My gorgeous friend Kristen has great taste. She loves trends and keeps up on what's cool. Whenever I see her out and about, she has a relaxed and hip vibe that is utterly Hawaii. But she found herself struggling to inject her vivacious personality into her work wardrobe. Instead, she found herself teaching at a local elementary school in a boring uniform of white tees and khaki pants day in and day out. She called me over to check out the contents of her closet and see what we could do to transform her work wear.
First, I had her pull out five favorite pieces and tell me what she loved about each one. She pulled a few fun patterned skirts, a favorite dress that fits like a glove and a pretty printed top. Like most people, she loves looks that are comfortable, but she is also fearless with pattern and color. However, she wasn't sure how to mix pattern and color, so she often paired a plain white tee with her bold skirts, feeling like nothing else would match.
As far as shoes go, she has a killer assortment of towering platform heels, none of which she can wear to work because they also kill her feet. This collection of sandals are pretty much her only shoes for work. There were some cool pieces to work with here- lots of pretty embellished and gladiator style numbers, but she needs to fill in with some flats and maybe even low heels or wedges.
Look at all the pattern and pizaaz in her closet! Kristen didn't need much help with organization, because she already had a good system in place and knew what she had really clearly.
This is a girl who loves color and print, but was saving all her fun clothes for her own time. It was literally divided in half. Work clothes here, play clothes here. Work is a huge part of her life, and I wanted to help her enjoy getting dressed for it every day. My goal was to show her that lots of her play clothes could go to work and some of her work clothes could go out on the town!
It's this kind of flexibility and creativity with your wardrobe that make it fun and tailored to your life. I really believe this helps you to bring your whole self to your professional life, coming to work with joy, enthusiasm and confidence. Who knew your closet could offer you all of that?
Next, I asked Kristen to pick out a piece she loves but isn't sure how to wear. This fun ruched skirt was a perfect example. The black and white stripes made her feel like she should pair it with a simple black or white top. Instead, we tried this simple purple tee from her play clothes. It adds a pop of color and suddenly this outfit is a lot more special. We paired it with white earrings from her beautiful jewelery collection and some studded white sandals. I'd love to see it with a wide woven white belt to make her waist look even tinier. She has such a perfect hourglass figure!
Part of rooting through a closet means some duds. She loves this corduroy skirt, but it's a smidge too big. She's also often drawn to the boxy drapey silhouette of this top, but it doesn't really work with this skirt, making her look top heavy. Back to the drawing board.
She just found this luscious blue silk skirt at a vintage shop, and it looked so gorgeous with her skin! We had fun creating several looks with this piece, pairing it with a vibrant striped coral top and a pretty pendant monogram necklace for work. A braided belt defines her waist even more and matches perfectly with her platforms. We made a note to find her some caramel colored flat shoes that would complement this belt so she can wear this look to school. With a pretty shoulder baring top, the same modest skirt is suddenly way sexy for date night.
You can check out my pinterest inspiration board for this project here if you like.
What are your challenges with your wardrobe? I've been through this process with several friends now and it's fascinating to see people through the lens of their clothing. It's deeply personal, and therefore can be really transformative. I have several more makeovers in my backlog to share with you, so stay tuned.