Back to Cool

This single mom-turned-empty-nester turns the page and looks for reinvention

This month’s makeover was a match made in heaven: Lori Giefer is entering a new phase as a mother of a college student,  she loves fashion, and she’s ready for something new. “I love change,” she says. “I like things to be reinvented.”  But, with her daughter away at school, she has lost a sounding board—no more “OMG, Mom, no way,” or “Keep that.” That said, Lori knew what she liked, describing her style as eclectic urban, with a touch of country casual, and cited Sharon Stone’s classic-but-edgy high-low mixes as an inspiration. (Who doesn’t remember Stone’s Gap turtleneck with a high-end ballgown skirt?) With her short, sassy haircut and coloring, Lori often draws Princess Diana comparisons from onlookers, so she embraces her as an icon as well. But even with her fashion know-how and background, she still struggled to find something new and different. “I need a fresh viewpoint,” she told us. “I wore bell bottoms as a kid in the ’70s, leggings and shoulder pads as a student in the ’80s… As fashion comes back around, it gets harder to adapt to the new look or determine how to add it in.” “I can’t wait to see where Lori is headed next,” our stylist, Faith Brue, says. “Her next chapter will be much different from her last.”


The challenge: Lori didn’t have much room for work wardrobe creativity, and her daughter (a.k.a. her sounding board) moved out to go to college this year. Faith wanted to dress Lori in such a way that she could enjoy her newfound time without being too over-the-top or forgetting her roots.

Faith’s take: “Lori has such great confidence and a figure to match! I wanted to make sure to show off her killer legs with skirts and dresses and stilettos. I aimed to maintain Lori’s timeless style, but add a hip edge.”

Shop sense: “I wanted to keep soft, lush fabrics in mind, so I used materials like leather and cashmere,” Faith says of her shopping strategy. “This fall is all about dressing ourselves with the utmost chic and timeless materials that will last for years to come.” Faith was also drawn to the perennial “trend” of jewel tones for fall. “They bring color to our faces as our summer tans begin to fade.”

Lori’s takeaway: “I miss the feeling of that Neiman Marcus dress,” (left) she says. “It fit like the  proverbial glove,” adding that she’s looking forward to shopping more.


Outfit, above: DKNY sweater, $195 @ Neiman Marcus, 505 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-339-2600, Necklace, $34 @ Primp, two locations, including 618 Selby Ave., St. Paul, 651-414-0091, Belt, $14 @ Primp. Darling skirt, $69 @ Lily and Violet, Coclico boots, $469 @ Roe Wolfe, 750 Main St., Ste. 107, Mendota Heights, 651-330-4434, Outfit, above right: Akris Punto dress, $1,350 @ Neiman Marcus. B-Low The Belt belt, $110 @ Pumpz & Co., Galleria, Edina, 952-926-2252, Bracelets, $102-$220 @ Roe Wolfe. Mulberry handbag, $1,200 @ Pumpz & Co. Bettye Mueller shoes, $395 @ Pumpz & Co.

Ballet Beautiful

Feminie and sophisticated.

1. A slouchy cowl keeps pale pink from feeling too sweet.
2. This pleated, slightly asymmetrical confection had everyone swooning on set.
3. Rose gold is still of the moment, as are stacks of bracelets. Add some for flash.
4. Two-toned olive flats are anything but prim and proper.