My wardrobe received an overdue intervention last week. It came about after Alison and local wardrobe consultant Tanya Owen met over coffee to discuss blogging. Tanya’s blog, Wear It Well, offers sound, stylish wardrobe and shopping advice. After the two swapped tips and techniques about modern-day marketing, they agreed that a collaborative post would suit us well.
Alison volunteered me and my closet to be the Wear It Well guinea pig for The Gracious Posse. I entered into the collaboration with nervousness and trepidation. Much to my surprise, it was a fun and positive experience that I recommend to The Gracious Posse to do sooner rather than later.
Not having a photo-worthy closet like posse pal cFl, as shown in our post, The 30-minute Weekend Challenge, was the primary cause of my fear. My clothes live in three closets; the main walk-in (above) shared with my husband,
a small cedar closet and the auxiliary one in the guest bedroom, shown above. I have a quasi-method to my storage madness, what goes in which closet, but Tanya advised me to store items by season.
First, Tanya went through those closets with me, garment by garment, shoe by shoe, and helped make what came to be easy decisions about what to keep, donate or throw away. Tanya’s goals from this process are to show you how to
- get the most use from what you have left in your closet
- use accessories to enhance your look
- dress to flatter your body type
We then discussed my lifestyle and my daily and special occasion fashion needs. As we plowed through the hangers,
I had to face garments that were embarrassingly old; I was shocked that she said KEEP! to some,
like this zebra velveteen coat and the light blue spring-weight coat in front of me. The knit top below, once a fave, went to Goodwill last weekend along with a big pile of other discards.
Tanya has a few rules of thumb when it comes to evaluating items in your closet, as well as considering wardrobe purchases this year.
- If it’s a designer label and in good condition, keep it. Today’s designers will become tomorrow’s vintage style.
- If you haven’t worn it in a year, donate, sell or consign it.
- Animal prints of all stripes and patterns should be kept. The knit top above was an animal print, but Tanya said it wasn’t classic enough to keep because of the mix of prints.
- All closets should have a pair of white denim jeans. Shop NOW for best selection.
- Cardigans should be updated more often than you think. I’m in need of new ones, and Tanya sent me a link shortly after our meeting to a style from Boden.
- Wedges as a shoe style are must-haves.
- Heels (not stilettos) are flattering. They made a huge difference with a pair of my jeans that were deemed “keepers” but I hadn’t worn in a long time. Once I put them on with moderate heels, my leg looked longer and I looked more stylish!
My fashion purchasing strategy is like a stock-buying strategy: buy high quality items and hold ’em. Almost forever. Forever has come, and it’s time to change up the portfolio. Tanya gave me specific recommendations to purchase: COLORful items, day dresses, white jeans, wedge shoes and new cardigans for layering. She left me with this takeaway outfit, created from items in my closet that I had not previously worn together.
She wanted me to find a colorful scarf to add to the ensemble, and I wore it out Saturday night.
Where do I go from here?
Shopping and wardrobing are not my strong suit. Tanya offers a shopping service once the closet and lifestyle evaluation has been done.
I usually try to pre-shop the stores (at no charge to you!) to find the perfect clothes to enhance your body. My goal is to work within your budget and add to your existing pieces based on your current needs, whether that means an entire wardrobe or just a little something for a special occasion.
I am looking forward to a few hours of shopping under Tanya’s stylish eye. I feel confident that I’ll make better buying decisions for my long-term strategy.
As with many things in life, the outcome of an activity is often far better than you expect it to be. That was the case with my wardrobe intervention. I must thank Alison for setting this up and being on hand to help with the closet purge and decision-making. Nothing better than a gal pal to share in the experience!
February 12, 2014