to packing for travel, I struggle.

 With limited real estate in the suitcase and a desire to have “activity-appropriate” options–as well as many options to choose from, I’ve learned to rely on the expert vs. my untrained eye. Sure, Amy has taught me certain “tricks of the trade” for dressing myself over time so these days when I’m planning a trip, I can make a few outfits that I *think* work. Because there’s always room for improvement and I do like to be sure about my choices, I usually reach out to my trusted stylist with pics I’ve taken of the self-styled outfits, my Wish List Pinterest board, and photos of my items under consideration laid out–all so she can help me make good, final decisions in terms of packing and purchases. It might seem silly to put so much effort into this or to invest in this type of support, but considering I’m never in front of the camera more than when I’m on vacation (thanks to a snap-happy husband), I really do want my memories to be of good times–not bad looks. 

Tracy’s Challenges & Solutions

Amy and I worked remotely together to whittle down the choices. She told me what wasn’t working and why and what might work better. Sometimes, what I had put together wasn’t helping my petite stature and she knows my challenge is I often feel I look “dumpy”–especially in shorts. I consider shorts the necessary evil at my age and height and yet a critical item for most of my vacations. I only own 2 pairs of “public-facing” shorts–and one I don’t even really wear at all. For this trip, Amy helped me decide to keep a pair of Kut brand cutoffs I had ordered–and feel good about my initial styling choices.


One of my other biggest challenges is shoes–not only how many and which ones to take but pairing them with outfits. So for example, I’d have a picture with two different shoes on/represented for an outfit and Amy would advise on the best choice. Plus, she helped me justify swapping Converse tennies for wedges–which brings more oomph to certain outfits.

Narrowing down the shoe options.

She also virtually put together additional outfits with pieces I planned to take, such as a scarf halter top with the instruction “try doing a partial tuck of front hem, leaving the sides to hang” for a more updated and polished look.

Some feedback highlights Amy gave are educational so that I keep improving; here are a few gems:

  • “Drawstring tops are tricky. They can look great or messy depending on how it sits on anyone’s frame and how much material is being gathered and where.”
  • “Petites must be wary of when fabric wants to swallow their frame. I personally had to leave some kimono-esque robes/shawls at the store for same reason.”
  • (comment on photo) “The sarong worn as a long vest doesn’t look like it’s overwhelming you here, because it’s worn with less fabric underneath. This works. I like it!”

The  Outcome: Packed in GenuINe STYLE for Happy Travels

Amy not only validated some of my choices but also came up with new outfit suggestions or tweaks–based on my photographed items and her knowledge of my closet and jewelry box. That was a major advantage of having been a long-time client. For example, I’ve a unique rhinestone necklace with dangling fish (perfect for a Pisces girl) and Amy suggested adding that to a coral maxi dress to change up the look. I’d paired it with large hoop earrings before, which I planned to wear a lot on this strip, so this option would keep my looks (and photos!) interesting and different enough. 

Take-Away for Stylish Travel Lovers

Bottom line: If you’re obsessive about packing, like I am (I even have a Pinterest board “Travelling in Style“) and want to look your best and feel great on vacation, I highly recommend working with Amy on your packing list and purchases. 


My Repeat Personal Styling Clients Have These Traits in Common with David Bowie.

At first glance of their workday or after-hours attire, you may not immediately see it. However, my clients do share some commonalities with the legendary, David Bowie.

Here they are, in no particular order of importance:

  • They are willing to take risks.

Yes, artists take risks with their appearance.  Bowie was more often than most, experimenting with his style. The changes were often striking. Now, my clients don’t have the same occupations (musician, singer, actor) David Bowie had, but they are willing to try unique or visually interesting styles they’d not previously worn and incorporate them into their wardrobe – if, sometimes in small ways. 

  • They enjoy bold colors or cuts of clothing.

Even in a corporate setting, my clients aspire to boldness. Whether it’s the cut of a collar, a certain interesting drape and or a pop of color, it’s part of their daily wardrobe – Even if their audience is often a mostly-neutrals crowd in a boardroom of twelve.

  • They aren’t  attached to labels or style rules.

Yes,  David Bowie did work with clothing designer, Kansai Yamamoto for his character, Ziggy Stardust. But, his stage attire didn’t typically reference designer labels either for the sake of name-dropping. He didn’t mind breaking the rules in his industry or fashion. Neither do my clients. This attitude allows for many more options and solutions in their wardrobe.

  • They remain true to themselves.

David Bowie was aware of trends, but he didn’t live and die by them to impress or keep his audience. He made his own rules  and applied what worked for him. This in part is what attracts my clients to work with me, as it’s the primary mission of my GenuINe STYLE services – helping them dress for any occasion in such a way that my clients feel aligned with their genuine personality.

Do some, or all of these David Bowie traits – rule-breaker, risk-taker, bold and genuine, sound like you? Then, let’s talk about your Genuine Style. Drop me a line.

PS: Thank you, David Bowie, for inspiring me.

Photo: Dawn O’ Doul
Mural: Maggie Keane

How a Daytime Look Transitions for After 5 & Holiday Parties – Inspired by the Dynamic Style of David Bowie.

It all started with my red jumpsuit. Or, was it the mural of David Bowie, by Maggie Keane, that I spotted in rush hour traffic in Phoenix, Arizona one evening? Most likely, both – two sparks of inspiration colliding together in an explosion of re-invented style.

Vintage hat updates a tailored & layered office look for after 5.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David Bowie’s red overalls worn in 1974 (the year I was born) also inspired me. However, it was certainly more daring than my jumpsuit. His office was a concert stage and well, mine’s literally an office, and sometimes a client meeting over lunch, dinner, or an industry event. So, they are both appropriate for their time and place.

From here, my red jumpsuit from an Anthropologie sale merged with a few other elements of Bowie-inspired style that he sported in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. These include interesting  prints and colors for daytime. Then, a 1950’s vintage style hat, vintage scarf as headband, metallic details and a thrifted embroidered jacket for after hours (interesting shoes may apply all day, depending where you work or, what you do).

An extra shout-out to my friend and talented photographer, Dawn O’ Doul, who helped me showcase these looks beyond my selfie shots. Last, but not least, thank you, Maggie Keane, for creating a fantastic homage to David Bowie in downtown Phoenix.

If you feel inspired to update your closet and or create work looks that transition for the holidays and beyond, let’s talk!

 

bowie inspired red jumpsuit

Photo – Dawn O’ Doul

Photo – Dawn O’ Doul

 

Shoes by United Nude, a sample sale find. Photo – Dawn O’ Doul

 

Photo – Dawn O’ Doul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learn How One Personal Stylist and Shopper Adds Value to Your Closet – & Your Quality of Life.

down timeWhy hire me as your personal stylist and shopper? You want to feel like a genuinely great you, who is happy with what’s in your closet and what you wear. But wait, there’s more! Your time. Do one or more of these situations describe your life?

  1. You hate taking the time to shop. You want to look good, but you just don’t want to navigate miles of clothing racks or hours online to do it. Especially, when your efforts often result in a solitary random shirt, or shoe selection that makes you desperately hope they serve as comfortable attractive solutions for another 2 years where you don’t need to think about clothes again.
  2. Another scenario — you have a closet full of clothes that mostly fit, but you’re not excited about half of it. Added to this fact, you don’t have the time, patience, interest or the vision to try and re-imagine ways to wear pieces. it. You just want it to be done already!
  3. Perhaps your lifestyle has changed – you got a new job, you lost weight, etc., and you need your clothing choices to reflect these changes. However, nothing much from the past 10 years is relevant or wearable. However, you’re tired of wasting time trying to figure out what clothing is worth it, and what looks best on you.

 

All of these situations have a common theme – time. Add the desire to look better, be comfortable and overall feel like you are putting your best, genuine self out there!

GenuINe Style services can save you countless hours roaming aisles, driving to different stores, navigating dressing rooms or browsing the internet. If you own your own business, this is time you could be getting paid doing what you love to do. For most of you, this is time you could be working on your own projects, relaxing with friends, reading a book poolside, spending quality time with your loved ones. What is that worth to you? You probably can’t or wouldn’t dream of putting a dollar amount on any of these activities. Your time is priceless!

When you hire me, Amy Juneau for GenuINe STYLE, you get this quality time back. I typically find or create solutions for my clients within a 1.5 to 3.5-hour time frame, depending on needs and or, the size of their closet. I can do the same for you!

Contact me to add precious hours back to your schedule and GenuINe STYLE to your closet.

 

 

 

 

 

Your Top Cosmic Styling Questions Answered. Demystifying How Your Astrological Birth Chart Can Illuminate Your Personal GenuINe STYLE.

Since publishing and sharing GenuINe STYLE’s new Cosmic Styling℠  service options (your personal style based on your astrological birth chart and or, birth date), I’ve received many questions about it. So, I decided to dedicate this blog to answer the most commonly asked ones.

 

  1. I don’t follow astrology much, but I am curious. Do I need to have a certain amount of knowledge about it to use this service?

 

No, and that’s totally ok! Actually, Cosmic Styling is a fun way to learn more about astrological concepts, without it being overwhelming. Package options range from simple – just focusing on your sun sign colors, for example, to more detailed options.

 

  1. I know my sun sign, but I don’t even relate to the personality traits that typically are used to describe it. How can I dress like my sun sign if I don’t relate to it?

 

Know that you’re not alone in this sentiment. Sometimes, people relate more to their rising or moon sign or some combination of them. We can go over these details in an initial, complementary consultation.

 

  1. How do I find out my rising and moon sign?

 

You can find out your rising and moon sign with the calculator on Astro.com. It will ask you for your birthday and the city you were born, too and both will result in your natal astrological birth chart.

 

  1. I’m interested in the Cosmic Styling℠ package noting my personal fashion colors as it relates sun/moon/rising sign. But, what if I only like a few of those colors?

 

That’s perfectly fine. There’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ to this process, but only what speaks to your GenuINe STYLE.  If you have questions as to how those colors may look good on you/work with popular colors already in your closet, I’m happy to make a few suggestions.

 

  1. Won’t my Cosmic Style℠  be duplicated eventually – won’t someone else also have my sun, moon and rising sign?

 

Well, yes and no. It’s possible for someone else to have the same sun, moon and rising sign. Aside from these signs, you also have the option to select other astrological influences to further customize your experience. Plus, my Cosmic Styling℠  packages includes my intuited process, your unique taste AND your astrological details – all beautifully blended together to create your new, customized GenuINe STYLE℠ !

 

I believe these answers offer a better understanding of Cosmic Styling and how it can elevate your GenuINe STYLE. Do you have more questions? I’m happy to answer them. Let’s talk about your  Cosmic Style℠ !

The Clumsy Fashionista Strikes Again. Chic & Easy Solutions for Your Messy Bag Spills (Part 3 in a series).

When life gets hectic, you’re more likely to carry a utilitarian bag, typically a chic tote or backpack that can handle all the  particulars needed for the day. For example, on such occasions I may carry over a dozen items and some of those can be messy – from makeup to hand lotion to a small canister of seasoning.

Any of these are an opportunity for spills. Actually, I had a day where the body lotion and the seasoning spilled out together.  Ugh, double-checking the lids next time! So, you can imagine cayenne sea salt and body lotion blended aromas aren’t the ideal smell and do not make for easy clean-up.

Because of situations like this, I’m quite drawn to bags like these:

1. Bags with removable/washable interiors aren’t exactly new, but I’ve had a hard time finding a bag that I like and has this handy feature – until very recently. Marsi Bond makes beautiful vegan bags with removable, machine-washable interiors. See one example here:

Marsi Bond tote

 

    2. My next backpack may be this one by Paplebag. It’s made of machine washable paper (up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit) and free of PVC, BPA, and PCP. The company says it appears more like leather after washing.

     

    3.Vegan bags by Crystalyn Kae are handmade to order in the U.S. and machine washable. The glaze-coated canvas bags also develop a leather look after washing. Love the color of this one!

CRYSTALYN KAE, vegan tote

These stylish washable bags give me hope that I won’t need to give up and bring a canvas beach tote to my next office meeting. Are you naturally clumsy like me and want other handy fashion tip saves for messy moment? Check out my other blog here. If you have questions about my personal styling services, I’m happy to answer them!

Your Personal Style According to the Stars. GenuINe STYLE Takes It Beyond Typical Fashion Horoscopes.

Yes, I’ve seen them, too. Those monthly or yearly, style ‘scopes based on your sun sign and applied to everyone.  They’re a fun read and some parts of what’s mentioned may feel on point with your taste, like this one from a Vogue.com article – How to Shop for Your Sign in 2018:

 Vogue 2018

But what if you want more specialized, applicable advice?

I’ve found a way to make that happen, based on my passion for personalized astrology and personal style. When I started GenuINe STYLE, I wanted to help people dress in ways that made them not only feel good about themselves, but also genuinely like themselves. Clothing that wasn’t chosen hurriedly off a mannequin because they had to get an outfit at the last minute, or felt pressure to follow trends pushed by the media, but based on their individual style thought out and curated in collaboration with me. That will always be my focus—and what clients appreciate most.

 This month highlights the sun sign, Taurus – a sign that enjoys the creature comforts, material goods and their value – like clothing and fashion. Uranus also just entered the sign of Taurus, yesterday, on May 15th. The latter focuses on how we value/interact with our material world, in new, unexpected ways. So, I think it’s appropriate, that I’m introducing a new, intriguing and esoteric layer to my process—for clients who want to “align with their sign(s)” stylistically and fashionably–via a new service, ‘Cosmic Styling℠.’

Why and how did I decide to do this? Fashion, style, psychology and astrology have been long-time interests of mine.  Why do people wear what they do? Why do they behave as they do?  I’ve dedicated countless hours of study these subjects over my lifetime, and if there were a college degree for fashion and astrology, I’d be at the Master’s level, for sure. My studies of these continue today.

 Astrology dates back to ancient Sumer (present-day Iraq) 3500 B.C. or earlier, and also notably referenced during Babylonian times, over 2000 years ago, and then later developed by the Greeks and used in the work of Nostradamus just to name a few instances. It was used along with astronomy to predict weather patterns for farming and then later for more personal counsel to royalty. Whether you believe it can be used for prediction purposes or not, there’s a history of symbolism linked to the planets and the zodiac. For example, Aries is associated with the planet Mars and thus the color red. It is also associated with the element of fire, as it is one the three fire signs of the zodiac.

 The latter is what I focus on when creating someone’s ‘Cosmic Styling ℠’ profile.  Profile options are customized based on my client’s budget, a preference to focus one or more astrological details and to what extent they want those details incorporated into their existing wardrobe.

 All Cosmic Styling ℠ packages start with a personal fashion color profile based on symbolic translation of 2- 3 core personality elements based on your sun/moon/rising sign (the last is indicated by your birth time and place) noted from your astrological birth chart, to more detailed options.  Some astrologers say that a person’s birth chart is a blueprint of their personality. I apply (symbolic) parts of the blueprint that coordinate with your personal taste to create another kind of GenuINe STYLE.

 One of my repeat clients, who is also a valued colleague and friend, Tracy, recently approached me about Cosmic Styling℠ that focused on her personal fashion colors, but also fabrics and patterns (the latter includes some intuited details after having an initial consultation one-on-one) as it aligned with her sun and rising sign, as well as the week of her birth and the position of her sun sign  (in the 7th house which focuses on Libra themes) in her natal astrological birth chart:

 astrological birth chart

 

A sample of Tracy’s personalized Cosmic Styling℠ profile –

Color notes: The colors that represent your sun sign, the placement of your sun and your rising sign: sea green (Pisces), violet, shimmery whites (Pisces), green, pink, and indigo (Libra/Venus – based on position of the sun in your chart), brown, navy and white (Virgo).

Fabrics/fabric details/patterns:  that best relate to your birth date, your Pisces sun and rising sign (Virgo) in your natal astrological chart are – silk (Pisces), cotton/organic cotton (Virgo), jersey material with some spandex flowing/draping (Virgo, Libra & Pisces), abstract prints (Pisces), and small stripes (Virgo).

Want to find out which color combinations, styles and more suit you best based on your astrological birth chart? Check out Cosmic Styling℠ options here.

 Once you’ve chosen an option that speaks to you, contact me and let’s talk about creating your genuine cosmic style!

If You Dress Like Steve Jobs Did, You’re Probably Not My Client. Find Out if You’re a Personal Styling Match for GenuINe STYLE.

Steve Jobs prided himself on his innovation and creativity. However, that creative inspiration didn’t start in his closet. He wished to make dressing a purely functional task, but also wanted a signature look. Jobs wore a black turtleneck designed by Issey Miyake and jeans daily. There’s nothing wrong with this method. It’s certainly more comfortable than the suits some CEOs wear.

That said, he wore a sort of uniform. GenuINe STYLE’s personal styling clients aren’t looking for a uniform. The following is a list of traits that my clients share:

  1. They want choices and variety in their closet.
  2. They are curious thinkers, dreamers and doers, too.
  3. They are adventurous.
  4. They want practical clothing solutions that are also beautiful, unique and or, interesting.
  5. They are conscientious about not wasting – working with  what’s in their closet.
  6. They appreciate the re-invention of their current wardrobe.
  7. They want their personal style to make them feel something – confident, beautiful, powerful, and smart, to name a few.
  8. Their signature look, if they desire one, is defined by a unifying theme/mood/color scheme/accessory, vs. just a few specific pieces of clothing.
  9. They want getting dressed to be easier, more fun and genuine to their taste.

 

My styling services are available in-person and online/Skype. I can help you find style solutions in your closet and in retail stores.

If the above-mentioned traits sound like you, drop me a line. Let’s talk about your GenuINe STYLE!

5 Tips for Hosting a Fun Style Swap Party

style swap party

A style swap party is fun. Everyone gets to clean out their closets, have some yummy snacks, and score some free fresh looks from their friends, family and neighbors.

However, the party can turn into a mob resembling a clearance sale at Nordstrom Rack the day after Thanksgiving if some guidelines aren’t established. Here’s some tips to know ahead of time so you and your guests can make the most of the swapping.

  1. Bring gently loved pieces that they wouldn’t have any problem getting consigned at a reputable resale shop. This means no faded items, piling sweaters, or dysfunctional elastic gatherings, zippers or buttons (unless you know that more than half your guests like to sew/repair their own clothes).
  2. Keep some of your clothes with price tags. Items that still have tags and were bought for a decent amount of moolah– say over $60, consider consigning them so there are no regrets later.
  3. Shoes are swap-worthy. Shoes are only okay IF the soles are not very scuffed/worn out and you can read the brand name at least partially, on the outside and or, inside of the shoe. Also, it should go without saying, but there should be no footprint sweat stains in the shoe – most noticeable in open-toe shoes Yes, that’s gross, but sometimes when people are in a rush/excited about cleaning out their closet getting cleaned out, these details are overlooked.
  4. Be careful swapping light colors. Light or white – colored items may have yellowed with sweat stains under the armpit, around the inside of the collar. It’s another one of those details that can be overlooked in the process of overhauling your closet. Yes, it’s also ewww – inspiring, but can be embarrassing after you try to swap it without realizing it.
  5. Keep it organized. Have recycled shopping bags for people to bring their items home in.

 I hope you found these tips helpful. So many years ago, I worked at a consignment shop and these are some of their reasons for not taking items. I think they can easily be applied for having a successful style swap party. Did you know that I offer the Style Swap Party as part of my consulting services? Want more details? Drop me a line.

  Have fun and happy swapping!

5 Realistic Style Goals to Aim for in 2018. Because New Year’s Resolutions Get Broken.

fashion tips

Goals. We set them and sometimes we break them – but probably not as much, as when we call them ‘New Year’s resolutions.’ My hunch, anyway. However, style goals can be more fun to set and reach.

Okay, some of you who don’t like shopping and or, say you  have nothing to wear, I hear you grumbling. But, really. These five goals are not lofty. My intention is that you feel lighter, hopeful, and focused in one part of your life after setting them.

  1. Go through your closet and remove all spring and summer items by mid-February or March. These are ones you’ve not worn in a year. If you are in the process of losing weight and wish to wear some items again, then remove the pieces you’ve not worn in two years – or longer.

 

  1. Bring your spring clothing that you no longer wear to your local consignment shop. Depending on the weather trends where you live, they may start taking spring styles as early as late January or not till April if you live in cold climate.

 

  1. Go to at Least One End-of-Season Sale. These can be hit or miss, but the mark downs are typically deep – 50-75% off and you may hit the jackpot on basics or THE unique, detailed piece that you’ve been looking for, but can be as rare as finding a dog that looks like a unicorn at the pet store.

 

  1. Get rid of everything that is faded. What do I mean by faded? Was it navy when you bought it and now appears gray-blue? Is it light pink, but was red or maroon when you bought it? If it’s that faded, the material is also more likely to rip or tear due to wear. Note – this does not necessarily include denim.

 

  1. Pick out the clothing items you adore, but don’t wear. Determine what items you can wear with it. Life is short. Don’t wait for a ‘special occasion.” Just wear it if you love it. If you need help figuring out what to wear with it, contact me. I can help. Another alternative would be to consider GenuINe STYLE’s Repurposed Fashion service.

 

However, if you find any of the above overwhelming, and or time-consuming, I offer complementary clothing donation drop-offs as part of my consultations, too. I can help you meet your 2018 style goals in short(er) time and we’ll have fun, too!