Old Look, New Perspective

Change your wardrobe to make getting dressed the best part of your day
By Grace Menchaca

The holiday tradition of giving and receiving, followed by January’s promise of a fresh start supports the mantra: “out with the old and in with the new.” Let this new year inspire a new perspective on styling and confidence.    


Samantha Erickson, founder of the personal styling company Everyday Mae, helps women hone their wardrobes. “Some women know they simply have way too much; others aren’t sure if they have the right pieces or how to build outfits,” she says. “An overarching theme or challenge that I find most important is the lack of understanding of how to embody their authentic self through their wardrobe practically and effectively.”

Since starting her business a few years ago, Erickson follows a different kind of mantra: “need less, not more.” “Women may say, ‘I don’t know what to wear, and I don’t feel good about what I’m wearing.’ Or ‘I have a lot of clothing but nothing to wear.’” She continues, “A lot of times it’s needing less and just finding the right things.”


Before renovating wardrobes and mindsets, Erickson worked at a salon and learned how to navigate a client’s core intention of a look. “I was taught that when someone came in with a photo of a specific person with a specific hairstyle, first I needed to figure out if the style worked for their hair type. I would take my thumb and cover the person’s face in the photo,” she pauses and smiles. “Then I’d ask if they still liked the hairstyle.” Women then had to ask themselves: Did they like the hair or the gorgeous person wearing the hair? This is when inspiration and comparison clash. “In a world so heavily saturated with ‘inspiration,’ it can be difficult to find your own voice.” Once you do, there’s no more need for comparison. 


When searching for a starting point for a style renovation, the first step is to get honest and intentional and reflect on why you love certain styles. Is it because of the pieces or the feeling they embody? “Take a couple weeks before shopping and work with what you have to see how you feel in the clothing,” Erickson suggests. “Usually women impulsively buy something super trendy that coincides with the season. They may wear the piece twice because it’s fun and new, but if it’s not part of their personal style, then it will get pushed to the back of the closet.”

Following reflection, inventory is a must. After testing their clothing, women can get rid of the pieces they dislike and fill in the style gaps from there.

Lately, styles are scaling back and focusing on fun elements. Patterned boots, statement necklaces and textured coats are classic pieces that evolve to fit modern styles. But there is one trend that is a staple now. “Athleisure is something that is not going away.
It’s very lifestyle appropriate,” Samantha laughs. 

Despite a woman’s age and habits, there are some elements that would create a great base in any wardrobe. First of these is a layer formula—but not a literal formula. Basic tees and blouses with a cardigan, blazer or button-up can add creativity in a closet. Pants come in a variety of colors and cuts, but a structured, comfortable bottom, like stretchy denim, is a great go-to. Statement pieces such as jewelry, handbags or shoes elevate a basic, comfortable wardrobe into a look with personality. 

At the end of the day, comfort is queen. Loungewear is just as important and should be part of any woman’s wardrobe. Leggings, kimonos and sweatshirts that give a great textural feel or have personal meaning (i.e. Vikings sweatshirt) can lift a mood. 

If women are still unsure of their styles, but not quite ready to hire a personal stylist, then friends and family come in handy. “We all need a hype crew, but definitely shop with people with an opinion. Also, shop with someone with a completely different style,” suggests Samantha. There are many ways women can add versatility to their wardrobes, but focusing on how they
feel creates the best confident look.  

Rochester offers a variety of clothing stores for women. From consignment to thrift, here are stores that elevate wardrobes.

Primp. Looking for a range of budget-friendly, extremely trendy pieces? Primp’s Rochester store allows customers to look high-end without paying the expensive price tag. They also allow customers to book stylists, if needed.

On Track Boutique. Created by the owners of Hers, the boutique offers a range of casual clothing pieces and accessories. 

Real Deals. Shoppers can always find something new with the store’s weekly inventory change. Their pieces can fit most women with their small to SXL size range.

Flowers by Jerry. The flower arrangement shop now offers clothing, along with decor and boutique gifts. Their style pieces consist of basic go-to and seasonal trend items. 

Kismet. The consignment store is a Rochester classic. Their eclectic collections in clothing and decor are great for shoppers looking for style inspiration. 

Clover & Rose. The shop combines vintage and handmade pieces with an emphasis on feminine minimalism. Their hours are limited and selected, but customers can schedule an appointment!