Karen Chung, 21, is a Raleigh college student headed into the working world. Her wardrobe of filmy dresses, boots and jeans has worked well, but now with a job offer from financial giant Credit Suisse, she has “to start dressing like a grown-up.” I showed her how to start building a mature, mix-and-match wardrobe using quality clothes from a consignment store to keep her budget in check.
Before The dark top suits Chung’s coloring but doesn’t coordinate well with the vibrant turquoise scarf. The jeans fit nicely, but the gaping of the boots visually cuts her leg, which shortens her. That’s not the effect you want when you’re petite and small. A shoe-repair shop could easily fix that.
After hair Chung admits her hair had become overgrown in the six months since her last cut. Trimming about 6 inches eliminates weight, creates volume and banishes the young-girl style. The layered cut frames her face nicely.
Wardrobe basics Dress, blazer, colorful pumps: Chung looks work-appropriate and stylish in a Banana Republic dress in a zebra print that fills out her figure; the gold J.Crew skinny belt adds an accent. The Laundry slouchy blazer is a workhorse for work and play. Orange Ms. Allbright Anthropologie pumps punch up the neutral palette, along with a pale-green Cynthia Rowley purse and apricot beaded necklace.
Wardrobe basics Bright blouse, black pumps, black tote: Looking chic on casual Friday is a snap in this outfit. Articles of Society dark jeans, Karina Grimaldi silk top, Tory Burch pumps and Kate Spade tote add up to a youthful, stylish outfit. The Laundry blazer finishes the look.
The reaction: “This is the shortest I’ve ever had my hair,” a shocked Chung said after her haircut. “It’s so different from any haircut I’ve ever had, but I do like it. It looks more mature but I still look my age.” She also liked the dress and jeans and is ready to embrace a grown-up professional wardrobe.