Viewing entries tagged
closet cleanse

the top three stumbling blocks when letting go

the top three stumbling blocks when letting go

When I'm working with clients on cleaning out their closets, it's a funny situation. Everyone has been having internal conversations with themselves as to why they should keep things they don't use or wear. It's my job to talk them through them and help them see the light! I'll be doing the same thing in the Making Space course. Here are three of the top stumbling blocks I've encountered and how to talk yourself through them. 

mindful closet: how to let go of clothes

Stumbling block: It was a good deal

This is a stumbling block that I know intimately, because it was the one that most often did me in. Ultimately, this is a shopping habit that needs to be changed, but we’ll get to that another time. Right now, you need to think about whether this item is serving you. If it is not, it doesn’t matter if it was a great deal, even if it was free, it is still taking up valuable space without providing value to you. We are often proud of the story of how we found something and how much we saved, even if the item itself is not something we need. Go ahead and tell someone that story - and then let it go.

Stumbling block: I love it, but…

I refer to these items as having a ‘fatal flaw’. Basically, you love everything about it except that it has one thing that renders it unwearable for you. Maybe it’s a gorgeous top, but it’s sheer and you hate wearing an extra layer under it. Maybe it’s a dress with a print that you absolutely love, but the fabric is scratchy. Whatever the issue is, you’re not going to all of a sudden wake up one day and be able to ignore it. It won’t get worn, so you have to let it go. Acknowledge and learn from why you love it and apply that to your future purchases.

Stumbling block: It’s high quality/it was expensive

This is a similar stumbling block as the first one, but there is more guilt involved here. We feel guilt because we feel as though we’ve wasted money if we buy something expensive and then get rid of it. Unfortunately, that money is gone whether we keep the item or not. In business, this is called a sunk cost and should be considered irrelevant. It’s not as if we get our money back the longer we keep the thing. If we let it go, we may be able to get some of our money out of it by selling it, or we can make someone else’s day to get something so high quality.

I often use Marie Kondo's theories with my clients. Marie Kondo wrote The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which is a unique and revolutionary way of looking at organizing and decluttering. She writes that it’s often easier to let go of something if you thank it. While that sounds odd, what it means is that you thank the item for what it has taught you. If you bought something expensive and never wore it, what did it teach you? Maybe it taught you that you hate wearing pink. Maybe it taught you that you prefer to wear dresses more than skirts. Whatever it taught you, be grateful for that lesson, thank the item, and then let it go.

mindful closet: closet cleaning online course

There are four more stumbling blocks we'll cover in the Making Space course, including:

It was a gift
I might need it
I'll fit into it again one day
I loved it and wore it a lot, but not anymore

 

Do you identify with any of these hurdles to letting items go? You can start the Making Space course anytime and work through these issues for yourself. To join the class, click below.

my baby is here!

my baby is here!

Nope, no human babies, just made an online course ;) 

Making Space is finally here! Seriously, creating this course has been WAY more work than I ever expected. I came up for the idea over the Christmas holidays last year, when I had a little creative space (i.e. grandparents were taking care of my kid). My original idea was for the course to launch in Spring 2017. I quickly realized that was unrealistic and moved it back to Fall 2017. I didn’t realize that that would still require a lot of “hustle” (my LEAST favorite word) over the summer, and so I chose a slower pace. That pace got us here, launching in Winter 2018. I’m really proud of the work I’ve put into this and I know that if it resonates with you, it’ll be really useful.

mindful closet: making space course

Here are all the details:

The course is four weeks long. Every Saturday, you’ll receive an email with the class for the week. In each class, there is a video to watch, workbook exercises to complete, and homework for you to do in your closet. There will also be a private Facebook group where I’ll be checking in on you and you can share about your progress with the other class members. 

Curriculum

Week 1: Define your why, your style, and take inventory

Week 2: Editing

Week 3: Overcoming editing stumbling blocks

Week 4: Organizing what’s left and making a mindful plan going forward

That’s basically it. By the end of the four weeks, you should have a wardrobe filled with only things you wear and feel good in.

FAQ’s

How much time do I need to devote to the class? It’s going to vary for everyone, but on average, you should be prepared to devote at least 2-3 hours a week to the work.

How is the program delivered? You’ll get an email each week with a link to the course website, where you’ll be able to watch the week’s videos and download the corelating worksheets.

How much does Making Space cost? The course will take you through the exact process I use with my one-on-one closet cleanse clients ($450 and up). You'll get the course for $247.

How many people will be in the class? You can start the class whenever you want, so the number of people taking it at any one time will vary. 

Can guys take this class? Nope. For this class, we’re going to focus a lot on the messages we’ve gotten from others about what we as women should be wearing, so it wouldn't be appropriate.

Of course, let me know what other questions you have, I’d love to hear them!

So who should take Making Space?

I really intended this course to be for people who crave more simplicity in their wardrobes but have a hard time getting from the idea of it to actually putting it into practice. If you don’t know what to keep and what to get rid of, if you feel like you have too much but don’t know where to start, if you know your life would be easier without worrying about clothes but you still think you need options, this class is for you.

mindful closet: st. louis personal stylist

Here’s what a few other people who’ve gone through the process had to say about it.

It’s such a relief to have a more consolidated wardrobe, to know what pieces I need to focus on, and to know which pieces I should avoid. - Veronica

I have felt so much better about my clothes, and I continue to let go of pieces that don’t work for me anymore.  - Michelle

Eliminating clothes from my closet could have been tragically painful. Instead it seemed like the easiest decisions I had made in a long time. My closet has since undergone two additional revisions with Dacy and another on my own. She helped me find the freedom of owning less.  - Brooke

More testimonials from people who've taken the class here. If you're ready to sign up, go for it below! If you have more questions, just shoot me an email

(photos: Celeste Boyer)

how my scheduling will save you money

how my scheduling will save you money

Working for yourself is awesome, no doubt. It’s awesome to be able to take a sick day when you need one, work on the projects you love, and have the ability to set your own schedule. One of the harder things about working for yourself is the unpredictability. I really (really) like planning and stability and knowing what my schedule's going to look like, but that’s not always possible.

Now that my son is in preschool, I finally have the ability to consciously set a schedule instead of running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I’ve discovered that I can do a max of four or five clients a week and know that they’ll get my full attention and energy. With that type of schedule, I’ll have time to respond to emails in a timely manner, write a blog post here and there, and take care of my accounting.

mindful closet st louis personal stylist

However, personal styling is a seasonal business and not one that runs on a regular schedule. There are times when no one wants to think about clothes: July, when it’s too hot to move, and January, when you’ve spent all your money at the holidays. There are also times when everyone is thinking about clothes: the first brisk fall morning and the first no-coat-required day of the year.

What ends up happening is that at those times of year, I’ll have the max number of clients set and then the weather will change and three new people will want to book appointments the same week. Since I have a hard time saying no to anyone, I’ll say, “sure!” and then I’ll end up stressed and crazy. I'm committing to being better about that and just telling people when I’m truly available.

I’ve come up with a way to make this better for all of us. If you book during those times when no one is thinking about clothes (i.e. now), I’ll give you a discount. You’ll save money, I’ll have my schedule set further in advance, we’ll all be happy. Also, booking in advance gives both of us time to be mindful about what your needs are.

I’m also switching from a per hour rate to a package rate. I haven’t liked the feeling of being on the clock and having to charge people for things I’d like to do for them anyway (sending recommendations, suggesting outfits, notifying them that a sale is happening at their favorite store), so now it’s all wrapped up in one package: the Stylist on Call. Basically, it is what it sounds like: three separate styling sessions, any recommendations and feedback you could need, and an online lookbook with outfits created by me from your closet. I’m available to you for any last minute outfit questions: before work, before a date, before an event. If you just need a closet cleanse or a shopping trip, there are smaller packages for those things too. The digital lookbook is included in the Stylist on Call package, but you can add it to any of the other options as well.

This is not an impulse buy. This is for someone who’s thought about getting help for wardrobe frustration for a long time and is ready to do it. If you know anyone who’s thought about it, share this with them. If they (or you) book before September 1 (instead of waiting until October when the weather changes!), they’ll save on one of my new packages. All the details are here.

If we haven’t met (or if we have!) and you want to hang out a bit before booking a session, come to The Limited at the Galleria on August 25 at 6pm for my “Shop with a Stylist” party. Have a glass of wine, try on some clothes, and get started on your fall wardrobe. Put it in the calendar!



 

what do you know about working with plus size clients?

what do you know about working with plus size clients?

 

I've worked with many plus-size clients, most of whom (whether they've told me or not) have had trepidation about working with me. To put it bluntly, how could someone my size know what they need or how hard it can be? I completely acknowledge that life in the wardrobe arena has been pretty easy for me. However, I truly believe that you can find the look and shape that work for you, regardless of size. With every client I work with, I learn more about available resources for all sizes. Recently, I worked with a client who wasn't sure I'd be able to help her. Since she was pretty happy with the results, I asked her to write a guest post about her experience so that you can hear it from her perspective, not mine. Here's Annie:

"Last summer, I told three of my friends that I wanted them to find me a personal stylist for my birthday. I didn’t need them to pay for anything, just to do the legwork to find the person. Looking back, it seems so silly that I couldn’t do a simple google search, but I think that shows how nervous I was about this endeavor. I could not even find the right person to help, I needed her dropped in my lap.

I have never been a girly girl. I was a tomboy growing up. My “look” was a bunch of plain cotton tops that I thought I could mix and match with any pants. I thought I didn’t care about clothes. I never thought about putting together an outfit, or having an intentional look. I can’t include pictures of how I dressed before Dacy because I avoided the camera like crazy. There are no pictures.

I told my friends that I didn’t want someone to tell me that if I lost 50 lbs I could wear trendy looks. I have always felt like clothes are designed for a size 2-6, and they just make them bigger for larger sizes. I was worried how Dacy would be able to understand that and find clothes actually made for women like me. I didn’t want a total makeover or to become someone else. I wanted to find someone who could help me be a better version of me. What I didn’t know at the time, but realized through this process, was that I wanted someone to help me like the person I saw in the mirror.

Even though I sought out a stylist, and had met Dacy twice before she came to my house for our first session, I was still pretty nervous. I have always hated trying on clothes because it made me feel fat. I don’t go to clothing stores, I only buy clothes online. Even when I get new clothes, I would often try them on without looking in a mirror. If it didn’t feel too tight, I kept it. I knew I wasn’t going to have a lot of patience for trying on clothes, looking at myself in the mirror, and talking about how I look in clothes. I thought, after a few outfits, I am going to refuse to try on more clothes, I am going to cry, and I am going to want to stop. But I didn’t. We went through every item in my closet. I never cried, never felt fat and ugly, never wanted to run and hide.  

I stood in my closet, not in front of a mirror.  So, big win #1 – I didn’t have to see myself in the clothes, and see the look on my face when I didn’t like what I saw. That kept me mentally engaged. But the absolute best thing Dacy did for me that day was that she made it about the clothes. It was never about my body. It wasn’t my fault that the shirt didn’t fit, it was the shirt’s fault. Bad shirt! She never said my arms look fat. She said, I don’t like the way that sleeve hangs. I don’t like where the shirt hits your waist. Instead of saying I have a big waist, she said I had skinny legs. It was never my fault. That was a new experience for someone with self-esteem issues that are very tied up in my size.  

Dacy was both sweet and stern. She didn’t say why the heck did you ever buy that? She said that top did its job, it’s ok to let it go. It used to fit, it used to be in style, and that was great, but I give you permission to find something new. When I did have a shirt that I was in love with, she asked me why. I got to share my emotional connection to that shirt, how it hid my problem areas, showed off what I liked, the color was perfect, whatever. She listened, absorbed it, and took the responsibility for finding me a new shirt that would do those things for me. Because I didn’t try on clothes, or look at myself in the mirror, I didn’t know what I looked like in my clothes. I also didn’t see how those clothes fit differently over time, either because my body changed, or because they were getting stretched out or shrinking. All I knew is when I bought this shirt 2, 5, 7 years ago, I liked it. So I thought I had to keep it until it ripped or didn’t fit. If it fit, it stayed in the closet.

Dacy asked me if I bought clothes that were too small for me. I thought she meant, do I buy clothes thinking I will lose 10 pounds. I said no, I have accepted my body. But what I realized after that day, as I thought about so many things she said to me, was that yes, I do buy clothes that are too small. I got to a point where I thought pants were supposed to feel that way. It wasn’t the pants fault they were rolling at my waist, it was my body’s fault. So I bought the size clothes I thought I wore, and if the clothes looked or felt bad, I blamed myself, not the clothes.

While Dacy and I were emptying my closet, she very gently called me an organized hoarder. I was a little caught off guard. I don’t have piles of stuff on the floor, and my countertops aren’t full of collections of random things. Everything in my house has a place, and is in its place, but her comment really got me thinking. I have so much in my house that I wouldn’t buy today, but because I already own it, I keep in case I might need it someday. Isn’t that the definition of a hoarder? So, I committed to throwing away one thing a day. Every day, forever. I committed to stop buying things because it would be cute if I ever get invited to a BBQ. Now I’ll wait until I get the invite, and know that that serving platter is at Target if I still want it. I am starting to purge the stuff I have accumulated, and make much better decisions about what I do actually buy. It’s very refreshing. One more way I feel like a better version of myself.

After Dacy cleaned out my closet it took some getting used to it being so sparse. However, I knew I could wear anything that was left because we’d only kept what worked.

Next was shopping. Because Dacy said there were better plus-size options online, she sent me a link to a digital lookbook of clothes to purchase.  A ton of clothes. I think it was good there were so many. I didn’t have time to really look at the clothes she chose, and pre-judge. I just had to get online and start buying. Lots of clothes I never would have picked, and there were several stores I hadn’t previously shopped at. She stayed in the price range I had been paying for clothes all along.

The sizes she told me to buy were all sizes I hadn’t worn before. That was something I had to mentally process and it took a while. I was initially a little depressed, oh my God am I really that size?! But I knew she had taken measurements, and bought clothes off the measurements, not off the sizes.  So, I trusted her and just went with it. Well, she was right.

The day we had our personal shopping try-on session, I was excited. I have never been excited about clothes before, ever. This time, she made me face a mirror, and I got nervous right away. But again Dacy talked about the clothes, not my body. Because the clothes were the right size and fit for my body, I didn’t mind looking at myself in the mirror. I was smiling, standing up straight. I wasn’t poking at my problem areas or looking through the clothes to the body underneath. I started to see outfits, not just a way to not be naked.  

For instance, I never knew that jackets could be part of the outfit. I always considered outer layers as a warmth layer, something you take off. But she was building really cute looks for me that involved wearing a jacket all day long! What?! We had discussed that I needed a nice dress and she found it! I tried it on, looked in the mirror and said, man, I look hot! I don’t think I have said that, or thought that, in over 20 years. I didn’t want to take the dress off. Now I can’t wait to have a reason to wear it, because I know I will look good.

plus size personal styling

(the dress Annie loved: here)

The clothes she chose for me were exactly what I wanted.  Still me, just better.  These clothes really can be mixed and matched. She kept the pants, shoes, and jewelry really simple, and the tops are the focal point of the look.

It did take a few days to get used to my new silhouette. I love the way I look, but it is very different from what I am used to seeing. Now, when I get dressed, I try on several outfits, not searching for one I can handle, but choosing between multiple great choices. I love every outfit I put on. I can’t wait to get dressed. I take no more time to get ready each day, but I feel so much better when I turn off the light and close the closet door. People in my life have noticed. I don’t think any of them even realize that it’s because of new clothes, they just know I look different. I think that it’s as much about the confidence I have as it is about the properly fitting clothes. I look at mirrors when I walk by now. I walk tall, and smile."

P.S. Check out St. Louis blogger Cassie on Eloquii (one of my go-to plus size resources)'s website!