Style Expert: Melanie Kluger of The Confident Closet

Happy Friday, Jovani fans! Today is all about embracing your personal style and loving the skin you are in. To show us the light, we’ve invited personal style guru Melanie Kluger from Head Over Heels with Melanie to dish on how you can find your inner style and dress your personal best. 
JOVANI: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business. What inspired you to start Head Over Heels with Melanie and The Confident Closet? 
MELANIE: Hi there! I’m Melanie Kluger, personal stylist, closet connoisseur, and creator of Head Over Heels with Melanie. I’m a New Yorker who is currently living in the Bay Area with my hubs, cute Boston terrier pup, and two adorable kiddos. I help woman clean out their closet, gain confidence in their personal style, and learn to love getting dressed in the morning. 
I was inspired to start Head Over Heels with Melanie (and eventually The Confident Closet) because I am beyond passionate about making women feel good. I don’t consider myself to be a stylist that says “Dress like this!” or “This is what’s on trend, do that!” I pride myself on asking the right questions to help you find our own style, so you can feel confident getting dressed and going shopping. Think about how amazing you feel in a great outfit. Could you imagine if every woman felt like that all the time? It’s truly life changing stuff! 
JOVANI: Who is the perfect candidate for a Confident Closet? Who is not a good candidate? 
MELANIE: The Confident Closet is a program for anyone who is ready to have a closet filled with clothes they wear. Anyone who is sick of feeling like they have a closet filled with clothes yet nothing feels like them, or they have things that USED to feel like them, but now it just makes them frustrated. 
Women go through so many life transitions and so often our clothes don’t change with us. This leaves us feeling frustrated and lost when it comes to shopping. I actually don’t think there is anyone who couldn’t benefit from The Confident Closet. I’ve had Style Blazers (what I call my tribe of amazing clients) who have loved fashion but needed to know how to get rid of clothes they didn’t wear. I’ve also had clients that are great at organizing but have no clue how to accessorize. It’s a course about how to clean out your closet, but really it’s about so much more. 
JOVANI: What is the number one thing women who you help say to you after the process? What kinds of changes do they notice after your help? 

MELANIE: Love this question! I’d say the number one thing is that they learn to trust their gut. One of the biggest things that happen over time in our closet is that our style changes but our wardrobe stays the same.  One of my past clients, Joy, wrote this about her experience:
“I was shocked this week to discover that yes, I actually have a personal style! This week’s style sheets and “homework” were so helpful to me — I realized that the things I was pinning and gravitating toward were so similar to things I wear that make me feel the most confident. I totally had an “Aha!” moment of, “Wait, why I am buying other things and not honoring my own style?” It felt so great to realize that!”
JOVANI: That’s awesome. Can you give us your top 3 tips when trying to identify your ideal personal style? How can a woman determine what looks best on her? 
MELANIE: First, if you aren’t very clear on your personal style, gaining clarity and inspiration is so crucial! Spend some time on Pinterest and in magazines and then look at what you’ve been drawn to. You may think that your style is still preppy but when you see what you’ve pinned you realize it’s changed significantly, and that’s why all those button downs in your closet are not getting worn! 
Second, now that you’ve gotten inspired, hone in and gain some focus by picking four words that emulate your style.  These four words should be used every morning when you get dressed. It helps so much when something doesn’t seem to be working. 
Finally, when determining what looks best on you and also matches your personal style you need to make one VERY important decision. Do you want to go for the most flattering or the most fashionable? They are not always the same piece. For example, I love shift dresses and have some that are so funky and fun. They aren’t as flattering on my shape but I feel amazing in them and to me that’s worth it. Of course, knowing what flatters your body shape really helps when buying clothes.
JOVANI: Not everyone can be a size 2. What kind of styling and clothing shopping tips do you have for plus size women? What are the best types of clothing to look for, and what should they steer away from? 
MELANIE: Plus size women rejoice! There are so many styles that look amazing! I think the biggest mistake women make is that they buy clothes loose and large instead of showing off their curves. It actually makes you look larger if you are busty and you wear super loose and blousy clothes. For dresses, look for v necks if you are busty, look for an a-line if you have an hourglass, and focus on structured and thicker materials to help smooth and flatter.
JOVANI: I love how you break down the best styles for curvy bodies! For a formal event, how do you help a woman choose the perfect gown? How does this process differ from everyday clothing shopping? 
MELANIE: When it comes to the perfect formal gown, there are different requirements than every day clothing. It doesn’t need to usually be versatile so you can go bolder with colors and think specifically about the event. 
Also, you know there will be photos so it’s important to feel like your dress is unique and flattering. When shopping I help my clients make a list of what their priorities are, and then it’s just about trying on everything until you find the one that makes you feel the most amazing!
JOVANI: Once a woman has chosen the perfect formal dress, how should she go about choosing accessories? What are some of the items you need to consider to complete your outfit?
MELANIE: Before we talk about accessories we gotta talk about undergarments! Does the dress need Spanx or a strapless bra? What specialty items help to make your item complete? Then when it comes to accessories it’s important to complement the dress. I usually pick one statement piece and other accent pieces. For example, if you have earrings that are large and gorgeous, then maybe you don’t wear a necklace and a smaller bracelet to let you and the dress shine!
JOVANI: What are some of your favorite JOVANI or JVN dresses (, and how would you envision styling them?  
MELANIE: I’m a huge fan of the JVN One Shoulder Mikado Evening Dress in a vibrant jewel tone fuchsia. By picking a bold color and gorgeous shoulder detail, I would keep the details minimal. I would style it with a gorgeous pair of black pumps and crystal drop earrings. 
JVN 48709 is also an incredible JVN dress for a formal event! I adore how classic it is and it seems like it would be fabulous to dance in. For a fancy wedding choose the dress in black and wear it with a boldly colored earring like a royal blue heel and earrings to coordinate!
I’m also dying over the amazingness that is JVN 47786 for a glam showstopper! Black heels, soft curls, and a small pair of studs and you are ready to wow!
JOVANI: We love those dresses too! What are 3 Styling Do’s for women shopping for a formal event?
MELANIE: Styling Do #1: Go for a classic style and change up accessories to make it unique.
Style Do #2: Make sure to choose hair and makeup that feels like you. Sometimes we can want to go for an adventurous look with our hair but a formal event isn’t always the best time. 
Style Do #3: Make sure to focus on the undergarments! They can make or break a dress! 
JOVANI: Those are great tips! What are 3 Styling Don’ts for formal attire shopping? 
MELANIE: Style Don’t #1: Don’t buy a dress too small and tell yourself you’ll lose weight by the time of the event. Hello! Too much pressure! I know this one might seem silly but this happens ALL THE TIME. Don’t do it, girl! It’s so much easier to take a dress in at the tailor than to let it out.
Style Don’t #2: Don’t overdo it. Pick a dress that flatters and makes you light up when you wear it and know you don’t need a big earring, huge necklace, colored shoe, bright lip and a big updo. You know, balance baby! 
Style Don’t #3: Don’t forget about getting your dress hemmed! This is soooo important. If your dress is too long you will be stepping on and tripping over it. Here’s a pro tip: Wear the undergarments to the tailor so that it’s completely accurate. A padded bra can change a hemline significantly! 
JOVANI: Love that tip – I’ve never heard that before but it’s so true. Is there one piece of advice you have that can apply to women across the board when it comes to style? 
MELANIE: Trust your gut! So often we doubt ourselves and don’t really go for it when it comes to personal style. You know yourself better than you think you do! I promise!
JOVANI: Thank you so much for your time and sage styling advice, Melanie!
If you loved her fabulous words of wisdom as much as we did, be sure to check out her blog, Head Over Heels with Melanie, as well as her Instagram. 
We just love that this is the final blog post for 2016 – it’s the perfect time to take stock of what’s in your closet and reflect on what changes you should make for the new year. Using Melanie’s tips, take stock of what is working, and what isn’t working – and make room for a more fabulous wardrobe that you’ll love (and one that will love you back!) in 2017. Happy New Year, friends!