Meet Emily, a Human Capital Consultant, Professor, Quantitative Researcher, Mom, Executive Coach, Equestrian…to name a few of Emily’s titles in no particular order, illustrates a career devoted to helping others achieve success. Between running an executive coaching firm, Emily Bermes + Associates, and traveling to clients, Emily found herself needing support buying and styling business casual separates. Her request, “To create Garanimals for grown ups.”
The philosophy behind the clothing brand, Garanimals, is for kids to gain confidence and independence by choosing outfits with matching animal tags. Emily explains the process, “If your pants had a lion tag and your top had a lion tag then the two items coordinated. Garanimals pre-matched everything so that you had 3 to 5 shirts and pants from that line; you always knew how to combine items to create full outfits.”
For a busy professional who wants to look and feel pulled together but doesn’t have the time, a simplified dressing routine limits not only the amount of clothing you own but also takes the work out of getting dressed. Emily adds, “The Garanimals theory works for women like me, who either lack fashion creativity or the time to plan outfits.” In Emily’s case, the style goal is similar, to learn how to buy and coordinate a comfortable, modern, and approachable mix-and-match business casual separates: aka, the capsule wardrobe.
In this #StyleStory, Emily talks about pushing your style comfort zone, how working with a Personal Stylist saves you money, and why fashion is not rocket science rather the science of simplicity.
How do you portray your style through clothes?
“I didn’t approach my style before. I had my ‘appropriate attorney’ look when working with clients; then, I had my ‘after-hours sweatpants’ look. Many of the textures, cuts, and styles Allison recommended made me think, ‘I would never pick those out in a store and try them on’. The pieces that were the most out of my comfort zone ended up being the items that I enjoy the best and feel most comfortable in.”
What is a typical work outfit for you?
“She helped me buy a good mix of items between casual and professional. If I’m not on-site with a client, my go-to outfits include a cropped dress pant, simple blouse or sweater and low boot. Since working with Allison, I’ve been able to go and shop for similar pieces on my own. I see myself trying things on I never would have tried before. Now, I understand what fits my style and shape. Her style advice helped me develop my casual look.”
What was different shopping online with àllie la mode versus on your own?
“I’m shopping less but I’m shopping smarter. In the past, I would buy clothes and question if they really work for my body type and if they did, I didn’t know how to mix and match the new pieces into my closet. I’m embarrassed to admit that before working with Allison, I’ve ordered so many things online, tried them on, and they didn’t fit very well but I was too busy to make returns. I ended up donating clothes that still had the tags. Today, I’m shopping less. But, when I’m buying, I am confident my purchases are going to work for me. I invest in pieces I know I’m going to wear and waste less money.”
What was the biggest benefit in working with a Personal Stylist?
“Allison was stealthy about finding quality pieces at a discounted price. I assumed that a Personal Stylist wouldn’t care about my budget and focus on the cap amount. She ended up getting double the amount of clothes for my budget. It was incredible! Allison is super professional and very conscientious of your budget and definitely pushed me outside my comfort zone, but never too much or in a negative way, in a great way she helped me learn a lot about my personal look.”
Besides scoring a budget-friendly capsule, what else did you gain?
“I would also say that Allison really educates you as you go; during the entire virtual process, having you try new things on and explaining why. By the end of it, I now feel like, ‘yeah, I can go shop on my own and put an outfit together’. She taught me the basics that no one ever taught me.”
“I know it’s not rocket science, because once you understand your outfit formula and sizing, it’s easy to be like, ‘oh okay, this is simple’. She’s connected me to several brands that I now love and it just makes it a lot easier continuing on. Just being educated on everything that probably every other woman my age knows, that I just never knew or experienced growing up — it’s been really helpful and has given me a lot of confidence to put together outfits on my own.”
How have you used your newfound style education and capsule wardrobe?
“Honestly, I use it everyday. It feels good to go to work and feel like you know you look good and you know you’re more put together. I don’t have that insecurity anymore of being in my head questioning, ‘does this look good?’ or overthinking outfits, which is so easy to do when you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing. I would say it’s taken that mental clutter out of my morning equation, which is really helpful.”
Client Story: Emily | 40s
Personal Style: ‘Tailored Neutrals’
Style Solution: Style Advice + Online Shopping