There’s panic at the disco. We all know that one. There aren’t many of us who didn’t belt out the lyrics ‘haven’t you people ever heard of closing the damn door’ throughout the early noughties.
Many of us are also far too familiar with panic in the change room and as a personal stylist it’s one of those behind the scenes scenarios that I’m privy to on a far-too regular basis. It’s this panic that sets forth a tsunami of crises in confidence, not least of which is ‘where and when will I wear it?’. This in turn leads to that same old same old white shirt purchase, which leaves the woman with even less options than when she entered the change room. Let’s turn panic into smug, shall we?
Allow me to set the scene. I’m in the fitting room getting all up, close and personal with my lovely client. We’ve just got her into her first killer outfit and we are basking in her radiance, boosted confidence and enthusiasm. And then the question I’ve been waiting for drops – I know it’s coming after over a decade of styling women:
‘I absolutely love it but what else would I wear it with?’
The ‘it’ being the piece that has stretched her beyond her place of style/closet comfort. ‘It’ might be a brilliantly coloured blouse, a statement cut trouser or an edgy and elevated blazer that we both know will rock her world. My lovely client simply does not know and can’t even imagine how to make this fabulous piece work hard for her in her wardrobe and is getting set to reject it for this reason alone, despite loving it beyond measure.
Despite her knowing in her gut how great she looks and feels, she has already jumped to the place that comes from a lack of confidence in her ability to create outfits, which is actually a complete lack of confidence in her creativity.
Now imagine for one moment that I wasn’t there with her. To coach her on beyond that wobble on the edge of soaring. She’d reluctantly take the item off, re-hang it and walk away, knowing in her heart that it was a keeper but fearing in her feels that she just wouldn’t get the wear out of it. Opportunity lost, time wasted and lack of confidence in ability to select inspiring pieces re-inforced. Panic in the change room indeed!
Thankfully, however, I am there. And it’s at this point that I swoop to the rescue (I like to think of myself as a caped crusader sometimes, and I just know that the perfect cape is out there, waiting for me) and reassure her that that is PRECISELY why she has paid me good money to style her in the first place. It’s my role to help build her confidence in her ability to style something that has stretched her couture comfort beyond what she currently sees in the mirror.
Enter the moment that I whip out my phone and give a real life demo of the powerful styling tool that maximises every one of my clients’ wardrobes and eliminates the fear of not knowing what to wear, and how to wear it.
I’m talking about my Digital LookBook.
Essentially, it’s a visual representation of all possible outfit combinations existing in your wardrobe. I photograph flat lays of clothing combinations (not on the body so as to be less distracting and self-critical) against categories that make sense to each woman. It’s an app that sits on their device that they can refer to as often or as little as they require. It’s a clear roadmap to steer you through the everyday question of ‘what am I going to wear today?’ and the less regular but just as pressing query of ‘how do I get more action out of this piece, I’m just not sure what else to wear it with?’
It originated with one of my first clients who was a safe player in her wardrobe. She saw style as an inconvenient necessity but as a result was underwhelmed by how her wardrobe made her feel and knew the toll it was taking on her personal brand and sense of self. She also didn’t want to think about what to wear. It’s usually these particular lovelies who benefit the most from the digital LookBook – the ones who are drawn to the same pieces time and time again because they work and are afraid to venture beyond, because they fear they don’t have the ability to create anything more interesting. To be fair, they are often extremely busy and simply don’t have the time, head space or even the interest to work out possible new outfit combos and that’s where I come in. Much like meal planning, we align an outfit to a purpose, thus the equivalent of Meat-free Monday translating into Meet-free Monday.
Do my clients love my LookBooks? Shall we count the ways?
- It saves time deciding – scroll to the level or purpose of the outfit for the day and voile, Bob’s your uncle, we’re done!
- It reduces decision fatigue –the decision has already been made and so there’s no need to second guess, try on and throw off, try on something else, and add to the floordrobe crisis that may be unfolding.
- It gives a sense of peace and security – your look is officially stylist-approved, you know it works, no need to doubt your choice, as you know that it looks FABULOUS!
- It gives satisfaction with borderline smugness that you’re getting good value out of your wardrobe
- It’s also a roadmap for future purchases without in between sessions with me.
How good is not thinking? So, so good! Although, I’d love you to think about how incredible you’d feel standing in your wardrobe, LookBook in hand, ready to smash out your ideal day. Shall we chat to make it happen? Click here.
Hi, I’m Nicole, and I’m a personal stylist obsessed with helping women in business and corporate roles to experience effortless, stylish dressing, allowing them to stand out for all the right reasons. I bring strategy, solutions and expertise to my clients. I fully understand the challenges women face when trying to achieve a wardrobe that actually works and I take the pain out of shopping for clothes and deciding what to wear. I transform something that feels fraught and complex into a streamlined solution expertly tailored to you.
Cover Image credit: Fi Mims Photography