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We all know one – the woman who always (and we mean always) looks trendy and put together with great accessories, to-die-for shoes and figure-flattering pieces. We convinced three SJ fashionistas to let us in on their stylish secrets and give us a peek at their favorites for the current season.

Their go-to destination for finding fabulous fashion? The Cherry Hill Mall. We followed our style stars for a day of mall shopping and got a feel for what it takes to put together their total style package. Get ready for some hot advice you can use to define and refine your own look. SJ fashionistas, this is for you!

 

Sarah Gleeson

Shopping isn’t just a fun pastime for Sarah Gleeson – it’s actually part of her job. As a personal stylist and fashion blogger, she’s constantly searching for the perfect pieces to keep her look ahead of the curve.

“I’m lucky because I always have a valid reason to shop, and I absolutely love to shop,” she says.

Fedora, Forever 21, $12.80; jacket, Leith at Nordstrom, $74; blouse, Ace Delivery at Nordstrom, $74; skirt, Forever 21, $17.80; bracelet, Forever 21, $2.99; clutch, Brighton Collectibles, $130; shoes, Tildon at Nordstrom, $69.95

Fedora, Forever 21, $12.80; jacket, Leith at Nordstrom, $74; blouse, Ace Delivery at Nordstrom, $74; skirt, Forever 21, $17.80; bracelet, Forever 21, $2.99; clutch, Brighton Collectibles, $130; shoes, Tildon at Nordstrom, $69.95

This spring, the fashion-forward Collingswood resident has found herself mixing unexpected patterns to reflect her one-of-a-kind style. “I love to put on something tough, like a military-inspired jacket, with something soft, like a lacy skirt. It looks feminine and sweet, but with a bit of an edge,” she says.

Though plenty of stores like GUESS by Marciano, Banana Republic and Forever 21 are full of trendy prints ranging from floral to tribal, “many women are afraid to mix patterns because they’re afraid they don’t go together,” says Gleeson. “The trick to making it work is finding pieces in a similar color palette. Blue polka dots can look amazing with blue stripes, for example.”

Gleeson also isn’t afraid to make a memorable outfit with unexpected pairings to. That may mean putting on a graphic T-shirt with a floaty tulle skirt, or layering a chunky sweater over a formal dress.

“Sequins are the perfect example,” she says. “They’re really popular right now, but so many people think they’re only for nighttime. I love wearing them in the daytime – it’s unexpected, and when the sunlight catches them, they’re beautiful.

“Too many women buy beautiful things only to leave them in their closet,” she says. “I’m a firm believer that if you love a piece of clothing, you can make it work as part of your everyday wardrobe. You just have to be willing to be a little daring and maybe step outside your comfort zone. But mainly you just have to have fun with your clothes.”

 

Tamirra Williams

Tamirra Williams spends a lot of time running from appointment to appointment, but she never leaves home without first putting on a terrific pair of shoes.

“My style is definitely centered around shoes – I think they’re the perfect way to take any outfit from drab to fabulous,” says Williams, a Williamstown resident who is the vice president of adult residential services for the SJ nonprofit Twin Oaks and the mother of an active 7-year-old boy. “You could say I’m a shoe fanatic.”

Dress, White House | Black Market, $170; jacket, McGinn at Nordstrom, $320; shoes, Sam Edelman at Nordstrom, $194.95; earrings, Forever 21, $4.80; planner, Brighton Collectibles, $179

Dress, White House | Black Market, $170; jacket, McGinn at Nordstrom, $320; shoes, Sam Edelman at Nordstrom, $194.95; earrings, Forever 21, $4.80; planner, Brighton Collectibles, $179

Being the shoe lover she is, Williams says she has a hard time picking her favorite trend of the season. “I find myself gravitating toward shoes with bold colors and playful patterns, though. Greens and blues are big this spring, and I’m loving the coral color that’s popular. I’ve also seen some great lace detail on heels at several stores.”

And whether you like your shoes high or low, flashy or subdued, Williams insists there’s at least one trend that everyone can enjoy flaunting this season. “I personally love the tall, strappy heels that are in stores like BCBGMAXAZRIA and Nordstrom, but they’re not for every woman,” she says.

Those who prefer lower-heeled styles will find an assortment of wedges and shorter sandals in mall hot spots that include White House | Black Market and COACH. “What’s great about those styles,” she says, “is that you can look professional wearing them with a dress at work, or you can pair them with jeans for a more laid-back look.”

Williams says you can always opt for a pastel shade – think mint green or pale pink – if the more vibrant, neon-inspired hues that are also hot this season aren’t your thing. “Apricot is a great color to mix and match because it looks good with so many other colors.”

No matter your style, Williams insists “a great shoe can help your outfit look put together and fashionable. Don’t be afraid to be daring and try something new – you never know how shoes in a different style or bold color can transform your entire look.”

 

Tinamarie Dorfner

For Tinamarie Dorfner, fashion is all about self-expression.

Blouse, Michael Kors, $79.50; pants, Michael Kors, $89.50; jacket, Caché, $148; scarf, Henri Bendel, $138; watch, COACH, $128; shoes, Calvin Klein at Macy’s, $119

Blouse, Michael Kors, $79.50; pants, Michael Kors, $89.50; jacket, Caché, $148; scarf, Henri Bendel, $138; watch, COACH, $128; shoes, Calvin Klein at Macy’s, $119

“I went to Catholic school growing up, so I was stuck wearing a uniform for years,” she says. “The day I graduated high school, I was so excited I could finally put together outfits that showed my style. Some of them were a little crazy, but it was great to be able to experiment.”

After spending years building her wardrobe, Dorfner has since cultivated a look that reflects her vibrant personality and is perfectly suited for her happy – though sometimes hectic – lifestyle. “I have three kids, I’m the administrator for a medical practice and I host a cooking show on the Comcast Network, so I need clothes that can go from work to my kids’ practices to a meeting,” says the Moorestown resident.

It’s a dilemma many busy women can relate to, and the solution, says Dorfner, is accessories. “The right accessories sharpen your outfit, make you look younger and show you’re fashion-forward, even if you’re wearing something that’s been in your closet for years. And what’s great is that you can spend a little or spend a lot on accessories, depending on your budget.”

This season, Dorfner is especially fond of colorful scarves and necklaces paired with everything from business suits to jeans. “You’ll see bright pinks, blues, greens and yellows in stores like Henri Bendel and Caché, and I love paring them together. You never used to see something like a yellow scarf and a blue dress together, but it works. You don’t have to be constrained – anything goes,” she says.

The key to successfully pulling off the must-have accessories of spring is to keep things simple. “You shouldn’t go overboard with too many pieces,” Dorfner advises. “Pick one accessory that adds pizzazz – if you’re wearing a fabulous scarf, keep your jewelry minimal. Accessories should add to your outfit and complement your personality, not overwhelm it.”

April 2013
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