Alison Lumbatis is the founder of Get Your Pretty On, a style blog full of stunning, wearable looks for everything from a night out to running errands. She is also created the Style Challenges® program, which has outfit guides to help you build the perfect capsule wardrobe. I particularly love her casual everyday looks because they’re so cute and put together. During my first challenge, I was delighted by how lighthearted and supportive everyone was on the challenge discussion pages. It was really fun to see how the other women put together the challenge ideas with items from their own wardrobes. We asked her for a few of her secrets to achieving her radiant and wearable style!
SB: You’re a master of balancing pattern and color. Do you have any advice on how to build outfits that use these elements?
AL: The funny thing is, my entire closet used to be full of black, white and gray pieces! I’ve come a long way in the past few years by slowly adding more color then going bolder with patterns. My advice for building outfits is to let the color or pattern be the star of the show. You can build an entire outfit around a colorful printed scarf!
SB: How do you choose your wardrobe palette? Do you pre-plan or let your closet grow organically?
AL: My closet has grown organically through the years but mainly as a result of following my online styling program Style Challenges by Get Your Pretty On. I stick to the capsule wardrobe approach that the program teaches. Each season I create a shopping list of closet staples and seasonal trends, women can shop their closets first and then fill in the blanks at their favorite stores. After the pieces are in place, I send out a different outfit formula every day made up from pieces on the list. Each piece gets paired up in at least 4-5 different ways. Plus these outfit formulas can also be applied to other pieces in your closet. I also provide color palette guidance but it really comes down to what colors light you up and give you joy!
SB: You have lovely personal style! How do you stay fresh but consistent when shopping?
AL: Thank you! I try to only add items to my wardrobe when I need to replace one of my closet staples or when I’m freshening it up with a few fun seasonal trends. My approach is less stuff, more style. I always take a closet inventory first and then go armed with a shopping list when I enter a store. That ensures I buy only what I need and don’t get tempted.
SB: Do you prioritize style or comfort when getting dressed?
AL: I’d like to say I’m a master at balancing both! Honestly I lean more toward comfort though. My belief is that putting on a cute outfit is just as easy as slipping into yoga pants (and it can be just as comfortable too!) Stretchy skinny jeans anyone? You just have to have the right pieces in place and know how to pair them up.
SB: When trying out trends, how do you decide what to experiment with and what works for you?
AL: When it comes to trends, I go with my gut. Most of my wardrobe is made up of classic basics. I typically add 2-3 trends per season to freshen them up. The trends that make the cut come down to what feels like “me”, are age appropriate and have some longevity beyond just one season. I look for budget versions of trendy items and save up to invest in closet staples.
SB: What’s your strategy for finding the pieces you want in your budget?
AL: Each season, I set a budget for what I’m comfortable spending to refresh my closet. After doing several years of Style Challenges, I find that I buy less and less. Sometimes I’m only adding in a few trends. Others, I’m needing to replace a basic, like a winter coat. I always look at items on a cost per wear basis and can certainly justify spending more on something I’ll be wearing for multiple seasons. Some of my favorite places for buying trend items are J.Crew Factory and Target while I stick to Nordstrom for most of my closet staples.
If your looking for classic, no-fail outfit ideas, I recommend that you check out Alison’s Closet Staples Style Challenge for excellent advice on how mix and match classic pieces. Since it’s based on wardrobe staples, you may already have many of these pieces in your closet!