Dear Gina, Fashion Assistance Needed!

A friend of mine from college wrote to me in dire need of some fashion advice. She's a real estate agent with a very opinionated client...Take a look!

"Help, I work for a real estate agent and I will be showing a house for her on Sunday. I need a stunning outfit that would adequately represent Mr. Fashion (the homeowner), his home, and my boss! I have no idea when it comes to fashion and my options are literally coming from my Grandmother's closet. 

The owner earned the name Mr. Fashion when I was wearing, in my opinion, a very cute tailored silk blouse that tied in the front with a little french knot. He flicked my little tie, put up his nose and said "I can always tell a fake when I see it. I was in the business. I like that your (insert boss's name here) invests in what she's wearing. A lot of people don't appreciate that she's willing to spend so much on clothes, but I do and they know that she always looks fantastic." Point taken...but one really big problem, I'm poor, like, stay at home Mom, my husband is a teacher and we live in a very expensive area, poor.

SO - here are my options: 
I know that he has an affinity for St. John suits. I happen to have one navy blue knit two piece St. John suit compliments my very fashionable Grandmother who was once a model. It's tasteful and not outdated. 
Second, a women's black double breasted Alan Austin suit coat imported from Italy. The best thing I have to wear with it is a white Liz Taylor blouse and some black slacks ala Target. I also have black skirts but I don't know if that would look nice. I mean, would it look cheap to put Target pants with a nice coat like that? What do I do? 
Third, another Alan Austin suit set in red imported from France. The suit comes with a pencil skirt that goes to the knees. My reluctance here is that it's red which, for business reasons isn't always considered acceptable. I want to look professional but I don't want to stick out like a sore thumb either. 
What do you think? Can you help me???"

Here's what I responded:

We will get you through this situation, I can guarantee it. How intimidating this Mr. Fashion is! I must say that I wholeheartedly disagree with his philosophy...you don't have to always only wear haute couture designer brands in order to be successful or considered fashionable. I definitely work from the viewpoint that anyone can look fashionable and tailored on any budget - but with that said, he does prove another point - that appearance does matter in your profession.

You are very lucky that you have your grandmother's closet to sift through. If you did not have access to her closet, I would suggest that you go to consignment shops in a more upscale neighborhood in your area. Certain vintage shops like that have designer brands at a deeply discounted price. It would be a good investment and you'd see a return for sure.
Here's what I think your wardrobe as a real estate agent should look like. Tailored & structured pieces with a little visual interest. And definitely more neutral shades, with a pop of color in your accessories.

Real Estate Fashion You are definitely right in staying away from the red suit set. It doesn't work in this situation in showing the house. You want your clients to see the house, not you - but you do want to compliment the house and look sophisticated enough to prove that you are knowledgeable to sell this baby. I really love the idea of the pencil skirt. It is very possible that it might work as a solitary piece with a structured white collared shirt, black heels, and pearls. He can't get on his high horse about a collared white shirt - no designer can claim that one!

                                                 Fashionably Yours, 


  1. Gina, where is that grey dress from (the one on the upper left corner of your clothing samples)? It's lovely.

  2. I know! I love that dress, too. Here is the link to the description of the dress. Unfortunately, it is very high priced!! It is an Alexander McQueen. I would Google it's style for similarities. http://www.polyvore.com/womens_mcq_alexander_mcqueen_linen-blend/thing?id=22780825

  3. I definitely agree with your advice. I'd rather wear a less expensive, amazing piece than try to reach for all expensive ones that I can't afford...and probably not look as good. (After all, many high end designers design clothes for stick figure girls, and I'm not one of them.)

  4. Thanks, Gina! Definitely out of my price range, but I'll have to see what I can find on Google.


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