Paula Seligson, 21, knows she has to step up her game. During a summer internship at the News & Observer, she noticed that other people in the office looked pulled together, but she kept wearing the clothes she had bought on a college student’s budget. Then the newly minted UNC-Chapel Hill grad was hired as a reporter at The Smithfield Herald, and looking professional began to seem like a priority. It was time to grow up her look. “I’m the person who always avoided shopping. I’d rather do anything than shopping,” she said. “My friends tried to help me, but I just have been putting it off.” A starter wardrobe is just what she needs for her starter life.
Before:Seligson is full of personality but this outfit is not. The shirt and pants are too basic. They don’t flatter her figure, and the colors don’t suit her complexion. The slides are threadbare and suggest she doesn’t pay attention to details. The ponytail and makeup-free face are a missed opportunity.
Hair and makeup: A little pampering polishes Seligson up nicely. Hairstylist Dawn Carrington trimmed Seligson’s locks so that they curl on her shoulders and frame her face. Styling products add volume. Makeup artist Debra Goldman tamed Seligson’s brows, creating a frame for her eyes, which she brought out with eye shadows. Moisturizer, foundation and concealer even out her complexion, and blush and lip color add pretty accents.
After: This Tribal navy-and-black column dress can be Seligson’s LBD, a key building block for a starter wardrobe. The linear shape of the dress suits her straight frame, and the color blocking makes it a classic. Black tights and Sofft patent pumps continue the long line. A navy cuff and stretch bracelets add style, while the Hobo Jasmine purse is functional and continues the color-blocking trend.
After: Seligson also needs stylish basics like these Frye boots, which are comfortable, weatherproof and rugged enough to walk the beat. The Tribal pants are a great backdrop for the silky, jewel-tone Ecru blouse – or nearly any other top. Your trusty “office sweater” doesn’t have to be dull. The color-speckled panels on the Tribal sweater jacket will coordinate with nearly anything. The Brighton necklace fills in the neckline, and stretch bracelets add shine.
The reaction: Kudos to Glam Lounge for the free hairstyling session that transformed Seligson from unkempt to polished. Normally a stranger to heels and makeup, Seligson loved her feminine, finished overall look. “I can see why someone would go to the trouble to look like this,” she said, scrutinizing her reflection in a photo studio mirror during the shoot. “I might even wear heels – for a little while.”