February 28, 2014 by Sarah
Let’s start out by saying that never in my lifetime did I ever expect to hire a stylist. I knew they existed, at least in the celebrity world, but I had no idea that they were an actual thing that “regular” people like me paid for. When Pat told me that he was getting me a closet audit with a stylist as my Christmas gift this year, I was really surprised but also a little mortified. Seriously? A complete stranger with awesome fashion sense coming to look at my very mediocre and tiny wardrobe? Uh, no thank you?
After only a little bit of convincing, I realized that I actually very much needed some fashion help. These days as a mama of a young toddler and very active baby, I can easily go a day without doing my hair, putting on real pants (ie. non stretchy black yoga ones) and often find myself with sweet potato splashed onto my shirt, among other things. Months had gone by with just feeling “eh” about almost everything in my closet. Nothing seemed to fit right or go together. When I did put on something I liked it was totally impractical for an outing to the park or getting on the ground to do a puzzle. All the while though I wanted to be that mom who looks cute and is a little trendy, while pushing a stroller and toting a baby on the hip!
Cue closet audit with Kat, stylist extraordinaire. I wasn’t sure if she could handle me. I filled out a questionnaire beforehand that communicated the following: I’m a busy, active mom who only has about 30 seconds each morning to figure out what to wear. I have a changing body that’s been pregnant twice in the last 2 years and currently needs outfits that accommodate nursing. I like quality, nice items of clothing but have a value for keeping a relatively small budget. Oh, and I have no idea what my style is, but I like the styles of Jessica Alba, Blake Lively, and Jessica Biel. Help?
During the 2+ hours together, we went through every single item in my closet and talked about what I liked or didn’t like about all of them. Right away I felt really comfortable with Kat and it was clear from the beginning that she had a ton of knowledge about material, cuts, and my needs as a mom. Most of the time, me talking about each item sounded like, “I’m not sure if I like this. Does it look funny here? I’m not sure how to wear it.” And also most of the time, Kat would just tell me, “it looks cute!” and then give me ideas of what to do with it. I think that’s what I needed most, just to hear that I actually had pretty good, cute stuff. I seriously thought we would dump half my wardrobe out (you know, like on those makeover shows where they tell you all your clothes suck?) but I was very surprised at how few items we put in the donate pile, I think only 2-3.
There were also a few things that Kat had me tuck away for “maternity” and another few for “non-nursing, non-pregnant” times. One of these was a loose fitting, non-maternity shirt that I put on and asked Kat “does this make me look pregnant?” and to my amusement, she responded “yeah, I think it does.” It helped to get these clothes out of my closet so that I didn’t have to look at them and feel “meh” about them every time I got dressed.
After looking at my closet, Kat’s biggest input for me was to get some basics to fill out my wardrobe. I have lots of colors and different patterns but needed neutrals to make them all work in outfits. Like, a simple gray tank to go under a pink/white polka dot sweater or a dark gray sweater to wear in the winter over striped shirts. Lucky for me, the closet audit was during Pat’s paternity leave, so just a few days after my meeting with Kat I got to spend a good chunk of a day shopping, with all the input still fresh. One of my favorite “basic” purchase? Dark denim skinny jeans from Madewell, a store Kat recommended and a new fav. I’m convinced a good pair of skinny jeans makes all the difference in a wardrobe and is a definite must-have for nursing mamas who wear a lot of looser tops.
After all this, I cannot claim that I feel like I now have amazing outfits every single day, because it’s not true. But. I do feel like I know what to do with my clothes, especially as an active mama. It’s nice to feel inspired again. I might be convinced to write more on some tips Kat taught me.. anyone interested? I’m pretty sure that I could never get into fashion blogging though, although it’s so fun to follow.
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