Casual and Professional Styled 3 Ways

Julie Houghton, a dear friend of mine, came to me looking for styling help putting together three outfits for a branding photo shoot for her website. Julie is a career coach, who has been instrumental in helping me get my business started last year! (More about what she does and how you can work with her at the end of this post.)

Starting with a quick lady-date chit-chat sesh via Skype, we dove into her existing wardrobe to see if there were any pieces we could use for her photo shoot. We found a fabulous blue, white, and coral striped scarf and decided to use that to draw inspiration for a color palette.


With our colors determined, we kept sifting through her closet to find complementary items that we could make 2-3 outfits out of. Julie already had a denim jacket, a navy and white striped cardigan, and a white blazer. Having three different outerwear items already gave us three different looks!


Julie’s a busy mom of two girls who works from home, so we made a short wish list of tops and accessories that she could shop for online to save time, try on at home, and make final decisions. Free delivery and return shipping eliminated the risk–keep only what you want and return the rest!


Considering her photo shoot was going to take place outdoors, Julie didn’t have anywhere to get dressed. Changing her top and bottom wasn’t going to be an option. So we had to create a “uniform” of sorts underneath and just switch out layers and accessories to create different looks.

Stylist Tip: You can use this same mix & match concept in your own wardrobe. Try picking a top and bottom, or maybe a dress, and styling it three ways by changing out layering pieces and accessories. Jackets, cardigans,  scarves, and necklaces are all great pieces to give your go-to’s a fresh look!

For Julie’s uniform, blue jeans were an easy choice for pants, since they can be dressed up or down for her more casual and professional looks. With all of her items thus far being neutral blues and whites, we brought in the coral through her top for some bright contrast, keeping with the color theme.

Just some final notes on my thought process for styling each look…

  • I paired the scarf with the jean jacket to create contrast between two textures–soft and delicate, against stiff and rugged. Adding a scarf is such an easy way to instantly look put together!
  • The striped cardigan would have looked fine with a solid coral top underneath, but the fun geometric lace texture gives it more interest and looks a little more polished.
  • We wanted to incorporate a statement piece into one of the looks, so we went with a chunky gold and crystal necklace. There are a lot of options out there for statement necklaces, but this one works because the shape of the stones picks up the circular elements in the lace design of the top.

If you’re a busy mama balancing meetings and play dates and want some tips on creating a comfortable yet professional wardrobe, schedule a 30 minute 1-on-1 consultation with me to put together your new look.

And if you feel uninspired, drained, or overwhelmed in your career and know you’re meant to do something more, Julie is your girl to help you feel more alive!

Julie Houghton is a life and career coach who helps women get unstuck so they can live the life of their dreams. Go to to schedule a free consultation and to get her free guide, Five Simple Things You Can Do Today To Find Work That Feeds Your Soul.


4 Comments on Casual and Professional Styled 3 Ways

  1. Liz
    July 9, 2014 at 1:40 pm (8 months ago)

    You look amazing, Julie!!! nice work, Natalie!!! :) :) :)

    • Natalie
      July 9, 2014 at 2:37 pm (8 months ago)

      Thanks, Liz! You’ve really brought the pictures to life on Julie’s website :)

  2. Tammy
    July 9, 2014 at 4:22 pm (8 months ago)

    I love all 3 looks! The color palette is gorgeous on her. Great work!

    • Natalie
      July 9, 2014 at 5:17 pm (8 months ago)

      Thanks, Tammy!


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