Styling Your Bestie

Styling myself to go out of the house is almost as second nature as putting on clean underwear. It’s just something I do without thinking too much. I feel more natural, expressive, and enjoy myself when I am put together. (Quick note… this wretched Covid year has seen me backslide a bit though!) For years, I’ve had friends and colleagues tell me that they admire my style and wish that they could take me shopping with them. While most of the time they are half joking, I am fully serious when I tell them, “Any time. Just call me.”

It brings me joy to help someone find a new look that surprises them. It’s what I loved so much about working at the Gap. When a customer walked out of the fitting room and purchased something I suggested that they didn’t bring in themselves, it brought me a sense of accomplishment. I also had the joy of helping a friend find a wardrobe for an interview and a new job, once upon a time. I encouraged her to trust me as I threw clothes and accessories over the fitting room door. At the end of the night, she walked away with several outfits that made her feel professional in her new adventure.

So…I was so happy when my bestie, Amanda, decided to take me up on the style session offer. We had a blast spending a Sunday afternoon getting pedicures and heading to the mall together. Even while wearing masks, it was nice to do something that felt almost normal with a good friend.

Without a doubt, the first place we headed was Altar’d State and A’Beautiful Soul. I LOVE that we can both shop here and find things that honor our bodies and make us feel stylish, while having two very different body types. Amanda is slim and fit while I am… um… more filled out in all the places. What’s even better, the store offers some items all the way through the size continuum… so we could be really over the top and wear the exact same clothes if we wanted to.

The employees at A’Beautiful Soul/Altar’d State are always so kind and accommodating. They are super helpful on the sales floor and in the fitting room. Amanda and I spent quite a bit of time in the Altar’d State, finding things for her to try on… both in her comfort zone and under my influence. We built a big armload to bring back with us to the fitting room, then headed to the A’Beautiful Soul side to find styles for me. It didn’t go without my notice that even the layout of the two sides of the store are designed thoughtfully for the customer. Altar’d State looks and smells wonderful with a large variety of merchandise, while strolling over to the connected A’Beautiful Soul side, the same smell and beauty remains, offering more space to navigate between displays. That is a REALLY big deal.

Amanda was a willing subject and was ready to experiment with whatever ideas I threw her way. That made the style session even more fun. I think the looks that suited her best were these outfits. They had a lot of 90’s retro vibes while adding a modern twist. Amanda looked absolutely beautiful in the sage green color that is featured in a lot of items in the store right now. (It really brings out her eyes.) She decided to take home the bottom two looks and the cute, casual grey dress that’s perfect for teaching. But the definite winner of the day was the black Charlotte Chenille Hat. I mean, seriously… how cute is that?!

While the trip was mostly about making my friend feel beautiful, I did find a lot that I loved too. I really like the soft femininity of this gauzy white top paired with skinny jeans and flats. How awesome is it that the store now carries wide width shoes? These pumpkin spice colored flats are amazing! And can we talk about the color of the Marionette Maxi Dress? It’s just breathtaking!

Of course we had to find something we could BOTH wear too. We kind of fell in love with the Darby top, which comes in Plus Size and in Straight Size! Like, it kind of reminded us of kitchen rug in an adorable way. Honestly, I think we both look pretty cute in it.

Like I said, we had a blast… and now we are planning to make it a seasonal adventure to go to A’Beautiful Soul and Altar’d State for a little style sesh. We can hardly wait to see all of the fabulous holiday offerings that will make an appearance later this fall. Styling your friends is a lot of fun!

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