This is an Allison Bornstein fan account now…
If you’ve scrolled through one of my social media channels for even one-second over the past three months, you will know that I have become mildly obsessed with Allison Bornstein and everything that she does. A celebrity Stylist (think Katie Holmes in the KHAITE knitted bra and cardigan combo!!!), who also shares her styling tips with the masses – I lap up everything that she puts out. It’s practical, it’s relatable and even just though absorbing her content through osmosis daily, it’s helped with my own personal style immensely. There was only one thing left to do. Book in a personal styling session with her. The sessions can be focused on whatever you want – perhaps you need help to clear-out your wardrobe and define your style, or maybe you’re going away and want a holiday capsule? Or you’re getting married and want Allison to help you pick out your outfits for a weekend of festivities? Or like me, you have some items that you invested in but just don’t seem to be able to make work. Whatever your need, she just asks that you come prepared with some questions. And I came with questions by the bucketload! In one hour we created 11 ‘looks’ and I picked up so much more advice along the way…
Ok here are the basics. I paid for the 1 hour long FaceTime styling session with links (where she’ll send a personalised email after the call with recommendations of things that could fit well in your wardrobe) – her top package, which comes in at just under £300, but prices start from £65. It’s an investment piece, you know? But what we packed into an hour?! INCREDIBLE. It’s a FaceTime call so you’re both on video but I’m here to tell you that it was NOT AWKWARD. I am someone who Googles unknown numbers as they are ringing me as I am that averse to picking up the phone, but Allison is just as warm and friendly as her videos and the whole thing felt super comfortable – like you’re in the changing rooms and shopping with your friend. Oh and your room will end up a complete tip, but that’s part of the fun.
So what did I learn about my style and the pieces I bought for show-and-tell – let me tell you…
Tie colours together. I was really struggling to style my Manolo Blahnik Ballerimu Pointed Toe Mules* that I bought secondhand. They just felt a bit too pointy and like they drew attention away from anything I wore it with. Allison said they just needed to be grounded with something else black in the outfit – blue jeans, a black t-shirt and a black bag is an easy look that most of us can throw together and that worked really well. Then we challenged ourselves a bit more by going for a contrasting colour and wearing a cream skirt with a white tank and just adding a black bag for that ‘grounding’ effect. The same theory went for my Andersons’s Belt in Tan*. Whenever I wore it I always ended up taking it off and going back to my black one instead. So Allison suggested again to pair it with something brown elsewhere in my outfit. It turned out that it was the perfect thing to wear with my MANGO Knitted Vest* and looked waaaay better than the black belt would have. This is one of those really easy tips to keep in mind and definitely something I’ve felt myself doing when I’ve been picking out my outfit in the morning.
Sometimes you’ve just got to sell it. I had a Raey Camisole* that again I’d bought preloved that I just couldn’t make work for me. Allison’s first port of call is to always try it on with what you wear the most which is for me – jeans – OF COURSE. I put it on and even from just my stance we quickly concluded that it just wasn’t working. The straps were too short and the whole thing just didn’t sit right on my body. Instead of wasting time I put it on my Vinted pile and cut my loses. Sometimes you’ve just got to let go.
Wear it with your ‘regulars’. Like I mentioned, Allison’s first tip if you’re struggling with a particular item in your wardrobe is to throw it on with what you wear the most often. Aka, the ‘regulars’ in your wardrobe. We did this with every single piece and nine times out of ten, with maybe a little tweaking, we made it work. It can be that easy. With three out of the four items that I asked Allison about, that was all it took. We might have rolled a sleeve, switched up a bag, or added a layer – but the base of the look was what I’d usually wear, meaning that I felt really comfortable in it.
Switch up the bag. I’m a sucker for sticking with a bag. I mean just look at my Whering App and see that my most worn item in my wardrobe BY A MILE is my Loewe Small Puzzle Bag*. At the moment I’m wearing my newly purchased St Agni Bagu Woven Bag* the most, but Allison switched up my bags way more than I would and they really have the ability to completely change the whole vibe. Of course she didn’t know every single item in my wardrobe, but she could see my bags behind me so would say ‘Why not try that rope bag you have?’ or ‘Have you got a black leather bag you could wear with that?’. It’s all about utilising what you already have and I LOVE that.
Layer it up. If you’ve watched Allison’s videos before, you’ll know that she’s all about the layering. But it’s something that I often forget when dressing myself. Quite often during our session she’d ask if I had a plain white shirt to put on over the top of something, or if I’d tried wearing an oversized blazer over my SIR Waistcoat*. The end result? Perfectly balanced outfits that are also practical for transitioning into autumn too. So if your outfit just isn’t looking right, see if you can add a layer in.
My three words. You think I was going to have an hour session with the Three Word Queen and not mine her wonderful brain for my own three words? HA! During the session Allison added ‘Refined’ and ‘Organic’ into the mix to describe the elevated and groomed feel I like to have to my outfits, but also that relaxed fit and textured look too. They were perfect. We emailed after and I asked about my third word, which she felt needed to be harder and juxtapose the other two, so we settled for ‘Tailored’ which I really feel adds in that structured element. I can literally see the moodboard in my head for these three words and feel like my wardrobe just fits it so bloomin’ well. It’s me!
Sometimes you need to re-brand. I have a LVIR Tailored Linen Shirt* that I had tried to make work multiple times, but kept failing. It has a lot of volume in the shoulders, which just isn’t really for me. Instead of adding it to the ‘to sell’ pile, we tried out some things. In fact Allison said before I even put it on to put a white vest top on underneath, so she obviously had the vision already! In the end we made it work as a rolled-up sleeve ‘shacket’. So it’s been re-branded. It’s no longer a shirt, but part of my jacket collection and I’ve found it so much easier and flattering to wear.
To see all the outfits we created together, check out my latest YouTube video.
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