My business partner and I have been casually toying with the idea of expanding our interior design consulting business to include personal style as well (any stylists out there looking to collaborate – get in touch!), so to start we got some friends to volunteer to have their closets rifled through.
My friends were very game and gracious about the whole thing. And what I learned was pretty surprising – some people are kind of unmotivated about clothes the way I am about cooking/eating.
Ok, that’s not really that surprising. Most of us live in a hectic whirlwind, and when something doesn’t come easily, it tends to get overlooked – for me, cooking/eating, and for others, shopping/dressing. Throw in a little body dysmorphia (I think most of us have a slightly skewed vision of what we see in the mirror), and suddenly a perfectly cute girl isn’t dressing up to her full potential.
Like cooking and eating, I think the key to foolproof dressing, in real life, are trusty pieces and combinations thereof that you can return to time and again, and tweak as needed.
When picking those items the single most important thing to consider is fit! Even a cute piece of clothing will still look awful if it doesn’t fit you, and vice versa. So when shopping take along someone you can trust to be honest, and whose honesty won’t hurt your feelings. It’s the only way you’ll really know how something looks.
I was surprised by how my friends were hiding under oversized clothes because of a perception of their perfectly smokin’ bodies that had been created when they were teenagers and never discarded. So I really cannot stress it enough – shop with someone who will tell you how hot you are, and who will tell you when something is not accentuating that hotness!
For this little experiment, I met up with Kristin, who is a perfect example of someone who was hiding under clothes that didn’t fit! Even if your office is cold, bulky sweaters can still hug curves, and are best when paired with skirts and leggings to balance out the look.
I critiqued a lot of her existing wardrobe in terms of fit (I thought this would be so hard, but surprisingly I found it easy to bust out my brutal honesty, and I was relieved that she found it helpful!), and we tried to create some new outfits from existing pieces that would be work-appropriate, but still young and stylish.
I recommended a lot of work-appropriate separates – tops and bottoms that can be mixed and matched, and dresses that can be worn with a cardigan for work and without for after-work drinks and dates.
Heels are universally flattering, and can still be comfortable and manageable if they’re in the 2-3” range, especially if they’re wedges.
A modern cut, well-fitting suit is crucial if you have to wear one once in a while, but most offices and interviews are fine with dressy separates these days. My thoughts on suits are: if you have to wear them on a regular basis, you should probably getting paid enough to go get a couple custom-tailored for you. 🙂
Stay tuned as I showcase my other two victims, mwah ha ha ha.