Mighty Closet: Liz Stanley

8th June 2011

This is my extraordinarily efficient friend Liz Stanley of Say Yes to Hoboken. In addition to being a total party animal, Liz is one of those people who can complete a cross stitch sampler, repaint the living room, and start a successful small business before she meets you for brunch.

She also has my favorite smile ever.

See?

Liz and I share a penchant for cruise director chic. Her khakis are American Eagle, and the gold striped tank is J.Crew from eBay. As you can see here, her house is just as well curated as her closet.

Liz’s pink ribbon necklace is also J.Crew and her blue blazer is from a thrift store. She says, “Shrunken blazers look hot with almost any outfit, but check the little boys section of your local thrift store for a cheap/vintage alternative to that $150 one you’ve been eying from J.Crew. I always find some great ones to add to my closet there.”

Her pink/gold heels were consignment, and they’re such a flattering neutral. The shine gives them a little more depth than a straightforward nude, and the pink is warmer too. Plus I love how a T-strap shoe always reduces blisters. I wonder if these were originally tango shoes.

Liz has baby-fine hair, so messy updos are a quick option for her. Everyday Princess Leia.

I told Liz I would crop the firewood out of the shot, but then the photo looked less awesome without it. Sorry, Liz. Now everyone will know you use your fireplace. Probably for something illicit.

Liz says, “Once you slip into a pair of high-waisted stretchy jeans like these, you’ll curse whoever came up with the idea of a low rise. There’s a reason our moms wore them in the ’70s, they’re incredibly comfortable. Plus, thanks to J. Lo’s butt, we can all embrace the full size of our behinds in high-waisted jeans.”

The scarf is from Target. If you always wonder how people make cool headbands from scarves, Liz recently posted a tutorial on her favorite turban ties. Go read it.

Her long-chain necklace is the Color Study Locket by Verabel on Etsy.


Bag by Fabric and Handle, excellent for toting your macrame project. Her sandals are Bernardo.

Here’s Liz with a pillow she probably whipped up in the ten minutes before she had a dozen guests over for dinner. Liz, I will pay you to be my wife. Tights by American Apparel, brown boots are Diesel from a consignment store, and the gray dress is H&M.

Liz and I were talking about what makes someone’s style stand out, and her theory is layering. She says, “With a kind of boring dress like this gray one I like to add unexpected pieces like an oxford shirt underneath and bright tights. I’m a big fan of oxfords as an under layer. Just be sure to roll up the sleeves and unbutton the top to prevent looking too stiff and formal.” Shirt is H&M, belt is from a thrift store

This sweet J Crew headband would get lost in my hair, but I love it paired with a chignon or a casual ponytail. Well played, Stanley.

Liz got this ombre silk skirt from a consignment store. She says, ““Elastic waist skirts aren’t always the most flattering on their own. Add a belt to cinch your waist and hide the extra bulk around the hip they’re giving you with a shrunken blazer.”

I’ve noticed over the years that a lot of Liz’s neutral-colored layering pieces feature an understated print like this tiny polka dot blouse from Urban Outfitters. It adds interest, but the overall effect is still classic. The blazer and brown belt are thrifted.

These boots are made for typin’ (by Zara).

Gah! I so covet this dress. She found it at a thrift store in Utah, and orignially it was sleeveless, backless, and nearly floor length, “I’m not a great sewer but I worked my fingers to the bone to refashion this outdated dress into something more my style.” You can see the whole process right here.

Here she’s styled the dress for day and evening.

Liz throws on a cardigan from Express, a the thin belt is H&M for a creative business look.

Also, there’s a removable back panel so Liz can still wear the dress to church.

For evening, she dresses up her shoes. Liz made these sequin shoe clips herself, but you can buy them readymade from Ban.do.

Here’s what the heels look like naked. (My Google search traffic on this post just skyrocketed.)

Add a vintage clutch, and you’re all set for some serious partying. That donkey tail isn’t gonna pin itself.

47 thoughts on “Mighty Closet: Liz Stanley

  1. Sarah

    Ok, but Maggie, she says her jeans are awesome and you don’t tell us where they are from!

  2. lolo

    I love the clothes, but the chevron striped rug is really catching my eye! Where did you find it?

  3. Katelyn

    The rug is great, BUT: where did you get the blue sofa, Liz? It looks so comfy and stylish!

  4. Puanani

    Oh, my goodness. I live around the corner from the Verabel storefront in Portland. I walk by that jewelry everyday. When I saw the locket, I thought it looked like Verabel…funny. Great style!

  5. Miss K

    YAY! Mighty Closet is my favorite and the gray dress/pink tights/boots outfit is killing it!

  6. Sabrina

    That last line was the best line in this already awesome post. Liz has some great style. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Elizabeth

    I get so excited for your Mighty Closet posts! This is a great one. I super love her layering look with the gray dress and oxford shirt. What great insight about layering being the key to personal style! Bring on more closets, Maggie!!

  8. Meg

    Yeah Liz!!

    Though seriously. Those high wasted J Crew jeans? The least flattering thing I’ve EVER put on my body, bar none. So, go Liz for rocking them. Also, I want to steal the grey dress and pink tights. Also, yay Liz.

  9. Kimberly

    I LOVE every single one of Liz’s outfits; she is adorable! I too am coveting that rockin’ blue dress with red polka dots! Such a fun and inspiring Mighty Closet post! Thanks!

  10. Heather B.

    1) Yay for a new Mighty Closet post
    2) and most importantly…so glad Liz discussed the belt with an elastic waist skirt. Love that idea.

  11. heidi

    I’ve been reading her blog for a while now. She’s very cool. But I’ve never seen her closet. wowza. Love it all.

  12. Melissa

    I feel more ashamed of my wardrobe every time I read one of the mighty closet posts, lol. My kids are in CK and oshkosh and I’m in target no names, mostly with spit-up stains. I need to stop being a wardrobe martyr and reclaim some me closet… maybe when the kids aren’t so messy that everything gets spoiled in a single wear. lol.

    love the cruise director look.

  13. Sarah

    1.) This awesome post has led to,
    2.) The most amusingly-awesome comments from,
    3.) Ridiculously impressed readers (me included) who,
    4.) Would seemingly appreciate if Liz applied a post-it label to every part of her person, place and things.
    5.) We are putty. Mold us.

  14. Stephanie

    Hooray! Love a lot of the looks here, and took her tips on the turban wraps and am sporting the look today with a messy updo and bright paisley scarf. Another reason I so deeply love the internet.

  15. Yoki

    So, darling fashion-ladies, how am I to dress at 53? I’m 5’10” 155 lbs. long-legged. I love the way you all play with colour and texture, but am told when I put on a pretty dress and some ultra-high Chucks, that I’m not age-appropriate.

    I don’t want to wear nurse-shoes and polyester elastic-waist pants (usually textured and navy blue).

    So?

    If I’m tall and willowy and fit, but still 53, what is age-appropriate?

  16. Erica

    I think that this might by my favorite Mighty Closet yet! I am absolutely smitten with her sense of style! (And her beautiful smile)

  17. Bee Gomez

    Chucks and a dress at 50+ look like you’re trying too hard. Ballet flats, boots, etc.
    But I think shrunken blazers work best on tiny little women–otherwise you just look gangly.

  18. Maggie Mason

    Yoki, I don’t love it when other people try to dictate what you can wear at what age. Especially because it depends so much on what kind of shape you’re in and whether you live somewhere conservative. Also, I find that the people who are eager to tell you that you look bad almost never dress with any sense of adventure themselves.

    Without seeing it, I can’t tell you whether what you’re wearing looks good to me or not. I do think Chucks are a little dated though, and I think that’s the biggest style problem for women as we age — not realizing how fast time passes when it comes to trends. I’d suggest enlisting a young woman whose style you admire and asking her to go shopping with you, and to go through your closet to tell you what’s obviously outdated and what trends won’t seem silly on your figure. The added backup may also give you more confidence to ignore the woman in beige who tells you you’re doing it wrong.

    Good luck!

  19. Erin

    I’m wondering where you found the other sofa, the one in the first picture of the blazer/cropped pants outfit? I love how the back is higher than the pillows. Love the clothes, too!

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