Refresh your style: New wardrobe follows significant weight loss

CorrespondentOctober 19, 2013 

For Beth Osborne, 58, it’s time for a do-over. She has lost 45 pounds since January, and “all my clothes are too big,” the Smithfield mother, grandmother and N.C. Department of Health and Human Services employee wrote in an email requesting a makeover. “Most of my clothes are about 8 to 10 years old and now hang on me. … I have the freedom to spend money on clothing but I have no idea where to begin.” I do: Choose five key pieces that look good, start building a stylish wardrobe and ditch your sad old duds.

Before – Don’t let frumpiness win: Osborne deserves better. The droopy dress (see the first photo at right) is many sizes too big, and it does nothing for her slimmed-down figure. It doesn’t convey the confidence a professional woman needs to show. Osborne’s one-length pageboy cut weighs her hair down and frames her neck, not her face. Round-toe shoes make legs look thicker.

After – Fab new hair and makeup: Dawn Carrington and Debra Goodyear at Glam Lounge polished Osborne’s look and erased years from her appearance (second photo at right). Carrington gave Osborne a modern haircut with layers that frame her face in a more flattering way; styling and products give her hair height and volume. Goodyear gave her a makeup look that’s professional, complements her complexion and diminishes redness. Eye shadows and pencil highlight her eyes, along with a thick, feminine fringe of lashes from mascara. Lip color is understated.

After – Little black dress + black pumps: The little black dress simplifies your life because it looks professional and feminine, but it’s so basic you can wear it a lot. Pick one with texture or an interesting detail so it doesn’t look too plain. This one (also in the second photo at right) from Anne Klein has braided faux leather trim around the neckline that looks distinctive and modern. Underneath, a Wacoal bra provides proper support and reveals her slimmer waist; a Spanx Slim Cognito body shaper gives her a smooth silhouette. Black Tahari pumps are wardrobe staples, and the pointed toe accentuates Osborne’s legs. The neutral outfit gets a dose of excitement from a Fossil Memoir satchel bag in a classic cheetah print.

After – Patterned cardigan + matching skirt + kitten heels: Worn together, the Jones New York cardigan and trumpet skirt are a “soft suit,” a less stuffy version of a formal jacket and skirt (third photo at right). The pattern is neutral but not boring. It’s paired with a Jones New York sleeveless tank with navy spangles on the bodice. Me Too black suede kitten heel pumps add texture and a pleasing shape; plus they’re comfortable.

The reaction: Kudos to Glam Lounge for giving Osborne a free hair and makeup makeover, showing her how to duplicate some techniques at home and making her feel special. Osborne loved the clothes I picked for her at Belk at Southpoint so much she bought them all. She’s excited about wearing them to work and church. “I feel like I was destined to meet with you so you could help me with this,” Osborne said. “I knew it was time for a change but I needed someone to help me.”

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