MISSION: Show up in style to Social Media Camp. ACTION PLAN: Hire Brianna Carson of What Would Audrey Wear? for a wardrobe analysis and action plan for a mindfully crafted professional wardrobe. RESULT: More than I bargained for & a lesson in what scares me about shining like a star.
This year I had the lucky fortune of getting acquainted with a personal style coach. That’s right, a PERSONAL STYLE COACH! What’s that, you may ask? Let me allow Brianna Carson of “What Would Audrey Wear?” answer this one for me:
“I specialize in assisting professional women aged 20-60 communicate effectively with their wardrobes, helping them to get that dream job, feel confident representing their business, or enable them to feel authentic with who they are and how they present themselves in all area in their lives.”
I have had an eclectic collection of clothes for quite some time now. I have three younger sisters and a lot of very giving friends. I am given a lot of clothes and have, over the years had a bit of a revolving door on funky finds. Clothes come in and out depending on what catches my eye. Some are given to me and in turn, I give some away. As a result, I don’t feel that my wardrobe has been crafted mindfully with intention nor is it very cohesive. I just pop on items that make me happy which often means cozy (read: leggings) or ready for anything (read: jeans and a t-shirt). Being in a professional and rather social industry, one can only go so far with tights and jeans. It is with this in mind that I approached Brianna to assist me in putting together some signature items that I could feel comfortable in and show up in style to Social Media Camp. Suit up and show up. Little did I know what I was really in for…
We started by doing a full wardrobe analysis which comprises of pulling everything out of the good ‘ol closet.
We then went through each piece and answered the following key questions:
1.) Does it suit me
2.) Do I ever wear it?
3.) Is it trashed/faded/old?
4.) Does it need to be hemmed or fixed or dry cleaned?
5.) Does it fit with where my mindfully crafted professional wardrobe?
There were a few exceptions. My old VW Rabbit shirt was allowed to stay in a sentimental pile as were many of my wear around the house and gardening clothes. Many of the items I had were old and worn, didn’t suit me (color was off, didn’t fit right, etc.). I had a few that needed to get dry cleaned which Brianna took care of for me. No excuses now. I have a couple of hand-me-downs which are super cute but need some TLC by a tailor – in comes Brianna to the rescue. She just happens to have a go-to tailor that lives close by. It’s a match made in heaven. Brianna also made a few rules for me.
Rule #1 – No more shopping where teenagers shop or accepting cheaply made hand-me-downs that don’t fit. Rule #2 – No more “fun” pieces – looking for anchor pieces now.
Brianna put together five signature outfits for me that I could wear right away, without any shopping. My wardrobe needs anchor pieces (think: boyfriend jeans, plain tanks, plain shirts, LBD – little black dress, flats, and sandals).
This entire process was not an easy one for me. To break it down in bite size chunks for you, I had various different thoughts such as:
1.) Who am I if I don’t wear these clothes?
2.) She says people are going to notice me – that’s scary – so now I have to really stand in my power (read Marianne Williamson’s quote on truly being in our power – our true *fear*)
3.) Does this mean I need to face “ultra-maturity”? Check out Vicki McLeod’s Main Street Page for home truths about maturity.
4.) Can’t I be professional and funky at the same time?
All of these worries were mulling around in my head as I went to bed that night and in the morning I received this email from Brianna:
So I was trying to categorize you least night and put together a lovely little plan but it just wasn’t working. I took breaks, I looked at more pictures, I even left the house to clear my head: nothing! I could not figure your style out for the life of me. So then I went to bed, and I dreamed of you. no joke. And you know what I realized? YOU ARE NOT CATEGORIZABLE! You, Karina, are the first client I’ve ever had who defies category. You’re amazing!!! The only other person like that is me, ha!
So here’s what I’m going to do: today I work on the guts of Karina style. Cool, sophisticated, creative, fun, and a little vintage. I’m hoping to finish today, but wanted to update you. Oh, and I found some vintage pieces of mine I’d love for you to try on. This is gonna be SOOOOO GOOD!!!!!!
I have to admit that my ego LOVED this email! I thought, “Yes! I’m uncategorizable! I knew it!” Don’t we all want to be unique? After spending some time mulling over said worries and this follow-up email, I started to feel the excitement of a fresh start. A new, mature, professionally minded, powerful, ready for anything woman! Me?!?! Yes, me! It took me long enough to get to adulthood but I feel that it’s happening and it’s happening in a mindful and beautiful way that doesn’t compromise the creativity, curiosity, and laughter of my childhood years.
Brianna gave me so much more than I bargained for. It’s not just about a new wardrobe or getting rid of a few items, it’s a clean sweep and a new start meeting me right where I am and supporting my growth. I even got my own Pinterest board that she set up. What an awesome way to be supported through the journey.