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Learning to find your style: Tips from our local fashion expert

Holly Wright is general manager at Wears Like New, a local Consignment Boutique. She specializes in fashion merchandising and styling. Holly will be We Are Kathy’s expert in fashion and what’s trending this season.

Holly works on a window display at Wears Like New. Photo by Jenifer Veloso.

Hey! My name is Holly. I’m the general manager of a Flint consignment boutique, called Wears Like New. I’m a lover of all things fashion, music and whiskey. While working at the boutique or when someone notices what I’m wearing, I can’t help but gush about how great of a deal I got. Family members and friends have picked up on this (before I did, honestly) and have asked me to help them find an outfit for a wedding, or find some key pieces for their new job. Through those experiences, I’ve come to realize how passionate I am about helping people find their own style. I’d love to help you find yours!

Below are your key tips to find your individual style:

Here you see a few of my favorite pieces that I love pairing together -- a floral t-shirt, cardigan, scarf, comfy jeans, tassel earrings and black boots!

Finding key pieces that you love.

Jeans, t-shirts and sweaters are great examples of this. Simple pieces that show your style but can be paired with almost everything in every season. When at the store looking for key pieces give yourself the time you need to find something you truly love. Once you find that piece don’t worry that you don’t have something to go with it… yet. It’s easy to build an outfit around a key piece of clothing when you love it.

Here are some of my favorite key pieces that work with many outfits.

Visualize your complete outfit.

Before I go to bed I have an outfit in mind for the next day. I visualize what I want the outfit to look like and what pieces I want to put together. That helps you play with new ideas. Browse Pinterest or notice what your friends are putting together. Give them a peek of your closet and ask for advice!

Some people might be afraid to try something new because it’s stressful first thing in the morning. Visualizing it ahead of time gives you the time and the freedom to really play with the items in your closet. Go ahead and get crazy!

This is a fun example from my own closet of how I mix patterns. It has plaid, floral and stripes! Bonus, all these items were found resale!

Learn how to mix and match.

Step one is to find the color palette that works best for you. Jewel tones -- burgundy, forest green, mustard -- fit most skin tones. If you aren’t sure what your palette is, you can check Pinterest to see what colors are best for your skin tone.

Pattern mixing is a big thing right now, so don’t be shy about mixing bold florals, stripes and plaids. If you’re going to do a bold print on print, make sure you also have other clothing items that are more plain and simple to balance it out. You can also mix textures! There’s no limits anymore. Things that used to be no-nos in the past are fair game now! So go ahead and wear your carmel belt with black shoes or mix your silver and gold jewelry!

Think outside the box and dare to try something new

I have been looking at outfits for months that include leather pants. I thought “I won’t wear those,” “How will I find things to go with that?” “Is it worth me spending the money?” But I found how to make them work for me and I’m so excited to add them to my wardrobe. Find that special piece that you’ve been dying to try and make it work with your style. It will be worth it!

The left two photos were my inspirations for how I could create an outfit around leather pants. The right is how I brought it to life!

Find stores that match your style

Example for myself is American Eagle jeans. I know the exact fit and style that fits me and I just stick with it. H&M is a huge go-to for me when it comes to simple staple items like sweaters. Obviously I shop a lot at Wears Like New, because we get those styles in that I love and I’m able to get them at a bargain!

Shop around! Try lots of things on and find the fit that fits your body the best and makes you feel confident. For example, I wear high-rise jeans because it elongates my torso, which is especially helpful since I’m on the shorter side. Don’t be afraid to go into stores you wouldn’t normally think of. The only way to know what works is to try lots of options! A great way to find a lot of different brands and styles in one place is to try retail shops.

Another avenue to try is the many personal stylist subscriptions like Stitch Fix. This is a great way to have a personal stylist help you try new looks and think outside of the box.

Learn how to shop for the styles you love for less

Like I mentioned above retail shops and boutiques are a great way to try on many different styles all in one place. If you are ever looking for a specific outfit or if you have a special event or date you don’t know how to style for, I can help you at Wears Like New. Come on in and I can help you find the perfect style that fits your body type!

Look up styles online that you love and then look around retail shops to find that style at a more affordable price. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t find it the first time around. Keep looking for things you love. It pays off in the end. There are also great apps that help you find good deals. A few I love are Poshmark and Mercari.

I love these shoes! The Free People Royale Flats on the left retail for $198. I was able to find the ones on the right at Target for $30!

Rotate your closet

I recommend taking the time on a regular basis to look through your closet to see what you are wearing and what you are not wearing. This is important because styles are often ever-changing. There are going to be new things I want to try, so to better afford those new looks I always rotating items out. This is another reason why consignment shops help your style. You can talk your old looks and sell them to make more room in your budget for new items. Outside of brick-and-mortar shops you can also sell items on Poshmark and ThreadUp.

If you haven’t worn an item in the last two or three months, it might be time to let it go, unless it’s a seasonal item or something you wear on special occasions. I’m not saying to get rid of your favorite little black dress.

Finding your style is important and fun! Let me know what questions have by leaving a comment here or sending an email to

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