It’s New Year’s Eve!  I have spent the morning reading and reviewing everyone’s 2016 roundups on blogs, news sites, Facebook and more. Clearly, it’s time for me to snap to it and show some gratitude!

Professionally, it’s been a banner year.  DC Style Factory has been featured in both local and national news outlets. We have produced twice as many style workshops (here and here and here and here and here twice! )  than we did last year. We have developed new partnerships with local businesses and renewed old relationships  that have helped us meet and work with more clients. We pushed our personal limits, working in TV and video.

Whew! It’s hard to believe all that happened!

Still, the heart and soul of our business are our clients. This past year, we have served more men and women in the DC metro area (and beyond!) than ever. Here is a quick highlight reel of our clients this past year.

Stay-At-Home Mom: A Journey From Bootcut to Straightleg

Earlier this year, Marisa Gonzalez worked with a stay-at-home mom who had gotten stuck in a rut of faded bootcut jeans and solid t-shirts. She desperately wanted an easy look for everyday AND for date nights that would feel more “put together.” Her daily life revolves around taking care of her two school-age children, so comfort and machine-washability were key components for her new look. Marisa got to work and added pieces that pushed her ever so slightly out of her comfort zone. It’s important to remember that working on your personal style is  a process. We don’t change you overnight into something you are not. We take steps that help you slowly build your wardrobe and get to where you want to be style-wise.

“I learned that one simple change – such as a pant leg style, a slightly shortened hem, or a different shoe – can completely transform an outfit, make it more polished and take it up a notch. This especially applies to details I normally wouldn’t have considered, such as straight leg jeans instead of my usual bootcut jeans. Marisa opened my eyes to so many tweaks that infinitely upgraded my look – ones I never would’ve considered without her assistance!”

Working Mom: The Life-Changing Art of Uniform Dressing

When my longtime client, Renata Briggman, called me this past summer, she had had it. With two small children and a demanding full-time job, she was ready for a major change. Over the years, I had worked with Renata on her wedding, her personal style and more. This time, she came to me wanting to work on her wardrobe not for spring, summer, fall or winter…but for her life. Renata didn’t want more options.  She wanted to cut out the daily decision-making required to get dressed each day by developing a style uniform. We talked Steve Jobs, Michael Kors, Fran Leibowitz and the message she was looking to convey about herself on a daily basis.  Creating a style uniform — wearing basically the same thing everyday — isn’t as easy as it looks. You want a look that feels put-together and stylish, but not so memorable that people are thinking “Oh, she is wearing that again.” You want the look to feel polished, but you also want it to become the background.

“I am loving my style uniform! It has been the most life-changing aspect of my life this past year.  I can’t believe how much time I have saved, and how it is completely altered my life.”

Fitness Fanatic: Can Workout Leggings be Styled Up?

When I first started DC Style Factory, all of my friends were subjected to my styling trials. Now, when I work with a friend, it truly is a treat! My pal Pam — who I have styled in the past — called me last spring with a new challenge.  She is a mom of  three who works part-time from home, and she was determined to figure out a way to go from the gym to the rest of her day without having to make a complete change. By adding a few key items to her wardrobe, we were able to subtly transition her every day look from “gym rat” to “street style!”  This was one of four looks we created during a shopping trip. She keeps her leggings and sports tank on and layers a stripe tunic and sleeveless cargo jacket to complete the look. Quick shoe change and, voila, she is ready to get on with the rest of her day without feeling like she lives endless days in gym gear.

Boss Lady: The Rule of Three 

I have worked with Elizabeth Fitzsimmons for more than a year now. As Deputy Secretary with Secretary of State John Kerry, she embodies Washington, DC style. When I started working with Elizabeth, we created a high-level professional look that embodied her love of bold patterns and jewelry. To maintain this look, we gave her some real-world style tools that would help her get ready quickly in the morning. Enter the Rule of Three. This is a general style rule that encourages people to incorporate a third element to “finish” an outfit. This could be a jacket, a great necklace, a scarf, etc.  Instead of just a top and bottom, incorporate a third element to pull it together and make it an outfit. Elizabeth has taken this style lesson to heart. She documents all her fantastic looks on Instagram — always highlighting her “third piece!”

Thank you to all our beautiful clients for a fantastic year of closet work, shopping and styling. We love all of you, and have been honored to have been a part of your life transitions. . .big and small. We look forward to working with you in 2017!