Updating My Style

Parent Q&A

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  • How do you stay in style?

    (5 replies)

    Hi! Does anyone have suggestions for how they stay up on fashion trends? I'm a mom in my late 30s. I don't need to be on the cutting edge, but I would like to be at least current and not wearing stuff that's become embarrassingly out of date without realizing it. Are there specific Instagrams or blogs you follow?  Any suggestions on how to navigate Pinterest periodically for something like this? When I go on there I feel overwhelmed, but I can't help but feel there would be a way to use it for this purpose.  (I have tried Stitch Fix..it wasn't for me).  


    I like Redbook & Good Housekeeping. Not as square as they used to be, aimed right at middle-aged ladies such as myself, they always have a section on fashion trends.

    I like perusing pinterest with things I already own. See how other ladies are wearing them. Like this striped navy & white stretchy pencil skirt i had for a long time. I did a search on pinterest for "navy white striped skirt" and tons of ideas came up. 

    Also search "classic fashion" or "classic pieces", and you'll get some ideas to start from there. 

    Being stylish doesn't need to mean it's trendy. 

    If you are a SAHM or looking for casual clothes, check out the blog The Mom Edit. For workwear, you could check out Corporette, Corporette Moms, Cap Hill Style.

    Wow, we must be twin spirits! I've wondered the same. I like Camwimberly1 (from Southern Charm) style so I follow her and then follow the stores she gets some of her cute outfits from ( but she recently announced she is pregnant so there goes that!) I also like the website Big Blonde Hair.
    I'll be following this post for more ideas!

    OP here: Thanks everyone!  I've added all of these suggestions to my Instagram following, I'm looking forward to being inspired!  It was also a good reminder to simply follow people I have style crushes on (Victoria Beckham mostly...) hopefully that will inspire me too.

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Where do I get a makeover ?

July 2007

I sometimes watch ''What not to wear'' and ''10 years younger'' on TV and I wonder where I get a makeover just like that. It would be nice to have somebody who would know what type of clothing looks good on my body shape, what make up looks great on me, which hair syle would suit me ... etc. Where do I get a makeover like that and how much is something like that ? anon

I highly recommend Micki Turner as a personal shopper/image consultant. http://mickiturner.com/home.html. I've worked with her twice, and she's personable, experienced, has great style, works with many different shapes and types of people--and really helps us create style. Leila

In Need of a new hairstyle

March 2007

I've been looking at pictures from over 20 years and I realized that I still have the same hairstyle!! I would like something new, but don't know what would look okay with my face shape. I love the shows where a hairstylist suggests the best style for a woman's face. Can anyone recommend a hairstylist that has not only has an eye for style, but can also suggest the best style? My hair is very fine, but also wavy to slightly curly. Thanks. In Need of a hairstyle makeover

Go to John at Peter Thomas . He is great! Not only will he recommend an updated style for your face, age, lifestyle, etc. he will give you a great haircut. I have sent a few friends to him and they all came back very satisfied. Peter Thomas Hair Salon 1700 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley 843-0697

Your post did not specify a location. If Berkeley is doable for you, I highly recommend Alexandra Gibbs, owner of Elixir Salon and Spa (1599 Hopkins Street, Berkeley 510-526-1700). I have been a client of hers for over 10 years and trust her completely for both cuts and color. She has created many different looks for me over the years. I have even had strangers come up to me on the street asking me who does my hair! Diane M.

If you are looking for a new hair style designed specifically for you, your lifestyle and your face, I cannot recommend Victor Wu of Victor Wu Studio in Piedmont (510.428.2885) highly enough. He is an artist and very very attentive. He will examine how your hair falls naturally, ask you questions etc. He is a perfectionist so plan for a couple of hours--so worth it! he is a genius with color too. if you are tight on time let him know and monitor your watch. He is an artist and can get caught up and loose track of time. This is why you walk out of the studio looking like a million. michelle

Need a boost in my personal style

March 2007

Hi, I'm pregnant and couldn't be happier about it, but I'm definitely feeling the need for a boost to my personal style. I have fine, thick, and somewhat wavy hair. For years I had a short cut and a stylist I adored. Then I moved and decided to grow my hair out. Since then it's just been... well, hanging there. I need a great stylist with a flair for matching hair type, face shape, and personal style. I don't know exactly what I want done, so ideally s/he'll have a creative eye. I'm willing to pay up to around $60 or so, and I'd rather not wait for months. Recs appreciated, for a stylist you know to do great work. Rose

try john at peter thomas in berkeley. 1700 Shattuck Ave / 843-0697. he is great and has a well-trained eye for suggesting a style that fits your face shape and hair texture, and he is not afaid to tell you what will or won't work. i have sent a few friends to him and they all love him. good luck! -tami

Hi there! If you're looking for a stylist with style who takes your personality, hair type, and face shape, look no further than Mele Alberta at Jaujou Studio on Grand Ave. This woman makes cutting hair an art form! Mele LOVES working with women who have sort of let themselves go and will help you reclaim your own unique style! Mele charges $60 for a haircut and it is WELL WORTH IT! You will be pampered from start to finish. Check out the studio website at www.JauJouStudio.com or call Mele directly at (510) 387-5154

Kipp Hamilton at Maru Hair Salon in N. Bkly (Rose and Shattuck/Henry is a FABULOUS stylist. He will give you a cut that matches your face, physic etc. He's really amazing. Because of him my whole body image changed a few years ago (for the better). The shop number is 549-3610. He's also the sweetest guy you'll ever meet. June

Betsy Zamacona at Lucero Salon (College Avenue at 63rd, 510.420.8795) in Oakland next to Cole Coffee has been cutting/highlighting/styling my hair for the last 6 months & I am really happy with my hair. I moved from NYC last year and had the greatest stylist there, so it took me a while to find someone that I liked. The salon is new, but all the stylists have many years of experience. I think she charges $55 a cut (but maybe a little more), but I think its well worth that price and more. The other thing is I can usually get an appointment with less than a weeks notice. Email me is you have other questions. shauna

i love my stylist, since 1995. good price ($40), and great service. i'm still making the trip into SF to keep him, though i moved to oakland in 98. his current shop is just off 18th st, near the top where it runs into market, so parking is ok. he's on a tiny street, almost an alley, called ''hattie.'' the shop is ''shear madness ,'' and his name is steven york.(415) 621-2220. try him, you'll love him! i went through 2 pregnancies and he kept me looking good, and knew better than to let me go off the deep end once when i impulsively asked for a drastic change (oh, those pregnancy hormones, they can turn on 'ya...). happy client

Hi, I have similar way hair. I love Ruby at Eclipxe --she is very professional and hip! She is also just a sweet person. You will not be dissapointed I promise! Eclipxe Hair Salon (510) 649-9131 1922 Martin Luther King Jr Way, Berkeley Katie

Need professional hairstyle post-baby

March 2005

My third child was born six months ago today, and so, not surprisingly, my last haircut was 6 months and one day ago. I am a mess! This is a particular problem as I work at a law firm and I need to project a professional image. So, I desperately need a recommondation for a hair stylist who can not only give me a good haircut, but who can really recommend styles which would work for me. I have fine, not quite straight,med-long hair.... Tanya

Recommendations received:

  • Darin David Salon Solano
  • Eclipxe Hair Salon MLK
  • Vine Street Salon N. Berkeley

    Appearance Upgrade for Older Mom

    April 2004

    I'm an older mom with an aging appearance and exhausted features. Anyone else feel that way? So... I'd like to find someone who might assist me in coming up with a hairstyle, color combo style and whatever else could help accentuate my better features and decentuate (such a word?) the not so good ones. Is there some miracle salon that could assist me in taking this aging corner a bit more elegantly??? Please, please please, any and all ideas sought.

    My friend Kipp Hamilton, owner of the new Maru Hair Salon at Shattuck Commons on Shattuck and Rose can do what you are asking for. His number is 549-3610 Kipp will look at your hair, look at your features and work magic (well, maybe not ''magic''). He'll tell you about your hair health, how it should be cut to enhance your features if and why and how you should color it. I recently went to him for the first time.He changed my style saying that because I have a front cowlick I should have side part instead of a middle part, which I'd always had so that the cowlicky hair would enhance my face and I wouldn't be fighting with it. No one had ever told me that. His specialty is color and he is SOOOO good at it. He's very skilled....he's got a great feel for hair design and styling. I can't recommend him more highly. And he's an incredibly sweet and kind person as well. He just gave my hair a trim today and showed me (again) how to work with it. I love it and I feel so great (not too enthusiastic here!!!!) Good luck, and have fun. a younger more beautiful feeling June
    Hi. If you want a general, all over style upgrade, I'm going to suggest that you do the following: Get your hands on a copy of Trinny and Suzanna's Book: ''What not to Wear.'' They cover everything. They are honest. They use their own bodies to break down how they find the things that work best for them and minimize the parts of their bodies that they don't like. Take it with you in the store. It fits well inside your purse,but study it first before you go in to shop. Also, they have their own TV show on BBC America also called ''What Not to Wear''. They are brutally honest with their subjects but you can learn a lot. Don't be fooled by cheap imitations like The Learning Channel's lame imitation of the original. Another tip, go to Nordstroms and Nordstroms Rack. Nordstrom has several lines of their own clothing. Some are just the Nordstrom brand name. Others are called the Caslon line etc. I find their clothes fit better and cost about the same price (maybe a bit more) as something you would find at Macy's, Penny's etc but more hip.

    My younger sister is a style maven and she made my parents look pretty darn hip. I was next in line and I didn't resist too much. Once you learn the rules that work for you, you can't go wrong. P.S. Shopping like they suggest in ''What not to Wear'' is exhausting because you are putting energy/effort into your appearance. You'll be oh so thankful for the effort though Beth

    Post-partum Style Disaster

    April 2004

    I'm a 32 year old SAHM of one active toddler with several style problems to work on. Frankly, I think I look like ''poo-poo'' (as my son would say) most of the time! My hair texture changed significantly post-baby (from curly to some waves but mostly straight) and I don't know how to cut or style my hair now. All of my clothes have the requisite breastmilk/food stains and I am SO TIRED of wearing plain tees/jeans from Target or Old Navy EVERY DAY!!!

    So, 1) where can I get my hair cut and STYLED by a talented person with ideas (since I don't know what to do)? 2) where do moms in the 30's age range buy casual clothes with some style? HELP! Frumpy Mom

    Hair Stylists Recommended:
  • Hair Play SF
  • Hair Solano (2) Berk/Albany
  • Hair Tailor Montclair
  • Joseph Cozza Salon SF
  • Maru Hair Salon Berkeley
  • Panache Berkeley
  • Vine Street Salon Berkeley

    More Advice

    I feel you! I was pretty traumatized style wise after birth and now (1.5 years later) i'm getting myself back together.

    On style, here's what i suggest - supplement your wardrobe with a few ''signature'' pieces. Find a cool denim or leather jacket and stick a flower or applique on it, then you can throw it on top of your plain t and jeans or skirt. Also, try different sizes on. If you are like me, i didn't so much change sizes, but redistributed and lost weight in funny places (lost my butt, gained a pot belly? haha)but in the same size range. But since clothes fit different on my now i had to adjust. Take off the tennis shoes and find some stylish flats or something with a bit of a heel. Shoes have evolved these days and there are great, fun styles that are comfortable too. Go for color, add a pretty scarf, or earrings...

    Also, watch ''What not to wear'' on Friday nites at 10pm on The Learning Channel. It's a fun show and if you're like me and don't go out anymore, it'll entertain and educate you on easy style tips to help you look more ''pulled together.''

    For makeup, try Bare Escentuals (on 4th street in berkeley or from QVC), it's easy - you just brush it all over your face and you're covered (not like liquid foundation) and get a bronzer and dust your cheeks. Final touch is an eyebrow brush and some gloss and you're done. I do this everyday in 5 minutes or less. If you're motivated you can curl your eyelashes and use mascara. It really makes a big difference in how you look and feel. After seeing so many tired washed out faces on TV makeovers, i didn't want to become a statistic! haha

    good luck to you ! tired but stylin'

    I could have writen that post a few weeks ago! Not that I've solved my frumpy problem but at least Im working on it. I went through my wardrobe and stored/gave away everything I really shouldn't be wearing anymore. I shoped the sale racks a few higher end stores (J Jill, Nodstroms; Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek is very Child friendly and there are a lot of shi-shi stores to browse). Then I went to Ross and found a few things that I gathered to be stylish from my scouting mission at the other stores (who wants to pay $80 for a shirt that will be covered in goo the first time its worn?). Anyother key element for me was to make sure things fit properly. No hiding behind baggy clothes. Its a start. My husband has even commented on my new improved sense of style. Good luck and have fun!
    I'm a mom who likes to shop so perhaps this won't appeal to you - but I think you'll find far more stylish options by visiting some of our great local boutiques. I like Earthly Goods and especially its clearance center next door - both on Vine Street. I like Elements and Jeremy's on College in the Elmwood neighborhood. And best of all, I love Bienvenue up the street from Earthly Goods, next to Peet's on Walnut. If you browse the sale racks at these stores regularly, you'll really find some decent deals, and the merchandise will be far more interesting than what you will find at Old Navy or Target. I think a really good comfortable mom look for this spring/summer is a flowy knee- length print skirt, a 3/4 sleeve or sleeveless top, and a cute jacket in a bright color - not your basic denim. Pair that with some comfortable sandals or slides and a decent pedicure and you're a hip mama.

    Shopping with kids can be a chore I know - but I've shopped all the above with a kid or two in tow - it isn't as much fun but it can be done. Elements has toys!

    For more style ideas, pick up Lucky magazine - they run the gamut but it will give you an idea of what's currently fashionable and where to find it. Lastly, have you watched What Not To Wear?? I like the BBC version better, but the TLC - US version is great too. It will give you ideas. lucky shopper

    You are not alone! I think every mom, SAHM or otherwise, goes through a style/beauty rut from time to time - and having a busy toddler doesn't leave a lot of time to primp, preen, or plan outfits.

    As far as fashion goes, don't write off Old Navy completely - an excellent place to stock up on wardrobe foundation items such as jeans, fun T-shirts, and thongs. Why not go through your closet/dresser and chuck those things you have A)not worn in a year, B) worn so often that your friends are starting to wonder if you have anything else, and C)can no longer stand to look at or put on. See what you have left, and round out the basics at Old Navy. Amble over to Banana Republic, which ALWAYS has a sale section, and pick up a few seasonal or ''fun'' (read:dressier than a t-shirt) items that can go with your basic stuff. Good to have: capri/mid-calf length pants in denim, khaki, and black, because you can wear virtually ANY top with these! There are lots of cute skirts at Target - one in navy, by Isaac Mizrahi (mine was $21.99) is flattering to all shapes and goes with tons of tops! For a splurge, Anthropologie has great tops and a pretty big sale rack worth pawing through. Ann Taylor Loft has a lot of bright, spring, fun clothes at realy affordable prices right now - and you can even pick up a cool pair of sunglasses for about $24!!!!

    Go through your clothes and throw out the bad stuff; make a few shopping trips to see what's out there and what you want to wear (and can afford). Buy things that look good on you and make you feel good! And don't worry, Mommy - we ALL look (and feel) like poo-poo some of the time. Get some spring colors on and rejuvenate your look! Stylish is a state of mind

    Tomboy wants to look more feminine

    July 2002

    I'm a mom who never figured out how to pluck/shape/de-bush eyebrows, deal with my mustache, or apply make-up (petroleum jelly on the lips is as good as it gets). My husband and I look like a gay couple (which is fine, but people stare more disapprovingly now that we have a baby), and I tend to startle women in public restrooms.

    Alas, I need to find a sympathetic salon that will (1) tame my eyebrows, (2) do something with my mustache, (3) cut/style and show me how to fix my short hair so that it looks a little more feminine. I'm not ready to try any make-up, but I recently began using some hair gel, which started a trend of random people calling me ''sir.''

    My skin is pretty sensitive, so please recommend people/places that use skin-friendly methods of hair removal and styling. Also, I'm desperate enough to try anywhere in the Bay Area, but San Francisco/Daly City places would be best (especially if the results aren't disastrous and I decide to go back again someday). If possible, please recommend specific people at these places who are especially nice and patient with women who are absolutely clueless about beauty stuff.

    Thank you!!! anonymous please

    Recommendations received:

  • Sole Salon Elmwood
  • Vertical Clearance SF
  • Hair Removal recommendations