Clearing out the clutter…

This is an edited version of my article in Fine Magazine.  Images courtesy of Charlie Strand Photography.

Clients come to me for a variety of reasons. They may be looking to revamp their professional wardrobe, refine their off duty look, or shop for a specific occasion. Whatever the reason, the process usually involves a ‘wardrobe detox’, where I review a client’s clothes and we discuss what they wear, what they don’t, and why.

wardrobe_beforeThis was the natural starting point for Louise. In her mid-40s, Louise recently joined a lingerie and swimwear company. Her role involves organising photoshoots and trade shows for the brand. She wants to ‘look the part’ in her new role, and felt she had too many clothes.

Louise was keen to clear out the clutter and get fresh ideas on new outfits. She explains, “I had no idea what goes with what, and I tend to stick to the same clothes. I struggle with a smart casual look for informal meetings and lunches. And I want to achieve a fashionable, funky look, as I often accompany models to shoots in far-flung locations.”

Louise’s wardrobe was crammed. There was lots of colour, but no overall palette stood out. “I’m not sure what colours actually work,” she said, “I’ve got too many tops, too many dresses – too many choices !”

No pile 2We started by weeding out the definite ‘no’s’: items that don’t fit, that hadn’t been worn for over a year and those that need repairing. We created piles destined for the charity shop or consignment.

Lou in grey tunicWe then turned to the ‘trouble spots’ – those pieces she wasn’t sure how to wear. Louise has a beautiful black leather jacket with metallic chevron detailing – a real investment piece – but had no idea what to wear it with. We created several outfits, pairing it with jeans as well as a black dress. A long knitted vest came into its own with a camisole and bomber jacket, perfect for gigs or a casual lunch. A grey and black tunic worn with leggings, leather trainers and silver jewellery was another casual option. As we cleared things out and put outfits together, I captured a list of ‘gaps’ – those items that Louise needed to create complete outfits.creating gap list 2

Louise was surprised by the emotional attachment she had to some of her clothes. People often hang onto things in the hope they’ll come back into fashion, or that they’ll ‘diet’ back into them. Louise had been hanging on to things that she could now let go of. Your life changes, so why shouldn’t your wardrobe?

She explains, ‘My life has changed completely in the past year. My kids are older and I’m now working in the fashion industry. My wardrobe needs to take me from the school run to meetings in London with our PR agency to travelling to a trade show in Paris. Sam has helped me achieve that. I can open my wardrobe and know what to wear, and it will be easier to shop as I now know what I’ve got – I won’t be wasting money on things that don’t work for me.’

at work 2


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