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