Photographed by Daniela Ciuffa Photography
Who remembers how awesome Carrie’s closet was in HBO’s “Sex in the City”? I mean, seriously! As an adult woman with a pretty decent wardrobe and closet setup, I still think about how happy Carrie’s closets made me feel to this day (over 12 years later!). Every single piece in her closet was so carfully selected to suit her one-of-a-kind style sensibility. She had the most amazing mix of designer, main-stream and vintage pieces, her shoe collection was jaw dropping and the way her outfits were pulled together in such a thoughtful, creative way is what made her (Sarah Jessica Parker) one of the most iconic and sought after style mavens in fashion and television history.
So if you looked into your closet today, what would your clothing say about you? Would it say that you’re casual, chic or eclectic? Is your style relevant and authentic to the lifestyle you are currently living or aspire to have? Is your look making a positive first impression on other? Let’s face it, an organized closet that is filled with piece that you love, fit your body and work with your personal style is going to save you time and most importantly money. Not to mention, your confidence and performance levels will soar through the roof and you will be unstoppable.
I made a house call last month to help my client, Angela, with a “”Rockin’ Walk-in” session. This involves me coming to your home, dissecting, editing and sprucing up your wardrobe while giving you the tools you need to maintain a style that reflects your personal and professional goals. In using the 7 step program I created called “7 Style SacramentsTM” , I help women identify their personal style and teach them how to create a wardrobe that works for their body type and performance needs; in turn making them look and feel there best. These 7 Style SacramementsTM are an easy-to-follow guide to help women build a wardrobe and personal style that is on budget and full of #NadittudeTM.
My styling session starts off with a questionnaire that we fill out together, which allows us to determine your style goals and needs, and helps me to create a blueprint for a successful session. This is a crucial part of the wardrobe session because it allows the client to be honest with themselves about what their goals are and truly helps to determine what their authentic style esthetic really is.
Next we go though basic color theory and discuss how color can positively or negatively impact the way you look and feel. I teach the importance of color balance, how to coordinate an outfit based on color and we determine which color scheme works best for the style category(s) you gravitate to most.
To get inspired, and to open up the style dialogue, we flip through a few fashion magazines, where clients will tag images of what they find appealing and desirable. This process allows me to look at style through your eyes and provides me more insight in developing your style blueprint. Once I’ve gather all of this information, the “Rockin’ Walk-In” session begins…
Style Sacrament #1: SASS: Shop According to your Style and Silhouette
To kick things off, I take your full body measurements to determine you body type, and actual size. I find that so many women are dressing themselves for a different body type. They either wear garments that are too large for their frame and shape, making them appear larger than they actually are. Or they are hanging on to garments that used to fit them when they were a few sizes smaller than they are now, and get down on themselves for not having lost the weight.
Body image seems to be a constant struggle for women, and society’s perception of the ideal body can be a little distorted. We seem feel the need to compare ourselves to others, rather than celebrating our own beauty and owning what our mama gave us (..if ya know what I mean!). I always encourage my clients to dress for the body they have NOW, because in the long run, you will look and feel better. Secondly, their are so many ways to camouflage or enhance the body. Knowing which cuts, fabrics, patterns and colors to wear will aid you and not work against you. The goal is to draw attention to your assets rather than your imperfections.
Style Sacrament #2: “Ship, Shape and Shop”
This is what I like to call, separating the “Keepers from the Kreepers”; where we dive deep intro your closet, try everything on to ensure everything fits correctly, and eliminate anything that does not work for your style or body type. We determine which items will be donated, what will be kept and reintegrated and then create a shopping list of what is missing. This part is very hands on and labor intensive for both of us. In fact, it’s somewhat of a work out and I ask my clients to wear comfortable clothing that is easy to slip on and off. Also a good idea to have 3 baskets to help us stay organized.
Shape: This basket is for all of the items that fit well and work with your style. We are essentially shopping your own closet with fresh eyes and reintegrating these items back into your closet.
Shop: As we work through your closet, we are making a list of the core essentials pieces that you are missing and need to shop for in order to build a solid wardrobe. This list will also include organizational tool to purchase, such as hangers, storage boxes etc., to keep your closet pristine and tidy.
Style Sacrament #3: W.O.R.K Essentials (Weekend, Office, Recreation and (K)night)
Now that we’ve “demolished” your closet, so to speak, we are now ready to use your style blueprint to build you a wardrobe foundation filled with the core essentials that every woman can’t live without. I created a master list called W.O.R.K Essentials, which stands for: Weekend, Office, Recreation and (K)night. Each of these areas have their own elements of style and essential garments, which can be combined to maximize your wardrobe, or kept completely separate from the other, depending on your lifestyle.
Style Sacrament #4: 5 C’s – Casual, Classic, Chic, Charming Couture
Determine your style category. I believe that we are generally dominant in one style category and are influenced by a second or third category. For example, we determined that my client, Angela, is a “Classic-Chic”. Her work attire is business casual but sometimes corporate. Her core wardrobe is traditional and smart, yet she likes the idea of injecting a hit of the unexpected and edge, i.e.: leather, graphic print and stitch detail. Once you know what you tend to gravitate to, you’ll have an easier time shopping for clothing. This will also indicate the types of store you can successfully shop and find everything you need. For example, a “Classic-Chic” might find success shopping at Banana Republic (Classic) and Club Monaco (Chic).
Which style category do you think you belong in?
Casual: Comfortable, easy and earthy
Classic: Timeless, traditional and smart
Chic: Minimal, edgy and cool
Charming: Pretty, feminine and colorful.
Couture: Unpredictable, original and one-on-a-kind
Now, before we can move any further, we’ll need to “Shop, Drop, and Roll!”. Yes, it’s time to hit the mall, drop some cash and roll on out so we can pull together your new and improved outfits! Some of you may choose to do this on your own, while others prefer to have me on-hand for support. Remember, we want to maximize our wardrobe, and when shopping I have one major rule: only purchase items that can be styled at least three ways with the items you already have in your wardrobe.
On the other hand, if you have a good core wardrobe, like Angela did, you may find that a fresh pair of eyes can really maximize what you already have, and your list will be very minimal!
Style Sacrament #5: DLDB: Dark, Light, Dull Bright.
This is my favorite part of the entire Rockin’ Walk-In session – pulling the looks together! This is where we coordinate outfits, photograph each look and create your very own style catalog. When pulling an outfit together we want to incorporate something Dark, Light, Dull and Bight. It’s all about balance, cohesion, contrast and texture. We want to be thoughtful about how we coordinate our look so that it looks interesting yet effortless. We want to dress for the occasion so that our outfit is suitable for the audience and our performance needs. And we want to be able to easily transition our look from day-to-evening with a simple change of the shoes or accessories.
Here are examples of how we styled 1 shirt 4 ways…
At the end of Angela’s session, we created roughly 30 looks from what she had in her own closet. That means a totally different look for each day of the month. A by the time she shops for the missing core items, she’ll have 60+ looks to choose from! That’s pretty incredible, would you say?
Style Sacrament #6: Five-in-5 Beauty
To tie the entire look together, it’s important to maintain a simple makeup and hair grooming routine. Here are a few makeup essential that every woman should have in their makeup bag: Foundation/concealer, bronzer, mascara, brow corrector and lip gloss. Anything else is bonus! If you are not very familiar with makeup or are stuck in a rut, I highly recommend booking a personalized makeup lesson with a professional. We offer them at the studio as one-on-one or group sessions and they’re super fun and informative!
Style Sacrament #7: 3P’s: Prep, Prime and Polish
We all know how a bad hair day can throw us off, which is why a great hair style is so important to have. But great hair only comes with a great stylist (wink, wink!), products and easy styling techniques.
Prep: Always start your style with a great shampoo and conditioner suited for your hair type and color needs.
Prime: In order to achieve a certain style, you’ll need some styling products. Ask your hairstylist which products you should use to achieve the look you want. If you want to try a new blow-dry or curling technique, ask your stylist to teach you so that you can recreate it at home on your own.
Polish: Seal the style with the right finishing products to maximize your look and maintain the style all day.
I hope you found this post helpful and inspiring. My goal is to align every woman’s image with their personal and professional goals and to help them look like a million bucks for a fraction of the cost. At the end of the day, style doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, au contraire mon frère! Style is all about #NadittudeTM; that is being proud of the person your are, having fun and being gracefully bold!