As the weather and landscape changes, so must our wardrobe. Even though September can still be hot and sticky, the time has come to begin planning your transition from summer clothes to fall clothes.

Wardrobe transitioning doesn’t entail an entire shopping spree. The transition is more about working with what you already have to create a new look and different comfort level. Adding layers to your attire will slightly alter your look from summer- to fall-wear, and ensure you’re comfortable in the lower temperatures.

There are two crucial steps involved in a summer-to-fall wardrobe transition: (1) Clearing the clutter / bringing out fall clothes and (2) Making the change.

Step One: Clearing the Clutter / Bringing Out Fall Clothes

It’s time to fight through the cobwebs of your crawl space and pull out some of those plastic containers holding your fall clothes. Once you’ve dodged the dust and spiders, it’s time to sift through your fall clothes. Look for light jackets, cardigans, sweaters, scarves, pants, and long-sleeve shirts. While you’re sifting, take note of clothes you know you haven’t worn in the last year or two and place them in a separate pile—I’ll touch more on the purpose of this pile later on.

Now that you have your selection of light jackets, cardigans, sweaters, scarves, pants, and long-sleeve shirts, sift through your summer clothes to see what will work with a cover up and what won’t. Usually, dresses and skirts that are knee length or longer can be worn in the fall, but anything shorter you might be too cold—so put away your shorter skirts and dresses to make room for fall items. Shorts should also be placed in storage.

NOTE: While sifting through your summer clothes, place items you didn’t wear this summer or last summer in the same pile you placed unworn fall clothes.  

Now, you should have several pairs of light jackets, cardigans, sweaters, scarves, pants, long-sleeve shirts, knee length—or longer—dresses and skirts, camisoles, tanks, and blouses to mix and match for fall. All other items should be placed back in storage for next spring.

Step Two: Making the Change:

Cropped / fitted jackets go perfectly with tanks, blouses, dresses, and skirts to achieve a new fall look and hold in more warmth. If you don’t have a cropped / fitted jacket, you might find it highly beneficial to purchase one. Because they are so versatile, cropped / fitted jackets are a fall must-have. I suggest going for neutral colored jackets that can be worn with a variety of colors and shirt styles. Navy, black, white, and tan are perfect for mixing and matching.

If the weather is still too warm for a cropped / fitted jacket, try wearing a light scarf, cropped sweater, or cardigan to accent your outfit and inject a little fall style. Light scarves, cropped sweaters, and cardigans have the miraculous ability to instantly transform a summer outfit into a fall outfit—making it appear as though you bought a whole new fall wardrobe.


Another fall staple is the pencil skirt. Because of their versatility, pencil skirts can be worn with a variety of different tops, jewelry, and accessories. Enhance your fall image with a sleek, simple, and sophisticated pencil skirt, sure to give you the confidence and effortless style you’ve been looking for.


As for the pile you placed all of your fall and summer rejects in, this is going to Goodwill. Don’t hold back—you’ll feel much more organized without it. I promise.   

If you need help finding the perfect fall clothes for your personal style or need some fall style tips, let Charleston Style Concierge be your personal shopper. You’ll come out with clothes that are comfortable, sophisticated, and fit your individual personality. Charleston Style Concierge is dedicated to helping men and women feel more confident by developing a unique personal style. Contact us  today at 843.323.2466.    

As you build your work wardrobe, it is important to think about which pieces you need to invest in, and which pieces you can save on. Investment pieces for work are a great suit, jacket, dress, classic trouser, and classic skirt. You can save and be more budget friendly with blouses, shoes, and accessories.


Your investment pieces are the ones that are:


  1. The highest quality you can afford.
  2. Wearable for at least three seasons of each year.
  3. Compatible with many other pieces in your present and future wadrobe.
  4. Timeless in style.


If you remember these parameters you will start to build your core wardrobe. The investment pieces are basics that you should spend most of your clothing budget on.


“The basic wardrobe is the core of any fashion scheme, and it is hard to be consistently well dressed unless some all-over plan built around such a core is used. The items in the basic wardrobe…are the really good things you buy to wear for a long time and to combine with other things that may be more frivolous and of the moment.”


-Todd Lyon

When I started Charleston Style Concierge, there were some who wondered what the benefit was to helping people “find style.” Being concerned about having great style seemed shallow and only relevant to people of celebrity status. In some ways, style and fashion can be vain or shallow.


But I believe that your personal style sends a message to the world about who you are and what you stand for. Every day you interact with many people, only some of whom you actually talk to. The majority of people you come into contact with are forced to form judgments about you from just your image. 55% of the image you portray comes from your appearance alone. This means what you wear and the style you create really does matter. I encourage you to take some time to think about the image you put out into the world. What does your style say about you?



5 Ways to Create a Style That Enhances Your Image


  1. You should choose clothing based on quality instead of quantity.
  2. Your personal style should send a message about who you are.
  3. You should only wear clothing that makes you feel confident.
  4. Your clothing must fit properly to portray a positive image.
  5. Your style should reflect who you are today, not who you once were.

Being realistic about your lifestyle is one of the most important elements when creating a versatile wardrobe. Many of us buy clothing that we love, but that won’t work for our lifestyle. The result: gorgeous pieces that spend more time hanging in the closet than being worn and enjoyed. For instance, if you spend most of your time each week at a jean-free workplace, do you really need 50 pairs of jeans? No.


This is why it’s important to take inventory of your lifestyle needs.


Examining your lifestyle simply requires you to pay attention.


Yes, all you need to do is pay attention. Then, take inventory of your style needs with your lifestyle needs in mind.


I suggest keeping a notepad and pen near your closet or the area where you regularly dress. When you are getting dressed, keep the following questions in mind, and write down what you discover.


·        On a typical day, where are you going and what are you doing? And what percentage of time is spent doing those things? Do you work a 60-hour-week corporate job? Do you divide your time between a part-time job and attending your children’s activities and games?   


·        Where are you going when you have problems with your wardrobe and become frustrated if you have nothing to wear? Is it when you’re getting ready for work, for a dinner party, for lunch with friends, to your son’s soccer game?


·        When you’re getting dressed, where do you feel the most challenged? What are you lacking? Do you have plenty of shoes for the office, but nothing to wear for a night on the town? Are you lacking blouses and shirts to make more than one outfit with your dress slacks?


Writing down your answers will show you your wardrobe needs and challenges. This understanding is crucial when building a versatile wardrobe.


This is an excerpt from my latest style guide, 5 Steps to a Stress-Free and Versatile Wardrobe.  To read more from this great guide sign up for our mailing list and download 5 Steps to a Stress-Free and Versatile Wardrobe for F*R*E*E.

No, a closet edit is the foundation to great style and serves as an educational tool.  The fact that your closet is neat and tidy when you finish is an extra bonus.  Editing your closet regularly is the key component to making your clothing function for you and your lifestyle.  You should edit your closet on a seasonal basis.  By working seasonally, you will find items you forgot you had, think of new ways to wear what you already own, and keep your closet neat and organized.

A closet edit can be done on your own, or with a professional.  A professional stylist will help you learn the best way to dress your body and is instrumental in making you feel put together and confident every time you walk out the door.  No matter if you are doing an edit on your own or with a stylist here are a few tips to get the greatest benefit out of your closet.


FACT:  We wear 20% of our wardrobe 80% of the time.


That fact makes it clear why so many of us stand in their closet staring at a sea of clothes wondering why they have nothing to wear.  You do not have to be part of that fact.  Set a goal to develop a wardrobe that meets your style goals and functions for you. 


Ask yourself a few questions about your lifestyle.  On a typical day, where are you going?  What are you doing?  What percentage of time is spent doing those things?  Which of those activities cause you the most stress while getting dressed?  Your answers will uncover your wardrobe needs and challenges.  For instance, if the largest percentage of your time is spent in a jean-free workplace, do you really need 50 pairs of jeans?


Begin by focusing on one category within your wardrobe.  I typically recommend pants or bottoms to my clients because most people have fewer bottoms than tops.  Bottoms are important basics that will be used over and over to make different outfits.  Start wherever you like and examine each piece of clothing.  Does it fit?  Don’t know?  Try it on.  Have you worn it recently?  Does it fit with the categories you determined for your lifestyle?  Does it meet your style goals?  I realize this is a lot of questions to ask about one little piece of clothing, but it is necessary to create a fashionable wardrobe that functions for you.


As you work through your wardrobe create three piles; give-away, throw-away, and to be repaired.  Make notes as you edit your closet to help you determine where you may have wardrobe holes, and what pieces you may be missing to complete your style goals.  Continue working through your entire closet until you have given each piece proper attention and put it back into the closet in an orderly fashion. 


Now sit back and reap the rewards of a job well done.  Getting dressed is now easier because you know what you have, where it is, and how it fits.  Take your closet edit notes with you on your next shopping trip.  Use those notes to make smart shopping choices that can be incorporated into your existing wardrobe and lifestyle.


Find a time to edit your closet.  Be honest, be creative with new outfits, and have fun!  For more information about editing your closet, or to learn more about hiring a professional to assist you, contact the Charleston Style Concierge.

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It is hard to explain why Lee is so brilliant at what she does because it is almost like magic. She pierces through your personality and reflects who you are in what you wear. She does not just pick out great clothes – she picks an outwardly appearance that creates a comfort zone while also allowing the world to see the real you.

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Working with Lee has dramatically increased my revenue, not because of what I’m wearing but because of how I show up when I am dressed like my future self.

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When I reflect on who I was before working with Lee, I see that everything about me was a muted version of who I am today. And thanks to Lee’s incredible gift, I’m me. I now show up every single day: as the thought-leader Lee helped me dress to become (and be).

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Lee had a surprising way about her that uncovered my deeper self, my reason for being, and encoded it onto my wardrobe like a symbol—a moment-by-moment reminder of who I am, and what I’m here to do. Her brilliance crept up on me; I didn’t realize it was her behind the changes in my life until months afterwards. Now, I am able to approach everything I do from a place of power.

Jonathan Sparks, Esq. Sparks Law

Lee brings to life a vision bigger than I imagined. I’ve had the pleasure of working with her on my personal brand, photo shoot strategy, and the brand experience of events for my non-profit. Through each piece she’s helped me grow as a leader and an organization. I love having her on my team.

Alyx Porter Umphrey MD, ElevateMed

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