Meet Wendy, a 38-year old full-time parent with a passion for preppy fashion and Miami football. After marrying her high school love, a Belgian exchange student, she’s now fluent in French and calls Brussels home for the past 15 years. This mom of two enjoys spending time with her kids, volunteering at school activities, and loves browsing on Vestiaire Collective for Chanel jackets.
Over time, browsing converts to buying and the combination of online and retail shopping resulted in a wardrobe of ill-fitting clothes that deviated away from her classic look. In an effort to scale-back and create versatile outfits from her current collection, Wendy reached out to àllie la mode.
Here in #StyleStory, Wendy talks about the ins-and-outs of working with a Personal Stylist, owning your personal style, and adjusting to a changing body shape.
When Wendy shared that she was working with a personal stylist her friends were all surprised, “You always seem like you’re always so put together!” Wendy was flattered, but confessed that it has always been a struggle for her to accessorize or wear prints.
Before deciding to work with àllie la mode, Wendy tried working with a Personal Stylist years ago. Talking about her experience with Allison, she said the dynamic was different this time around.
“I’ve done a closet detox before with someone else, but she was not interested in me trying things on,” Wendy said. “She basically looked at stuff and if she didn’t like it then she was like, ‘Okay that goes.’ I tried on a couple of things and then she gave me a few tips on having pieces altered. Basically, the purge was based on whether she liked it or not. We never talked about my personal style.”
On the fence about wanting to work with another Stylist, Wendy decided to jump right in with a “why not” attitude. After an initial consultation with àllie la mode, “We agreed to a Closet Detox where Allison suggested starting by seasons, but I wanted to do my entire closet. And I had a lot. It took two full days of trying on, looking in the mirror, and walking me through a style evaluation: does it fit, match your style, and add value to your current wardrobe? The answers to these questions identified what remained verses donated.”
How did you start owning your personal style?
“Once we defined my style personality as ‘Classic Preppy’, it really made a lot of things click for me. It made me stop buying clothes that weren’t in my style type. Just accepting that I have a classic preppy style and sticking with that was something we found.
There was one dress that I tried on and she was like, ‘my mission here is not to make your wardrobe specifically one theme. If there are a couple pieces that are outside of your style personality but you like them, and they meet the style evaluation, then they stay.’”
What did you realize about yourself outside of the Closet Detox?
“When I go shopping whether it’s online, in-person, USA or Europe, I’m taking more time to pick the right things. It’s really helped me focus on just buying things that are going to work with what I already own. One thing Allison taught me was that it doesn’t have to be every piece of your wardrobe that reflects your style type; however, you’ll find it easier to dress yourself if things are.”
Wendy went on to talk about the physical transformation of her body after having children. “After (having) my two kids- the first one wasn’t really a problem but after my second one, who is now 7 years-old, I felt as if my whole body was rearranged. Nothing fit. Nothing felt natural. For a whole year I went and bought a new wardrobe because I didn’t feel comfortable in clothing I had worn before. I think a lot of women experience a shift after having children because your body is not the same.”
How did àllie la mode help you dress your current shape?
“Having someone to bounce questions and ideas off of who understands that, YES, your body constantly changes, is comforting. I think a lot of women don’t know that it’s normal. We all have certain ideals of what we should look like at all times or what our bodies should be… I think every woman is different… Our bodies change when we gain or lose weight. Allison identified my body type and showed me various cuts of clothes that complement my shape.”
Who is your style icon?
Audrey Hepburn is just so classy and iconic; I have a picture of her in my bedroom. I feel as if I resemble her in the sense that I like classic, timeless things. My favorite part about my wardrobe is that I know my stuff is not going to go out of style, for the most part. No matter if I pick out a trendy piece, I can pair it with something classic and still have a complete outfit.
How do you channel outfit inspiration?
“My Pinterest page comes in handy. I search for outfit ideas when I have a shirt and pants in mind or look at some of the pictures that Allison took of me from when I did my detox. I’ve really relied on Pinterest. It’s been helpful to have those visuals. Sometimes when I post a new thing, Allison will comment on it and say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ or swap items. Like one time I had a completely neutral outfit and Allison commented: ‘if you want to add a pop of color, swap out the shoes for another color.’ It was really helpful.”
Throughout the experience, Wendy has developed a new sense of confidence with her closet. Before, things were a struggle, now when I put things together, my 12 year-old daughter asks me if they’re “Allison approved.” Being the fashionista she is, my daughter noticed the change the most.
Now she says, “Wow, Mom, good job!” I think when your 12 year-old daughter thinks you’re doing okay with styling; because, she knows you’ve struggled with it before, it’s quite comforting.
Client Story: Wendy | 30s
Personal Style: ‘Classic Preppy’
Style Solution: Closet Detox + Style Advice