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The First (and Hopefully Only) Sartorialist Make-Over


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Monday, April 14, 2008

The First (and Hopefully Only) Sartorialist Make-Over

So I'm walking in the East Village last week and stopped into a magazine store for some gum.

While I'm in there a young woman walks in and down an aisle, I barely saw what she was wearing but I was curious.
I guess she saw me looking because she said hi and that she was a fan of the site.

We spoke for a few minutes and while we were talking I kept trying to figure out how i could take a picture of her without getting those boots in the shot!

Anyway, I asked if I could take a shot of her but after a few tries I realized this would never go on The Sartorialist.

Those boots never make a girls legs look good, they always hit at the widest part of the leg which makes your leg look shapeless. I don't think I have ever shot a young lady for this site wearing that type of boot, or cowboy boots.

The hair is way too long and seems a bit old-fashioned for her and I don't get the tights/hose.

At least the dress is savable but that neckline combined with her hair does nothing for her long neck.

For all the people that say "she is so cute she would look good in a potato sack" well, here is the proof that even the cutest need to make good stylistic choices.

That's when I realized she needs a Sartorialist make-over. We are not going to make some huge transformation, she doesn't need it, but we can make a few changes that will really make a big impact on her personal presentation.

The first thing we are going to do is get her hair cut.

I'm no hair guru but I think we should go short.

What do you think?
We are going to try and do the cut on Wednesday so we need your feed back.

Her name is Phoenix and she is an illustration student. I think it would be great to get all that hair out of her face while she is drawing.

Since she is a student I thought we would also go to Gap or J. Crew for some reasonably-priced, easy Spring/Summer pieces that will fit into her lifestyle.

I have no idea how this will go but it could be a fun little project.

Comments on "The First (and Hopefully Only) Sartorialist Make-Over"


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:17 AM) : 

to be honest, i think she looks A LOT better pre-makeover than some of the people you have photographed for your blog.

and how is her hair way too long? it looks shoulder-length!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:18 AM) : 

Leave the length, maybe trim it a bit or change the style, but definitely incorporate a color change. Perhaps a blonde with light brown lowlights, or a more fiery red/orange- resembling marcia cross' style. Blunt bangs perhaps if she's up for a bolder change?


Blogger franz said ... (8:18 AM) : 

The Sartorialist or also called The Perfectionist.

I like her outfit. It reflects a bit individualism.


Blogger Unknown said ... (8:20 AM) : 

Please do not touch the color of her hair -- it's beautiful. Change everything else!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:21 AM) : 

Her hair is gorgeous - so nice and thick - but you're right. Because she's so "delicate", it could be a little shorter or have some of the weight taken off of it.

I disagree on one thing about the boots. She has great legs and can get away with where the boots "hit" her leg. Something a bit less clunky would look good with the dress. If she wears those boots with the dress though, the tights need to be darker.


Blogger tjoyy said ... (8:22 AM) : 

I cant wait to see what happens

I think a make over is a great idea - I am interested because it will help me understand your ideas of what style is


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:23 AM) : 

Dude, she looks about 16. Back away from the child and work your magic on someone your own age.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:24 AM) : 

Needless to say, she is beautiful. Skin, lips, eyes, hair, figure -- all wonderful. Would recommend keeping much of her hair length, as her face is round.

Agree with the boot assessment, Sart. I'll leave it to the experts on this site to recommend shoes and outfit alternatives.

Great idea, Sart -- everyone loves a makeover, especially if they have input.


Blogger Sandy Pearson said ... (8:25 AM) : 

Oh dear! She's really exquisite. Your previous post "You're not me" says volumes. You may improve her appearance toward some preconceived standard but only at the cost of taking away a certain youthful insouciance.

I love the sartorialist because you find the best in what is. To start down the path of makeovers runs counter to what makes you and the people you photograph outstanding.


Blogger xx.e said ... (8:25 AM) : 

she is indeed pretty, but her outfit.. eh... she could do with a edgier bob, but long enough to put up in a pony tail if she wanted. maybe even some highlights?? i'm sure she'll be even prettier after the make-over!! exciting!!!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:29 AM) : 

most definitely go with short hair. she has a beautiful face, and i think the short hair will definitely show that off


Blogger Stefanie said ... (8:33 AM) : 

YES this is fun! I think a chin length bob would look KILLER on her, no bangs and don't change the colour.

Can't wait to see the results.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:33 AM) : 

i am all anticipation, im sure it will be fun. it's a good break from usual routine and maybe (hopefully!) not the last make-over. keep us posted!



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:34 AM) : 

I think she would look good with a jane seeberg-ish haircut.
or something like this girl:


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:35 AM) : 

Yes, I think her face is perfect for short hair.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:35 AM) : 

Get some nice (and cheap) colored T-shirts and Jeans at Uniqlo. Some comfortable flats and cotton cardigans... proper art student standards that you don't have to worry about getting ruined as it isn't too expensive.

Or a cotton dress with a large belt may be more her style.

I don't think the hair has to be short, but would look good at least up.


Blogger afser said ... (8:37 AM) : 

bangs at the eye brow level will be good.


Blogger the elephant girl said ... (8:38 AM) : 

I think a short hair cut would look great on her! Maybe something a little piecey and pixie-ish.


Blogger Eleanor said ... (8:41 AM) : 

Yes! I simply cannot wait to see the short haircut.

I bet she will feel reborn.

She will walk differently and carry herself differently.

I even bet her drawing will be a bit different.

I envy her, because there is nothing quite like that feeling you get when you have a really good short haircut (after having had long hair for a long time).



Blogger maggieescargot said ... (8:41 AM) : 

i would agree with the hair matter.
it covers her pretty face.

the boots in this picture looks fine, although i must agree cowboy boots are not good on the legs, or the look of the leg. it does accentuate the widest part, and it makes me (a relatively short person) look even stumpier. mhm.

cant wait to see the end result.
i'll be checking in.

hope you've have a nice couple of days mr satorialist.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:42 AM) : 

Provoking entry. Nice.

Without changing too much of who she is, I would sweep up her hair in soft ponytail leaving her bangs as it is, highlighting her sweet face and neck. Her hair color is good.

To keep what she's wearing, she could throw on a loose vest in a lighter shade and use a more colorful bag.

Tights are probably practically in such weather. Maybe patterned or grey to make it more interesting. Or even purple or blue for fun. She's young and can pull it off.

I disagree with the boots though. I find boots stopping just below the calves are great, because it creates a slimmer line for the wearer, compared to ankle boots, which tends to make average legs look like fat carrots, or knee boots which seem to pack our calves in the most uninteresting way. Maybe a bit more wrinkle just above the ankle and add some heels for a very subtle sexiness.


Blogger Lola said ... (8:42 AM) : 

maybe its just me, but i think its best if people wear what they like regardless of what other people think, and for that reason i think the idea of 'makeovers' is a im not sure how else to say it. but i suppose if she asked u for help it would be ok (as opposed to someone telling her she looks bad and needs a makeover). also, J.Crew is not a 'reasonably-priced' store, it is actually very expensive. Rich people shop there, not students. Gap is a bit better but still not too affordable for someone who has to pay tuition. Speaking as a high school senior (soon to be college student) I think somewhere a bit lower priced might be better for her budget. I hope you both have fun with the makeover though...


Blogger Lola said ... (8:43 AM) : 

ooh...that was a much longer comment than I had planned sorry


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:43 AM) : 

Wow, good on you.

I learn so much from this site.

I don't wear boots unless they're tight. I never wear tights but always wear stockings under dresses like that...

I also think the colour of the dress doesn't compliment her skin, it's a winter colour. She should be wearing light pastel colours or something.


Blogger Brita Frost said ... (8:44 AM) : 

I am intrigued by this post- it is such a digression! You must have been quite taken with this girl. What is great about The Sartorialist is how you capture and celebrate personal style. While she is no doubt very pretty, if you don't like some element of her outfit and style, I think, don't post her photo. I really hope this is your one and only makeover. It is most definitely cheating being styled by The Sartorialist!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:44 AM) : 

Isn't the dogwalker wearing almost identical boots?


Blogger The Sartorialist said ... (8:45 AM) : 

For Anon 8:23am

she is 26


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:47 AM) : 

Yes, definitely, cut the hair! A bob haircut would become her better. The boots are horrible and will never be cool. A nice pair of ballerina shoes together with an oversize jumper and nice black tights (or a short skirt) and you have a winner.

All the best from
Marzipanus of Sweden


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:48 AM) : 

I think she looks like Scarlett Johanson.

Her hair colour is perfect and I think she would look great with a short, edgy hair cut if you keep the long sweepy bang.


Blogger The Spicers said ... (8:50 AM) : 

Love the short hair idea, and I completely agree about those boots. They NEVER look good. Never. On anyone.
Interested to see the results of this makeover!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:54 AM) : 

yupp i think a hair cut would be good, and maybe a brunette shade? she's got nice legs though!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:56 AM) : 

What an interesting idea!

I reckon she'd look great with either a chin-length bob or, if she's feeling brave, a pixie cut. Her face is similar (proportion-wise) to that of Michelle Williams, who rocked that 'do to great effect... Could look very chic and yet still young and quirky.

Can't wait to see the results! And kudos to the lady in question for being so open and adventurous.


Blogger Jocke said ... (8:56 AM) : 

Scott, you can do what you want with her clothes, but her hair is waaaaay to beautiful to cut of.
It would be madness, total madness.
However I can definitely see her in a J.Crew floral print dress and some ballet flats or something similar.

About her outfit on this picture, the deep navy makes her look quite pale. I say keep the blue, but not something quite so deep.


Blogger Chi-Chi and the Greek Vintage said ... (8:57 AM) : 

CUT HER HAIR! Isn't everyone tired of the same long, slightly wavy undone look that has been on everyone for far to long????


Blogger Jo said ... (8:59 AM) : 

There is so much potential. I am looking forward to seeing what outfit you pick out for her without our suggestions. Wonderful to uncover her bangs from her face.


Blogger kirsty lee said ... (8:59 AM) : 

great idea! i'd go for chin length hair personally.

she's a really beautiful girl anyway so can't wait to see the changes you make.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:59 AM) : 



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:03 AM) : 

Good girl,
You're such a lucky bastard!!!
I'm looking forward to see the results any way. I'm really into 1920's dos at the moment, but you have to like that... With a beautiful spring dress, lightly coloured in medium length, it's absolutely unbeatable, though! And yes, please, don't you dare and touch that colour of her hair!!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:03 AM) : 

she's adorable but you're right on -- shorter hair, eschewing the awful boots, and some color would be brilliant on her. exciting!


Blogger j'taimee said ... (9:05 AM) : 

I suggest nothing longer than her chin for the hair.
But yeah, dress her in some of that color you catch so well, and ditch the tights and boots. She's cute enough to wear almost anything - almost....


Blogger Camille Acey said ... (9:05 AM) : 

she simply must cut her hair. what a gorgeous girl! she doesn't need all that hair weighing her down and hiding that beautiful face.

i normally agree about those kind of boots but i think she makes them work. but i think that dress is heinous and must go away.

anyway, i am excited to see what happens. i love makeovers and totally trust your taste!


Blogger DJN said ... (9:12 AM) : 

Gosh, I hope one day you'll spot me in a shop so I (and everyone that reads the site) can hear how you think everything about me is wrong. Such a lucky girl.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:13 AM) : 

Does she have a long, thickish neck? In that case, you may have a point about not emphasizing it, but generally, isn't a long neck a huge advantage? She seems to have a round face and head and a long back too, which is why the boots look stumpy. So, more volume around the crown? Or very long swishy hair - keep growing it. A hip-level belt and fuller skirt will throw light on her slender waist and maybe puff sleeves to shorten the accursed neck? Navy isn't a flattering colour for many, many people, nor is black, and she has lovely colouring. Did she ask for the makeover, or could she see it in your eyes? I do think she looks good already, but I can see how you would want to steer her away from things that detract from her many impressive characteristics. Hope you have fun - I know you are well-intentioned.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:15 AM) : 

This post is the worst idea ever. It's wrong on so many levels I don't know where to start. Back away from the computer.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:15 AM) : 

I think she looks fine, maybe with darker tights. I completely disagree about the boots; when your legs are thin you can get away with them.

Obviously it's your site and you should post whatever you feel, but this leaves a bad taste in my mouth. You caught this woman at one moment in time. To suggest her personal style needs a makeover is coming across as a little gauche.


Blogger The Sartorialist said ... (9:16 AM) : 

I talked about this with her before i ever posted it and she is completely on-board. She felt the same way on most of the points I made and she wanted to try something new.

i would only do this if she was comfortable with the idea


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:18 AM) : 

Two issues for me:
Her fair hair and skin isn't helped by the black and navy. Warmer and lighter colored clothes would help immensely. Camel would be wonderful and cerulean. My teenager has similar features but isn't as tall yet. The hair is a challenge, because, first its thick, and would puff out if it isn't cut really well and two, it may have a forward cowlick, so if its short its going to come in around her face. Also, she has a round face which is lengthened by a longer look, and the long neck is masked by her hair.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:21 AM) : 

As someone with the exact same hair type (and from what I see a relatively similar face shape) while she could definitely carry a pixie short haircut there is not need to go that short if all you're looking for is getting it out of her face. I'm all for the defined bob idea, but all she really needs is for a stylist to thin out some of the weight going on in the front.

...also as a former art student - don't do J.Crew or Gap (everyone and their mother wears that stuff) instead try Uniqlo, Beacon's Closet, Club Monaco or even occaisonally Zara... remember what's you've preached in the past - individuality counts for a lot!

Best of luck and I look forward to seeing your results.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:22 AM) : 

I would say go for chin-length hair, though a ponytail might also do the trick. and get her out of black!


Blogger M. said ... (9:22 AM) : 

i'd go with red hair up in a ponytail, bang, black one-size-too-big-but-fits-perfectly dress, blue thights and the same boots. and maybe black aviator-style sunglasses.


she looks very nice the way she is, too.
and sorry for writing mistakes, but english isn't my primary language.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:24 AM) : 

i'm pretty dissapointed in you satorialist. i thought it was some sought of joke when i first read it. whether she is on board or not it doesn't matter. so, your going to make her into a clone? short hair and gap/j.crew. are you kidding that doesn't sound like every other american girl at all..just let her be.


Blogger bjohnsme said ... (9:24 AM) : 

@Donald: actually I would love to be spotted in a shop to hear what was wrong. Criticism and opinions are great, especially from somebody that is so consistently good.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:26 AM) : 

i think she looks like michelle williams so a short hairdo would be cute and fun. i think something with finger waves to the chin would look nice.

she is totally pretty and would look amazing with a potato sack in her hair!

it's interesting how many people are on you about this makeover. omg - i totally want one! they're just jealous! xo


Blogger Kadria S.G. said ... (9:28 AM) : 

chin-length hair for sure, i would suggest katie holmes recent cut.

i would brighten up her outfit by eliminating the black (or toning it down with some colour). a teal or soft pink might go well.

btw - love reading your writing and would love to see more of your comments on your own photographs!

keep up the good work!


Blogger zoe said ... (9:28 AM) : 

Very interesting indeed Sart.

You have a great eye, huh? I would never have been able to put that into words. I knew there was a few things wrong with the whole look. But couldn't map it out like that.(Don't forget we all think you're gorgeous Phoenix)

On the hair front:I think go short, not too many layers though. Could go either way on the colour.

Have fun with that.


Blogger Christina said ... (9:30 AM) : 

A chin-length bob, keeping the bang, would be really cute on her, since her hair almost has that shape as-is. As for clothes, the loose dress is great, but maybe have her venture out into other colours. Since she's clearly comfortable in black, jewel tones wouldn't be too far away, but would add some pop. She could also update it with a cute (and not-too-expensive!) shoe, like the Nine West

Keep it close to how she is now, whatever you do. She looks great already, and any huge change would just obliterate her own style.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:32 AM) : 

long hair leaves a great deal of femininity to her otherwise androgynous (but of course fabulous) jawline. perhaps you could just take a lot of weight out of her hair and give her a shorter bang. I'm excited for the results!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:33 AM) : 

She has beautiful hair and beautiful hair color... It would be a pity to cut it off. She should simply change style, and keep the hair out of her face. I am in a similar situation: my hair is tick, and my face is small. I used to have (really) short hair, and loved it at the time, but it was more appropriate for teenage years. In the later twenties, I find that longer hair works better - it can add shine and movement, and be a great accessory... I use bobby pins and hair clips to open up my face, and I always try to find other creative ways to manage my hair.
She should have her hair length drastically changed only if she truly desires it.
I do agree about the shoes and clothes - I don't quite get it. But a remake can work only if you understand what she is trying to do with the outfit, and find better solutions.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:35 AM) : 

Please don't do a make-over. It is a slippery slope. Leave this lovely girl alone, she doesn't "need" anything. Make-overs are why it is so easy to hate the fashion industry. This site is good because while it does glorify a certain look, it isn't complicated by things like make-overs. The style isn't being enforced. By doing a make-over you become even more of an evangelical and for what? Fashion? At the end of the day this stuff doesn't matter so much. Already you have people commenting on how she could look "better". Boo.
So please don't.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:35 AM) : 

My 2 cents worth: all she really needs are opaque tights. Keep the dress, keep the boots. Really, the boots aren't all that different than the dog walkers.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:37 AM) : 

what a great idea! in this way you can help her develop her style while making sure her clothes actually fit and look flattering. i'm very excited to see how this turns out.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:38 AM) : 

Darlin'. Take a holiday. You are losing all perspective on life, fashion, and MANNERS.

Leave her alone. She's a cute kid.


Blogger Nantucket Mermaid said ... (9:39 AM) : 

groovey...Do it!


Blogger Jennifer G. Horn said ... (9:40 AM) : 

I don't think this idea matches the true spirit of your blog. As I have always interpreted it, your site is about revealing regular people's best fashion instincts and choices, not picking apart those who fall below the bar. It's a little too "Glamour Don'ts" for me. This turns me off a bit from your site. I'd prefer this site be positive comments about choices you like and not criticisms. There are more than enough blogs and magazines out there that criticize already. I know your intentions are good, but I think this is a misstep.


Blogger Moniker said ... (9:42 AM) : 

She'd look awesome in some florals!
I think her hair is fine. But if you must cut, leave her a side bang.


Blogger kellig said ... (9:43 AM) : 

i'm really curious to see what you create, i just hope you are able to keep her personality in the new clothes.

As for the hair I would totally go to a asymmetrical bobbish cut! Shorter in the back and real sweepy and yummy in the front.


Blogger erica lorraine scheidt said ... (9:44 AM) : 

Yes, perhaps it could be called a Sartorialist Consult, or even a Sartorial Suggestion,rather than a makeover.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:44 AM) : 

LM said: Please leave her alone,
she is an art student who needs to learn to express herself. Her hair is gorgeous and not cookie-cutter bob and her boots and dress are fine, perhaps a darker hose. that
should be it!


Blogger Klokka said ... (9:44 AM) : 

well, i can't decide wether or not to wish for the sartorialist to stumble over me and lavish good advice. personal styles or not. great ideas or not. need to think more about that. in the mean time, i'll continue wearing black. and not cut my hair, which is longer than the beautiful phoenix. i'm half or doubled intrigued by this.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:46 AM) : 

I think her hair is too heavy for her delicate face and long neck. I vote for around chin-length, maybe a bit longer, perhaps with shorter bangs - a Clara Bow bob, maybe? - or else layered at considerably the bottom and away from the face at the top.

Tights and calf-length boots can be very cute, if the tights are appropriately opaque for the casual floppiness of those kind of boots. I vote opaque grey or coloured.


Blogger The Sartorialist said ... (9:47 AM) : 

I used Gap / J Crew as examples because they are stores lots of people have access to. would it be better if i said Marc by Marc or some little boutique or expensive brands?

I have no interest in making her a clone I'm sure we will mix her clothes with touches from other stores.

I also think this will bring up some very interesting discussions

there is a point i will make tomorrow that many of us can relate to and i look forward to hearing your responses.

for Anon 9:35
I said this will probably be the only time. I have been doing this site for over two years and I have no passion to get into make-overs but when they come up naturally and the person is willing then I want to act on it.

if it turns out to be a mistake it will not be my first or last


Blogger Jennifer said ... (9:51 AM) : 

i would rather come here to appreciate what people do, not what they should do. the idea that she can be 'improved' to meet some subjective standard is counterproductive to the celebration of personal style. i have no issues with her boots or her dress or her tights, or no more so than i might with past persons whom were deemed good enough to be photographed sans critique.
that said, she has such a heartbreakingly gorgeous face that i look forward to seeing more of it, with less hair.
i bet you'll wow us with whatever you do, and there is always a lot of vicarious fun from transformations because i at least always hope there is potential in me to be more/better than i am, but in doing this little pygmalion progject you will be deviating from style (a personal and creative thing) and replacing it with fashion dictatorship. so even as i might enjoy the results on some level, i will be sad about the undertaking, all the same.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:51 AM) : 

I agree completely about the hair, neckline, and the boots (cowboy boots too, they look so unflattering on anyone who's not a size 2). I do love her hair color and think you should keep that. I think j.crew and/or gap are good ideas, but maybe since she seems to be into the less tailored look an inexpensive piece from urban outfitters (they have awesome sales all year round). also, for those of you on here to scold: i'm sure the sartorialist is not forcing this girl to get a makeover against her will. the fact that anyone would be so taken with a girl to compliment her and help her (to me at least, would be flattering, especially coming from you, sart). she's a grown woman, and can make her own choices so enough of this "stealing her innocence" nonsense.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:52 AM) : 

well, now you've got me worried-- i adore my boots but definitely don't want to look stumpy...

i'm excited to see the final results!! (but agree with previous posters that j.crew -and even gap- aren't always affordable on a college budget. unless you have financial support from the 'rents)



Blogger Sugar Bear said ... (9:52 AM) : 

Hey - if she is willing I say go for it. I don't care for the boots. The dress is cute. She has lovely thick hair but it does seem a bit heavy around her face. I would go too crazy short though - she may regret it!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:54 AM) : 

Sart -- your blog starts my workday -- I usually hit it even before I open my e-mail. And it's not the clothes or even the fashion that makes me visit.

It's your eye and ability to show a person in a single shot -- not just what a person is wearing, but who a person is. You've done it here perfectly. Leave makeovers to those screechy shrews on TV. Your genius is in revealing and discovering, not re-doing. Thank you for sharing your art with us every day!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:56 AM) : 

Her outfit/hair isn't that bad.
But compared to the extremely stylish people on this site, it's sub par.


Blogger AnnM said ... (9:56 AM) : 

NO for the short hair. Short hair is a big statement that has to reflect her personality. If she has something in mind, that's fine, but otherwise keep it long, just take some of the weight off.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:59 AM) : 

I'm so disappointed to see a "makeover" on this site. Growing up reading women's magazines that are always full of makeovers where they pull someone out of the mall and make her over, I always thought it was so negative. I always wondered why they never pulled someone who looked great and ask them what their secret is, it would be so much more positive than tearing apart the way a person looks to make them "better" after changing everything about them. I was beyond thrilled when I found this site because I was excited to see someone doing just that - celebrating people instead of trying to change them or criticize them. Oh, well. Nothing lasts forever.


Blogger Mrs Stevens said ... (10:00 AM) : 

We absolutely agree with anon at 9:35 - OPAQUES are what's needed here to completely fix the look. 'Barely Black' tights/pantyhose/stockings make any woman look like a 1980s hooker. Opaque black legs would help side-step the difficult mid-calf boot line and black and navy look great together. On the hair issue, beware going too short as she has such a lovely round face; you don't want to end up with a big bubble head! A good stylist is what you need. One last thing - and this should really go without saying - you've got to fit the style and hair to the girls personality.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:01 AM) : 

Would you be doing this if she weren't such a diamond in the rough? I am not impressed when men take a little dirty Audry and poof look how they made this gorgeous thing into a swan. Not exactly a stretch. Her boots don't flatter her legs enough? Are you kidding me? So unless her legs look good (to you, to men), the outfit is a bust? Unfortunately you are proving that men think with one thing. Does the body always have to look "good" to translate as good style? I know you would, intellectually say "no" but here when you have to put your money where your mouth is, you're saying that you essentially boycott this boot height because of the way it does not flatter the leg. On what planet does Thom Browne's version of the male silhouette flatter a man's body? I've never heard a woman describe her ideal man as having short legs and skinny ankles, essentially looking like an overgrown monkey in a suit. Yet regardless, many of us can appreciate the great personal style that is expressed when a man chooses such a look for himself. And your site would be less than it is if it did not celebrate those looks. Please have the same non-sex-driven eye when evaluating your female subjects.

(ps "ina" had a great point - that a makeover only works, only respects the invidual IF you try to keep it in the spirit of her intended style. THAT would be a fantastic challenge and I deeply hope that is the one you tackle. If not, I won't be returning because this blog will have taken a nasty turn.)


Blogger Kara said ... (10:03 AM) : 

She's gorgeous! A bob with a bit of back-stacking (technical term, I'm sure) would be lovely, I think. Nothing entirely tidy, though.

I wouldn't have noticed the boots, but I'm sure you can find something nicer.

I think you should find her some lovely greens and blues to contrast with her lovely hair. :) And, having worked at JCrew, I can assure anyone that it can be worn creatively. But I understand the desire to mix and match and invent.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:04 AM) : 

Don't color the hair, keep her as natural as possible.

A short, sharp bob. Hair all one length. As simple as possible.

As far as clothes, I am stumped but I would be curious to see how apple-green looks on her.

I'm no expert but, cher Sartorialist, you always celebrate people's individual style and what makes them them. I'm sure you will pick something for her that is sensitive to her needs as an art student and her own personal tastes. Perhaps asking her what sort of person she aspires to be, what art/design inspires her, will give you some idea of what to look for.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:06 AM) : 

I think you should definitely change the color of the hair to brown, with higlights, orange is no good. And what about making her to forget about medium dark panties? Dark black or nothing... Maybe a pair of wide jeans with a good top and then a big scarf?


Blogger CarrieLouise said ... (10:09 AM) : 

I have always wanted a Sartorialist make-over! I am way jealous! You will certainly do a great job.

And if you want to help a Southern blonde, please let me know!


Blogger The Sartorialist said ... (10:10 AM) : 

for the people that say this could be just another "dictatorial" fashion stab, it seems to me I'm asking for your opinion not just assert mine.

also don't you think that their is a certain percentage of people that want to improve their personal style but want a little help? That is the feeling i got from her when we spoke about this project.

I am not trying to change her but help her find herself.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:10 AM) : 

OK for some changes and shorter hair, but her hair color is the kind that doesn't come in a bottle. Don't touch it! Actually, with that long neck, I think just putting her hair up would do wonders.

Darker tights, more fitted dress and a shoe with a heel would be the shortcuts to style. I expect you will be a little more ambitious though.

Is her name really Phoenix? Or are you just being allegorical with this makeover?


Blogger Boutique Mix Fashion said ... (10:15 AM) : 

she doesn't look half as bad as many others. can't wait to see the post look.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:15 AM) : 

I think you are going against the spirit of your blog by inferring that her stylistic choices were not good. There is such tyranny in the whole makeover thing. I can see it for people who really "need" it but this girl is adorable and, frankly, does she have wake up in the morning and say "hmmm what should I do today to show off my long neck/choose "easy-to-get" hose/make sure my boots don't hit my legs at a point that might make others cringe..."
You have a strong "anti-fashion magazine/machine" vibe to your blog and that is what makes it so attractive. And though you may have her full approval, I do think that wanting to give someone a style that you personally deem to be "good" (vs uncovering a person's inherent style) does not jibe. We get enough of that pressure from the media.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:15 AM) : 

Let's presume makeover is total success, will you do encore makeover with "Looks Like He Just Walked Off The Runway, Paris," Mar. 2008, where the boots were a major issue.

Agnelli Man


Blogger Amanda Conley said ... (10:18 AM) : 

I think she looks great...and I love the boots.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:19 AM) : 

She has a really beautiful face which would be better framed by either a shorter bob cut or at least something that got the hair out of her eyes.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:21 AM) : 

Honestly, I think our eye connects the round face, round dress and blocky boots. She is gorgeous but the dress turns her into a blob visually and the shoes land like a thud onto the ground. Nothing is flowing past the smile and beautiful tresses. Maybe just a longer silhouette through the middle.


Blogger Sam said ... (10:22 AM) : 

She probably WOULD look good in a burlap sack. Personally, I wouldn't mind her wrapped in celophane. She needs some brighter colors, and perhaps darker shades in her hair so she doesn't look so washed out. If you want to go shorter that's cool too, just not TOO short.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:26 AM) : 

I think she looks great. I, like others, come here regularly and am very uncomfortable with the concept of make-over.

This young person is very vulnerable, having her picture up on your site to be critiqued by anonymous observers.


Blogger janaemadsen said ... (10:28 AM) : 

I am so excited to see the makeover and how she looks better.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:28 AM) : 

This post also left a bad feeling in my mouth, and I love this site. It seemed kind of snotty and disparaging, like 'let's help this poor frumpy clueless student become good enough to get her picture taken, because otherwise she wouldn't be'. She's a lovely girl, and I agree, all she needs are some different tights.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:28 AM) : 

Thanks for unintenionally providing us with a refreshing dose of unspoiled beauty.
She's young, fresh and perfect. No boots could spoil those legs. What's best about her is that neither her boots nor her dress are in some strange color or pattern--and they don't clash--so unlike so much of what passes for "style" on this blog.


Blogger Karmander said ... (10:28 AM) : 

Just to throw my 2 cents in...I had hair just like her's for...oh, about 4 years...I could never get a hair stylist to cut it off because I'm overweight and have a round face and "short hair will just make my face look fatter". So about 3 weeks ago, I went to a stylist determined to get my hair CUT OFF...and she gave me a pretty basic wedge/bob, with a perfect angle down just below my chin...It's a gorgeous haircut, and I get compliments on it every day, and my face does NOT look fatter, and i have never been happier with a haircut. So if she's open to it, go ahead and cut it off!

Also, the sheer stockings...awful. The rest of the look...a little boring for my taste (could use a vest over the dress if she's going to wear it with those boots) but at least it's not jeans, 2 tank tops and flip flops as seems to be the student uniform these days.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:31 AM) : 

I 100% agree with the very first comment above. Please don't touch the hair..!

And what is wrong with the boots? They can stay too, although I agree that for some people (i.e. those weighing over 150 kilos) it wouldn't work.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:31 AM) : 

I couldn't agree more about her hair. I think the color is beautiful but a bob would be more suitable to her face. I like the dress, however the boots really shorten her legs. Love the necklace!
Can't wait for the makeover!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:33 AM) : 

Unless she is your wife, daughter or sister, back off dude.


Blogger Lee S. said ... (10:33 AM) : 

If she has great skin, she can pull off a short cut a la Michelle Williams, I think - but she has to want to go that short. Something chin length, with layers, would look great too. And skip J Crew and Gap - go to H&M! Much cuter selections - and they're still paying homage to Marimekko - prints that would look great with a shorter cut.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:35 AM) : 

I understand why you want to do a makeover. I wouldn't say that this outfit is horrible by any means. In fact, its a look that a lot of college girls are trying to pull off. It's definitely a trend that I am sure you are trying to break. I agree that the hair style looks a little to old for her, although I don't feel that your hair needs to be short in order to be chic. It's cool that this girl is open to your advice and trusts you with your "expertise".


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:36 AM) : 

please don't do anymore makeovers. i like that this site is often a declaration of positivity and individuality.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:38 AM) : 

Leave her beautiful hair alone. You only get to have hair this thick, shiny and gorgeous while you're young -- and that's if you're lucky. Enjoy it while it lasts, because soon enough you're going to be battling grey roots and post-partum hairline thinning.

Good God. She's stunning. Who cares if this particular dress isn't perfectly flattering?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:39 AM) : 

I'm assuming the young woman wanted suggestions. That being said, her style just needs tweaking, not to be made over. Please NO GAP OR JCREW. Mall stores. Not for NY. What about Army+Navy, Muji, Pearl River, or something along those lines? cheaper and more unique. As for her hair, she could definitely carry off a short do, but if she wants to keep the length (and I think her hair is fab and sexy), cleaner bangs (straight across) would reveal her beautiful eyes. As for the boots-- longer motocycle/engineer boots. The style (Wellington) is good, but I think this short length doesn't work (although would be good with jeans tucked in). Darker tights or BRIGHT tights.


Blogger Mamacita Chilena said ... (10:45 AM) : 

I just got a new haircut and I think she would look great with something similar. i got it shorter in the front, a little longer in the bag with layers


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:46 AM) : 

Please, don't do it. What I love about your work is the celebration of found, unique beauty captured at a moment in time. To makeover a gorgeous young woman with her own endearingly imperfect style and years of evolution ahead of her is tragic, and I am appalled at some of the suggestions for "improvements" in previous comments. You're a great photojournalist, save the styling for your professional print work. Youth and beauty this luminous do shine through potato sacks and the misguided ministries of the elders. Her hair will grow out by the time her 15 minutes are up, the peach lip gloss will hit the trash, and she can hock the J. Crew for some drawing pencils. Stay pure, leave her alone.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:46 AM) : 

you photograph many people with much longer hair, and i'm a tremendous fan of gorgeous long hair- do you mean that the length is simply too between long and short, or just not right for her face shape? i tend to think thinning/layering her hair more might be more beneficial than drastically changing the length.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:47 AM) : 

you're right. she would look charmingly fey with a short cut.


Blogger blackbird said ... (10:48 AM) : 

I think she would look pretty with chin length hair, no color change...but, in truth, I don't have a problem with her outfit. She seems pretty confident. And, if she's an art student, I cannot imagine her being comfortable in anything from J Crew or the Gap. Not edgy enough.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:50 AM) : 

I'm not sure I agree with the whole makeover thing, but I understand that her look here, is not 'finished'. Yes there's something a little off with the photo, but in my opinion it's mainly due to the awkwardness of her stance which probably came from her realising she was going to be used as the first Sartorialist's example of 'what not to do'. The hair isn't great, but it seems that she can pull off combining navy and black without making it look like she got dressed in the dark, which I always think is quite an achievement in itself.


Blogger Carolina Lange said ... (10:50 AM) : 

She is a beautiful girl! And I think that a short hair would look great!
I like her dress, is cute, but not wiht the tights, do not like them.
And about the boots, i like them, but they can not look good with the tights!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:52 AM) : 

She looks great. Her hair looks great and does not need to be shorter (if anything, a few more inches in length would look nice), and I love her boots. You have photographed women wearing flat ankle boots before -i recall a woman wearing a grey dress with red tights and black flat ankle boots. The boots are cute, she is cute, and your post seems a little rude.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:52 AM) : 

Laugh out loud post. Agree about the boots, but also agree that I love Sart. for your ability to find the good and beauty in the everyday. If you did not like her look, I would have encouraged you to simply reject the photograph. However, if she supports your little scheme, be my guest. (Don't make this a habit) and cut that hair.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:53 AM) : 

I think this is an awful idea


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:54 AM) : 

A short haircut for for a replacement to her Ugg-like boots, I think we need the help of an expert like Manolo the Shoeblogger.


Blogger Rose said ... (10:54 AM) : 

I have always loved your blog because you are generally positive - you foto what you like, what is inspirational instead of what you don't. I appreciate the absence of snarkiness. This make over is a new tone, but hey it's good to experiment and see where it leads!
She is soo Bardot!!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:56 AM) : 

I recently just cut my long strawberry blonde hair short. It was a good choice. a shorter style gives this unique colour a little bit of life and bounce.
She also has a great neck that she should show off.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:57 AM) : 

She's really reminding me of a young(er) Michelle Williams. I'm thinking she could probably carry off the same haircut - see UK Vogue 2008.

As for a Sart make-over - sounds like fun!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:57 AM) : 

Maybe this much energy shouldn't be paid to this topic. I recognize that what is being done is with good intentions, but I would still caution you against this. Even the defense of "don't you think that there is a certain percentage of people that want to improve their personal style but want a little help? That is the feeling i got from her when we spoke about this project." reminds me of the defense that colonialists and missionaries use. "but they say they want the bible!"
It just seems like you have an opportunity to keep what you do simple and easy and a make-over really does change that. It just does. Your site is about people who do what they do. People you like. Not about people who could change what they do just a little and be better...
I am sure she really does want the help, and I am not too concerned with whether you help her or not. But it is something else entirely to publish it on your site.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:01 AM) : 

I feel uncomfortable about the idea of a Sartorialist makeover - it's a bit too Eliza Doolittle for me - and I like her hair the way it is.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:02 AM) : 

I wished when I was her age,someone would offer a little help to me to show the potential and possibility that I could become.So I don't see there is any negativity about getting a little make over.

I think her hair is fine, but need to be trim and create nature layers,'cause right now her hair looks rather heavy and shapeless.

That little dress looks rather good on her but wrong fabric and color.Something light(silk/organza?) and fresh color could complement with her angelic face.

Sorry, the boots have to go, so as the stocking.


Blogger Lauren said ... (11:03 AM) : 

I agree on all fronts. She has one of those faces that would wear a short haircut wonderfully...I envy that and say chop away! She could probably even pull off a Twiggy'd really show off her porcelain face, long neck and shoulders.

In regards to the boots, I could go on forever. No matter how perfect a girls legs are, slim and long, those kind of boots don't look good on anyone. Toss 'em!

I'm excited to see the results!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:04 AM) : 

honestly i like everything about her style! but i do Enthusiastically in an Facetious way look forward to seeing the outcome and the replies of the viewers!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:05 AM) : 

Good Lord. People do make-overs all the time. If she values Scott's opinion then why shouldn't she have fun with it? Is it much different than having a savvy friend offer thoughts, or, even more likely, putting yourself in the hands of a hair stylist or clothing stylist?

It's not a permanant change. If she's up for the path of discovery, it sounds like fun. She might even discover ways to tap more fully into her *own* personal style. And sometimes we could all use the help in seeing ourselves and our strenghts – particuarly aesthetically.

Isn't that why we read this blog? For inspiration? For insight into our own tastes? Or do we read it to slavishly copy others? Please, stop chastising Scott about this little project. He didn't say he was going to turn her into a runway model. I think the goal here is to help her tap into her full potential!

Sart, if you want someone else to make-over, come over to my house and rifle through the current eclectic stylistic disaster that is my wardrobe and post-baby hair mess on my head. I'd welcome your thoughts.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:10 AM) : 

It is plainly suspicious to me that you are trying to improve this beautiful girl.
Looking at he choices it is obvious to me that she is simply too young and she does not know herself well, I believe style comes with knowledge of oneself. I think this is dangerous territory you are stepping in to now.
Or may be you are entitle to have a crush sometimes.


Blogger it's el said ... (11:12 AM) : 

She's adorable. Let's just get her hair off her face - such a pretty face! - and then get rid of the panty hose, or replace them with leggings, move the necklace to above the dress neckline or use it as a belt around her hips, or add a thick belt (not slung, tightened, but around her hips, not her waist, mind you), and then, in my opinion, her picture can show up on your blog without the word "makeover"!

I vote short on the hair - more layers to blend the bangs...


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:18 AM) : 

Leave her as is and out of the Sartorialist site. Her decisions are her own and shouldn't be molded to fit a profile I had no idea you cared about. Very disappointed to read this bit of news this afternoon. Please keep doing what you do best.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:20 AM) : 

I think she looks great with this hair. Cutting one's hair is the most often solution proposed when somebody wants to go through a makeover. Why? She is beautiful like this...


Blogger Ellen said ... (11:21 AM) : 

We all use professionals everyday to help us improve our personal style (hairdressers, makeup counter artists, etc). Why begrudge Phoenix the opportunity to take advantage of assistance from someone with true style like Sart?

And besides, has our culture become so politically correct that we can't stand to even hear about constructive criticism given to someone that is clearly open to it (and perhaps invited it by approaching him)? I, personally, would give my left arm for input from Sart on my clothing choices.

I'm looking forward to seeing what you and Phoenix come up with.


Blogger miss milki said ... (11:23 AM) : 

She's so pretty! I totally understand why she'd like a little help from the Sartorialist...even if you have your own strong style (which most of us don't at 26!) wouldn't it be great fun to get your hair styled and go shopping with the Sart!

3 things I'd change about the outfit... First, the boots. I hate, hate those kinda boots. They don't do anything for anyones legs. people wear them because they're comfy. Ballet flats or even a pair of Converse would be just as comfy and much cuter.

The tights - they definately should be opaque

Her hair - There's nothing wrong with it but I'm guessing she has it long for convenience if shes' a student - speaking from experience here! So she should prob take this chance to get a more exciting style (something she'd love to do but could never afford!) but something she can still tie up. And don't touch the colour its gorgeous!

Just a suggestion of some shops - real student budget shops! Definately try H&M and Urban Outfitters - lots of interesting, unique clothes but very affordable.

Enjoy it - both of you!Sounds like it will be a great day of fun!


Blogger . said ... (11:24 AM) : 

A bob, definitely. (Although it is perhaps the best bet to consult a hairdresser.) Color is lovely as it is.

Also, her clothes make her look very young. Maybe a style to make her look more 'twenty-something' than 'teen'?


Blogger Memphis Urban Sketchers said ... (11:26 AM) : 

I agree with everything that you said. She is adorable, but would be even more pulled together with shorter hair and without those boots. I can't wait to see the results!


Blogger so said ... (11:28 AM) : 

definitely, a short edgy bob!
and some color--the red/blonde doesn't work so well with her complexion.

looking forward to your transformation...


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:31 AM) : 

Yeah, cut her hair to something like this (, but leave the color.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:34 AM) : 

i really dont see anything wrong with enhancing her look. besides, the most important thing is that she wanted it. for people who are saying we should let her keep her personal style...she doesnt really have one. and she wants one.



Blogger Claire said ... (11:37 AM) : 

I think you're completely right. She's beautiful, and a short haircut would make her look even more so. I do think she should keep the side-swept bangs as they are now, but a really cute chin-length cut would be adorable. She'll definitely need to have some weight taken off, so her cut doesn't look too big on the sides.

I think Gap and J.Crew are too basic for her. She should have something a little more fun. You could mix and match things at H&M and at thrift stores instead. The color of her dress complements her hair, so dark blues would be a great choice for wardrobe.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:37 AM) : 


She has the longest neck I've ever seen on a non-model. She looks pretty phenomenal as is. However, I think she'd appreciate the shorter hair (a chin length bob or piecy pixie would be great). Keep in mind that she DOES draw all day, and he hair must be long enough to go behind her ears or short enough to stay out of her eyes without clips.

Her color is perfect and natural (I think), so keep that as is.

I do think J. Crew is a good student shopping spot. I'm a student and shop there ALL the time. They have some nice graphic prints that will work well on someone with such a great figure.

And, to the lucky young lady, you are the luckiest girl in the world! I am incredibly jealous! I can't wait to see your results.

Good luck at the salon!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:38 AM) : 

she is cute, i do not think she needs a huge makeover.

haircut is a good idea though, a chin-length bob would look great on her. but for gods sake, leave that colour as it is!

i do not get the part about the boots, really. i actually think hers could even be a bit bulgier, or at least longer. i like those boots, but they have to end at a spot where the thigh fits exactly into the shaft.

ok, and darker tights, yes, and get rid of that necklace.

curious to see what you both will come up with!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:40 AM) : 

Do you have a 'before' picture that you could show us?


Blogger Pamcasso said ... (11:40 AM) : 

maybe an anja rubik type haircut?? I think she's stunning as she is. I don't particularly care for sheer black tights, but after years of opaques they seem to be coming (see the last few collections of Nina Ricci for example). Re: the shoes- I don't want to make anyone more perfect or of the moment- you could throw a pair of Nine West Balenciaga inspired gladiators in grey on her, and that would look hip, but I'd rather subvert fashion and throw some uggs on her. Girl's got to walk a lot in NY!!


Blogger Unknown said ... (11:40 AM) : 

I think it is good to try new things, especially at this time of year when spring and renewal are in the air.
I'd be interested in having you shop vintage/secondhand stores as part of the makeover. They are usually very reasonably priced.

Can't wait to see the results.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:46 AM) : 

Shorter hair would look grate on her. What about more colours in the outfit?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:46 AM) : 

I must say, I think this post is a little bit rude.. Just a liiiiittle bit. No come on, she looks cute, not at all a fashion disaster as you make it sound..


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:47 AM) : 

people need to's just style and everyone needs help here and there. i doubt sart will just tell her what to where and how to look..but it will be a more collaborative approach. i love the idea and totally trust sart's intentions and point of view. cant wait to see!!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:47 AM) : 

why is everyone so eager to tear sart down, when its fairly clear he means well? as a college undergrad, i too am struggling to find my identity, and in the course of doing so i've experimented with many looks and i still have yet to find what works for me and how i want to express myself. i would totally welcome the help of someone like sart and i'm sure the girl in question was open to it and fine with everything involved. not to mention i'm sure sart will take into account her opinion as well and not just hand her stuff to wear.

- kay.


Blogger stacy said ... (11:49 AM) : 

everyone's got an opinion today!

scott, i'm a big fan of your site and i trust your choices.

i think this is a fun one-off and that's exactly what you should do with it... have fun, help her find her style and take a beautiful photograph.

all the best.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:50 AM) : 

well if she's on board with it then it doesn't seem so much a make-over as a person trying to develop a new look for themselves - that can be hard to do sometimes. and in case this is something that turns out well and you're looking for volunteers...let me know, because I would definitely sign up.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:53 AM) : 

Usually I reckon that ppl shldn't change how they look cos of some person's comment but in this case,I think that if the girl is game for a makeover then that shows her anticipation in change. I reckon a good stylist who go for a change taht highlights her personality best. I am thinking of The agyness Dean look. something fun, sumthing edgy as shes an art student - the prada boy cut i.e long sideways bangs and very short back. colour would definitely be platinum blonde to bring out those peaches & cream complexion while i think being a redhead would make her too severe looking. As for her dressing style... prolly somehting whimsical, something dreamy, floaty .. think stella macartney, phillip lim ish.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:54 AM) : 

She need layers to frame her face better. I think her current bang is too thick and covers too much of her face. - Also, I for one saw your comments as what they were meant to be, not rude but a FYI for the girl and others who may dress that way.


Blogger LouiseORiordan said ... (11:54 AM) : 

I don't care what age she is, here's what i think you should do
1.Cut her hair but leave the length at the front, never mind about seeing her art, nobody said fashion has to be practical, she'll find her own way around that. Make the cut choppy and assymetrical, that way she'll look like she might have more prominent cheekbones, have it shorter at the back than the front.
2. As regards colour her own is ok, but not with the colour of the dress, if she wants to keep the colour she'll figure out what goes with it eventually. something edgier would be cool but maybe too try-hard.
3. I think slouchy boots can work but you are right, shes needs ones that are closer to her ankle so you can see that her leg shapes toward an ankle!
4. Different colour tights would have been way better, or none because the paleness of her skin is too stark against the black of the tights.
5. The pendant is really non-descript too, since the dress is such a basic palette she could have used a really bright colour with her jewellery.
6. The line of the dress is horrible, i think trousers, skinny ones, would be way better.
7. A massive slouchy bag could have sorted her outfir in seconds.
i like your blog, only found it recently.Louise


Blogger Hillary said ... (11:57 AM) : 

I am of two minds about this makeover. My first reaction was that you betrayed us. What I love about your site is what others have mentioned -- that you find beauty in the way people are, which has inspired me to look at myself and others with a critical eye for beauty rather than a critical eye for "mistakes".

At the same time, I'm curious to see how it goes. And if it were offered to me, I'm sure I wouldn't refuse.

I'm glad you say this will be your only makeover. If it were to become a meakeover site, you'd lose my interest. I do like when you point out WHY an outfit looks so great though (Like the boots and tights in "dogwalker" being the same color).

Unfortunately, I don't have the fashion know-how to suggest a hair do.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:00 PM) : 

I think to say that a makeover goes against the spirit of The Sartorialist is wrong. Whether Sart actually proposes a makeover or whether, as readers, we take ideas from what other people do and apply them to essentially adopting the opinions and styles of others to evolve our own.

Perhaps this is a little more direct than what daily happens on the Sartorialist, but evolving and changing styles, discovering new ones, experimenting - I think all of these things best CAPTURE the spirit of The Sartorialist.

That said, I definitely agree with a short cut.. but leave the beautiful color.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:01 PM) : 

i think that it's stupid that "personal style" has become a trend.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:02 PM) : 

i agree completely with a make over idea.

she'd look great with a bob.

Also, boots would be fine if they were knee length.

Of course heels would look great, but that would change the look too drastically.

To some of the people who have commented: what is with all the attitude and sarcasm?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:03 PM) : 

I agree tjoyy--I'm interested to see what your idea of style is as reflected in a makeover.

Personal curiosity aside, I also agree with Sandra. I hope this will be the first and last makeover on this site. One of my favorite things about The Sartorialist is the intelligent appreciation of individual style.

Your post reminds me of something that one of those catty stylists in People Magazine would say, which is disappointing.


Blogger Jessica said ... (12:05 PM) : 

She is gorgeous, and I think her hair color is amazing, but the style is a little too heavy. I like the length, though - I think she just needs to have some of the weight taken out of it. I would think that being able to pull her hair into a ponytail and get it totally out of the way would be important for her, with the drawing and all. As for clothes, I'd love to see her in teal, or in something with red or yellow accents. She has the perfect coloring to wear some bold shades!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:06 PM) : 

my first impression reading your post was ‘my god, if she did like your blog before meeting you, then she surely has to be devastated in your assessment of her, as nothing met your standards, whatever they are.’

reading the comments I now understand she is on board with the whole idea, but I do wonder if she would have been if someone other than you approached her. she may be more enamored of the idea of you, rather than what might result.

I am quite disappointed in this project you are taking on, and see quite a few others are too. it seems to me you are somewhat defensive in your remarks regarding our dissent. if you are going to ask for our opinions, you are surely going to have to be prepared to find, and consider, that many people don’t think this is a very good idea. personally, I would respect you more should you decide not to share what happens next – whether you go ahead with the makeover or not.

the fact that you have asked us to consider your ‘subject’ objectifies her and allows people to judge her not as an individual, or person, at all and that leaves a terrible taste in my mouth. the last thing in the world I would want is to have the world pick me apart, inch by inch, to come up with a better version of…. me? ummm, that world couldn’t possible know me, or phoenix, from one photograph.

instead of a makeover, let’s have a discussion about why adult women think pointing their toes inward is beautiful and not just a little creepy, or why adult women {and what seems like the entire fashion industry} think rolling their shoulders forward into a slouch is beautiful and not ridiculous. or this; maybe no discussion at all. just a continuation of the slim and beautiful, and very often ‘connected’, celebrated for their personal style.


Blogger whyioughtta said ... (12:08 PM) : 

didn't have a chance to read all of the comments, so sorry if this is repetitive, but because she has a roundish face, i'd leave some length around the chin but remove a lot of the volume--chin-length in front, maybe a reverse bob with less length in the back. and lots of cool layers.

i agree with sart re: those boots. although they can be cool with a narrow slouchy pant loosely tucked in....


Blogger Nelson vH said ... (12:10 PM) : 

She has a cute face for are right about these awful boots...her nice an slim legs could look way longer with proper shoes!
Her hair has a beautyful colour! Keep it please!

And generally...let this make-over-thing be the only one you do...the blog is great as it is!



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:14 PM) : 


I LOVE the makeover idea! What fun!

She's a real pretty girl, so you've got plenty to work with.

Yes, I agree, needs an updated hair cut. Very pretty face and long, beautiful neck.

She is going to look fantastic! I bet she is thrilled.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:15 PM) : 

I have to admit, I think she looks fine, even with the construction boots. I would agree perhaps with the "she would look good in anything comment" and I am curious to see how her look changes. There is something raw about the way she was dressed in that photo that is quite suitable to her, I would hope she retains that edge in whatever makeover she gets....

Will wait and see! In any case, its a fun idea


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:19 PM) : 

She's a beautiful young woman. If she's willing to cut her hair for the sake of a change, then, like some have suggested, cut it all of in the style of Jean Seberg or Mia Marrow. She's got the face and body to carry off the shortest style.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:19 PM) : 

seriously sartorialist?!! i honestly thought that was the "after" picture. she's already looks AMAZING.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:19 PM) : 

I think she is so lucky! I would so much love to get a few advice like her!

My hair is very similar: heavy, thick and slightly heavy. And like her, I also have a rather round face. I just do not have the patience to take care of my hair everyday. I went short once, and it took a year of regular visits to the hairdresser to figure out a cut that really fits. We finally came back to a square basis, made it lighter, and the banks --our main challenge!-- is shorter but on the side. What I hate is when a haircut is not natural and when it looks great one day and back to difficult times the following day... And, please, keep her natural (no shade, or different colour! And not too short.)

Regarding the clothes, I do not get the Gap thing. Most of the nice outfits you showed were made of details and accessories. Gap is the opposite of that. Why not try a second hand shop? Or at least a mix! She has a great body so there is not any limitation.

But well this being said, you the Sart, not me... Good luck!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:20 PM) : 

can't wait to see the result but she should play more with this hair color... anyway i'm sure you'll be perfect in this new role !


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:21 PM) : 

go short on the hair.
i would give her a pixie haircut.
color is okay.. maybe give her a deeper strawberry blonde color.. not sure.

cool on the makeover idea! :)

Luz from Panama


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:21 PM) : 

I agree that H&M is definitely one of the most affordable and more "interesting" shops for someone her age, even if it is a headache going there.

Her neck does look really long in this photo, but I think it could be to her benefit if her hair was just up, or if she was wearing someone long earrings.

If she isn't comfortable chopping her hair off, I think just giving it some shape would do wonders. I have hair that thick with a natural body wave as well, and it can be annoying and awkward when it gets bottom-heavy and triangular!

To Anon 10:15AM, I don't think helping someone find pieces that enhance their body shape means altering their personal style.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:23 PM) : 



Blogger Sabrina said ... (12:23 PM) : 

I don't really see anything gravely wrong here. Maybe she could switch to opaque tights or longer boots. I don't really believe in makeovers, at least not the ones that contradict the individual's personality. Maybe a few tips on proportion will do. But if everyone only followed what works best for their body, fashion wouldn't be as colorful and interesting!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:27 PM) : 

How can you talk about personal style and then tell someone that their own style isn't good enough?

Everyone doesn't need the same "hipster" haircut to be "stylish"...

Step away from everything and rethink what you are doing.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:27 PM) : 

I love you Sart!!! I would actually love to see her in some Marlene Dietrich type of pants....or well those wide bootleg type of pants with an easy goign blouse or so ..some high heels/thicker heel ones and short hair. Btw she should do alot more with her lips(strong lipstick and simple eyes e.g just mascara)
and of course SHORT Hair, not too short but short


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:28 PM) : 

This girl looks incredible, who cares what she's wearing? She looks like a French film star from the 60's, A young Bardot maybe. If I saw her I would want to know her, as Im sure I've never seen such a pretty girl in all my long days. I wouldn't change a thing. She looks like she could be the muse of a great artist long gone, the source of great inspiration to create things beautiful. I would put her picture next to the word lovely in the dictionary.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:29 PM) : 

Wow, this may be one of the worst ideas ever.


Blogger liz song mandell said ... (12:30 PM) : 

hahaha, this is a fabulous idea. I'm envious!

Yes on the hair cut. Curious to see how everything pans out. Are you paying for her make-over?


Blogger Unknown said ... (12:32 PM) : 

i think the most important point is that this girl apparently was open to, and wanted some, advice and help on the subject of appearance. i believe that someone else could have pulled off this outfit if they wore it with conviction. what it says to me is that she lacked conviction with this look, thus, making it inauthentic to her style. i don't think sart would have approached her with such an idea if she wasn't inviting it in the first place.

and yes, a really sharp bob would look great on her in contrast to her amazing and soft facial features.


Blogger The Sartorialist said ... (12:32 PM) : 

for Anon 12:06 pm
I welcome your dissenting point of view, that is why I am publishing it. I have always said you dont have to agree just do it with a little respect.

I think this is making for a great conversation but i should be allowed to have a point of view and be allowed to clarify it or defend it.


Blogger The Sartorialist said ... (12:32 PM) : 

for Anon 12:06 pm
I welcome your dissenting point of view, that is why I am publishing it. I have always said you dont have to agree just do it with a little respect.

I think this is making for a great conversation but i should be allowed to have a point of view and be allowed to clarify it or defend it.


Blogger emma said ... (12:40 PM) : 

do not change her hair color! gorgeous gorgeous

while i agree that her outfit is fairly hideous (that necklace! agh!) - let her pick out the clothes and maybe suggest some ways to flatter her beautiful form - personal style is something inherent, nothing you can learn - but how to dress for your shape is definitely teachable.


Blogger Alice Olive said ... (12:40 PM) : 

Haven't read anyone else's comments yet but I LOVE this! What a star she is.

1) Definitely go short. Short hair is fabulous.

2) Short hair will emphasise that face, especially the fullness of her lips. Can't wait.

3) Sorry, but I disagree with you on the length of the boots she is wearing. Sometimes that length is exactly right - all depends on the individual set of legs!!

Can't wait to see the results!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:42 PM) : 

If Phoenix is up for it, and if you are up for it, then I say go for it and have fun. I've often gone shopping with friends to get their input about what looks good on me. I sometimes will purchase something based on my friend's suggestion that I would have otherwise bypassed. It seems to me that this proposed makeover is being done in that same spirit.
Phoenix may get a new haircut and some new clothes that she may not have selected if she were on her own. Scott, are you planning to pay for the clothes and haircut? I hope you do. An illustration student is unlikely to have much income. You could help her to obtain a look that would otherwise be outside of her financial reach. I hope you both have a lot of fun with it. I'm looking forward to seeing the results.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:42 PM) : 

OK. If she's on board, I guess that's cool. But look, I like her as she is. The boots give her the slightly funky insouciance that I think she's after. Her hair is gorgeous. The length is nice because it gives her a bit of hippie dippie, which is not a criticism. Let her slouch around a little while she's still young, for God's sake! And let her keep her individuality. Please don't turn her into a Gap, J Crew clone!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:48 PM) : 

dear sart, I absolutely adore your blog, and one thing I like the most is your ability to see what is sometimes hidden and beautiful in what already exists. I guess that is why I am a little uneasy about this new idea. I guess it is great to try new things, and I know you are a kind and positive person and will approach the experiment that way. I just always thought the person's own self-expression was the point here--although I guess it's just one step further to be facilitated in expressing yourself, which is how you propose to help this lovely girl. To be honest, a lot of times I don't find the ensembles here flattering to the physicality of the wearer, but I always enjoy how the wearers are telling a story about who they are thru clothes. So--I find this girl's original outfit to be as much a valid storytelling of herself already as the "better" ensemble you will be achieving soon. anyhow, I still adore reading this blog and will tune in impatiently for step 2. thanks for all the food for thought.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:56 PM) : 

i remember when i wanted to cut my long thick hair short. no one wanted to do it. finally, i got one person to chop it all off and i LOVED it, as did everyone else. anyway, i think that an angled bob cut at what looks like her current shortest layer would be cute. no bangs. the hair color is already perfect.

as for the clothes, it seems to me she probably enjoys the feel and comfort of that sort of loose frumpy style dress. i tend to get that same feeling from button down shirt dresses, and to a lesser extent shifts. fortunately, there are tons of those at j crew and the gap.


Blogger Pamcasso said ... (12:57 PM) : 

I already commented on this, but I just wanted to add that it seems that Phoenix wanted advice. I know if I had the dumb luck to run into The Sart on the streets I would probably beg him for advice! With such an editing eye, and appreciation for unique details, I think it would be great to know Sart's opinion. And I don't know what the spirit of the blog is- certainly not to degrade the way anyone dresses, but to inspire perhaps? I know that since discovering the blog two years ago it has had (as several other blogs have) a tremendous influence on how I dress myself and look at others' style. Finishing school I found myself staring longer at other students' outfits, and developing my eye with the help of this blog.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:57 PM) : 

wait... don't the boots in the post right before this cut her legs at almost exactly the same point?? what's so bad about this one?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:00 PM) : 

So relieved to see that so many readers are so disturbed by the proposed makeover of a classic beauty into one more kid who looks like she randomly combined any items of clothing, as long as they clash!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:02 PM) : 

Her hair is gorgeous and i think it would look great short but I dont think it HAS to be, it is very youthful and she is young so i think it works. The clothes however do what you want with...


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:05 PM) : 

So much of what this site is about is personal style. Why take that away from her to impose YOUR personal style?


Blogger An Aesthete's Lament said ... (1:05 PM) : 

Chic, short, slicked-back ... very Jean Seberg during the day and 1920s flapper at night ...


Blogger Rachel said ... (1:05 PM) : 

Anyone suggesting her hair color change is a moron.


Blogger tn said ... (1:09 PM) : 

so many people have weighed in here there is almost nothing left to be said. But let me try to say it anyway.

This girl is gorgeous.

I'm torn between two competing beleifs. I like anyone who has a point of view, style-wise, regardless of whether I like it. I once saw an old woman with a red coat, boots, bag and heart shaped sun glasses and nearly kissed her on her red lips. This girl has a point of view and that's good.

The other thing is, though -- how FUN is it to re-invent, and how fascinating to be able to experiment with how someone ELSE sees us -- in this case, for her to experience how YOU see her.

I love putting myself in someone else's hands like that.

So, net-net. Fun project Sart! Cannot wait to see the outcome.


Blogger zenya said ... (1:10 PM) : 

I like the color of her dress, this subtle deep blue.

It's so interesting, how the girl will change with your advice! (her hair looks great to me though)))


Blogger The Sartorialist said ... (1:10 PM) : 

Jen 1:05 pm
what makes you think I'm going to impose my style?

I will give her my advice but the final decsion is hers



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:11 PM) : 

if i were her i would definitely choose short hair. i'd go for agyness deyn short and the same kind of blonde [ ]. she has such a beautiful and characteristic face that it seems a pity to hide it! i don't think the boots don't look bad on her, but don't do much for her height either. however she has great legs. the neckline in her dress isn't any good, and distorts her body in a way. a scarf could do the trick maybe?
darker tights would stretch her figure and give her an extra few inches in height in combination with the dark dress&shoes.
on the other hand she could easily pull off bright colors which would give a fresher look.
i'm curious to see how this will turn out!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:18 PM) : 

not too short hair please!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:22 PM) : 

her facial features are strong enough to carry a pixie cut. that would REALLY show off her long neck. get rid to the hair, but please leave her beautiful color. and i love the navy blue of the dress against her pale skin and lovely hair color


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:23 PM) : 

Aren't you and 50% of your commenters a fine bunch, playing dress-up with a real live doll.

The rain in Spain......


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