They wouldn’t build a house without a blueprint, hit the road to a new ski resort without a map, make their first visit to Barcelona without a guidebook or even, in these days of H&G TV, move furniture without a floor plan. And yet, again and again, the number of people, both men and women, who overlook the importance of a wardrobe plan, surprises me.
These are the same folks who would mark the map to Mount-Magical-Skiing with gas stations and highlight the best tapas bars in Barcelona — but off they go on a shopping spree, minus a plan.
Wardrobe planning is done systematically and strategically. Before beginning to build a client’s wardrobe plan, there needs to be a strong foundation in place. The starting point is the client’s body proportions, personal style and colour palette.
Liz had reached this stage on her journey and was ready to move forward. In preparation for our third meeting, I gave Liz a copy of my comprehensive Wardrobe Planning Guide. Although some client’s prefer that I make a “house-call” for this part of the consultation, Liz expressed a newfound confidence about what worked for her; she was ready to tackle her closet.
The following week, she arrived back at the office with her suitcase and my editing process began:
• Group 1: Keepers
• Group 2: Alterations Department
• Group 3: Pass-alongs for her sister
• Group 4: Goodwill donations
Liz’s wardrobe was minimal, so we had to build a plan that would allow her to introduce new pieces on a monthly basis. Since Liz and her partner are saving for a house, it was imperative that her foundation pieces be:
• Versatile — appropriate for varied situations
• Easy to mix and match
• Simple, understated — so she could use accessories to change their looks and moods.
The actual plan would be quite compact, but before committing it to paper we discussed a few basic guidelines:
• Discipline — and the importance of sticking to the plan
• Focus — find key pieces, accept no substitutes
• Impulse purchases — strictly off-limits
• Trend management — avoiding fads
• Splurging — when it makes sense
• Last minute shopping — past history
• Bargains — are they or aren’t they?
Soon, it would be time to put the plan to work, but before we hit the stores, Liz had a few words:
“I really didn’t want to show Diane my wardrobe. After going through my closet I was embarrassed — most items didn’t look like they belonged to a young professional. Once I got past my initial feelings, I buckled down and concentrated on understanding how to select the essential building blocks that would form the core, or as Diane calls it my ‘survival wardrobe.’ The best part is, I’m enjoying the process — it really is a journey.”
Stay tuned! (Note that you can now have our blog posts delivered to your Inbox by clicking on the Subscribe link on the right side of this page.)
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Tuesday, January 26, 2010, 3:00 pm Eastern, 12:00 pm Pacific
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