“When you look good, you feel good. That energy is sexy, gravitating, and totally captivating,” explains stylist Kristie Jorfald. “I teach my clients how to own that.” Jorfald herself radiates ease and confidence. Originally from Lake Forest, the future fashion authority grew up a citizen of the United States, Norway, and Switzerland. It was a household full of language, speaking Spanish with her half-Colombian mother and French with her dad. She attended Lake Forest High School before going away to college and securing internships with Hearst Magazines, first in Los Angeles and then in New York City.
In 2009 she landed in Los Angeles, officially embarking on her styling career, working with celebrities on the red carpet and magazine shoots, including Modern Family’s Sarah Hyland and Anna Kendrick of Pitch Perfect for Paper magazine. From there she landed a coveted assistant stylist gig on How Do I Look?, the two-time Emmy nominated makeover show.
Though she had a blast getting the celebrity experience in Los Angeles, she was soon feeling the pull back home. Jorfald returned to Chicago to pursue a master’s degree in elementary education at Columbia College, a longtime dream. After completing her thesis, she realized she was not quite done with styling, and set out to combine her passion for education and her love of fashion, teaching self-acceptance and a better understanding of self through style.
After building an understanding of the Chicago market through work in personal shopping at Topshop and with private clients at Burberry, Jorfald took a chance on herself in 2016, building her own business as a personal stylist. “I’ve always been a huge risk-taker,” she reveals. Her goal: teaching women how to love their shape, how to shop for it, and how to build fearlessness through fashion.
Jorfald works primarily with women 45 and older, from public speakers and media personalities to successful surgeons, many going through divorce, stepping into executive roles, or ready to reinvent themselves, all ready to invest in their own lives. “Style isn’t vain, it’s taking time for yourself,” she explains. “It’s a form of self-care.”
Her process begins with a complimentary 30-minute discovery call followed by a digital questionnaire: “This helps me to identify where you are and where I’m going to take you,” she shares. “What are your short-term and long-term goals? What do you want to be known for through your style?”
Next comes the first appointment, the closet cleanse. “We go through everything, try things on, and determine what fits and what doesn’t. I take measurements to determine a client’s shape, not size, and look to see what could be tailored,” she explains. She works with a seamstress who will come by for a hem or tuck, bringing new life to old pieces.
Jorfald helps the client determine what can be donated or what they can sell: “We all have money in our closet,” she says. Her photographer is on-hand to take pictures of all items that remain, which will be inputted into a digital look book of outfits based on the client’s lifestyle and schedule. This app serves as a closet inventory and handy guide that can be used while shopping, organized by category, size, and material.
From there she makes a list of staples, basics, and investment pieces that are missing, creating a style discovery board, comprised of different silhouettes and cuts across different categories, determining what to look for when they shop. Knowing that for many, a day of shopping can seem daunting, Jorfald helps remove the sting—and the guesswork—by pulling different items in advance, allowing it to be a full day of fun, with visits to 2 to 3 stores and a break for lunch together in between.
A third appointment includes fittings and photographs of the new items purchased. Jorfald puts together 10 outfits specific to the client’s life and its upcoming events: work presentations and conferences, weddings, vacations, and everything in between. Within 2 weeks she will create 30 outfit suggestions for the coming season.
For clients and followers alike, Jorfald also posts tutorials on Instagram, regularly sharing outfit ideas and advice. She graciously provided us with some insider tips and tricks:
• Buy your shoes at the end of the day: “At that point, you’ve been on your feet for hours, so you know how you’ll really feel in them.”
• A solution for overstretched jeans? Put them in a Ziploc bag and into the freezer for 24-48 hours. This will shrink the fibers, reshaping the denim back into its original size and also disinfect them.
• Fashion staples? “The trench coat, like the iconic cotton gabardine Burberry. It’s travel-friendly, transitions seamlessly from work to a night out, and works three seasons of the year,” she says. “And a nude pump: they go with everything and help to elongate the leg.”
• Invest in a classic stainless steel watch (“Don’t be afraid to mix your metals!”) and a handbag that combines form and function. Jorfald counts on her YSL shoulder bag to do double duty as a crossbody, and take her from day to evening. (“Look for something that gives you multiple options for styling and multiple compartments for utility.”)
• Never spend money on trends. Jorfald avoids pricey jeans, relying on options from Topshop and Nordstrom Rack instead. Another staple in her closet, the black leather jacket, she purchased from TJ Maxx (“It’s what I get the most compliments on”).
As Jorfald says, “You don’t need money to have style. Style is about who you are as a person and how you want to be perceived.”
To learn more, visit kristiejorfald.com or find Jorfald on Instagram @kristiejorfald.