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InStyle Workbook Interview: Help in Your Closet Refresh

Remember back in the day when we didn't have Pinterest or Instagram? I'd anxiously await for each monthly issue of Glamour, InStyle, Vogue, or Woman's Wear Daily. I'd scoured the pages for pictures of color and style trends. I'd read the short articles about accessories and up and coming shoe trends. Now, so much of it is online. Today, I was looking through an old InStyle workbook that included a booklet with a list of style questions. As I read it, I began to play along and write out my answers. It was fun and a little interesting, probing into my personal style preferences. Here are the questions and my answers for myself. You may want to ask yourself these questions, too.

My top five all-time favorite pieces of clothing?

  1. A Good Pair of Jeans - This changes about every year and a half due to trends evolving. At the moment, I'm loving my Levi's flared leg jeans. I bought two pairs and had them hemmed at two different lengths (one for flats and one for heels).

  2. A Statement Blazer - I have a straight body shape; I'm an Apple. A fantastic way to camouflaged lack of curves is to wear a third piece item ( a blazer or cardigan). So, I am drawn to blazers with personality! I recently was asked how many blazers I own and I gave a rough estimate. The person I was talking to looked unbelieving. I went home and counted and I was spot on. Let me just say, "I really love blazers!"

  3. LBD (Little Black Dress) - Every girl needs at least one LBD. But, two, three, or more Little Black Dresses are fun, and can go to numerous occasions! LOL. There are so many varieties! But, one can often switch out the accessories to dress it up or style it more casually.

  4. Black heel booties for Fall/Winter and White Sneakers for Spring/Summer - Again, these change yearly as the trends evolve. It's okay because, I wear them so much that they are tired by the time I need a refresh. booties Sneakers

  5. A Simple Shell Top - For years I always bought the statement blazer and then went home and struggled to pair it with blouses. Once I found a simple black shell top, I realized everything looked good with it. So, I bought an Ivory and a Navy shell top, too. They are plain basics that are a must-have in a wardrobe. If you want to wear the statement pieces, you have to have the foundational pieces.

Thrifting Find - Cat Print Jacket @MODAInternational
Photo by Lucy Davis

Green Blazer @BananaRepublic

My Go-To Jewelry?

Photo by Lucy Davis
  1. Gold Chain Necklace - to wear alone or to wear layered with other necklaces. When I started wardrobe consulting ten years ago, big gaudy jewelry was in. It's taken a turn and gone more minimal the last few years but, I see a shift happening again. Don't throw that jewelry out! What goes around, comes back around.

  2. Over-sized Pearl Earrings - I love these! They are classic and yet, not minimal.

  3. Statement Ring - What can I say? It feels feminine.

  4. A Watch - I have to have a watch. I've been wearing one since 3rd grade. Last week the battery went out and I had to take it into the jewelers to get it replaced. I was a bit lost without it.

The Outfit or Item People always compliment me on?

I get compliments when I wear any of my green blazers. They look good over a black suit dress, navy foundation or paired with jeans. The green highlights my eye color.

Blazer @AnnTaylor
Thifting Find - Green Velvet Blazer @NineWest
Green Blazer @BananaRepublic

What's something I've always wanted and never bought?

Oh, I've always wanted an expensive purse. BUT...I'm really hard on purses. I stuff them with work items and personal items and I throw them around. My purses take a beating. I would feel horrible using an expensive purse for utility purposes. But, if I were to give into whims, I love the look of this Chloe purse.

What's something I keep buying too many of and need to reconsider?

I have a weakness for buying jeans, even when I don't need them. The trends evolve and so, a new pair here and there is to be expected but, I have to limit myself so, I don't over indulge. When I was young, I often wore floods or jeans that were too tight, needing the next size up. I wanted new jeans but my folks couldn't afford them. I know this desire to buy more jeans is purely phycological. This a common issue with women who just can't part with clothing in their wardrobes. It's good to know our issues and know the reasons behind our hang-ups, setting reasonable limits. My favorite fit is a pair of Levi's mid-rise bootcut. I do go through my jeans yearly and donate what's dated or not being used.

What's My Favorite Trends from Spring 2024 Runways?

These are Trends I've been seeing but, my favorites are brooches, Trench Coats, and the Yellow Butter Color.

  1. Brooches - I love vintage brooches so, seeing them in large sizes and clusters on blazers this Spring is exciting.

  2. Satin Fabrics - Satin in bold and pastel colors has an energetic vibe.

  3. Lace - It's feminine and pretty

  4. Trench Coats - But, not a boring trench.

  5. Sheer Skirts - Sheer skirts over Hot Pants is the thing. Maybe not at Grandma's but, it is on the runways.

  6. Short Coats

  7. Dresses over Pants

  8. Yellow Butter Color

  9. Denim on Denim

Carolina Herrera

Carolina Herrera

Georgio Armani


Cinq a Sept

Cinq a Sept

Michael Kors

Sergio Hudson



Ask yourself these questions:

What are your top five favorite wardrobe pieces?

What is your go-to jewelry?

What outfit or item do you get compliments on?

What's a wardrobe item you've always wanted and never bought?

What's something you keep buying too many of and you need to reconsider?

Questions help us understand ourselves better. Are you in a wardrobe rut? Do you need help going through your closet to find those quality, go-to pieces? Do you need styling for your lifestyle?

Reach out to me and let's make a plan.

Happy Wardrobing!!

Kathy Banta - Twin Cities Wardrobe Consultant/Stylist

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