Melbourne Stylist and Image Consultant Toula Vogdanos from Style Identity outlines what’s involved and the range of emotions clients go through when having a stylist do a “Wardrobe Edit” for them.
Before I became a stylist, my impression of what they did was that only people in the movies, the media or working in an elite industry could afford them. I didn’t think it was for the everyday person. I was wrong!
Styling is something that everyone should invest in: it’s a life changing journey that starts and finishes at the wardrobe. I see the wardrobe as a place where people store all the events that have occurred in their lives. Everyone collects so many stories and all have relevance.
When I visit clients at their home, the anticipation of me coming stirs up feelings of excitement, nerves and a little anxiety. When we enter the wardrobe space, it always begins with “I did clean up knowing that you were comming”, or “I feel so embarrassed that you are seeing my wardrobe”. I completely understand why everyone feels this way. Our wardrobes are such a personal space and when a total stranger, even worse, a stylist enters your personal area it might seem intrusive.
Emotion plays a big part when doing a Wardrobe Edit. When we look at what’s in our wardrobe, we also revisit past experiences attached to each garment. All of a sudden clothes seem to develop feelings. In my opinion though, “nothing has meaning, but for the meaning we give it”. We put so much emphasis on every item of our clothing, it then becomes so difficult to get rid of each piece. We become emotionally attached. But of course clothes don’t have feelings: they won’t feel sad if you get rid of them. Letting go of the things that are not doing your image justice is like lifting a heavy load off your back. And it provides a fresh start. So much of what holds us back and stops us from looking forward is what we’ve stored in our wardrobe.
Clothes are a language. They speak volumes about us without saying a word. We leave a lasting impression with someone within the first 3 seconds of meeting them. What impression would you like to make next time you meet someone?
Every part of your life is made up of the space that you give it within your wardrobe. If you have moved from one job to the other, become a mother, retired from a corporate position, transitioned into part-time work from full-time. Whatever it is, your wardrobe should reflect the current lifestyle that you are living right now.
If you store all your clothes and don’t make room for the new ones, you end up developing a “uniform” wardrobe that becomes your go to because it’s safe and you understand how to put it together. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it makes you feel happy or amazing. It could be that you’re not achieving the results you should be when dressing for your lifestyle. For example, you might be dating and have no idea what to wear, so the outfit you put together leaves you feeling a little uninspired. Watch out! It couls be making the same impact on your date. Instead of okay, you could have wowed! Another example could be that you are up for a promotion at work and you want to make the best impression to land this position. What outfit are you going to wear?
In a styling session, once I have gone through the wardrobe space with you I then get you to try on everything, and I mean everything. We begin the process of “keep”, “donate”, or “mend”. This process helps begin to change the way you think about your garments and your style. By the end of a wardrobe edit my client has already established a sense of style and the direction she wants to go. She is already feeling relieved and excited. We have cleared away all the items that are no longer serving her and we have opened up that space to better things. The process provides direction and calm. This is where it gets exciting! We are now ready to fill some of the spaces. We are now ready to shop!