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Winner Gets Tips You Can Use

Our Wardrobe Makeover Sweepstakes winner came to our corporate office and tried on several outfits. Our Fashion Director, Sue, shared lots of tips & advice.

Winner gets style tips you can use!

On our sweepstakes entry form, we asked entrants to tell us why they wanted to win a new wardrobe from Monroe and Main. Here’s what Gail shared,

“[I] can’t afford a new wardrobe like $1500.00 could buy all at once. . .That would be a once in a lifetime for someone who still has clothes from 10-15 years ago. I hate shopping malls and love being able to shop online at home.” 

We contacted Gail prior to her visit and talked with about her wardrobe needs. We learned that Gail primarily wore neutral colors and that she was hesitant to wear anything bright or colorful. She wanted flattering styles to compliment her shape.

Gail received lots of tips and ideas on how to incorporate new styles, prints, and colors into her wardrobe. Take a look at the multitude of different outfit combinations Sue had Gail try on. What a fun day playing dress-up!


First, Sue explained all the different pieces she chose for Gail. There was a mix of color and styles, but everything Sue chose was meant to fit and flatter Gail’s body shape and style.

The first outfit Sue chose for Gail was a pretty blue top and black & white mosaic skirt. Sue loved this look. The cobalt colored top highlighted Gail’s blue eyes. Gail could easily wear this outfit to work, but she could also go casual with this skirt by wearing a little white t-shirt and some flats. Adding a black shrug provided some more arm coverage, which Gail desired, and also works great for a cool spring night. Then, adding a layered gunmetal necklace was all Gail needed to complete the outfit. When Sue had Gail try on the white blazer, Gail felt the most comfortable.

Sue’s Tips:

  • If you’re hesitant to wear bold colors, try a neutral jacket over the colored top. For this look, the little cobalt blue peeking underneath the cream blazer added just enough pop.
  • Skirts are extremely versatile. A causal look is a knit top with flats. An evening look would include some statement jewelry, heels and a shrug or jacket depending on the season.
  • Find a go-to skirt each season. One that is flowy and sways and glides with graceful elegance. Don’t forget that twirl appeal!
Back & white skirt, cobalt blue top, flattering style

When Gail came out of the dressing room in this look, Sue couldn’t resist applauding. Gail may not have liked wearing color, but this soft, floral look was refreshing and beautiful on her. Sue had Gail try a few accessories. The turquoise necklace and side bag added a bright, stylish touch. Gail’s gold sandals added some extra oomph to the outfit.

Sue’s tips: 

  • The neckline and floral print draws the eye up toward Gail’s face and accents her best features.
  • Throwing on a jean jacket slimmed Gail’s hips and legs and we all thought she looked very sharp.
  • Wear darker denim on the bottom to help camouflage hips and thighs.

Next for Gail wore a black & white polka dot peplum top and a pinstripe trouser. Mixing the polka dots and pinstripes is not at all a problem according to Sue. Since they are both black & white, it’s a no-brainer combination. The pinstripe trousers helped elongate Gail’s legs and looked especially flattering on Gail since they weren’t too tight and fell straight down from her hips. Gail said that if she saw the top in our catalog, she would never think she could wear it. We were happy to prove her wrong! She looked sophisticated and classy.

Sue’s tips: 

  • The neckline works well to draw the eyes up. It also makes the shoulders broader, which then makes the waist and hips look smaller.
  • Sue loves a blouson in a blouse. So comfortable and flattering.
  • Mixing the patterns adds some interest. It’s still black & white so it totally goes.
  • With any black & white outfit, you can add a pop of color with accessories, such as a turquoise necklace or handbag.
  • Mixing metals is no longer an issue. The turquoise necklace had silver tones and Gail was wearing gold shoes. You can wear silver, gold, and bronze all at once if you want. It’s totally open!
  • A cream blazer took the casual top up a notch.  Gail could also rock it with a studded hobo bag.
Gail-BW Top

Every woman needs a little black dress in her wardrobe. And according to Sue, the empire waist is the most flattering silhouette. Gail looked amazing once again. The dress flattered her figure in various ways and Sue explained how Gail could wear it casual with flats or even sneakers or dress it up with a blazer and pumps. When Gail was in the jean jacket, Sue showed her how cuffing the jacket sleeves would create a stylish, casual look. Wearing a shrug with the dress and a layered necklace added some drama and elegance.

Sue’s Tips:

  • An empire waist makes the midsection look smaller.
  • If your outfit is neutral, add spice with accessories such as a red, zebra print handbag.
  • Go from day to night easily with this dress. A flowing knit dress can go professional to casual with a jacket and shoe change.
Every woman needs a little black dress.

Sue loved all of Gail’s different looks in the animal print tunic, leggings and sandals.  Gail was not comfortable going sleeveless, so the jean jacket or shrug were great options for her. The scoop neckline draws attention to Gail’s top half and the shrug helped create a nice shape for Gail.

Sue’s Tips:

  • The beige shrug worked well with the same color tones of the animal print. Sue suggested adding a long, layered necklace in gunmetal to pump up the volume.
  • Leggings and a tunic is a go-anywhere outfit. Such a great, comfortable, casual look.
  • Be sure to change out your leggings every two years. They have a tendency to fade.

The embellished jeans and tunic proved to be another flattering look for Gail and provided a great base. Sue had Gail try the jean jacket, the beige shrug, and a black sweater. All options worked well, but we knew Gail couldn’t go wrong thanks to the empire waist of the top and embellished, flattering details.

Sue’s Tips:

  • A little heel in the shoe would work well with the jeans.
  • Keep it tonal and cover your arms with a shrug.
  • Add a rockin purse to pick up the metallic pizzazz.
  • A black sweater with boots will take Gail right into the Fall season.
Tunic, embellished jeans, studded hobo handbag

The flyaway top with a high-low hem and the pinstripe pants looked great on Gail.  The top had some great colors and the purple handbag brought attention to the colorful top. This base look works great for casual, work, or church.  Pump up the volume with a blazer for dressier look. Maybe a layered necklace with metallic silver tones would really rock it as well. Throw on a pair of flats, a denim jacket, and jeans and you’d be good to go for a casual day of running errands. The shrug adds feminine elegance and sophistication for an evening look.

Sue’s Tips:

  • Pinstripe pants help elongate your legs.
  • Crochet can be overpowering from a feminine sense, but in a little shrug, it doesn’t dominate the outfit.
  • Even a flyaway top has a little shape to it and the high low hem keeps the eye moving away from any problem areas.
Pinstripe pants help to elongate the legs. Pump up the volume with a blazer for dressier look.

We have NO IDEA why Gail doesn’t wear color. She looked so gorgeous in a bright blue that complimented her eyes and complexion. A bright blue top with a long duster sweater made Gail look taller and leaner. The sweater fit her perfectly and when we added some accessories, Gail embraced her new colorful look.

Sue’s Tips:

  • A pretty blue color easily complements your complexion.
  • Bright on the top and dark on the bottom will make you look taller and leaner.
  • A lot of people don’t like mixing patterns. Pairing a leopard print scarf with a striped sweater might take us out of our comfort zone, but it’s totally okay with the same color tones. What a unique look! Feel free to experiment.
Bright colorful outfit for Spring.

The most comfortable outfit of the day was the last one Gail tried on.  She looked comfortable, casual, and cute. Just hanging out or needing to run to the store, this is Gail’s new go-to outfit. In fact, she wore it the next day when she flew home. The jacket is a cotton spandex fabric as were her leggings for ultimate comfort. The jacket had pleats which descended from an empire waist to artfully conceal at midsection. Raw-edge seams, side pockets, front zip and one-sided sleeve detail gave this casual look a stylish edge. Leggings can be paired with a great pair of sneakers. Doesn’t she look adorable?

Sue’s Tips:

  • Can’t say enough about the flattering aspects of an empire waist. Nice and easy to conceal the midsection.
  • Loungewear can still be stylish. The little details are a must in a jacket such as pleats or artwork.
  • Cotton spandex fabric is the ultimate comfort.
Gail was adorable in this jacket and leggings.

Here’s even more to see about Gail’s visit! 

We had a wonderful time with Gail and hope that she had an experience she will remember for a lifetime.

Comment below and tell us which of Sue’s tips you are going to try!

Comments (52)

I will looking at M&M for that shrug.
I think she would look better in straight leg trousers/pants than leggings. In fact Yoga Pants are coming out with all styles of pant, ready and acceptable by both the gym and office!
The empire waist is too long for her figure, she looks so much better in tops hemmed perhaps 5″ higher as with the previous other creations just for her! They visually cut the width of the hips. I bet she would feel lighter and younger than her age if the length had been tailored for her. And my ‘pet peeve’ is that while I like the feel and style of empire- tops, – dresses- sweat jackets — it is just a moment away from not looking like women are 5 months or are showing that they are pregnant and that is not the look a non-pregnant woman to see on herself or hear about herself.
With your changes I would have enjoyed before and after photos.
Liking what you did with a ‘power’ blue for work by just adding that adorable shrug. Office ‘Power’ colors can be intimidating in the workplace. So you gave her a woman in the know and added an approachable accessory!

Love the tip about wearing darker denim on your lower half, to camouflage hips and thighs!

What a fun win! I loved the empire waist tip.

I never realized that light colors on top and dark on bottom makes a person look taller and leaner! I love that! Now to put it into play! Thanks for an awesome tip!

I am going to keep the empire waist on my mind, the next time I go shopping!

Congratulations to the VERY lucky winner Gail! It sounds like this particular prize definitely went to the right winner 🙂 My favorite tip you shared in the above article was finding a go-to skirt for each season; I’ve just been getting into maxi skirts and I absolutely LOVE how feminine and comfy they are!

Love the tips! I’m going to find a great skirt with twirl appeal! 😉

I love these tips. So helpful! My favorite was the suggestion that going bright on top, dark on bottom, can make you look taller and leaner.

Wow – what at awesome experience! I love so many of the outfits that were picked out. I think that I have to have that fantastic big handbag. I’m going to go look for it right now.

My tip is that you dress fashionably, but not to over-dress, because people can tell if you are running around overheating.

This is my favorite tip 🙂 Throwing on a jean jacket slimmed Gail’s hips and legs and we all thought she looked very sharp.

I love the tip about the empire waist especially for us gals that are not stick thin. It takes the emphasis off of the waist and hips. Thanks for sharing these great tips.

The empire waist was my favorite tip especially for us gals who aren’t stick thin. Takes the emphasis off of the hips and waist. Thanks for sharing, this was a fun post.

Thanks for all of these great tips. I’m so happy that mixing metals is acceptable. I’ve been doing it for years but so many people would call me on it. Now I can just ignore them.

I love the tip about the empire waist disguising the mid-section. The stomach area is my problem area, so I’m going to work on remembering this tip when I’m buying clothes!

I love the empire waist tip!

Wearing a neutral jacket over a bold colored shirt is my favorite tip. Wearing bold colors does not come naturally to me so this tip would help.

My favorite tip is An empire waist makes the midsection look smaller.

I try to mix and match one or two basic or neutral colors with a bright colored item or two. It seems to balance things out.

I am going to remember the tip about an empire waist being a nice and easy to conceal the midsection.

I love the empire waist. It really helps!

Always accessorize, it helps every outfit look “put together”.

I love the tip that we can now mix metals in jewelry and accessories! That has plagued me for ages now !!! LOL so happy it is “in” to mix and match!

My favorite tip is If you’re hesitant to wear bold colors, try a neutral jacket over the colored top. For this look, the little cobalt blue peeking underneath the cream blazer added just enough pop. That’s perfect for me!

I really need to try the empire waist tip. I am usually trying to hide that area~

My favorite tip is “Pinstripe pants help elongate your legs.” I am on the short side, so anything that will help give the illusion I am taller ( or have longer legs) is greatly appreciated!

To mix patterns start with a tame pattern,see how that goes and move up to more intricate patterns.

I will remember to tone down a bold color by layering a neutral jacket over top. I want to wear color, but often chicken out when it comes time to actually go out with the bold colors showing. Thanks for the great tip.

I like this tip 🙂 Skirts are extremely versatile. A causal look is a knit top with flats. An evening look would include some statement jewelry, heels and a shrug or jacket depending on the season.

I like the idea to change out your leggings every two years!

I like the wide range of tips given. My favorite tip is to pair dark bottom pieces with bright tops to appear taller and leaner.

I like to buy several pieces of clothing that will go together and then I can mix and match.

I like tip one: neutral jacket over bold color with bold print bottom.

Great tips here. I agree that classic pieces are the way to go, though I like to add a couple trendy, in fashion accessories to be sure my wardrobe has a modern touch.

I love the idea of wearing a neutral jacket over a bold color top if you’re nervous about the bright color! That’s a great idea.

I like this tip: If your outfit is neutral, add spice with accessories such as a red, zebra print handbag.

My favorite tip: being petite I learned at an early age to dress in what my Mom calls matchy, matchy … Dress all in one color from your top to your shoes.

Love all of your tips. Just remember the perfect cut also makes you look slimmer. You need to look for styles, colors and prints. None of our bodies are perfect, you can have an item custom tailored for short money. Love the light brown top with the light brown bolero!

I love the Skirt Tip, and the wear Darker Colors on the Bottom Tip, but all of the tips are awesome!

Thanks for the Post and the Tips!

I love everything about that first outfit! The skirt, the blue, and both jackets – awesome! She looks great!

I love a crisp white button down blouse with dark jeans, with a tank underneath that is a bright color. This is a look that seems to be flattering for pretty much everyone.

I like the tip “Wear darker denim on the bottom to help camouflage hips and thighs.” I do this a lot, and I think it’s a good one. It really does help! 🙂

I like the pinstripe pants for elongating the legs. I’m actually too thin right now and I also have short to average legsso this idea I like the best for me. Thanks for all of the tips.

I love the tip: Find a go-to skirt each season. One that is flowy and sways and glides with graceful elegance. Don’t forget that twirl appeal!. I always have one or two go-to skirts per season. I try to find one’s that I can create a variety of looks with by changing the style of top, jacket, shoes.

My tip is to buy classic pieces that can be mixed and matched to give you more outfit options!

I like the idea of keeping your wardrobe mostly neutral with classic pieces. I like adding in pops of color with scarves, bags and shoes.

Many people are afraid of too much color. I like dressing in muted, dark or neutral colors and then adding my color pop in with a scarf or bag and shoes. Your wardrobe then remains classic and does’t tend to go out of style.

My best tip is to were deeper denim on the bottom to minimize hips, etc. I think that is very smart.

I am in love with empire waist! I have large hips si it really helps!

I like this tip, if you’re hesitant to wear bold colors, try a neutral jacket over the colored top. This is me, I always want to try a bolder color, this would be perfect 🙂

I’m going to remember to wear a bright color on top with dark pants to make me look taller.

Glad to hear that you’re going to try one of Sue’s tips! 🙂 Let us know how it goes and if you have any other ideas for tips and blogposts we could offer.

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