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Where To start When You need style inspiration

Where should you start when you need style inspiration? Are online stylists all out of your budget? reader M has a terrific question:
I am a 48 yr. young corporate professional / entrepreneur /contractor looking for professional, age appropriate looks. Can you suggest a website that can guide my “lack of style” sense to better purchases within a reasonable budget, too? I really need a stylist but the Internet is my next best option. I tend to like and clothing but I am a size 16 (working on this part) and 5′ 3′ (wish it could change 🙂 … two big issues… and oh yea, no heels for me. thanks in advance for any help you can offer. I would love to find the info I seek here.
Great question, M! We’ve talked about some of the best personal style blogs before, as well as personal shoppers, but we’ve never quite done a post on stylists, or where to start for style inspiration. (M, you may also want to check out our post on how to look professional in flats when that’s all you wear.)  I’m curious to hear what readers say! A few notes:
online stylists DO exist and they’re not necessarily out of your budget.  I’ve never tried them, but I know a number of pals have raved about Stitchfix, as well as Keaton & Row. Corporette readers have also sung the praises of the free personal styling service Nordstrom provides.

Follow blogs for inspiration.  In terms of blogs, You look fab and The Vivienne files both do “capsule collections,” which can be a terrific way to start nailing down your style. In terms of age-appropriate inspiration, une femme d’un certain âge may be a good blog for you to check out, as well as Lisa’s Amid Privilege; Not dressed as a Lamb is another plus-40 blog that could give you some terrific ideas.
Know when to rock the cocktail dress.  I’m a big fan of Marie Forleo as well, but I normally think of her as wearing very cocktail-type dresses, which may be terrific for some entrepreneurial/networking type events, but too much for regular workdays. For budget-friendly options, you may want to check out rent the Runway, which just started offering size 16 and up. (I looove the reader photos in their dresses! Modcloth offers something similar — readers wearing their Modcloth purchases.)
Finally:  I highly recommend finding a “body twin” in the public sphere to follow and see what she wears and how she (or her stylist) puts it together. follow her on Instagram, do a search on Pinterest for other style pictures, and more. By “body twin” this could be someone your “size” (as in, clothing label), or someone who’s just built like you, whatever her size (hourglass, etc). I’ve read somewhere that Oprah is around a size 16, so she may be a terrific style inspiration for you; you may also want to look at actress Brooke Elliott (who dressed very fashionably as a lawyer on drop Dead Diva). We’ve also rounded up clothing stores that carry sizes 16-18 before.

Readers, have you tried any online stylists? Which blogs or other sources do you follow for inspiration? readers size 16 and up, which blogs and public figures do you follow?

Pictured: Mens Wear, originally uploaded to Flickr by Theen Moy.

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