Winter 2017-2018 Look Book
So in my ever lasting pursuit to serve my clients in all areas as best as possible, I sat down one day and cataloged all the questions my clients ask me on a day to day basis. As usual there was the good, the bad, and the ugly, but I was able to type answers to most of them and put them on my “Ask Meredith” section of my website. But then out of the blue, a big beautiful idea came to me like a butterfly, except it wasn’t small and light like a butterfly but large and fat like a goose. Second thought, this was an Idea Goose scratch the butterfly. This goose of an idea was to create a seasonal look book for my clients to answer the most frequent question I get, “What should we wear?” I set out trying to gather bits of what was in style for this season so I could compile it into a normal blog post and at the end of the day, I had a hodge podge of strange outfits all in different hues of black. I sucked at this, I gravitated towards what I would normally wear and that is black sweaters with t shirts, jeans, and ankle boots. Not that I look bad or anything (I tend to think of my style as Mortisha Adams meets young and ambitious librarian **hair flip**) but this definitely wasn’t a well rounded style guide by any means. Thats when I made the decision to stick what I was good at (taking photos) and delegate this task out to someone who knew better than I. Leah Rutliff.
Not only was Leah by my side through more than a few French classes, she became a good friend of mine in high school and college. She is very active in the fashion community in Kansas City, and when I say active I mean she helped organize Kansas City Fashion Week, wrote for fashion blogs, and she has now started her own personal shopping business. I personally love stalking her socials because she is that girl that picks up and does the damn things in life. So I reached out to her through friendship and through collaboration to be my exclusive fashion consultant and together we created a look book designed to give ideas and inspire my clients to put together an outfit that will work with the trends and with the seasons. I have photographed the outfits that Leah created so that my clients can see what the colors and the pieces will look like through my camera and my editing. You don't have to pull her exact outfit, but even if you look at these and get some inspiration from them, it has done its job. I am so excited to release this first addition and I hope it inspires some of my winter clients to book more sessions and dress like a freaking rock star. I want to thank Jesse for being such a good model for me and Leah for putting in all the hard work it took to create this.
Leah's direct responses are italicized and the questions I gave Leah that stem from the questions I get from Clients. My additional responses will be marked with a "*"
Mustard sweater and Jesse's blue flannel: "Sometimes there's a fine line between color coordination and being 'too matching' in photos. It's really easy to retreat to buying everything in the same color scheme, but I always prefer photos that use colors that mix well as opposed to matching well. This golden yellow really stands well with Jesse's blue and while we don't match.. we work well together. (Wow that says a lot about our relationship too!)"
Pink sweater with Jesse's flannel: "If your guy is anything like mine, he's probably not thrilled to take pictures at 9:00 am on Sunday morning so he's DEFINITELY not down to change outfits there either. While not ideal, it's still something to work with. YOUR outfit can really affect how your guys' outfit looks. The second I put on my favorite sweater and some casual jeans, Jesse's outfit looks more casual as well. (And again.. check out that color combo!)"
*I always like for my clients to be comfortable so it is amazing to have an outfit like this one so I can ask your significant other to throw you around a bit. (Let's get phys-ical, phys-ical).
What is something that is always in style? - Animal print is seriously my go to. It's elevates any outfit and it's actually really easy to incorporate in your everyday look. You definitely shouldn't be afraid of it! I love a good oversized sweater.. it's creates so many options. Tuck it in, belt it, wear it over a dress, wear it with leggings, wear it off the shoulder, possibilities are endless!
Green dress and fur vest - "This is for all my families out there. It's hard enough to get yourself dressed for photos but 3-5 of you.. impossible?!! Pick one neutral color for everyone and stick with it. In this case, it would be ivory or white. Have dad wear an ivory sweater, have mom throw on some white pants, put brother in a cream colored flannel and VIOLA ... it works."
What should we wear if it snows? - If you're dressing for snow, I recommended wearing a BRIGHT color. I'm really into hot pink this season and it's an easy color to transition to spring obviously, but even if you do all black in the snow with a bold hot pink lip you'll definitely stand out! I'd stay away from starch whites, but grays work with a snowy backdrop beautifully! It isn't as a harsh clash between all black outfits and white snow, which I think people tend to fall back on. Also DO NOT be afraid of color! Even if your day is a little gray, don't retreat to all black because you think you have to match the weather. When you look at your pictures in 10 years you aren't going to think about the weather, just how good you look in your photos! Wear what YOU feel more comfortable in because that's going to make your pictures a lot better than any outfit ever could.
What is a misconception about dressing for winter? - That you can't wear florals! Winter florals do exist - just find some in a more neutral color palette and wear it with darker shoes / jeans.
Floral top - "Look!!! WINTER FLORALS. you can't go wrong with this and you'll really pop on a gray-ish January day!"
*Personally loved this outfit because my inner flower child did backflips. From a photographer's stand point you don't always have to be in front of flowers and amazing landscapes to make the photo look good, sometimes wearing the flowers makes the photo just as complex and interesting.
Chiefs - "Go Chiefs, right? Wanting to show your KC support doesn't mean you have to trade in your stylish outfits for your cozy tshirt.. dress it up! You'll be glad you did. (Side note- if jess was in this photo you better believe he'd be rocking his Kareem Hunt jersey.. again you don't always have to match!!)"
What is a trends for winter this year that you are LOVING? - Velvet, animal print (as ALWAYS! Cheetah is the new black, and my favorite neutral) denim jackets, prints, and in my book, hot pink is the new red!
Off the shoulder top - "Even though it's becoming late winter, that means spring is on the horizon! An off the shoulder sweater is a great way to stay in your season while looking forward to the next."
*I love off the shoulder tops. In a photograph it allows for new levels of intimacy to be shown without being in your bedroom, like touching kissing etc. Plus exposing your collarbones and shoulders is such an amazing way to add lines and direction to a photo.
What is your go to store? - Nordstrom / Nordstrom rack is my number one spot. They've got EVERYTHING and if you do some digging, they've got some great pieces at a great price.
*I have to go to bat for Old Navy too because they have the sweaters that Leah mentions for like 1 dollar (exaggerating but you get the point) and they have it in 5,476 colors.
Check out the rest of the shoot to see the possibilities these outfits offer! Click on the far right picture to scroll through our work!