Fall Happenings

by Tracy James

Despite the fact that the weather has yet to "snap," Labor Day has passed, which in the South means Fall has arrived, bringing with it school days, football and fashion. As the leaves change, we start thinking about switching out our closet for the season...and so begins my busiest season as a wardrobe stylist. Here's a bit about what I'm up to during these Fall months: 

Transitional Wardrobing

"Can I wear white jeans after Labor Day, and if so, how?"

"It's mid September but 90 degrees outside, what the heck do I wear?"

These are questions I receive on almost a daily basis early in the season. Popular services include shopping end-of-season sales to snag deals on a few transitional items or particularly fab Spring/Summer items that are such great finds they are worth buying now for next year. Many clients also like to "shop their own closet" for transitional outfits - I will put together combinations that are still temperature appropriate but depart from colors and ensembles that scream summer.

Closet Revamp

As cliche as it is, the analogy is true: a closet is like a garden, in need of constant pruning lest it become choked with weeds. The result is not being able to see the forest for the trees, so to speak - becoming so overwhelmed with the quantity of items in your closet that you not only lose track of what is even in there, but instead of taking the time to mix and match, you wear the same 4-5 "safe" outfits over and over again. The end of each season/beginning of the next is a great time for a Closet Revamp: we will inventory what you have in your closet and evaluate its contents, including your purchases over the past year. This will make it easier to create a "List of Needs" for the coming season, factoring in any missing wardrobe staples and taking current trends into consideration. These are items I can find for you on a shopping trip together, or for you to go it alone (often after a Revamp, these lists are shorter than one expected).

Fall Shopping 

Need a refresh? Want to add in current trends but are unsure which to chose or how to execute in a way that is age and lifestyle appropriate? Now that Fall styles are finally in stores (they arrive later in the South), I have been spending a lot of time shopping for clients. Over the years, I've found that the best way for my clients to get the most "bang for their buck" is to pre-pull - allowing me to edit selections, taking into consideration what he or she already has in her closet. It also permits me to introduce a few items to push clients out of their comfort zones. My favorite comment to hear is, "I would've never even pulled this off the rack but I love it!" Investing in the services of a professional to help you make the right style choices saves money in the long run, as you not only will end up with items that will mix and match with the rest of your wardrobe and endure through the seasons, but also you won't end up with items with tags still on them when Fall is over!

Wardrobing Sessions/Lookbooks

Once you have the right items in your closet, you owe it to yourself (and your wallet) to make the most out of these items. Some of my clients have no problem shopping for themselves, but limit their vision to only putting together pieces that were bought together. "Mannequin dressing," if you will. In order to have a closet that is focused on quality and not quantity, the ability to mix and match is imperative. During wardrobing sessions I will put together new combinations, complete with accessories and shoes. We can either take pictures for a printed out Lookbook, or, in this digital age, many have enjoyed an iPad album, with folders for different outfit occasions - for example: Work, Weekend, Date Night, etc. You'll feel like you have new clothes without even leaving your house! 

Tween & Teen Consulting

Whether we like it or not, we live in a first impression society, thus the clothes we chose to wear and the condition in which we keep our garments and ourselves send a message to the world. More than just style, but also modesty and grooming come into play, and this is a lesson better learned sooner than later. My 7 years of founding and teaching a Fashion Camp for girls aged 5-15 has given me a unique insight into the minds of these young ladies and the pressures - both peer and societal - that they face. Thanks to that experience combined with my passion for bolstering self esteem and confidence in girls starting at an early age, I have developed a niche  - and knack for, if I do say so myself - when it comes to relating to these girls and earning their trust. From helping girls make the best choices for their shape (which may be different from that of their friends), to mediating mom and daughter who can't seem to see eye to eye when shopping, to steering the new kid in school away from the goth look, to conducting a makeup and skincare lesson for rising 7th graders, to helping girls entering college prepare for sorority recruitment...the circumstances with which I've dealt run the gamut, and I find each so rewarding. I love helping girls embrace their own individuality and realize that style does not come at any particular price point, from a certain store, or in a specific size. Confidence is stylish at every age.