Buying clothes had never been my strong point. When it came to choosing the right things to create a stylish wardrobe, I simply didn’t have a clue. Talk to me about “what goes with what” or co-ordinating a “look” and you’d get a blank look.
Clothes shopping was never something I looked forward to, and when I did walk into a store, I didn’t really know what I was looking for. It was all guess work.
What this meant was that my wardrobe was a mish-mash of functional but uninspiring choices that could be thrown on at a moment’s notice without any real hint of style.
Being conscious of my weight (aren’t we all?), everything was a little more baggy than necessary to be more comfortable and forgiving (so I thought).
Dressing for work was easy enough, slinging on some jeans and the same old shirts, but when it came to a night out I’d stare into the wardrobe and take a wild guess as to what would work best.
I realised my wardrobe, full of unworn and unloved clothes, needed sprucing up. It was clear that it was going to cost more than a tenner to refresh things and – not wanting to waste money – some good advice was what I needed to turn the situation around and not fall into the same traps.
I contacted Laura not really knowing what to expect. I knew that I wanted a sharp looking wardrobe that made me look good – I just didn’t know how to get one.
My fear was that a ‘personal stylist’ would just walk me around a shop and tell me what to buy as I kept up in silent ignorance.
This couldn’t have been further from the truth and Laura’s welcoming, professional approach was refreshing, warm and informative.
But while at ease, it was good to feel like I was dealing with an expert – someone who would take charge to steer me in the right direction while taking my needs into consideration. This was not a one-way street.
Our initial conversation was extremely valuable. We talked about what I was looking to achieve, my budget and how we would go about solving my wardrobe worries.
Laura then went about identifying what colours would best complement my skin tone. It turns out I’d been right with certain choices but way off the mark with others.
We talked about things that I’d never even considered. Laura explained how I should avoid certain “details” on clothes; how horizontal and vertical lines could help and hinder me.
The shopping trip itself was nothing short of a revelation. For a start, I really enjoyed myself. Far from being the rushed, clueless affair I was so used to, I now had a sense of what I was looking for and what to avoid. Laura directed me to shops that I’d not visited before, since she knew the right places to browse for the clothes that would suit my needs.
There was no impulse buying. Choices were all carefully considered. And the education continued. Laura explained why she had suggested the things I would try on, talking me through the cut of the garments, the colours and how they would work with my other purchases.
There was nothing forced upon me. If I didn’t feel confident or comfortable in certain things, it was back on the rack. This was not about simply dressing me. This was putting me in clothes that would not only look good but make me feel good too.
We ended the session with enough to blow away everything in my old wardrobe and even came in slightly under budget. I walked away with my head held higher and the feeling that I wanted to come back for another round.
The result has been nothing short of transformational. Gone are the baggy, unstylish threads that I almost feel embarrassed to think about now in place of a range of different combinations for work, nights out and weekends.
Although confident, I felt a little trepidation as I stepped out in my new look. I needn’t have worried. People immediately complimented “my” choices, saying how I looked slimmer and how “that colour looks really good on you” – another first. It’s as if I’d achieved a sense of style overnight.
Opening my wardrobe doors in the morning is no longer accompanied by a puzzled look. I know exactly what I’m looking for and can walk out the front door feeling confident that I’m suited for the occasion. I don’t feel like I need to hang back anymore and sometimes even let myself think that I’m the best dressed in the room.
She’s done wonders, not only for the contents of my wardrobe but also how I feel when I’m wearing the results of our sessions. I’m even looking forward to next season when I get to do it all again.
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