I suppose the main reason I am feeling so fashionable this week is that I am fresh off of a closet consultation with the amazing Reachel Bagley of Cardigan Empire! This isn’t the first time I have benefitted from Reachel’s vast knowledge of all things fashionable and styling expertise. A couple of years ago, I won a mini-style makeover from her and got to experience first hand her dressing room expertise. Since that time, I feel like I have been making better fashion choices, and have had more fun creating ensembles and feeling fashionable more often.
Fast forward to a couple of months ago. I was at an event I wanted to look cute for. I had put together what I thought was a good outfit, based on what I have learned–cute ruffled top, cardigan, fun accessories. The only part I hadn’t given much thought to was what to wear on the bottom. I grabbed a pair of khaki capris because they matched the outfit. I felt pretty good. A little while later I saw a video of the event, including several shots of my backside. I was struck with horror. The flimsy pants did nothing to help the shape of my posterior. The looked kind of stretched out and saggy, and without pockets, did nothing to minimize the part of my body that I need to be minimizing.
In a moment of bravery fueled by desperation and the desire to never see my bum looking saggy baggy again, I reached out to Reachel. She offers a Service called a Closet Analysis. I needed someone who could give me the truth about what my clothes looked like on me, and help me confidently purge some of the piles of clothes busting out of my closet–I am not super great at decision making.
I’m not going to lie. As the time for our appointment drew near, I began to wonder if I had made a mistake. I was going to let someone into the chaos that is my closet? Would she laugh at all of my clothes that cost around $5/piece and tell me I should torch my entire closet and start over from scratch with expensive name brand clothes? As she walked to my door, I found myself wondering whether this would be more like an episode of Hoarders or What Not to Wear.
Fortunately, it was nothing like either. Reachel is kind and calm and totally nonjudgmental. It is her goal to help women feel pretty, and she is good at that! I wish I had taken a better picture of her. She was radiant in a teal blouse and bubble necklace with her tiny baby bump. Before diving into the piles of clothes I had stacked on my bed, she started by focusing on me, and helping create a clear picture of my fashion profile. She took measurements to verify my body type. We did color draping…
It’s a little hard to take a picture of yourself being draped, so my girls got to get draped too. We think she is a Summer, by the way.
I’m a Clear Winter. It’s hard not to feel pretty when you fall into the same category as Elizabeth Taylor or Audrey Hepburn. It was actually really amazing to me to see the difference between the pale blue and the deep blue colors on the drape we tried. When we had the deeper color up to my face, my skin imperfections seemed to fade, and my features popped. I knew this concept before, but hadn’t realized the dramatic difference it made.
We then discussed my fashion style. I am a little bit of a fashion chameleon, but we settled on a blend of a couple of styles that I think described my look perfectly: Romantic Modern
With this framework in mind, we began going through each piece of clothing. Reachel expertly told me which things she needed to see on, and gave suggestions on what to do with each item. We made a give away pile, a mending/alterations pile (my mom is coming–yea!), a maybe pile and archive pile with the clothes that weren’t immediately approved. I love the idea of the archived clothes. It is for those clothes that may be out of date but that you might want to return to at some point, or at least have available for costumes, etc. They just need to be out of the rotation, so they aren’t cluttering up your closet with stuff you never wear. This was a nice compromise for a
hoarder collector, like me. The maybes we came back to at the end. If I didn’t have better options in my closet, we’d keep the maybe for now, but put it on a list to replace before too long.
Goodbye old clothes. It is time to set you free! We got rid of a lot of things, but not a ridiculous amount. My closet is still quite full! I’m just ready to come up with a system for it, now that I have a manageable-sized wardrobe.
One of the really helpful things that Reachel does, is take some of your pieces and put together some sample outfits for you. I had tried to make the outfit shown on top work before, but hadn’t realized that I could belt the ruffled shirt. Before adding the belt, I didn’t have any shape in it. After, it looks put together and flattering–I know because I wore it to church on Sunday!
There were a few items I was ready to get rid of, but Reachel showed me how to wear them in a way that would be flattering. (Don’t be surprised if I show up in this outfit to church next Sunday).
I have been getting better at thinking outside of the strictly matching box, but I still struggle with creating unexpected combinations sometimes. I love these colorful capris and my fun new belt from Downeast Basics, but would have never thought to pair the gray and green with them. The gray works as well as white as a neutral, and the green plays up the fun colors here.
Within a couple of hours of our consultation, I had a document from Reachel in my inbox, with all of my personal style information and the complete analysis of my closet. She outlined what I have to work with and what I should be looking to purchase in the next while to make better use of what I have. (i.e. I need a versatile pencil skirt. I have plenty of tops and should spend my money on flattering bottoms, etc.).
I really feel like Reachel’s services are invaluable because she teaches you all along the way. I feel empowered to make better choices and really utilize what I have, which should save me a lot of money in the long run.
Reachel has generously offered my readers a 30% discount off of any of her services!! If you are thinking about getting some professional help, I would jump on this. Use the code: INSANITY30 at checkout! If you are not in Arizona, you might ask Reachel about her travel schedule or consider one of her virtual services.
Fashion week continues tomorrow, as I share some simple steps everyone can take to be a little more fashionable and feel pretty more often! I hope you will join me!