This is the look that I am looking for when you're trying on clothing! Does it feel good? Do you like how it looks? Are you going to be able to find lots of ways to wear it? And that's after it fits all of your criteria. I love doing wardrobe consultations with people and am thrilled that Karen not only enjoyed hers, but she was kind enough to share her thoughts so that you can see how it all worked out. See Karen's story:
"Last year I lost some weight and needed to rebuild my wardrobe for a new job. Exciting, right!? Yes, everything minus the shopping part. Some of my biggest fears are heights, public speaking, pushy sales people, and buyer's remorse.
Around the same time, I started following a couple bloggers who wrote about style, sustainability, and responsible fashion. I started looking for a stylist in Toronto with a similar values and came across a styling workshop at Logan & Finley. I was hesitant ("it's at a store, they're just going to up-sell me on everything!") but ultimately I was drawn to the event because it included a clothing swap and a donation to the not-for-profit 'Dress for Success'.
At the workshop, Julie suggested that we should all delete our Pinterest fashion boards and focus only on things we felt good in. I was hooked. (* See note below)
Ok moment of truth: I didn't delete my board but I did cut it down about 90% after following Julie's advice and observing what I liked about the outfits I already owned. These are some words that define my style: soft, natural, elegant but not prim, timeless, and minimal but with a fun or unexpected twist. My fashion icon is pretty much any French woman.
Here we are making her favourite navy blazer work with some of her new pieces including this "signature' scarf - in my opinion, owning a bunch of scarves you never wear doesn't help, but having a couple of go to scarves that literally go with everything, is a much easier way to accessorize. This is the scarf Karen chose, with a blouse she chose and the blazer she already had in her closet. The second picture we are working with a blouse she bought at the consultation, with a new sweater and the trusty scarf looks great with this outfit too!
After that exercise, I emailed Julie about a private styling consult. I liked that she sent me a questionnaire about my style (and that I was now able to fill it out quickly).
Julie was mindful of my goals (keeping my closet small), restrictions (no black pieces), and my current wardrobe. I bought 10 pieces which seems light given I was starting a new job in tech consulting and need to be ready to go from casual to professional and back on any given day. Each piece is versatile and works with several others that I already had. I've never found so many items I loved at one store but Julie made it easy. She was honest when something didn't work, worked with my restrictions, but also got me out of my comfort zone (and even convinced me to try on a skirt that I can dress up or down for an artsy event)!
Here she is in said skirt....at the AGO in Toronto. I love this outfit on her - it's a Made in Canada sweater vest by the brand Erdaine, a hemp and organic cotton top from Prana and a bamboo skirt from Miik. All all natural and sustainable fibres and doesn't she look beautiful?
The consult has helped me in the following ways:
- I can sleep in longer in the mornings. I don't spend any time thinking 'I have nothing to wear'. I can reach in and grab 2-3 things and they'll most likely work together.
- I can easily get from morning to evening, and from casual to professional more easily than Clark Kent turns into Superman.
- I have ways of getting past boredom with a look. I try little things like reaching for a fun scarf or piece of jewelry, or tucking my shirt in a bit. Side note: another fear of mine is being 'tssk'd' at by my sister when my scarf isn't perfect. After Julie's workshop, I know how to style them a bunch of different ways!
- I feel great in everything and I find myself getting more compliments. It's not always about the clothes themselves, but how you carry yourself in them and that's easier for me when I feel comfortable and myself. My old Pinterest board never got me there.
I've also changed my mind about shopping. I have fun with Julie and I never feel that "endless-pain-of-trying-things-on-and-hating-everything-and-hating-my-body". And it doesn't take hours of sorting through piles of things I mostly hate. Even today at this shoot Julie pulled out a shirt and put it back, as she said "nevermind I know this is too girly for you". She then convinced me to try on this dress which I never would have thought of trying. It's made in Canada, it's got a cute little cutout detail, it works for so many occasions, it's comfortable and made of sustainable fabric (linen), and it doesn't look like a potato sack!"
Oops, we broke the rules, it's black. But it looked so great on, and of course we have to be sure she could wear it at least three different ways, for different occasions. It's a new dress in the shop, that we don't have in our online shop yet, but check it out next time you're in.* I am not anti-Pinterest by any means, and should likely be more careful when giving advice since I know a lot of stylists recommend it and it works so well for so many. But I see a lot of people who don't actually know what to do once they have the boards done up and I am here to help those people.....let's put the ideas into action. Having a plan, as Karen clearly did is important and I love helping interpret and deliver a personalized version of this to each of the people with whom I do consultations.Here's the link if you're interested to learn more about our Wardrobe Consultations.