Saturday, April 30, 2016

Fashion Intimidation

As a stylist, something that I hear a lot is "I love that, but I can't wear that." or "that wouldn't look good on me". While it is definitely important to understand your individual body type and how to dress it to accentuate its amazing shape, there aren't any rules about clothing being "out of your league".

One of my clients recently told me that he had never owned a cardigan, before I purchased one for him. I was shocked! After working together, I showed him how he could wear his new cardigan with several different pieces in his wardrobe, and he has really opened up to the idea of cardigans. That may sound silly to some of you, but just like that client, it's so important to be open minded with clothes! Anyway, I tried my best to think about a single article of clothing that I have never had in my closet, and I the only thing that I came up with was parachute pants (think MC Hammer), and I think that's because I was born a little too late. I personally, have always been willing to try new styles. Do they all work well for me? Not always, but I make them work (because I am the female Tim Gunn).

It's easy to get stuck in a clothing rut, where we end up only wearing certain styles or colors. We start to believe that we only look good in those things, because we think that they hide our "problem" areas. Those of you who only dress in black or dark colors, I'm definitely talking to you! However, the rest of you are not excluded from this either. (Sorry for using my teacher/mom voice...)

Getting dressed and buying clothes should not be about hiding parts of you that you don't like. It should be about accentuating what you love about yourself. If you're not sure what that part of you is, think about it. Think about it for a long time, until you start to look forward to finding pieces that show that part of you off to the world. (or ask me! I can help you figure it out.)

If you are used to hiding with your clothes, or allowing other people to shine, I can understand that looking at bright colors and prints can be intimidating. Something that I do with all of my clients is I always start by showing them pieces that I like that are within their comfort zone, and then I slowly branch out of their comfort zone to show them options that they may not have considered before working with me. 

By doing that, I help them not only define their style, but truly understand how they can feel incredible about themselves every day, no matter what else is going on in their lives. 

For example, I did that for myself last weekend! When I did the photo shoot for my mixing patterns blog post, I was getting over being sick. I caught Hand, Foot, and Mouth virus from my son's daycare. As much as I am obsessed with patterns, I didn't quite love the red dots all over my hands and feet...and arms and legs. But, after they started to heal a little bit, I put on some gorgeous clothes that make me feel completely empowered, did the photo shoot, and completely forgot about my spots! 

personal closet organizer

Susan Padron, personal stylist, Cherry Hill

Fashion can be a very powerful tool. Don't underestimate it, and don't sell yourself short. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Gentlemen, I didn't forget about you!

Hello, Gentlemen (and ladies, you're welcome to read this too)!

I hope I didn't lose you for a little while. I wanted to make sure that you knew that all of the rules and ideas that I've been discussing in my other posts absolutely apply to you too (with some differences - most of you probably wouldn't want to add "shine" to your outfit by wearing a sparkly necklace, but I could be wrong, and I never judge).

Here is how you can pull off color, pattern, texture, and shine ("CPTS") as a sexy, stylish man.

In the outfit pictured above, you have color and pattern in the blue and white checkered plaid shirt. You are mixing patterns with the tie and the shirt, and keeping it interesting by combining different directions within the patterns (checkered and diagonal stripes). The texture is in the wool blazer, which is perfect for those cool spring mornings like we've been having lately. Lastly, you have shine in the silky sheen of the tie.

In the outfit below, there is texture in the corduroy blazer and the chambray shirt. You're also mixing patterns with the corduroy and the crossing diagonal stripes in the tie. There is shine and color in both the tie and the shirt.

For those of you gentlemen, who are feeling like you are ready to start mixing patterns like the pro you want to be/know you are, I added a shirt that isn't blue (and you all should know by now how much I love blue), and it's a bold pattern paired with another pattern. If you looked at my last blog post on mixing patterns , you will have seen that in the last outfit pictured, the dress was an all over pattern paired with smaller patterned accessories. Guys, you can do the same thing! Make the shirt your statement piece, and use smaller patterns in neutral colors with your tie and shoes. 

male plaid fashion

When you can pull off an outfit with these elements, you will walk like a total [insert empowering man term here]. 

If you have any questions or want some help, don't be afraid to get in touch with me! I have been working with several male clients with varying degrees of personal style, and they have all been very happy with their results! Email me, you know you want to!

Mixing Patterns

Since I have mentioned how much I enjoy mixing patterns with my outfits, I have received a lot of questions about how to mix them successfully! This post will hopefully answer a lot of those questions and give you inspiration to look at your next outfit in a different way.

When you are mixing patterns, there are a couple of things you need to consider: size and color.

You want to match your patterns by size - small pattern paired with another small pattern or large pattern with another large pattern. Mixing two different sizes can be a bit challenging, and if you are going to mix sizes, I would suggest going with one size for your outfit and another size for your accessories, rather than mixing sizes within your clothes.

Combining patterns in neutral colors is quite easy. Traditional neutrals are black, navy, brown, and white. More advanced neutrals can include purple, leopard, and polka dot. The more advanced neutrals are so versatile, because they can go with warm or cool colors.

The reason that the outfit from my "CPTS" post worked so well is because the patterns are both small (tiny polka dots in the skirt and thin stripes in the shirt), and they are both neutrals (black, white, and gray).

how to accessorize an outfit

This outfit works for the same reasons, neutral colors and small patterns. There are the tiny polka dots in the cuff of the blazer, a thin lined chevron in the t-shirt, and snakeskin in the flats. (All of the photography below is credited to the wonderfully talented, Nathan Knauss! Thanks for working with me, Nater!)

Susan Padron, Style consultant

style image consultant

image consultant

Another option to introduce yourself to combining patterns is start with a patterned piece that is all the same color, like this white eyelet skirt. I paired the skirt with a bright yellow checkered plaid shirt.  The skirt acts like a neutral bottom, just like a plain white skirt would, but it adds so much more interest to the outfit, because of its pattern (and texture!). 

personal image consultant

Susan Padron, personal shopper stylist

And now for the fun and adventurous! In this outfit, I mixed three patterns! Crazy, I know, but it works so well, I would be crazy not to do it! The reason that this works is because I started with a somewhat bold, all over print with the dress. (I love that lace is so in right now.) I added a bold statement necklace that has pattern within each stone, and finished this look with brown and black snakeskin pumps. The accessories work as well as they do, because they are all made up of neutrals! The stones in the necklace have cream and black, the pattern of the snakeskin is brown, black, and white, so neither of those two patterns take away from the beauty of the bold dress. 

Susan Padron, Philadelphia personal stylist
Susan Padron, Philadelphia personal stylist

Susan Padron, Philadelphia personal stylist

With all of the outfits pictured in this post, you could absolutely swap out one of the patterned pieces for a solid. That wouldn't be wrong, and I am sure that we could make it look fabulous. You can even tone down a patterned piece by breaking it up with a solid, like throwing on a jacket

However, when you mix patterns, and you do it well, it elevates your outfit and your personal style. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


My personal style and my love for styling others have both come from a lot of different points of inspiration throughout my life. In this post, I am just going to discuss two of those inspirations. My mom is definitely my biggest inspiration. When we go shopping together even now, she still gives me the confidence to try things on that I may initially be unsure of for myself, and then I end up loving it. Her words of wisdom, "if you don't love it, you're not going to wear it" play repeatedly in my head whenever I go shopping by myself. I suggest you take those words with you when you go shopping as well! It will probably save you some money that you could put towards a Susan style service!

In addition to my mom, of course, the show "What Not to Wear" was another major influence in my fashion and style education.

If you have read my other posts, it's no secret that I absolutely loved the show. I watched all 345 life changing episodes...not more than once, because that would be something a lame person would do....
and I definitely didn't force my husband, friends, and family to watch them, because "this transformation is seriously amazing", because let's face it, they all were amazing...

Anyway, something that Stacy and Clinton mentioned quite a few times on the show was that color, pattern, texture, and shine (CPTS) are key elements to making an outfit special. I don't always incorporate all four elements into every outfit that I wear, but when I do go for all four, I feel the most put together, and I get a lot of compliments (who doesn't love compliments!).

Take a look at this outfit:

how to accessorize an outfit
The pop of color is in the yellow flats. Pattern is in the shirt AND the skirt (because you know that mixing patterns is my favorite thing to do). Texture and shine are in the necklace, and I added even more shine with one of my favorite Marc Jacobs watches. 

The important advice to take away from the concept of "CPTS" is that balance is key. You want your outfit to look polished and fun without looking too busy. 

If you're looking for more "CPTS" inspiration, check out my Pinterest boards. I have been pinning like crazy lately for both my ladies and gentlemen, so take a look and let me know if you would like me to pick anything out for you! 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Outfit Versatility

Being home sick and forced to relax and recover means it's time for some quality time with my laptop and a new blog post!

Working with a few of my male clients inspired me to write a post like this! Something that I like to help my clients with is looking at their current clothes in different ways. No matter your budget, it's always great to get the most out of your clothes. 

For the gentlemen out there, the pictures that I included show the same shirt worn two different ways. 

The first outfit pairs this awesome red polka dot shirt with dark wash jeans and a more casual wool tie. Pairing the shirt with jeans and the texture and color of the tie add a more casual feel to this outfit. This outfit is perfect for a date, a casual day at work (as long as jeans are allowed), or an event that you're attending that falls in that in between dressy and casual dress code. 

male tie fashion

Here is that same shirt paired with a fancier tie (I LOVE a gorgeous paisley like this one) and gray khakis. You could also wear another pair of dark dress pants, and it would keep this outfit looking formal. There is something so sophisticated about mixing patterns. I think that it shows complete confidence and ownership of an outfit when a person can mix patterns and/or color well. It says "I know what I'm doing, and I am rocking this outfit." Don't worry, I teach all of my clients how to do achieve that confidence, and one of my goals is to make sure that you feel that way about every outfit that I help you put together. 

male tie fashion

Now for my ladies, I have the same dress worn two different ways - accessories and shoes make all the difference! Dresses are my absolute "go to" when I don't want to think about what to wear - it's one piece - it's so versatile, and it's even better if it has just come back from the dry cleaner and doesn't even need to be ironed! 

Here's the dress!
women dress

For a more casual look, here are sandals and a bright necklace to wear with the dress. 

womens accessories

Now to dress it up, add some stunning heels (or peep toe wedges as pictured) and a sparkly necklace, and you are all set for most formal events!

womens shoes

Let me help you look at your wardrobe differently, and we can come up with even more outfits together! 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

How to brighten up a week

I was very fortunate to have had ten amazing days to spend with my husband and our adorable son, while I was on Spring Break. Needless to say, going back to work after that was not easy! When I'm not feeling my best, whether I'm sick, tired, or just a little mopey, I use clothes or accessories to make myself feel better.

With my clothes, I love adding color or patterns. One of my favorite lessons from Stacy London on "What Not to Wear", is that clothes don't have to match, they have to "go" - meaning, you don't have to be "matchy-matchy" with your clothes and accessories! In fact, being "matchy-matchy" makes you look dated, because that trend hasn't been around for quite some time now (like 10 or 15 years...sorry). You will look much more modern and sophisticated, if you wear colors that compliment each other.

Check a color wheel! Colors that are usually a safe bet are the colors that are next to each other. However, you can follow a color across to the other side of the color wheel for more fun!

The color that I find myself gravitating toward the most is probably cobalt blue. I love its versatility and ability to work for any season. 

Susan Padron Philly Stylist

I paired this gorgeous color with one of my favorite lipsticks and an impressive statement necklace that my sister gave me from Modcloth (thanks, Sara!).  Jewelry is definitely another one of my favorite ways to brighten up a day (or outfit), but I'll save that topic for later! 
Thanks for reading!

Sunday, April 3, 2016


Hi and welcome! My name is Susan, and I am a happily married, mom to an adorable little man, and to our zoo (three kitties and our chocolate lab). I would describe my fashion/stylist spirit animal as a combination of Rachel Zoe, Stacy London, and Tim Gunn (my actual spirit animal would be a bear, because I am a mama bear through and through). As soon as I watched my first episode of “Project Runway” that I started saying, “Just call me Tim Gunn, because I’m makin’ it work!” 

Style has always been part of my every day, no matter how casual. It’s also something that most people remember about me. In my first teaching job, I kept to myself a lot (being a music teacher isolated in the far wing of the school helps with that), and my fellow teachers didn’t know my name, so they mostly referred to me as “the cute stylish one”.

What will you find here? Very fabulous finds for even more fabulous people who just need a little help. They could need my help because they’re too busy to shop for themselves (like my best friend who is a neurosurgeon…she’s kind of a big deal), or they don’t know quite how to shop (my incredible (now fashion forward) coworker), or they have a tough time finding clothes that work for their actually amazing body (one of my best gals who I was lucky enough to room with in college), or any other reason that would bring you to a stylist/personal shopper/Susan.

My friends and family frequently say, "I went shopping, and I could have really used a Susan", or they receive a complement on a clothing item that I gave to them and say, "thanks, it's a Susan", or "oh no, they need a Susan". So after hearing that, I decided that I needed to do this. I love helping people feel great about themselves, especially when it involves clothes! 

Happy reading, and I hope to help you soon!