Local Trendsetters' Style Secrets

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Four local fashionistas give you their best advice for the upcoming season of fashion.

Dec 2013

Sally Chandler

Occupation: General manager at Jimmy Choo Palm Beach Gardens

Years in Palm Beach County: 27

Fun fact: My husband of 12 years designed my first motorcycle.

What is your go-to outfit for a cocktail party? Black strapless dress or a halter, long maxi dress.  

What fashion tip would you give to any professional woman in the workforce? Always change into your heels before arrival; Every season update your professional look by purchasing the latest handbag and shoes; Skirts and trousers must be pegged or full, but nothing in between. 

How would you describe your style? My personal style really depends on my moods. The best description would be classic minimal elegance, mixed with a novelty runway piece or skinny jeans for a boho whimsical look.

What type of outfit transitions well from day to night? In a minute, a simple sheath dress can easily turn into an evening look. Just edit out the jacket, cardigan or flats. Then add a pair of art deco earrings, bold cocktail ring, Jimmy Choo stilettos and a clutch.  

Where do you find inspiration? Museums, music, classical movies, current events and global bloggers.

What trend would you splurge on? From Bottega Veneta, I’d go for its black crepe origami-detailed, peplum jacket. 


Beth Beattie Aschenbach

Occupation: Owner of Beth Beattie Branding, PR and Events, and co-owner of lifestyle blog, PalmBeachLately.com 

Years in Palm Beach County: Born and raised 

Fun fact: I was a University of Florida cheerleader.

What is your go-to accessory? A statement piece. I love big, bold necklaces. My favorite DIY project was getting a big board for my closet and pinning all my necklaces so I can easily access them. 

What fashion tip would you give to any professional woman in the workforce? To let their personal style show, whether it is fun jewelry, shoes or scarves, while still keeping their dress, pants or skirt classic and conservative. 

What type of outfit transitions well from day to night? A great dress or pants. You can add a chunkier necklace and put on heels. 

Where do you find inspiration? Pinterest and fashion bloggers.

What do you never leave home without? Earrings and the engagement ring my brother, jeweler Gregory James Palm Beach, designed.

What is your one stand-out piece? My Christian Louboutins my fiance gave me for my 30th birthday. 

What trend would you splurge on? Leather pants. 

What is your most recent fashion score? I call those fashion victories! I recently found my rehearsal dinner dress for 70 percent off.


Sonja Stevens

Occupation: Real estate agent with Fite Shavell and former model

Years in Palm Beach County: 12

Fun fact: I have three beautiful grandchildren, all girls ages 10, 13 and 23.

What is your go-to accessory? Gigantic earrings!

What fashion tip would you give to any professional woman in the workforce? Wear clothes that flatter your physique, and that you are comfortable in, and that make you feel good.

How would you describe your style? Manly tailored.

What type of outfit transitions well from day to night? For day, a beautiful blouse and trousers with flats, and for night adding a strappy stiletto and gigantic earrings.

Where do you find inspiration? Simple beauty in fashion publications and old Grace Kelly movies.

What is your one stand-out piece? My wedding outfit, designed by my late, very dear friend Alfred Fiandaca. 

What is your most recent fashion score? My black leather Giorgio Armani coat.


Christine DiRocco

Occupation: Public relations professional 

Years in Palm Beach: 15

Fun facts: Got married in Rome on Oct. 11, I can score a baseball game, native Bostonian, and I have the sweetest Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Mia.

What is your go-to outfit for a cocktail party? I don’t really have a go-to outfit for a cocktail party – I plan a look for each and every event. Great jewelry is essential. A little sparkle goes a long way at a party! 

What fashion tip would you give to any professional woman in the workforce? Great clothes don’t need to be expensive, they have to be good quality, have a classic silhouette, be age appropriate and most importantly, fit perfectly. I look forward to sales and friends and family perks at my favorite stores for higher-end purchases. 

How would you describe your style? My style is classic, sophisticated, confident with a youthful edge. The secret is to know what styles and colors are flattering, and work from there. 

What type of outfit transitions well from day to night? I think black transitions well from day to night, or my new go-to color – charcoal gray! So beautiful and works so easily with this season’s metallics, both silver and gold. For evening, I would add a bit more jewelry and swap the day purse for a sleek little metallic clutch. 

Where do you find inspiration? My inspiration is from timeless fashion icons – Grace Kelly, Jacqueline Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn, Princess Diana and classic designers, like Carolina Herrera, Oscar de la Renta, plus decadent fashion magazines. Many times a look pulls together from various sources and sights. 

What do you never leave home without? Pearl stud earrings, watch, lip gloss, smart phone and a great purse! Even on my most casual day, pearl stud earrings are always my go-to jewelry. 

What is your one stand-out piece? I have a gorgeous Prada black and powder-pink dress! Very simple and elegant – it works for any season, day or night, and it is as good looking as it is comfortable.