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Makeover Magic: Washington Women Get New Looks

Three women, three wardrobes that weren’t working. It was time to call in the pros.

Beth Klein, 27
Senior associate in sponsorship development,
International Economic Development Council

Why she wanted a makeover: After shedding almost 90 pounds thanks to Weight Watchers and regular workout dates (Klein blogs about the process at bethsjourney.com), the self-described foodie, who lives in DC’s Dupont Circle, had a fabulous new body—but no idea how to clothe it.

Where we sent her: To stylist Kaarin Moore. After a rigorous editing of Klein’s closet—part of a package of services for which Moore charges $650—the duo went shopping for versatile wardrobe staples that would highlight Klein’s newly trim figure. Her favorite purchase? A $17.70 pair of dark-denim flares from Macy’s that can be worn day or night.

Closet tip: As part of the makeover, Moore’s clients conduct a time assessment of how they spend their waking hours—at work, running errands, going out—and their wardrobe is built accordingly. The closet of a woman who spends 60 percent of her time at the office, for example, should have 60 percent work-appropriate options.

Shop without spending: There are ways to expand your wardrobe without dropping a lot of money. Moore took Klein to a Swapaholics clothing swap in Clarendon where she got rid of unwanted garments and found ten new pieces—including a foxy claret-red pencil skirt—all for the $15 price of admission.

After:

Want to see what really goes on in a professional closet makeover? We followed Klein and Moore through the process in this behind-the-scenes video:

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Jennie Lee, 25
Associate at MODUS

Why she wanted a makeover: Just over five feet tall with a size 32-F bra, Lee wanted a look that would elongate her small frame—and get her noticed for the right reasons at work.

Where we sent her: To Annandale stylist Margaret Lilly ($375 for a closet edit, $125 an hour for personal shopping). Lilly rid Lee’s wardrobe of too-tight tops and work shirts that gaped open at the bust. In their place? Knit scoop necks and elegantly draped sweaters.

Accessory adjustment: According to Lilly, too many accessories can overwhelm a small body. Instead of piling on jewelry, opt for delicate earrings or a solid bangle, and avoid chunky necklaces that draw attention to the bust. Punch up your look instead with concentrated pops of color in a top or a handbag.

Shoe selection: Lilly encouraged Lee to invest in pointy-toe pumps: “They continue the trouser or leg line, making you appear taller.”

Where she’d wear the first outfit shown below: To work and then out to have cocktails with girlfriends.

After:

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Kristina Lunner, 44
Senior Adviser, Leavitt Partners

Why she wanted a makeover: Until recently, Lunner was convinced that menswear-inspired suits were the only garments that would be taken seriously in the professional world. Now in a new job, she wanted to let the feminine side of her personality shine through in some fresh career clothes.

Where we sent her: To Chevy Chase DC stylist and boutique owner Julia Farr (5232 44th St., NW; 202-364-3277). Known for her fashion-forward spin on conservative, classic attire, Farr punched up Lunner’s navy and black workwear. Farr offers various levels of personal shopping; a $750 “silver” package includes a closet consultation and 5 percent off purchases at the store.

Belt it out: Sturdy statement belts are a great way to showcase a feminine silhouette while remaining office-appropriate. Farr recommends keeping belts proportional to the body and dress. The longer a skirt or torso, the wider a belt can be, but she suggests going no wider than three inches at the office.

Kicking up conservative: Color is an easy way to have fun with a more conservative wardrobe. Past-the-knee pencil skirts in rich autumnal shades—such as Lunner’s favorite new textured orange Milly skirt ($240)—will convey warmth and be taken seriously.

The verdict: “Julia balanced pushing my limits with respecting my comfort zones,” says Lunner. “I look sexy and fun while remaining understated—just where I want to be.”

After:

Makeup by Adrian Avila/Nectar Skin bar; hair by Fred Hawck and Jordan Pringle/One80 Salon.
Photographs by Stephen Voss.

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