Susan in darker outfit
Do you see how, even though this
oufit is lovely and flatters Susan's shape,
that it's a bit too dark for her -- we
have a hard time seeing her face?
Replacing the black scarf with a lighter
one in a rose pink would make it more
flattering for her colouring.
Susan came to see me from Tasmania. As coincidence has it her son lives around the corner from me in Avalon, on Sydney's Northern Beaches. So she took the opportunity of a visit to her son to see me and work on her style makeover.
She came to me in the middle of some major changes in her life. Susan and her husband took an opportunity of early retirement a year or so ago. Since then they've been doing a lot of travelling, for pleasure, but also to work out where they want to live (Tasmania or Sydney). Of course, that choice will affect their lifestyle and the clothes Susan will need. However, she felt it was the right time to address the increasing feeling that her wardrobe simply wasn't working for her any more.
When we first met, Susan was feeling weighed down by her wardrobe. She felt many of her outfits made her look old and dowdy. Her clothes were not making her feel good about herself. She wanted to feel more confident in her clothing choices, and energized by her outfits.
Susan's Style Words
We started with what I think of as the style fundamentals of:
These give a good understanding of Susan's best colours (Light Summer, also called Cool, Muted and Light), clothes that suit her body shape, her style words (words that reflect her personality and how she wants to be seen, see picture), and most likely lifestyle requirements for the next 3-6 months.
Then we moved into Susan's wardrobe. She told me she'd brought pretty much her whole wardrobe with her from Tasmania (as well as their 2 dogs -- just as well they have a large vehicle!).
The first challenge was to work out what had been getting in the way of Susan achieving her desired style. Why had she felt so weighed down by her wardrobe? The key issues appeared to be:
Susan already had a good feeling of how to dress to flatter her proportions. However, she tended to buy whole outfits then always wear the items together, rather than using them in different outfit combinations as well
She already had many wonderful ingredients (both clothing and accessories) in her wardrobe. And although she had way too many black items, she also had many clothes and accessories in the right colours as well.
I showed her how to combine the items already in her wardrobe to give a large range of new outfits. The acid test for each outfit was:
Susan's Outfit AlbumOpen at a page of outfits Susan created for herself, using some of the ideas I gave her
The result of our
successful shopping trip
There's not much choice in
Susan's home town,
so this was her main opportunity to build her
To make sure Susan remembered the outfit ideas I photographed each new outfit combination. In between our wardrobe sessions Susan had the photos printed, then filed them by appropriate lifestyle categories (lunch with friends, special occasion dinner, and so on).
As we worked through Susan's wardrobe, working clothes and accessories into new outfits, we also did some wardrobe weeding (identifying clothes to be thrown out, given away, or altered)
By the end of the wardrobe workout we had a shopping list of some missing items, such as some colourful camisoles or tanks for layering and some necklaces to finish some outfits. The area of Susan's wardrobe that most needed work was her casual/holiday Spring and Summer wardrobe. In particular casual clothes for a couple of upcoming warm weather vacations. Since it was Spring, so the right clothes were in the shops, that was the focus for our shopping trip.
The next day we had one more, very important, wardrobe session: integrating the new items back into Susan's existing wardrobe. I gave Susan many outfit ideas for using her new clothes and accessories with her existing wardrobe items. Again we took photos throughout the process.
Here is Susan's feedback about her style makeover experience...
Q: What encouraged you to look for style makeover services?
A: I was really bored with my clothing and wasn't sure that I was dressing appropriately for my 50 plus years. I didn't feel confident with my clothing choices.
Q: Do you remember how you first heard about my services?
I discovered your service when searching the internet for dressing inspirations for my age group.
Q: What were your major objectives at this stage?
To feel fresh, confident and well dressed for all occasions.
Q: Were there any time constraints affecting your decision?
Q: What alternatives did you consider (if any) and why?
A: Friends had offered to go through my wardrobe with me.
Q: Why did you choose me?
A: I liked your website and our son son lives in Avalon, so it was very convenient.
Q: What were the major attractions of the solution?
Having somebody skilled in style, colour and appropriateness, other than my friends who are quite different in their dress to me.
Q: Tell me how you felt going through the style makeover process?
Q: What were your expectations? And were they met?
A: I discovered that I actually had a whole new wardrobe hidden within my wardrobe. I expected that my whole wardrobe would be discarded.
Q: What are my strengths?
A: Your creativity, kindness and enthusiasm.
Q: What are my weaknesses?
A: You are perfect. [Jane: I wish, but nice of you to say so!]
Q: Would you use my services again?
A: I would like to be able to.
Q: What advice would you give to others who are considering reviewing and improving their image?
A: Trust Jane.
Q: What are the major benefits after your style makeover?
A: I have my own photographic album of style ideas that suit my personality, tastes, colours and body shape.
Q: What will you do now that you were not doing before?
A: Try to re-invent items in my wardrobe by matching with other items, make better colour choices and notice all details of a garment before purchasing to ensure it suits my body shape.
Q: On a scale of 1 (excellent) to 10 (extremely poor) how do you rate your experience with me?
Q: What further services are you considering?
am hoping I am now inspired to be more confident in my choices.
Q: Would you refer and recommend me?
Q: What would you say about me and my services?
A: Extremely patient and talented in wardrobe styling.
Q: Do you have any other feedback or comments for me?
A: Thank you Jane for all your wonderful help.
Outfit Ideas for Susan --
integrating new items into existing wardrobe
Notice how wearing an item (pants
on left and jacket on right)
in a different outfit combination can make it look different each time
and therefore extend your wardrobe -- this is the key to clothing capsules (Please note these photos were taken to remind Susan of the outfits we created.
Her hair and makeup were not styled for the photos -- and had been ruffled by many
changes of clothes! I took the photos, as you can see, I am not a professional photographer!)
If you're ready to improve your appearance and feel confident in how you look I'd love to help you.
I offer personal image consulting and outfit styling services both in-person (if you can come to me in Avalon, near Sydney, on the beautiful Northern Beaches), and remotely (using a mix of email, photos, Skype and phone).
"Your style makeover may require a few tweaks or a total re-think. Using a mix of science and art I show you how to discover your style and look great every day.
Hi, I'm Jane Liddelow, the Personal Image Consultant and Stylist responsible for this site. Find out more about me here."