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How to up your style game

By Thursday, November 06, 2014

Over the past few months I've discovered something super luxurious sounding that is not only amazing but also incredibly useful -- a personal stylist through Keaton Row.

My Keaton Row dashboard

I'm one of those people who really enjoys shopping and hunting for a specific piece, but I'm also incredibly picky and can be gripped with indecision, leading to either no action or lots of returns. So, when I heard about Keaton Row's online stylists, I was intrigued. I was also initially a little wary, as I'd tried an online style company before where they pick out clothes and send them to you (which was a disaster; they took weeks to arrive, nothing fit, and had way marked up prices).

Keaton Row was incredibly different for several reasons:

  1. The experience is easy and the stylists are super responsive.
    First, you fill out a profile about your own personal style and what you're looking for. I started by saying my closet was full of t-shirts and special occasion outfits, but not a lot in between, and I needed pieces that could be dressed up or down.
    You're then matched with a stylist, but you can always choose to change to someone else. I was matched with Juli, who's been fantastic. Each stylist has public lookbooks that you can browse to get a sense of how they would style outfits for their clients.
    Juli was incredibly responsive, both via email and through the site, reaching out just hours after I signed up and she always answers emails quickly. 
  2. You get to see tons of options and provide feedback, building a relationship with your stylist.
    Stylists organize pieces into virtual lookbooks that you can browse, shop, and comment on. Julie first created a lookbook of just separates (tops, dresses, bottoms, etc.) and asked me to tell her what I did/didn't like so that she could refine and personalize options for me. Then, she moved on to create a lookbook of specific pieces that I liked and had requested and showed me how to style them in different ways.
    She also creates public lookbooks and sends them out to her clients on a regular basis -- these work exactly the same way in that you can browse and shop directly from them. They're usually organized around a specific trend (comfy classics, menswear-inspired) or event (sale with one of their partner retailers).
  3. Shopping is transparent, and you have unlimited choices.
    They've partnered with major retailers (Nordstrom, ASOS, Shopbop, and Les Nouvelles) and you can see exactly where each item is from in your lookbook. Prices are synced from the retailers' sites to Keaton Row; nothing is marked up and if something is on sale, you pay the sale price (and the stylists are fantastic about helping you take advantage of sales). Stylists make a commission off each purchase, which is built in, so when you check out on Keaton Row's site it's one transaction instead of separate ones for each retailer. Returns are easy, as they go straight back to the retailer that they're shipped from.
    You get to choose exactly what you want to purchase (including size) and when, meaning you're not committed to spending a certain amount. Since they have a great range of retailers, it makes it easy to find items that fit your budget, large or small.
Honestly, I can't say enough good things! So let me just show you...

Styling options for the Velvet dress I purchased, from my personal lookbook

When I first signed up, I told Juli I was looking for a couple specific items -- a classic black blazer and a leather jacket -- and also wanted ideas for a casual dress that could be dressed up or down. She found me this sharp long blazer (ASOS) and leather jacket (Nordstrom; taking advantage of the Friends & Family sale this summer). She also suggested I try this gray knit Velvet dress (Shopbop) and paired it with these Loeffler Randall flats (Shopbop), neither of which I would have picked out on my own. I love that I could also see options to style the dress differently, with similar pieces I already own, or could get in the future.

Velvet dress & Loeffler Randall flats, styled casually
Necklaces and belt: old/my own

Velvet dress & ASOS blazer, styled for work

Velvet dress & Nordstrom leather jacket, styled for going out
Necklace: BaubleBar, Shoes: Calvin Klein
Mugsy the Pug gazing in wonderment at the versatility of this dress

If you're looking for a wardrobe update, need an outfit for a holiday party, or just want help figuring out how to wear something that's already in your closet (I'm working with Juli right now to style a blush pink pleated midi skirt I got on sale at Zara last spring; stay tuned for the result), I highly recommend you check out Keaton Row. Then let me know what you think (and what you purchased!)

P.S. Sign up for Keaton Row and get $25 off your first purchase with the code REFERFRIEND25.

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  1. What a great business model! This is something I'd like to check out someday when my regular (daily-ish) wardrobe needs expand beyond rowing and sleeping :)