Putting Her Together: Hannah’s New Wardrobe, pt. 1

This weekend I got to live out one of my dreams: I was someone’s personal stylist.

I told you that I only discovered style blogs a few months ago (in April, to be exact), but long before that I already had a hearty addiction to What Not to Wear.  I love how Stacy and Clinton on WNTW are able to help a women’s self-esteem through personal style.  I was fascinated by everything they said about fit and proportion, but I was entirely more fascinated by how the simple “rules” they gave people regarding fit could help a woman’s confidence blossom.

I’ll probably talk about the difference for me between style blogs and WNTW another day.  For today, I want to introduce you to my friend Hannah, who I helped shop for this weekend!

Hannah is an old student whom I used to mentor years ago, when she was in college.  Now at 24 years old, she has 2 jobs as an administrative assistant and is in nursing school.  Talk about a full life!

Hannah’s Old Style
Hannah wanted to change her style to feel more adult and put together.  🙂  Black Vans, t-shirts, and black hooded sweatshirts became her uniform and that was no longer how she wanted to portray herself.

Sad face in her old clothes:

She saved money for the day she could buy a new wardrobe, which is no easy feat.  She had given away 90% of her wardrobe before our day together, so we had nothing to work with but some skinny jeans–not even shoes!  We truly started from scratch, and we shopped for 11 hours.  

What We Aimed For

  1. “Everyday cute and dressy look” was her wish. 
  2. Versatile wardrobe that took her from work to school to birthday parties on weekends.  In her large Latino family there’s always a birthday party!
  3. Balance out her figure.  Hannah was concerned about her mid-section as well as feeling a little top-heavy, so we worked on that by playing with fit and proportion.
  4. Increased self-esteem.  She’d been feeling self-conscious lately, so my biggest hope was to remedy that during our shopping day.  I want women to feel great about themselves!

As for the rest of her pics below, please excuse her messy hair.  It was super cute at the beginning of the day, but these pictures were taken after 11 hours of shopping!  So just imagine hair cuteness, okay?  🙂

Her “Rules”

#1 Stop shopping in cheap junior’s stores.  Hannah was buying clothing with odd-sized labels, which indicates junior’s sizing, and she had no idea.  When I told her those clothes are better suited for girls with far less curves than she has, it made sense why so many of those clothes didn’t fit her well.  Instantly her self-esteem grew a little.  Yay!

#2 Balance out your top half with a-line skirts or straight-legged jeans (shown in #3 below).

Look #1: Top: Old Navy | Skirt: NY & Co. | Shoes: Target | Belt: Forever 21
Look #2: Dress: Target | Belt: Forever 21

#3 Find tops with structure, such as a blazer nipped at the waist or a faux-wrap shirt.  Make the garment do the work for you of creating a narrower waist and hour-glass figure.  Tummy, be gone!

Hannah’s looking slim in a blazer and jeans!  (The jeans still need to be hemmed…)

Look #1: Blazer: Target | Top: Old Navy | Jeans: Target | Metallic Wedges: Target | Necklace: Charming Charlie
Look #2: Jacket: Old Navy | Top: NY & Co. | Skirt: NY & Co. | Wedges: Target

#4 Use belts to help define your waist.  Same shirt, remixed.

Look #1: Top: Old Navy | Skirt: NY & Co. | Wedges: Target | Necklace: Charming Charlie | Belt: Forever 21
Look #2: Belt: Forever 21 | Necklace: Charming Charlie | Flats: Target | Jeans: already owned

#5 Play with pops of color in your accessories to liven up an outfit.  These red shoes make this teal dress a little more special.

Dress: Target | Belt: Forever 21 | Shoes: Target

All in All
We got Hannah a wardrobe from which she could make 35+ outfits.  It’s a great foundation to start a new chapter in her life.  I’ll post a full shopping list on Thursday.  Promise.

The Best Part…
I asked Hannah how her first day in her new clothes went, and she responded, “Good!  I got many compliments at church today and a lot of looks from people at the grocery store.  I wore the brown dress, belt and red flats.  I finally feel like a young woman instead of a woman stuck in her teens.  :)”

By the end of our shopping day she felt good about her body and couldn’t wait to wear her new clothes.  I’m so happy for her!

Again, on Thursday a full shopping list with links will be posted along with what we looked for and how we shopped.  Stay tuned!

If you have questions before Thursday, feel free to ask and I’ll try to include that in the post.

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  • Reply
    August 2, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    It sounds like you had a blast and she looks great in the new pieces! I used to be obsessed with WNTW, so I know what you mean. I still shop in juniors because, well, I don't have all the curves I'm supposed to for womens' pants, for example. Haha. Sometimes I even buy things from the kids' section. (Shh.)

    Anyway, great job being a stylist and Hannah is rockin' her new clothes!

  • Reply
    August 2, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    This is such a great feature! I'm so jealous you did this! Hannah looks a million times better!

  • Reply
    August 2, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    oh my gosh!! I totally love this!! I couldn't pick out a favorite outfit because they all look so amazing on Hannah! I'm completely impressed with both of you. 🙂

  • Reply
    August 2, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    This is so awesome! And she looks fab – I especially love the belted black shirt, and that NY&Co skirt is adorable.

    I like the shopping rules too. Even though I think I dress pretty put together, it's such a great idea to go shopping with things like this in mind to create a complete wardrobe. 

  • Reply
    August 2, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    How Fun, Audrey! Helping friends shop is one of my favorite things. It's so WNTW! It doesn't take much to have a versatile closet, just a handful of basics and some fun accessories. Great tips! Hannah looks incredible. She's lucky to have you as a friend/mentor.

  • Reply
    August 2, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    How fun! I love the new looks that you've put together for Hannah. She looks great!

  • Reply
    August 2, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    Great job! How fun!! I really love, love, love  What Not To Wear. I'm still obsessed with the show.

    Shasie of Live
    Life in Style

    In Time Vintage Giveaway

  • Reply
    August 3, 2011 at 1:16 am

    She looks amazing!  Your structured tops really made a difference. Beautiful subject and beautiful stylist.

  • Reply
    August 3, 2011 at 1:53 am

    this is so fun!  what a lucky friend!  i really love all of the pieces you guys picked out, especially the dark brown dress and light brown belt – it fits her perfectly and she looks so great!

  • Reply
    August 3, 2011 at 1:57 am

    Great job balancing her shape. My personal style goal is to dress my inverted triangle shape. Nice ideas. Please refer her to my blog. Would be honored if you followed my blog too.
    Kemi at beautystyleandgrowth.blogspot.com

  • Reply
    Rachel B-S.
    August 3, 2011 at 2:24 am

    This is such a great post! Looks like a great experience for you both. Hannah looks awesome! My favorite is the simple look with the skinnies, black top and belt. So simple yet so chic. Sounds like a great shopping trip though after 11 hours I'll bet you were beat! -Rachel (adistinctstyle.blogspot.com)

  • Reply
    Stacy of KSW
    August 3, 2011 at 6:05 am

    Way to go Audrey!! You did a fantastic job for Hannah, I know how much she will appreciate it. I got a chance to do this with a friend last January and it was an AMAZING experience. I wouldn't trade it for the world. Here's hoping you get to do many of these in the future. I can't wait to follow along!

  • Reply
    August 3, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    yaay! hannah looks great!! good job audrey!  

  • Reply
    August 3, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    Hannah looks great! I love all the outfits and I'm happy to say I just bought the brown Target dress yesterday for $6.98..Yay! Great Job Audrey 🙂

  • Reply
    August 4, 2011 at 3:38 am

    You did a great job styling Hannah! All her pieces are classic and will remix perfectly now and when the weather is cooler with some layering.

  • Reply
    August 4, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    GREAT JOB! I'm always telling my friends to get out the juniors stores and step your game up! Hannah looks awesome!

  • Reply
    August 6, 2011 at 8:18 am

    Audrey this is great! she looks awesome! awesome job!!! 

  • Reply
    Janell Sheppard
    August 10, 2011 at 3:17 am

    I LOVE this post! You did an awesome job! I've been wanting to try my hand at personal styling, and my close friend has promised that I could try it on her when she starts her new job. We'll see how it goes lol.


  • Reply
    Audrey @ Putting Me Together
    August 10, 2011 at 4:23 am

    Thanks, Janell!  How exciting that you could get to style your friend.  Let me know how that goes.  🙂

  • Reply
    August 23, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    Oh, I love this post!  Can't believe I didn't read it sooner.  I've always love "Before" and "After" pictures.  I like to do this with my sister and mess around with her clothes and get her to try new things in terms of her wardrobe.  I absolutely adore the fusha

  • Reply
    Brittany Bailey
    February 19, 2012 at 1:23 am

    So cute! Just found your blog & love all your posts 🙂 

  • Reply
    March 1, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    Love this!  I just found your blog from Merrick's, can't wait to read more!

  • Reply
    Julia Reif
    March 7, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    Wow she looks absolutely georgeuos afterwards

  • Reply
    Katie Zielke
    April 12, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Oh my gosh! I need to do this so bad!

  • Reply
    Rebekah Lassen
    June 19, 2012 at 4:56 am

    Hi Audrey!  I've been quietly reading your blog for a while, and I just want to say "THANKS!" for all the help you've given me!  I just got your "One Year" post in my email, and then came to the site to browse back through older posts and came upon this.  This is such a great example of what you are about and what you are creating in life.   Your message of "just be YOU (and that's a great thing!!)" shines out loud and clear through this blog, and every time I browse through your posts I remember that for myself just a little stronger.  Thank you for all of you inspiration and logistical genius!  You ROCK!

  • Reply
    Audrey @ Putting Me Together
    June 19, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Hey Rebekah.  🙂  Thank YOU for taking the time to write to say hello and for your encouragement!  I'm so glad you've been enjoying the blog.  It's been fun for me too!  

  • Reply
    Jackie Murphy
    June 19, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    I feel completely behind the times, but I only just recently discovered Pinterest, which I'm now obsessed with! I found you, Audrey, while searching for "capsule wardrobes". I love what you've been able to do with basic, accessible clothing items! I love your sense of style and the more I've been reading your blog I just feel like I completely identify with you. I too, have a healthy love of shopping, enjoy Target, and would love to empower women through their wardrobe, like you've done for Hannah. Great work! 

  • Reply
    July 9, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    I LOVE this feature!  Great idea!

  • Reply
    Kassi @ Truly Lovely
    July 18, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    This is SO SO neat!!! Way to go you on living a dream and helping Hannah start a new chapter! 

  • Reply
    Marissa Hawkins
    August 7, 2012 at 4:04 am

    She's beautiful! The wine colored skirt is my favorite.

  • Reply
    pentecostal girl
    August 11, 2012 at 12:06 am

    I love the part of stop shopping at cheap juniors stores.  This is so true.  I have trouble finding stylish thins other places.

  • Reply
    Sarah Brown
    August 24, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    This post is awesome!! Please also do one with a friend who is petite so us short gals can see what we should do.

  • Reply
    September 17, 2012 at 4:29 am

    Any advice for how to stop shopping in juniors? Especially for women who are smaller sizes? I wear a 00 in juniors and I've read a lot about getting out of juniors clothes but I have a hard time wearing women's clothes.

  • Reply
    September 25, 2012 at 2:02 am

    wow! i wish i knew you so you could take me shopping! what a nice thing to do! she looks great!

  • Reply
    Lisana Piro
    September 28, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    Audrey, I have found your blog a couple of months ago and it is so useful. When you hear of a capsule wardrobe, the first thing that comes into my mind is "OMG I will feel miserable with so few options and people are going to count my pieces one day". But you make it feel like the options are endless and you can still have so much fun and feel creative while creating the outfits. While this post is a gem. It would be great if you can do this with other friends or even strangers. It takes advices to a whole next level. Telling a woman to not shop emotionally is one thing, my showing her how to shop wisely is a whole other story. Thank you and keep up inspiring projects like this please.
    Lisa | happyby.blogspot.com

  • Reply
    Suburban Sweetheart
    January 3, 2013 at 3:14 am

    This is so impressive! I'd love to read an update on how Hannah's style has grown/evolved since this post & the major shopping trip.

  • Reply
    January 4, 2013 at 4:20 am

    I agree, I am 5,1 and need help. I'm 43 and sometimes shop in the junior section due to size. I try to be careful of selecting outfits that don't look jr though. I really need Audrey's help. Wish she made house calls to Florida.

  • Reply
    Audrey @ Putting Me Together
    January 4, 2013 at 5:37 am

    J from J's Everyday Fashion ( http://www.jseverydayfashion.com) is in Florida and provides styling services! Otherwise email me and we can discuss possible options. 🙂

  • Reply
    Debbie Flack
    February 8, 2013 at 1:31 am

    Oh, my! I wish I had someone like you to go shopping with me!

  • Reply
    Daisy Mathison
    March 26, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    Maybe I missed it but did you share how much $ was spent for this wardrobe? Love it all!

  • Reply
    April 5, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Wow! What a great change! i am going to really try to put your wardrobe tutelage to use as i define my style and wardrobe for my weight loss 🙂

  • Reply
    Nicole Redmond
    July 6, 2013 at 3:24 am

    I'm a what not to wear fan too…so sad they are ending the show this summer. I guess that means your blog will have to fill the void. So happy I ran across it!

  • Reply
    December 28, 2013 at 9:33 pm

    Christmas gift $$ is burning a hole in my pocket and I want to put it to good use, so I am revisiting this post after a year (first saw your site about this time last year) and still no successful wardrobe. I do want to say what a joy it was to find a model that more closely resembled my body type and lifestyle. Thanks again for such a thorough, encouraging, and truly equipping blog!

  • Reply
    Jessika Perdomo
    August 2, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    Great Job!!!

  • Reply
    March 3, 2015 at 2:26 am

    No offense, but her new style still looks plain, cheap, and outdated.

    The only style that looks slightly is the pic of her wearing the black blazer & jeans.

    With that look, i would've paired it with a red pointy heel or burgundy peep toe heel for a pop of color.

    Over all, i give her new wardrobe a solid 3 out of 10. Nice try though.

  • Reply
    April 7, 2015 at 4:16 am

    That skirt really works with a lot of combinations. Well done ! Thank you for your blog. It has lots of useful information and inspiration.

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