My Stylehaüs Makeover
Few of us can brag about having a personal stylist but when I visited Melrose membership-based boutique Stylehaüs for an interview, I got a behind-the-scenes look and the ultimate makeover.
“I don’t really wear dresses. I’m obsessed with separates,” says Marina Monroe, Creative Director of Stylehaüs and Executive Style Director at The Grove. Casually perched on a display table wearing a floral blouse and leather shorts over tights, Marina describes exactly how Stylehaüs has separated itself from other boutiques. Over the past decade, Marina has held various positions in retail (manager, stylist, and PR rep to name a few) and ”needed those years of slaving away in the industry to really grasp what was going on.” She mentions how multi-brand stores suffered because of the economy, making her realize that although “boutiques can’t compete with price, [they] can compete with service.” With that philosophy in mind, Marina took everything she loved about shopping, removed everything she hated from the experience, and created Stylehaüs—a space dedicated to fashion.
I was seated across from her, on a luxurious couch in the middle of a store that more closely resembles my dream closet than anything else. I’m talking a wall-sized shoe collection with spotlights, jewelry on velvet trays, matching hangers, and everything from a simple camisole to a vintage Karl Lagerfeld gown. (Oh, and have I mentioned the fully stocked minibar?) Members of this fantasy-closet-meets-treasure-chest boutique gain access to a personalized and pressure-free retail experience. Using information from an online application and subsequent fitting, in-house fashion experts act as a resource for clients who want to dress well but are either intimidated by fashion, or simply lack the time. “It’s about working with people and finding pieces that work the best. We have no limits,” Marina says. “We want to prevent people from being turned away from fashion, to make it inclusive, and to help our clients shop smarter.”
It’s my turn to find out what Stylehaüs is all about. Though I don’t get access to the 24-hour helpline or closet makeovers that come with a $1,000 year membership, I gain all the privileges of a day pass holder. First up is my consultation with Marina. She asks questions to get a sense of my style, hobbies, and the kinds of clothes I usually wear (above). It’s hard to tell which of us is more excited. She then gives me a quick up-and-down and correctly guesses my size. Perhaps it’s her sartorial knowledge and upbeat personality, the personal nature of a private consultation, the beverage in my hand, or a combination of all these things. Either way, I feel comfortable enough to let Marina take the wheel and dress me. Here are her top picks:
From left to right:
Pretty In Prints I’m wearing the Camilla and Marc Potion Dress ($715)--it might be hard to tell in the photo but the dress has an extremely flattering cut. Marina paired it with Dana Davis heels ($450), a Cobra Society clutch ($565), and a Tibetan Repousse pendant by Michele Saulson Designs ($540).
Bohemian Minimalist Affirming that high-low skirts work best for my height, Marina put me in a black Odylyne dress ($298). Even though she styled me in another pair of Dana Davis heels ($495) and another Michele Saulson Tibetan pendant necklace ($570), she created an entirely different look.
Casual Chic I mentioned that I had a hard time finding pants I liked besides skinny jeans so Marina chose a pair of Adolfo Sanchez harem pants ($78) and a Sam and Lavi peplum top ($160). I would never have thought to pair the two trends, or sneak hot pink Supras ($115) on my feet, but that’s why we have Marina.
All Dolled Up Marina squeezed me into this sequined vintage Fabrice New York Couture sweetheart dress ($682) accessorized with vintage Thelma Deutsch clip on earrings ($298) and a vintage crystal clutch by Judith Leiber ($4,548).
Similar star treatment will be available at the Grove in early December when a second full-service Stylehaüs boutique opens (many new stores coming soon!). As Executive Style Director of the Grove, Marina will not only advise members on their Grove purchases, but also run fashion seminars, contribute to a Grove fashion guide, and write content for the Grove blog with the help of the Stylehaüs team.