Fashion

Refresh Your Style: Kathryn Reilly

Kathryn Reilly before, left, was hiding in faded colors and plain clothes that had no style. Her long hair overwhelmed her petite frame. Reilly's updated, stylish outfits, right, and new haircut suit a professional woman who is young at heart.
Kathryn Reilly before, left, was hiding in faded colors and plain clothes that had no style. Her long hair overwhelmed her petite frame. Reilly's updated, stylish outfits, right, and new haircut suit a professional woman who is young at heart. jleonard@newsobserver.com

Kathryn Reilly of Raleigh, an accountant at Strata Solar, knew her clothes and hair were stuck in the past.

“My adult daughters tell me I desperately need a makeover,” she wrote. I found her updated, stylish outfits that suit a professional woman who is young at heart.

When I met Reilly, she was hiding in faded colors and plain clothes that had no style. Her long hair overwhelmed her petite frame. As a wife, mom, grandmother and director of accounting, she has authority, and her clothes should match that.

A few key pieces will help Reilly begin rebuilding her wardrobe with separates that look great, feel comfortable and reflect her success in life.

Casual style

For one look perfect for Casual Friday, I paired a studded bronze Rudy Red jacket that suited Reilly’s warm and fair complexion with a dark, silky floral Vince Camuto City Blues top and Ralph Lauren petite jeans. It is often difficult to find jeans that fit the petite figure, but these not only fit well but also give her a longer line. Michael Kors Rory wedge booties and a structured Dooney & Bourke cranberry satchel handbag show her fun side.

Dressing up with style

For a dressier look, the Rudy Red studded metallic jacket and silky floral Vince Camuto City Blues top complement a fitted, faux leather Sophie Max pencil skirt that showed off Reilly’s fabulous legs. Pointed Nine West leather pumps, black hose and a red Fossil leather clutch added feminine appeal.

Hair and makeup

Varenka Schmidt of The Garden Salon trimmed Reilly’s bangs and snipped about four inches off the length. She also added lowlights to brighten Reilly’s beautiful ginger hair color and used a curling iron to add volume. She gave Reilly her first-ever eyebrow shaping, used foundation to smooth her complexion, warm golden-brown shadows to highlight her eyes, and a darker berry lipstick to add flattering color.

The reaction

Reilly bought the metallic jacket, jeans, supportive Wacoal bra and silky top to jumpstart her new style. Kudos to Varenka Schmidt, who provided the free hairstyling and makeup session that brought out Reilly’s style.

“I’m almost embarrassed now by the before pictures,” Reilly said. “Now what I’m wearing looks good, and I feel good. And it all just fits. You are wonderful. Thank you so much for such a great experience.”

This video shows how it all came together.

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