Every summer I end up with one beloved "Cartoon Character" dress that I wear ALL THE TIME. How can I build a wardrobe around it?

As seen in Knoxville Style Magazine, July/August 2018

Your "Cartoon Character" dress sounds like it represents your signature style! Therefore, it’s the perfect piece on which to build capsule wardrobe.

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A small, square neckerchief scarf offers instant, easy chic and is a great place to start. If your dress is patterned, choose a solid-colored scarf, vice versa if your dress is a solid (in both cases, choose lightweight cotton or silk for coolness in the summer). Use your scarf and dress to pull out 3 - 5 colors to serve as a guide in selecting other clothing pieces.

For a dressier work look, add a blazer with heels, and on Casual Fridays wear a soft cardigan with flats. As the weekend begins, remove the cardigan and keep the scarf and flats for a breezy, French-inspired option (perfect for sightseeing or shopping!). Or make a change to strappy sandals and layered delicate necklaces for date night.

If the dress has a gathered waistline or self-belt, try adding or changing the belt. Another, more edgy option would be wearing a shirt over the dress, creating the illusion of a top and skirt. Experiment with the shirt silhouettes – try a button-down shirt with the top two or three buttons left undone and the bottom knotted at the waist, or leave it completely unbuttoned and worn open like a jacket.

The transformations you can make with your favorite “cartoon dress” can be so varied, folks may not even realize it’s the same piece. And you will have as much fun as Minnie Mouse!

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How can I freshen up my wardrobe?

As seen in Knoxville Style Magazine, Feb/March 2019

This may sound odd, but simply go shopping. Before you start to groan, let me assure you: you don’t have to make a day of it, go to different stores, research what’s in style or spend a lot of money.

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Stores from Nordstrom to Walmart will carry a version of the latest fashion trends. It’s what they do! Take a quick spin through the clothing, shoe or accessory section of a store that strikes your fancy (or my favorite – a shop that carries vintage, which is ALWAYS in style) and pick up one or two new items.

My golden rule on making the purchase: make sure you can easily think of three outfits using the items. Don’t buy if you are feeling “meh”, but don’t stress too much about it either. You’re just looking for a little pick-me-up!

Do you have a burning fashion question? Email me at