Thinking Outside The Blue Jean Box

Finding ways to add value by increasing the number of outfits in a woman’s closet is an ongoing goal within my business. Clients find they save money and acquire less when they implement my “Least Common Denominator for the Maximum Number of Looks” procedure in their wardrobe. Basically, my party trick is to analyze a wardrobe and uncover what singular item can be added to create an exponential number of looks. Often, women keep purchasing the same types of pieces and can’t figure out why they are feeling bored so quickly with their purchases. In the name of ease and level of comfort when shopping, sticking to the familiar satisfies as a quick fix, but doesn’t necessarily satisfy for long. Our brains have a way of running on autopilot – which is actually to our detriment if we’re purchasing clothing and not thinking strategically.


Take A Break From Daily Denim

How many of you think of purchasing a new pair of denim when a new season rolls around? It’s ok – I’m guilty of the same thing. The truth of the matter is that I ended up with way too many pieces of denim and was only really wearing two or three pairs season to season. I’m about to propose to think beyond denim this fall. There’s been a wide (wink wink) turn of events with the shape of denim. Yes, wide legs are trending strong and while I can make a case to put a variety of heights and shapes of women into this new silhouette, I’d prefer to switch gears and introduce the value of one great skirt.


Tibi is one of my most favorite collections to follow lately and has been since their revamp a few years ago. Amy Smilovic blows my design mind and her Instagram is an ongoing inspiration to how I choose to dress. Staying relevant without getting fussy or caught up in trends is how many of my friends and clients aim to dress. Having explored a variety of styles over the course of my 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s, I want to find an ease of dressing that satisfies my lifestyle without compromising style. I’ve found Tibi’s founder to be a great source of likemindedness.


Case in point, this is from one of her posts…
“Dear Amy, I would like to know how to dress in a way that is not average but also does not make me feel ridiculous.”


And it’s so true. None of us want to feel like we’re overly concerned with what we wear when there are much more pressing issues going on in the world. At the same time, clothing and personal style is empowering.


Smilovic’s personal Instagram outlines how to dress on a daily basis that feels interesting and not overly doctored. Amy has also explained that she designs her clothing to be worn with other designers – so important and something I can attest to as a stylist. My Tibi pieces stand the  “keep or purge” test year after year and continue to feel interesting and buildable as I cross pollinate!  She’s also incredibly transparent with how she’s built her brand and inspires up and coming designers to not be afraid of making mistakes along the way. There are numerous articles that have been written on her superwoman powers, if you want to know more.



The Dominic Skirt

Now for the secret sauce. The Dominic Skirt from Tibi’s fall collection is a hidden gem and an incredibly powerful piece to consider in your wardrobe. The problem with hidden gems is that so many women don’t know how to find the value as they do with a pair of denim. Denim is that no brainer wardrobe item that will go with all your tops and can take you from a sweatshirt and sneakers to date night or even a casual cocktail party when worn with heels. Well, the Dominic can do all this and more! I say more because I’m guessing that skirts are not a mainstay in most women’s wardrobe. Here comes the beauty of math…by adding a skirt to your wardrobe instead of another pair of denim, you not only get a new way to wear all your great tops that you already own, but the denim you already own gets a reprieve as does your usual denim uniform look. Stretching yourself into one new look will bring added value to your entire wardrobe. The breadth of interesting looks in your wardrobe is powerful and can be accomplished by one simple addition.


I’ve put together 5 looks below to show how the same tops you would normally utilize with denim can be worn with the Dominic Skirt from Tibi. It even has perfectly placed back pockets! I would wear it with a sweatshirt and Golden Goose, a message T-shirt and my favorite denim Wrangler shirt as well. Since we’re here to show you the incredible new merchandise from our local businesses, you’ll find five new tops from a variety of designers all from The Hive – proving the true power of Tibi.


and of course, the perfectly placed back pockets


  • 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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