What happens in the morning after you have had a shower? Do have a sense of confidence when you open your wardrobe doors or are you feeling frustrated? If you feel confident about what is in your wardrobe, you feel excited by most items, there are no missing items you can consider yourself a natural stylist! The reality is that most men and women feel frustrated and always refer back to old favorites.
In my profession as a Fashion Stylist I have seen close to a 1000 different wardrobe from men and women of all walks of life and it is surprising how similar we really are. As part of my personal shopping experience I spent about 30 minutes with each client going through their wardrobe. It is quite a nervous moment for the client as they open up the most intimate part of themselves to a stranger really. Some people are really organised and have all items categorised and can pretty much put their hand on any item they want to. And some people..... well the organisation is pretty non-existant and I have my work cut out for me to bring some order into the mess. I usually start with sorting all the pants and skirts so I know what basics I have to work with and if need be I would actually separate the Summer and Winter bottoms. It becomes clear instantly what the client's comfort zone is and what is in the too hard basket. One of the most common mistakes people make is not bothering with alterations, dry cleaning or fixing garments. Does this ring a bell?
When you would go and have a look at your wardrobe and sort your bottoms and tops before a new shopping spree, firstly you will be amazed about how many items you have your cupboard you hardly ever wear or that you have lots of items in one particular colour because it is easy. Put those items that need fixing, dry cleaning etc aside and action them! You will feel much better for doing it and your choice options instantly increase by probably 30%. If there are items that you find hard to match up with anything else, take it with you next time you hit the shops.
And while you are at it, why not clean your wardrobe, create some space and eBay the items you think someone else would die for or just simply recycle. You will feel refreshed and have renewed energy to fill in the gaps that your wardrobe has.
Another common mistake is that clients either have a passion for tops or bottoms and therefor the different mix and match combinations very limited. I would suggest to buy outfits instead of one offs as the colour might not be quite right or the style just does not fit the other item. This will save you $$ in the long run.
I also advise my clients to work on basics first that are of good quality, a great colour and style and fit well. Once the base is right we can work with items that are more unique or fad and fashion driven. I made a mistake myself last season where I bought 3 of same "Mischa Barton" shapeless style dresses in different fabrics and colours (...because they look great on her). Firstly they are not in fashion this season so no need to wear them as a Fashion Stylist and secondly I really should have trusted my gut feeling that the shapeless shape really does not work for me at all. I guess the message I would like to give here is to really have a good look at an outfit to really make sure that the style suits you and the colour. You know yourself when you have tried on outfits you felt instantly at ease, comfortable and no discussion needed. The moment during a personal styling session we are in the changing room and we have to "talk" about a certain outfit how we can make it work... for me that is the sign this not the right thing to buy. The right items of clothing should fit like a glove (apart from hemlines take up).
Have you ever bought an item (or many items) where the shopp assistant has had full control of selecting the outfit and assured you that "you looked fantastic"; you bought it and it remains gathering dust in your wardrobe. Trust your own intuition!!! I can't stress this one enough! People like certain outfits for a variety of reasons and not every shop assistant has your best interest at heart.
Another great measure is when people say "You look great today" in my view you are probably wearing an outfit that suits your colouring and fits your body shape. If you get comments like "I love your top" in my view this could mean a bunch of different things; let's say it a top, the colour could be wearing you and therefor instead of enhancing your skin, hair and eyes the top is the attention seeker. Or people fancy your choice and would rather see the top on them than on you.