I recently did a mindful closet makeover with Julia, a really sweet, down-to-earth, eco-conscious professional musician. She asked for my help in part because she liked how I incorporate second-hand and thrifted clothing into my own wardrobe. Before we met for a consultation, I asked Julia to start a Pinterest page so I could get an idea of things she loves. Over lunch, we talked about how she felt when getting dressed and how she would rather feel. She wanted to feel put-together and professional, while still feeling like herself - pretty much what we all want. Next we talked personal style. We discovered that Julia loves the boho style, but she also really loves an avant-garde or arty slick (in the Lucky Guide vernacular) style. She's drawn to interesting design details in fabric, like draping, ruching, and asymmetry.
About a month ago, I posted a quote by Micheal Kors on the mindful closet Facebook page that Julia told me was a bit of a revelation for her. The quote was: "70 percent of the clothes you own should be meat and potatoes. 30 percent should be icing and fluff — that’s colour, pattern, shine, accessories. Too many women get the proportions the other way round, then can’t figure out why they can’t get dressed." Julia recognized herself in the group with the backwards proportion of meat-and-potatoes/icing-and-fluff.
We sped up the closet makeover process a bit and Julia did a lot of sorting before I got to her house. However, I did still want to see everything, so she pulled out her winter wardrobe and her "fancy" clothes for me. So many times, we just need another pair of eyes to point out possibilities we hadn't seen before, and this was the case with a lot of the clothing Julia had relegated to winter or formal wear.
It turned out that Julia really did have almost everything she needed. The ballet flats she had only worn for concerts would go with her skinny jeans for casual wear. The strappy sandals she wore for her wedding worked with summer dresses. The basic knits she had previously ignored provided the perfect background for a fun scarf. Julia just needed help styling what was in her closet. We were able to come up with many outfits that had the right mix of bright and happy with basic and balanced.
As it turns out, Julia's secret talent is writing. She wrote this incredible summary for me:
"I had such a great time with Dacy and feel so much more comfortable in my clothes now. Prior to meeting with Dacy, I was pretty sure I had absolutely no style. Now, I don’t mean I was walking around helplessly naked or anything, but my thought process was more like: is it comfortable, can I feel relaxed enough in it to do my job, and most importantly does it cost less than a zillion dollars? Another thing I enjoy is buying clothes that are gently used at thrift stores. Are you picturing me as a hobo now? It really wasn’t that bad. I never looked homeless but I never felt put together either, minus special-type occasions.
Dacy had me start a Pinterest board to find out the styles I liked. It is really fun, like flipping through a magazine of only photos. With Dacy’s help, I discovered I do have a style that I prefer. I also, it turns out, kind of like the clothes in my closet. With Dacy’s help I now know how to put them together, and actually wear more than four or five combinations of clothes."
"Prior to our mindful closet time together, I had a funny notion that certain clothes were too fancy for “normal” (non-fancy!) days. While it’s true I can’t wear gowns daily (nor do I want to) I can wear, say: my wedding sandals with skinny jeans. Another thing I was trying to do was wear a crazy-insane-amount of combined colors. (I do sound like a hobo now.) I have to wear black for work and thought during the times I didn’t, I should really live it up. I had this notion that if I wore happy colors, I would be happy too. It seems like a nice idea, but what it really meant was taking lots of time to get ready in the morning. I would put something on with zany-bonker colors, eat breakfast, feel totally uncomfortable (and wasteful for not wearing all of the clothes in my closet) and then change into the drab four or five combo outfits mentioned earlier.
With Dacy’s help I discovered that I literally have loads of options in my closet. Getting dressed is fun, quick and I do feel put together now. She very kindly guided me how to combine the clothes I have. Even though I didn’t even know I needed it, she gave me permission to get rid of the clothes that I wasn’t excited, happy, or interested in wearing. I have more room in my closet to see the clothes I do like now. I learned a lot in the process and found the time extremely valuable."