Month: March 2008

Ask tristinstyling: Any tips for a DIY spring closet cleaning?


Any tips for a DIY spring closet cleaning?


Spring is here and the Chicago tribune took care of answering this question in an article about DIY closet organization in today’s Q section where a tristinstyling closet audit was featured in an article written by Heidi Moore.

Tribune photographer, Chris Walker documented the closet audit by taking the photos you see in the slideshow below. Scroll down to read the article below.

(Tribune photos in the following slideshow Copyright ©, Chicago Tribune by Chris Walker)

Slideshow created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Say yes, yes, yes to closet rehab

Sure, it hurts a little to open up to an expert. But then you’re free of your wardrobe funk.

—Heidi Moore

March 31, 2008

The first step toward recovery: Recognize there’s a problem.

Stylist Robin Walker, who runs My Wardrobe Companion in Chicago, says clients’ calls are usually triggered by a crisis—it could be a job promotion, an upcoming television appearance or something more prosaic, such as a busy morning spent rooting around for a missing shoe.

The closet is an extension of self, Walker says, and if it’s disorganized or crammed with outdated pieces—tapered pants, anyone?—it’s holding you back. Hiring a professional stylist for a wardrobe detox puts you on the mend.

These sessions involve an overhaul of the closet, from tossing out ill-fitting and ill-advised purchases to rearranging the closet by clothing type and color. What results is an edited wardrobe comprising only your best pieces—ones that fit and flatter.

Daryl Roe, 57, of Lakeview faced a closet crisis after moving to Chicago from the Baltimore area. In the process she downsized from a 4,000-square-foot home to 1,500 square feet, with similarly scaled-down storage space. Her new closet was “a disaster. I’d open the door and just close it, and I couldn’t find anything to wear,” she said. “I had to start over.”

‘It was just the most terrifying thing’

A work friend bought her a gift certificate for a closet-organization session with Chicago stylist Noelle Cellini of My Best Foot Forward, but Roe stalled. “I put it off and put it off,” Roe said. “It was just the most terrifying thing, having someone see my closet.”

Roe was afraid Cellini would pass judgment on her cluttered closet or, worse, on her taste. But Roe was pleasantly surprised. During a three-hour session, Cellini brought order to the chaos. By the end, blouses, skirts and suits were separated and rearranged by type and color, as were shoes and purses. With Cellini’s help, Roe shed three lawn-size bags of clothing, which went to Bottomless Closet, a non-profit for women re-entering the workforce.

“It was so incredibly liberating,” Roe said.

In fact, Cellini said, most of her clients express relief over their pared-down wardrobe. They’re also more confident knowing that what remains has passed the litmus test of a style professional.

Regrets are rare, she added. “No one has ever called me and said, ‘Do you still have that pink pinstriped blouse? Can I have it back?’ ”

But purging the wardrobe isn’t always easy. Clothing represents a financial investment, Cellini said, so people hold on to it. “They may not wear it, but they can’t get over what they paid for it.”

For this reason, Christine Matsunaga of Chicago- and Los Angeles-based Tristinstyling treads lightly when purging clients’ closets and always takes the discards with her when she leaves. “That way there’s no turning back,” she said. “Otherwise they start digging through it.”

If someone is especially resistant to parting with certain items, Matsunaga will create a memory box, like she did for one client’s collection of concert T-shirts. For her, a closet audit is really about reading her clients and determining what they need from her. “I always say I’m part wardrobe psychologist,” she said.

One recent client of Matsunaga’s faced an unusual challenge—Erin Gallagher, 29, needed to tame her wardrobe, not kick it up a notch. An up-and-coming jewelry designer with a flagship store in the West Loop and department store clients such as Nordstrom, Gallagher found that her funky, avant-garde wardrobe didn’t suit the corporate meetings and events she was increasingly attending.

“There are certain settings where I don’t know what to wear,” Gallagher said. “I know what to wear to a fashion event or gallery opening but not the Chicago Entrepreneurial Center dinner. At those events, you don’t want your clothes to be distracting. You want to keep the focus on your business.”

Bye-bye, purple tights

During the closet audit, Matsunaga suggested that Gallagher shelve her purple tights and other trendy pieces and focus on classic basics. Instead of the “big belt, big necklace and tall boots” Gallagher said she normally would have paired with a simple black dress, Matsunaga steered her toward minimal jewelry and a pair of sleek black pumps.

For those “Wait, what am I supposed to take off?” moments, Matsunaga e-mailed Gallagher images of business-appropriate outfits. Gallagher credits the stylist with taking her wardrobe “out of the studio and into the corporate boardroom.”

A closet auditor is as much a life coach as style adviser, explained Chicago stylist Bridget Smith, a.k.a. the Wardrobe Coach. The inside of a closet reflects a person’s shopping habits, she said, which are influenced by emotions.

Her approach is to identify what works on a client—and then get rid of everything that doesn’t. “We look at the overall picture,” Smith said. “Do these items align with … goals, personal and professional? So many clothes are just creating confusion.” Every item in the closet, she said, should support a person’s desired image.

After an audit, stylist Robin Walker said, you should be able to open up your closet and see clothing that truly supports who you are—the right colors, the right shapes and the right size. “That’s how you want to be greeted in the morning,” she said. “To open up your closet and see a celebration of yourself, it’s a relief.”

Tips for a DIY closet detox

Practice tough love: If you haven’t worn an item in a year and it doesn’t have sentimental value, get rid of it.

Suffering separation anxiety? Pick a favorite charity that accepts clothing donations and label it on empty boxes intended for discards. Or choose a friend a size smaller—or larger—to be the recipient of pieces that no longer fit.

Hang as much as you can in the closet, advises stylist Christine Matsunaga—including jeans and pants. Keeping everything together helps you find things easily and put together complete outfits. Just don’t hang sweaters, because they take up too much space and can stretch out on the hanger.

Matsunaga also suggests using matching hangers: “It really aids the flow of the eye.” She prefers white plastic hangers; they make the closet look uniform but don’t take up as much space as wooden hangers.

Keep it together: To save time on busy mornings, stylist Robin Walker suggests keeping MVP foundation garments—panties, Spanx, hosiery, bras—in the closet for easy access. She also tells clients to move their formalwear and seasonal clothing to a secondary closet or storage area. Only everyday items belong in the bedroom closet (not special-occasion lacy bras that look lumpy under many garments), along with a few preassembled outfits—go-to ensembles that have been “road tested”—for last-minute invites or mornings you sleep through the alarm.


Ready to enter wardrobe rehab? Here are a few resources:

Christine Matsunaga, tristinstyling
Contact: 312-545-5529,
Caters to: A younger clientele, both male and female—she has worked with everyone from models and PR people to teachers and college students.
Bonus: A personalized look book, or photographs of key outfits, which Matsunaga sends via e-mail after the session.
Cost: $150 to $300 for a complete closet audit, depending on closet size and complexity.

Noelle Cellini, My Best Foot Forward
Contact: 847-858-9193,
Caters to: Women (about 98 percent of clientele), especially working and stay-at-home moms.
Bonus: A shopping list with images of recommended pieces and links to where they can be ordered online.
Cost: $250 for a three-hour session.

Bridget Smith, The Wardrobe Coach
Contact: 773-301-0521,
Caters to: Busy urban professionals from their 30s to 60s, stay-at-home moms and people facing transitions, such as returning to work or re-entering the dating scene.
Bonus: Smith will scout out items after the audit for a follow-up shopping trip (if scheduled).
Cost: $400 for a half-day session.

Robin Walker, My Wardrobe Companion
Contact: 312-431-9662,
Caters to: Predominantly male clientele (about 70 percent), including power brokers, TV personalities and politicians.
Bonus: A shopping list identifying missing core pieces.
Cost: $350 for initial 90-minute session.

—Heidi Moore

Nadeen’s Photo shoot

Today we did a shoot with r.hanel photography and for Chicago actor/model, Nadeen! Check it out!

Video by tristinstying | Styled by Christine Matsunaga @ tristinstyling [] | Photographed by Rachel Hanel [] | Hair & Make-up by Krista Gobeli [] | Model: Nadeen Jazeh | Music: Outta My Head (ay ya ya) by Ashlee Simpson

Subversive for Target

Today Target will be launching a limited-edition accessories collection by Subversive. The collection’s designer, Justin Guinta, was recently given the title of best accessories designer by Ecco Domani’s Fashion Foundation. His designs are very urban chic couture with intricate details and a lot going on (but in a good way!). The collection will be available through July 20th and prices range between $14.99 – $59.99 so get it while you can before the good ones are gone!

Below, I’ve pasted images from the Trend Accessories Image Albums at

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Ask tristinstyling: How do I get hair like Eva Longoria?


I have long hair and want to know how to style it so it looks short but styled. How do I get hair like Eva Longoria in this picture?


To get this look with long hair is easy. All you need to do is section the hair on your head off and roll and bobby pin. Then simply finish it all off with some hairspray and hair pins. Take a look at this Ford Models video which explains it all step by step.

Fordmodels Video:
How to: Make an Eva Longoria Bob

(Johnny Lavoy shows how to fake a bob with curled hair, which is a look made popular by Eva Longoria.)

Before & After haircut by Cloud 9 Chicago

Check out this blog entry that I just cut and pasted from partner company, Cloud 9 Chicago…
Once again, Heather does wonders!

From: cloud9chicago
Time: March 19, 2008 at 8:13 pm
Subject: Before & After: Graduated Bob

Liz expressed to me that she wanted a more modern haircut that was fun and different. My suggestion to her was to do a trendy graduated bob with some layers and fringe. I did some interior and exterior texturizing to get her hair movement and shape. To style her hair I used a flat ironed to give her a sleek and shiny look.

Ask tristinstyling: What is the best way to do eye make-up?


What is the best way to do eye make-up?


First, I love smashbox cosmetics. Giovanni of smashbox is amazing. here is a video by Giovanni on hot to do pretty much anything from cat eye, to natural and smokey eye. Take notes! He gives a LOT of information in such a short amount of time!

Giovannismash Video:
The Dos & Don’ts for SEXY SMASHBOX EYES

(From Sexy lashes & Perfect brows to Come-and-get-it Cat Eyes – smashbox cosmetics artist Hank Hoffman gives you step-by-step guidance on giving yourself the most gorgeous EYES imaginable.)

The Yana Collection

Yesterday I styled the Fall ’08 look book of The Yana Collection. The shoot was photographed by Rachel Hanel and the designer, Yana German, was there.

We had such a blast!

The collection is going to be hot. All the pieces are designed to make the modern working woman look feminine, fierce, and edgy while still being able to keep it all looking powerful and professional.

No pencil skirts and frilly dresses or aprons here because this collection is going to be all about pairing flattering tops with trousers. It’s the kind of designer line that will have everyone saying, “That’s right boys, smart and sexy women wear the pants around here.”

Too much for conservative Chicago you say? I think not with Yana being one of six designers featured in The Chicago Fashion Incubator at Macy’s on State Street which was created by the city’s Fashion Council and Mayor Richard Daley as an effort to turn the city into another fashion icon which may keep designers in Chicago.

Keep your eyes peeled cause I’ve already got my eyes set on a number of pieces from the collection!

I’ll be posting up the images as soon as I get them so check back later!

(The attached photo is of a piece from the previous season. It was featured in an article about the incubator designers on

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week at Smashbox Studios in LA

Day 1 of fashion week was a lot of fun. I missed the opening show, IMASU which was in the main tent but from the buzz of the crowd, it sounded like I didn’t miss much so I shrugged it off and checked the schedule.

Orthodox was up next.

So hi ho and after waiting in line for the tickets, I was off to the Orthodox show.

I sat front row by the wall beside another designer (Heidi Merrick) who I believe, is a neighbor of the Orthodox studio.

The show went by quick with only 22 looks of men’s and women’s pieces. I liked it!

So what will be in style for fall ’08? looks like leather, blacks, plums, gloves, some stripes and yes, keep those tights and tight jeans in your wardrobe because they will still be in! My favorite piece (left) was the “Mary Coat” which came out last. You can view images of the collection and the video here on the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Website.

After the Orthodox Show, I hung around the lobby and scoped for my favorite star ensemble. Tichina Arnold looked cute in all black, Bijou Phillips and Lauren German seemed cozy in printed dresses, and then there’s my favorites:

First, Juliette Lewis.

Though I know some might say, “What? Hot Pink and navy?” I was thinking, “Cute!!”

She sported silk navy knickers and hot pink tights with a big bead necklace to match. Then topped it all off with a gray beret.

Next, Cameron Richardson.

I loved loved loved the derby hat that she wore to bring that pretty in pink 80’s fashion back into her ensemble without it looking tacky (if you know what I mean).