Recently, I decided that I would work with one of our stylists on my own wardrobe, and thus put myself under the sartorial microscope – both to help me out of my post-baby wardrobe rut and to better familiarize myself with the Stilista client experience firsthand. When I mentioned this idea to a close friend, she asked the obvious question: “Why do you need someone to do this for you? Can’t you do it for yourself?” Well, I suppose normally, I do a decent job of dressing myself. I know what I like, I have a lot of resources for style inspirations and fashion vendors, and I usually maintain my size and body shape, which means that I can hold on to clothes for as long as they still work for me. Still, I often struggled with figuring out what to wear when meeting clients, presenting at style seminars and even going out with my husband. I was also notoriously picky when shopping – often coming home with safe [read: boring] garment options, usually in black or charcoal gray. I came to the realization that I have a serious case of tunnel vision when it comes to my own wardrobe and having gone through 2 pregnancies (and having worked with many new-mom clients) I was well-aware that this was a major wardrobe transition: your lifestyle is changing, your body has changed and this causes a lot of confusion, and a mild case of body dysmorphia.
So, I did it. I asked Kacy (a senior stylist and style educator with Stilista, as well as a fellow tall girl) to take me on as a client, and to treat me exactly as she would any of her clients, leaving the fact that I was a stylist myself, as well as her boss, out of the equation. I promised to myself that I’d be as honest as I could with her since people often assume that because I own Stilista, I must lead a super stylish existence, and many mornings as I am running around the house in heart-printed pajama pants and no make-up getting my kids ready for the day, only to change into a very ho-hum / practical outfit when leaving the house.
My first observation was that it’s hard to set up your first appointment – you want to do it, you know you should do it, but there’s a voice in your head that says: “but (fill in your child’s name here) has a soccer game on Saturday, and I should really be there to hold his water bottle” OR “that time would be better used cleaning out the mud-room cabinets since they are filthy”. Finally, I could see why often clients email me for a booking, only to delay committing to an appointment for days, or even weeks. People are busy, and it’s hard to prioritize style, but like anything else, you get exactly what you put in, and I was finally ready to put in the time.
On a warm Wednesday evening, Kacy called me for a Basic Style Evaluation appointment. We usually do these in person with clients, but since Kacy knows me and I have a crazy schedule, phone was more than sufficient. The purpose of this step is to discuss goals, previous shopping trips / purchases, body hang-ups, style inspirations, likes and dislikes. While I know Kacy as a colleague, this gave me the opportunity to get a first-hand feel for her as a stylist and for her, to get to know me as a client. Kacy’s manner was very soothing and calm, and you could tell by how she segued from question to question that she was a great listener. She was also very complimentary and positive, so it was impossible for me to not feel great about myself as we chatted. At the end of the day, I love talking about style, and it’s generally pretty fun to talk about yourself! We chatted for over an hour, and I was left to ponder more style inspirations – I read style magazines and books regularly, but when asked whose style I admire, I came up empty! After some thought, I emailed Kacy stating that I always admire actresses like Charlize Theron and Angelina Jolie for their impeccable tailoring and classic / minimalist looks, but that I also covet a stylishly-disheveled look that Kate Moss has made famous, but often feel that it doesn’t fit my overall look.
We scheduled our next appointment, the Wardrobe Analysis, and I shall fill you in on how that went in the next installment of this blog series… so keep on the lookout for it next week!