There is something so compelling about seeing how different someone can look – especially when it seems to happen by magic (or the flick of a wardrobe stylist’s magic wand!). The ‘magic’ is in the journey and each woman’s journey to discover her personal style is different.
Each of these women you see here (most of whom are over 40) had questions about her wardrobe. They wanted to understand how to choose clothing that make them feel beautiful, learn why some things work and others don’t and receive the tools that make shopping more enjoyable and productive. What you see here are the results of our journey together. This experience changed their lives and their relationship with their wardrobe and bodies. The beaming smiles you see in the ‘after’ pictures are just one indication of how a natural radiance shines through when someone feels fabulous about how she looks. She just can’t hide it!
(Note: I am a stickler for being sure each woman is smiling in her ‘before’ picture, that the lighting is consistent and that there are no touch-ups done after the fact (this is not true for all before and after fashion makeovers out there). What you see is what you get and the after photos say it all.)
As you can see from Sharon’s ‘naturally radiant’ smile, she has an unstoppable spirit that needs to be expressed in every outfit she wears. Otherwise she won’t feel amazing (and believe me, Sharon wants to look and feel amazing!). With her ‘deliciously fiery’ side and her ‘deeply empowering’ nature her wardrobe can’t be ordinary or she’ll feel out of sorts—and that’s how she felt before her makeover. Here’s what she said about wearing the ‘angel’ shirt (you’ll see it below): “I wore the angel shirt for the first time today and, WOW, it was an ENORMOUS hit!!!!” Now her natural radiance goes beyond her fabulous smile!
“Every day for decades, I have dreaded going into my closet to find something to wear. Then, I met Ginger. I’ve had so much fun learning from her and in so doing, learning about myself. She created a color palette for me to work from, has given me 4 Inner Beauty phrases that express perfectly who I am so that I can choose clothing accordingly, and accompanied me to several group shopping events to share her vast wisdom of how to buy clothing that is ideal for me. Also, having lived with multiple sclerosis for my entire adult life, I have felt extremely limited regarding shoe options due to balance issues. Ginger has opened my eyes to a whole new universe of exciting and fashionable possibilities when it comes to footwear. Now, I am excited to get dressed and accessorize every single day. Ginger is an absolute genius!”
Prema is a perfect example of someone who has a personality with many different sides—all of which are begging to be visible. She has a ‘gently intuitive’ side that allows her to wear softer styles and pretty colors and then she has a ‘quietly rock ‘n’ roll’ side as well as a ‘good-natured sense of irreverence’ both of which need expression but always in an understated way. For Prema, nothing can be overly bold or too intense or she feels overwhelmed. Finding that right mix, as Prema expresses below, along with good fit and beautiful colors makes her shine in a truly authentic way!
“Working with Ginger was such a fun experience. But it was much more than that. Ginger’s approach is not just about finding the right dress or slacks or pair of earrings (though that is a big part of it). It is about learning how to present ourselves to the world in a manner that reflects who we truly are on the inside. Ginger gently nudged me out of my comfort zone, and I found myself trying on things I never before would have chosen for myself, but which turned out to be perfect for me. The most challenging part of the process was learning to let go of things in my wardrobe that were not right for me. But with warmth, kindness, and gentle sense of humor, Ginger helped me see that by doing so I was not losing anything, but rather was gaining the freedom to express myself in a more genuine way. Overall, this experience wasn’t so much about finding a style as it was revealing my style.”
One look at Mary Jo’s smile and you know there’s great joy there. For her, we’ve defined it as ‘effervescently spontaneous’ – her smile is quick and lights up her face. But she was having trouble infusing that effervescence into her wardrobe. Part of the reason was that her other inner beauty words are soft and quiet: genuinely open-hearted, quiet strength and special. Each outfit needs to explore the vibrancy of her effervescence, but it also needs to have a softness and quiet beauty so she doesn’t feel overwhelmed. In each case below you’ll see that expressed – nothing fussy, overdone or too bold. Just enough sparkle to match her beautiful smile!
“Our first meeting more than a year ago left me wanting to learn more from you. I was impressed with your wealth of knowledge about personal style and the many tips you shared (in your thoughtful, kind, yet direct way of imparting suggestions) with me individually as well as the other women in the group. My eyes were opened to the many ways I could improve the way I stepped out to the world and at the same time make it easier, more fun and likely less expensive to dress myself. The best part is that I feel confident about my wardrobe choices! Now I can quickly zero in on what I need, then choose colors, styles and accessories that are not only the very best for me but help me sparkle when I wear them.”
When I decided to do another before and after photo shoot, Meryl expressed an interest in doing it again. Ten years ago, Meryl was in one of my first photo shoots and you can still see her photos below. I thought it would be fun to see how she had changed and how styles had changed over the 10 years so I invited her to be part of it. While fashions, in general, have gotten more casual, Meryl’s inner beauty words are still the same. This is not unusual because we truly got to the heart of who she is and ‘quick and powerful’ still lead the way. She looks great in vibrant colors (as well as black), clean lines (that’s the classic, gracious part of her) and nothing is ever too dainty or fussy! She also wanted to explore different options for her hair and playing with her natural curls was perfect.
“A real testament to how much I’ve learned from Ginger– I was featured in a makeover photo shoot for Ginger’s website when I first started working with her 10 years ago. Back then finding a “before” outfit was easy. I had a closet full of clothes that didn’t fit well or didn’t look right. For this most recent makeover, it was really hard to find a “before” outfit. It is so helpful to have her guidance when shopping – both to keep me from buying things that won’t make me feel good about myself when I wear them, and to encourage me to try things that I may not have reached for on my own. Since working with Ginger, my wardrobe consists of clothes that I like and that express who I am and when I feel good in my clothes, I am more confident in whatever I do.”
Diane is a brightly spirited, indomitable firecracker! Run of the mill clothes make her have to work harder to fully express her powerfully engaging spirit to others. Her image makeover included bringing in more rich colors and fun designs so she can relax and be herself!
“I just want to thank you for the remarkable experience I had shopping with you on Saturday. Having been to Lord & Taylor prior, I would never have imagined that armed with my ‘tools’ (inner beauty words & color palette) along with your keen eye, knowledge and compassion that it would produce such a fantastic array of clothing options! I can still feel the amazement and glow after putting on that first dress and looking in the mirror and realizing that it was me looking back, which was repeated as I tried on several other outfits. I am so grateful for having had this incredible opportunity (which has helped me to reconnect with my true inner self). You are a real treasure and an inspiration for women – not only in how you help them to feel beautiful on the outside, but to help them realize their beauty on the inside as well.”
Sue has a bright, sunny personality and a clear sense of refinement that needs to be present in every outfit she wears or she doesn’t feel comfortable. Capturing her inner beauty without overwhelming her delicate coloring (like her before outfit does) is part of the fun of creating her elegant wardrobe.
“Ginger has helped me find beautiful clothes that are uniquely me, that make me feel so good — all provided with wonderful, caring, encouraging advice and council. Ginger has an amazing ability to bring out not only the beauty in her clients, but each person’s uniqueness as well. As a result, I look forward everyday to wearing clothes I love.”
After her life-altering experience of two bouts of breast cancer, Amanda realized everything had changed. Since her hair came back gray and she realized she rocked it, even the colors she wore needed to change (as you can see from the before picture). With my help she set out to rebuild her wardrobe to evoke a vibrancy, charm and quiet strength.
“After my second journey through breast cancer, this time including chemo, my hair grew back thick, curly and gray. I decided that I was going to wear my experience with pride and look fabulous no matter what. I immediately reached out to Ginger, with whom I had worked before. She redid my colors (wonderful blues and grays) and helped me create my inner beauty words. Now I get comments the whole time that I look fabulous, stunning, better than before. Ginger helped me to release the changed me that was just waiting to be freed.”
Although she has a demanding job, Kate spends plenty of time chasing after Olivia, an adorable, vivacious 2-year old. It is easy to see from whom Olivia inherited her glowing nature and to highlight that for Kate we chose beautiful, sparkling colors and jewelry. (Note also how we lightened up her eyeglasses as well.) Kate refuses to settle for anything messy or frumpy even in her leisure time and always adds pretty earrings even to the simplest outfit. She appreciates clean lines and elegant styles whether heading to the office or the playground!
“Working with Ginger has been a wardrobe- and life-altering experience for me. She managed to draw out of me a description of how I see myself, and then teach me how to say just that with my clothes. I actually have fewer clothes than I used to, but everything in my closet makes me smile, and there’s not a single stray piece that I can’t or don’t wear. I don’t think I realized that when I repeatedly picked black, gray, and other “neutral” and “basic” colors, I was certainly saying something, and it wasn’t an authentic statement about who I am. I have never gotten so many compliments as I have since starting to work with Ginger.”
Is there any doubt in looking at Jane’s after pictures (and even her delightful attitude in her before picture) that she is has a spiciness and zestiness about her that needs to be expressed in her clothes? Warm, vibrant colors and a youthful quality are all important to keep her smiling and looking great.
“I had the pleasure of meeting Ginger two years ago at the ‘Your Style, Your Way’ workshop to help bring out our inner beauty through the clothes we wear. At the workshop we did individual and group activities that helped guide our transformation. I immediately went home after the workshop and cleaned out my closet of clothes that were ill fitting or the completely wrong color. Buying new clothes with the help of Ginger was transformative and the most pleasurable experience I have ever had buying clothes. I recently went to my high school reunion wearing an outfit put together by Ginger. The compliments and ‘WOW, you look great!’ lifted my spirits for days. Her knowledge and enthusiasm for helping women to bring out their natural beauty is a talent that is not found everyday.”
Caryl is a warm, welcoming woman with an edgy passion and elegant spirit that needs full expression in her wardrobe. She knew it was time to change her hair to something more funky and she gets great joy out of combining design elements in quietly unusual ways—not so much that she becomes unapproachable, but enough so she elicits a delightful smile from those she meets.
“Even though I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, my job, my uniform requires a subdued, plain, black outfit. I found myself wearing it after hours rather than change my clothes…until I was given the “Gift of Ginger!” I attended Ginger’s ‘Your Style, Your Way’ workshop and found myself again! While I still wear basic black at work, I find a way to reflect my inner beauty words every day, a pair of sneakers with pizzazz, a cool pair of earrings or rings on all my fingers! And when I’m off duty, I change my clothes using color and style to show the world and myself how I feel!”
Anything too fussy, rustic or loud doesn’t work on Laura. She has a flowing elegance combined with a steely determination that must be present in everything she wears. Laura’s colors are cool and deep and when choosing prints and patterns, those with richly complex designs look best as they complement her salt and pepper hair and express the full depth of her personality.
“After treatment for breast cancer that included surgery, chemotherapy and radiation I looked into my closet and knew that everything had to go. I had been changed and needed clothes to express the person I had become. After a series of adventures with Ginger that taught me how to focus in on what works best for me, I began to build a wardrobe of clothes that reflect me and make me feel fabulous every day!”
When Jackie dresses in blah colors she feels blah, and her richly expressive beauty gets lost. But when her colors stay true and her playful side is allowed to emerge, she glows!
“Ginger helped me relax my definition of what it means to dress professionally and opened up a whole new world of options.”
There’s a delicateness about Diane’s beauty that isn’t expressed when she wears a shapeless, colorless suit, especially when the fit is all wrong. Instead, her fashion makeover consisted of moving her into softer fabrics and colors that enhance her natural beauty instead of overpowering it. The difference is magical!
“I had a dose of happy today when I put on my teal sweater, belted cream tank, and saw the blue in my eyes just pop! (My coworker and students commented as well.) I really felt competent and capable of anything that was thrown my way today (and, believe me, it was).”
Amanda felt like she had no pizzazz. For someone with such natural radiance and who has a fun side that likes to feel a “little bit dangerous,” her look before her image makeover fell flat. She feels most at home with a look that combines garments and accessories in an unusual way even while her natural coloring calls for softer colors.
“Ginger has shown me, not only how to dress in the best ways for me, but also how to be truer to myself. She has an extraordinary ability to see deeply into her clients and–gently–show each of us how to let our own, unique qualities shine forth.”
Can you see the energy that Donna exudes? We added some face-framing layers to Donna’s hair, and, as for her wardrobe, the makeover included clothing that better reflected her enchanting smile and vibrant nature.
“Ginger was looking for the “inner person” so that the clothes would be a reflection of me, rather than my being a reflection of the clothes.”
Jan was wearing a top that was all the wrong colors for her, and as a result, she disappeared. What suffered? Her overall image. The makeover included opening up the neckline and adding beautiful blues and teals that brought the focus to her face and eyes. In addition, a sleek hairstyle and soft makeup completed her fashion makeover with style!
“While each of our personal transformations was amazing, watching each other’s changes was incredible – the new “look” really became a new internal glow.”
Sara has a lovely beauty that was not supported by the clothes she was wearing that had little personality and the colors that were too muted for her. Here’s where a wardrobe stylist understands how to tweak something for major impact! Her fashion makeover consisted of adding some pop to the color jacket and shine to her hair – what a fabulous difference!
“The shopping, with Ginger’s keen eye and color sense, was as wonderful as ever, and the photo shoot was a slice of heaven. I’ve never done anything even vaguely similar and had more fun than I’ve had in years.”
Marianne was drowning in too much fabric and a color that dimmed her inner sparkle. No wardrobe stylist wants to see that happen! So, I suggested a more fitted suit, a hint of color and shine, and we straightened her hair to create another option for a professional look. It polished her image and the makeover, in general, brightened her spirit
“The reactions from my friend and family (not to mention those in the supermarket) were wonderful! It was a phenomenal experience, and I love the whole look!”
Meryl has this beautiful radiance that was feeling overwhelmed by the stark black and white. As an image and wardrobe stylist I knew that we had to lighten things up by bringing more animation and softness to her style. That’s where the dress came in. The colors are gorgeous and the print is just the right busy-ness to support Meryl without overpowering her image. The makeover finished with soft makeup and a sleek new haircut.
“I had such a wonderful time creating my new look – especially the “makeover” day, and since then, I have gotten SOOOO many compliments!”
You, too, can look and feel this fabulous! Find out how to experience your own image makeover by working with me one-on-one. You will receive the tools necessary to discover your personal style, get all of those frustrating questions answered and learn how to feel great every time you get dressed.
Most people think that anyone who is an image consultant has known how to put herself together since she was born. Well, that’s one thing that makes Ginger different: she had to go through her very own fashion makeover and personal style transformation so she can now offer this same experience to other women. So, she knows exactly what it feels like and what a difference it makes to a woman’s personal style. Her own wardrobe makeover made her realize that all women deserve this and since she had a gift for teaching with gentle guidance and insight that’s what she has been doing ever since!
I am fortunate enough to have fabulous resources:
Hair: Lindsey and Shay (owners of LiShay Salon in Beverly, MA — https://lishayhairdesign.com/ did a phenomenal job on the hair for the first 4 makeovers (Sharon, Mary Jo, Prema and Meryl). Josie Baker – www.jbakerstyles.com did for a wonderful job on the hair for the previous makeovers. They are all very talented!
Jewelry: Karen Halaby – Jewelry by Karel — https://www.facebook.com/karenmhalaby. Most of the jewelry you see in the after photos is from Karen’s gorgeous collection and some is from Jewelry by Jana dhttps://lishayhairdesign.com/jewelry-by-jana/. If you want to know which is which, please contact me (or them).
Makeup Artist: That would be me, Ginger Burr. The majority of the makeup I used is by Sevi, Beauty Without Cruelty, Emani and Ecco Bella cosmetics.
Clothing: The clothes for these fashion makeovers came from Infinity Boutique in Swampscott, MA, The Studio in Brookline, MA, Lord & Taylor, Nordstrom, Chico’s, Cache, Denise Hajjar Boutique, Dress Barn, NIC+ZOE and Mint Boutique Consignment in Beverly, MA. All of the clothing, shoes and accessories (except for a couple of items in the makeovers at the bottom) are vegan/cruelty-free.
“Ginger, I wanted to share some news that results from the investment I made when I first started working with you: I have a new job--one that I wouldn't have gotten without the personal growth that came from thinking about clothes, and identity, and how I wanted to put myself out in the world. By making the investment in good clothes for myself, I was really sending an internal message that I was valued, and that in turn shaped how I set a professional path to work with a remarkable group of women.
For my first interview I wore a dress and shrug from Max Mara (bought on sale and where I was smart enough to buy the matching sweater on the spot, even though it wasn't). I've gotten so much value out of that one dress! Dare I say, it was sagacious and poetic. This summer, in the casual realm, I also found myself in a deep blue top and turquoise shorts, and green shorts and a blue shirt—the shorts were actually a steal from, of all places, Kohls. (Who knew?).
The big change for me in this new job is that I'm going to have to be dressed for work 5 days a week, rather than just 2 or 3, but I'm already thinking of what I'll invest in and how to build on what I have.
I remember you said more than once that this would be a slow process, and sometimes that frustrated me, but it's really unfolded just the right way, and I have stronger shopping skills and a better sense of myself to make me more comfortable in my new realm.