I sat down with my amazing stylist, Dee Clarke of The Joy Of Style for some fashion advice. She is a talented stylist and a good friend and I trust her implicitly. She gave me some advice to pass along to help people with common fashion questions about getting out of a style rut.
Getting out of a rut can feel overwhelming. What’s a baby step someone can take as a first step if a total makeover feels too big?
I find that when clients come to me often they say they feel frumpy and often it’s because they’ve been wearing a lot of jersey knit, so either tee shirt or yoga pant, or just like super comfy clothing. So I think one of the first things that they can do is put something on that’s a little bit crisp, sometimes it’s more of like a silky blouse or crisp button-down or something like that can feel a little bit fresher, it feels a little bit more upscale than something that is comfortable and jersey knit and probably quite loose fitting.
I know I do it, wearing the same thing that’s maybe seen better days because it’s really comfortable. What’s your advice for getting past something that’s holding a woman back stylistically, like you’re ratty sweatpants from 2004?
When you are getting dressed in the morning ask yourself how you want to feel, not how you’re currently feeling. So if it’s like, ” I want to feel more confident. I want to feel more flirty. I want to feel more powerful. Ask yourself what is going to get you there? Because my feeling is that it’s probably not going to be your ratty track pants that you’ve been wearing for a while, it might be even a pair of jeans or a pair kick ass boots, that’s what’s going to do it for you.
Sometimes doing everything all at once isn’t financially feasible. If you’re making over a wardrobe piece by piece, where’s a good place to start? What should be replaced first for maximum impact?
That’s a really great question. It’s going to depend on the person’s closet. I think it’s a very individual thing, right? So if somebody only has a couple pairs of pants but they have a million tops, then that situation is going to be different for somebody who has, you know, just a couple of shirts but they have 10 pairs of jeans. Checking out consignment stores where you are able to get several pieces and stretch your dollar is a great option. That could be an economical way to get a whole new new-to-you outfit versus getting one piece that’s regularly priced at a retail store. Also, don’t underestimate the power of an expensive-looking pair of shoes. They can elevate your whole look.
Talk to me about style and productivity. As a work at home mom, it’s easy to default to jammies and yoga pants. I mean, nobody’s going to see. Is there value in dressing up anyways?
Absolutely. I think that. Well, it goes back to what I was saying before, dressing how you want to feel. So if you want to feel productive or you’re going to be making some phone calls or you might be writing some pitches or whatever, feeling empowered, feeling like you’re the boss, feeling like a go-getter is easier to conjure when you are wearing something that makes you feel powerful, not in your pyjamas.
One of the barriers I’ve heard when people go shopping is sticker shock, not the price, but the size. Do you have any tips on staying neutral towards the size of the clothes we buy? It’s easy to freak out inside a little when your favourite brand adjusts its sizing and not buy because that number is bigger than you thought it would be.
I think it’s really important to wear what fits and not what you fit into. Lots of the times I feel that the sizes are very arbitrary and they vary from brand to brand so it’s not something you should focus on a lot.
What’s your advice for people stuck in their style rut because they were waiting to get skinny again?
I think that you should at least have a few pieces in your wardrobe that make you feel great so that when you are on your weight loss journey you can still feel beautiful along the way. Style is for everybody. It’s not just for the people that have lost 10 pounds or people that are skinny already. Find fun pieces that really work for you. Hit the consignment store because you’re going to get more for your money and that way you won’t feel so guilty about it. You deserve to feel beautiful at every size.