Re-Teaching Loveliness


During career week at my kids’ school, I sat in a tiny chair meant for a 6 year old and listened to my daughter’s first grade teacher introduce me. “Mrs. Marinelli is a personal stylist, and she is going to tell you about her job today.”

18 kids sat in a semicircle around me; those who had seen me on TV or heard me on the radio were slightly more interested than the rest. I had been nervous, trying to figure out a way to explain to children what I do without having it seem like it was all about the pretty clothes…

I asked, “Who here has a favorite shirt?” A few hands shot up. “How about a favorite dress? A few more. “A favorite pair of shoes?  A favorite sweatshirt?” Soon, everyone’s hands were up.

“Ok, you can put your hands down.  I want to ask another question.  How you feel when you wear your favorite shirt, dress, shoes or sweatshirt?” “Happy!” shouted one of the girls. “Cool!” said a boy. “Jumpy!” called a little girl with cornrows. (I loved that one.) “Pretty!” said another girl. “Excited!” said one more.

I loved the unabashed joy these children exhibited just by imagining their favorite clothes.  Kids know what makes them feel great.  As adult women, we have become disconnected from some of the most basic feelings of worth and beauty. We have “un-learned” what brings us joy.  Too distracted with being thin, bouncing back from pregnancies, or looking younger, we judge ourselves and no longer accept who we are.

I explained to the class, “What I do is help grown-ups feel happy, cool, jumpy, pretty, and excited in their clothes.” If it were a group of adults that I was speaking to, I would quote the poet Galway Kinnell, who wrote, “Sometimes it is necessary to reteach a thing its loveliness.”

If you’d like to become a personal stylist, add styling to your existing business, or just learn all the basic principles I use with my clients, check out my next, biggest, better-than-ever Personal Stylist Training Program! The program is delivered via online modules and group conference calls to discuss the material.  We start on October 14th for 6 weeks, finishing up before the Thanksgiving holiday.  Click here for details and to see what others have said about the class, or feel free to email me at with any questions!

Jill Marinelli is a personal stylist who appears regularly on WPRI’s “The Rhode Show” and in her “My Style” segment on 92 Pro-FM.  She is passionate about helping every woman look and feel fabulous.  Learn more about Jill at