“Sustainability in the clothing industry is not a trend – it’s a movement…”

Sustainability in the clothing industry is not a trend – it’s a movement that is set to change fashion as we know it. There’s a new generation of young designers who are answering the call to cleaning up a dirty and destructive footprint. One of my clients has a dress from an Australian designer that is made from plastic water bottles and it’s stunning! We can all make small changes that will start implementing the necessary changes that will thwart fast fashion and bring us to a place that is thoughtful without sacrificing style.

Knowledge is imperative to making good decisions. Whether I am working with a client for the first time or giving advice to women in general about how to gain control over their wardrobe, knowing what they have and where to find it makes the job easier. There’s no better time than February to take inventory of what you have which in turn will help you make better decisions as the spring deliveries start hitting the boutiques around Old Town. Identifying where you have invested and building on those ideas keeps a manageable focus on your wardrobe. The goal is to develop relationships between items season to season. As a stylist, it’s easy for me to identify the outliers in someone’s wardrobe. Those are pieces that need to be addressed strategically or eliminated. The pain of letting something go that still has the tags attached is a costly lesson and one you don’t want to repeat.

A new season is an opportunity to put a system into place. I recommend looking at the pieces you purchased last year from February through May and thinking of how to add strategic investments that will continue to create new ways to wear those assets. I often hear women say things such as, “I forgot I had this”, or “I’m not sure why I purchased this.”  Money spent without a plan is not money well spent. Below is a case study using Alexandria Stylebook selections from The Hive and The Shoe Hive from last year (you might recognize some from your own closet!) and pairing them with some of this year’s spring deliveries! I call this “Value Engineering” and implement it with every one of my clients who ask me to shop for them. While you may not have purchased the items I have highlighted, I hope it will help you start thinking about what you have so you can become your own stylist this spring!


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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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