As a personal stylist, it’s always about giving my clients the most bang for their buck. When we purchase something new, it has to make sense for your life and with the clothing that you already have in your wardrobe. It has to be flattering, fit well and make you feel good. But, we also have to be able to to work it in a number of different ways. Not that every single piece in your closet needs to be mixed and matched to within an inch of its life; there will be those special items that may not work in daily life, but just make you feel happy or sexy or pretty when you put them on. By in large, though, the goal is to make your closet a streamlined, well-oiled machine of many different outfits based on several key pieces.

Enter my latest fall purchase.

This cheetah-print cardigan sweater was on my fall wish list. Animal print is one of the most accessible and versatile trends this season — it works for women of different age groups with varied personalities, lifestyles and body types {and yes, this sweater is available in plus sizes}. Done wrong, though, animal print can be brassy and/or aging. What I liked about this piece is the classic, ladylike silhouette of the crewneck cardigan, but with the edgier animal print.

I just finished working on a piece for Bethesda Magazine’s fashion blog that shows how to style an investment piece three ways {stay tuned to find out what that piece is}. So I was inspired to do something similar with my recent fall purchase. The price on this particular sweater was in my budget ($99 originally but now $69.99 on the Lucky Brand website!), and I knew I could create many different outfits with it using clothing already in my closet {no new purchases!}. But, I figured I’d up the ante and instead of working it three different ways, I’d do five: Casual Mom, Business Chic, Night Out, Brunch, and Anytime, Anywhere. The last one will be challenging because I’ll look to create an outfit that you can wear out to dinner, running around with your kids, or shopping with your girlfriends.

So, the first look is something I wore today — with a chill in the air — to walk my kids to the bus stop. I am home with my youngest today who is 1 1/2 so the fact that the cardigan is machine washable? Necessity.

Stay tuned for more looks during the next couple of weeks!

Where to buy:
Lucky Brand Cheetah-Print Cardigan, $99 available here and here; J Brand midrise skinny jeans, $169 available here; Frye Engineer 8R in sand,$228 available here; Old Navy vintage style vneck tee in grey, $7.99 available here; J. Crew linen scarf, old, similar here.