You open your closet and think to yourself, “I have nothing to wear.” You realize this is completely irrational because your closet is full of tops and jeans and dresses and shoes, but it stills feels like there is not a single thing in there that will make you feel like the chic, stylish woman you
are really want to be. This happens to me daily! On most occasions I manage to piece together something that looks ok, isn’t schmeared in peanut butter or snot and actually fits (the last bit grows ever more challenging). But every once in a while, I find myself closing my eyes and making a wish that goes something like this: “If I could have only one wish, I would wish to open my eyes and have two fairy fashion godmothers appear to help me make sense of my wardrobe and my post-baby body.”
And POOF! Two weeks ago my wish came true when the amazingly talented, stylish and gracious ladies from ALG Style crossed my threshold. Aimee Gowland is a personal shopper and retail consultant whose prior experience includes post-graduate work at the famed Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC, as well as a career there as a buyer for the contemporary women’s market. Her partner in fighting fashion crime is Corrie Pellerin, a designer and personal shopper for ALG. Corrie studied at Savannah College of Art and Design before moving to New York where she worked for Issey Miyake.
When I learned that they (these incredibly cool and professionally accomplished women) would be paying me and my closet a complimentary visit, a shameful sense of panic and anxiety took over me as I realized my closet was a disaster. That feeling was quickly abated when they told me not to worry about anything but enjoying myself. As my husband was out of town and I am under a crazy hectic deadline at work, hearing that I didn’t have to stay up until midnight making things look presentable confirmed that they really were my fairy fashion godmothers.
Our afternoon began with a tour of my closet. They listened as I told them about how I had it organized (shirts here, dresses there) and what challenges I had with the space. From there, we devised a plan to get things reorganized and streamlined. Aimee mentioned that women use only about 40% of what they keep in their closet. As they moved piece after piece from my tightly packed closet, I had no doubt that that statistic was correct.
There were things in my closet I had not worn in several seasons but couldn’t get myself to give away. With their help, we carefully evaluated each piece. As they lined up each piece on a rollaway rack where I could see everything in the bright lights of our dining room rather than my dimly lit closet, I was able to make clear choices about what should stay. For those that didn’t make the cut, we made two piles. The first was for the items that I elected to donate to Bloomin’Deals, the Junior League of New Orleans’ thrift shop. The other pile was for items that would be taken to Swap Boutique and sold on consignment. Now, it’s not that I haven’t thought about doing this before, but finding the time to follow through on delivering my clothes to Bloomin’Deals and Swap was just enough stress to move cleaning out my closet further down on my to do list. The benefit of making these piles with ALG Style is that they will bring my things to both places and return with my donation receipt and proceeds from Swap. Are you kidding me?!?! Did I mention they were a wish come true?
As we evaluated my clutter free (yes, by clutter I mean lingering maternity clothes) closet, we picked out the pieces I had trouble styling or had never been worn. I tend to pair everything with black or with white tanks, and when I do add color to my closet, I never really know what to do with it. They showed me how much more versatile my wardrobe could be just by mixing and matching colors and patterns. Who knew a pair of red pants could become a staple piece rather than a statement piece?!
They also helped me identify what shapes and styles worked for my body. We discussed that I should steer clear of anything double breasted as I have broad shoulders, but that because I have long legs, most of my skirts should be taken up about one inch. To prove this to me, they had me try on this mustard-colored, Mad Men inspired skirt I bought last year but only wore once. After they pinned it in a few places and tucked it up just above my knees, it transformed into a totally different piece. Rather than being a skirt that added weight to my frame, it became a beautiful piece that made me feel great about my body – not an easy feat! And get this: they take it to the seamstress and return it to you at your convenience!
At the end of our day, they provided me with a personal style file where they listed brands that they think I would love and trends that would work for my style and my figure. It also included suggestions for a streamlined closet like changing to hangers by Real Simple that can be found at Bed, Bath, and Beyond and using baskets to hold things like leggings, tights, tanks and socks.
I don’t know about you, but things like this seemed out of reach for me and my family. However, I cannot tell you how much value they provided me during our time together. I learned to shop in my very own closet. By paring it down to things I actually wear but learning how to wear them more versatilely, I feel like I went on a shopping spree! Also, I think this would make the VERY best shower or second baby gift. I have started to get my friends something for the baby but also something for them. My hope is that it reminds them not to lose themselves in motherhood. Imagine if a group of friends or family came together to get a new mom a few hours of ALG Style’s time. Perhaps she’s transitioning from maternity wear or heading back to work or just needs to remember how beautiful and special she is; they would be the perfect people to make it happen.
It was amazing that in just three and a half hours together, I felt like they knew me better than I knew myself. In the time they had spent with me, they helped me feel so much more confident with my style and myself. It’s no secret that having a baby changes your body, but it also changes how you view yourself. Sometimes it takes your fashion fairy godmothers to remind you that you are smart and talented and stylish and beautiful. We all are. But it helps to be reminded that it’s okay to take a moment to yourself to find your confidence again. They were so encouraging that I just might be purchasing some vegan leather leggings and treated denim for my fall style. And, as a treat for myself for a work deadline well achieved, I think I’m going to have Aimee and Corrie join me on my quest to find just the right additions to my closet.
Learn more about ALG Style and their fabulous fashion services
Besides checking out their website and connecting with them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, you also have the opportunity to meet them in person next week! You can meet Aimee and Corrie from ALG Style at our upcoming event on October 17th from 6:00 – 9:00pm as we help the LOFT celebrate their new concept store in Elmwood Plaza. No registration is required and ALL are welcome. Join us for refreshments, music, shopping and the chance to win some really fun prizes including a $250 shopping spree and a personal styling session with ALG Style. Oh what a night!