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Monday, May 14, 2012

Do People Know What You Do?

It amazes me, even after all this time, that people I've known for years don't really understand what a wardrobe consultant does, and specifically, what I do every day. Some think it's just shopping for what a client wants, some think it's an 'organize your closet' job, and others think it's telling people what to wear. And there's a little truth in all of that, but just like everyone's job, there's more to it than that.

Let's start with the organizing your closet thought. A wardrobe consultant needs to see what it is you already have, what types of clothes and accessories you purchase normally, and the types of things you purchase on a whim or as an impulse purchase. You know - that skirt you bought with the ruffles that you would never ever in a million years buy normally except it was on sale? For 80% off or so, and you can justify that expense with the all purpose statement 'if I never really wear it out, it only cost $X, so it's not really like I lost any money and I might learn something'? I get a lot of clients who have items in their closet that were purchased using that same all purpose statement. Which is why I always do a closet consultation. 

It helps me know who you are, really, and what you wear day in and day out. It's actually fun, and can be cathartic if you let it. A closet consultation starts with a chat about your lifestyle, and what you tend to wear. Moving on into your closet, it's all about you. We look at the things you wear a lot, and talk about why you like them. Be prepared - this is also the time when you get to try on everything in your closet. If it obviously won't fit, we discuss why you still have it. You wouldn't believe the number of people who tell me they're hanging on to things until they come back into fashion, until they've lost that last 5 pounds, or that it holds sentimental value.

I always encourage my clients to open up their closet for new clothes, and find a way to re-purpose the older clothes they aren't wearing anymore. A simple trip to the tailor will update most clothes, and if the clothes can't be updated, then I always recommend either letting me take the clothes to a consignment shop, or donating them. Consignment shops are great ways to recoup some of your investment in your clothes, and help fund your upcoming shopping trips!

The other two thoughts, shopping for what a client wants and telling people what to wear, is more like encouraging clients to wear things that flatter them and work with their lifestyle. After all, it's a little over the top to wear a tiara to work unless you're a princess. What I do is select things that will work with your existing wardrobe, whether it's a new foundation piece or a seasonal piece, and show you how you can incorporate it into your closet full of clothes. 

Now you know where I start. Sounds pretty painless, right? It is. And it's fun, too! If you look at your closet every day and think or say that you don't have anything to wear, you might think about consulting a professional who can help with the clothes you have. If your closet gets cleaner in the process, that's a good thing.

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