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Friday, May 4, 2012

Almost What Not to Wear

I don't know about you, but I have a closet full of clothes I don't wear. I've fallen into the "Mommy wardrobe" trap. The one where you only where yoga pants and other comfy clothes with elastic waistbands? Yeah, that. I don't necessarily want to wear nice clothes when I run after my kids or am playing with them on the floor. Plus, I work from home, leaving me with even less incentive to dress nicely.

I've always kind of wanted to go on the show What Not to Wear not only to meet Stacy and Clinton and leave with a smashing wardrobe, but to learn tips and tricks on how to make the most of the clothes that I have. Earlier this week, I had the chance to do that...sort of.

While I didn't get to learn from Stacy and Clinton in person, I got as close as I could get. I participated in a Style for Hire seminar. Style for Hire is a new company founded by Stacy London. The premise is that stylists should be accessible to more people, not just celebrities or the wealthy. It's a network of personal stylists across the country who are hand-picked by Stacy and can help you purge your closet, figure out new looks that flatter your frame and figure, and go on a personal shopping trek to help you fill in the gaps in your wardrobe.

For the seminar, I was a volunteer "client," meaning that I dragged my wardrobe (most of it) to a hotel in Manhattan to let a group of stylists pick through it, help me figure out what works and what doesn't, and help me shop my own closet to find new ways to put together outfits. Yes, in case you were wondering, I did leave my workout and shlubby clothes at home.

I know that it still sounds fairly frivolous - the whole notion of personal stylists. But what I admire about the company is that it's trying to help clients (primarily women) learn to embrace and love their bodies no matter what shape or size. So much of our self-esteem is caught up in our own image of our bodies and is often reflected in how we dress. By showing folks how to dress, what works and how you can create new combinations from clothes you already own, it's empowering.

I had a ton of fun and walked out with some great ideas and tips. While I may still be wearing yoga pants as I write this (come on! I just had physical therapy!!), I feel like I have a lot more options when I look at my closet in the morning.

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At May 4, 2012 at 2:12 PM , Anonymous Jess said...

OMG that sounds like SUCH FUN!! My sisters and I were thisclose to being on WNTW a few years back -- but not because we dressed badly, but because they were looking for triplets to profile! They were thisclose to coming, I even had the producer set to surprise my sis at work and my other sis at school and then they called to tell me they went with another set of triplets - but only becaues they were turning 30 and they liked the angle. I was SO BUMMED. Plus I'd kept the secret for SO LONG from my own sisters which is no small feat. And then when the episode aired, those chicks were so boring! We would've ROCKED that episode like nobody's business. But no, I'm not bitter. ;-) hehe

At May 4, 2012 at 4:13 PM , Blogger Jolene said...

I was just going to tell you the same story Jess did, but she beat me to it ;-) And I still would love to go on that show!! The personal stylist splurge always seems like a worthwhile one, doesn't it?!

At May 4, 2012 at 7:44 PM , Blogger Christine said...

That is hilarious. You three would have been awesome on the show!! Jess - I don't think that I would have been able to keep a secret like that for so long. I've wanted to get my sister on the show.

A personal stylist definitely does seem like a splurge but I will say that I walked away with ideas for about 10+ new outfits from the clothes that I already had and combos that I hadn't worn before. I guess it's easy to get into a rut with pairing the same top-bottom combo all the time.

At May 4, 2012 at 9:28 PM , Blogger MCM Mama said...

I'd love to be on that show. I feel like all my Sweat to Street posts lately are like the wardrobes they all had to throw out LOL.

The "Style for Hire" thing sounds awesome.

(And I'm always in workout clothes, shorts or jeans - I have kids and I work at home. What else would I wear?)

At May 5, 2012 at 7:14 AM , Blogger Cotter Crunch said...

too cool! I've always wanted a stylist. I need someone to tell me what to where. Otherwise, it's running shorts or stretchy pants. haha

At May 5, 2012 at 9:18 AM , Blogger Christine said...

That's totally my problem too - the kids + work from home doesn't leave much room for creativity. The session just taught me to look at my wardrobe a little differently. I was relegating all these clothes as "too nice" or "work clothes" whereas I could actually dress them down and where them more casually. What I really liked about Style for HIre was that they did things like closet audits and closet shops where they basically go through your closet and help you weed things out and figure out what pieces your missing and how you can put things together in new combinations.

At May 5, 2012 at 9:19 AM , Blogger Christine said...

hee hee. Me too!!

At May 5, 2012 at 12:40 PM , Blogger Melissa said...

Love our neighbor Stacy London and I could definitely use a style overhaul. I keep putting it off - after the test, after the move etc......but it will likely be after the move given I'll have to pick through my entire wardrobe (and life) to decide what (and what NOT) to pack.

See you Thursday!

At May 5, 2012 at 2:17 PM , Blogger Surfing Grandma of OC said...

I love that show..and every time I shop for new clothes.. WHICH has been a long time now. I always try to remember tips that I have learned from watching. I don't think the show comes on any more. I never see it. IT use to be on ALL the time. =(
.. ANY way sounds like you had a way cool experience. I need help being a surfer and a mom and a grandma. I feel my style may be too casual at times. BUT I am more about comfort now..but it would still be nice to have a little style ;-)

At May 6, 2012 at 4:23 PM , Blogger Christine said...

Actually, while I was packing my clothes to go to this event, i ended up clearing out a bunch of stuff that I never wear or that was worn out, etc. It felt great to go through it and get rid of some stuff. However, I can't imagine having to pack for a move though! Yes, can't wait to see you!

At May 6, 2012 at 4:24 PM , Blogger Christine said...

I know right? It used to be on all the time and now it's not. It was a super fun experience and I was surprisingly laid back about all the stranger riffling through my clothes. I am with you about being all about comfort but I do think that it's possible while having a bit of style. We'll both work on it, OK? ;-)

At May 7, 2012 at 12:58 AM , Anonymous Cindy McLaughlin said...

Thanks Christine, for such a thoughtful post!

I'm the CEO of Style for Hire. Your experience is exactly what we're trying to pull off as a service. It should be fun, easy (easier than making you schlepp all your clothes to us!), non-judgmental, and ultimately a valuable way to consider your wardrobe and your purchases. We don't want you to spend more money, we want you to use what you've got better, and then spend what you already spend smarter, so that you look great and feel comfortable no matter what your circumstance. We work hard to make sure everyone in our company is kind, non-judgmental and down-to-earth.

I'm a mom, too, and godforbid I'm going to the park with my kids in heels! Flattering jeans and a cooler tee-shirt, yes. My stylist helps me even with my jeans, and has me well-prepared for when I need to take it up a notch at work, events, or nights out.

I hope you each decide to schedule an appointment! I don't think you'll regret it.

Kind regards,
Cindy McLaughlin

At May 8, 2012 at 1:46 PM , Blogger Jennifer said...

Hi I stumbled across this post :) I was one of the stylists at the seminar!! Glad to hear you enjoyed yourself !!

At May 8, 2012 at 11:09 PM , Blogger Christine said...

Thank you Cindy! It was a lot of fun and I definitely saw the value in what you all are doing. I'm so glad that I got to be a part of it. Everyone was fantastic.

At May 8, 2012 at 11:10 PM , Blogger Christine said...

Thanks for stopping by Jennifer! I had so much fun.

At May 12, 2012 at 10:05 AM , Blogger Jennifer Ostrander said...

That is so fun! I would LOVE to do that, I went through my closet and got rid of stuff I haven't worn in years. I'm always terrified to step out of my "comfort" zone. I'm military so the day to day uniform isn't going to change but what I wear when I'm off? Oy I need help, lol Schlep. Love that word. Great adventure!

At May 13, 2012 at 8:49 PM , Blogger Christine said...

It was a great experience and while I was a volunteer "client," it was great to get a taste of it. There's so much that I really just need to let go of in my closet!! I know what you mean about finding something to wear that's not your uniform. This morning, I sat and stared at my closet for a good 15 minutes before deciding on something! For me, i think that I need to get over the idea of "saving" my good clothes lol.


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