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Closet Case :: Allison Bethurem

The stunning Allison Bethurem (of My Matryoshka Life).

Let me introduce you to the lovely and super stylish Allison Bethurem (of My Matryoshka Life). Born and raised in Northern California, this local It Girl recently returned to us after an 11-month stint in Michigan, where her boyfriend was attending law school. A former style assistant at San Francisco Magazine, Allison is drawn to all things fashion, style and design—which is why I knew I had to feature her as part of this series.

Despite already being blessed with natural height, this 5’8″ beauty almost always sports heels and, let me tell you, her selection of footwear is seriously covetable. I mean, she has a couple pairs of Badgley Mischka heels that she picked up for less than $20. Can you say “jealous”?! She also has quite the impressive collection of Matryoshkas, an homage to her Ukrainian heritage.

Currently a consultant social media marketing and PR manager for the likes of Swarovski Elements, Allison recently transitioned from working full-time at an agency to starting her own business. While she confesses that her dream job is constantly changing, Allison is confident that she’s on the right track.

“I am loving spearheading all of the fabulous and glittery campaigns I create for Swarovski Elements, so it’s really where I see myself being in the future,” explained Allison. “Perhaps in-house at a lifestyle brand on their marketing team, or running my own lifestyle boutique PR agency. Either would be SO fab!”

Given her drive and her keen sense of style, I’m certain Allison will be successful in whatever she does. After just a few months back in Sacramento, Allison is already joining forces with her fellow fashion bloggers to organize local events—think thrift-store road trips, potlucks, clothing swaps and DIY events. Yay!

In the mean time, take a peek at this lovely lady’s wardrobe. Enjoy!

Get to know more about Allison on her blog or considering Tweeting her over here.

Picture perfect.

Describe your personal style.
My personal style is probably best described as “Sale-rack Splendor.” I refuse to buy anything at whole price—even if it’s a regular priced item at TJ Maxx, I still wait until it’s on the clearance rack. I mix latest trends like Steve Madden pumps with my favorite torn-up jeans from college with a rustic belt, fitted tank and vintage cardigan. I’m used to the Bay Area weather so I always have layers on hand from scarves to cardigans to light jackets to trenches. Never know how many “seasons” are in one day down there. It’s def easier to plan an outfit for the entire day up in Sacramento!

Who are your favorite fashion designers?
I love Diane von Furstenberg. If I could have an entire wardrobe of just DVF, I’d be set for life.

Flower power.
These boots were made for walkin’.
Oh, Allison, my aim is true.

If you could raid anyone’s wardrobe whose would it be?
Cate Blanchet’s wardrobe, minus the pant suits; Beyonce, Gisele Bundchen and Kim and Kourtney Kardashian.

Where do you turn for fashion inspiration (magazines, web sites, etc.)?
My coveted W Magazine I get in the mail every month alongside peeks at personal style blogs from around the world. I work with fashion bloggers for many client initiatives and have just fell in love with so many bloggers. Some of my favs are: The Coveted, My Fashion Life, Fashion Toast, and Cupcakes and Cashmere.

Step it up a notch: (top to bottom) Badgley Mischka strappy heels, L.A.M.B. heels and Badgley Mischka nude booties…all from Jeremy’s.
Brass neck(lace).
Hella stacked.

Is there an item you’re currently eyeing?
Not really right now—and even if I was, I’d wait until the end of the season to get it on sale and wear it next year.

What was your most recent wardrobe purchase?
A shoe binge at Jeremy’s in San Francisco. I go mad crazy at their sales and really just can’t help myself—but hey, $100 for five pair of shoes and an amazing pair of boots? So worth it!

In the red: Allison’s dress is reconstructed from a piece from her grandmother’s wardrobe. Hello, awesome!
See legs.

What is one item in your closet you can’t live without?
Oh, that’s so hard! I’d have to say my olive green “pashmina” I got in London on a trip in high-school. I had a mini-break down when I thought I lost it once but I just left it at one of my girlfriends. I’ve worn that thing as a shirt, a head-scarf and keep in it my purse on those over-cast days when you don’t know if the sun will come out or not. I will always love it!

What’s in your closet that you’ve never worn?
A baby-blue Baby Phat uber-fitted dress. I’ve attempted to wear it to a few occasions, but just didn’t feel like a diva enough to actually go through with it. Maybe some day!

Lady in red.
Go to waist.
On friendly footing.

How often do you purge items from your closet?
Not often enough! I normally do my best purging when I move, which was most recently in August. I have a hard time letting go of items, even if I haven’t worn them. I just can’t let go. Things I donated in Michigan before we moved back to California I still think of; like this awesome white crocheted cape I wore one time and took up too much closet space so just had to part with. So sad!

Play by ear.
B is for belts…and Bethurem.
Ring(side) seat.

Style-wise, is there a current trend you can’t stand on men? On women?
I’m really not into the hipster plaid shirt, skinny jeans and fluorescent sunglasses look—on men or women. Just not my cup of tea.

What are your favorite styling products?
Ok, I love love love Benefit’s Moon Beam product. I have dark circles, so I love this stuff and it always brighten’s up my eyes! I also LOVE their lip plump with just some gloss over it—always gives me some Kim Kardashian lips. Well, sort of anyway.

With flying colors: Dress by French Connection, thrifted belt, pink/red scarf from an estate sale and turquoise scarf from Claire’s.
Two scarves are better than one.
Tough as boots.

Have any shopping spots you’re willing to divulge?
Jeremy’s. One of my girlfriends worked there years ago and introduced me to the Berkeley store. When I lived there and in Oakland, I was such a frequent shopper and found so many amazing scores there. My advice: Sign up for their newsletter and hit them up on their additional sale days. They’ve had sales where it’s additional 60% off sale items. It’s INSANE. Be prepared for a line at their door of locals, and a crazy crowd out for a good deal and also be prepared to leave with a bag full of bargains and new favorite wardrobe pieces.

Wait for it: Allison scored this waiter blazer by La Rok when a friend purged it from her closet.
Neck ware.
Shoe view.

What are your top five favorite spots in Sacramento?
Since I’m relatively new to the area, I haven’t had much of a chance to get out and explore the shopping scene. There are a few spots though that I’ve come across that I really like:

Crossroads — An oldie but goodie.
Bows and Arrows — I really like the feel of this place. It’s right around the corner from my apt so I wander in here and there. Super cute
Fringe — Came in here during September’s Antique 2nd Sunday day. They have So much awesome stuff in there. Very cool.
Freestyle Clothing Exchange — I took a bunch of clothes here that Crossroads denied and they bought them. I def heart this place.
Thrift Town — I’ve been going to the El Sobrante Thrift Town for years and the store up here on Stockton Boulevard is pretty amazing, too. I will always have a place in my heart for Thrift Town.

Face value.

Unrelated to fashion, but because I am interested…what’s on your iPod playlist?
I’m a sucker for female vocalists so I have anything from Feist to Aretha Franklin to Joss Stone to Erykah Badu to Joan Baez to Jill Scott to Amy Winehouse. For the guys, I range from John Legend, Johnny Cash, E-40, Amos Lee and Too Short. Ooh, and I’m just recently growing a crush on Kid Rock in his “Sweet Home Alabama” phase. I know I’m totally late, but I think that one-year in Michigan created this new-found rocker/country affair.

Just one of Allison’s many matryoshkas.
Side view.




  1. Lovely! You captured her beautifully!

  2. JuiceMcNorway

    Too $hort!! E-40, Allison is your coolest closet case yet!! I totally looked past kid rock because of the first two.

  3. Allison is BEYOND fabulous- gorgeous, smart, warm, witty and suuuuper stylish! Sactown is lucky to have her!

  4. I think i have a new girl crush!! hahaha! Allison’s style and shopping philosophy is totally like mine! Just because u like high-end doesn’t mean you have to break the bank… and I love her mix of thrifted, designer and highstreet! the best way to create personal style… great profile!! xoxo

  5. @erin (aka bows & sparrows) – Awe; was so awesome to meet you also Erin and I just can’t wait until out next gathering! I’m always the first one of my girlfriends ready to go – so I guess it’s just my thing! 😉

  6. Allison! You’re so beautiful! Your style is killer.

    Great collab you guys!

  7. Greg

    I just burned all my plaid!

  8. Kimberly

    Allison is absolutely lovely. Her style and bargain-hunting skills are fabulous, and I really enjoyed her friendly, down-to-earth manner. Great Closet Case!

  9. Liz

    This was such a great article- I love her obsession with matryoshkas, my parents are from russia so I have a little obsession as well. Her sale finds are crazy, I wish I had that much will power to wait till the end of the season!

  10. Allison is so beautiful and classy! I love how much of a bargain shopper she is. I need to be more like that haha. I’m the opposite.

  11. Those outfits are amazing! I love the red dress, and also those beige boots with the blue skirt. Great to see another NorCal girl 🙂

    • erin (aka bows & sparrows)

      Seriously. How awesome is it that she made that red dress?! Love a lady who can see the beauty in a hand-me-down.

  12. u look totally fab darling…. just fab!! love your smile in those pics 🙂