Company helps men, women find their fashion
Diane Loviglio and husband Gilman Tolle knew they needed help.
Their lack of fashion sense was evident in their everyday appearance. They would stand in front of their closets thinking: “What should I wear today?”
Tolle would most likely grab a pair of jeans and a button-down shirt, while Loviglio would select dark jeans, a tank top and one of three cardigans.
“We knew we needed assistance,” she says. “And we realized we couldn't do it alone. When we went to stores on our own, we just bought more of the same clothes we had been wearing.”
After the couple got the style guidance they longed for, they set out to help others become better dressed and more confident in their attire.
The Carnegie Mellon University graduates, who now live in California, created Share Some Style, a company founded to help individuals like themselves who need casual fashion advice and don't know where to turn.
They found the help they longed for when a friend introduced them to two stylists. They learned to embrace a different style with the help of a professional and decided to, ahem, Share Some Style with other men and women. They have locations in San Francisco, New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, Boston, San Jose, Washington D.C. — and Pittsburgh.
Here's how it works:
• The first step is finding a stylist by reading their online reviews and seeing photos of other clients.
• The second is a closet audit, where the stylist helps mix and match clothes you already have, get rid of items that don't fit the style you want to have, identify new items to fill the holes, and learn the best place to find them.
• The third step is a shopping trip to find new outfits, check the fit, and, possibly, get out of your fashion comfort zone.
• The fourth step is just to look great, Loviglio says.
The cost is based on an hourly rate between $50 and $90. Plans are in the works to add a feature where you can search outfits by gender, age, body type and style situation.
“I want (clients) to feel good about themselves, and so much of that comes from what you wear,” says Loviglio, who grew up outside New York City; Tolle grew up near Philadelphia. “I don't know high fashion, but I love when people look amazing and learn the art of pairing and mixing and matching outfits. Once they learn those skills, they are more confident. I know it made me more confident.”
Stylist Anya Weitzman of Garfield describes Share Some Style as an online network that serves to bring the luxury of a personal stylist down to earth. In addition to meeting with clients, stylists write blogs for the website and offer style tips and stories of past experiences with customers.
“My favorite part is working one-on-one with individual clients,” Weitzman says. “Through the site you can chat with local stylists and meet someone who has a personality and approach that matches your own taste. Once you have a good match, you can schedule a closet audit to clean out your wardrobe or a shopping trip with your new consultant.”
Local stylist Erica Nickol from Lawrenceville says she enjoys helping men and women of all sizes and shapes find their style.
“I would describe Share Some Style for people who need a little help finding inspiration or just finding out what their personal style is, because they may not have time or may not pay attention to fashion or grown up around fashion like I have,” Nickol says. “We are here to help them find what fits right. We have the eye for knowing what goes with what and which cut looks best on which body. It is really about people feeling good about what they are wearing.”
And when they do, that will show because it will give them a little boost whether in a meeting at work or when they are out and about, Loviglio says.
“It can be very difficult to get out of your house in the morning if you aren't sure what to wear,” says Nickol, who is an architect and artist, as well. “We give them some tips on what to wear with what so they know. It really saves a lot of time, making that part of their day not so hectic.”
Stylists feel as good finding items for themselves as for someone else, she says.
“To see the transformation is amazing,” Nickol says.
Stylist Ben Boskovich of Mt. Washington agrees. He worked with George Subrebost of Swissvale, whose wife, Anna Dubrovsky, bought him a session for Father's Day.
“George is a good-looking guy, but his wardrobe was not doing him any favors,” Dubrovsky says. “He wore ill-fitted shirts and baggy pants. But I have seen a transformation. Ben did great. And he saved us time because he is so efficient.”
Subrebost was the ideal client because he was open for suggestions, Boskovich says.
“He was honest with me about everything,” Boskovich says. “And he was eager to learn. He was like a blank canvas. That made working with him so easy.”
The two discussed budget and which stores were best to find an outfit for a wedding this summer.
“I saw clothes as just utility and I didn't want to spend a lot of money on new clothes either, and Ben stayed within my budget,” Subrebost says. “I feel more confident and that's a great feeling. I have added some items to my wardrobe that I wouldn't have thought of on my own. And I can walk into a store now and know what looks good together and which pieces work with the ones I already own.”
Subrebost doesn't just buy dark colors any more. He has incorporated lighter pieces into his wardrobe, as well as adding accessories, such as watches or a pocket square to give the outfit a different look.
“George has the tools to go out on his own, and he's done it,” Boskovich says. “Fit is the No. 1 priority. Fit can make or break you. Use trends as inspiration and find ways to incorporate that trend in a way that works best for you. Develop a signature style to where people say, ‘Ben, he looks good all the time.' It has to look like it's effortless and that you aren't trying too hard.”
During the initial meeting, Boskovich didn't toss out everything. He suggested pieces for Subrebost to keep and which items needed tailoring.
“I would definitely recommend it,” Subrebost says. “I didn't think much about aesthetics. I hadn't really shopped for clothes in five years. I knew it would be a challenge for Ben. It is great to get advice from someone who knows style. I got so many compliments on the outfit I wore to the wedding. It was kind of tough to see half my wardrobe gone, but you realize you will live on afterwards.”
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-320-7889.