A Style Consultant to Polish and Organize the Wardrobe.
As an in-home service professional I am constantly keeping my eye out for others that could refer me to their clients and whom I could refer to mine to provide a more complete service. I first came to know Laura Michaud through a friend’s Facebook page. On my website I have listed an interior designer and home stager among others as resources so I thought a personal stylist would be a good addition to my list. We agreed to meet to say hello and after meeting her I realized that not only could my clients benefit from her services but so could I.
I was proud of my organized year-round wardrobe of one closet, one dresser and four pairs of shoes. I could see everything at a glance and had few bells and whistles to complicate function. My wardrobe was “acceptable” until after perusing her blog, Facebook page and meeting her in person I realized I was missing out on the fun of clothes and the possibility to be noticed for je ne sais quoi..panache.
I never imagined there was a such a local style maven but once I saw her blog and FB posts there was no going back. Unlike most of what the fashion industry produces her material was both dense in specific how-tos and filled with engaging graphics making it a truly worthwhile source of information and pleasure. I want to be the same pleasure to the eye as she is when she walks into a room. Her look incorporates design on many levels; color, texture, material, shimmer, translucence, occasion-specific, tromp l’oeil, fit, layering, accent, current and classic references and more.
I am fairly well-versed in some clothing matters from my years as a designer. I managed to sell my work to two celebrities and editors at Martha Stewart Living Magazine among others. Further, I lived and travelled to various countries exposing me to multicultural design. However after spending three hours with Laura I realized because of my desire to be light in possessions to enable spontaneous travel and my preference for organization via minimalism, I have overlooked opportunities for enjoyment and expression. I had neglected to organize my style. Style is to things as dance is to movement. Without the aesthetic appeal, function alone lacks something. Though I value the efficient function of things I am in love with dance and “a life without love is no life at all.”
So I resolved to tap her talents. I would have a taste of my own medicine. As a professional organizer I enter clients’ personal spaces as part of my job. I examined my wardrobe imagining it through her eyes. It inspired me to make some major changes even before she came.
She began with a sit down session at my kitchen table to make sure we were both on the same page as to who I think I am and who I want to look like, what body type I have and what are my lifestyle habits, who are my style icons and revered designers, how much do I need comfort over image among other things, how my wardrobe would be different at the end of her consult. She typed it into her laptop so that she could send me a complete review of the consult via email because I am averse to paper storage.
We then proceeded to my wardrobe. I showed her all my separates, bikinis, coats and shoes. I showed her how I normally pair things and when I would wear what. I told her the items I was unsure about but didn’t know why. She offered solutions. She suggested new colors for me that I would never have considered until I saw what they did to my eyes. The blue popped. I learned that the short dress I wouldn’t wear because I didn’t like the way I looked, looked great with my nude legs if I changed my black shoes to nude. Just as when I am with a client who is more able to let go of things they don’t need or want strongly I was able to let go of three items that weren’t really working for me because of her presence. She showed me the power of small details that are inversely proportionate to size-accessories; belts, jewelry, scarves, shoes and purses. I also overlooked some powerful pattern and color combinations that add dimension and interest. I was surprised to learn in evaluating each piece and discussing my life that my “dance tops” were being underused by being classified solely as “dance”. So I moved them to where I hang shirts that I could wear under business blazers. I would choose my dance items from that umbrella category.
She recommended a certain jewelry line but I expressed the unappealing notion that the names of the actual craftspeople were not mentioned on the piece so she suggested a local jeweler who sells at Maine Jewelry and Art.
I have been in search for a quality local hair stylist ever since my mind-blowing experience at NYC Bumble and Bumble. She recommended Charlene at All About You on State Street. If her business card is any indication of her styling I feel well-advised. It appealed to my sense of style the way few local cards do.
Laura also advises about spa, makeup and etiquette.
I haven’t been to Talbot’s clothing store by the mall in about ten years. After years of travel I imagined it to be a purveyor of staid central-Maine style but now that I know Laura works there I am sure they have something for me. In addition she mentioned an interesting fabric of silk and viscose that caught my attention. I’ll be stopping by today to check them out.
After all was said and done I had some ideas of what items to look for when I was out shopping to round out my clothing resources while feeling all the while as if I was with a metropolitan fashion diva. More than what I should wear is what I could wear.
And look at this fun style board she made.