“If I were going to buy just one thing…”

Every major fashion season I will inevitably be asked the same question – by both clients and friends alike. “If I were going to buy just one thing, what should it be to update my wardrobe?” It’s a tall order when I have never worked in someone’s closet or know their style parameters, but I get the gist of the question. We want to find ways to add value without starting over at the launch of a new season. Staying up to speed with fashion should never be the goal but learning how to introduce strategic elements will keep us feeling as though we are part of the conversation.

I know plenty of women who are happily one season behind. It’s their comfort zone. They actually relish in knowing they are late to the game and can still find a seat in the arena. Last year the tweed blazer was on most “must have” lists. So if you didn’t get one, it’s still relevant and a great way to swap out your denim jacket with an alternative third piece (…you do have a denim jacket?)

For those of you who feel you are pretty up to speed and want to know a few of the things I have my eye on for fall, here are five pieces from our local boutiques that will add impact and be useful with things you already own…


The Georgia Belt from Lizzie Fortunato comes in two sizes. Take note it’s a waist belt to be worn over shirts, sweaters and dresses. Look and see if you have a simple black dress in your closet and then bring it in to try on with one of the Georgia belts. Just an idea to reboot that LBD everyone needs in their wardrobe.

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If there’s a reason to get a great boot in rotation this fall, the Landry is my pick. The block heel, although high, is comfortable and stylish. It will go under the leg of that wide leg black pant you got last year or you can also wear it with the next pick – the wide leg denim.

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Yes, denim styles have finally invited something other than skinnies into the mix. It was a long time coming but if you haven’t added something other than a skinny, this is the way to add a lot of impact with one denim addition. The Maya is worth trying on and it helps to wear these with a heel. Proportion says that wider pants will shorten us – which is true – but our proportions and what our eye adjusts too is always evolving with fashion. When you try wide leg denim on, slip into a heel to get your best read.


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Another hot print for fall is python. We heard how it was coming since the fall fashion shows. Now it’s here and the predictions were accurate. Finding a way to include a python print will immediately amp up your style game. I love the warmer brown tones offered here with the top from Nanushka.


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And finally, the skirt. There are so many fabulous skirts offered this fall. I encourage you to find one you like and leave yourself open to the possibilities. When I’m creating outfits in women’s wardrobes, I can make more use out of a skirt than most dresses. Value engineer your tops and jackets by adding a great skirt. One other tip – don’t let skirts dictate whether they can be worn dressy or casual. This Vince skirt could be worn casually with a t-shirt and denim jacket or a pair of heels and a silk blouse.


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  • The latest from Alicia
Alicia was born and raised in Alexandria, and married a local boy. She is happily married and the mother of two amazing children and one adorable and terribly smart border terrier named Dixie. Alicia has always known she was a creative. She collected editions of Vogue from junior high on and has always loved clothing and design. She studied interior design at VCU and parlayed that degree into commercial interior design, the web design, and ultimately found herself managing a local boutique and serving as a stylist to many Alexandrian women. She now has a successful full-time styling business, The Tulle Box, and makes it her business to make her clients feel great about themselves and the way they look.

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