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From drab to fab: Kick start your own fashion makeover

Fashion » January is a perfect time to seek out simple, fashionable upgrades and step out of a style rut.

By Krista Nielson

Special to The Tribune

First Published Jan 11 2013 01:01 am • Last Updated May 05 2013 11:32 pm

At the start of a new year, it’s time for a new you. If you’re in a style rut, make a fashion resolution to have a fabulous, not frumpy, year. Simple style solutions will take your wardrobe from drab to fab.

If you’re in a style rut » Style is self-expression, says Natalie Watson, senior marketing manager for Fashion Place Mall, so when women feel they are in a style rut they should think about how they’d like to express themselves. Once you’ve defined your style image — consider the range from conservative to chic, urban to natural, bold to gamine — think head-to-toe starting with your hairstyle. Perhaps that’s the only change needed. Or maybe a new pair of shoes — flats, boots or heels — might kick you out of the "frumpy" category.

At a glance

Shop the shoot

Model Jennifer Ebeling, a Utah interior designer and mother of two, wears clothing and accessories in these photographs from White House Black Market at Fashion Place Mall.

More » Visit whitehouseblackmarket.com, or stores at Foothill Village and City Creek Center.

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To ease yourself out of a style rut, consider your favorite clothing items and why you love those pieces. Plan a styling trip to a mall and make a goal to explore different stores and try on new looks. Only purchase pieces that really stand out, represent how you want to express yourself, and make you look and feel fabulous.

A casual fashion makeover » Great style can be simple, chic and comfy. There are many casual options these days, so rather than wearing a yoga or sweat pant, consider a ponte knit legging, which is chic and comfortable and still looks casual, suggests SeAnne Mishenko, manager of White House Black Market at Fashion Place. Ponte is a tightly woven knit fabric that’s firm and holds its shape, doesn’t wrinkle, and is flexible and soft.

Or instead of a sweatshirt, try a cardigan or cashmere sweater. Instead of a basic T-shirt, swap for a fitted women’s T-shirt with 3/4-length sleeves. Add accessories, such as a collar necklace, a mixture of silver and gold bracelets, or a pop of color with shoes or a scarf. "The look remains casual; however, by adding such elements, the outfit come across effortless and chic," Watson says.

Fashion faux pas » Wearing the wrong size or ill-fitting clothes is the biggest style mistake women make, Watson and Mishenko say. Women often wear baggy clothes hoping to look thinner, but can end up looking sloppy and older. Similarly, clothes that are too tight make women look heavier and shapeless rather than thin and sleek.

When trying on clothes, bring a friend or relative who will offer an honest opinion. Women are often amazed at how flattering it can be to wear clothing a size up or down. White House Black Market offers a complimentary fitting with a personal stylist who will fit you in proper sizes, Mishenko suggests.

Because currency matters » Staying up-to-date on current style trends is as easy as a trip to the mall. Check out the store window displays while taking the kids for a walk, Mishenko says. Her store’s website — whitehouseblackmarket.com — has look books and styling tips, and style guides are often provided at FashionPlace.com. Fashion magazines and blogs can also provide style ideas.

Jennifer Ebeling, interior designer and mother of two, describes her style as tailored and classic. She prefers timeless pieces and updates her wardrobe with splashes of color and trendy accessories.

Not all fashion trends are meant for everyone, Watson says. Some trends come and go very quickly, so concentrate on items that define you and your personal style. Remix your current wardrobe pieces and add new elements as needed.

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