Allow me to introduce you to my personal stylist: Lisa McLatchie, Practical Fashionista! (You may have noticed her link at the top of my sidebar.)
I found her through a simple web search (looking for a personal stylist in or near the GTA) and was very impressed by what I found.
So, what makes her qualified anyway? This must be a common question, as she addresses it on her site:
"Yes, I have been trained as a Personal Stylist. Not only did I study Fashion Design at Seneca College, I am also a certified Image Consultant, and have been personally trained by Stacy London from ‘What Not to Wear.’ Yeah, THAT Stacy London!"
Before contacting Lisa I had tons of other questions, but as I continued to browse the site I realized my worries were not unique to me:
"Seriously though, I fully understand the idea of working with an Image Consultant can seem a bit scary…
“Will she make me get rid of ALL of my clothes?”
“Will she think my clothes are ugly and cheap?”
“Is she going to make me spend tons of money on a new wardrobe?”
“Is she going to use me as a dress up doll, and put me in clothes I don’t feel comfortable in?”
Simply put, the answers are “No”, “No”, “No”, and “No Way”! Well, THIS one won’t anyway."
Reading that on her site really put me at ease about setting up a consultation.
While she offers many services, including colour analysis and personal shopping, what I need the most is a "Wardrobe Makeover", so I contacted Lisa to set something up. She's a busy lady, but after a few e-mails back and forth we picked a final date....which will be arriving next week!!
In advance, she sent me her "Personal Style Assessment", a fill-in-the-blanks Word document asking questions about my style and colour preferences, where I usually shop, my lifestyle, work specifics, size information. etc. She also asked what I am hoping to achieve with this makeover, so I provided her with my three main goals:
1. Purging my wardrobe. I am great at getting rid of things in every other area of my life, but I feel wasteful parting with my clothing, and I often think that perhaps an item will come back in style, or if I just had the right shirt/skirt/pants/accessories to go with it, I'd wear it much more often. Sometimes it takes a second pair of eyes to notice that something just doesn't work anymore.
2. Making new outfits with what I have, and accessorizing. I'm good with jewelery, but I have tons of belts, scarves, tights (and legwarmers - who can forget those?) which I rarely wear because I don't know what to wear them with.
3. Coming up with a Fall 2012 shopping list - hopefully not just my standard sweaters-and-dress-pants combos.
Now, I have tons of stylish friends who could help me with this endeavour, but I don't think I am cut out to take even the kindest wardrobe criticism from friends whom I see all the time.
My helpful friend C predicted: "She's going to tell you that you need real leather boots, which I already told you!" Well, C, I will have you know that I do own real leather boots, but the black thigh-highs with stiletto heels just don't seem appropriate for our work environment!
I've already started excitedly thinking about my "Keep", "?" and "Donate" piles, which will be ready to go when Lisa arrives. With any luck, her expert eye will pare down the "?" pile, leaving me with a big donation bag...and an excuse to shop!
I can't wait...and I'll be sure to give you all the details! Check out Practical Fashionista for more information.
Disclosure: I am being provided with a Wardrobe Makeover for the purposes of reviewing Practical Fashionista's services. Opinions are, as always, my own.