Sara Dahlquist is the real deal. She is warm, funny, creative, stylish, gorgeous, and she is a native Oregonian—born and raised in Portland. For the past decade, she has been working as a personal stylist, connecting with clients through her company, Dahl Style, and her column in The Oregonian. The home that she shares with her husband and two young sons was recently featured here, and now you can get a closer look at her personal style—and a small sampling of her incredible boot collection!
Sara often collaborates with her good friend, interior stylist Kristen Siefkin—the pair met when Kristen hired Sara for a wardrobe consultation many years ago. It is remarkable to witness these two smart, talented women sharing ideas and making things look amazing together!
Your very favorite outfit: That’s like asking me which of my kids is my favorite. I’d say about 90% of what I have in my closet is my favorite. I follow the same rules I teach my clients, so I have a wardrobe that I love.
The #1 item from your fashion wish list: Vintage Missoni maxi
The TV or movie character's wardrobe you'd steal in a minute: She’s not a TV or movie character but hands down: Bianca Jagger, down to her nail polish.
Your best bargain find ever: There was this Vince cardigan that I’d been coveting but couldn’t afford it. It haunted me, that sweater. Then one day I saw it in a consignment store, on sale! I purchased it for 80% of the original retail price.
Three things from your closet you couldn't live without: My Lucky Brand boot-cut denim I’ve owned for 15 years and perfectly worn in, my Aerosmith concert t-shirt, my Vince cardigan previously mentioned, and a pair of my Frye boots.
The item you no longer have but wish you did: Ugh, you had to bring it up? There were these Banana Republic wide-legged tweed trousers that I let go of years ago and I mourn them. There’s also a navy blue wool vest Banana Republic did that was very Sgt. Pepper with brass buttons and a "made for me" fit. Man, I miss the old Banana Republic.
Most fashionable friend and why: That would actually have to be Kristen Siefkin. A former client and now a very dear friend of mine, Kristen hired me years ago to help her with her professional wardrobe. Over the years, Kristen’s style evolved dramatically. Now she’s a shopping pro, and though she still requests my input sometimes, it’s usually about pieces she’s purchased on her own and I’m always praising her for her style savvy-ness.
Your typical work “uniform”: That depends. When I first meet my clients, I try to wear flat heels (I’m 5’11” tall) and I’ll wear a more classic outfit but still within my personal style vein. Once we’ve had a chance to build a rapport, I’ll take more style chances and go a little funkier, pairing my Frye booties with a floral maxi and a denim jacket.
As a stylist, who do you most want to work with? Do you have a dream gig? I have the dream gig. I work with most amazing women! My passion is coaching any woman who doesn’t feel fabulous. We’re all beautiful; sometimes you just need a little help finding it.
What has been your most exciting styling job to date? I have a client who’s visually impaired. I’ve been working with her for a few years now. Our journey has been incredible. I had to learn how to translate styles, colors, patterns, and outfit coordinating to someone who’s never seen anything in her life. She is the most inspiring person I’ve ever known. I’m a better style coach for working with her.
Online shop: ShopStyle (that’s a loaded answer, I know)
Makeup brand: Kelli Thomsen, a makeup artist I work with just turned me onto Youngblood Liquid Mineral foundation, and I’m obsessed.
Haircare brand: KMS
Best jeans: Paige Premium Skyline Skinnies for my clients, Mother denim for me.
Coolest sneakers: I LOVE my Vans.
Signature scent: Chloe
Go-to source for style inspiration: Pinterest. I’ve created style boards that I refer to when I’ve reached a styling block. A number of my daily outfits and often my retail purchases are inspired from looks I have pinned.