Reflections From A Closet Consultation
June 17, 2019
While I blog every week, you would think I would have this grand master plan of what I am going to talk about and when. Wouldn’t that be nice? But alas, that is not the way it goes for me. To put some thoughts on paper, I have to have something that is swirling around my brain that has somehow impacted me personally in a positive way.
Last Friday, Paula and I had a closet consultation with a long term client of ours. She is an attorney friend of mine who must dress in corporate attire but doesn’t want to feel stodgy and stale. Although she has great pieces in her closet, she was having a difficult time wearing those pieces in a new and inspiring way.
We were actually out socially one night, and my friend had on a great pair of slacks, a cute top, and classic jacket. But despite having the right pieces, she felt blah, blah, blah. Blah is not a word that I like to have in my vocabulary, and it is a trigger that something or someone needs some inspiration!
If BLAH is a word you use to describe yourself or your home, then I would advise seeing a trusted style doctor (enter K. Renee.)
Back to my story…as my friend and I were discussing how blah she felt in her outfit. My quick assessment was that although she had on great pieces of good quality, she hadn’t added any layers to give it a punch.
I took off a chunky statement necklace (similar to the one above) that I was wearing and added it to her outfit. And she went from blah to awe in a matter of seconds. Her shoulders lifted, she smiled, and you could tell she felt 100% better with what she was wearing. My friend was traveling to Europe the next week, so I made her borrow my necklace and use it as a tool in her wardrobe arsenal while traveling the following week.
Sometimes the simplest things make the most significant difference.
At the end of our night out, I promised to come to her closet with one of our key stylists and work on what exactly was going on in her closet....which is what Paula and I did on Friday.
As we left that appointment, Paula and I began to discuss our reflections from our time in her closet and what we learned as well as what could help our closet consultation process be even more productive in future appointments.
These reflections have been on my mind ever since, so I thought I would share them with you as well.
To prepare for a closet consultation, we decided that it was important for our clients to do a little homework before we arrive. And that is to go through your closet and find out where your obvious shortfalls might lie.
To do this, we developed a little worksheet that you can download by clicking on the document below and printing.
Just go through your closet and check off the boxes of those things that you have, that fit well and you actually wear on a regular basis. (If you don’t wear them, there is usually a reason why.)
The number one thing we discovered in our clients closet last Friday was that she had lots of great novelty jackets and shirtings, classic blazers and was also well covered on the black, blue and grey trousers.
But was very shy on classic neutral shirts, tops, slacks, and shoes. As well as transitional print tops, slacks, and dresses.
The items above are Spring and Summer workhorses and will allow her (and the rest of us) to get a lot more use out of what we already have in our closet.
So, I used the word novelty to describe some items in her closet. What do I really mean by that? To me, novelty means a wardrobe item that is representing a current trend, a bold pattern, or has distinctive details. To best illustrate this concept, let’s take a look at a novelty and classic shoe.
The black and white sandals (which I own and love) are a novelty and typically make a bold statement and generally represents a current trend. While a classic sandal really serves as the workhorse in your closet...you can wear it day in and day out with any number of outfits.
A non-blah closet has to have elements of both as they serve to balance each other out and many times help us modernize the classic.
When I wear my very novelty sandals, I typically pair them with a basic black dress, wide leg pants or jumpsuit. My bold and fashionable shoes are leading the charge whenever I wear them!
So we determined our clients greatest needs in her closet, now what?
It was time to talk about overcoming style obstacles and helping her see all the possibilities in her closet. We discovered that she had a habit of buying a single piece instead of building a complete outfit. And once she got home, she had a difficult time pairing a newly purchased item with other things in her closet.
For example, she bought this gorgeous blazer that she has never worn. Of course, she thought she had the pieces in her closet to pull something together but found herself just staring at it. Was it brown, was it black? And when she tried it on with black or brown slacks, she felt dowdy and blah.
Reflection One: Stop buying clothing items one at a time. Instead, buy an inspired complete outfit so you understand what colors and proportions work best with the fabric and cut of the garment. A good stylist should show you how you can wear any one item a multitude of different ways.
But what was done, was done...what would we do with the blazer? To start, we thought many of the blazers and jackets in her wardrobe would benefit from having a lightweight pant and cami in versatile (and summery) shades of ivory and white...and especially with the one she was struggling to wear. Winter white is such a powerful color to have in your closet as it easily pairs with almost anything!
We also recommended she add a few statement necklaces and belts to her wardrobe. I like to call the necklace above “the Daenerys Targaryen” because any woman that is ruling seven kingdoms would surely wear something like this one.
Reflection Two: Add a few statement necklaces, earrings, and belts
I had already proven my point by lending our client and my friend one of my own necklaces a few weeks back, so she was open to some new possibilities. But we also noticed that she didn’t have any statement belts that could help transform a uniform dress or shirting into something a little edgier.
She has this classic work dress and matching blazer. The only way our client had worn it was together and without inspiring accessories. She admitted that she felt a little old fashioned when she wore it. We will have none of that! We suggested that she try wearing a novelty belt with the dress and underneath the jacket. Then to pair it with a great pair of heels and statement earrings.
The other thing she hadn’t considered was wearing the dress with other jackets - black in the fall and winter, white in the spring and summer or with a patterned blazer that complemented its teal coloring.
Reflection Three: Get Comfortable with Mixing Things Up
Both the jacket and dress fit her great and is a shade of teal that really compliments her complexion. She should be mixing it up with other clothing items to get better use of her favorite things. Many times all you need is a classically printed top to help you transition between looks. Take this lovely snake print blouse…
The snake print has a tinge of the teal color of the jacket (that matched the dress we were working with previously.) Combine the jacket, a pair of ivory dress pants with the top and voila...a “new” inspired outfit.
Grab your black jacket, switch out the shoes, and once again, you have a new outfit with existing pieces.
Another great way to mix it up in her closet was to add fun but classically patterned pants and dresses. We loved this cream and black plaid pant for our client. How cute is she going to be when she wears this outfit?
This plaid pant is so versatile, comfortable and fun!
We played around for quite a while and had a great time doing it. We left our client with homework...and that was to play in her own closet this week and create some new combinations using something old and something new.
The greatest reflection of all is that we all need face-to-face style inspiration. I would not have half the creativity that I have in my own closet if I didn't have a business full of great dressers. One day I will see something that Kelli is wearing that gives me a new idea and the next day it's Paula, Stacie, Emily, Lisa, Dana, Gina, Lana or Susy. Yes, I take something from each one of our team.
Who inspires you? Although I believe we sell the most beautiful clothes in town, our greatest strength is our ability to style. If you are not inspired by those around you, let us take on that role.
What did our client say?
"Thank You. That was so much fun. I love the items and they will really make everything else so much more useable and un-frumpy."
I carried on today, didn't I? Helping people feel better about themselves and their home gets me amped up, I guess. Have a wonderful week.