What she loves to wear

2014-01-05T00:00:00Z 2014-05-21T13:36:10Z What she loves to wearBy Johanna Willett Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Hundred-dollar necklaces dangle from a twisted tree branch that Monica Negri found in the wash behind her home — it fills the corner of her bedroom.

That’s how Negri, the style and wardrobe consultant behind Ten Outfits, does fashion: “You just have to be resourceful. I’m not a snob.”

Negri, raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, lives in Tucson with her husband and two little rescue dogs.

She shops at a variety of stores, including Buffalo Exchange, Neiman Marcus and eBay. Negri, 48, has stylish favorites from all over.

She works with clients to revamp their closets, replacing fashion duds with pieces that pop — similar to a kinder, more budget-friendly version of TLC’s “What Not to Wear.”

“When you look great, you exude confidence and you’re a magnet and people always want to be around those who are confident,” Negri says.

It’s all about fit and color, but accessories and shoes are not to be overlooked. At all. Negri loves her pointy shoes and structured jackets. Finding what you like may require playing some dress-up, but Negri calls fashion a form of expression, even an art.

When asked to pick some of her favorite outfits from her wardrobe, she hesitated. She loves it all, but here are a few combos that “speak Monica.”

• A Talbots black sheath dress printed with big, red roses makes Negri’s favorites list because it reminds her of her favorite Alfred Hitchcock film, “North by Northwest.” In the film, Eva Marie Saint wears a dress with a similar print. Negri nabbed her version last year for about $85 at a post-holiday sale.

“I fell in love with all those actresses on screen who wore the most beautiful clothes,” Negri says. “That era was just exquisite as far as I’m concerned.”

She pairs the dress with a $350 Miriam Haskell pearl necklace and $125 Casadei black patent dressy sandals from Dillard’s.

• Coupling ratty jeans and a classy top is a sort of formula for Negri. She got her favorite ripped jeans from Zara for about $90. They’re cuffed, easily showing off her red Stuart Weitzman heels that she found on eBay for $40. For her top, she wears a Forever 21 tuxedo jacket that she scored for $14 at Buffalo Exchange over a J. Crew white T-shirt that cost her about $10. She finishes the outfit with her first “it” bag, a black Alberta di Canio leather handbag from TJ Maxx that cost $149.

• Negri considers her black and white Chanel shoes art, so she hardly ever wears them. Her husband surprised her with them as a birthday gift after she had previously walked away from the too-steep price tag of $400. New from Zara’s online store, a full-length, white skirt just might woo the shoes from her closet. Negri pairs the high-waisted skirt that she found for $79.90 with a cropped, black T-shirt also from Zara for $16.90.

The finishing touch comes from a statement necklace — white, porcelain-looking flowers strung together. The inspiration is Dolce & Gabbana, but Negri bought the necklace from J. Crew for about $64, half-off during an online sale.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.