A few weeks back a woman by the name of Dolly reached out to the Facebook Bergen Moms group seeking personal stylist recommendations. She was in a fashion rut and needed an intervention. As a member of this group, I am elated when I come across these posts. Fashion is hardly ever deemed a priority, so its exciting to see more and more busy woman calling upon stylists for some guidance. I would be lying if I said I didn’t revert back to the post over 15 times throughout the course of the day, hoping my fellow moms may recommend my services. The Fashion Gods heard my prayers. Many former clients, friends, and even some I have never met referred Stay at Home Stylist. I was humbled by their kind words. If you are reading this entry, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Not only did your acknowledgements convince Dolly to reach out to me, but they also opened some new and exciting doors in the world of fashion.
I was ecstatic to hear from Dolly and immediately was drawn to her quick wit and humor. Her email subject read: FASHION DISASTER. I chuckled at this headline but also grew wary. Was she really that far gone? Was I prepared or experienced enough to tackle this challenging client? After consulting with Dolly, my wariness and doubts subsided. Firstly, she is a busy working mom of two girls. That word "busy" seems to be a recurring theme. Unlike many of my past clients, Dolly hasn’t shopped for herself in almost 3 years! This is unfathomable!!! I certainly had my work cut out for me. After the initial shock wore off, we began discussing her current style and the stores that she frequented 3 years ago. She sent me a Pinterest board of desired looks, most of which were classic and chic. She described her body as tall with long arms and broad shoulders. She emphasized her difficulties with sizing because of these attributes and addressed the importance of shopping with me so that she could take the time to try things on and get the right fit. Another deterrent was her inability to piece things together, thus resorting to the same outfits over and over. I noted all of her major fashion issues and was determined to alleviate her frustrations and make her first visit back into a mall as positive as possible.
After convincing Dolly that the CVS she wanted to meet at had been shuttered for years, we settled on Nordstrom! I was so excited to put a face to the "fashion disaster." Dolly, tall and beautiful, was relatable and down to earth. We instantly hit it off and I felt relaxed and ready to shop. First store: Express. I think Express has a wide assortment of casual and trendy work wear, and with the right sales and coupons, affordable prices. Dolly was adamant about staying as far away from most florals and frills as possible, so the goal was to find some structured and polished outfits for work that can easily transition to weekend wear. We began pulling and grabbing lots of colored blouses with 3/4 sleeves to accommodate her longer arms. Simplistic, yet adorned with a zipper or some lace, my intention was to liven her wardrobe with these minor and subtle details. I grabbed a few pants and skirts to pair with the tops as well. It was advantageous for Dolly to see how easily these simple blouses can be mixed and matched with trousers, skirts, and jeans. We weeded out styles that didn’t compliment her body and pant styles such as ankle length, that didn’t fit accordingly because of her height. Dolly’s face began to soften and brighten as she realized how amazing she looked. I gave her tips on possible ways to wear each item and enhance her outfits, such as adding fashion jewelry for some flair and finality. After much success, it was time for some more shopping.
H&M landed us two blazers, which were on our list, as well as a black moto jacket. Dolly explained how she is always freezing in her office, therefore concealing her outfits with a cardigan. I suggested throwing that cardigan to the side and investing in a more structured and trendy alternative. A moto jacket will keep her warm, but more importantly maintain a chic and classic look. We were slowly attaining her fashion goals. After failing miserably at Zara and Forever 21, we took a much needed lunch break, where I grew to adore Dolly even more. I admire her strong work ethic and ability to balance motherhood, as well as her decision to step out of her comfort zone and take a chance with a stylist. So many woman yearn to enhance their appearance but are too selfless or preoccupied to do so. She has finally (even if hesitantly) made it a priority and that’s empowering.
Fueled and rejuvenated, our last stop was New York and Company. What a hidden gem! I can honestly say that I have never stepped foot in this store but always knew it catered to the working woman. Racks and racks of colors and easily accessible pants and tops made it easy to select so many things. When we realized the entire store was 50% off, we were like little kids in a candy shop! The most rewarding and impressive part was watching Dolly start to pick out pieces with excitement in her eyes. She was getting the knack of this whole shopping thing. Bags of clothes later, not to mention a floral dress, (yes I used my powers of persuasion), I would say our Miss Fashion Disaster is officially on her way to becoming a fashion success story!
"Fashion has to reflect who you are, what you feel at the moment, where you are going."- Pharrell Williams