yays in my closet

ndwc closet 1

See that sweet little step stool needlepointed by my grandmother 60 or so years ago? Yeah, I hadn’t seen it for months either. I’d forgotten how sweet it is because it’s been buried under a pile of sweaters since September.

I have a small closet. (Old houses = small closets.) Luckily, there is another closet in the hallway, and I rotate most of my cold and warm weather clothing with the season change. There had never been room in my closet for my sweaters, however, so they lived in the hall closet.

In front of that hall closet is a dog bed, upon which Max the 11-year-old dog is regularly perched. Plus it’s hairy. He’s a yellow Labrador Retriever. It’s really hairy. And a little smelly. I digress.

ndwc max

Our house was built in 1888 and has small rooms. The only place the dog bed will fit is in front of the closet. Believe me, I’ve tried elsewhere. So, to get into that closet on a daily basis is…unpleasant, shall we say. Max doesn’t like it. I don’t like it.

Thus the pile of sweaters on the sweet little step stool. And, I don’t know about you, but for me, once a pile is started, it’s really easy to just keep adding to it. The pile was becoming a mountain. It was past time for me to do another Wardrobe Consult.

keepin’ it real

You’d think since I’m a wardrobe consultant my closet would always be pristine. NOT. A common theme of my blog – my everything – is keepin’ it real. Because that’s who I am – just a regular gal with the same challenges, inner critic, procrastinating tendencies, struggles with body image, and crazy life as the next person.

I also have the knowledge of my own personal journey through all of this and the tools to address it. And, let me tell you, it’s so much easier – and fun – to help someone else through this process than to do it alone. Every time I do my own Wardrobe Consult, I whine to my family that I need a wardrobe consultant too. Having support makes all the difference in the world.

organize and purge

My primary goal this time around was to organize my closet and the hall closet in a different way so that my sweaters could be in my closet during the winter. Not only did I have a mountain of sweaters and other clothing on the step stool, I had workout clothes and pajamas on the high shelf in my closet that had gotten disorganized enough to be regularly falling on my head when I reached for something up there. (Again, keepin’ it real, people!)

I pulled all of that stuff down and it became immediately clear that I didn’t need a lot of it. Time to purge. I recycled jammies and workout tanks that were worn out. I donated things that were in good condition but I wasn’t wearing anymore. And I separated winter workout gear from summer so that some of it could go into the hall closet.

ndwc closet 2

Here’s the fun part: I moved a shoe shelf that had been on the floor of my closet with summer shoes on it (very necessary to have handy in the winter in Minnesota, right?) up to the top shelf. New space for sweaters! I can put them away! I can see them! Nothing will fall on my head! It’s the small things that bring me joy.

speaking of joy

Soo, the pile of sweaters was addressed. The abundance of workout gear and jammies was addressed. Now I had a big pile of shoes on the floor. Purge again.

While I don’t subscribe entirely to Marie Kondo’s method of organizing, there is something to be said for getting all of something out to look at it collectively. When you have a big pile of summer shoes all together, it’s easier to decide what should go. And her concept of “Does it spark joy?” is spot on. If an item of clothing doesn’t bring you joy when you wear it, why keep it?

Some shoes I recycled – NO ONE will wear my old running shoes – some I donated, and some I will consign. Then I took most of those summer shoes that I won’t be wearing until May (sigh) and put them into a storage box to go into the hall closet.

ndwc closet 3

That freed up the other shoe shelf and created more space on the floor of my closet. Woo hoo!

I had room to add in an old Ikea rack that was going unused in the basement. I put shoes that I wanted to have easier access to on that, and converted the other shoe shelf to a space – much smaller – for my workout gear and pajamas. Now I can reach these things easily, and they aren’t taking up so much real estate in my closet.

closet love

It’s amazing how doing this helps me to feel better. I’m actually excited to open my closet door now. I use the sweet little step stool to reach for a sweater if I need to. I found sweaters that I hadn’t been wearing because they were languishing in the hall closet behind the hairy dog puff.

I am a person whose mindset is impacted by too much clutter. I know this about myself, but sometimes it takes me a bit to address it. And when I do, I feel so. much. better. I feel like I’m taking care of myself, not just my closet. Yays all around!

Are you ready for some closet love?

Contact me today to schedule your Wardrobe Consult. Together, we can make it happen, and have some fun while we’re at it!

 

3 myths about wardrobe consulting

myths-1.jpg

Saint Paul Magazine recently published a feature article about nancy dilts wardrobe consulting (fabulous article – super exciting!!), and for the last few weeks I’ve been getting the question, “Have you had tons of phone calls since the article?” The honest answer? No.

It makes me a little queasy to say that here. But it’s true, and frankly, I didn’t expect to get a huge increase in calls right after the article. Not because the article isn’t amazing or I don’t think my work is important or worthy – I KNOW it is.

Being in this business for several years, I also know that my clients don’t engage in my services impulsively. And that’s ok. In fact, for my work with clients to have the most impact, they need to be ready – ready to embrace feeling good and open to stepping outside of their comfort zones to accomplish that.

Some things that hold people back, though, are just plain myths.

myth 1: it’s too expensive

My tagline is “style for everyday: new to you – true to you.” New-to-you refers to my focus on practicing sustainable consumerism.

A lot of my clients have never shopped consignment before working with me. They are floored when they realize the quality of clothing they can get at 1/3 or less than retail prices. Even when you factor my fees into the overall investment, you are still spending less than you would on fewer items of retail clothing, and without the guidance, support, efficiency, and success you gain when working with me.

Here are some numbers to make it real: during a 3-hour personal shopping session at a consignment store with a client, we found 28 high quality top brand/designer items to rebuild her wardrobe – including two pairs of boots, two pairs of shoes, and a belt – for $300. I looked up the retail prices of each item, which totaled at a whopping $1,900.

The client had selected my True To You Style service package, which includes a 3-hour Wardrobe Consult in your closet, personal Style Guidelines and a digital “lookbook,” and a 3-hour personal shopping session for $525.

By working with me, she invested $825 overall, less than half the retail cost of the clothing alone.

myth 2: i can do it myself

Sure, you can do it yourself. But this I know: it will take longer, it will be harder, and you won’t have the same results.

When I tell clients we will get through their (typically-sized) wardrobe in three hours, they are amazed. I know from personal experience that going through your own wardrobe by yourself takes at least twice that long. The emotional energy required and sheer number of decisions to be made make it much more difficult to do solo. I also help clients create new outfits with the clothes they already own, adding energy and increased function to their wardrobes.

Clients are also completely certain that we will never spend a full three hours at one store when personal shopping or find more than 2 or 3 items. Most of the time, clients find as many as 20-30 items in a 3-hour personal shopping session, unless they choose to purchase fewer. And those are items that fit well, reflect their personal style, go with other items being purchased or items at home, and – best of all – make them feel excited about how they look.

myth 3: i’m not worth it

Women often put themselves last. We are inculturated to feel like it is frivolous to spend money or time on ourselves. We feel our needs are not worth as much as others’ needs. Some of us simply don’t have very much time to spend on ourselves because of the demands of work and life. I often hear women say they won’t address their wardrobes until they have accomplished some other thing, like weight loss or getting in shape.

Here’s the kicker: being intentional about how you dress – right now, as is – helps you to accomplish your other goals. Scientific studies show that when you feel confident in how you are dressed, it has a positive psychological impact, allowing you to have greater success overall. We are all worth taking care of ourselves, no matter where we are in our journeys.

the myth-busting truth

I’m a busy girl on a budget too, so I know about making choices with my time and my dollars. I also know that taking care of yourself, including how you are dressed, is an essential part of your overall wellbeing.

When you work with me, this is what you gain:
  • Assistance in identifying your current personal style and embracing it
  • Objective and supportive guidance in making your existing wardrobe more functional through purging things that don’t work, reimagining ways to wear the items that do, and identifying gaps to be filled and items to be replaced
  • Effective and efficient shopping support for rebuilding your wardrobe to meet your current needs in an affordable way
  • A closet full of clothing that WORKS for your body and personal style, instead of an overwhelming clutter of items that cause frustration
  • A better understanding of how to put clothing together to make intentional, polished outfits that reflect your personal style and suit you
  • Positive, honest advice and feedback and open communication (And even some laughter!)
  • Countless hours of precious time and energy saved
  • Renewed confidence and joy in your appearance and feeling your best

Working with me is about so much more than the financial investment or feeling like you shouldn’t. It’s about taking care of your outer self, which is really about taking care of your inner self too. It’s about having someone who can help make daily dressing SO. MUCH. EASIER. Which allows you to live your life feeling good about how you look, right now, today.

Today is a perfect day to start the process of feeling great about how you look.

I always ask new clients how they learned about my services. I won’t be surprised at all if for the next year, and beyond, I hear, “I saw you in Saint Paul Magazine, and I’m finally contacting you!”

What’s stopping you from connecting with me today? Because really, today is a perfect day to start the process of feeling great about how you look.

 

my wardrobe consult

“Ugh! I need a wardrobe consultant!” I whined to my husband.

Recently, I made the switch in my closet from warm weather wear to fall and winter clothing. As I dug in, it quickly grew into much more than a switch. It ended up being a full-blown assessment of my wardrobe, which is what I do with clients in a Wardrobe Consult.

As discussed in my last post, my style has evolved some this past year. Partly because of the change in my hair color, and also inspiration from French fashion during our extended stay in Lyon last fall (nostalgic sigh). Things were piling up – I had added new-to-me pieces to reflect my new style, but hadn’t done a closet purge in several years.

My closet is on the smaller side, so I store off-season clothing in a closet in the hallway. This is actually good, because it forces me to directly interact with all of my clothes twice a year as I make the swap.

Notice I said “good.” Not “fun.”

Sound familiar?

I LOVE helping others to organize their wardrobes and to make them more functional and enjoyable. I can do that every. single. day. My own stuff? Not so much.

When it’s your own things, your emotions, and – let’s face it – baggage, become a part of the story. Facing stuff that has been lurking in your closet for years, if not decades, can bring up all kinds of internal stuff too.

why it can be hard to assess and purge

It takes precious time – before you begin, it feels like it will take FOREVER to accomplish anything.

So many decisions have to be made, which is overwhelming, and sometimes even paralyzing.

A lot of memories come up – some good, some bad.

Experiencing guilt of purchases you made that haven’t worked out.

Finding clothes that fit at one time and don’t anymore (too small or too big), or never actually fit, can trigger negative body image messages.

Finding unworn items you like the idea of, but never really were you, nor will be, can also trigger purchase guilt.

Items are outdated or just plain worn out, but have sentimental meaning.

Items are outdated, but aren’t worn out, so it seems wasteful to purge them, even though you aren’t actually wearing them.

Managing gifts from people you love that just don’t work for you, and you don’t want to hurt their feelings by purging them.

When it’s my closet I’m addressing, I quickly get overwhelmed by decision-making. I also can get caught up in self-scolding – this time around I pulled out a bridesmaid dress from a friend’s wedding that occurred EIGHTEEN years ago (or was it 19?) and several other dresses that were 15+ years old and too big, but I had saved them anyway. Why??

I also have the “it’s not worn out” guilt around things that are still in good shape but are no longer my style. Do I keep them, just to have as options? (No. Consign them!)

See, I needed my own wardrobe consultant. Because organizing and purging, especially your clothes, is actually grappling with your sense of self and your personal history.

Having someone who is objective and who can give you support throughout the process with encouragement and gentle, honest feedback can make the process much less overwhelming and much more effective. I help my clients keep a positive perspective, avoid getting bogged down, and have fun in seeing the potential in the items that do work in their wardrobes.

It took me 6-8 hours over two days to completely go through my clothing, which was more than double the time it usually takes when I work with a client. This reminded me how helpful – and efficient – it can be to have a supportive presence to help you along! Working together, we usually get through most if not all of a typically-sized wardrobe in three hours, not only purging, but also creating new outfits with the keepers.

I had a lot of conversations with myself while I was doing my wardrobe consult. The exact conversations I have with my clients. “When did you last wear this?” “Do you actually LIKE it?” “Does it make you happy to wear it?” “Why do you feel like you need to keep this?”

And I tried to treat myself as I do my clients – with encouragement, support, humor, permission to purge, and permission to keep certain items that just can’t be let go – yet. The bridesmaid dress and other late-90s delights did go. Again, why???

I took three garbage bags of clothes for donation, and I consigned 15 items. I feel much lighter to have cleared out clothing that was doing nothing but cluttering my closet. Others will benefit from my purge, and my wardrobe is ultimately more functional without those items. I also now know what I have and what needs to be added or replaced, which makes shopping more focused and fruitful.

Ready to take the plunge into your closet in a faster, less painful, more productive (and FUN) way? Contact me today to set up YOUR Wardrobe Consult.