Who Tried It: Sarah Ball, PEOPLE Market Editor
Why We Tried It: As the Market Editor for PEOPLE Style, I do a lot of trend forecasting based on what I see on the red carpets and in stores. And despite putting together outfits for actual people, like friends and co-workers, I’ve never actually tried my hand at styling a real celebrity (which has been a dream of mine ever since I draped my little sister in “gowns” I made from bed sheets when I was just a girl!). So, when Orange Is the New Black star Danielle Brooks said she’d be interested in giving me a shot, I couldn’t resist!
Level of Difficulty: 6/10. This wasn’t like anything I had done before for my non-celebrity friends. This one came with a unique challenge: Incorporate as much lingerie into her looks as possible, since she’s the face of Lane Bryant’s Cacique lingerie line. Danielle has an amazing sense of style and her confidence is inspiring — she’s not afraid to be a little bolder and show off “her girls,” as she puts it. However, I’m definitely a little more conservative, so creating looks for her really forced me to get creative and get out of my comfort zone.
How It Works: I went into this thinking I could prepare three different looks for Danielle, one that was a little more casual, then one a little more edgy and then one that was definitely red carpet worthy. I’ll break down exactly what I did:
1. CASUAL LOOK
The first look I wanted to be more casual, something she could wear on the weekend while out for a coffee or shopping with her friends. With that in mind, I paired a burgundy bra with a scoop neck tee (the neckline and contrast between the dark bra and tee will show just enough bra without looking too sexy for daytime) and burgundy jacket to coordinate the look. It was one of her favorite bras, and she really liked the look.
2. EDGY LOOK
The second look I wanted to give her something with a little more edge, so I chose a lace long-line bra with convertible straps, which, when paired with something high-waisted, acts more like a top. I chose to put it with a leather jacket and high-waisted pencil skirt. She loved it, and I loved that!
3. RED CARPET LOOK
For the third look, I wanted to go all out and put together something dressier and a little more daring. I chose a lingerie-inspired maxi dress and paired it with a high-neck lace bra, which was actually the bra Danielle wore in her Lane Bryant campaign shoot, which you can see in the video above. She said she wouldn’t have normally picked that out for herself—and then she kept it!
The Verdict: Success! She liked all three looks I put together for her – and she actually took home two of the pieces I picked out for her, which was so rewarding. It was such a great experience. Sure, I was a little nervous, but I really enjoyed the challenge of dressing someone who has such empowering and inspiring confidence and bold style. I definitely think I could see myself having a second career someday as a celebrity stylist. Maybe!