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Style Inspiration

6 Stellar Styling Tips from my Stellair Interview

I’ve been saying for the longest time (more in my head than out loud), that I really want to start guesting on some podcasts. I did a super fun interview last summer with Allie Wilson, someone I’ve known professionally for quite awhile and a fellow identical twin, for the new styling app Stellair, and then…completely forgot about it! So imagine my excitement when she told me a few weeks ago that not only was the Stellair app live, but so was the podcast we’d recorded. Allie has posted interviews with a bunch of different stylists across the country and different parts of the industry. If you have ever wondered about the differences (or wanted to know their secrets) between a personal, editorial, or costume stylist, the Stellair podcast will be a great discovery!

I was pretty astounded to listen back to the podcast recorded last July and realize how much great styling advice was in it. As a substitute or supplement to the podcast, I’ve broken out the six tips I shared with the Stellair audience. Enjoy and please let me know which tips you found most useful!



1. Look at what is in your closet with a critical eye.

Every so often, you should revisit every single item in your closet. Do you have clothes from high school in your closet? For all my readers who are mothers, do you have 4 sizes of clothing and your maternity clothes in your closet? Everything in your working closet should service you at this size, this age, and this body. Try your clothing on, evaluate each piece, and only keep the items that look fresh, fit well, and make you feel fabulous. If you need to keep something sentimental or in a bigger/smaller size, take it out of your everyday closet and fold it into a clearly labeled bin.

Additional reading…to inspire you to start editing: The Tiny Wardrobe Tour

…to remind yourself to be critical of what goes in those bins: True Confessions of a Personal Stylist

…for fun!: Kyle Does a Tiny Edit of Lani’s Closet!



2. For women with too much clothing for the sake of “variety”: People aren’t going to notice what you’re wearing, they’re going to notice how what you are wearing makes you feel.

I have a famous story I tell at my Wear Your Power presentations about my one perfect pair of black pants. My junior year of college, I started my spring internship with a tiny wardrobe because I had lost weight and had to give away all of my clothes and start from scratch. For an entire semester, I had one perfect pair of jeans and one perfect pair of black pants to wear, which I would strategically wash and wear over each week. Yes, that is two pairs of pants total. The three days a week I was at my internship, I wore the black pants. The other 4 days a week that were weekends or days I just had class, I would wear the jeans. Towards the end of the semester one of the full-time people I’d been working with for months made a comment about “all of my great black pants.” It was hard to keep a straight face and not tell her the truth, that there was only one pair of black pants the whole time!

The point is that people don’t notice that you’re wearing the same good quality basics every week, or every day in my case. They notice how your clothes fit and make you feel. Shop with intention and buy the best pair of black pants you can afford, rather than continually buying mediocre pants from the sales rack.

Additional reading…if you need to revisit the basics: 5 Must-Have Pieces for Your Work Wardrobe

…if you have a good chunk of change to invest and need one perfect pair of pants: Derek Lam’s Magical Pants

…if the idea of a small, basic wardrobe scares you: Who Says A Uniform Has To Be Boring?



3. For women with too little clothing who haven’t treated themselves in years: One new top is cheaper than therapy.

Just because you’re in between sizes doesn’t mean you should stop shopping completely! Uniqlo and H&M can be your friend. The entire outfit above is only $140! Keep up with the trends on our blog and then treat yourself, because you deserve it!

Additional reading…to learn the rules of shopping between sizes: To Buy or Not to Buy: Shopping While Between Sizes

…to get inspired to shop on a budget: Six Super Chic Transitional Outfits, All Under $180

…to know when to call in the reinforcements: 5 Signs You Need A Personal Stylist



4. Don’t ruin a great outfit with bad shoes.

My fashion pet peeve is when someone has a cute outfit on and then throws on old, unflattering shoes. Their reasoning? “They’re comfortable. It’s hard for me to find good looking, comfortable shoes.” I had foot surgery in my early twenties! You don’t need to tell me that you can’t wear uncomfortable shoes or heels, because I can’t either. There are such things as cute shoes by comfort brands, I promise you.

Additional reading: A Ridiculously Exhaustive Comfort Shoe Blog. If you are guilty of wearing ugly shoes because they’re comfortable, read this blog and buy a new pair of shoes ASAP!



5. Packing doesn’t have to be stressful.

When I figured out my pick one outfit formula for three days of travel, it saved me so much time, stress, and space in my suitcase. I pick one great blazer or jacket and wear it all three days with different pants and tops. Steal this strategy!

Additional Reading…for more on my travel strategy: Lani’s Travel Capsule Wardrobe Formula

…for even more tips on packing: Packing 101: How to Create a Better Travel Experience



6. The hardest part of having your own personal styling business is balancing the creative side with the business side.

Of course, we talked about our Stylist Studio training program and the difficulties of entering the industry. I can’t tell you how rare it is for a person to be good at both the creative side of fashion and the business side. You can’t just be good at putting together the outfits, you have to be able to balance the checkbook too.

Additional Reading: Our Stylist Studio Introductory Training Program!

Don’t forget to listen to the podcast too! Happy listening!

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Lani Inlander is a personal stylist who has been working with clients who want to feel their best and look put-together every day for 20 years. You can find her in the Washington, D.C. and New York metropolitan areas. Are you looking for professional training to become a personal stylist? Learn how you can train with Lani at The Stylist Studio

You can find Lani Inlander and Real Life Style on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

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