Shopping with a Stylist: Style by Malia

Shopping with a Stylist: Style by Malia

Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting professional stylist and wardrobe consultant, Malia Anderson of Style by Malia


Malia has 15 years of experience in the fashion industry, which began in San Francisco and eventually landed her here in the wine country. She has a keen eye for fashion that is modern and stylish, flattering on her clients’ figures and suits their individual budgets.


While out to lunch with Malia in Santa Rosa last month, I asked her if she would consider taking me shopping. I had a couple of Macy’s cards my husband gave me for Christmas totaling $400 and several coupons that I had been holding onto. I wanted to use them to freshen up my spring wardrobe.  I had never worked with or even met a stylist before and was intrigued and excited about the prospect of getting a professional take on what suits me.


Several days before we met, Malia asked me to fill out a client assessment form and send it to her. It took me about half and hour to complete. She then asked me to meet her at the Santa Rosa Plaza Macy’s on a day that worked for us both.

I arrived dressed to shop in comfortable clothes that were easy to take off and put back on. I thought we’d be shopping together, roaming from department to department, selecting things for me to try on. I admit to being a little nervous about that idea because I can be pretty picky. I didn’t want her to think I was difficult or narrow-minded.

What a relief and a very pleasant surprise it was when she led to me to an extra large fitting room filled with clothes picked out just for me! Malia had arrived early and hand-selected clothes she thought would work for my lifestyle, my size, my age and my personal preferences.

Skirts, blouses, jackets, pants, dresses, sweaters, jeans, and even a couple of jumpsuits hung from rolling racks, ready for me to try on. The photo below is just a small portion of what I was presented with.


After about an hour, I had tried on just about everything Malia brought me. We narrowed down our favorites and tallied them up before heading to the register. My budget was $400 in gift cards but I told Malia ahead of time that although I wanted to try to stick to my budget, I was willing to add $200 to kitty if I found things I couldn’t go home without.


The grand tally ended up being just $87.00 over my initial budget. The coupons took a lot off the original bill. For $487.00 with tax I brought home a dress, a jacket, three tops, a pair of pants and this Free People Striped Cardigan that I brought along last weekend for a spur-of-the-moment RV trip to Bodega Bay.

Free People Striped Cardigan

When I first saw this sweater in the dressing room, my initial reaction was to pass on it unless it came in a solid color. I’m okay with horizontal stripes as long as they stay above the hips. But Malia encouraged me to try it on and the moment I did, I knew it was coming home with me.

Free People Striped Cardigan

The horizontal stripes actually created a slimming effect rather than a widening effect.

Free People Striped Cardigan

I love the lightweight texture of the sweater and the way it drapes around my body. I know the neutral color scheme will be versatile with my wardrobe.

I wore my new cardigan with an Everlane Ryan tee, Gap boyfriend jeans, and Sam Edelman booties

Free People Striped Cardigan

I can hardly wait to show you the other things I bought on my shopping trip with Malia. I will be posting new looks over the next few weeks.

Everything I found with Malia I would have normally passed by had I shopped alone. I have a tendency, like most people, to go for the same things over and over again. Malia was a fresh pair of experienced eyes. It was a fantastic experience and now I feel like have a spring-ready wardrobe thanks to her. She motivated me to open my mind to new style possibilities so that next time I shop alone, I will be more amenable to trying new things.

Style by Malia

Style by Malia

I have already recommended Malia’s services to a few of my friends looking to update their style and wardrobe. If you are interested in working with Malia, contact her via her website. She offers a variety of packages as well as custom pricing to fit all budgets.

Have you ever worked with a professional stylist or wardrobe consultant?

What was your experience like?



Disclosure: Malia provided her services to me free of charge in exchange for a review. All opinions about Style by Malia are my own.  


  1. February 26, 2014 / 5:34 am

    Your style is amazing, Adrienne…you always look fabulous. But, I look forward to seeing what your other purchases look like. It would be fun to shop with a stylist!!

  2. February 26, 2014 / 5:34 am

    What a great experience – I’ve never done this but would like to. It’s great to have a fresh (and experienced) set of eyes. Malia is right, that striped sweater is perfect for you! xox

  3. February 26, 2014 / 6:02 am

    How fun to shop with a stylist. I am always intrigued by what they do. Malia picked a great cardigan, I love it on you as well. XO, Jill

  4. February 26, 2014 / 6:05 am

    Gorgeous pictures and I love that cardigan! I did some work as a wardrobe consultant in Seattle and it was so much fun seeing people see themselves in things they loved, but wouldn’t have necessarily tried without a push. I think too many people see getting help in this area as something not for the everyday woman, but it really is the perfect way to get a little refresh!

  5. Linda
    February 26, 2014 / 6:14 am

    I’ve read a couple of blog posts recently regarding shopping with a personal stylist, and am going to give it a try. Like you, and probably a lot of others, I tend to stick with the same clothes and know I could do with branching out a bit! The only time I try “different” things is when I hit the sale rails and try stuff on just for the heck of it. I must admit that I have become more cautious as I’ve grown older and put on a few pounds, but I’m hoping that rejoining Weightwatchers will and losing weight will bring back some of that old adventurousness!

  6. Kathy
    February 26, 2014 / 6:29 am

    Can’t believe we have to wait to see the other outfits! I love the cardigan, and it’s something I never would have thought to try on – it looks so great on you, something you’ll get tons of wear from. Wonderful photos too. I’ve never worked with a stylist, but Malia seems very good.

  7. February 26, 2014 / 6:36 am

    I’ve wanted one of those Free People long cardigans for over 2 years now. I LOVE them. I so wish I could find one in a consignment store.

    What a fun experience.


  8. February 26, 2014 / 6:41 am

    I am lusting for that striped cardigan—I LOVE IT!

    • March 13, 2014 / 12:24 pm

      I got it! LOVE it. I’ve already worn it 3x out and about. I ended up with the black and white stripe–very versatile for my wardrobe.

  9. February 26, 2014 / 8:21 am

    Sounds like a fabulous experience and your photos are terrific. That cardigan looks like a great find. I’ve been an Image Consultant and Stylist for years but still love to hire another professional to help me see outside my regular comfort zone. That client assessment tool is so valuable. Bravo Adrienne and Malia!! Enjoy our rain!! xoJennifer

  10. February 26, 2014 / 8:51 am

    I like the whole concept of having an image consultant to go shopping with and see things through fresh eyes. I really like that striped sweater on you and it looks great the way you are wearing it with jeans and boots. Will be eagerly waiting to see the rest of your loot!

  11. February 26, 2014 / 8:55 am

    Who won Sylvia’s tote bag? I could not find it on your blog for some reason despite rereading several posts after the draw date.

  12. Corey Eames
    February 26, 2014 / 9:08 am

    I have known Malia, both personally and professionally for almost 6 years. I utilize her services anywhere from 2-4 times a year to keep my wardrobe up to date. I am a single father who makes decent money, but my shopping budget is always pretty minimal ($2-300 each time). She always does a fantastic job helping me find things that have taken my look from pretty good to dapper and GQ…which as a single man I greatly appreciate. She is thorough, efficient and constantly challenges me to take my look to the next step.

  13. February 26, 2014 / 11:22 am

    Adrienne I love this! You look modern and gorgeous! Your writing always has me so engaged with your posts as well! I can’t wait to see how you style the rest of your pieces as well!

    Kudos my friend! This is fabulous!


  14. February 26, 2014 / 11:32 am

    I love when I pull things for my clients and they put them on and say, “Whoa. I love it and I never would have picked that out for myself.” It’s one of my favorite things about being a stylist.

    Love that striped cardigan so much.


  15. February 26, 2014 / 12:06 pm

    So fun… You look great!!! I just discovered her too a few weeks ago!!! We three should do a meet and greet just to connect Sonoma County Fashion! Love the sweater on you..

  16. February 26, 2014 / 12:13 pm

    I really like that sweater a lot. That is nice. It probably would be too long on me since you are tall, but I tend to wear a lot of those type of sweaters with jeans. It fits me.

  17. February 26, 2014 / 8:31 pm

    From what I’ve seen and heard this was a very successful outing. That free people long cardigan was meant for you. I think the most fun part of having a stylist shop for you is the very thing Malia did, she chose items you would normally look right over. Every once in a while, the cute sales girl (whom I’ve become quite good friends with) at jcrew will text or email and tell me about some new items and would I like for her to put some aside for me to look at. Yea, pretty smart gal. But I’m always pleasantly surprised at what she chooses for me. My husband says she’s a dangerous friend, (haha). Cna’t wait to see the rest of this shopping spree.

  18. February 26, 2014 / 11:41 pm

    It looks like you had a wonderful experience, and the striped vest looks absolutely amazing!

    Kind regards,

  19. February 27, 2014 / 7:07 am

    Hi Adrienne,

    Looks like you had a fun day with Malia, I love the cardigan she picked out for you! We have a large Free People section in the Macy’s that I frequent. Although I have browsed through it, I have yet to buy anything. I am going to take another look around next time I am there. 🙂

    It’s always nice to have another person’s opinion when we go shopping. (not a salesperson) Sometimes we might overlook things that someone else may see that would look flattering on us. Yet, 80% of the time I shop alone!


  20. February 27, 2014 / 1:02 pm

    This is really interesting, I’m glad your experience was so positive, and that cardi is just fabulous! It seems very ‘you’ from what I can tell of your personality and lifestyle from reading your blog. I only tried a stylist once and it wasn’t a success, poor woman didn’t really listen and kept bringing me things two sizes smaller than I wear. I’d try again though (with a different person obviously!).

    P x

  21. February 27, 2014 / 1:45 pm

    How fun! This sounds like a fabulous experience!

  22. February 27, 2014 / 7:57 pm

    This is fun thing to do. I totally agree another person’s version of what you can or should wear and try is so helpful. Especially great that Malia is a professional and has a lot of knowledge and experience doing this. Your sweater is lovely and I like the long length on you. Isn’t it true we always pick the same things? I know my wardrobe is filled with copies of the same items!
    Going to check our Malia’s site, I follow her on Instagram. She seems like a very stylish and fun woman!

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