If there is one question my clients ask me more than any other, it’s “where do I start to pull a great outfit together?” Well my friends, the answer is………….there is no answer. Inspiration can come from so many different places. It could start with a shoe, a new blouse, or an earring. It could come from a mood. For example, you just feel like getting dressed up, or dressed down. Or you are inspired by a specific color—one that makes you feel good, or that you have been told really suits you. Inspiration can come from anywhere.
And yet, so often it feels that inspiration is a million miles away. Especially when you are standing in front of your closet in the morning with that dreaded feeling of “I have nothing to wear.” Where to start? Sometimes you need to take steps to get the motivation and the inspiration going. The best place to start? Think about what the day holds for you.
What will you be doing today? Is it going to be a busy day running from place to place? Is it casual? Or do you need to look polished and professional? Let’s go with polished and professional as that seems to be the bigger challenge for most people. I suggest you start with a shoe. Pick something comfortable—a low heel or a flat. Make sure it is clean and in good shape. Add a simple trouser or jean (if jeans are appropriate in your workplace). Keeping these pieces neutral allows you to pick a stand-out piece next. Just like a well-designed room needs a focal point, so does a great outfit. Pick a great top, a fabulous blouse or better still, a beautiful tailored blazer. I love a great blazer and own several myself. It’s the perfect piece to finish an outfit and to give you a look of authority and professionalism. It can also give an evening look a whole new level of sophistication.
If your day involves more sitting than standing—maybe a full day of meetings with important clients—then pull out your favorite dress. Do you like heels? This would be a great day to sport a high heel or boot. If your dress is a neutral, go with great colors or patterns in your footwear. Or add a silk scarf. Bright colors against your face can bring out the best in your complexion.
Understanding what the day holds for you will go a long way towards helping you dress appropriately and look amazing at the same time. And so will having a well curated closet as that is what makes choosing an outfit a cinch. The internet is full of lists outlining the must have items that should be in every woman’s closet. I’m not a fan of those lists. I prefer a more tailored approach that takes an individual’s lifestyle, taste, and preferences into account. Working with a stylist/personal shopper is a wonderful way to get the right pieces to build the perfect wardrobe. Working with a stylist does not have to be expensive. Many department stores and boutiques provide this service at no charge. A good stylist will take the time to learn about your needs and your personal style. A great stylist will want to know what you have in your closet already. A great stylist can teach you what silhouettes work best for your body type and what colors work best with your complexion. In the long run, working with a stylist can save you money by ensuring you only buy what works for you and makes you feel good.
And some final tips to ensure you have a well curated closet. Firstly, very few women fit a standard store size. For a perfect fit, alterations are often required. It is well worth your while to find a skilled tailor who you trust. And finally, if you are not comfortable mixing and matching your outfits, let your stylist do it for you. Take photos of the different outfits. Those outfits will be another source of inspiration when you stand in front of that closet in the morning.
Most of all, have fun. Fashion is meant to make you feel good. Always keep that in mind before pulling out that credit card.