Fashion Cents From an Expert
Step into Cecile Blanco’s shoes, and you’ll get more than a great pair of stiletto boots―it’s a course in frugal fashion how-to.
It's that TIme of Year
Christmas is the one time of year when most women have a chance to dress up, but it’s nearly impossible to think about ourselves with all of the holiday scrambling. This year I say take time to treat yourself! And to keep things fun, I tracked down a professional stylist to share the scoop she usually saves for clients.
Cecile Blanco is the perfect person to chat up about style―her roots make her effortlessly chic. “I’m a Southern girl, too, you know,” she explains in her South of France accent. She’s also a mother, wife, and working woman whose mantra is “down-to-earth solutions for style emergencies.” It’s not just about the clothes though. Her other mantra resonates even more: “Looking your best is a great shortcut to feeling better on a bad day.”
Here she offers her specialty: one full day of shopping with a clear sense of self on a tight budget.
A Day in the Life
Cecile Blanco dashes from her Atlanta home to consult clients.
Cecile collaborates with the owner of James Madison Salon.
The stylist explains how to use eye color to guide clothing color choices.
She uses a point system to prevent overaccessorizing. Each eye-arresting feature earns a point, and you should never exceed 10 points.
Mix interesting accessories with a solid black dress for a fresh look.
After I complete a personal style assessment, she takes me on a day of dashing from boutiques to bargain stores to a hair salon. Energy bars are needed to make it through our fast-paced schedule. Cecile coaches constantly―pointing out flattering garment cuts, suggesting accessories to complement facial features, and using eye color as a guide to fabric color selections. These new shopping guidelines give me a huge confidence boost. They help me feel like I’m making expert choices. It’s fun to feel so intelligent while shopping.
Frugal Fashionista Cheat Sheet
Cost of garment = Total cost paid / anticipated number of wears
- Buy it: $100 trousers, worn 10 times = $10 per wear
- Beware: $600 evening gown, worn twice = $300 per wear
Holiday Accessories How-To
- Don’t: Wear a necklace with matching earrings, matching bracelets, and matching rings.
- Do: Show off your creativity by mixing different types of jewelry.
- Don’t: Think about wearing that holiday sweater with glitz and ornaments again.
- Do: Play with colors and incorporate red and gold into your accessories.
- Don’t: Use ornament-type earrings.
- Do: Go over the top by wearing unexpected, bold accessories that are still tasteful.
Top Five Accessories a Woman Must Own
- Quality black leather bag
- Signature necklace that makes a personality statement
- Glossy sling-back pumps that dress up any outfit
- Quality leather boots that go from office to a fun dinner
- Large cocktail ring that says “here I am!”
We end with her signature double-cheek kiss. But, alas, so much knowledge in one short day is bound to be forgotten too soon. Aha―Cecile has prepared a take-home folder with all of her best tips. The perfect ending to a perfectly fabulous day!