Ask Me Anything About How to Go From Frumpy to Fabulous

Apr 14, 2018

I'm René, a personal fashion consultant blogging about fashion since 2010.  AMA about tips on improving/upgrade your wardrobe, fashion mistakes to avoid, how to turn dull styles into amazing with accessories, how to coordinate, and how to look absolutely fabulous without breaking the bank.  #AMA


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What is the thing you love most about your work?
Apr 20, 4:05AM EDT0
Have you ever considered designing your own fashion line?
Apr 19, 8:54PM EDT0
What style fits women who want to hide their shape of their midsection?
Apr 19, 3:09PM EDT0
Do you often talk with your daughter about styling clients? Does she give you good feedback?
Apr 18, 11:47PM EDT0
What kind of outfit would you style for a woman who works long hours with a lot of movement?
Apr 18, 8:00PM EDT0
What’s your workwear look?
 What is the first step in putting a look together?
Apr 15, 12:50PM EDT0

Hi Paola.....I like this question because it speaks to what my style of dress is in the workforce.   I usually start preparing my work attire for the week during the weekend.  My work attire consists of dress pants that are wide leg, straight leg, high ankle, and my blouses range from long sleeves, short sleeves and sleeveless with specific accessories for some of them. of dress pants and blouses, cardigans, dress sweaters, suit pieces and dresses, and skirt ensembles.   My dress pants come from H&M, Macy's, and sometimes from Ross Stores.  I buy specific brands to include Anne Klein, Michael Kors, Calin Klein, and Tommy Hilfiger.  But my style of dresses changes over a period of time and sometimes dramatically, but I keep it stylish and fashionable at all levels. 

The pieces I select have to coordinate well. I tend to wear a lot of high heel sandals, stiletto high heels, and the classic 4-inch high heel pump which have to coordinate with the pieces I put together.  For example, my brown pants, with a tan floral tank top blouse with a tan short sleeve cardigan sweater I pair it with a light nude color pair of high heel pumps which sets the entire ensemble off very well.

For the suits I wear, I like dark blues, dark blue pin stripped, and cream colors so with those pairing the blouse up with those is important to not go too dark or too light and stay away from styles and colors that throw off the suit.  My favorit suit ensemble is by Tommy Hilfiger.  It is a midnight blue ensemble that I paired with a polka dot tan and white sleeveless blouse and light nude high heel shoes.  It speaks professional on all levels.

Now, on those days when I want to dress the professional vibe down a bit I go with a tan plaid pair of wide leg pants from Anne Klein and a blush pink front pleated sleeveless blouse from Calvin Klein.  With these I go with a tan pair of high heel pumps with a velcro strap with a pointy toe.  Because are long (as I am short) the shoes makes the ensemble look so dynamic.

These are just a couple of my favorites that I like to wear.  High heel sandals works well with my palazzo pants and blouse ensembles, which I have many of.

This is one of the styles I pulled together last summer.  Calvin Klein lined pants, with a coordinated blue sleeveless top and blue high heel sandals.  The pants are lined, very comfortable ensemble, office friendly.  I chose the dark blue top and the dark blue shoes to bring out the colors in the pants.  Works very, very well.

The first step I take in pulling a look together is first thinking about color.  It generally takes me about a half hour to 45 minutes to think through an ensemble.  If I second guess the look I pulled together I won't wear it.  It has to work on three different levels:

  1. How it fits
  2. Right look
  3. Coordination

If it doesn't meet those three requirements, it doesn't get worn out the house.    That's pretty much how I do it.

Thanks for asking.

Apr 16, 12:21AM EDT0
Who is your all-time favourite designer? what is your ultimate fashion and beauty tip?
Apr 15, 10:10AM EDT0


Great question.  The thing is I don't have just one favorite designer because with each one I take away something unique that makes me so attracted to their designing talents.  if you've been reading, you may have notices I talk alot about Calvin Klein....that's because I've grown up to his fashion.  Over the years I have gravitated over to Carolina Hererra, Vera Wag (her bridal collection never ceases to amaze me).  However, I am happy to see so many new upcoming designers who are taking the industry by storm such as Luar,  Gauntlett Cheng, Lorod -- from the Vogue August 31, 2017 article I read that talked about 7 amazing young designers and designer duos to look out for.

The fashion industry has transcended into this amazing force that is giving upcoming ans aspiring designers a chance to express their creativity disconnecting themselves from the traditional realm of designer.  Whic is why I desire so much to be apart of this amazing industry.

My ultaate fashion and beauty tips are simple.  First, be comfortable in the skin you're in.  Second, be the best beautiful you that you can be.  On the other side of the spectrum of that, from a fashion stand point, wear fashion that compliments your body type.  Avoid hard colors, prints and patterns that just  don't work.  From a beauty standpoint, wear makeup that compliments your eyes, and brings out your face.  Avoid shades that makes you look/appear too dark, too light or washed out.  Wear a hair style that brings it all together that makes you be the one everyone wants to see.

Thanks for asking.

Apr 16, 12:37AM EDT0
Who are the young fashion starlets you're seeing out there now in the fashion world, with a lot of potentials?
Apr 15, 6:39AM EDT0
What’s one piece of clothing that you would love to ban from every woman’s wardrobe?
Apr 14, 2:25PM EDT0


The one piece of clothing I wish I could ban from women's wardrobe are micro mini skirts.  I loathe them because I see nothing feminine about them.  I grew up old school.  Was taught that a lady did not wear skirts that met with their panty line....was just not lady like.  And I was always taught to "leave to one's imagination" when seeking Mr. Right.  If you are walking around with your butt showing every time you sat down or bent over where is the imagination?  

I always thought that it was unsanitary sitting down with nothing to protect you if you were sitting on benches, a seat on the bus, or anywhere that your butt was pretty much exposed.  A micro mini skirt is not a part of my wardrobe recommendation when I am working with a client.  In fact, if they have one, it would have to be the first thing to go.  I don't care if worn with leggings or has to go.  There is no place for it in the fashion world.

Thanks for asking.

Apr 16, 3:32AM EDT0
Besides being a fashion stylist, are there other forms of artistic activities that you like to get involved in?
Apr 14, 2:16PM EDT0

Hey there Jeanrua -- aside from being an aspiring fashion consultant, I also like to sew crochet, knit.

But I really like to sew.  The creativity with sewing are endless.  And there's always something new to design. 

I started crocheting when I was 15.  I didn't really get into until I was much older where I started just doing double stitched scarves.  But YouTube opened my eyes to so much more and I started doing beanies, ruffle scarves, shrubs, wraps, and blankets.

My favorite pass time is crocheting with my daughter.  I taughter her how to crochet and she started a blanket last year.  She would like to do projects for her daughter who is a year and a half now.  

So when I am not marketing for new clients, I'm spending time with my daughter and sometimes talking about new crocheting projects. I finished a crocheted mulit color wrap in a few days.

I love what I do.  I am most grateful to my mom who showed me how to sew, recognized my talent for knitting and had bought me my first knitting loom when I was six years old.  I got my first pair of knitting needles when I was 15 from a family friend, and grew to enjoy them immensely.

Thanks for asking.

Apr 16, 3:26AM EDT0
What's your personal style? How do you determine the perfect/best style for your clients?
Apr 14, 12:52PM EDT0

Hello -- thanks for your question.  My personal style is considered flashy and stylish, but with a modern approach.  As my daughter has told me once on a Saturday while hanging out, "Mom, you're flashy for no reason."  This is because I like to look good.  And by looking good I feel good.  Whether I am in a maxi dress and sandals, jeans and high heel sandals, leggings and sneakers, a suit and high heels, I have to look good and be well coordinated from head to toe.  This is pretty much my personal taste.  It includes high heel sandals which I have a nice collection of, high heel pumps and wedges, boots, palazzo pants, flowy tops, sassy ensembles that are flattering and shiek, skinny jeans, tunics, cardigans, fancy sweaters, stylish dresses, pencil skirts.  

I work to instill in my clients that it's ok to feel pretty and beautiful.  And it's ok to think about one's self every now and then.  So if someone calls me tells me they are struggling with their personal style I hold a style consultation with them to discuss where they are struggling the most.  And nine times out of ten it starts with not know how to mix and match, coordinate, or wardrobe is out dated and clothes don't fit, therefore calling for a new wardrobe.  


I ask questions like:

  1. What are you struggling with the most
  2. What is your idea of an ideal wardrobe
  3. What is your body type -- this helps to get an idea of what styles to choose that works with their body types
  4. What is their style preference -- this includes solids, patterns, prints, casual, business casual -- help them come out of their comfort zone to try new and different fashion experiences.

With my clients, the one mistake they make is wearing fashions that are not flattering to their body and the coordination is all wrong.  What I do is get an idea of what they consider their ideal wardrobe to be and from that I make recommendations to help them see the other side of the spectrum and help them step outside of their comfort zone.  We tend to fall into a slump with fashion, and with work, family, and a busy work life it's easy to forget about ourselves because as women we spend so much time taking care of others that we don't pay attention to our own styles.  So, knowing this, coming from experience, I work with them to find styles they will love and can mix and match and coordinate and really fall inlove with fashion.

Thanks for asking.

Apr 16, 2:56AM EDT0
What kind of fashion or styling projects have you been working lately? Also, What trends are you loving right now?
Apr 14, 12:52PM EDT0

Hello, thanks for asking that question.  Currently I am working with a co-worker and friend who is preparing for her trip to Argentina next month.  She enlisted my help to assist her in shopping for the right pieces to take with her on her trip.  We will be looking at evening dinner wear pieces, beach and lounge wear.

She's recently lost a lot of weight.  Going from a size 22 down to a size 14.  So the goal is to find pieces that are not too tight fitting, but shows off her curves in the right ways with colors that are vibrant.  We'll be looking at flowy pants, soft and sheer tops, bathing suits, maxi dresses, jean ensembles, the right shorts styles, and will be looking at how to coordinate everything to give her that runway appeal.  She's already a beautiful woman -- this fashion makeoveer will take her confidence to the next level. 

My latest fave in fashion are the jeans with embroidered flowers.  I am absolutely loving that style because they are on light and dark jeans, white jeans, olive colored jeans and they are in all sizes for all women to enjoy.

I happen to have denim high heels in light blue and dark blue, and getting a pair of the light blue denim jeans with the floral patterns would be ideal because they would work go well with a white chiffon blouse and my light blue denim high heel sandals. 

These pants are a fun and flirty style and they flew off the racks faster than they could be put out, but I honestly don't think this trend will be a round for a long time regardless of how cute they are, unless someone likes me keeps it trending.  And the only way to do that is to keep being creative with coming up with different styles to make it appealing.

And flower pants have also become my favorites because they are comfortable and are versatile.

These can be worn with high heels or cute flats, which my go-to sandals for these are by Tommy Hilfiger sandals.

These are cute and comfortable and can be found on Amazon.  I was able to find them at Macy's on sale.

Thanks for asking.  

Apr 16, 1:54AM EDT0
What are your upcoming plans and what are you currently working on?
Apr 14, 12:50PM EDT0

Hi there,

Great question.  As I mentioned in an earlier response I am working with a friend who just recently lost a lot of weight and needs help shopping for her trip to Argentina next week.  I will be helping her look for pieces to accentuate her new body since the weight loss.  We'll be coordinating pieces on various levels to include evening dinner wear, beach and lounge wear, and will helping her step outside of her comfort zone to try new fashion experiences.

My plans aside from working with her are to grow my business.  Truly take it to the next level of working with high class, elite individuals who represent the entertainment industry as well as build a clientele men and women looking to upgrade, change their wardrobe.  I want to be successful in my business and in order to do that I have to represent everything there is about fashion -- it's my job to keep my clients styled one day at a time.

Thanks for asking.

Apr 16, 3:54AM EDT0
How long have you been a blogger in personal fashion styling field? How's the experience of being a blogger helped you enhance your styling?
Apr 14, 11:41AM EDT0


Thanks for asking that question.  My first fashion blog, AtStudio5 ( was started in February 2010 and currently has 68,946 views.  It actually started at the height of the fashion weeks season.  I wanted to post and write for fashion events and before I knew it the blog took off.  This paved the way for Styled By Rene ( to be born December 2012, which was the gateway to me doing fashion show events, and photo shoots.  I also write about achieving healthy hair and skin on my Savvy Hair Studio101 blog ( which I started May 2010.  

Blogging has been a phenominal experience for me.  And because I blog about fashion, it's important for me to keep up my own appearance.  In other words, I have to practice what I preach because I can't speak about fashion if I am not being about fashion.  

Being a fashion blogger has helped me to understand a lot about my own personal style and the styles of others.  It's helped me to recognize mistakes I make as a fashionista, which has helped me to focus and pay attentnion to coordinating pieces I wear.  

Thanks for asking.

Apr 16, 3:49AM EDT0
As a part of personal fashion consultant, you might be helping client edit their closet. What’s the hardest thing about this for you and your client?
Apr 14, 6:55AM EDT0

Hi Maggie,

Great question.  So, I am learning that the hardest thing in working with a client who is in transition of changing their wardrobe is "letting go" of the past.  It's hard to let go of items that were in style two or three decades ago, and entering into a new world of fashion can be overwhelming because there is so much to consider, so much to choose from, and the idea of having to separate from what had been normal for them is like a punch in the gut.  This is where patience comes in.  It's not something you can rush.  You can't for a client to just toss everything out.  You hae to go through the emotional aspects of it in order to understand what they're feeling when they have to part with those pants from 1985, or that jacket they had since high school, or that sweater from the 90's.

The emotional value of a wardrobe makeover has to be considered and well respected.

Thanks for asking.

Apr 16, 3:38AM EDT0
Do you end up travelling a lot for your job?
Apr 14, 6:02AM EDT0


I don't get to travel right now.  I am still building my clientele especially since moving to a new state seven months ago.  As my clientele grows, I do hope to take my business nationally.  It would be great exposure.

Thanks for asking.

Apr 16, 3:34AM EDT0
What do you think is the most essential item in every woman’s wardrobe?
Apr 14, 1:09AM EDT0


That is a great question.  The most essential item in every woman's wardrobe would probably be a blazer or cardigan and white T-Shirts and/or white tops.  I say that because they can go with anything and you don't have to worry about what to wear. If you are invited to an event and not sure what to wear, if you have a nice cardigan or a nice blazer and you have a fancy white T-Shirt, you can pair that up with a nice pair of pants or even jeans depending on the event. 

I find it very hepful to have these three items in my closet because I've been cauaht in situations where I was invited to an event last minute.  I put together a nice cardigan, white top, and high heels with a pair of jeans and I was ready to go.

Apr 14, 1:57AM EDT0
Are there any emerging jewelry, handbag or shoe brands that you are especially excited about?
Apr 13, 11:30AM EDT0

Hello Amy,

Interesting you would ask that question. The one thing I really get excited about, and my daughter can attest to this, is shoes.  I have just been checking out some new wedges by Tommy Hilifiger high heel sandals by Calvin Klein. Every year for the Spring/Summer seasons I am always looking or new looks in shoes becaue I am always creating new styles every year where the shoes add that extra touch. Last year it was denim high heel sandals that Shieke Shoes exclusively sold at at their store. I managed to walk away with two pairs for the price of one. That was a great sale including a pair of denim wedges. 

I am always excited about new shoes particularly because I like to be different and I like to test the waters of being bold and daring.  It's fun to wear styles that turn heads and are conversation pieces, and as a woman of 50, I do my very best to stay stylish, setting an example for women over 40 looking to keep their style tight, looking to change their wardrobe, improve their wardrobe, or just try something new. 

Last I counted I had over 100 pairs of shoes -- that includes boots, flats, sneakers, high heel sandals, pumps, wedges, and regular sandals.  Thanks for asking.

Apr 14, 2:33AM EDT0
Where and how did your fashion journey begin?
Apr 13, 4:55AM EDT0


My fashion journey began when I was a young girl around 7 years old.  I grew up where I had aunts who sewed.  My mom sewed as well, and they all learned from my grandmother, Helen Anne Butler (1915 - 1973). I took up sewing by hand and having had a small sewing machine.  One year our mom said she couldn't buy us summer clothes so I hand sewed myself and my sister summer tops from some fabric our mom had laying around.  I did that regularly during the summer and before long it became a hobby I grew to enjoy doing.

As I got older, I learned how to sew other pieces by hand using very tiny and effective stitches to maintain the piece I was making.  It wasn't until I was a teenager that I started wanting to set my own fashion trends -- taking them to a level other kids my age had not seen.  To some my style seemed dated, but to others they thought I fell right in with the 80's theme.  It was great being a teenager in the 80's.  I had the big bows in my hair, every color lace nylons and lace gloves, the off the shoulder inside out sweat shirts with the double studded belt, the extra large shirt dresses with the leggings and double belts.  Whatever trends were coming out during that time I was always trying to jazz it up even more or create even more styles that raised eyebrows. 

As an adult I have sewed maxi dresses, tops, a pencil skirt, a two piece pants set, two tote bags, and would like some day to design a fashion line I could debute in a show before I get to old to really enjoy the fashion life.

I have never taken any traditional sewing courses having learned from what my mom and aunts have taught me.  Though my aunts who sewed have passed on I have carried with me everything I've learned.

Apr 14, 2:48AM EDT0
Are there enough opportunities for emerging stylists to showcase their skills and enter this competitive industry?
Apr 13, 1:07AM EDT0

Hi Pietro,

One place you can look is on Facebook.  I know social media seems so cliche, but there happens to be good resources that are there that have information on fashion shows.  That is where I connected with many different people who have connections into the fashion industry including entrance into fashion shows.  Here is what's going on for 201 fashion shows, just to give you an idea on what's on Facebook:

I recommend reaching out to some of the outlets there and be ready to have a sample portfolio to show of your work.  You could be invited to showcase your talents in one or more of the upcoming fashion show events.  I was invited to do a show but my late husband took ill. 

It's an exciting opportunity to be invited to do a show. That is evidence of your talent and creativity. Now is a great time to start with the shows already under way.  As you do your research inquire about shows in July, August and September that could be possibly in the works of being planned.  

Keep in mind that when you reach out to someone successfully have a fashion line in mind that you are looking to debute.  That helps them have a better idea of the direction you're headed.

Thanks for asking.

Apr 14, 3:02AM EDT0
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