(Written by my beautiful client, Jess!)
I hired a Stylist and it was the best thing ever.
I have spent so much money on clothes I have never worn that it is embarrassing.
I kept doing my research, trying on, and buying but I couldn’t break the cycle. I was tired of having a closet overflowing but still nothing to wear.
I moved to London and part of my self rejuvenation was looking on the outside how I felt on the inside. Happy, classy, fun, stylish, sophisticated, Boho, glam. As part of my move I sorted through my closet and made 3 piles: charity donations, friends, and consignment. I had my closet goal in mind and easily sorted through and dispersed my closet.
I searched online and created a budget. I kept coming back to one stylists website. I bit the bullet and booked with Marika Page (www.marikapage.com). What sold me on her services, was a line that said you do not have to live in control top underwear. You can dress for your size and still look your best. I love what Spanxs do for me, don’t get me wrong, but a day to day life without something squeezing my insides sounded like a life and wardrobe I wanted!
We spoke on the phone and discussed my wants and needs. She was wonderful and understood what I was saying. I had created a budget so we were able to find some really beautiful key pieces at Harvey Nics. We then did a follow up trip to John Lewis (which is a mix of Macy’s & Nordstrom in the US) for more affordable (but still lovely) pieces.
I’m an apple shape, which means I hold my weight in my tummy, which kinda sucks, but I had a professional on my side.
Marika taught me two invaluable lessons that have made my life and shopping on my own a breeze.
1. Shape Illusion
For my shape I have to create a “deep V” illusion. V necks are of course a no brainer but there are so many lovely necklines: Bardot, cold shoulder, round neck, boat neck etc. She showed me how to use necklaces, scarves, jackets over these other necklines to still achieve the “deep V”. I appreciated that it was not about ruling things out, it was how to make what you love look fabulous.
Marika showed me how to figure out my colour undertones. I am warm. Which means Ivory looks more flattering than white. This is amazing because wearing the wrong tone, for me, cool instead of warm, added what looked like 3 sizes! Hello! I’m trying to look slimmer not bigger. What a difference! After I went back home, I looked at the tones of clothes I had that I never reached for and it turned out they were all cool tones. It’s like my mind knew it but I did not.
Using these 2 main tools, I am able to shop on my own and curate a wardrobe of pieces I love and can mix and match. I now have a beautiful wardrobe and an outfit for every occasion. Even walking my dogs.
This exercise showed me a few things. Investing in yourself is not a wasted investment. Looking good on the outside, makes you feel good on the inside.
I spent the last ten years wearing black in the Caribbean. I was also very depressed so it did suit my mood. However, good old hindsight, has me wondering, if I had done this earlier, would it have helped pull me out of my funk?
I met with Marika during winter so my clothes were very much suited for the season. We are now in Spring/Summer and armed with my new knowledge and a much smaller budget, I headed to my favourite summer store, Monsoon. I love their take on Boho styles but also love that they have really well styled classic pieces. I must add that most of their clothes are cotton & linen and as a person that loves real fabric that breathes, I’m in heaven.
I chose my warm toned clothes, created the deep v and nailed my Holiday wardrobe. Thin cotton and linen joggers, shorts (I have not worn shorts in 10 years! Go me!), beautiful, detailed linen and cotton tops (even sleeveless ones! Go me again!) had me ready for a week long road trip in Italy.
How fun to have a suitcase full of plug and play items. I looked so great in all of my pics and even noticed how carefree my photo poses became. No hiding behind people, no strategically placed handbag over my midsection. Put me front and centre, I’ve got a big genuine smile for you…
This all may seem silly and frivolous to some of you and that’s ok! To me, it was the best thing I have done and I love how much I love feeling great in my clothes. Having this curated wardrobe means I do not worry about going out, I do not worry about the paparazzi world of snapping a million pictures for social media, I do not worry about my outside, so all of this wonderful energy flowing inside me is focused on making those around me feel as beautiful as they are.
This total wardrobe purge made me aware of something I already believed in. Items carry energy. Keeping onto items that are old, from a different time in your life, that you do not love, that just make you feel not your best means that you are keeping this bad energy with you. Release it. Start over. Do it bit by bit, in the way you can. If you want to make changes in your life, you have to be prepared to let go.
As Maya Angelou so perfectly said, “A woman in harmony with her spirit, is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretense and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself and only herself.”.